Sunday, 5 August 2012

The day I went to the Opening Ceremony.

Storytelling Sunday: Summer Lovin’ – August. Have you heard of it? I’m sure you havein case you haven’t then go over to From High On The Sky where Sian blogs and hosts a monthly Storytelling Time.
Summer Lovin’?
Opening Ceremony #1
So easy for me, this summer has been full of things I have loved. Not a personal love but love of big events, in this patriotic year. I was so looking forward to 2012. In fact so much that in September 2010 I applied to be a ‘Games Maker’ one of the volunteers for London 2012. I have been waiting and waiting and waiting. I don’t know quite what I did or didn’t do at the interview (I had worked all night before the interview so maybe I was dull) They asked me if I would like to be a Team Leader as well so I was convinced that I was in with a chance of at least a day litter picking.  Anyway I waited and waited some more, My boss and his boss authorised me to have the time off (not really convenient either as it is our busiest time) and I rang and rang the Games Maker team and they said yes we are still hoping to place you, you are successful in passing….anyway at the end of June they sent me an email to say that I hadn’t been successful at that point although they may still need me but to console me they were giving me a ticket to the first dress rehearsal of the Opening Ceremony. OK then, well that was totally worth the stress and worry, now I don’t have to work, spend money I don’t really have and earn less as I am not at work and I get to go to see the stadium.
In my naiveté I thought that I would go into the Olympic park, then go into the stadium and watch them move stuff around into place. It was labelled as the ‘technical rehearsal’. How dumb am I?
So I went to stay at my good friend Susi’s house (which was so fab and a minibreak in itself, thanks Susi Red heart) and then took the train into Euston from there. From Euston, well I’m pretty sure I would invite ridicule from Londoner’s if I told you my whole tale but suffice to say I think I did one part twice, due to being unsure if I was right Smile Anyway I was only 10 minutes adrift of the time I was due so it couldn’t have been too bad from a gal from the sticks that generally just drives from A to B. Actually in all seriousness, that underground is genius and I love travelling it. Just once a year though Open-mouthed smile
From Stratford station there were Games Makers all the way marshalling us and cheering us, welcoming usand they were all laughing with us at the fact that the pink stripping at the top of the tunnels that had arrows pointing us in the right direction were pointing the wrong way Open-mouthed smile
We emerged into the bright sunlight and again were marshalled so well into the Olympic Park, the soldiers were so polite and friendly getting us through security, and we were in.
I was here….here I was….Usually my hair is full of bounce and verve ;) I think it was overawed and needed to lay down behind my ears here.
Bridge A into the Stadium
Bridge A, my way in. Not at all excited at this pointWinking smile
I hadn’t listened to anything or searched for anything on twitter so I was ‘green’ but by the time I got to the stadium it was clear that I was going to see a version of the ceremony.
To see the ‘green and pleasant land’ was awe-inspiring. I chuckled when I saw the clouds carried by the ‘mechanics’-dance girls that had a real flair to gee the crowd up. To see the local children doing the maypole (let’s bring that back) was magical.
Also if you see on the big screen it says #savethesurprise Danny Boyle came out at this point, thanked us all for applying and getting involved and asked us to save the surprise and you know, most people did. I know I did, although I was itching, itching I say.
All of a sudden a child was singing Jerusalem and although I would have been surprised and saddened if it wasn’t in there, I was amazed at my reaction to it. I love it and am always moved by it, but this just made me cry.
Then when the drummers started (and this wasn’t clear on the telly), I mean they started out of nowhere just behind our heads and travelled down between us, there was a few to start and it just grew until there were a thousand of them and they kept the same amazing beat with Evelyn Glennie going great guns a few metres from us. Sublime. Awesome. Unexpected. Effective.
My heart was going with the drums as was the intention.
Just as we wondered why, up came the chimneys.
Then watching the team take off the green and pleasant land in pieces in order and in dance time, then ‘forge’ that ring and seeing all the other rings swing into the stadium. Well my heart was in my mouth.
Drummers @ Olympic Stadium #2
Seeing Sir Kenneth Branagh speak was the topping. I so enjoyed the rest but that whole first half hour just stirred me, especially as it segued into the London Symphony Orchestra (about 20 metres from me) playing Chariots of Fire. I was done. I couldn’t even take many more photos. I just sat there in awe.
Summer Lovin’ indeed. I hope you enjoyed it too, everyone I have spoken to has been thrilled.
If you read all the way through, thank you Smile Enjoy the rest of the Olympics.


  1. oh I am so lovin reading the stories of what you all are experiencing at the Olympics :)

  2. Oh! Jen you tell such a good story - we were there with you :) So happy that the experience exceeded your expectations! It was worth going then?? :D

  3. Amazing!!!!! What a show - so glad you got to experience it!! Hugs Sarah x x x

  4. Beautiful story telling. It's so nice to have memories of a life time event. So glad you could be there xxx

  5. oh wow wow wow Jennie - how lovely. i watched it on telly but it's not the same the atmoshere must have been amazing. It must be fabulous to have been a part of it!

  6. I loved seeing the opening ceremony through your eyes. Your photos are lovely.

  7. Oh Jen you write so lovely, I was right there with you, I didnt want it to end.

  8. My word you know how to tell a story, our Jen. What an amazing experience and you have really brought it to life.
    Sue xx

  9. Wow, what a fabulous story - I'm so excited to know that I know someone who actually saw this in person! Truly a history making moment. You can indeed tell a great story - I enjoyed reading every minute of this one. Thank you for adding it to the STS collection this month

  10. So lucky and so jealous that you got to be there! I love this layout!!

  11. Jen, what a fabulous evening you had and I'm glad I shared it in a tiny way. I just echo what every one else has written, you've made us feel like we were there and I was on the edge of my seat:D

    And yes, I loved the opening ceremony, the first I've ever watched right through and I kept thinking, Jen saw that, Jen saw that:D

  12. Gorgeous writing and story telling.. one for the grand kids Jen.. x

  13. Wow! How awesome is that?! I haven't made it all the way through the ceremony yet as we are still catching up due to our camping adventure but I have totally loved what I have seen so far. We wondered if it was as good if you were there and unable to see parts of it but the atmosphere must have been incredible!

  14. Wow you lucky thing! What an amazing experience and well done for keeping it all secret!

  15. Lovely to see photos - I know several people in the ceremonies and of course they didn't take photos! Wookie had no interest in watching but I convinced him and we both really enjoyed it - especially the drumming with chimneys. Great page too - especially that title :)

  16. What a fabulous experience for you, one you will never forget. So pleased you mentioned about the drummers. We thought there had to be more than shown on the tv because the sound was amazing.

  17. Wow, amazing - lucky you! It was soooo good just watching on TV, I can only imagine the atmosphere of actually being there - wow :)

  18. WOW! That would have been AWESOME!!!!! You certainly won't ever forget it!!!!

  19. Oh my goodness, what an experience! Thrilling ... many congrats on doing well and being there! (PS We still do dancing round the maypole up here - I taught the dances until a few years ago in the local primary school).

  20. Wow Jennie, what an experience!! I would so have loved to be there. I am a late started with the Olympics, I'm not really into sport and was more caught up in the Jubliee. But I was mesmerized by the opening ceremony on the TV and can only slightly imagine the atmosphere when the boy sang Jerusalem and the drums played. I love drums, they are so powerful. What a night to remember!!

  21. Aaargh. What an amazing thing to happen! Am so glad I popped over now, I saw your comment over at Sian's today and thought 'she sounds just like me!' so I came over for a nosy! Loved your Project Life post and REALLY loved this. So you have a new follower. But I wont show up because Blogger is being mean and not letting me follow people anymore (it keeps coming up with my daughters blogger profile! Grr!)... but I'll pop you on my sidebar and do it that way ;)


Aren't you lovely, you have made me smile =)