A few weeks ago I was one of those Scroogey, miserable types who got all hunched and huffy whenever anyone mentioned the Olympics. I'd scowl and look at the floor and mutter about the cost, or the traffic, even though I don't live anywhere near the capital.
But now I can say with some assurance that Olympic fever is gripping me tighter than a buxom grandmother who's wearing too much perfume. Just without the perfume. And the grandmother is Boris Johnson.
Last night's Opening Ceremony was a thing of beauty. The Mirror's Andy Dawson described it as Danny Boyle's "jaw-dropping love letter to Britain". The Guardian stated that Boyle "was back in charge of his deliriously enjoyable, occasionally bemusing, supremely humanistic creation, in which no button remained unpushed, virtually no cultural memory unjogged."
I had notes, you know. Things I wanted to say about the day's events. I was going to talk about how cosy Gary Lineker and Sue Barker are; so often seen on television that they have almost become our foster parents, guiding us with a grin towards the Red Arrows, which were - let's face it - a little disappointing. Then there was Andrew Marr, gurning and gesticulating at the camera, all receding hairline, jug ears and big teeth.
And then the Opening Ceremony started, and I stopped writing. I wanted to write, but couldn't tear my eyes away from the incredible spectacle unfolding on my tiny television (whereas other people invest thousands in a widescreen TV, I just sit closer to the screen to get the same effect). The Olympic rings merging together, forged out of steel flowing from the Industrial Revolution. Chimneys, loads of them. Men dancing in top hats. Rowan Atkinson proving that his iconic character, Mr Bean, has lost none of his appeal after two decades of making the nation laugh.
And then there's The Bit With The Queen. I, like many others, was expecting the grey-haired figure to turn around and be David Walliams, all camp and bouncy. But it was Her Majesty herself, proving that she has a sense of humour - even if she was picking her nails as Team GB entered the arena. She wa so, like, what-ever.
There was more: so much more. Sir Tim Berners-Lee made an appearance, prompting the majority of the nation to use his creation to Google who he is. The hauntingly beautiful tribute to the victims of 7/7. The wonderful Olympic cauldron, lit by the stars of tomorrow, causing - as one Twitter user stated - bookmakers everywhere to rejoice.
Yes, there were low points. Whilst Huw Edwards and Hazel Irvine had obviously digested the majority of Wikipedia, spouting forth fact after fact, Trevor Nelson spoke as if he was hungover, or like the one actor who turns up to a play without having bothered to learn his lines.
"I like the introduction of children," he says, later commenting on an athlete's brightly-coloured wig. "Do you wish you were watching this in 3D?" he asks Irvine, as the endless stream of countries strolls into the stadium. "Well, no," she replies, curtly. "Because I'm here."
I confess: I didn't watch the ceremony to the end. I turned off about the time that Paul McCartney urged 62,000 people to sing along to 'Hey Jude', yelling "this time just the men!" The men barely responded, unsure as to whether they should be singing along to McCartney or his backing track, considering the two were offset by about five seconds.
But what an occasion. What a wonderful advertisement for Great Britain. In the early hours of this morning the dust had settled on the stadium, the flaming cauldron being watched by empty seats. But it has heralded the beginning of what should be a wonderful Games. Sweats, high temperature, nausea: I have a bad case of Olympic fever, and I hope it's contagious.
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