Saturday, August 2, 2014

Commonwealth Games photos

I won't try your patience with too many of these, because I know the picture quality is somewhat less than brilliant.  But in reverse chronological order, here's a brief overview of what I've been seeing in Glasgow over the last week-and-a-half.  I bought the tickets ages ago (long before I ran the fundraiser, I hasten to add!), and with one exception I chose the cheapest option for each sport, so I could see the widest variety possible.  The problem with taking that approach is that you end up seeing a lot of fairly routine preliminary-round matches.  On the first day when the heatwave was at its peak, I sat in unbearable heat watching South Africa beat Trinidad and Tobago 16-0 in a tedious women's hockey match from an absolutely terrible vantage point, and I thought "this could start to get wearing".  But I had much more luck with sessions in other sports, and to my surprise I saw quite a few quarter-finals and semi-finals.  I think the highlight may well have been tonight at the squash, when I saw Scotland's Alan Clyne and Harry Leitch storm into the semi-finals of the men's doubles in an electric atmosphere at Scotstoun.  I think I'm right in saying that Scotland haven't won a squash medal of any colour since Peter Nicol took gold in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, although of course irritatingly we had to watch as Nicol claimed several more medals for England in 2002 and 2006 after defecting.  So Clyne and Leitch are potentially only one game away from ending the drought.

The band you can see in one of the photos is the Boomerang Project - a collaboration between the amazing Scottish band Breabach, and Maori and Australian Aboriginal musicians (including a former Australian Idol winner).  It was put together specifically for Commonwealth Games year, and the common theme is the suppression of language and culture - Gaelic, Maori and Aboriginal.  This is a strikingly different vision of what the Commonwealth is all about - more a victim support group, rather than Lord Coe's notion of former colonies genuflecting towards their vestigial Britishness.


  1. Your seat at the hockey was not that far from where I sat on Monday evening where I watched poor Trinidad & Tobago's women get gubbed by India 14-0. Watching NZ beat South Africa 2-1 was wonderful though! But peering through those wires fair gave me a headache...

    Should you be interested, I wrote my own impression of the CGs here

  2. Stick to your writing. On second thoughts, ditch that too.

  3. You could always ditch your reading, Anon, and spare us all a headache.

  4. For pity's sake Anon if you are going to attack someone have the balls to put your name on the post.

    Keep up the good work James and don't listen to negative and petty fools.

  5. "Commonwealth is all about - more a victim support group, rather than Lord Coe's notion of former colonies genuflecting towards their vestigial Britishness." Such an apt description, the BBC among others; tend to brush aside the realities of the Empire, that we are supposed to be so fond of being a part of. The Scots to our shame are not blameless, but we do have the chance to drive the final death knell in to Empires coffin.