What a good weekend. Obviously there were lashings of sport on TV, but there was also a trip out to Essex on Saturday for a 103rd birthday party. It was quite a big event, even if it was just in a back garden – an excess of food and drink, a bluegrass band playing on the patio and even a visit from the Olympic torch at 5 o’clock. I think that if Joan had laid on a flypast by the Red Arrows I would only have been a little surprised.
Perhaps she is saving that up for Ivy’s 104th birthday.
None of our kids could make it because of work or American football, but Mum and both sisters were there, with partners and offspring and it was good to see them all and all be together. The only time this is guaranteed to happen is at Christmas, but most years there is at least one other event that we will all be at; wedding, funeral, birthday or something. With Jane living up in Yorkshire, and us in Sussex it can be hard to arrange.
Got home in time to see GB get three medals in athletics, which was a great end to the day. Lots of kudos for all those winners of course, but I also had huge admiration for Katarina Johnson-Thompson. She only looks about 15 and really epitomised the ideals of competing for the sake of it and enjoying the experience. None of this being disappointed at getting ‘only’ bronze – she came 15th but obviously had a brilliant time. I’m guessing she made a lot of fans.
On Sunday I watched the tennis men’s singles final. I think this may be the first time I have watched an entire tennis match all the way through, but I wasn’t quite ready for two matches in one day and only caught the end of the doubles game. The weekend of sport was ended perfectly by watching Usain Bolt win the 100 metres. Despite all the nationalistic stuff of wating to see British medals I suspect that many people were most looking forward to this result. There might be general jubilation and hero-worship when a Brit wins, even in cases where most of us hadn’t even heard of their sport before, let alone them but even if the 100 metres had 3 Brits in the final I think we would have been rooting for Bolt.
A cynic would say that is a consequence of celebrity culture, but it just be that, even in the face of rampant jingoism there is still an appreciation of great sportsmen?
Oh – and the GB footballers lost their quarter-final on penalties – another example of a result folling the script.