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.
It's the end of the first week of the London 2012 Olympics and I've learned two valuable life lessons: first, grown men will fight small children for the chance to sit at the front of the DLR and pretend to be the driver; and second, don't jump up for a full-on Mexican Wave whilst holding a plastic pint glass full of lager.
Once the Games has rolled out of town we are just left with the memories and the comedown. The reality of the impact of the Olympics will still be there so lets hope that the market gets back to normal and that the predicted influx of visitors show a bit more adventurous spirit and venture across the road from Oz to take a look at Kansas. Or to spell it out - that bit opposite Westfield, which after all, is where the real Stratford actually is.
Months of early-morning dance rehearsals all come down to this. Immune to 80,000 noisy ticket holders outside, all we hear are instructions from Gina, our Manc director and segment chartist, on our in-ear radios. It's 9.57pm on Friday 27th July 2012, and we're about to be watched by an expected more than a billion people for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
"The isle is full of noises", read the tempestuous pledge on the giant Olympic bell. From the moment that our latest British sporting great, the Belgian-born cycling hero Bradley Wiggins, rang the giant Whitechapel bell, and Kenneth Branagh began to narrate a story of this sceptred isle, Danny Boyle's opening ceremony certainly delivered on the promise.
The 2012 London Olympic games were born in the melting pot of multiculturalism. As we were reminded on Friday, the tragedy of 7/7 happened on the day after the announcement of the success of the London bid. The London games arrived in 2005 with the London bombings. Thankfully, we have come a long way since then.