London 2012 Goodie Bag: The Wombles

A Womble

One of my ‘hopes’ for 2012 was that I would in some way engage with the Olympics this year.

I live in London, I should surely feel excitedly proud about the prospect of them being here.

The truth is that I would probably be more excited about the Eurovision being hosted here – in London. I don’t anticipate that happening any time soon. (And in case you’re wondering I’ve absolutely no insider knowledge and will be as surprised as the next man if the unthinkable happens and we end up winning the event this year.)

But because it will be difficult to ignore the London Olympics this year, it feels weak and feeble to not do anything but jump on the bandwagon. Hence this rather long and drawn out introduction to what I hope will be a series of posts loosely connected to the thing I’m not really that interested in (but can’t afford not to be.)

Here’s my thinking. This country – and the place where I live – will welcome god knows how many people across the world for a two (for some longer) week period in the summer.

If you were playing host to some foreign visitors what would you offer them in their welcome pack? What would you encourage them to go see or do? What would you feel proud of? What would you feel ashamed of? What would be the lasting image you’d want them to take away with them when they headed off home? What sights? Where in the countryside would you take them for a break from the ridiculousness of the Games? And what about the catering?

Here’s my amuse-bouche. The opening sequence of a children’s programme from the 1970s – The Wombles. Yeah, OK. The reference to London – Wimbledon Common – makes this a little obvious. For me, it’s the simple heartfelt tune that stirs. It makes me feel warm and accommodating. And it raises a wry smile too.

The Wombles. The first of my personally selected ambassadors for London 2012.

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