My night carer, Lillian, reported to Alice this morning that I had had the best nights sleep since they have been employed. Looking at their logbook it appears I was only turned three times in the 8 ½. hours and suffered no pain at all during the night. Maybe we have struck the right combination of drugs in tandem with the night carer being there to turn me when I wake up. If so, long may it last.
Todate I have written nothing about the forthcoming Olympic Games. Despite the efforts of the public relation firms to whip up enthusiasm. One of their great successes was to arrange for the torch to be carried virtually from Lands End to John O’Groats – or in this case the other way round – taking in most of the major towns and villages en route. Somewhere I heard that the number of torch bearers, each of whom carries the flame 300 m, number around 8000.
Watching this progression on television I have been amazed at the enthusiasm that has been generated by this procession.
Almost every town or village through which the torch has been carried have made a great effort to turn it into a jamboree, with bunting and flags everywhere, and often with some sort of concert or event to celebrate the Olympic Games. Whereas in the past many of the citizens from the North, when asked about the Olympic Games, said,, quite frankly, they could see little gain in it for them and that it was basically a London event. The hysteria which has now been whipped up over the torch progress seems to have changed all of that. With something like 20 days before the opening ceremony, which thanks to the torch organisers, I believe will now be tuned into by the whole country, who have cleverly been convinced that it is their Olympic Games not just London’s.
Without wanting to sound like a Jonah I can’t get very excited about these Olympic Games, perhaps that will change once the day comes. I just pray we do not mess up our opening ceremony. After China’s fantastic opening and closing ceremonies, it was obvious that no one could ever compete with the Chinese, I believe they had something like 200,000′ volunteers’, so the clever thing for us would be to do our own thing. Nobody beats the British at ceremonials. The annual Changing of the guard on Horse Guards Parade ground or the Royal tournament. These sort of events demonstrate a degree of ceremonial perfection never matched by any other country, so I would like to see something on these lines included in the opening ceremony. Obviously there will be other aspects of being British but I just pray is not all football and idyllic sheep filled panoramic green fields.
I remember very little of the previous Olympic Games held shortly after the war, in 1948 or the 1956 Games held in Australia, where I was living at the time. Taking advantage of the many empty flights returning to their homelands. having flown hundreds and thousands of visitors to Australia, I opted for a cheap flight to New Zealand and spent three or four very happy weeks exploring both islands. I know that our firm in Melbourne was involved in looking after the Ethiopian team and as a reward the Emperor, Hale Selassie, sent a quantity of purple drawers (boxers) . i no doubt having some Royal significance in Ethiopian, n gratitude for our efforts. I think I was offered a pair, despite not having been one other helpers as there were sufficient for every member of the office staff.
Alice had invited two old friends to drop in for coffee this morning. Alice Everard, who lost her beloved husband George, just a year ago and Simon Cooke, whose wife Gillian, succumbed after fighting a very brave battle against MS, for what must have been 40 years or so. Alice and Simon have chummed. mutual companionship and have been on a number of overseas trips together. Having known both Gillian and George I can’t help feeling they would be delighted and thoroughly approve that their long-term partners and have found a companion.
Quite apart from anything else these lovely people brought me a bottle of champagne and a punnet of strawberries and raspberries picked from Simon’s beautiful garden.
Paul ‘the computer’ came round for three hours this afternoon and after fiddling with my laptop for a short while we both sat back to enjoy the men’s semi-final tenns at Wimbledon. Federer, who started as the underdog had a great win over the world number one Dvokovic. Then came the match. we’ve all been waiting for, our man Murary, seeded ,4 against the Frenchman,Tsonga, seeded 5. Murray won the first two sets convincingly bu lost his way a bit in the fourth set, which went to the Frenchman .He raised his game in the fourth set to take the match. We now have an Englishman in the men’s final for the first time in 74 years. The final on Sunday against Federer promises to be a great match to watch, particularly as Murray has beaten Federer on a number of occasions. Federer, on the other hand, is going for his 7th. win at Wimbledon, which, should he beat Murray, will put him in the record books as the greatest tennis player ever.