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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January 2020 Favourites

2020 has got off to an enjoyable and eventful start, meaning there’s plenty to tell you about for this past month, including a musical, a comedy show, museum tours, research projects, walks, social events and entertainment.

As ever, I haven’t been sponsored or gifted by anybody in order to mention them here, and these are all my own opinions. I’ve also produced a video to go with this post as usual. So I hope you enjoy!

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November 2019 Favourites

I seem to have gone from one extreme to another lately. After a relatively relaxed October, November has been really busy, and in a good way. I appeared on TV and radio to raise awareness of digital accessibility, promoted audio description at a trade exhibition, learnt a great deal about Ancient Greece, explored London’s illuminated bridges, highlighted more scam emails, bought some new Blu-rays and music, and enjoyed various things on TV.

So there’s plenty to cover this month, andΒ I hope you enjoy this post and video summary of it all. As always, I haven’t received any gifts or payments by anyone mentioned in this post, and all opinions are my own.

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September 2019 Favourites

Those of you who have been following along recently will know that I had some issues in August that stopped me going out much. I was still able to do a July & August Favourites post, but the August part of that wasn’t very substantial.

September has continued to be rather mixed, as I’m still having an issue with my feet, so I didn’t get out too often. I think it might be hives of some sort, but the antihistamines are keeping them right down, so they’re not getting worse and are tolerable. It means I’m able to get around more easily, and also go out and about if I don’t overdo it. I’ve got a dermatologist appointment on 2nd November (which was thankfully moved forward from the original date of the 30th), so hopefully we can start sorting it out then.

And for those wondering about my Personal Independence Payments claim, no decision has come through yet. But I had 3 text messages to say they had the report from my face-to-face assessment, and then 2 letters in the post to say they have all the information they need to make a decision. So I just have to wait and see now.

Despite all of that, however, I’ve still ended up with a fair number of things to write about for September. I did manage to go out over the course of a weekend, when my foot was behaving, plus I’ve got some exciting videos and articles to share that I’ve been involved with, and there are some TV shows and music releases I want to mention. And as usual, no products in this post are gifted or sponsored, and all opinions are my own. So I apologise that there won’t be much in the way of London-specific stuff this month, but I still hope you enjoy this post and video as always.

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Journal – July-September 2012

Following on from my post about meeting Jimmy Carr, here’s the rest of my journal from July, along with entries for August and September. There’s one post per month here, but there’s lots to mention in each case, including a little trip to Bristol to meet a software supplier (with a few photos of my hotel room), the excitement of the London Olympics & Paralympics, and the sad loss of a good friend. So I hope you enjoy looking through all of this as usual.

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Journal – October-November 2008

Welcome to another set of my journal entries. I’ve combined 2 months together here as things have been fairly quiet, particularly in October, and as a result I’ve often left it two weeks between posts. That said, however, I did stay with my friend in Exeter a couple of times, I’ve been busy at work, I’ve enjoyed various things on TV including Children In Need and a special royal comedy show, and lots of news stories have caught my eye, including the fallout from the prank calls made to Andrew Sachs. And there’s also been a surprise trip arranged for December. So there’s plenty here overall, and I hope you enjoy!

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Journal – April-May 2007

Here we go with another batch of journal entries. During these weeks I had a nice little break in Bournemouth, and a couple of trips to Exeter to meet the friends I’m preparing to go to Spain with. And with that upcoming trip in mind, I’ve also included the first entry from May, so that my next post can be dedicated exclusively to my overseas adventure. So I hope you enjoy!

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Journal – April 2005

Here’s another instalment of entries from my journal. This month there are further developments on my job, more on the TV shows, music and DVDs that I’ve been enjoying, a bit of socialising, a top 50 list and a top 100 list. So I hope you enjoy!

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Journal – July 2004 (Graduation)

This latest batch of posts from my journal marks a significant moment in my life, as I’ve now graduated from university and have started looking for work. Plus there are the usual mentions of DVDs and music that I’ve continued to buy, and one or two other things that have caught my attention. So I hope you enjoy!

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Journal – February-March 2004

Here’s the next bunch of posts from my journal. I’ve combined 2 months together here, as my entries for both are fairly short while I’ve been busy with university work. So here you’ll find out about my latest exam result, more DVDs and music that I’ve been buying, and which of our sitcoms has been voted the best by the British public. I hope you enjoy!

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