I’m not normally one for sentimentality, unless it’s an old Amiga 600 game or some such retro item, but this summer I think has been especially good for the English/British in terms of events to take part in. In fact I would go so far as to say we have been spoilt for things to celebrate, no matter what your interests.
Of course, many, many other nations have also been enjoying the festivities, in what has been ‘a bit of a mad summer’, It’s just I feel particularly proud of my own country. And for us English, that isn’t something that comes naturally for us at all.
Digressing slightly, I just looked up what people in other countries think of the British, it’s a fairly accurate list in fact to sum it up here are some of the things people were right about: we all drink tea and live in castles, we all know Kate Middleton and we love to queue up. But to get back to the point, we are really a stoic bunch, who don’t really see the positives when it comes to the state of the nation, so we just get on with it.
When you think of what June to August has provided tough: almost a Wimbledon champion, a decent European championships (especially the first 20 minutes against Italy), a Jubilee, the (as always) magnificent Proms. Then there was the weather, which has been fantastic in August as well, it’s like an actual summer or something after the now oblitigary floods.
Add to that, an Olympics where we came third, (after winning lots of the sitting down events again) and a Paralympics in which we are, at the time of writing, third, not bad for an event we pioneered in the old Greek spirit. Both truly amazing feats for such a small country. Not only that but we actually managed to avoid riots this summer and organise something that didn’t fail miserably. Including a couple of really enjoyable opening ceremonies. If only the country was run on such lines as this we may get enthusiastic about it.
And if I may extend summer back to the end of May then we can even celebrate not coming last in Eurovision which is always a bonus. But then if we would have had Englebert in a tin foil suit, being chased by men in giant cheese costumes whilst a brass band pretended to suffer from consumption all mixed in with a samba beat we probably would have won it for us. Because that is the sort of stuff the rest of Europe likes.
So now with the end of summer, it is time to batten down the hatches, start unboxing the christmas stock at work, and wait for the first good dose of seasonal affective disorder and the inevitable disappointment of many a football club failing to live up to pre-season expectations.. Proud to be English? You betcha!