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Real life

28 July 2012

6:00 AM

28 July 2012

6:00 AM

On your marks…get set…bah humbug! They can keep their Olympic traffic lanes and their Olympic copyright laws preventing me from cooking five fried eggs and placing them in an interlinking pattern on my breakfast plate — although I just did, so there.

I also arranged the apples into Olympic ring formation in the fruit bowl, now in a prominent location in the window of my front room. My plan was to call the London 2012 authorities to turn myself in and become an Olympic martyr but I didn’t have time to hang on the phone, so if you are reading this, 2012 people, please contact me to let me know how you wish to proceed.

Also, and this is really weird, I notice that someone — or something — has been putting sticky wine glasses down on the kitchen table and the resulting pattern is, you guessed it, a perfectly formed Olympic logo. 

Obviously, the spirits are angry. The souls of the departed are rising up to fight for our right to make whatever the hell we like into five flipping rings.

The marketing baloney isn’t the worst thing about the Olympics, mind you. The worst thing is all the ‘respect’ and ‘diversity’. I thought sporting events were about winners beating losers but apparently they are about athletes and spectators alike respecting each other whilst also safeguarding each other’s diversity.

It is beyond my wildest nightmare.

According to the boyfriend, I toss and turn in my sleep murmuring ‘Legacy. Renewal. Sustainable. Respect. Diversity. Renewal. Legacy. Aaagh!’ 

Have you seen the London 2012 website? Oh, the horror. At one point the organisers claim to be ‘inspiring and engaging young people across the globe with new learning resources’.


This could mean they are giving out pencils in Bogotá. Actually, good on them if they are. But if you are giving out pencils in Bogotá, say you are giving out pencils in Bogotá. Don’t say you are inspiring and engaging young people across the globe with new learning resources. 

I can’t stand it. I’ve got to get out.

I’ve got to get out before I catch a glimpse of the Olympic stadium decked out in Danny Boyle’s fake English rural idyll, all cows and sheep and diversely picnicking public sector workers.

I’ve got to get myself to a real rural idyll where nobody respects anyone and a rich housewife would happily trample you to death in Waitrose to get to the last packet of Lavazza.

No doubt Mr Boyle will tell me that the real rural idyll I shall be ensconced in soon — with its intensive farming and high property prices and gamekeepers murdering foxes — is not a patch on the Olympic-copyrighted one featuring rosy-cheeked farmers tilling the soil by hand and scenery that can be dismantled and donated to schools afterwards as part of the Legacy.

By the way, did you know that the London 2012 logo spells out the figures 20 and 12, on top of each other? I had no idea until the boyfriend pointed it out.

I’d been staring at that logo for years wondering why it looks like two Teletubbies humping each other when the builder explained how it worked. ‘Ah,’ I marvelled, much intrigued, ‘so it is both puerile and complicated?’

Part of the problem, I admit, is that the Olympics is terrifying for organised-fun-aphobes like me. I was offered the chance to be inspired by engaging in the diversely challenging act of spectating. In other words, a friend had spare tickets to the dressage in Greenwich. But much as I enjoy dressage I know that I will not enjoy it once Boris Johnson and Seb Coe and Danny Boyle have ordered me to enjoy it.

Therefore, I’m off to my friend’s place in Surrey. She is away on holiday and I will be house-sitting, and on my best behaviour.

You see, when I stayed there last summer to write my book I presided over the demise of her quails.

It was a shocking affair, made all the more so by the fact that I was certain I had locked the door of the pen properly after topping up their food and water bowls.

But the next morning I came down to find the bird house prised open and one of Ingrid’s best layers lying headless on the patio.

The cat was sitting a few feet away, licking her paws. Evidently she had feasted on one quail, of which no trace could be found, and was now toying biliously with the idea of polishing off a second.

Clearly, the cat had not respected the quails’ rights, nor had she given them a chance to safeguard their diversity.

Although I suppose it could be argued that by leaving the quail pen unsecured I had inspired and engaged the cat in a new learning resource.


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