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This time last year, my good friend Zimena inspired me to write this blog. On the blog’s birthday, for reasons too loopy to contemplate, I was on the East Grinsted to London train at 8:13 of the 27 July – the day when Martin Creed urged a nation to ring its bells (and whatever else it had to hand) in celebration of the Games. Happily, arch-Londoner, inspiration, good friend and special correspondent Zimena Percival was there to tell us what happened:

“And so… In full readiness for artist Martin Creed’s magical ringing of London’s bells to herald day one of our fair city’s Olympic fest, I threw open every window of my centre-of-town abode in full anticipation of a veritable cacophony of the capital’s finest dingers. 8.12am arrives and I am poised in dressing gown at the kitchen window… But ho! Is that St Pancras church’s fine bell ringers I hear, dinging out a tuneful ditty on their regency dongers? It hath begun! I run from one side of the flat to the other, craning my neck out of the windows to hear the onslaught of joyful peals…

No one joins in. Ahem…

It seems that St P may be the only campanologists in Kings Cross who got up early enough to tug their ropes… Oh no – this only lasts 3 minutes! Resorting to Radio London (who appear to be broadcasting from inside the bell tower at Westminster Abbey), I get a quick blast of digitally delayed bongs (live radio ain’t what it used to be) but then remember in the last 20 seconds that I have an iPhone ring-tone called ‘Bell Tower.’ Bingo! I fling open the front door, throw my arm to the wind and join the silent throng in welcoming this joyful day.

“Kah! Kah!” rings out beside me. My neighbour is on his doorstep, oblivious to the magic and hacking his way through his first fag of the day.

“Nice day for it innit!” he says.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQLATV1piuk – links to an even more successful celebration of Martin Creed’s “All the Bells”, Big Ben at 8:13. In other news, we love Zim, and many thanks to her for writing this guest post. Tomorrow, watching the Olympic Opening Ceremony, gratis.

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