We band of brothers

I’m watching the montage and crying again.  Moments of glory and defeat scrolling across my screen, heros crossing finishing lines, looks of disbelief and joy on their exhausted faces, the feted weeping on podiums as eighty thousand people sing the national anthem in their honour.

We’ve always been accused of being reserved, frigid even, but I think we British have been wrongly judged.  We feel as deeply as anyone, we just don’t shout about it like some.  This summer, this amazing summer, has allowed us to say out loud what we often feel.  How proud we are, how moved we are, how much being part of something greater than ourselves means to us.  Turns out it means an awful lot.

We’ve talked to strangers on the tube, screamed in stadiums until our throats hurt, jumped up and down and hugged in the manner of people on the X Factor.  Maybe we’ve even been on a journey, but I wouldn’t like to cheapen it by talking like that.

We’ve always felt things deeply but I do believe we’re different now.  We who were there, we band of brothers, shared something so special, that we’ll always be linked by our experiences this summer.  When we meet and talk, there’s a spark of recognition, of shared wonder at the gloriousness of it all. When I talk to people who went away, who weren’t here, they don’t get it, how special it really was.  I feel sorry for them.

We were lucky enough to go to the closing ceremony on Sunday.  It was the perfect end to a perfect summer.  We clapped and cheered and cried and stood up time and again to show our appreciation for everything that had passed.  As we wearily made our way towards Stratford Tube after one of the finest evenings of my life, one of the ever cheery Games Makers, sitting on her high chair, sang the ‘So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye’ song from The Sound of Music and the snaking crowd replied. Then, as we walked through the station to the trains, the Tube staff lined up and said, one after the other “Goodbye, safe journey, we’ll miss you all.”

It really was something, wasn’t it?

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13 comments
  1. Jeeezzz the last bit made me weep. Dear Gamemakers. Dear Stratford tube.

    • Victoria said:

      I know! *sobs*

  2. Julie said:

    We did go away, so missed the final two weeks, and I was soooooo disappointed.
    Beautifully evocative post.

    • Victoria said:

      Thank you, at least you saw the first bit, that was pretty special.

  3. Paula said:

    This really was a summer to remember for ever. It stretched on and on, filled with one delight after another. I’m so glad to have been a part of it all, glad to have shared parts of it with you, and jealous as hell that you got to go to all the bits I didn’t x

    • Victoria said:

      And we discovered Dubonnet, which will always live in our hearts.

  4. I am welling up again. It was amazing and I am so glad I had a taster and that I experienced more of it through your eyes.x

    • Victoria said:

      And you did lots of what we did too, which was watch it on TV!

  5. Tara said:

    I feel so very very lucky that my children were able to share it with me. They absolutely loved every minute of it and I was glad to let them sit for hours in front of the TV, sucking up every minute of it.
    It’s a moment in history I feel sure will become a ‘where were you when’ and it’s been totally an utterly wonderful.

    • Victoria said:

      Same here, I keep telling my children that one day they’ll tell their grandchildren about all this.

  6. It really was something special – I do hope that what comes out of it in terms of legacy is a bit of pride and confidence in being British – we can do great things and you know what, whilst we are strange and our sense of humour may be difficult to understand most importantly we know how to not take ourselves too seriously

    Still very sad that it is all over

    • Victoria said:

      I think that finally we were able to see that other people liked us for what we were, rather than trying to fit in.

  7. fivegoblogging said:

    So eloquently put. We will indeed miss it.

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