The games officially begin at 20:12 this evening. At 08:12 this morning I was standing outside the iconic Christ Church in Spitalfields, designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor, listening to the bells ringing out for the ‘pre-start’ to the games. Martin Creeds ‘allthebells’ project brought a crowd of people to ring their bicycle bells and ring tones alongside the church bells. The busy Commercial Road van drivers had their say too. It was great fun making this drawing and I was there early to get the structure of the architecture in place. Once the bells started I just added colour to describe the sounds. I used the iPad to capture the sound, which runs alongside the drawing and adds to the ‘live’ experience.
After the bells I headed to Trafalgar Square to see the countdown clock on Day Zero. I have seen it many times over the last month and planned to draw the crowds gathering for their photo opportunities (almost always the Usian ‘Bolt of lightening’ pose) in front of the clock. But my attention was grabbed by a small group from the ‘British Israel Coalition’ who held a quiet protest in anger at Jacques Rogge’s refusal to hold a minutes silence in remembrance of the 11 Israeli athletes killed in the terrorist attack at the Munich games in 1972, 40 years ago. Many of the International media are filming in Trafalgar Square today and as the weather slowly improves today I am heading off to Stratford to work out a good vantage point on the boundaries of the Olympic Park to see the opening ceremony later. The atmosphere is electric all over the city. I can’t imagine how the athletes must be feeling. 7 Years of planning at it all starts today.