Archive for July, 2012

Toxic Royal Bank of Scotland

July 31, 2012

February last year there was a fraudulent transaction on an account with the Royal Bank of Scotland that took the account overdrawn by a few pence, not even a pound. This immediately attracted bank charges for being overdrawn.

The bank was notified and asked to resolve the problem. The bank did nothing.

Fast forward a couple of months and RBS is now claiming several hundred ponds are owed and threatening legal action to recover.

More week pass, several hours of phone calls to RBS. They eventually agree something has gone very very wrong. Agree to restore account to where it was before the fraudulent transaction took place, produce a report, pay compensation.

The account is finally restored to its previous state, is now in credit, but no report, no compensation.

Last month a letter from RBS £65 owing on account.

How can this possibly be, no transactions made on the account since fraudulent transaction?

No point in discussing with RBS as their computers are not working and staff have steam coming out of their ears trying to deal with irate customers.

Customers were told to call their local bank. The staff had no more idea than the public what was going on and they had no access to computers as the computers were not working.

A week or so ago, another letter from RBS, now claiming over £200 owing.

Today a visit to RBS Guildford. Cashier looks at the account and agrees something wrong. Not sure what to do and so calls over a colleague. She has a look and agrees, something not right.

I suggest we sit at a desk and go over this together. She agrees

Together we work out what has gone wrong, or at least what we think has gone wrong. She writes a report whilst I am there.

Whether anything will be resolved, we wait and see. The young lady could not have bene more helpful.

But it begs a number of questions:

  • Why was this not resolved when first reported to the bank?
  • Why was it not resolved when it was assumed it was resolved?
  • If this young lady was able to resolve why did no one do so before?

I walked into the branch after lunch. I was there until 5-45pm or maybe later (the bank closed at 5pm). For me an entirely wasted day in Guildford. I walked out of the bank with my head throbbing.

In the old days, a man walked into a bank with a sawn-off shotgun and robbed the bank. Today it is the banks and the bankers who are the criminals.

Fixing of the Libor rate at Barclay’s. HSBC money laundering for drugs cartels and repressive regimes.

We have to break up the banks into smaller units, we have to split retail banking from casino banking, we have to close down bad banks, we have to put crooked bankers in gaol.

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London 2012 opening ceremony a celebration of democracy meanwhile outside

July 31, 2012
London 2012 Critical Mass cycle ride

London 2012 Critical Mass cycle ride

On Friday, we were all thrilled by the opening ceremony, well all thrilled except one Member of Parliament who attends parties where the dress code is Nazi uniform. We saw suffragettes, we celebrated the NHS, we saw winged cyclists.

Meanwhile outside it was business as usual. A Critical Mass cycle ride seen by some as protest at the Zil Lanes but in reality simply to exercise the right to cycle on the public highway was brutally attacked by the police. The police reaction was totally over the top. The police could have simply let the cyclists pass through, point made, and that would have been the end of the matter but that sadly is not the way the mentality of the Met works.

Something like 200 cyclists were arrested. They were held on a bus all night without food or drink whilst they waited to be processed.

Mass arrests for the heinous crime of “cycling in a group north of the river Thames” on the opening night of an Olympics, which is supposed to be promoting access to sport and active travel, sends a clear message about how committed Games organisers Locog are to any legacy other than a financial one.

A diverse group of people attempting to celebrate their right to use the road safely and in an environmentally friendly manner , which they have been doing for several years and even won the right to do so in the House of Lords, should be promoted by the Olympics, rather than persecuted for fear of their creating a four or five minute delay on the precious Zil Lanes. As Critical Mass is a long-running sporting tradition in London and many other cities across the world, Locog should have made sure they accommodated it — the Olympics are disrupting normal life in the city enough already without infringing the rights of the participants in one of few sporting events which no one is able to make a profit from.

On Friday 27th July, 182 cyclists were held in a police kettle for two hours, handcuffed in buses for three hours, and held in a police cell from six hours to two days. These included a 13 year old boy. Police also confirmed the cyclists reports that CS gas was used during these arrests.

Out of 182 cyclists, only 3 have been charged with any offence. However, ALL have bail conditions imposed on them until September 18th 2012 restricting their freedom to move, assemble, associate and live their lives.

We have the following demands:

  1. All bail conditions should be discharged
  2. All data including DNA, fingerprint, addresses etc taken from those cyclists should be removed from all paper and comupter records of police & other agencies
  3. An independent review of the thuggish police behaviour on Friday 27th July should be conducted as a matter of urgency

All this for continuing the 18 year tradition of a bike ride through the streets of London on the last Friday of every month.

Some of those arrested were nothing to do with the Critical Mass cycle ride. They simply happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time on a bike (which in the eyes of the Met is a heinous crime requiring cuffing and detention).

This political policing to crush dissent and restrict people’s rights without charge must be stoppped. Help us stand for a police and legal system which we can believe in, please sign our petition today:

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/metropolitan-police-criminal-justice-system-uk-justice-for-the-critical-mass-182

Bradley Wiggins, the first Brit to win the Tour de France, has increased awareness and interest in cycling. A massive own goal by the Met.

Was this the image London 2012 wanted broadcast around the world on the opening night, police brutality against a bunch of cyclists?

Critical Mass is a mass cycle ride that takes place around the world on the last Friday of the month.

#NBCFAIL Abysmal London 2012 coverage by NBC

July 30, 2012
twitter fail

twitter fail

London 2012 twitter fail

London 2012 twitter fail

London 2012 NBC greed

London 2012 NBC greed

London 2012 NBC fail

London 2012 NBC fail

NBC tape delay coverage is like the airlines: its interest is in giving you the least satisfactory service you will still come back for. – James Poniewozik, Time magazine TV critic

Who is running NBC? It appears to be entering the final for Olympic reputational meltdown in several categories at once. — julia hobsbawm

If we cannot rely on Twitter to protect our free speech, then it is no platform at all. #twitterfail #nbcfail. Prove me wrong, please. — Jeff Jarvis

If there was a gold medal for bad TV coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games then NBC would be the winner.

The delay to viewers is so bad that it is better to get live coverage on twitter.

Why a delay? Well it is all about greed. Slip in a few commercials, well actually quite a lot of commercials, 20 minutes of commercials per hour, and show at peak viewing times not when the events take place, then just to rub the viewers nose in it, announce the results on news bulletins before you show the ‘live’ event.

The opening ceremony was not streamed online.

One blogger had this to say:

I still haven’t seen the opening ceremony from Beijing (same reasons, same perp), and I missed the one last night too. Well, I didn’t miss it exactly. When my tweet stream started lighting up late yesterday afternoon with visions of giant babies and Voldemort and flying bicycles and all the other British trippiness I ran to my TV. Work can wait, I want to see this! But I was blocked at every turn. Like an Iranian dissident I finally managed via a secret proxy to get a glimpse. But it lasted only a moment before some well-compensated gatekeeper sussed it out and blocked my subversive stream. I couldn’t deal with the asymmetry of the commentary without the thing, so I just shut down Twitter. Did you know that the in order to use the official iPhone and iPad apps from NBC to live stream events you have to subscribe to a particular set of cable companies, and furthermore you have to be subscribed to a short list of pay channels? The web is no more an open network. It has been reduced (and diminished) to mere media pipe that connects (only) to your monopoly owned app – It’s like the AT&T of old.

For the opening ceremony, instead of letting viewers sit back and enjoy it, they had to chat over the top. The assumption being the average American is too stupid to know what is going on (possibly true).

Not that the NBC presenters actually knew what they were talking about.

The appearance of Brunel: Oh my God, what is George Washington doing there?

For Tim Berners-Lee: Who is he?

I have paraphrased, but you get the gist and yes, it was this bad.

But the worst gaffe of the opening night was extremely offensive. The day after London was awarded the 2012 Olympic Games, bombs went off in London, on the Tube and on a bus.

I travelled on the affected Tube line not long after and it was like travelling on a ghost train.

NBC edited out a tribute to those who were killed by the 7/7 bombings!

Now imagine had it been the other way around, the Olympics had been held in New York (God forbid) and the BBC had edited out a tribute to the victims of the 9/11 plane crashes.

We know what would have happened. All hell would have broken out.

The focus in the US has mainly been on the atrocious coverage, but for the treatment of the victims of 7/7 all I can express is disgust. It is difficult to see how NBC could have sank so low. And to date they have failed to apologise, merely come out with pathetic excuses.

Such though has been the outcry at their failings there is now a twitter hashtag of #nbcfail for people to use when venting their frustration on NBC.

What has been the reaction of NBC, have they got their act together? No, Instead they have run crying to twitter to have critical accounts blocked and twitter to their shame have acceded to the request.

Guy Adams, Los Angeles bureau chief for The Independent, lost access to his Twitter account because he revealed the corporate email address of an NBC executive Gary Zenkel (Gary.Zenkel@nbcuni.com) on Twitter after complaining about the network’s Olympic coverage, he savaged NBC for making people on the West Coast wait six hours to watch the opening ceremonies and shared NBC Olympics.

People posting hate tweets and using twitter to abuse people is ok, but use your twitter account to highlight that NBC is not up to the job and your account gets blocked.

The same treatment has been meted out by twitter to those critical of the Olympic Games.

So much for twitter promoting free speech and being a neutral platform.

Twitter is now coming under as much fire as NBC. And deservedly so.

What we are seeing once again is the obscenity and all pervasive stench of corporate sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics. The parent company of NBC is one of the corporate sponsors.

Corporate sponsors of London 2012 Games do not own the Games, even though they behave as though they do.

Unlike the backward NBC which has nothing but contempt for its viewers and free speech, the BBC is trialling the broadcast of the future.

The 1948 Olympics saw outside broadcast TV. The 1984 Olympics saw HD which only now is coming into widespread use.

For London 2012 BBC is filming in Super High Vision (16x resolution of HD) and with 22.1 sound channels.

The difference between the BBC was expressed eloquently by Jeff Jarvis:

BBC is supported by its viewers’ fees. So the argument is that the BBC serves viewers because they’re the boss while NBC serves advertisers because they pay the bills.

For one the guiding principle is public service, the other it is greed.

That is why the bandcamp model works so well for musicians. If people listen, share and download music, the musicians do well, if the musicians do well, bandcamp does well.

Media savvy users in the US are turning their backs on the crap NBC London 2012 coverage and using TunnelBear and StreamVia to access the BBC superior coverage.

Is your e-book reader reading what you read?

July 30, 2012

As Winston Smith learnt to his cost, Big Brother was monitoring everything he did.

CCTV watches and tracks, face recognition picks you out. GPS pinpoints where you are. Mobile phone networks track where you are, who you are communicating with. Credit and debit cards track where you are, how much you are spending. Store cards track where you are, build a profile of what you buy, where and when.

Facebook apps monitor everything you are doing on facebook, and know who all your friends are.

How many people are aware that their e-book reader is not only monitoring what they read but even gathering fine data such as which passages in a book you may have highlighted, passages that you may pause and reflect upon?

It is one thing to tweet what you are reading, to write a review, even to contact the author with your thoughts on a book, but it is an entirely different matter invasive monitoring of what we read.

Philip Jones editor of The Bookseller (a vested interest if ever there was one), dismisses concerns. Clearly he has no understanding of data mining. Author Joan Brady on the other hand is very concerned at this invasion of privacy, what your e-book reader is reading about you and what the information gathered is being used for.

What are authors doing about this? Are they happy with the privacy of their readers being violated?

Maybe we should all go back to reading real books, books you hold in your hand, and when we buy books do so with cash from a secondhand bookshop.

Dance Me to the End of Love

July 30, 2012

The Civil Wars cover version of classic Leonard Cohen song Dance Me to the End of Love.

The first video is very French, even down to the grainy black and white. If compared with new stuff on their website which is very slick and polished, this is far superior.

Solo artists in music

July 29, 2012

The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. — Walter Bagehot

Bass player Steve Lawson and cellist and composer Zoe Keating discuss what it is to be solo musicians, making your way in the music businesses

Not a career, music is something you do because you love music, because it is fun and you enjoy what you are doing

Both Steve Lawson and Zoe Keating had played as session musicians and with other people, but as their solo work developed, the other work dried up.

As a solo artist you get the opportunity to work on collaborations and projects with other people.

One advantage of being a solo artist, apart from being able to do your own thing, is that you get to keep all the money.

Danger of lack of cross fertilization. Important to meet and collaborate with other musicians for new ideas else become stale.

Stairway to Heaven on bass to piss people off in music shops. Now that has to be a must on bandcamp or soundcloud.

Learn to be like Santiago in The Alchemist, learn to follow your dreams. Learn to grasp opportunities as they arise.

Into The Trees – Zoe Keating

Live So Far – Steve Lawson and Lobelia

Not using facebook then you must be a mass muderer

July 29, 2012

According to an article in tagesspiegel.de, not having a facebook account should be the first sign that you are a mass murderer.

No facebook, no job offer

The article mentions the fact that in the US, people were subject to handing their passwords over to potential employers, which privacy advocates, facebook, and the US government disagree with. But the article takes it one step further in claiming that not only did US employers have a legitimate point, but also suggesting that those who abstain from facebook could be mass murderers.

As examples they use Norwegian shooter Anders Breivik, who used myspace instead of facebook (or as they put it, “largely invisible on the web”, haha @ myspace), and the newer Aurora shooter who used adultfriendfinder instead of facebook. So being social on any other website isn’t good enough, it has to be specifically facebook that people are using.

While it is already established that sites like facebook and google+ are no good for political activists, abuse survivors, and people in the witness protection program; abuse survivors will have to take a back seat while more and more insane articles like this come out.

There seems to be an insanity bubble around older people which has arrived after the initial facebook boom that brought in the youth, where they see facebook as a necessary utility; instead of a trendy website that will have passed in a few years.

Google translation of article …

Wake up young people who do not have a Facebook account, mistrust, then? Determined in some human resources departments in the U.S., there were at last aware of cases where heads of their applicants requested the access to their profile. Who does not have a profile, for which there is no job offer, because he has something to hide. So far it is not yet in this country. But ask even in Germany, “70 to 80 percent of HR professionals by the candidates in the network,” says psychologist Christopher Moeller Hanover.

Revealing images that users and private messages were better off not making it accessible for everyone is aware by now the most. But that the opposite effect – the absolute abstinence – seems suspect makes new. “The Internet has become a natural part of life,” says Moeller. And: “It is possible that you get with virtual friends and feelings of positive feedback.” But only as long as users do not overdo it. As long as they continue to maintain contacts and real and the virtual tours are not addictive, because the can, according to the scientist “reinforce basic psychological disorders and anxiety.”

On the other hand, Moller, however not convinced. “. That an abstinence from the Internet similar causes, can not be said,” Nevertheless, the assassin of Aurora is not the first assassin, who shunned social networks also the Norwegian Anders Breivik , the front of a year for the mass murderer was, in fact, its largely invisible on the web. Like Holmes, he reported only in a few forums to speak, hidden otherwise isolated themselves. He was an outsider.

And maybe this is for investigators and experts in the latest case, the important finding: that Holmes not only had no Facebook friends, but – so far known – not even good acquaintances and friends in real life.

Vast swathes of empty seats

July 29, 2012
A spectator sits alone on the first day of Olympic swimming at the Aquatics Centre

A spectator sits alone first day of Olympic swimming at the Aquatics Centre

London 2012 the biggest sponsor of the games is the public

London 2012 the biggest sponsor of the games is the public

We are looking at this (the issue of empty seats) very urgently. — Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt

Friday night saw the truly mazing spectacular of the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics. The next day the Games started.

In the Surrey Hills people lined the streets and country lanes to watch the cycle race pass through. It was as with the torch relay, a sense of involvement and participation, and of course it was free.

Unfortunately Team GB did not win a gold. Gold went to a drugs cheat. Drugs cheats should recive a lifetime ban.

Switch now to the other venues. Vast swathes of empty seats. Not empty because of lack of interest, the empty seats, the best seats, were allocated to corporate sponsors who could not be bothered to take up their seats because unlike the fans they have no interest in sport. Sebastian Coe, who seems incapable of opening his mouth without shooting himself in the foot, has tried to claim there is not a problem. Check out the pictures posted by the Mail for the vast swathes of empty seats at numerous Olympic venues to see that Lord Coe is spouting garbage when he claims ‘venues are stuffed to the gunnels’.

Come rain or shine, fans support a sport all year round. Come the big event and corporate sponsors are allocated the best seats. That is the obscenity of corporate sponsorship.

Coca-Cola are fuelling an epidemic of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes. Independent caterers at the venues are being forced to promote Coca-Cola, McDonald’s dictates what is on the menu.

Adidas sources its Olympic consumer tat from sweatshops.

Dow Chemicals, owners of Union Carbide, have yet to fully compensate the victims of Bhopal.

The corporate sponsors who have failed to take up their ticket allocation should be named and shamed. They should be stripped of their tickets and the tickets handed to the public. At the every least the public should be allowed into any venue 30 minutes before the start to take up empty seats.

The Army have been called upon to occupy the empty seats (a pleasant change from Iraq or Afghanistan). Were these the seats allocated to G4S?

For many fans, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see live an Olympic event. They should not be denied that opportunity by global corporations whose only interest in the Olympics is insatiable greed.

The British public are the major sponsors not global corporations.

Corporate sponsorship has tainted the London 2012 Games.

Rio needs to look very carefully at the damage corporate sponsorship has done to the London 2012 Games and think again about any corporate sponsorship.

Corporate sponsorship should have no place in the Olympics.

Top Story in The Waverley Daily (Monday 30 July 2012).

El Camino de Santiago

July 28, 2012
Saint James the Persian

Saint James the Persian

‎As we live on earth we must walk in faith, nothing doubting. When the journey becomes seemingly unbearable, we can take comfort in the words of the Lord: “I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee.” Some of the healing may take place in another world. We may never know why some things happen in this life. The reason for some of our suffering is known only to the Lord. — J.E. Faust

Spirituality: The experience of that domain of awareness where we experience our universality. This domain of awareness is a core consciousness that is beyond our mind, intellect, and ego. When we have even a partial glimpse of this level of awareness we experience joy, insight, intuition, creativity, and freedom of choice. In addition, there is the awakening of love, kindness, compassion, happiness at the success of others, and equanimity. — Deepak Chopra

El Camino de Santiago is medieval pilgrim’s route that runs along northern Spain.

The destination is Santiago de Compostela where lies the remains of Apostle James the Greater, St James.

The Apostle James the Greater, son of Zebedee and Salome and brother of St. John the Evangelist, was born in Galilee. A Fisherman he became one of the foremost disciples of Jesus. He suffered martyrdom in Jerusalem in AD 44. Santiago appears generally represented as an apostle, pilgrim or warrior. His feast day is 25 July. When this day falls on a Sunday it is a Jubilee Year.

In recent times the route fell into disuse with few people walking the route, until Paulo Coelho walked the route as a penance. An account he tells of in The Pilgrimage.

El Camino de Santiago is now very popular with the numbers walking the the route having risen exponentially since the publication of The Pilgrimage in the mid-1980s.

All are equal on the pilgrimage, all are pilgrims wending their way to Santiago de Compostela.

Pilgrims return changed.

On completing the pilgrimage one is expected to give something in return. Paulo Coelho wrote The Alchemist.

Wednesday 25 July 2012 Manuscrito encontrado em Accra was published in Brazil.

Wednesday 25 July 2012 marked the 30th anniversary of the publication of The Pilgrimage.

Below an excellent account of walking El Camino de Santiago written by Sylvie Hanes and posted on The Camino Documentary blog.

——————————————–

Spirituality on the Camino

Jack, one of the pilgrims featured in The Camino Documentary, states, “Life and spirituality are so intertwined and connected that it’s impossible to separate them.”

Sylvie on the Camino

Before I left for my Camino journey I wondered if I would find a deeper meaning to life, a more balanced view of the unseen, of the intangible, and of my purpose in life; quite an imposing feat for such a short journey.

What I discovered was much more than the balance I sought. I discovered the joy of simplicity and the resulting opportunities for introspection. I discovered that beauty lies in everything we see, touch, smell and feel. I discovered the power of silence, be it while walking alone, sitting with other pilgrims during an evening mass, or simply looking into someone’s eyes and feeling the unspoken kindness and connection.

What I developed was gratitude for everything I saw, heard, felt, tasted and experienced. What I relished were the unexpected memories that surfaced in the strangest of times and places – those memories allowed me to honor the beautiful people who were or are part of my life and my personal growth.

What I rediscovered were the joys of feeling at peace and at one with nature. Walking with only the sounds of my footsteps and my heartbeat brought me to a level of mindfulness that I had pushed aside in my busy corporate life.

What I learned was to appreciate the equanimity of all pilgrims. On the Camino, we are not defined by our job, title, position, age, or accomplishments; we are defined as pilgrims seeking our own enlightenment. We look alike as we walk with our backpacks, poles, hat and boots, yet each one of us carries our own stories.

The Camino experience allows us to live life without hundreds of daily distractions. For me, it was simplicity at its best. Decisions were minimal—where to sleep, what to eat, when to take breaks; the other 23 hours and 30 minutes of the day were spent living . . . living each moment to its best.

Upon my return to my usual world I found myself aiming to live a bit of that “simple” life. It may have been a simple life in terms of responsibilities, chores, and time-wasting activities but it did have its abundance of sensory experiences.

Did I experience a deeper spirituality on the Camino? The spirituality I gained while walking the Camino can best be described as a painting with 12 basic colors becoming a masterpiece of millions of colors. I’m reliving life with a whole new palette!

¡Buen “colorful” Camino!

Pilgrim Sylvie Hanes
Canada
www.sylviehanes.ca
Completed first Camino in 2011

London 2012 Opening Ceremony

July 27, 2012
London 2012 stadium

London 2012 stadium

2012 Red Arrows

2012 Red Arrows

 Bradley Wiggins opens London 2012 striking bell

Bradley Wiggins opens London 2012 striking bell

Olympic rings are forged

Olympic rings are forged

Mr Bean with London Symphony Orchestra

Mr Bean with London Symphony Orchestra

London 2012 James Bond

London 2012 James Bond

David Beckham on motor launch

David Beckham on motor launch

London 2012 Team GB

London 2012 Team GB

Team GB projected onto Parliament

Team GB projected onto Parliament

Wow!!! Bravo!! Yiaaa!!! Beautiful Akram Khan choreography, the welded rings, Queen + 007, Dizzeeeee, audience LEDs, GOSH. Magical! Xx – Imogen Heap

Que responsabilidade para o Rio de Janeiro 2016… – Paulo Coelho

[World Wide Web] This is for everyone. — Sir Tim Berners-Lee

A countdown, then it started.

We fly through the countryside, along The Thames, into the stadium.

A huge bell, the largest in the world, is rung by Bradley Wiggins, winner of the Tour de France

Peasants wandering in the fields. Cricket on the village green. A strange mix of Constable, Shakespeare, Dickens, Thomas Hardy.

This pastoral scene, this green and pleasant land changes, smoke pours out of the hill, workers from the factories come pouring out, black and smoky, smoke and flames out of the hill.

Drums, a thousands drums. Chaos. The Industrial Revolution, dark and satanic mills, the countryside destroyed.

Huge mill chimneys rise out of the ground. Mill owners survey the scene.

The two World Wars. The Suffragettes.

The Swinging Sixties. Dressed as Sgt. Pepper.

Molten metal flowing, rings forged, hauled into the sky

A celebration of children’s literature and the NHS. Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells. Children experiencing nightmares.

A clear message to the ConDem government, Hands Off Our NHS!

I was thinking Vangelis, and as if on cue Chariots of Fire performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.

Mr Bean. I just could not stop laughing.

James Bond, special assignment, bring in the Queen.

Musical montage. Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, The Who, The Beatles, Sex Pistols, Queen, David Bowie ….

Sir Tim Berners-Lee and his gift to the world, the World Wide Web.

Montage of the torch relay across the country.

Snippets of David Beckham in a motor launch on The Thames bringing the Olympic torch.

Athletes parade in. More nations than the UN.

Why did the Czech athletes all turn up in Wellies?

Palestine is at Olympics, why not UN?

Team GB march in to David Bowie Heroes. Team GB are competing in every single event. Billions of tiny pieces of paper fall from the sky. Each one representing one person on the planet.

204 nations!

For the first time all the nations will have women in their teams. Even Saudi Arabia.

UK is the home of sport, codified the rules of sport, the sense of fair play.

Back to the music. Arctic Monkeys. Angels on bicycles.

London is the only city to host the Olympic Games three times.

Size of the stadium huge. Like something out of a futuristic film.

A waste to turn into a football stadium Should be used for rock concerts and other special events.

The 30th Olympiad of Modern Era.

Fantastic to see Muhammad Ali but upsetting to see him so ill.

David Beckham arrives by motor launch, hands the torch to Sir Steve Redgrave.

A neat touch to have those who constructed the stadium to provide an honour guard for Sir Steve Redgrave as he brought the torch into the stadium and to have young athletes give a relay tour around the track.

Young athletes were then handed torches. Earlier we saw each team of athletes bring in a copper petal. We now found out what they were for. Each was at the end of a long thin stem. This was the cauldron, which the torches lit. But that was not all. The long thin stems then all rose up to form one huge flame.

Fireworks, not just the stadium, the entire site. To the music of Pink Floyd.

Then the Grand Finale Paul McCartney Hey Jude showing that at 70 he is the World’s Number One Rock n Roller.

Could anything match the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony?

Well now we know the answer.

Yes!

Danny Boyle put the Beijing Olympics in the shade, turned it into a sideshow.

There were doubts, should it not have been Andrew Lloyd-Webber or Cameron Mackintosh?

Well we got our answer.

Words cannot describe how good it was: fantastic, phenomenal. Nothing measures up to it.

Hollywood eat your heart out. You could not match this no matter how hard you tried.

Danny Boyle deserves a knighthood at the very least.

Danny Boyle was worried about the BBC, that they would chat over the top.

He was right to be worried. It was unbelievable. Moronic chat ruining the show. It was like being at a concert or the opera and a group of jerks giving their mates a running commentary of what is going on.

But if you thought the BBC chat was bad, on an American network it was far far worse. The video quality very poor too. How can anyone enjoy the show with a constant back chat drowning out was was going on?

With the exception of the torch relay there had been little support for the London 2012 Olympics due to the all pervasive stench of corporate sponsorship. Overnight Danny Boyle converted the public to enthusiasts.

Seeing the artistic performance, the athletes walking in, is what it is all about. An inspiration to all. Not sordid sponsorship by McDonald’s, Coca-Cola. We must kick out the corporate sponsors which are tainting the Olympics and giving it a bad odour.

A very very hard act for Rio to follow in 2016.

All pictures are from Team GB on facebook, where more excellent pictures can be found.