I have always loved the Olympics and really wanted my troopers to experience the excitement of the greatest sporting event on earth first hand. So I tried everything I could to get tickets: I entered the ticket lotteries for the Olympics and Paralympics, and every competition to win tickets that I could find. But it was all to no avail. I could not get a single ticket. It would be fair to say I was bitterly disappointed.
In the Olympic Café, just a bacon buttie's throw from Wembley Stadium, enthusiasm for the London Olympics was decidedly muted. But then this was 2002: even the Athens Games were still a couple of years away, and whatever goes for tumbleweed in East London was still blowing through the unregenerated Lower Lea Valley.
I love the Olympics, love the endeavour, the challenge to push the limits of human capability. I love the competition, the striving, the winning and the losing; the podium moments, the team hugs and the heartbreak interviews. But that is not what the torch relay or indeed, these Games themselves are about. They are about consumption.
The shrill of a ringing bell carries a number of connotations. With this being a piece on London 2012, it could be a hackneyed reference to a city waking up to the dawn of a new beginning come July. It could even be more on-the-nose with some reference to Big Ben chiming welcoming tones to the arriving world...