Last week we were in England - bombarded by Olympics' news everywhere. As expected, M25 traffic at a standstill, then had to pay for the privilege at the Dartmouth bridge toll-booth. Inner-city road lanes much too narrow for our French left-hand drive car. The people - as usual, depressing self-deprecating characters everywhere - and that was just in our car!
And then I saw the Olympics' opening ceremony. That showed exactly what it's like to be English - completely mad, off-the-wall but brilliant. No other country could have devised such a thing. 'Normal' countries would've produced something like youngsters training to be fit for the future and linking all 5 continents in a blaze of fireworks or something, but we don't seem to do 'normal'. The English production could've been a disaster but wasn't. I loved the way it moved from rural to the industrial age, using characters like Brunel, Shakespearian words and actors, reminding the world of our heritage. Fantastic. And when a torch-holder was asked how it felt, he said 'hot'! But then I saw yesterday's usual British sporting disappointments. Same old, same old. Him Indoors says our competitors must've been told to '..go Fourth and multiply...'!