Oh but it’s been so exciting. As we knew it would be, although in our world-weary way we were grumbled and grizzled in advance of the opening ceremony. And what a ceremony! So madly British it made me smile. Brilliant and baffling and beautiful. Wonderful production by all involved, poetic and powerful. Loved it all.
Now, there are many things as an Irish woman that I find odd about living in London. The fact that folk here don’t like to look at each other in the eye when out and about, don’t speak to each other without knowing the other first (like how does that work?). The constant fascination with the weather, with football, with mindless tv celebrities, all the tut-tutting about tourists, the general hard edge to life, I could go on. It didn’t bode well that London was to be host to millions of daydreaming-standing-at-the-top-of-the-escalators-non-english-speaking visitors. Oh dear.
But, blow me down, someone (Boris in his push for PM?) must have put something in the water because not only did the weather come up trumps but Londoners, “CAN YOU MOVE DOWN A BIT” Londoners, smiled and talked and helped and joked and “You first”, “Oh you need the Jubilee line, here let me show you” for 2 solid weeks. That’s 14 days of sunny good humour. Almost made me giddy with the shock.
And the sport. From Bradley to Balding it was just wall to wall joy. I mean I always have enjoyed the Olympics although I am as far as you can get from sporty. I have fond memories of once watching the Olympics as a child in the garden on the huge black and white tv that my father had dragged outside. He had erected a makeshift canopy so we could watch in the sun, unheard of behaviour in South County Dublin. But never an Olympics has gone by without hours of tv viewing in my home, hours upon hours of sofa sport.
This year there was special Irish interest. Now I know Team GB punched way, way, above their weight winning a bounty of medals which was great fun to experience. But Ireland (that’s 4.5 million debt ridden Irish souls to you and me) had their medal moments in the boxing ring with the golden highlight from women’s lightweight, Katie Taylor. Twitter united Irish souls wherever they lived and we held our breath as the seconds counted down for each of her bouts. Irish neighbour blogger, Niamh (@eatlikeagirl) popped around bearing marshmallow treats for the semi-final (double hurrah – they were delicious, check out that link). And for the gold medal match I settled down with family members visiting me from Dublin.
Short story; that evening we celebrated with a punch* of our own. And to give it the London twist we drank from china teacups. This it turned out was to set the scene for the next few days as we all celebrated and punched our way to the closing ceremony. Another brilliantly bonkers show (maybe a few too many ‘old’ popstars and skinny models but we’ll not dwell on it).
So, well done London. Well done Katie. You both done us proud!
If, like me, you love a good brandy all warm and cupped in your hands after a great meal then this light summer punch recipe will come as a surprise. Light, fruity and reminiscent of Pimms. In fact I thought that an addition of mint leaves would go well and next time will try that. And maybe some cucumber ice cubes, yes please!
Makes enough for 8 generous servings
20 dashes Angostura Bitters
Orange & Lemon slices
I added ice as it was hot, hot, hot that day
Simple. Mix all the above in a bowl, jug, basin or plastic bag. All work fine, just make it clean and cool. Then ladle it out (china tea cups optional).
The pretty punch bowl and ingredients were sent to me by Courvoisier.
The teacups are mine!