As I sat down to watch the Olympic opening on July 27, I wondered if I would enjoy what was to follow in the coming days. I admit to being somewhat cynical, what with all the hype. But what an amazing Olympics it was. Starting with that Opening Ceremony!
Circumstances dictated that I was confined to Skip for the duration, but that was not a hardship as things turned out. There was so much to watch, and to celebrate! So much emotion. So many smiles. I knew I was getting in to it when I found myself on my feet shouting at the television as Lizzie Armitstead cycled in a breakaway in the women's road race and won silver, the first medal of the Games for Team GB.
I cried when Katherine Grainger won her gold, and was ecstatic with Bradley Wiggins', Andy Murray's, Ben Ainslie's and Chris Hoy's successes, to pick out just a few of the very many special moments. And what can you say about Mo Farrah and Jess Ennis!
The multi-channel coverage on the BBC was fantastic, and a chance to see in detail my favourite sports, and to learn more about those others that I know little about - from dancing horses to women's boxing! But top for me was the cycling, in all its forms, and the sailing. Perhaps you had to be an enthusiast to watch the final in the women's Elliot 6m, the match races between Spain and Australia on Saturday. This went to a fifth race decider, with the Spanish team finishing on top. Televised sailing... impressive. More please.
London 2012 has certainly provided a welcome 'feel good' episode for the nation. How things have changed since 1960, the first year that I began to take an interest in the Olympic Games. I was just thirteen. I saw from the grainy black and white images on a wee television GB winning just two gold medals. Don Thompson won the Men's 50 km Walk, and Anita Lonsbrough the 200m Breaststroke in the pool. Twenty medals in all. And in the last ten years of course, with the National Lottery and government funding, UK Sport has certainly changed the face of elite sport.
I am sure I will be just as emotional when the Paralympics get underway at the end of the month!
Meanwhile, thanks to all the rain, the garden has bloomed, even without my attention.
Photos © Skip Cottage