The rhythm of my heart is beating like a drum

Good morning Tash Appreciators,

With so many readers in Scotland, this week’s TF could only have one subject: The Commonwealth Games.

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Many of you will have reservations about the games because of the historical context, the sporting context and the cost. However, it’s sunny, the Games are here, and it seems wise to make the best of them. If nothing else, the Games really seem to be letting Glasgow flourish and it’s worth enjoying the atmosphere, bars and restaurants all around town, even if the sport isn’t for you.

The talk of the town so far has been the opening ceremony. The majority opinion seems to be muted contentment, with only a bit of criticism from some in relation to the opening “tour” around Scotland by John Barrowman and Karen Dunbar.

One highlight for me was that the volunteers brought in chairs for the athletes after they did their dance routine. If the commentary is to be believed, the inspiration for that came from an experience which one of the show’s director’s had at a Scottish wedding. Apparently, there was a shortage of seats at the wedding reception but the local folk saved the day by going home and bringing their own chairs back for the guests.

I have no difficulty in believing that, after I attended a wedding in a remote location near Inverness a couple of months back.  The locals insisted in giving the visitors lifts back to their respective hotels and cottages. They didn’t expect anything back in return – they just wouldn’t have had it any other way.

The fact is that the real character of Scots can’t be found in the caricature portrayed by John Barrowman. It’s in the small acts of kindness and hospitality that we tend to do for visitors. We saw our true character in the volunteers who danced and welcomed the athletes on Wednesday night. We will also see it during the next two weeks as the same volunteers keep the Games going by giving visitors directions, officiating and generally doing long hours for no pay just to support a worthy endeavour.

Given all of that, this week’s Tashes must be people involved in the Games.

The first is Prince Imran, the President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, who was unlucky enough to be the person tasked with opening the Queen’s Baton. I have to say that if I’d been Prince Imran, and I couldn’t get the Baton open, I’d be telling the Queen to open her own Baton. However, he’s clearly a more patient man than I and he dealt with the problem with a smile and the help of Sir Chris hoy. It was fitting really, after all, how many times has a Scottish sports team failed to carry out a simple task even after plenty of practise?

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The second Tash can only be Billy Connelly. Surely Glasgow’s favourite son, he has all of the characteristics required to become one of TF’s all-time favourites: wit, grit, intelligence and a charitable streak. Pure class:

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I doubt the Big Yin would be cynical about the Games, I reckon he’d just get stuck in and enjoy it. I hope you get the chance to do the same.

Have a great weekend folks!

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