Pinching my title from the GREAT Siobhan in “Twenty Twelve”. It would seem churlish not to write about the Olympics after so much good stuff. For me the best bits so far are
a) Anything won on water – particularly the white water canoeing. As someone who is scared of water, I have full admiration for anyone who has enough presence of mind to keep paddling at great speed when the temptation must surely be to burst into tears and cry “I don’t like it!” until someone comes and rescues you.
b) All the cycling medals. It’s really fast isn’t it? And high up!
c) Mo Farrah. That’s a really long way to run without a sit-down.
d) Andy Murray. To come back so soon to the place where you had lost and then win so well was such a great thing.
e) Gymnastics – that looks like it could hurt quite a lot.
Lots of other things have been great – the beauty of the stadium at night, Ian Thorpe, lovely Becky Adlington, Radio 5 Live’s cycling coverage (outstanding Simon Brotherton), singing God Save The Queen, just saying the words “pommel horse” – the list goes on.
One of the strongest themes that I have picked up from the post event interviews with the athletes was the constant appearance of the words “sacrifice” and “discipline”. People saying that everything they had given up or all the hard work that they had done was worth it. It’s all a bit old fashioned maybe and a bit negative but it does seem that all this glory doesn’t seem to come without sorting yourself out. Like my old mother used to say (or would do if I asked – I’m sure) “Nothing comes of Nothing. ” (Actually just realised that’s Shakespeare. King Lear. Look it up. hah!) If we are looking to achieve anything of worth then it seems that regular “keeping going” and not giving up is the order of the day.
On a slightly sadder note Bob Babbitt died last week. HOH and son have been in mourning for seven days. You may not know the name but you will almost certainly have heard his work. He was the bass player on zillions of Motown hits including – Signed Sealed Delivered, Tears of a Clown and Ball of Confusion. He suffered I think sometimes by playing at the same time as James Jamerson who was routinely called “The Greatest Bass Player of All Time.” Yet Babbitt’s attitude was lovely – eyes filling up with tears when he talked about how wonderful Jamerson was to him and how he was his mentor. Even though Jamerson’s problems with drink and drugs must have made him a nightmare sometimes. Lovely man. Great talent.
I have to go now – I have a birthday cake to finish. FOW1 is nineteen today! Nineteen! Both Hargreaves Towers males have had birthdays this week. Expensive times. HOH had a new turntable. (Still plays vinyl. Says it sounds better) FOW1 had some kind of pedal for his bass that makes what I have called “wow-wow” noises This has produced much derision. I am not respected in my own home. Still – at least they are cheap dates. Head of House and myself had civilised breakfast overlooking Plymouth Sound last week – see above (nice round here innit?) and FOW1 went out with chums yesterday so tonight we are staying in, eating Chinese and watching Th’Olympics. It is not my job to entertain everyone you know! Even you lot! Have a great week.