Can it really be so...
That this will be my third Olympiad since I started the scribbles and my fifteenth in living memory
Beijing, London and now Rio and there's me a faithful Olympian since Rome 1960 ( Melbourne 1956 passed me by at the age of three)
And I can only apologise for the incoherence that is about to descend on here, and the blog posts that may follow but it is August after all so let's have a break from routine. I'll try to hold it together but things might fall apart at the seams and we'll end up talking about the heptathlon, or the rowing eights, or the asymmetric bars and at very odd times of the day or night.
I wonder if like me you can remember Olympic years and where you were and what you were doing. In an odd way remembering them is like creating a backdrop on which to hang defining and pivotal moments in my life.
Rome 1960 - My mum's new twin tub washing machine was delivered mid-games and that was the last we saw of my mum for about a week, or the curtains, the bedspreads or anything else that could be washed. Meanwhile I was there in the pool with Anita Lonsborough and insisted on joining the Clarion Swimming Club in Mitcham as a consequence. It was a terrible shock to discover, when I jumped in the pool, that swimming wasn't as easy as it looked.
Tokyo 1964 - The first games transmitted live by satellite and how well I remember headmistress Miss Horsburgh coming into the classroom to tell us that Mary Rand had just won a gold medal for the long jump.
And Ann Packer winning the 800metres and her fiance Robbie Brightwell running on to the track to hug her. We cried about that in our house.
Mexico 1968 - Watching David Hemery win gold in the 400m hurdles and as he rounded the top bend a spider the size of Wales crawled over the top of the sofa and I couldn't have cared less (until he'd crossed the finish line.)
Munich 1972 - I was on a last-fling tour of Europe post A-Levels before starting my nurse training and having to become a serious and responsible person. We were in Freiburg in the Black Forest when the tragic shooting happened and not speaking a word of German we didn't know a thing about it for days.
Montreal 1976 - With apologies to Canada this one's a bit of a blur...heatwave, drought, nursing finals, a lot of night duty and a wedding to plan and then a move to Plymouth. I staffed on 2DE at Great Ormond Street for the summer and tied up with that is an abiding memory of all tap dancing along the corridor every time Lullaby of Broadway came on the ward radio. If you happened to be holding a baby they jigged up and down with you.
Moscow 1980 - Boycotts and the Seb Coe / Steve Ovett rivalry all tied up with Bookhound and I buying our first house and ripping up the floorboards and uncovering fireplaces (as you do). We now have a dog and a cat (Ben and Charlie)
Los Angeles 1984 - It was all about the pianos America, eighty-four of them and the Big Mac flame and by this time we have added two babies to our family. The dog and the cat tolerate.
Seoul 1988 - We now have three babies, the dog and the cat have created their own hiding place at the very back of the cupboard under the stairs, but it was the Olympics of Flo Jo and those finger nails.
Barcelona 1992 - Oh my, the diving, the pool. Bookhound and I walked up to the stadium when we were in Barcelona on our Silver Wedding Anniversary tour, just so that we could say we'd been there. Charlie deceased.
Atlanta 1996 - Muhammad Ali lighting the torch and we have moved to this house and have no neighbours so we set up the TV in the garden and have an Olympic summer holiday. We have lost Ben but gained four cats (Muffy, Dusty, Rocky and Tess) another dog (Will) two guinea pigs (Clover and Parsley) and a ferret (Bobby)
Sydney 2000 - Oh Australia, you were amazing. we have now dispatched one to university, one is off doing Adventurous Activity Instructor training and the other one has gone off to Sparsholt to train as a Gamekeeper...our nest is sort of emptying, but like boomerangs they keep coming back. Cathy Freeman lights the torch and we all hold our breath that it will ignite and that she will win her race...it does...she does.
Athens 2004 - Hot and bothered that's what Athens was and my abiding memory is the weight of the nation's expectations on the shoulders of Paula Radcliffe and her weeping and looking like a lost soul in the marathon. We wanted to go and scoop her up and say it was fine, we didn't mind.
London 2012 - Things had got off to a terrible start the day after London was announced as the host city...the 7/7 bombings. Offspringette, working at the BBC, had been in the newsroom that day and has never forgotten it. I suspect plenty of us had a sense of foreboding and dread about it all. Remember watching the start of the opening ceremony through half-closed fingers and then the magic began and we kicked ourselves for not taking out a mortgage and buying tickets.
So here we are at Rio 2016, my XV Olympiad.
I have been nervous about this one for a while what with Zika and unfinished venues and now the whole drugs and doping nightmare, and nor do I know how I will feel when I see a Russian athelete on the podium or breaking a world record. But let's try and leave the politics behind and enjoy the sport and the endeavour and the achievements of everyone.
So am I on my own or is anyone else looking forward to some running and jumping and splashy stuff and twirling and somersaulting and gallopy-gallopy and wheely things...
And do you have particular Olympic memories