Sunday, September 09, 2012

Summer of Sport

So; damnit.  I'm listening to the closing ceremony of the Paralympics.

I said and thought a lot of bad things about the Olympic mascots over several years, and recently.  Maybe I've just been worn down by them; but one night last week, having resisted all summer, I ended up in the 2012 shop at St Pancras, picking up a keyring-sized Wenlock and Mandeville to go with DipsyWiggo.  (More on the medal in the middle later).   It sort of says everything about this summer.


As a typically cynical Brit who travels into and through London every day, I was so sure we'd make a mess of these Olympics and Paralympics. Something very London would happen - the Central Line would just die; the Jubilee Line would, as it does three times a week, lapse into sulkiness and signal failure; a main sewer or water main would just give out under a Games Lane.  Or it would rain steadily throughout.  Or there'd be a terrorist threat, real or hoax.

As it turns out, it's been just lovely.  The weather's not been great (particularly over the two weeks I took annual leave) but it's been good enough; the Olympic Gamesmakers and Ambassadors have been wonderful, and friendly and smily even to those of us just trogging to work and back; people have smiled and laughed on the Tube (gasp); and people, cars and houses flying the Union Flag don't worry me.

And here are Wenlock and Mandeville again, in the gardens just east of St Paul's Cathedral and seen from the top of a bus.


This is nowhere near a Games venue but there it is - people tipping up and loving it and being photographed.

Oh, and the sport was pretty good too; I've watched very little on catch-up because the radio coverage was so good.  And if there was anything going wrong between the two events, we seem to have sent a member of HM Household out to get his kit off abroad to distract attention...

Tonight, unbelievably, I'm even enjoying Coldplay.

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