About a year ago I sat captivated by the brilliant extravaganza of the Cinescenie at Puy du Fou in the Vendee, France. It was such an incredible spectacle that we sat there and thought how amazing it would be to see some of those ideas at the Olympic Opening Ceremony. It wasn't just us who thought it was amazing either, we were staying next door to holiday makers where Dad used to work for Disney and he was blown away by it.
I wonder if Danny Boyle saw the show? He did some similar things - the scale of everything, the feudal peasants, the geese and the livestock, the green fields, the history of the Industrial Revolution, (with Kenneth Branagh as Isobard Kingdom Brunel). But he did so much more too.
So many highlights - the Queen as herself in a mini film with Daniel Craig as James Bond, Mr Bean playing with Simon Rattle and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the forging of the Olympic rings, the scale of the whole thing. The soundtrack was a great reminder of all the good music that has come out of GB and you could have put together another one with all that wasn't used.
Sure there were things you could say you'd like to see done differently. Macca at the end didn't do it for me, the Team GB tracksuits look like they were donated by The Glitter Band and the athletes parade dragged a bit even though they had them marching through pretty quickly. But overall it was fantastic.
I really liked Danny Boyle's vision of Britain, there was the tribute to those killed in London the day after it was announced that we had won the Olympics, the tribute to the NHS and children's literature, the honouring of the workers who constructed the stadium. Perhaps, best of all, after all the speculation about who would light the cauldron we were sold dummies in the shape of Beckham, Redgrave and Ali before the honour went to seven teenage athletes of the future, a powerful symbol. There's a lesson in there, I think.
I'm a middle aged man, a Baptist Minister, and more to the point an evangelical Christian. I have a great family, the best wife, an interest in music (mainly the sort of things that a middle aged man should like) and media in general. I like my sport and hardly ever play any. Will watch Test matches very happily and have a love of football, Exeter City are my club of choice.