As clouds, both real and helium-filled, loomed overhead, spectators began streaming into the Olympic Park some five hours before Friday's opening ceremony of the London Games.
Some came dressed in their native garb. Some came dressed as their favorite Lewis Carroll character.
But for most of the attendees who were lucky enough to get tickets -- like Mark Orford, who paid more than $3,000 for his -- the dress code was overwhelmingly British.
Inside the stadium, where soon the world's best track and field athletes will compete, ceremony director Danny Boyle transformed the infield to a traditional British meadow, replete with stone farm house (with smoking chimneys), live farm animals and roving, helium-filled clouds. An amazing sight.
Less than 40 minutes before the show was to begin, the real clouds opened, and the rain that organizers had feared made its damp presence felt.
The show went on.