All the (Olympic) Bells

The Olympics are coming!

Sure. You are skeptical of my enthusiasm. I get it. There has been much criticism, confusion and downright buffoonery in the lead up the games.

I mean, a rights monopoly on all potato-based sticks in the area is a very odd battle ground no matter where you live.

And drivers getting lost while transporting busloads of international athletes to the Olympics Village is the sort of event planning oversight I’d fire someone for.

We won’t even get into the (crazy, amazing) streetart-cum-protest Brandalism signage.

(Though, incidentally, I am dying to watch Twenty-Twelve. Have you seen it?)

BUT, all that aside, it can be quite possibly one of the most wonderful, truly communal moments human culture has yet to dream up. And I am all for Disneyfied fun.

So, to mark the opening of the Games I, and probably several thousand other people up and down the country, will be taking part in an epic modern art installation.

I know. Totally logical, right?

Turner Prize winning artist Martin Creed is staging (along with an army of organisers) his Work 1197: All the Bells.

Big Ben will sound, church bells will gong, and a whole troupe of Edinburgh’s citizens will mount one of Creed’s previous commissions, Work 1059 – The Scotsman Steps.

They were rebuilt in a Fruitmarket Gallery commission a few years back, each step a different type of marble from somewhere in the world. Walking up them not only joins the Old and New Towns of the city, but literally traverses foundations from the entire planet. Plus, they are very pretty.

…and Bean and I will be trundling up them for 8:12 am – exactly 12 hours before Danny Boyle’s Opening Ceremonies commence (at 20:12, see what they did there?) – with our tinkling Christmas baubles in tow.

We don’t own hand-bells (quelle suprise) and we are too old-school to resort to digital interactive replicas, but we are still totally up for an early morning adventure with relegated festive decorations gifted to us by my mother.

They give a satisfying metallic sleigh bell twang too, we tested.

It might be silly, but I never wittingly turn down the chance to be a part of something bigger than me; something that brings people together to do something special, no matter how outrageous.

So for three whole minutes, we will jingle and jangle with the whole nation and herald in the world’s greatest sporting event. How charming.

You can too, by the way – either by going along to existing events, or frankly, just ring your own wherever you may be. Don’t worry if you don’t own a gong, I hear there’s an app, even for that.

It happened. It was joyous. You can watch a rather awkward video of the whole shebang (in which I briefly appear) on the BBC new pages.

2 Responses to “All the (Olympic) Bells”
  1. throckmorzog says:

    oh thou, one gentle voice in a chorus of human community, still the angel-child whose innocence and beauty brought people to tears in Hands Across America as she dangled Cindy-Lou-Who style between strangers’ hands…you cannot help but be part of things greater than yourself. you make the world a better place.


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