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Belated thoughts on the opening ceremony

My enjoyment of Melbourne 2006 peaked early. The sheer joy of explaining an opening ceremony to your three year-old daughter is something that cannot adequately be put into words. To her, it all made sense: the flying tram, the absurdly colourful clothes of some of the nations, the big red dragon on the Welsh flag ("I want to see the dragon again, Daddy" was to be heard frequently on Wednesday night), Ron Barassi walking on water, Dame Kiri singing Happy Birthday to the Queen. ("When's the Queen going to sing, Daddy?" "She doesn't sing, Adara, she's a Queen.") At least she distracted me from having to listen to the inanities of Ray Martin and co.

There's some great coverage of the opening ceremony on here and here, so I'll just stick to a few highlights, lowlights and other observations:

The Queen looked utterly, totally bored.

Someone should have told Prince Philip to shut up and sit still.

Where was the Governor-General, and why was the Prime Miniature usurping his position (silly question, sorry)?

It was great to hear one of the finest Australian songs ever written - "Under The Milky Way" by the Church - but why was it accompanied by a ballet of kids on BMX bikes? If Nicole Kidman was on deck it would have been understandable...

Ron Barassi walking on water with the baton was infinitely more whimsical than all the Leunigisms on display all evening.

That kid who grovelled to HM before introducing Ms Te Kanawa's rendition of the Hill sisters' famous ditty was the nadir of the evening for me.

The Australian uniforms were appalling. Not for the first time, of course.

The last three carriers of the baton were the Mayor of the Gold Coast, the Governor of South Australia and the Governor of Victoria. I'm not sure how to put a punchline to that observation.

And did I hear the aforementioned Ray Martin describe one of the flag-bearers as a "skoot sheeter"?