Our revels now are ended, or almost, at least. From the exhilarating swoop down the Thames at the start of the Opening Ceremony, to Mo’s eye-popping second gold last night, it’s been quite a ride.
I’m not a keen follower of sport, but the Olympics are something different, something special. Maybe it’s the way that the nations of the world come together in peace that brings tears to my eyes and obsessiveness to my TV viewing. Whatever, I knew when we won the bid to host them in my home city, that these two weeks would be amazing, in the truest sense of the word.
My hopes for London 2012 were high, but my expectations have been exceeded. I’ve been moved to tears by the striving of athletes, delighted that the stunning backdrop of a sunny London has been admired by the rest of the world, relieved that the tube has worked perfectly, or as perfectly as something as old and creaky as the tube can work, bursting with pride that a Somalian refugee can flourish and win in our welcoming country, and buoyed on a wave of joyous optimism and celebration.
It’s the sharing that is the thing. I’d bet quite a lot of money that most of the people who clapped and cheered and wept with me in the shadow of Tower Bridge this afternoon, as a Ugandan crossed the Marathon finishing line in first place, don’t really care about marathons, or about Uganda. That once this is over we’ll go back to not caring much about sport. But we were watching the marathon on a big screen, with a stunning backdrop, in the company of others for the feeling of shared admiration and jubilation. We gathered together because being together is better than being alone. Because joy is only truly joy when it is shared.
I’d like to think that London could always be like this, but in truth, I’m not sure I can maintain this level of obsession. My husband, children and kitchen floor are all sorely lacking attention and if I’m honest, I’m looking forward to watching something different on TV. So I’ve ordered Twenty Twelve on DVD…