Thursday, 24 July 2014

"My land's only borders lie around my heart"

The unlikely star of the games...one of 41 Scottish Terriers

So says the final stirring line from the musical number Anthem from " Chess" , and the sentiment kind of captures the national pride evoked by sporting and cultural events such as The Commonwealth Games.
I always cry at open ending ceremonies.
It's the surge of emotion that carries me away........
And when you analyse it, the odd situation of several thousand happy people celebrating the fact they all live in a country that the emotional romping organisers have wrung every bit of positivism out of in one huge set piece...it is no wonder that the tears start to flow.
National events like these provide us with a collective " feel good" moment
And we don't have many national feel good moments in the great scheme of thing ...do we?

I am patriotic but not particularly nationalistic...does that make sense?
My loyalties have always been somewhat split.
I am very proud to be a Welshman, even though I don't particularly have a welsh accent and can only hold down a rudimentary welsh language conversation. I am a typical hybrid of North Wales.
My parents essentially were English, ( hailing from the North West) and my Grandparents came from Scotland, Liverpool with Irish and Lancashire backgrounds themselves....I am, as most people are in the  uk, a mongrel.
At the end of the Trelawnyd  Male Voice Choir concert, I adore standing with the audience to belt out the Welsh National Anthem ( which I taught myself to sing from reading it time and time again from a tea towel someone had given me)....yet when I watched the  Yorkshire segments of the Tour de  France , I could have popped with pride for my adopted home of South Yorkshire, as the population good naturedly took the event to their hearts.
It's a simple psychological phenomenon
We , as a species , love and need to be a part of something... We need to be owned by a tribe.


Last night, swept up with good intentions  and good will, the Scottish crowds warmly greeted the Malay team which were flanked by several Malaysian air hostesses .in an act of solidarity and respect the stadium fell silent to mark the recent air disasters and messages of goodwill were sent to Hollond on their national day of mourning.
Such is the power of events like these
I just wish politicians and the fundamentalists in this world could take note  

58 comments:

  1. It's strange to think that we and the Malays are all part of this wonderful 'Commonwealth' club. Nice isn't it.

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    1. The games, has a new slant.....apart from sport , and glorifying Scotland....it was the Unisef charity that got top billing

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  2. To my part-regret this morning, last night I gave up not long after the start when I'd just about had enough of John Barrowman (though not his fault, the dear chuck), just wishing he'd put a sock in it. Still, slept well despite the heat.

    Btw: Can we have a video of you singing 'Land of my Fathers' in the vernacular? Go on - PLEASE! You must make a better job of it than John Redwood did.

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    1. Yes barrowman's bit was all a bit Disney wasn't it

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    2. Well, speaking of Walt D. (aka Tom Hanks), in the singing video you've now promised us, why not have your doggie brood at your feet howling and ruffing along with you a la 'Lady and the Tramp'? It'd even be worthy of YouTube - and we've all seen a lot worse.

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  3. All I could hear was Rab C Nesbitt.

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    1. I thought that was susan Boyle... Who forgot her lines to Mull of kintyre

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    2. "... oh pissed, rolling over..."

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  4. Endorse Raybeard thoroughly!!!

    Re these large gatherings and the pride one feels - I do agree and I also
    agree that one even picks up this sense of pride by watching the event
    on television. But I do have one proviso John. These large gatherings can also be used for bad purposes - I think of the huge Nazi gatherings of the thirties.

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    1. Not like you to leave a post on a pessimistic slant pat!

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    2. Just you wait - as soon as Scotland gets its independence, they will invade Poland. She's right to warn us.

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    3. They were called the Empire Games until 1970. We, the marauders in the colonies.

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    4. Well we did bring them tea at 4

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  5. When I watch the Olympics, I get weepy when I hear The Star Spangled Banner or Oh, Canada or the British anthem. Other countries, not so much, not even the land of my forebears in Norway. I don't know what their anthem sounds like. I relate more to . . . I don't know . . . I guess I'm sentimental about Canadians and Brits because I've met so many of them.

    Love,
    Janie

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  6. For me it's not the godawful God Defend New Zealand, but the haka, or Pokerekereana that get me going. I know the world has all seen the all blacks do a haka on TV but when one sees it live, and it is even done spontaneously in one's honour, it's very, very moving.

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    1. Then again, 41 scottish terriers is pretty damned gorgeous!!!!

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  7. I live in France, but I'm a sucker for anything from home - Last Night at the Proms, the Cup Final, royal weddings, I'm there in front of the BBC, with a glass of vin rouge and a box of hankies.

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    1. That's my girl.... At least your not drinking absinthe

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  8. I'm Scottish but my grandmother was from London and we lived within miles of the Scotland/England border so had a lot of connections with England. My husband was born in Scotland, raised in Malaysia, educated in Malaysia and Scotland. His dad was Scottish and his mum is from London. We have moved around the UK and spent 10 years living in various parts of England. Our son was born in England but has Scottish blood in him and calls himself a Scot as we moved back here when he was tiny, but feels a connection with England. I wonder how many people have 'pure' roots from one country only? Like you I feel patriotic. It concerns me that Scotland seeking independence has caused some anti English feeling amongst a minority and I really feel uncomfortable with that, and my son has had some comments at school about being English.

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    1. Independence is NOT about 'anti-English-ism' with real Scots.

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  9. I am a sentimental crier also. For some reason, it makes me happy.

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    1. There's nothing like a good bawl to clear the old tubes eh?

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  10. Oh, I forgot to mention that I hadn't realised Scottie dogs could be a colour other than black.

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    1. The white ones are called wheaten

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  11. Oh, I forgot to mention that I hadn't realised Scottie dogs could be a colour other than black.

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  12. Is it strange that my heart aches when I visit and then have to leave Ireland...Where my family all come from. I'd make a permanent move if feasible . I listened to the Trelawnyd male choir sing Bread of Heaven...beautiful. Did they not have a concert there very recently? The national anthem is also beautiful. I agree we need your videoed presentation!

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    1. They did their summer concert last Saturday
      I was pissed off I was working night shift and couldn't change it

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  13. I always think it's interesting how Americans describe themselves as Geman, or Italian, or Greek...

    Supposedly, I'm a mutt of English, Irish, and Welsh. If I told you my maiden name, you'd probably know my relatives. A ton of them are over there.

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    1. Hey susie : I think it depends on how long you have been in the States - for some of us, like me, although I identify as American I don't feel truly deeply American. We haven't been here that long!

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    2. I did the same until i lived in France and realised i was an American, and so were so many other Americans who considered themselves something else.

      While living there, i was often mistaken for English, and when i went with an English friend to a get-together at the English church, the woman heading up the event asked my friend if i were American or Welsh.

      When i visited Wales, i did feel a kinship which i didn't expect. When i was on a hiking holiday in Ireland, i enjoyed myself immensely but didn't feel that intrinsic pull (as far as i know, my heritage is some English and mostly Welsh with perhaps a bit of Scot thrown in). Other people on that trip who had Irish heritage although Americans felt a kinship with the land and its people. Some cried as they realised they were walking streets their grandparents had walked before embarking across the Pond. It was quite moving.

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  14. I missed seeing the doggies, a lovely lady was telling me all about it on the prom this morning in Llandudno :-(

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  15. I am still patriotic for England except when it comes to sport against the Aussies. Sorry but I have to support my adopted country!
    Wait for the cycling or maybe even the swimming if they behave themselves.
    All In good fun as we don't have much to laugh about these days.

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  16. I have to chuckle as you describe yourself as a mongrel...here in the States, you'd be considered purebred British, close enough. My mixed background is yawn-worthy--German, Russian, Polish, French and Irish. That's why we seem so gung-ho with our flag and screaming about immigrants and the English language. Pretty much all we have in common is where we live and what we speak.

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    1. Purebred...........wonderful x

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  17. I think the Welsh, Scots & Irish have more national pride than the English ( says an English girl )
    My daughter calls herself British - never English

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  18. I understand and relate closely to what you say here John.
    I identify firstly as being a Nova Scotian....then Canadian. My roots are well planted in Nova Scotia.
    Aren't we all in a way mongrels? ......a mixture of everyone that came before us.
    We too go through a lot of tissues at these opening and closing ceremonies.....good for the soul.

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  19. I agree with Bad Penny......and I loved seeing so many happy faces.

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  20. On a technical note, there were not 41 Terriers, but about 12 of them doing multiple runs apparently, changing their coats to another country while their colleagues did their runs. What troupers. What dedication. What cheapskates are we Scots saving on dogfood! :)

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    1. LOL, Andrew :)

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    2. No...there were 41
      I checked... Several of these did 2-3 trips
      ( what a smart arse)

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    3. Nobody likes a smart arse

      (Trust me. I know... and have no friends...)

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    4. Lol well I like you( generally) but keep the smart comments zipped x

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    5. And now I am wondering how many owners may have got the wrong Scottie dog back afterwards?

      And will many new Scottie dogs emerge from what surely must have been a wild after-show Scottie dog romp?

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    6. Scotties don't romp
      They are generally bad tempered and stubborn
      George is a rarity..he's so sweet

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    7. "They are generally bad tempered and stubborn"

      Yup, that's us "Scotties" for you, (but as dogs and as people we do manage to reproduce somehow).

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  21. Politicians sow discord because there is no profit for them in harmony.

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  22. I didn't know you liked sport John. Is it just opening ceremonies?
    I am English. My mother was English. My father was English. I am not whatever you were talking about and suggesting we all are.

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    1. Well you wouldn't be!
      Anyhow I used to like playing badmington and when we lived in Sheffield I used to love going to watch the Sheffield steelers play ( ice hockey)
      Other than that. I do now only enjoy the emotional romping of an opening ceremony

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    2. I am glad about all that.

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  23. I don't watch much TV so missed the Scotties, more's the pity!

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  24. From your mouth to Gods ears, maybe one day the politicians will get their shit together.

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    1. Well said John and MissFifi!

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  25. Well, I'm afraid I thought the whole thing was rather cringeworthy - apart from Rod of course - and don't even mention giant Tunnocks Teacakes and Nessie!!! After I heard the lines from the pseudo-Scotsman Barrowman (odd how he can turn that accent on and off on a whim) 'Scotland, Land of the Hairy Coo' or 'where the men wear leather and the women blether' I threw in the towel! We're all so much more than tartan,shortbread and Irn Bru!

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    1. I knew youse hate the Barrowman's bit..... I must admit I didn't like it either....
      What I did like was the statue of Wellington with the traffic cone.....oh and Bernadetti was good

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  26. Missing all the fun here in the States. No coverage on the games at all.

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    1. Terry... You are my oldest follower xxx

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  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

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