Scotland the rave: Commonwealth Games begin in Glasgow
Published 24/07/2014 | 02:30
On a beautiful, balmy evening, Glasgow produced a vibrant, joyous opening to the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Taking the lead from Danny Boyle's magnificent ceremonial launch of the London Olympics this was an event rich in humour, jollity and self-deprecation. Plus the magnificent Londoner Rod Stewart, warbling gleefully in the football stadium he cites as his spiritual home.
And through it all, mercifully, there was not a single stilt walker or tableau depicting the human condition.
Like a raucous night out in Scotland's largest city, it was noisy, chaotic and went on rather longer than anyone was anticipating.
Mind, there were pipers. Lots of them. And tartan. In fact, the pitch area at Celtic Park looked as if it had been transformed into a giant shortbread tin, decorated as it was with scenes of Scottish life. There were golf bags down there, tussocks covered in heather and barrel upon barrel of whisky.
There was also, in a hint that Scotland's industrial tradition was not to be forgotten, a giant model of the Forth Rail Bridge. But this one was balanced on a pile of Irn Bru cans. Which nicely matched the salmon colour of many of the locals attending, after they had spent the day in the wholly un-Glasgow-like sun.
This was the opening of the biggest sporting and cultural event Scotland has ever staged. And if this was the way things will go on, we are in for a treat over the next 10 days.
There was also the symbolic sight of Queen Elizabeth arriving for the first time on to the pitch of Celtic FC.
To hear the British national anthem sung out with such enthusiasm in the environs of Parkhead was a sound few can ever have expected to experience.