Sunday, 29 July 2012

Olympics - Much Wenlock ... let the Games begin ...



The Games have begun ... the seven year countdown to the staging of the 30th Olympiad is over and a frenetic timetable of events is unfolding as I write – a few gold medals have been won by China since yesterday – the first in Shooting at Wellington Barracks in Greenwich.

Shropshire hills
2012 is being a quite extraordinary year for this small island that seems to tie so many threads of history, enlightenment, exploration, social culture and now technical expansion together in normal life, let alone during the Opening Ceremony of this year’s Summer Olympic Games.


I have to say ... it was a very English show – much of it I loved ... I still really am not keen on the 1980s and the Sex Pistols ... but c’est la vie – many are.  It was fascinating to watch and then to hear and read the comments.


Shropshire
Bucolic – totally ... sheep, sheep dogs, shepherds, pastures, meadows, cows, ducks, hens, horses, geese and goats ... a Shropshire hill – though I haven’t heard mention by a journalist of this link...


... the Olympic Games in its pre-nascent state originated from ‘The Olympian Class’ under the banner of the Wenlock Agricultural Reading Society in 1850:


for the promotion of the moral, physical and intellectual improvement of the inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood of Wenlock and especially of the working classes, by the encouragement of out-door recreation, and by the award of prizes annual at public meetings for skill in athletic exercise and proficiency in intellectual and industrial attainments.”


Depiction of rural life
The local doctor, William Penny Brookes, was inspired to create these events after he read about the premature deaths of weavers, thought to be due to lack of exercise ... do we have games for Bloggers?


The first games were a mixture of athletics and traditional country sports such as quoits, football and cricket; also included were running, hurdles and cycling on penny farthings; while there were some “fun events” including the blindfolded wheelbarrow race and in one year “The old woman’s race for a pound of tea” --- not sure how old the ‘old’ was!


Dr Brookes with
a penny farthing
The doctor also wanted the games to be all inclusive so included embroidery, knitting with some other domestic hobbies ... no-one was to die of inactivity under his auspices!


In 1859 the Society sent £10 to Athens as The Wenlock prize for the best runner in the longest race at the Olympic Games – it was won by Petros Velissarios of Smyrna in the Ottoman Empire ... one of the first Olympians.  I have to say I forget that the Ottoman Empire was so recent ...


Olympic symbols outside Velodrome
The National Olympic Association (as it became known) continued sporadically on for a few years before ceasing operations in 1883.  However Baron Pierre de Coubertin visited the Olympian Society in 1890 – which held a special games in his honour.


The Baron, inspired by Dr Brookes, then  went on to establish the International Olympic Committee which spawned the Olympics we know today; while the Much Wenlock Olympian Games continued intermittently, until revived in 1977, and are now recognised by the IOC and BOA, continuing to this day.


The mascots
Wenlock, one of the two Olympic mascots, gets his name from these villages.


So now we have this modern games at which each country hosting the Games competes with an Opening Ceremony ... as to who can put on the greatest show on earth ... but what could surpass Beijing – something that wasn’t clinical and precise ...


Lowry: industrial river scene -
title 'Canal Bridge'
Our Show was eccentric, quirky, down to earth, full of cultural references, typically British in so many ways; reminding us of our roots  - with the hymn ‘Abide with Me’ and William Blake’s Jerusalem – the common name for his poem of 1804 ‘And Did Those Feet in Ancient Times” ...


Then onto the industrial age – Danny Boyle’s portrayal of this era was really quite special ... making me think of my post on Richard Arkwright, who is credited as the creator of the modern factory system ... as well as the silent movie “Metropolis”, the Lowry paintings, then their combination with sparks of the furnace flying ...

 
... Armageddon, Pandemonium or randomness looked like it prevailed as we remembered more parts of our social and cultural history – all touched with humour ... good old British humour ....
Brueghel (1563): Tower of Babel


As one commenter said – it’s probably a Show we need to watch again to get all the references and nuances ...  especially to see The Queen in her first acting role – Daniel Craig must have had fun doing that sequence.  I gather it was exposed – but was put down as an April Fool’s joke ... now the joke is on the other foot.


The wild flowers at the Park are just coming into
flower - the Orbit is in the background
I thoroughly enjoyed it ... and now need to catch up on some more of its finer points ... it was wonderful so many people of all shapes and sizes, all races were present and were included in the Ceremony – we are a very diverse nation ... while Stratford in the East End of London – that waste dump of land seven years ago ... is now a Park of superb achievement ...


Olympic Park riverside
The LA Times has written a concise article that you may like to read ... but there was so much inference within this very British production ... a Games fit for humanity rather than superpower politics of self-aggrandisement of past Openings.


The British humour won through – all played their part ... the volunteers – thousands of them – to The Queen ... and of course it had to be Bond, James Bond tempting our Majesty away from her Palace for a helicopter ride to the East End.


Rolling Shropshire hills
We were reminded of the rolling Shropshire landscape by the backdrop of Danny Boyle’s Olympic hill with its Jack and Jill path to the top of the hill ... bringing us full circle from those agricultural beginnings to this the 30th Olympiad being held in London for the third time ...


I don't think the world will forget this Opening Ceremony - it will stand apart - the Games have begun ... let’s celebrate them – win or lose ... it’s the taking part that counts.


LA Times article – can be found here

Hardwick - much loved, but very ancient
...  I wondered if he'd last the course
he did - just!!
Dear Mr Postman ... I would like to thank all my supporters over the years while I was with my mother – I really appreciate all your thoughts and comments about her passing however they were sent ... on the previous post, via email and even cards by post, or by e- card ...

We will not forget her – equally I shall continue blogging, no doubt at times referencing her or Hardwick, who I suspect will travel with me now ... Hardwick is a ‘real-life’ toy dog – a constant companion to my mother during her recent years!

You’ve all been wonderful ...

I'll be away in Scotland for a few days this week - then back to a degree of normality and blogging again ... 

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

48 comments:

deborahjbarker said...

What a lovely post Hilary. I enjoyed reading it this morning and loved the way you brought the whole Olymnpic Opening Ceremony, back to mind. I agree, it was quintessentially British and for that reason, nothing could match it before or after in my opinion.Now, on with the games! :-)

Betsy Wuebker said...

Best Opening Ceremony EVER!

Old Kitty said...

I loved loved loved the opening ceremony!! Thoroughly unexpected and absolutely enjoyable! Daniel Craig's James Bond and the Corgis with a very game Queen totally threw me for six and it was up up up all the way!!!!! And the lighting of the Flame was brilliant!! Can't wait for the closing ceremony!!!! LOL!

Take care
x

Jo said...

I agree, wonderful opening, was interested in your history of the roots of the modern games. Never heard of the Wenlock Games before.

I had the feeling that seeing it on TV one was missing a lot, but nothing one could do about that. One thing that 'worried' me, I saw the chimney stacks arriving, but didn't see them disappear. Loved the NHS segment too - I was sorry they didn't mention Paddington Bear amongst all the British children's stories.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Great post as always Hilary. I enjoyed the ceremony, but as I did not live in the UK for over 50 years I was glad of Nigel's knowledge to follow a lot of it. I wonder how easy it was for the rest of the world. I have friends who live in London who thought it was terrible, but I guess it is impossible to satisfy everyone.
Enjoy your trip to Scotland and take care of Hardwick. Diane

rosaria williams said...

We enjoyed the opening ceremony tremendously, even with so many allusions that went right over our heads. Yes, indeed, a cultural re-enactment of everything that Great Britain stands for.
(I especially liked the homage to the health care system!)

Annalisa Crawford said...

I haven't actually seen the mascots at all - are they being used?

As for the opening ceremony, I thought it was fantastic - truly British, and I loved the Mr Bean sequence.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Debbie - delighted you enjoyed the read through - as Old Kitty mentions below .. what will the Closing Ceremony hold. The Games are dashing by ...

@ Betsy - what an accolade coming from an American! Thank you!!

@ Old Kitty - I'd forgotten about the Closing Ceremony ... the Opening show was as you say thoroughly unexpected and absolutely enjoyable ... the Corgis - weren't they great ... and the petals being lit for the flame - brilliant piece of design ...

On with the Games and hope Charlie continues to improve .. you too take care - and enjoy these days ...

@ Jo - glad you enjoyed the opening - just thought the back history made sense and so wrote about it.

The TV coverage was excellent, but I didn't see everything - and where the chimney stacks went I'm not sure ... ratcheted back underneath I guess while we were watching something else - perhaps the Queen. I didn't pick up all the stories either - Peter Pan was always my favourite and that was included - Paddington Bear was my brother's favourite ...

@ Diane - well I missed somethings - so am looking forward to being reminded of what I missed - I think I need a Nigel - as I was out of the country too ..

.. everyone seems to have embraced it as something very different - and I'm sure that will be its charm .. not the razzamatazz of usual glitzy ceremonies. I'm sure there'll be people who didn't like it - as Danny Boyle said .. some will, some won't ...

I think Hardwick is having a rest while I'm away .. .he's had a busy time recently - and then one day we'll travel off again! Scotland I shall enjoy - thank you.

@ Rosaria - that's great .. it was a fascinating show and trying to keep up with everything was a challenge - I'm glad to have the newspapers! The NHS section was fun - and just lovely to involve Great Ormonde Street - the children's acute care hospital ... they even had doctors, patients and nurses taking part - fun time for them.

@ Annalisa - the mascots are around - I saw them during the Torch relay and I've spotted one or two in the Park during tv coverage.

As a fellow Cornwallian - you'll have appreciated all the Britishness ... it was a fun ceremony ..

Cheers - many thanks for coming by and commenting .. Hilary

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Lovely post, Hilary. I do think you're right about blogger games. We could all hit the comment button and see who's the fastest. Mmm... perhaps not.

I hope you're doing well, Hilary. I missed you during your brief absence. Blessings.

D.G. Hudson said...

We're watching the Olympics, hubs recorded it. Loved the James Bond sequence and the Queen appearing to jump out of the plane.

I did wonder about that hill, but I like the idea of it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and some of the insider info.

I also left a comment on the post about your mom. I haven't been visiting blogs as I should, as I'm trying to wrap up a novel. My sympathies for your loss, but I know just from the short time I've followed your blog, that you're a caring daughter.

Enjoy your holiday, we'll be waiting for your eloquent words when you return. (Hope you take pics of Scotland as my roots are there and I've never visited it.)

Munir said...

I loved the opening ceremony too. I did seem a little scary when the queen landed from the plane, but a fiend explained to me that that could have been a computer animation.
How are you? I have not been visiting too many blogs, but I think that I will get back to reading them again. They are fun. Specially your blogs. Cheers!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Joylene - blogger games - I was thinking we should all get together and get off our butts! - I certainly wouldn't be quickest comment - the exercise I could do with!

@ DG - the 'show' was fun and I'm glad I could watch it in real time.

I think the green hill must have been a take on Shropshire hills - but Much Wenlock is very much alive and well as a village ..

Oh ok .. I'm only going to the south east - look at Edinburgh and look further right - still it'll be fun to be back .. I'll take some photos ...

@ Munir - I think the Queen arriving was a stunt-lady (or man) - she was real in Buckingham Palace, and at the Ceremony though ..

I am fine getting along ok - but I love reading blogs and being around .. good to see you.

Cheers - thanks for visiting .. Hilary

The Golden Eagle said...

I didn't watch the opening ceremony, but I was looking at photographs earlier--must have been something to see! Thanks for the background on it. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks for he history lesson. I enjoyed the opening ceremony, even if some of it was a bit odd. Probably the best I've seen though. Won't forget Bond picking up the Queen!

Ann Best said...

This is all JUST wonderful, Hilary! Makes me wish Jen and I had TV. We cancelled; too expensive. I'll have to see how we can catch all this, maybe through Netflix somehow. Netflix does have great variety. Maybe somehow through the Internet. Anyway, I can always count on a great historical post from you, dear friend. So glad you had so many good years with your mum. It warms my heart that so many were so good to her. I look forward to meeting her in a future world!! Do enjoy your few days this week in Scotland. Look forward to "seeing" you again when you return!!

Chuck said...

Wow Hilary, that was some stroll through the past up to the present. I thought the opening ceremony was incredibly unique and well grounded in British history. I was amazed the sod had to be rolled up and carried away by the performers. Enjoy your court-side seats to the games!

Southpaw said...

Really wonderful information. I didn't see the opening ceremonies (no cable hookup) but I'm sure they show them again online.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Golden Eagle - you've probably seen some wonderful photos and I still have the papers to read through ... I've almost forgotten the Show! Yet - the background is interesting.

@ Alex - seems like this will be its epitaph "a bit odd - yet the best we've seen" ... it was certainly very different - and the Queen has added another credit to her cv hasn't she.

@ Ann - well I'm glad I enlightened you a little and I hope you can see some via the net. I expect you'll be able to read some of the poems, hymns and books mentioned to Jen - another way of bringing the cultural aspects to life.

Thanks Ann, my recent years with my mother have been special .. and everyone has been just wonderful - while the staff really miss her - you'll enjoy each other's company in the next world ..

Thank you re Scotland - the early start is a bit much! I'm sure I'll make it back on Saturday ... it'll be a lovely few days.

@ Chuck - delighted you enjoyed the ceremony .. it was certainly unique and there was so much in it - I really need to find out more.

Yes - the decommissioning of the stage was pretty amazing .. some volunteers or participants being given bits and pieces ...

It's difficult to leave the court-side ... but other things to do (occasionally!!).

@ Holly - thanks and am glad this gave you a flavour ... and it'll be interesting to hear your views later on once you've had a chance to look on the net.

Cheers to you all .. enjoy the week ahead ... Hilary

Manzanita said...

Dear Hilary,
I'm only popping in on some of my favorite friends. I'm not quite ready to return to blogging.

I was touched by your beautiful tribute to your Mother. I've enjoyed meeting her through your loving posts and thus you brought many new friends to her doorstep. That was such a special gift, to give her friends from all over this globe. Thank you for sharing your Mum with all of us.

Until I am able to continue posting, I remain your friend in waiting. Love from Manzanita

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi, Hilary! So good to visit your blog.

I enjoyed watching the Opening Ceremonies. I think my favorite part was Bond and the queen. Thanks for all the history you shared on the Olympics. Interesting stuff.

Enjoy your time in Scotland!

Shirley Wells said...

What a wonderful post, Hilary. You managed to refresh all the best moments of the opening ceremony in my mind. I loved it, especially the way the British sense of humour shone through. I thought the Queen was an absolute star to make her acting debut alongside Daniel Craig.

Have a lovely time in Scotland!

Clarissa Draper said...

I have really been enjoying the Olympics this year. I loved the opening ceremony with all its humour and action. The torch was amazing. Loved your look back as well.

Karen Lange said...

Hilary,
You are a wonder, thanks so much for the rich and interesting information. I always learn something when I stop to see you. :)

Hope you enjoy your trip! Take care of yourself.
Thinking of and praying for you,
Karen

~Sia McKye~ said...

Interesting history portrayed here Hilary.

I like your point--not politics but for humanity.

Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

nutschell said...

great post! We're certainly tuned in to London!
Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Manzanita - lovely to see you .. I'm a bit scarce now and am so pleased you enjoyed the tribute to my mother. I'd not thought about my blogging like that - bringing people to her doorstep - she'd have been very pleased to know (well she was).. about her friends around the world.

No worries - it's good to see you and when you're ready to return I'll be around ..

@ Susanne - many thanks .. well I don't think we could not be so chuffed to see the Queen taking part could we .. there might be lots of stories there ...

Delighted you enjoyed the background to the Olympics and I will enjoy Scotland ...

@ Shirley - it was a fun ceremony wasn't it .. lots to think about - and still get a grips with it all .. the Queen became the star .. and I'll love Scotland ...

@ Clarissa ... there's so much going on - I can't quite pull it all together .. so much happening at the moment that I need to do deal with ... glad you enjoyed my post ..

Cheers everyone .. thanks - Hilary

kathrynmagendie said...

I missed the opening ceremonies -- I've heard good wonderful things about it and wish I had taped it - I don't know how I managed not to do this!

I wanted to send you my condolences on the loss of your mother . . . it was the same with my father this last October - we didn't think he would leave and there he did . . .

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,
A quintessentially British opening ceremonies and a stirring of pride to be had. This land that can have a tendency to put itself down, has risen in glory and to a hoped for better future.
A number of my friends in North America now understand why I moved back home. Thanks Hilary and may your time in Scotland be peaceful and reflective.
In kindness, Gary

walk2write said...

I didn't realize there was such a fascinating history behind the games. Thanks, Miss Hilary, for making me aware of it. The opening ceremony of these Olympic games kept me spellbound. It was quite unpredictable. I wasn't sure how to react to the Queen jumping from a copter. A bit disrespectful? was my first thought. Americans are used to seeing their leaders say and do ridiculous things. It was something else entirely to see Her Majesty become part of a comedy routine. Anyway, the park is a nice thing to come out of all of it. Money well spent for that.

Lynn said...

Your filling in the background really makes that opening ceremony come together for me. I quite liked it, but have heard others that really didn't.

How lovely that you brought Hardwick home - he will remind you of her every time you see him.

My last two posts were about the final pack up of our family home - my mother died this past February and my father 2.5 years ago. So hard to believe they're gone, but they live on in my heart, and I can see you feel the same way.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Kat, Gary, W2W and Lynn .. having trouble with posting from the Scottish library! Let me try again .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Kat .. well that one worked - I do hope you can get to see the Ceremony sometime - very English.

Many thanks re my Mama .. I so felt for you with your father - his illness and subsequent demise was such a shock for you .. I could "hear" it - and still feel for you ... I just realise I was so lucky being with my mother in these last years and giving her a great deal of pleasure, so when she went I'd really done all I could.

@ Gary - so pleased you enjoyed the Show - I can imagine your mind enjoyed it .. there was so much going on ..

I couldn't easily leave Britain again .. I'm attached to the cultural and historical roots - we have such a varied life to draw from .... and we are such an extraordinary mix of peoples .. Roman, Viking, Celts etc ...

@ W2W - delighted you enjoyed the backstory to the Games .. and the Queen - we knew it couldn't be her - but it was a very well contrived gag - and excellent the Palace and the Queen agreed to the Bond sequence ...

The Parks are looking just superb, when it's not raining, aren't they?!

@ Lynn - you're so right .. if you can get in behind the scenes and get a touch of Britishness - then it's completely understandable. However it will stand out for its difference take on Opening Ceremonies ...

Hardwick is safe and being talked to .... if he'd help a bit more that'd be good - he constantly rests ... !!

I've not been to every blogger recently .. but will have a bit more time after this weekend .. so I expect I might have passed you by ... We fortunately cleared my mother's flat 18 months ago .. so really it's only the lose ends to tie up and then those memories - that I'm still garnering in - heard some fascinating things last week ... and I expect the Memorial in October will provide us with much more information ....

It is hard when our parents go - my mother was the last in the line - lots of cousins left though and then us the next generation ..

Cheers to you all - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Karen - delighted you learnt something extra .. I am enjoying my trip - but getting muddled with the library pc!! Many thanks for your thoughts ..

@ Sia - glad you enjoyed the history ... and not politics but for people is as it should be ..

@ Nutschell - bet you're tuned in - seen any of your old haunts yet?! Michael Johnson and Stone Henge?!

Think I've now picked up everyone - thanks so much for your comments .. Hilary

Liara Covert said...

The image of the high bicycle stands out. You have a beautiful way of weaving togetherr such a heart-warming picture of how everything is interconnected, past, present and future. Love is the glue that holds everything togetherr. Everything you love flows freely to and from and through you. It is never separate.

Davina said...

Hi Hilary.

You made me laugh with your comment about the Queen being tempted away with "Bond, James Bond" :) I'm a huge fan of James Bond movies.

I enjoyed reading about the events held during the early Olympics. We've certainly come a long way since then!

Nice message at the end of your post. You have a lot of friends supporting you. I'm looking forward to future mentions of your lovely mother, and now of Hardwick -- love that name! It's so endearing.

Marja said...

A great opening indeed. Just fantastic and you can always count on the British for great humour.
Thanks for your interesting background about the games. i learned a lot again

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

Hilary, what a great post on the Olympics! I loved most of the opening ceremony ( I didn't really like the modern part, and while the singer of ABIDE WITH ME was sheer brilliance, the discordant choreography put me off so much I had to close my eyes.)

But the rest of the show was outstanding! From Kenneth Brannagh to Rowan Atkinson (how brilliant was he) to the yummy Daniel Craig - the magnificent copper petals as they were lit and became a torch, the white doves... all were simply great but all were overshadowed by my favourite performance...none other that HRH Queen Elizabeth!! How fantastic was she to take part and have such fun! Those corgi's faces! Definitely a gold medal to Danny Boyle!

And talking of Gold, Team South Africa already have two gold medals in these Games. Viva!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Liara - those penny farthings must have been exceedingly difficult to ride - let alone race in. So much is connected if we just 'stand' and think about it .. love your comment: thank you.

@ Davina - well it sounds like she was totally tempted away .. but the Queen used to act as a child putting on shows for her parents with Princess Margaret - I wonder if there's always been a secret desire to act and not be herself?

Rural life has changed so much hasn't it .. and the realisation that exercise is essential for all of us ..

Thanks re the message - everyone's been so brilliant .. and Hardwick and I will continue on the tradition of travelling ... it is a great name isn't it: I'm not sure if the 'old boy' who used to own Hardwick was called Hardwick himself, or if they came from Sheffield - where there is a Hardwick Hall. I tried to find out ... but too late to ask those questions ..

@ Marja - delighted you enjoyed the Opening Ceremony .. we always wonder if the non-Brits will appreciate our rather odd take on life! Glad you enjoyed that background to original Games.

@ Judy - it was discordant as you say .. but it was a superb vision of a historical rush .. I'll always think of the Industrial Revolution with those chimneys and the workers 'churning' away underneath - Danny Boyle worked his magic.

It was amazing fun - I'd love to see it again .. but I have lots of reading to do when I get back - cuttings etc - so perhaps that'll give me a more comprehensive picture .. some of the innuendos I think I lost out on.

Dear HRH the Queen and then I immediately thought of dear HRH Theodorable ..

The Queen was amazing and the roll-over Corgis -- they weren't going to miss out were they.

I wonder if we've won a gold by now .. I've been out today - I shall find out soon ... nearly time for a long cup of tea!

Great news for your two Golds - they were great to watch ...

Cheers to you - Liara, Davina, Marja and Judy - thanks for the visit .. Hilary

Mike Keyton said...

Ditto the comments above. Mind you, if you had a seat directly behind the tor, you didn't see much!

Retired Knitter said...

I love the opening ceremonies. Great Job, Great Britain!!

Sara said...

Hilary -- It's good to see one of your interesting posts again. I missed the opening ceremony, but heard about it and laughed. What a clever idea and what a sport the Queen was:~)

I've been enjoying the games. I just watched the Brits win BOTH gold and silver in the kayaking event. It was so cool...they all jumped in the water and an official had to tell to get out.

I hope you have a good visit in Scotland. It's nice that Hardwick will stay with you:~)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mike - many thanks .. I gather they've just taken the tor down and there's seating ready for today's events. But you're right .. no view from behind the hill.

@ Elaine - good to see you and delighted you enjoyed the Opening Ceremony .. let's hope Great Britain becomes Great Gold Britain ..

@ Sara - lovely to see you too - I'll be getting back to normal next week .. after my lovely visit to Scotland - Hardwick is good company .. keeps me stimulated.

I hope you get to see the Opening Ceremony sometime .. it's certainly a very interesting approach ..

We're starting to gather the medals in .. thankfully - and the canoeing was amazing wasn't it.

Great to see you - thanks for being here .. I'll be over soon ..

Cheers Hilary

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I so love getting your very British perspective on events and history. We were frantically power-packing for our trip, so I missed the opening ceremonies, but it sounds like they were amazing. You made me smile when you mentioned quoits. I didn't realize they were played on your side of the ocean. (You guys probably invented them!) Then again, not many Americans know about them, either. But the game was quite popular when my mother-in-law was growing up in Pennsylvania, and she used to be really good at it. We used to have fun playing the game, but it's a lot harder than tossing horseshoes. (The darned things roll!) Anyeay, thanks for the smile, and for your kind words regarding her death. I truly appreciate it.

cleemckenzie said...

Appreciated this post. I'm such an Olympics fan and I love that the summer games are in London this year.

Martha said...

Your comments do go to my spam but I do browse through before I delete spam so I usually do receive your comments just a bit late. I did get your email as well. Hope you are enjoying your trip. Hope to hear from you again soon!

juliet said...

James Bond and the Queen! I never thought to have heard the two in the same sentence. Alas, I missed the opening ceremony as I've had the flu. Am also missing your posts again, but luckily I went hunting. Thanks for all this interesting background on the Olympics.

Empty Nest Insider said...

I also enjoyed watching the Opening Ceremony. Thank goodness for DVR's and all of the media coverage that allows us to catch up on whatever we missed. I enjoyed reading about the history of the Olympics, and like your idea about "games for bloggers!" Have a wonderful trip, and take good care of yourself Hilary! Julie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susan - wonderful you appreciate my take on life. I hope the Opening Ceremony Show will be released, so we can watch it again: it was different!

Quoits has an interesting history - apparently going back to the early Ancient Olympic Games about 776BC; also there are many variations .. shows how "ideas" move around the world over the centuries.

@ Lee - hope you're still enjoying the Games - they've just come alight for the Brits. It's wonderful to see the views of the city ...

@ Martha - glad you've collected my comments .. Blogger is a bit strange with its vagaries .. comments to spam, and/or not showing on the post itself.

@ Juliet - winter flu .. hope you're feeling better - it's good to see you here and sorry you have to hunt for my posts. Glad you enjoyed the post. The Queen and James Bond = a great publicity stunt and so amazing to see unfold.

@ Julie - I don't have mod cons - but I've seen 'sufficient' - bearing in mind the brain overload from all the events.

I should have mentioned the Ancient Games .. have had other things going on so it's excusable I think.

Games for bloggers would help that thing called 'my seat'!!

I've had a wonderful trip .. and now must settle in to being back - Scotland was a good break.

Lovely to see you all - Susan, Lee, Martha, Juliet and Julie .. cheers Hilary