It’s been a while. The long summer holiday has been very busy. We had a by-election in Esher, which thankfully we won after a hard-fought campaign. Esher normally returns Conservative councillors but with fairly narrow majorities and therefore in a by-election it becomes marginal. Conservative supporters from all over Elmbridge turned out and in the end our excellent record as an administration and the professionalism of our campaign operation paid off.
Then there was the sport. Over the summer months I managed to fit in trips to Lord’s (for the South Africa test) and the Oval (for a 1-dayer), Goodwood, Wimbledon (for the Olympics), Olympic beach volleyball (a splendid sport that amply fulfils the Olympic ideal) and the Portsmouth Road in Cobham, to watch Bradley Wiggins whizz by on his way to gold. In between these days out there was laways the day job and hence no time for blogging. I have to admit I was in the cynics’ camp before the Olympics. Colleagues on the council were enthusing about the whole event and I simply couldn’t share their enthusiasm. In a time of austerity, I wondered, should we really be throwing huge sums at a 2-week jamboree? Did we really need lavish opening and closing ceremomines? Panem et circenses, I might have muttered.
I was wrong. Completely wrong, utterly wrong, and realised this as soon as Team GB picked up its first medal. Then I was hooked. I had the BBC Olympics page open on my computer all day every day. I watched Gabby Logan’s programme every evening (she’s far better than Gary Lineker). I bought my daughters souvenirs. David Cameron is right: this summer will be the 1966 of my generation, the year GB led the world. To cap it off Andy Murray won the Olympic tennis gold and the US Open. As I wrote in July, I’ve been waiting all my conscious life for a British man to win a men’s singles Grand Slam event, and last night that happened too. It has been a memorable few months.