Sounds familiar as Queen and Bond fly in

Well, it wouldn’t have been a true celebration of Britishness without some reference to the Second World War’s most famous tune – and this duly turned up in what was probably the most Wow Factor moment. Check the soundtrack between 2.30 and 4.30 on the video link below, and marvel again at the wit and vision of Danny Boyle and his colleagues in producing the most stunning Olympic opening ceremony ever. [Hat tip: Jane!]

BBC IPlayer link for UK readers

Try this link if you are outside the UK : TheNextWeb.com

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Time to let go, chaps, time to let go

Pic: Daily Mail
I’ve nothing against people wearing fancy dress to big sporting occasions. If they want to spend hours watching a football match sweltering inside a suit of armour or an animal costume, well, that’s their choice. But I do wonder why English people persist in the ridiculous fantasy that a game between England and Germany is a rematch of the Second World War.
The fact is, the war was a terrible tragedy which did huge material damage and cost the lives of millions of people. These losses are cheapened – mocked even – when pictures of a pair of idiot England fans dressed up in RAF uniforms are beamed round the world.
It’s time to end this rubbish. I rarely agree with Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn but this paragraph from his diatribe in Monday’s paper was spot on:
At South Africa 2010, the Germans again came out on top against England – as they have in every major tournament since 1966. Surely it’s time to bury the tiresome ‘Two World Wars and one World Cup’ taunt for good.
The fact is, England were beaten by a younger, fitter, better team, with a home-grown manager (who is apparently inspired by his mentor Jurgen Klinsmann’s time at the mighty Tottenham Hotspur). Germany has now beaten England in every match in the finals of a major championship since 1966 and yet we persist in invoking our one success, 44 years ago. Even more embarrassing is our habit of insulting German people by using the words ‘Kraut’ or ‘Hun’, and then pretending that we are still at war with them.
It really is time we grew up.

BBMF Lancaster at Lord’s causes England collapse

I can only find this one picture of yesterday’s flypast over Lord’s cricket ground during an England-Australia one day international. by the BBMF Lancaster.
I wonder whether its arrival was the cause of yet another England batting collapse: England captain Andrew Strauss was dismissed 3 balls after the flyover briefly stopped play, and England went on to lose by 39 runs. Here is the ball-by-ball summary on Cricinfo which lays the blame pretty squarely on the flypast. (Translation of cricketing terms is available on request!)
17.1
Hauritz to Strauss, 1 run, cut hard out to point
A Lancaster Bomber is due to fly over Lord’s soon. What a sight that will be
17.2
Hauritz to Shah, FOUR, top shot. Down the pitch, and Shah clouts him over extra cover for four
More importantly, the Lancaster bomber is now flying over Lord’s. Wonderful sight and the crowd stand to applaud! Ah, great moment and a great noise, too, spluttering away with its four propellers and it banks to the right, over the pavilion. Super stuff
17.3
Hauritz to Shah, no run, down the pitch but is rapped on the pads
And there goes the Lancaster again. Graeme Swann’s giving it a standing ovation all by himself
17.4
Hauritz to Shah, 1 wide, down the leg side. Paine whips off the bails and says “ohh-ayyye” which is tongues for “how was that, dear fine fellow umpire?”
17.4
Hauritz to Shah, 1 run, clipped to leg
17.5
Hauritz to Strauss, OUT, got him! Australia have three as Strauss tried to turn it to leg, but was squared up – it gripped on the surface – and spooned it back to the bowler
AJ Strauss c & b Hauritz 47 (78m 53b 6×4 0x6) SR: 88.67
I think Strauss was Lancastered
17.6
Hauritz to Collingwood, no run, flicked to leg
End of over 18 (7 runs) England 85/3

I can only find this one picture of yesterday’s flypast by the BBMF Lancaster over Lord’s cricket ground during an England-Australia one day international.

I wonder whether its arrival was the cause of yet another England batting collapse: England captain Andrew Strauss was dismissed three balls after the flyover briefly stopped play, and England went on to lose by 39 runs. Here is the ball-by-ball summary on Cricinfo – which lays the blame pretty squarely on the flypast. (Translation of cricketing terms is available on request!)

17.1 Hauritz to Strauss, 1 run, cut hard out to point
A Lancaster Bomber is due to fly over Lord’s soon. What a sight that will be

17.2 Hauritz to Shah, FOUR, top shot. Down the pitch, and Shah clouts him over extra cover for four
More importantly, the Lancaster bomber is now flying over Lord’s. Wonderful sight and the crowd stand to applaud! Ah, great moment and a great noise, too, spluttering away with its four propellers and it banks to the right, over the pavilion. Super stuff

17.3 Hauritz to Shah, no run, down the pitch but is rapped on the pads
And there goes the Lancaster again. Graeme Swann’s giving it a standing ovation all by himself

17.4 Hauritz to Shah, 1 wide, down the leg side. Paine whips off the bails and says “ohh-ayyye” which is tongues for “how was that, dear fine fellow umpire?”

17.4 Hauritz to Shah, 1 run, clipped to leg

17.5 Hauritz to Strauss, OUT, got him! Australia have three as Strauss tried to turn it to leg, but was squared up – it gripped on the surface – and spooned it back to the bowler
AJ Strauss c & b Hauritz 47 (78m 53b 6×4 0x6) SR: 88.67
I think Strauss was Lancastered

17.6 Hauritz to Collingwood, no run, flicked to leg
End of over 18 (7 runs) England 85/3

UPDATE: two videos from Youtube:

I bet he drinks…

The chief of the agency responsible for one of the most famous ever TV ads has revealed that its punchline started life as one for milk.
‘The “I bet he drinks a lot of milk” slogan we pitched to Milk morphed into the famous Carling line. “Dambusters” was the lucky bounce; the BACC objected to risking upsetting the pilots’ widows, it was saved by the 617 Squadron Society giving us their permission.’
The silly thing is, the ad would have worked just as well for milk, as it actually says nothing at all about lager, other than implying that you gain some sort of superhuman power as a result of consuming it. (Or, perhaps this is true? Thankyou squire, mine’s a pint.)

The chief of the agency responsible for one of the most famous ever TV ads has revealed that its punchline started life as one for milk.

‘The “I bet he drinks a lot of milk” slogan we pitched to Milk morphed into the famous Carling line. “Dambusters” was the lucky bounce; the BACC objected to risking upsetting the pilots’ widows, it was saved by the 617 Squadron Society giving us their permission.’

The silly thing is, the ad would have worked just as well for milk, as it actually says nothing at all about lager, other than implying that you gain some sort of superhuman power as a result of consuming it. (Or, perhaps this is true? Thankyou squire, mine’s a pint.)

I took my ukulele to the party…

… but, this time, some one did ask me to play! Even better, it was at a Prom Concert.
It’s pick up a plectrum time at the Proms as the wonderful Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain invite you to join in their performance in the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday 18 August. They will be performing loads of favourites including, of course, The Dam Busters theme, and you yourself can play along (if you have a ukulele) in an audience participation rendition of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. The whole thing will be live on Radio 3 if you aren’t able to get to the Albert Hall on the night.
You can see the Orchestra’s version of The Dam Busters here, in a Youtube video recorded at the Shrewsbury Folk Festival. (It’s about 06.55 minutes in after Pinball Wizard and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.)

Plink, plink, plink, plink, plinka, plink, plink, plink…

I met the late Sir Bill Cotton of the BBC once, many years ago – he was a lovely, funny man, much loved by all. This was evidenced by the huge turnout at his memorial service earlier this week, where there apparently was much mirth amongst the tributes. The report in The Times that some of the music was provided by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain playing, amongst other ditties, a version of the Dambusters March arranged by Bill Cotton’s namesake and father, set me off on a search on Youtube. Unfortunately this performance doesn’t seem yet to have been videoed (although I did find both Shaft and Teenage Kicks) so I ended up at the orchestra’s own website, where I was able to purchase the Eric Coates tune for a meagre one pound. A bargain! Altogether now – plink, plink…
UPDATE: Here’s a sample, about 20 seconds long, of the Dambusters March.