If I could have one Christmas wish, it would be for our politicians to stop being too embarrassed to stand by culture and support it for fear of being branded 'elitist'. The Arts are for everyone, and nothing embodies this better than the volunteers who worked tirelessly to create the opening ceremony this summer.
As the last of the bunting is swept up and empty bottles gathered for recycling, thoughts inevitably turn towards The Legacy. Legacy was a cornerstone of our bid, and up until that opening scene of the opening ceremony had only really ever been contemplated in terms of the sporting legacy. "Good sport make good people do good sport..."
Sometimes the line between patriotism and nationalism can seem paper-thin. When I stood in the crowd at the Rebellion punk festival in Blackpool last month, the St George's flags and swastikas were clearly visible, yet the same crowd roared with approval when a Jamaican, Usain Bolt, won the 100m sprint final.
This Friday night at 9pm, four stars of Coronation Street will appear in Corrie Goes to Kenya, the first of two documentaries on ITV1. The programmes follow Sue Cleaver, Ryan Thomas, Brooke Vincent and Ben Price as they visit Mombasa, where they will use their thespian skills to challenge the misconceptions around HIV/AIDS.
Against all my own expectations, the Olympic Games have emerged like unexpected blossom on a tree that only flowers erratically. When was the last time GB could stand so proudly tall? I'm reminded of the post war years when the response to the end of WW2 was to implement the Beveridge Report and build the welfare state. Am I comparing a few sporting triumphs to the construction of, amongst other things, the National Health Service? No - that would be pure bathos. But I am comparing a display of national character, where the choices that were made in a moment of coming together, were open, inclusive and dynamically forward looking.