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Glasgow 2014 – Commonwealth Games opening ceremony

OK, it didn’t start well. Heinous unionist-puppet and media-slut John Barrowman – with his vile tartan suit and fake accent – riding his bus round Celtic Park and spouting pathetic stereotypes. I began to cringe… but then I saw the happy, dancing teacakes and I started to smile – I never really stopped.

Official Commonwealth Puppy

The whole ceremony was proudly and unequivocally Scottish. A wonderful showcase of our culture: the beautiful ballet set to a haunting version of 500 Miles; massed pipe bands; kaleidoscopic tartan; Gaelic song; Andy Stewart remixed. It was just wonderful.

In hindsight, even that somewhat ropey opening was very Scottish – didn’t it have a bit of a pantomime vibe? We do love the panto, don’t we? Also, the main performers – Barrowman and Karen Dunbar – are both openly gay. I wonder if that was a deliberate move or just a coincidence? Either way, I applaud the powerful and obvious inclusion of a ‘gay marriage’ in the Gretna segment.

The entrance of the athletes was great too. Such a warm and thunderous welcome to all teams – the English commentator almost sounded disappointed at the cheers Team England received. I’m extremely proud of the pioneering fundraising initiative in support of UNICEF as well.

And of course, there were the Scotties! The adorable, jacketed terriers scurrying round the track on their fuzzy wee legs. looking like clockwork toys. So cute!

The speeches bogged things down a bit but I was gratified that almost the only slip up was made by the royals – I suppose Prince What’s-his-face usually has lackies to open things for him… The wee shouty man from Glasgow council did fairly well. He must have been so nervous. As always our First Eck was warm and funny, human yet statesmanlike.

Finally, Nicola Benedetti gave a beautiful rendition of Loch Lomond (on an exquisite Strad!). Did you see her smile as she heard the crowd singing with her? Again, typical Scotland – any excuse for a singalong! Then Billy Connolly (remember when he was funny?) told that wonderful story about Glasgow’s support for Nelson Mandela and a lovely South African woman did a great job of singing Freedom Come All Ye in Scots. The whole thing was finished off with a firework display to rival world war three. My smile was so wide by then I had a pain in my jaw   🙂

…Oh, I forgot to say: GO TEAM SCOTLAND – agus Alba gu bràth!!!

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