It was only a matter of time today before I went up in the loft (actually for that read 'before Bookhound went up in the loft' ) and dug out my Tokyo 1964 Olympic scrapbook
We were scrapbook-crazy as children and this one reminds me just why I have always loved the Olympics so much, and why I am more than over-excited about what is to come over the next two weeks. For sure things will go wrong, tha traffic will snarl up, more drugs cheats will be outed, the naysayers are shouting loud on Twitter and Facebook and there's me happily ignoring all that and getting all teary-eyed at 8.12 this morning when all the church bells rang across the country to celebrate the arrival of The Day.
We could hear them echoing across from the village, and in a jiffy I was remembering the October day in 1964 that Mary Rand won her gold medal in Tokyo, the head teacher dashing into the classroom at Sherwood County Primary School in Mitcham to tell us all.
The lesson stopped and we measured out 22ft 2ins on the classroom floor. It was a new world record and this Britain's first gold in any field event since 1908... the eleven year-old me was very impressed with Mary, especially when she went on to win a silver medal in the Pentathlon and bronze in the 4 x 100 relay.
I was a mad keen runner and wannabee long jumper in those days having bagged 13ft in the Brownie Sports Day event (I was pint-sized then) and 22ft looked an awful long way. I remember loving this picture of Mary's daughter celebrating and thus it won a place in my scrapbook...
A few days later Ann Packer won gold in the 800 metres and there was her fiancee Robbie Brightwell waiting for her on the finish line, and then this picture of pure happiness...
Then blow me down if a few days later Lynn Davies won the Men's Long Jump with a leap of 26ft 5 &1/2 ins..
We all need heroes and heroines as children and these were mine, but I was also hooked on the Olympics everafter, and if the legacy for Britain's children from London 2012 gives them a fraction of what those athletes of 1964 gave me, and at such an impressionable age, then every single penny will have been very well spent indeed.
And just to show that I was not entirely partisan, and clearly must have recognised success wherever it occurred, here's the cutting that appears on the very first page of the book...
I expect plenty of you will be among the billion around the world expected to be watching the Opening Ceremony tonight, here's hoping it all goes well, how can it not with the brillaint Danny Boyle in charge. Let the Games commence in the true spirit of the thing, good luck to all your competitors in whichever country you are from/in/supporting and dovegreyreader will still be here, more Port Eliot posts will drift on, in amongst the Olympic 'Did you see that ...' stuff.