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29 July 2012 @ 11:56 pm
Opening ceremony and a short tale of two bikes  
The very best thing about being English and Australian is that I can generally feel confident of a result in the cricket and can now feel tremendously smug about Olympics opening ceremonies. Of the ones I have seen (admittedly my first clear memory is of Moscow, which had the best mascot) London and Sydney have been the two best, in that order. Barcelona had moments of enormous beauty, and the rest are well behind.

I think it's because both London and Sydney were all about 'these are the things we celebrate, and we don't care if they're a bit weird'. Or maybe because there were serious depictions of a multicultural society with diverse sexualities and lifestyles in both ceremonies, which was fab and real. The Queen with fat corgis and James Bond was always going to see London come out ahead, regardless of the rest, but I did love the Tolkien homage, which went well with the theme of my weekend! And I had thought it would be hard to top the Sydney cauldron, with soaking Cathy Freeman and a stuck gear halfway up the waterfall, but that flower is a very beautiful thing.

In other news, the farm animals at the City Park Open Day turned out to be a petting zoo rather than horses and cows. I was unaware that bunnies are an Australian farm animal, and we decided to not join the traumatising crowds around the kids and calf. The kids were tremendously unconcerned because the manager was giving the children food for them, so all the pats were tolerable when accompanied by an all-you-can-eat buffet.

I went out to Blacktown to pick up the bike I accidentally bought on eBay after being thwarted by the trains last weekend. It was even better than its description had been! SO beautiful and in really good condition and with good parts, too! And an inch too big for me to ride. I thought I might be able to get away with it, because I have disproportionately long legs and can manage a 52cm frame in some makes, but no. So I arrived home, flung a leg over to check, could barely clear the crossbar, let alone the saddle, and informed Mr B that I had bought him a LOVELY PRESENT!

He was surprisingly keen on the idea and is even excited about the clipless pedals and is investigating shoes and cleats to wear with them. 'This was exactly the bike I wanted when I was a teenager!' he exclaimed. Me too, Mr B, me too.

To cheer me up, he put the new tyres we bought last weekend onto my mountain bike, which has been sitting in pieces for far too long. I took it out for a quick shakedown ride. The saddle was a bit low, so I put it up to what looked like a more reasonable height. It was a super comfy height for riding, but when I braked, I realised that my feet didn't actually reach the ground, and because one of them was still clipped in and the other one was flailing in the air above uneven ground, I did the traditional thing and fell over, happily landing on my arse but then having the bike land on me.

'Give me that,' said Mr B, who lowered the saddle to a compromise position. 'Now test it before you swing up onto the pedals. It's not a bloody horse!'

'I have a bruise!' I announced.

'Is that going to teach you to be more cautious about things?'

I burst out laughing. 'No, of course not! Don't be ridiculous!'

It is possible that Lilla My was a bad role model when I was a child …

brinian, I missed your birthday the other day, sorry! I hope that you had a lovely day and that the furry people in your house were all very well behaved and that cake and presents both made their way to you!
 
 
 
drgaellon on July 29th, 2012 03:05 pm (UTC)
Ah! The commentators on NBC here were describing it as depicting the evolution of Britain from agrarian to industrial. I saw the parallel, but since they didn't comment on it, I figured Danny Boyle wasn't trying to be that explicit. They also explicitly described that green hill as Glastonbury Tor, so my mind went Arthurian.

Edited at 2012-07-29 03:07 pm (UTC)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 29th, 2012 03:08 pm (UTC)
I think it was subtextual, but since we all saw the same subtext, it must be right ;-)
inamac: CP - Otters Flightinamac on July 29th, 2012 06:30 pm (UTC)
Tolkien himself was referencing the rural/industrial divide, so it's a Common British Theme.

Me, I was thinking more in terms of Archers/Coronation Street/East Enders.

Which is just as valid.