I’m off home tomorrow afternoon. The days have flown by. I never did make to the Da Vinci exhibition or even the Titanic walk as my friend went down with laryngitis and was confined to a silent indoors. Instead, we went west to Donegal and Oaklands House.
More of that visit later.
On Friday I escaped the threat of a barbecue. A friend of Cousin’s was about to sign us up and I was inwardly quaking. I mean, a barbecue is not the most exciting or agreeable prospect for a lifelong vegetarian. I was quite interested in the event that preceded it which I heard as a trouser hunt. It was only an hour or so later that the penny dropped. As it turned out, the early part of the evening was taken up with one of the youngest members of the family dribbling over my iPad and demanding to see photos of Westie Boy and the Big Cat. The house quietened down in time for a quick bite and we installed ourselves in front of the television.
I wanted to see the opening ceremony but I hadn’t expected to be so blown away by it. It finally gave the answer to what I had witnessed back in June. And we loved the Rowan Atkinson piece. Being in NI we were all waiting to find it what part Mary Peters was playing. I had suggested that an athlete from each of the four nations of the UK would light the flame, and as the midnight hour approached, it looked like I might be right. Was I the only one who thought it interesting that landlubber David Beckham drove the boat and handed the torch to an out of the water Steve Redgrave. The petals and the flame drew gasps of delight from this sitting room. The whole evening had been a game of recognising the scenes, the music, the words. We did wonder what on earth the rest of the world made of it, but like the Jubilee, it seemed a celebration of these islands in a way that we rarely see. I reckon Danny Boyle will be in the New Year’s Honours. I’ll put my 50p on an OBE.
Since then, I have noticed that we have adopted the athletes into our family and have become instant pundits. We bumped into Cousin’s sister-in-law in Magherafelt earlier. She moved seamlessly from discussions about finding a good painter to Tom Daley’s chances in the synchronised diving. He came fourth, but now we’re high on the men’s gymnasts winning bronze, the silver snatched back from them in a heartbreaking moment. Now for some dinner before the dribbler and his mother get here.