I've just finished watch the Opening Ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and found it very touching. There is always some anxiety in wondering how your city will present itself to the world but this was a really lovely ceremony. I was not completely taken with the initial stages which seemed very 'bitty' but, as the athletes filed in, the ceremony seemed to develop its stride and purpose by capturing the welcoming spirit. Even the speeches were succinct, dignified and underlined the message of welcome. It will be interesting to see how much the event raises for UNICEF as this will be another strand of the commitment to creating a legacy of common good.
It was fabulous to see each and every team being cheered into the stadium and watching the excitement on the faces of the athletes. It was particularly heartening to hear the roared cheers for our nearest neighbours, England, particularly after all the nonsense which suggested they would be treated in any less than an hospitable manner. I cannot abide malicious mischief-making. As for Team Scotland the delight on the faces of the athletes rendered the strange kit meaningless as they all shone with pride as the stadium erupted. Well done too to the wee Scottie dogs leading the teams out.
As with all events there is always a little hiccup and Prince Imran and Sir Chris Hoy wrestling to liberate the Queen's message from the baton got funnier as it went along. It looked like the Prince was just not getting it even after Chris Hoy loosened it and showed him what to do. I did wonder if they were going to have to resort to upending it and giving it a wallop on the rail to get the message out. However, the best bit was Chris Hoy's spontaneous 'good grief' eye roll at the caper. It was just so natural and seemed to say "Help ma boab...!".
I have taken some local pictures over the last few of weeks that I'll aim to get written into posts. I am not a fan of spectator sports so I can only offer some local flavour. Sadly, I have absolutely no competitive tendencies so will probably only snatch glances of the action on the news. I'm also not sure how this insanely hot weather will affect the local athletes as we are much more used to being kept cool and damp so they might have to pop them in the fridge for half and hour before their events.
I do hope that all the teams get a chance to enjoy the sights and culture of the city and may the best athletes win and enjoy their moments of glory.