The British Council has just released the results of a global poll looking at how the UK's big events of 2012 have affected the country's reputation overseas - and, as the chill wind of austerity whistles round our cities and towns, these results give us a reason for cheer.
On a grey Saturday morning I brave the freezing weather to go on a trip to the Olympic Park in east London. No, it hasn't reopened yet. This is a post...
The London 2012 Games are a real once-in-a-generation opportunity. I'd encourage everyone to join the team and make the most of these games.
It saddens me whenever I see yet another story labelling all of the youth of Britain as uneducated, unemployable or criminals. A lot of people have a toxic attitude to youth in this country which can be damaging and, in my experience, tarnishing them all in this way is completely unfair.
The power of female athletes to draw audiences in London 2012 highlights the appetite for women's sport. However, the current lack of coverage is creating a glass ceiling effect. The lack of exposure on the playing field is reflected in the boardroom with few women in senior positions at sports clubs and governing bodies.
Perhaps it's time to recognise that English, education and culture - along with a sustained commitment to International Development - are some of the UK's biggest and best contributions to the world in the 21st Century.
Team Sky's zero-tolerance approach is neither encouraging truth nor facilitating reconciliation, and therefore hampers the opportunity for cycling to not only learn the full lessons of its past but also the prospect of recovering its reputation as a sport of integrity and fair play.
In Barack Obama, Martin Luther King's dream has come true.
As mentioned in previous posts, for the last few weeks, I have been taking boxing lessons with Naomi Gibson, aka Girls in Gloves, at the very charming Body Studio in Shoreditch (which, if you're interested in having a go at boxing classes, but maybe put off by the prospect of a bunch of sweaty brutes leering at you, is a really friendly and non-intimidating venue to try it out).
Another week, another attempt to better myself via the medium of sport and a pretend medal table. I must say, the fact that I'm the only person who's competed in every single sport yet still not managed to take the top spot on the table, is becoming a little humiliating.
Leaving the cinema, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief. A sense of achievement. Not because our blue-eyed Bond had foiled the evil schemes of a peroxide partisan but because the film captured a true sense of contemporary British identity.
I never realised how much I actually relied on my phone to help me muddle through my new life in London until, in true London style, it was stolen.
British historians have probably enjoyed 2012. Two big set pieces, the Olympic Games and Diamond Jubilee, proved the ideal invitation to reflect on where we have come from, who we are now, and where we are going
I left the cinema feeling cheated. This was meant to be a James Bond film. They could have replaced the long dialogue scenes with more action, they could have replaced the darkness with more elements of fun, they could have.... they could have....... they could have made it better.
If I'm honest, this event was a bit of a shower.
I found it quite difficult to attack a friend with a sword, even if it was a faux one, and I think really, this can only be a good thing.