Ringing in the Olympics

The sky was grey, the light dim, the town sleepy. Suddenly, at 08:12 am – on the dot – it started.
The church bells began ringing.

Friday is market day in my home town of Stamford, Lincolnshire. And yesterday, when I woke up, I was preparing to mark time, waiting for the working week to end and for the London2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony to kick off in the evening.

Bells, Cultural Olympiad, London2012, Olympic StorytellerSuddenly, listening to the morning radio, I heard that a national Cultural Olympiad event was about to start.

All the Bells (work number 1197) was a brilliantly simple idea, designed and created by the artist and musician, Martin Creed.

Question: How do you create a work of art that is (a) truly national and in which (b) everybody can take part, regardless of ability or talent?

Answer: Get everyone to ring a bell, madly, for 3 minutes, all at the same time, across the nation. And it doesn’t matter what sort of bell – church bells, bicycle bells, school bells, door bells, etc. You can even download a free app that makes a bell sound when you shake your phone.

Isn’t that a brilliant idea? And why hadn’t I heard of it before? And had Stamford planned anything? Continue reading “Ringing in the Olympics”

Telling Stories – Olympic style.

TEAMWORK was the challenge set. Despite being chosen to be an Olympic Storyteller, I really have very little personal interest in sports. How do I set about writing a story on teamwork with a sporting theme?

Ruth Livingstone's page on BT Olympic Storyteller site Connection was the topic for the latest Olympic Storyteller challenge.

I have to confess, despite being chosen to be an Olympic Storyteller, I really have very little personal interest in sports. And when I do something sporting, I usually choose an activity where my efforts are solitary. Not for me the team spirit of the hockey field, netball court or relay race. I am more inclined to go for long walks on my own, ski a slope in splendid isolation, or play a game against a computer opponent.

So Connection? How do I set about writing a story on the connecting power of sport? Continue reading “Telling Stories – Olympic style.”

A question answered

jonathan-brownlee Olympic storyteller interviewee Well, Jonathan Brownlee chose one of my questions to answer. Yippee!

The question he chose to answer was:

If you could choose your own theme music for the medal podium, what would you choose and why?

Err, hang on. Did he really answer my question?
Sort of.
Actually no.
No, he didn’t really answer my question. But I forgive him. He chose the national anthem after all.

Personally, I would go for something like this: Hawaii Five O.
You could choose Chariot’s of Fire, but this is too predictable.
Given Jonathan’s possible film ambitions, maybe he should choose 007 – licensed to thrill.

You can find the questions and answers here on the BT Storytellers website

Olympic Storyteller – site live

olympic storytellers live site The official BT Olympic Storytellers site is now live, along with details of all the storytellers. They look an intelligent and talented bunch of people. I have no idea what I am doing among them.

Here is my page. I look a little stern. And somewhat confused.

Twitter is beginning to wake up to the fact we have Olympic Storytellers among the Twitterati. There seems a confusion of hashtags to follow, but the official ones appear to be:

Personally, I prefer #olympicstorytellers – because what you see is what you get. But Twitter has a life of its own and defies all attempts at logical organisation (thank goodness). We will see what trends emerge.

Olympic Storyteller – my questions for the Brownlee Brothers

Olympic storyteller, 3 questionsMy first task, as an Olympic Storyteller, was to think of 3 questions to ask the triathlete Brownlee brothers – both of whom have medal chances in the 2012 Olympics.

In the end, I thought of dozens of questions; some boring and sensible, some completely ridiculous. But I could only choose three and one had to relate to the 2012 Olympics.

Well, these were the questions I finally submitted to the Brownlee Brothers.

Here are my questions for the Brownlee brothers:
1) In preparing for the Olympics, what is the most important piece of advice that Alistair could give his younger brother, Jonny?
2) If you could be a character from fiction, who would you be?
3) If you could choose your own theme music for the medal podium, what would you choose and why?

Will my questions be chosen? I don’t know. But I look forward to seeing what others submitted and, of course, reading the answers.