Links Today, across just half an hour Team GB won legendary gold medals in dressage and boxing and earlier in the morning Regina Spektor was played on the speakers in the Olympic stadium. That's a good day. Here's some links I've collected about other good days.
Frank Cottrell Boyce provides a kind of writers commentary for the opening ceremony.
"Danny's blistering opening unleashed the energy and genius of the revolution – factories rising like fireworks. Suttirat Larlarb's beautiful dove bikes made me – and hopefully you – recall the thrill of first learning to ride, and how like flight that felt. There was a strangely carefree atmosphere. Because it was hard to imagine that this was really going to happen, it was easy to suggest the impossible – floating trees, a parachuting Queen, Voldemort versus Poppins."
‘Hedge Sparrows’, by Dr Richard Price from the British Library, is chosen as the poem to represent Great Britain in the Olympics
"Price has beaten Blake, Wordsworth and Shakespeare to the punch with ‘Hedge Sparrows’. The poem gives voice to a bird that is found almost everywhere in the UK, a representative free of region, gender and ethnicity. 'Hedge Sparrows' depicts a bird twittering in our rapid-fire world of social media, where messages fly around the world in the form of tweets. Described as a prose poem, which fuses elements of prose with the cadences of poetry, here the rapidity of the hedge sparrow’s song is mimicked by its delivery in one long sentence."
BBC Radio Scotland have produced a series of podcasts collecting poems from across the countries.
The British entry is read by Jim Broadbent.
10 stories you may have missed about the Olympics.
"The opening ceremony contained subtle nods to two of the darker moments in Britain’s recent history. The singing of the traditional football hymn Abide With Me featured 96 dancers – one for each person who was killed in the Hillsborough disaster of 1989. And the lighting of the Olympic cauldron featured seven young torch-bearing athletes, who had been nominated by seven Olympic legends – a nod to the 7/7 bombings. Subtle, but beautifully understated."
A giddy Simon Hoggart talks to npr about the opening ceremony.
"Well, I, too. I loved it. I was prepared to be very, very cynical, skeptical, critical, but I thought it was terrific. And I tell you what really made it was four years ago, we had this amazing display in Beijing, but it was a display of a Communist country, you know. Everybody - you could get 10,000 drummers drumming in unison. And ours was more of a democratic display. Things went wrong, not everything was perfect."
Photos of the (almost) deserted Olympic Park.
"A sight that the Olympics organisers hope to never see is an empty Olympic Park, but for me it was too good a chance to miss. [...] I took a gamble which involved getting to a smaller gate on the opposite side from the main entrance that most people would use and if able to get in on the dot of 7am, maybe I could get some photos of the park before the main crowds at the other end reached me? [...] It worked!"