Sunday, 12 August 2012
Best of luck Danny, we said, and then we watched in the grip of increasing awe and astonishment as the stadium split open with mesmerising centuries-worth of culture and music that make up the sum of our small Isles, zipping past us in generous and fleeting succession. This was no history lesson but the simple recounting of one nation’s story and its reach to the rest of the globe. From literature and revolution to punk and the parachuting Queen, it was never elitist. With humour and a wink of confidence, it included everyone, and triggered the most amazing once-in-a-lifetime event in the city we love so much. Within minutes, the cynics were silenced. If they didn’t get it, then they had no soul.
And then the sport began. The bells rang out to the world and the joy and spirit of the games seeped onto our streets, along our pavements, down into the Tube, and on to smiling faces. It rode on top of buses, past flags and banners fluttering on every corner. In the parks they spread their picnics, and erected the screens, conjestion scaremongering a distant memory. The arenas were full (well, almost) and voices were lost from cheering, arms aching from waving, but never ever growing tired of it. Thank you, London 2012 – it is a privilege to be just one tiny part of it.
But what are we going to do when it is all over and the cauldron is extinguished? Simple answer is to carry on living the dream and passing it on. This is our world, our gift, our joy. And the spirit of the world and the Isle of Wonders cannot be snuffed out.