As a Brit, and an Englishwoman, it’s not often I feel very patriotic. In fact even the word patriotism is not used culturally over here when we talk about ourselves. We don’t do a lot in England for celebrations. Yes, I know we had the Jubilee this year but I suspect a good 50% of the people lining the mall were tourists and not Brits. Where I live in the Midlands whilst we were all grateful for the Bank Holiday, I don’t know that many people who had a street party – Mind you the weather was awful.
That’s not to say I am not proud of the Monarchy, the Queen works bloody hard and the entire royal family costs us twenty-two pence per annum (that even includes the relatively unknown royals – like Prince Michael of Kent). I think we get our moneys worth.
We tend not to take ourselves too seriously you see. We find public displays of anything faintly embarrassing and we’d rather you didn’t get too emotional on us. We are not quite sure how to comfort you.
However, the Olympics last night made me proud that I am British and English simultaneously. I have to admit that I might even have shed a tear or two for the 7,500 volunteers who made it all possible. I think it says something about us that they also got the largest, loudest most emphatic cheer in the closing speeches given by Mr Rog.
There were also the usual Twitter conspiracies about how Danny Boyle had included themes that were a direct attack on the Conservative Government by celebrating our National Health Service and the Steel Workers, Miners etc. – with the Olympic Rings being forged by manufacturing. By and large I ignored these.
My personal Twitter Feed was full of thoughts of pride and passion.
I thought it was a wonderful celebration of unity, harmony and humour. We showed the world that even the Queen was prepared to get involved, with the “James Bond” sequence. The young men and women who lit the Olympic Cauldron were an inspired touch (demonstrating inspiration for the next generation) and even the cauldron itself designed by Thomas Heatherwick shows just how talented and creative we are.
Oh and I better not forget the music. All I can say is WoW. I want the Ipod playlist.
Thanks Danny, you made me really proud.