It's Day 16 of the Beijing Olympics, which means I have just woken up to find it's all been a dream and I have to go through it all over again. Luckily, Hazel Irvine has reduced her restraining order on me to 20 yards and I have a really long stick. With a rubber glove tied to one end. And a feather.
The closing ceremony was a sad occasion. Not because a great sporting event has now come to a close, after all, all good things and all that. No, it was sad because in passing the Olympic flag over to the next hosts, 2 billion TV viewers all got a crystal-clear view as to what a total spanner the Mayor of London is. Many of these viewers will live in countries without a strong or consistent history of democratic government. Many of them will now realise they're not missing out much.
This much said, where the Olympic games doesn't really matter too much. Beijing's efforts have been universally well-received and will be, no doubt, fondly remembered. But that is the way of a games which runs as smoothly as 2008's has done. All the human drama and sporting excitement is by no means location-specific. The 10,000 metres was not run on the Great Wall of China, nor will Buckingham Palace host the Archery in the Queen's private quarters in 2012. London, then, doesn't have to worry about being as impressive as Beijing - only as efficient, organised and polished. Finishing all the venues on time and getting the transport infrastructure sorted out good and early would be a very good start. The key way for an Olympic games to be famous is for it to be faceless. The key way for it to be infamous is for all hell to break loose.
As an aside, during his interview with the BBC this morning, Gordon Brown displayed a number of gestures which were direct copies of those used by Tony Blair. It was quite sweet, really. Hopefully the Prime Minister in 4 years time - I'm assuming his name may well be David - will display as much schoolboy-like excitement as the current Premier did. And refrain from putting a windmill on Sue Barker and calling her Sustainable Sue.
Incidentally, in a piece of staggeringly fucking useless news, the BBC informs me that the start of the London Olympics is only 1432 days away.