Sunday 24 August 2008

Oh Boris...

So there we are, it's happened - Boris Johnson, in a wildly improbable scene, took delivery of the Olympic banner from dead-eyed, fork-tongued Jacques Rogge, and managed to wave it about with a degree of conviction. Then the bewildered Chinese multitudes were treated to a foretaste of what London is like. It's a city of tall red buses with blacked-out windows, where the streets are lined with modern 'dance' groups, making aimless movements while brandishing umbrellas and newpapers. Who's on the bus? Why it's a pretty, brown-skinned child, who, guided by a woman in a white coat holding a giant lollipop, walks over the backs of some crouching dancers and back onto the bus.
Remarkable things, these London buses, with their roofs that open out to display topiary representations of London landmarks - and then, what do you know, out pops a pretty, brown-skinned singer, who rises to a great height, warbling away incomprehensibly, until she's joined by an elderly gent with an electric guitar. We then learn that she wants to give us her love, of which she has a whole lot, and would rather like a whole lot more in return. Clearly London is going to be no rest cure... Wait a minute - there's someone we know. Is it David Beckham? Must be - he's kicked a ball into the crowd. And... Well, er, that's it really, apart from a whole lot of mystifying background sounds and music.
So that's London then. Rather like Britain itself, we've no very good idea what it means - or even what it is - still less how to explain it to anyone. We can't do this kind of thing - look at the Millennium Dome fiasco. And this kind of thing, as will become apparent over the next few years, includes the Olympics. Boris - why didn't you just hand that banner back and scarper?


  1. Nigel, it is time to cultivate your garden. Forget the carnival and get back to your roots. It's what I've been doing today and it reminds us just how cyclical and unimportant these human doings are. In nature, roots matter. Water them. Let them go down deep.

  2. Orympics become bleedin' Olympics, working Sundays Nige? I have a suggestion, hold the track events at Catford dogs, the rowing on the Serpentine, the swimming in the Welwyn outdoor pool and the track events at Staples Corner. Fords Dagenham plant will make an excellent BMX track, save an absolute fortune. Hope Seb has got the brown envelopes ready and can speak Belgian (the bit that sounds French)
    Quango enhancing carnivals, don't you just love 'em. Susan, sounds a bit Hobbitish, not related to a Took by any chance?
    PS, exactly how old is he today? My grandfather was 71 when he first wore pajama tops outdoors.

  3. Bryan's 72 as it happens, Malty - but he doesn't like to be reminded.
    As for my garden Susan, I did glimpse it briefly yesterday and the plants were indeed in need of watering, despite the quantities of rain we've been having. So I watered them and then the sun went in and so did I. Maybe tomorrow...
    Oh and I was wondering about Carshalton Ponds for the rowing, Malty - or the boating lake in Beddington Park...

  4. Heehee. Malty, I think I probably sound more Ent-like today with the roots thing.

    But I do love to garden and it sure as hell does teach you a lot about cycles and the necessity of both patience and nurturance. Gardening is what taught me that death is a natural part of life; would that all Americans would learn that and quit trying so hard to live forever or look young forever. A waste of time.

    I love your Olympics suggestions, Malty. Just hope it isn't a reprise of that silly Millennium event in London.

  5. But a youthful 72, Nige, a youthful 72...