LONDON OLYMPIC STADIUM ON OPENING NIGHT
At the closing ceremonies at the Beijing Olympics we were given a glimpse of the host city’s preview of what we can expect when London played hosts. I can vividly remember a double-decker bus and some dancers with umbrellas and that’s about it . Was not inspiring and I took a deep breath and counted to 10. Sadly if this is what we are to expect then please take the games back to Beijing.
But to ask that of Beijing to host the world again would be asking too much, even for economic behemoth China. Beijing from all standards of Olympic hosting and presentation was in one word FLAWLESS. Of course there were problems, smog, food are only but 2 of them. But if there were the world did not notice as the opening ceremonies set a momentum that lasted the entire 2 weeks. And this is the importance of the opening ceremony. It is to showcase the host country’s culture and customs not exclusively but certainly importantly. Every country has done their presentation and viewers were happy to see the various traditions of Atlanta, Barcelona, Greece, Australia and Beijing and they set the tone of the games. London’s stage was set from the opening sound of the BIG BELL and from there it was dark and ominous, mournful, pastoral, dirty, sloppy movements, comical, cutesy and lacked a WOW. The question is will the games follow suit?
Many countries have high stakes in these games, some more valuable than others. USA, China, Japan, Korea, Germany, Jamaica to name a few all have stakes in how their teams perform. But from the opening ceremonies my prediction is these London games will be not as exciting for a number of countries in terms of performance , GB included, as they want it to be. Beijing offered excitement, so too was Australia and even Greece. London offers dreariness. Conclusion, expect anything from London, anything.It will not be glitzy for some countries.
London has always been a country that puts on a spectacular Royal imagery and the world was expecting a bit more glitz and glamour from a country known for its glitz and glamour. We were taken on a history lesson of GB and the lesson was taken with a pinch of salt. As viewers we accepted it as we should and we gave a polite applause. Some of the Brits were happy others were not. One thing is certain the London 2012 games will be different, different and game changing. Let us hope the rain does not flood the gates to gold for a number of athletes and countries.
My very very good friend Joe passed away and was buried last week, I thought I would post my tribute to him. He was a very dear friend.
I lost a friend today. Not some ordinary friend but someone I have known, shared, laughed, joked, talked, confided for over 25 years. No matter how long between our last talk with each other it was as if we started where we left off. Pat & Joe, those 2 words just flowed from your lips when you are talking about Joe because there was no Joe without Pat. Married for over 50 years the 2 were inseparable and yet they were two different people, Pat the more demure and reserved and Joe the mouth piece, the leader, the joker, the planner, the organizer, the friend. There was always laughter when Joe was around. Every morning we met for breakfast, then lunch, then at 6pm pino grigio then dinner then Joe would say ok Paul I am going to bed and that was the end of the day. The next day it was all over again. Joe gave you his all, his undivided attention when he was with you. You never felt out of place. If he was meeting you for the first time it was a warm, open, gentle yet humorous hug. Joe was part of the management team at the Resort. He did all the orientation to those guests who were new, he was the biggest advertisement for the hotel because he believed in Sandals. Joe was a FRIEND, not some ordinary friend, but someone whose understanding and virtue we can equally confide, and whose opinion we can value at once for its justness and its sincerity. Joe was no ordinary friend but one that freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably. Joe was my friend. a true friend. Tonight as I reflected on his life and the meaning of his life in my life the famous Beatles song The Long And Winding road just keep popping in my head. Joe may be gone but he will never disappear from the hearts and memory of those who loved him. His memory will never be washed away. His road , his life will always lead us to his door. His door of love will always be with us. I will never forget Joe, how can I? How can I forget the person who refuses to be affected by my silence, refuses to be alone when i am not there , who shares his family with me like I was one of his own…no I can never forget Joe and I thank you Lord for leading Joe and Pat in my life. Joe never left me standing on the long and winding road. Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife. Today I am sad but I am also a happy man. happy to know that Joe has gone to a place where he will feel no more pain. I am happy to know Pat his wonderful and beautiful wife. I am happy to know his beautiful daughter Maureen, his grand children ans yes his great grand . Thank you Joe. Worry not about Pat . As long as there is breath Pat will never be alone. The long and winding road that leads to your door will never disappear. Nothing but heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a friend.
Farewell Joe…Rest In Peace.