Saturday, 11 August 2012


     A last word - from me, anyway - about the Olympics.

     I have always felt a touch ashamed, or defensive at least, about regularly buying National Lottery tickets.  As my wife points out every week, "it's a sheer waste of money."  Oh, I have had the odd £10 win every blue moon but no gambler worth his salt would contemplate taking on the sort of odds that the Lottery offers.  Crazy, of course.

    I have tried to defend the indefensible by quoting that line from "South Pacific," how can you have a dream come true if he don't have a dream?"  And I have pointed out that a half of the income from the Lottery goes to charity.  But it's awfully difficult to cite the exact instance of where and which charity benefits - and, more importantly, where I benefit.

    Now that has all changed.  Caught up in the Games fervour - at first reluctantly but now wallowing in it - I note with pride that the National Lottery has contributed a goodly share of the cost of staging the games.  And so my £5 worth of input every week makes me a sponsor, removing that lurking feeling of guilt about wasting family income.

    I feel as if I've won a Gold.  Well, almost.

    Crabby Postcript.  The one good thing abut the end of the London Olympics is that the nation will now be spared hearing the word "unbelievable" gasped by medalists and commentators something like twenty or thirty times a Television day.  I'm no pedant about words but the adjective isn't accurate, anyway.  Does anyone think that an Olympic finalist would enter the event without belief of victory, even if it is only tucked away at the back of the mind?  Words like "satisfying," "wonderful" or even the awful "awesome" would be more descriptive.  The dreadful repetition, though, causes the most irritation.  It's a relief to know that the damned word will fall away from our screens unbelievable relief, believe me. 

Friday, 10 August 2012


Allow me two pennorth of comment about The Games.  Have you noticed how so many of the Brits picking up medals are...gulp let me summon up my courage to write this...well:  NOT WHITE?!

There, I've written the unsayable.  But this is not a racist tract.  Firstly, it is a straightforward fact and deserves to be noted.  From the burnished black bonce of Mighty Mo, our very own matchstick middle distance runner, to the slightly sepia-tinted skin of gorgeous Jesse, so many of our winners - certainly in the track events - are descended from immigrants.

Why these athletes are better than people of Anglo-Saxon stock - certainly in the track events - is not for me to conjecture.   The point is that without them I doubt very much whether we would have gathered such a record breaking tally of medals in this greatest of international sports gatherings.

So doesn't this say three bloody good cheers for immigration?