Perfect timing. More by luck than any planning, I’d been in England for the whole of the Olympics. And like many, I’d gone from a level of almost total disinterest (and a large degree of cynicism) to becoming totally hooked on sports I would never normally watch. So I’m glad I was there, particularly as it gave me the opportunity to test out the feelings of national loyalty that I’d written about in Blog 7 “Going Home”. I have no idea where it comes from, and I am nervous of excessive and misplaced nationalism, but something happens when Rebecca Adlington is half a length from home and a stroke or two behind the American. Something instinctive, tribal, guttural, wells up and you find yourself willing her on, screaming support at the screen. And the delight at her win, and those of the rowers, shooters, cyclists, sailors and other athletes, is something extraordinary to experience, this identification with all others who happen to have been born on these same islands, just for the short duration of a sporting event.
So pride welled up from the start of the Opening Ceremony, and lasted beyond the Closing Ceremony. I was pleased to be in England to share that pride with my British friends.
Then, as soon as it was all over, my attention turned back to Colmenar. Had Rafael been able to make the half-installed air-conditioning in the bedroom work? Had Antonio found me the perfect cheap and ancient little car to run about in? Had the carpenter started building my dark wooden cube shelf unit for the lounge? Would Jose turn up to connect the television aerial so I can watch Spanish television? Would the phone line / internet package be sorted so I can watch English television? Hugely excited to be returning to Colmenar, I packed an enormous suitcase of clothes, books, DVDs and a few home comforts, and headed ……. home?
© Tamara Essex 2012