I remember vividly tuning in to see whether London or Paris got the 2012 Olympics. The TV screen split to show 2 expectant crowds and as the decision came in, I remember looking to the French crowd first,almost as if savouring their disappointment was more intriguing than savouring the celebrations in London.
Perhaps, the bizarre and quirky English mindset, which is both our Joy and our Downfall, was present even then.
Because I knew,even then, in the same way that we English pull down all sacred cows, that through a mixture of sarcasm,abject complaining and general huffiness, we would do the same to The Greatest Show on Earth.
As a Londoner and an Englishman,I am very proud that we are putting on The Olympics. And deep down, I believe this feeling is shared by many of us. However, I also know that, unlike in other countries perhaps, nothing and nobody is allowed to become too big for their boots.
We have moaned about the cost, the post-olympic redundancy of stadia, the olympic village’s facilities, the road closures, the security arrangements, the tube capacity and any other aspect of The Games we have turned our levelling sneers towards.
I have no doubt at all that we will put on a great Games in the world’s most amazing City. The Opening Ceremony will be as traditional and as quirky as our national character and all will run smoothly.
Many friends will be made and lifetime memories will be stored. British athletes will shine and London will bask in the glory.
But I also have no doubt that we will go on as a nation casting our beady eye on all that rise above their station, treating them with a measured disdain that is born out of a healthy desire to be truly democratic
Vic runs walking tours of London’s oldest and most amazing pubs. He can be found on Twitter here