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London 2012: Why Britain Should Be Oh-So Proud

One or two posts ago,  you may have read as this flag-waving patriot waxed lyrical over how Britain was restored to its natural Britishness in 2012.  The Queen's Diamond Jubilee and The London Games ticked all the right boxes in terms of what the events had set out to achieve.  The year 2012 silenced even the most pessimistic of pessimists.  The glass-fully-empty types had to concede that they enjoyed 2012 as much as the rest of us.  If they said they didn't, then they're lying.    

I had watched highlights from the opening ceremony of the London Olympics from a hotel room in Miyajima, Japan.  I returned to  England on the Tuesday following the opening ceremony, so I hadn't really missed very much.  London Heathrow was buzzing with the salutations of track-suited volunteers.  Helpfulness was projecting out of mouths like pea soup from Linda Blair.  Everyone was falling over themselves - possessed, should we say - to help their visitors.  It was a wonderful sight.  The last time I had been away for this long, I'd returned to a post-terrorist attack London.  This time, London was glowing.  

  

I returned to London just over a week and a half later to watch the last night of the track events on the big screen in Hyde Park.  I stayed in the cheapest hostel in central London (Smart Hyde Park Inn - avoid) so I could watch the London Marathon the day after.  I was tired and stiff from the uncomfortable night's sleep, but I made it.  The streets were lined with well-wishers throughout the 26.2 mile course.  I hope the above panorama demonstrates the sort of overwhelming turnout - as was the case for all the Olympic events - that the marathon enjoyed.  

It would be great to hear your thoughts on London 2012.  Were you in London for the Olympics?  Did you have any particular highlights?

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