Skip to main content

2012: The Year of the Britain...But Is There More to Come?

What more can you say about a year that will be remembered so fondly through red, white and blue?  The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and London 2012 was the double bill that the British people needed: the veritable chap stick that softened the stiffened upper lips of a Britain in recession.  Even those who would otherwise have complained about buying Union Jack bunting would have had to acknowledge its timeliness.  Has there been another period in British history in which we could use such a patriotic street lining, not once, but twice, and within two months of each another?  To line the streets would be to give back to the people what the rioters of 2011 took away.  We came together to restore the image of a truly Great Britain.  

So how do you sum up a year so steeped in glory?  Its pinnacle was arguably 4th August 2012 – the aptly-named "Super Saturday".  It was Britain’s most successful day in the Olympics for more than a century and saw our athletes take home three gold medals within 45 minutes.  But when did it begin?  And at which point did it end?  It surely didn’t end with the Olympics because Britain went on to excel in the Paralympics.  You cannot even reasonably say that it ended with the Paralympics because a relief-swept Andy Murray – an otherwise stoic Scot - rejoiced as he secured his elusive major title at the US Open.  So has the glory receded enough to allow the year’s chronicle to suitably capture that sense of glory?  

Hold your horses!  There may be more to come.  It was an exceptional summer to be British, but there is cherry that begs for position atop the great frenzy of celebration.  It would bolster British success by topping off the year’s success.  We collectively dream of the cherry on top, but where can it come from?    

We are in the midst of celebrating two great British institutions: 50 years of The Beatles and 50 years of James Bond.  If it weren’t for a certain bespectacled wizard, Bond would be the highest-grossing as well as the longest-running British film franchise in history.  In anticipation of Skyfall, Bond’s 23rd outing to date, and in celebration of 007’s 50th anniversary, our contributing editor and film club member Nick will embark on a remarkable “Bondathon”.  This will see him revisit every Bond from Dr No to Quantum of Solace.  Let’s call it a 007-a-day for 22 days.  His cinematic odyssey is being documented over at Strangers in a Cinema.  

Last week saw the official release of Skyfall’s eponymous theme tune.  Co-written and performed by multi-Grammy Award winning Adele, it is the first Bond theme in recent memory that has been greeted with a warm reception.  Can Skyfall go one better and set critical acclaim alight?  It is due for release on 26th October and, like our Olympians, the film carries a heavy weight of expectation.  However, if Daniel Craig & co can pull it off a la Farah, Ennis, Rutherford et al, that crowning cherry will taste oh-so sweet.  

Watch the incredible trailer below:


Popular posts from this blog

An Expert Analysis of Michael Fassbender's Running Style From the Film 'Shame'

Tom Wiggins: What are your first impressions of Michael Fassbender/Brandon's running style? Paul Whittaker: He's running nice, smooth and relaxed. He seems like he has a good amount of fitness and he is running well within himself in terms of pace.   TW: What improvements could he make to his running style? PW: The main improvement I'd make is his foot plant.  He lands heel first and this causes a 'breaking' effect when travelling forwards.  If he landed on his mid-foot/forefoot, this would be a much better for impact stress and propulsion going forward into the next running stride. TW: Regarding his speed, how many minutes per mile is he running? PW: I would say he is running approx 7-7.30 minutes per mile. TW:  What do you make of his stride lengths?  Is he overstriding/understriding? PW: The actor is definitely overstriding in this clip.  It would help if his feet landed underneath and below his centre of gravity. TW: What's his posture like? PW: A slight forward le…

The Diary of an Apprentice Letter Carver

I qualified as a stonemason last July and completed an incredibly enjoyable and memorable stonemasonry apprenticeship with The Prince's Foundation for Building Community in which I made so many friends and worked on so many historic buildings.  During that time, I had a two-week letter carving placement with Bernard Johnson, a very talented and friendly letter carver based in Oxfordshire.  It was with him that I picked up the bug for letter carving and realised that I didn't want to do anything else.  He didn't have an apprentice opportunities at that time, but pointed me in the direction of Fergus Wessel, another letter carver in Oxfordshire.  I went to visit  Fergus at his Stonecutters workshop and after a week's trial, he was able to offer me a four-year apprenticeship.  I am both incredibly lucky to have been given the chance of being his new apprentice, not least because he himself was trained at the prestigious Kindersley Studio.  A diary of my experience as an a…

Lyrics, Lyrics, Lyrics! Ten Examples of Songwriting Genius!

I like music.

I like music and lyrics.

I like music and lyrics that make me go wow-wee!

I like music and lyrics that make me go wow-wee and cor blimey!

I like music and lyrics that make me go wow-wee and cor blimey and here are ten examples that do just that.

1.   Best Kept Secret - Laura Veirs

I never fail to be touched by these lyrics.  You can tell in Veirs' voice that it's real and beautifully, beautifully true.

December, I was lost in a darkness I couldn't shake,  Called you in California and you answered right away,  You answered right away,  You picked up right away. 

2.  Boyfriend - Marika Hackman 
A line that's perfectly delivered.  Sound and meaning in perfect synchronicity.  
You came to me for entropy and I gave you all I had. 

3.  K. - Cigarettes After Sex
A modern-day love song.  I'm always drawn to narratives in music and I love listening to a song with a strong sense of place.  This one ticks both of those boxes.  It also sounds beautiful.  
I remember whe…