Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
"As I write these words there are semi-naked women playing beach volleyball in the middle of the Horse Guards Parade immortalised by Canaletto. They are glistening like wet otters and the water is plashing off the brims of the spectators' sou'westers. The whole thing is magnificent and bonkers."
- Boris, the Mayor

On the evening of July 6th, 2005, I went to the Oval cricket ground in Kennington, south London, to watch my first cricket match. (*) We drank Pimms, and sat in the setting sunlight, and had a cracking time.

The contest over who would get the 2012 Olympics had just come to a head. I had been opposed to London's bid. My thinking was: All that expense, and traffic, and bustle, and hassle – who needs it? Certain other bush-league cities which I will refrain from naming out of politeness needed the Olympics, to sort elevate (or attempt to elevate) them to world-class status. But London? Please. I thought the Olympics would demean London, if anything.

The first moment I remember being at all in favour was that same day when Jacques Chirac tried to boost Paris' bid by slagging off British food. Now that it had became a matter of sticking it to the French, I was onboard. The signboard outside the cricket ground lit up as I approached: "London Gets The Games."

The next morning, the bombs went off.

It's very hard to believe seven years have gone by. And I am now still a very late convert – in what Boris has referred to as the "conversion of the last Olympo-sceptics". But it's been impossible not to get caught up in the awesomeness as it all kicked off – nor to refrain from convulsions of bursting pride in the wonderfulness of London and Britain, and Londoners and Britons. Boris put it all better than I could in a rousing, magisterial op-ed on opening day:

by Boris Johnson

Something weird is happening in our city, my friends. In years to come anthropologists will anatomise the effect on the British people – so phlegmatic, so cynical, so generally seen-it-all…

I saw how the contagion of joy can spread. Across the city, one after another, the last Olympo-sceptics are coming down with the bug. The excitement is climbing by the hour and tonight – when that lucky mystery individual finally ignites the cauldron in the Olympic park – the Geiger counter of Olympo-mania will go zoink off the scale.

This is our moment to sell London, to show it off – and, believe me, there are plenty of people who need no persuading that it is the greatest city on earth. And this is the moment, finally, to inspire young people with the message of the Olympics…

For me the Games are a vast and moving pageant of human effort and achievement, the glory of winning, the pathos of losing, and the toil that makes the difference between the two. Our actors in that drama are Team GB, not only the biggest but also the greatest collection of athletes ever fielded by this country. I hope and believe we can do them justice tonight and in the weeks ahead. I know that with luck we can produce the greatest Olympics there has ever been. This is London's moment.

He had another cracking one yesterday in the Telegraph, called, Here's 20 Jolly Good Reasons To Feel Cheerful About The Games, and which includes the inimitable opening quotation. (Only Boris can get away with saying stuff like that! Female Olympians as "semi-naked, wet otters?" How does he does it?!)

Saturday we were lucky enough to be able to go down to our local pub and watch the (heartbreaking!) men's cycle road race on TV – then, at the exact right moment, dash a block south to watch them blast by on the Fulham Road in Chelsea. Awesome. Here's that.

The telly above the bar in our local… …the lovely patio… …and a block down the street.

And then the women the day after! Yorkshirewoman Lizzie Armitstead takes silver! Also heartbreaking – and incredibly thrilling! Here's the pulse-pounding finish, plus post-race interview. How totally lovely is she?

"It's the most special thing I've ever experienced in my life." <sniff!>

[Whoopsies, that took about 10 seconds for the IOC to jump all over this and block it. Here's the direct link to the video on BBC.]

Oh – here's the full video of the amazing Opening Cermonies in case you missed it.

  yorkshire     7/7     london     london 2012  
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

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ARISEN : Operators, Volume I - The Fall of the Third Temple by Michael Stephen Fuchs
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