London 2012 Revisited – Olympics Closing Ceremony

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed revisiting the glorious London Olympics from 10 years ago, hence my recent lengthy reviews of the Opening Ceremony, Days 1-8 and Days 9-16. There are loads of great memories, and some things I’d forgotten about that I’ve been happily reminded of. So naturally it’s time to look back at the Closing Ceremony, which was overseen by creative director Kim Gavin.

As big and important as the occasion was, it’s fair to say it wasn’t quite as epic or impressive as the Opening Ceremony – but then it didn’t need to be. We had already put on a fantastic show over the previous few weeks, and so now we could just let our hair down and have fun, and thank everyone for making the Games such a success. This was more of a party than a ceremony really, focusing on the best of British music and culture with a variety of big-name artists. Most of the tracks appeared on the soundtrack album A Symphony Of British Music, compiled by the ceremony’s musical director David Arnold, which I own in my collection. It contains a mixture of original music written for the ceremony, cover versions of well-known songs, and special re-recordings by artists of their own tracks for the event.

And it was still very enjoyable on the whole. It’s very unlikely that everything would have appealed to everyone but, depending on your musical and cultural tastes, there would have been a few particularly memorable or special moments for each person watching. That was certainly the case for me anyway – there are some parts I can easily skip over, and other bits I can watch over and over again.

And visually it looked very cool as well, not just in terms of the costumes, dancing, fireworks and so on, but also the creative use of the ‘pixels’ – the coloured lights behind each audience member – that created animated patterns around the stadium throughout the show, and the impressive Union Jack stage – designed by artist Damien Hirst – that filled the floor of the stadium.

The ceremony lasted 3 hours and 10 minutes, and is included in its entirety on the final fifth disc of the BBC’s Blu-ray set. There are no alternative audio options and no scene selection menu (though there are chapter points you can skip through). You simply get the broadcast coverage with the BBC commentators led by Huw Edwards, but that’s generally fine as they don’t interfere too much. They’re most involved when the athletes are making their way into the stadium, while at other times they just give a bit of contextual information, which is actually very useful. And by all accounts we had much better TV coverage than some overseas viewers. The only extra on the disc is a long PDF with the full list of credits for the ceremony, which you can see if you put it into a computer’s Blu-ray drive. Not quite as long as the equivalent document for the Opening Ceremony, but still pretty lengthy.

You can also watch the full ceremony on the Olympics Youtube channel, where they have their own commentators. As with their Opening Ceremony coverage, it starts with a beautiful helicopter shot travelling slowly over London towards and around the stadium, showing off the city and the venue wonderfully. And there are other videos online relating to the ceremony as well, including a bit of footage from the audience and behind the scenes. So, like I’ve done with my previous posts, I’ve compiled a Ceremony Playlist on Youtube, with relevant clips and the complete music soundtrack if you want to look through it.

And so, with all that said, let’s crack on with my look back at the ceremony. It won’t be anywhere near as lengthy as my Opening Ceremony coverage, as there’s much less to discuss this time. But I hope you enjoy!

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Journal – Christmas 2016 (Moving To London)

Finally, after nearly 120 journal posts – and thank you so much for reading if you’ve gone through some or all of them – my mother and I have now moved away from Devon into my Nan’s house in London, which we inherited when she passed away.

So in this post you’ll find out how we’ve settled in over the festive period, sorting through various bits and pieces, having problems with BT, going shopping and taking some nice walks. I also got to see my best mate and his wife who were visiting the city, signed up for some social events in January, watched a lot of TV, and was shocked to hear about the deaths of 3 very popular entertainers.

Going forward, I’ll be sharing my (hopefully many) adventures in London in a monthly roundup format, as I’ll explain at the end. But for now, I hope you enjoy this bumper post about my long-awaited arrival in the capital!

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Journal – November-December 2011

Here’s another set of journal entries to wrap up the year, including a friend’s birthday, new DVDs, an accidental recovery for Nan, and our first Christmas without Dad, as well as some more jokes I’ve received via email. I hope you enjoy!

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Journal – March 2005

Here’s another set of entries from my journal. This month there are updates on my temporary contract at work, and various bits of entertainment news, including a top 100 poll about cartoons, an extensive review of the Red Nose Day telethon, and my initial reaction to the highly anticipated relaunch of a certain sci-fi show. So I hope you enjoy as always!

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