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Man, this entry has been hard to write. I don't know why - July wasn't a particularly difficult month. It was pretty aces, all in all.


The only real sad bits were the loss of trailblazing astronaut Sally Ride, and the beautiful, smart and talented Mary Tamm - more wonderful women stolen from us by cancer.

On the 8th, we celebrated the birthday of one Dr. Cochrane in one of Lewisham's finest public bars.

At some point, around the 18th I think, I was fortunate enough to see perfectlyvague playing the enigmatically-titled Maggot Scratcher in Steven Berkoff's "Sink The Belgrano". The play was a sort of 80s agitprop comedy, which isn't really my bag, but Heeno as Thatcher basically blew my mind. There was also a chap playing John Nott, who looked like Francis Pym, and a bloke playing Francis Pym, who looked like John Nott.

The annual Jake Gann BBQ took place at his Gravesend home, and we all dressed up and ate sausages and got drunk and it was GRATE. As ever, there was a fancy dress theme. There were a lot of Thundercats, some New Romantics, and two Madonnas. One of whom ended up having sherbert licked from her decolletage. This probably makes it all sound a lot wilder than it really was. I was dressed as Doc Brown, look:

docbrown_jane

That's me with the lovely Mrs Horan.

B and I managed some lovely London excursions, including one to the brilliant London Transport Museum. We sat in ancient tube carriages, took in lots of London history and best of all I got to indulge my love of Underground-related design:

Victoria Line design

In parallel with the Leveson inquiry, the Operation Motorman inquiries into phone-hacking, blagging and other press abuses continued and Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson were arrested

I wrote on Facebook, slightly portentously, but correctly I think:

"Let no one trivialise what Coulson and Brooks are charged with, or deflect attention with smoke and mirrors excuses invoking actual, principled journalism (carried out by people in a completely different moral universe). Let no one forget the brave people who pushed for an inquiry into press standards. And most of all let no one forget those people - such as London's own Mayor - who dismissed the very notion of press malpractice as some sort of crazy conspiracy theory."

I'm a little disappointed with how the Leveson recommendations were dodged by our PM, but this case reminds us that it isn't over yet.

B's parents came down to visit the weekend before the Olympics began, and they hit one of the hottest weekends of the year. In brilliant sunshine, we took a boat down the river to Greenwich, and visited the Cutty Sark. And as we travelled along the Thames, and approached Tower Bridge, I saw this:

Tower Bridge rings

And for the first moment, I got really, properly excited about the Olympics.

I shall say more about the impact the Olympics and Paralympics had on me in my entries for August and September. But I loved every minute. The Opening Ceremony was not simply the best opening ceremony of any sporting event I'd ever seen, but possibly the greatest thing I'd seen ever. James Bond and the F*CKING QUEEN. David Bowie and jet-packs. Dizzie Rascal. Tim Berners-Lee. Underworld. And the simple, of-course-that's-what-to-do moment of the torch-lighting.

This ceremony was poetic, inspiring, funny, uplifting, thought-provoking, joyous, moving, life-affirming. The Olympics did have a real, tangible impact on the country, which I suspect is still percolating. (Although I was annoyed at the time, in retrospect it's rather remarkable that there was only one po-faced holier-than-thou attempt to piss all over it from a great height from the left, and only a small handful of the "PC gone mad" brigade barracking it from the right.) There was a real sense of not simply All That's Best In Britain being asserted here, but a glimpse of something new, a 21st century Britain. To use an athletic analogy, there was a sense of a baton being passed. A torch passed on, not just to a new generation, but to all of us, if we want it.

I did actually see the Olympic torch, even though I was fated not to actually see any of the events. Here it is, being carried through Westminster by Ban Ki Moon:

Ban Ki Moon

CNN also produced this amazing guide to help US visitors to blend in more effectively during the Olympics

Oh, and check out this completely-unrelated-to-Olympics project in which Jeremy Deller of Acid Brass fame teams up with a steel drum band to produce a version of 808 State's Pacific State.

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