I have lived in London my whole life and most of the time it's just my favourite city, chugging along in it's same old way. Every now and then however something happens to transform it - and the people living there. It could be a Jubilee, a Royal Wedding, a death (a member of the Royal family or a statesman like Churchill). It could even be a tragedy: terrorist attacks, the hurricane or less forceful weather like a heatwave or a rare blanket of snow! When it happens (whatever it may be) people become friendlier, open, helpful. Everyday tasks become more pleasant and the extraordinary is something to remember.
And we've been lucky recently: we've had snow (2009 & 2010), we've had royal weddings (Wills and Kate) and we've celebrated the Her Majesty the Queen's Golden Jubilee, 80th Birthday and this year her Diamond Jubilee. But I think the atmosphere of the Olympics tops them all!
I've loved every moment of it. The Gamesmakers, the ambassadors, the dancing soldiers at venues. I've loved the shared-ness off it all - the community spirit. Exchanging the latest titbit of information about who's won what. Comparing Olympic experiences and cheering on another country because that's what you got tickets for (New Zealand and the Netherlands in women's hockey).
I was at the 'live site' at Tower Bridge on Saturday night - watching the diving. The atmosphere was amazing! People were chatting, cheering, being helpful and friendly. Tourists and locals were taking turns standing by the rivers edge taking photos of themselves with the Olympic rings on Tower Bridge in the background. On the train home we all exchange stories - where had we been, what had we seen, wasn't it fantastic?
It's all been great and I miss it. I hope the Paralympics will be as much fun!