Olympic Fever?


Two posts in quick successsion. Sorry. But this one is topical now, although I first posted it exactly four years ago. And it made me sad. And cross.

Four years ago, England was in the grip of Olympic Fever, and we were in London, sharing all the optimism and the feel-good factor with Londoners from every possible cultural background. Today seems so different. The country seems suffused in post-Brexit economic gloom, post-Brexit immigrant antipathy, often towards citizens who’ve lived here thirty years. Only the headlines from the Daily Express and the Daily Mail promote the fiction that all is well, and all will continue to be well. It’s all very depressing.

From Pyrenees to Pennines

The Thames at sundown

A fortnight ago, our local paper, La Dépêche du Midi had ‘Londres, capitale du monde!’ as its banner headline.  The story was, of course, the Olympics.  We’re unaccustomed to this particular paper taking much notice of anything that occurs outside south-west France, but ‘les  JO’ (Jeux Olympiques) have been big news.

Not as much as in England though. When we arrived in the UK, we were unprepared for Olympic Fever.  Red white and blue banners and flags hang from houses.  Shops have Olympic-themed window displays, and if you want to buy mugs, some paper napkins, or fancy a new cushion, you’d better want them plastered with the Union Flag.

Across the Thames: a view of St. Paul’s Cathedral

Still, we enjoyed staying with Tom and Sarah in Olympic-happy London, and spent an evening round the South Bank area.  Eat near Borough Market and you’re sure of a tasty…

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11 thoughts on “Olympic Fever?

  1. It’s sad that so much was promised as the Olympic legacy and so little forthcoming. I am a natural optimist and believe all will be well. I try to avoid gloom and doom merchants if I can.

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  2. If I want the truth I don’t ever refer to the Mail or the Express! Things do seem quite gloomy at the moment; it doesn’t help that both my daughters are suffering from depression and anxiety and that is making me worried about them. I hope all will be well eventually but…

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    1. I’m addicted to reading their banner headlines when I visit the newsagents. It gives me my daily portion of Unadulterated Rage. Sending good wishes to all your family.

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  3. It seems strange to me, how little we’re hearing now, here, about the Brexit. We’re so consumed with our presidential race antics and the Olympics, it’s as if we’ve forgotten everything else going on in the world!


  4. Just catching up on posts and comments and interested to see you writing about Brexit as I’ve just concluded, in replying to a comment from an Australian blogger, that I think ‘discretionary spending’ in UK has been put on hold post Brexit. Like you I’ve seen those positive headlines from the Leave press, but it isn’t what I’m seeing on my online stats. However, I did read that a £100,000 dress in Paris was bought by a hedge fund type for his wife – don’t you think it’s about time the asset rich 1% started spreading their wealth further and wider? They could start with Philip Green behaving responsibly and supporting all those unfortunate exBhs staff and pensioners.

    Love your ‘Unadulterated Rage’ expression. 😀


  5. Hello Margaret ~ I do pass by often and should stop to comment more on your always informative posts. I thought of you while the Brexit cloud hung over Europe (we were in France, needless to say). I share your feelings of doom and gloom and hope to be proven wrong. Your study of the Korean language is most impressive and it will be great fun to read your posts from there. Bon voyage!


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