Saturday, 28 July 2012
Isles of Wonder
As for the content, such as it was, of Danny Boyle's Opening Ceremony spectacular, this came across (to me at least) as little more than a sentimental, politically correct primary school History lesson - appropriately enough for a Games whose logo was clearly the product of a primary school design project. Yes, the Boyle extravaganza was bold, brash, bizarre, bonkers, and a truly astonishing technical achievement. But to me it all had a weirdly post-apocalyptic feel, as if the survivors of some great collapse had come across a machine whose levers they could press to make it work - but they no longer knew what it was for, what it meant. It seemed the expression of an absence, a loss - but executed in the most extravagantly triumphant and positive terms. Very very strange...
But never mind all that. This morning, as I was walking through the subway that links the platforms at my railway station (where, as throughout London, most of the staff are wearing nasty purple-pink jerkins to remind us that the IOC's in charge for the duration), I spotted at head height on the tiled wall what seemed to be a pair of dead leaves, perhaps snagged in a bit of spider's web. But no, it was a resting Poplar Hawk moth, like the one in the picture - a bit more faded, and a little ragged, but still beautiful. Life, in all its random wonder, goes on.