THE BLOG

The Week That Was: Something to Celebrate

20/07/2013 23:05 BST | Updated 19/09/2013 10:12 BST

If Great Britain was worried that without the Olympics this year we'd have nothing to celebrate come summer, we could have saved ourselves a few frown lines.

July 2013 is most likely to go down in history as the month the heir to the throne was born (it can't be that much longer, can it?), but this week delivered plenty of other reasons to pop the champagne corks.

Whether it was England's cricketers keeping the Aussies in check at Lords, the glorious weather continuing to toast the country from top to toe, or the historical moment when gay marriage finally became legal, cracking a smile hasn't been difficult these past seven days.

There was even some good news for the economy, with new figures showing the financial boost from last year's Olympic and Paralympic Games weighed in at an impressive £9.9billion.

London mayor Boris Johnson was on typically bombastic form on hearing the news, telling reporters: "We proved the Olympo-sceptics in error when they declared that London couldn't lay on a world class Games. We are now set to defy the doom-mongers when it comes to securing a permanent legacy. London is succeeding where virtually no other host city has, on track to secure a solid gold payback on the taxpayers' outlay and a rosy future for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park."

Away from the cash injection, more importantly 1.4million more people are now playing sport at least once a week, compared to 2005 - the year the Olympic bid was won. That's a trend that Andy Murray and England's cricketers are no doubt helping keep alive.

There were smaller victories taking place too this week, with 15-year-old student Esha Marwaha from Hounslow, West London, emerging victorious after taking Michael Gove to task over his plans to drop climate change from the curriculum.

Having launched a petition back in March, after it emerged Gove was axing the topic from geography lessons for children under 14, Marwaha and her fellow students were celebrating Gove's U-turn his week.

"I didn't at all expect the incredible amount of support I received and frankly, this wouldn't have been possible without it," Esha told HuffPost reporter Lucy Sherriff.

Internationally there was also cause for quiet optimism with the news that Israel and Palestine are to resume peace talks after a five-year hiatus. The move was brokered by US secretary of state John Kerry, following days of negotiations in the region with Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas - and cautiously applauded by William Hague on Friday, who called it "a beginning, not an end".

This time next week we may be toasting a new addition to the Royal household, until then, let's raise our glasses in hope that Kerry's plan really is the beginning of a new-found peace in the Middle East.