The insults have flown, the decision has been made, and another chapter in the
sitcom history that is the rivalry between France and England finds itself another lease of life. In a stunning coup England has almost made up for the Norman Invasion in 1066 by London winning the right to host the 2012 Olympic games.
Paris, the favourite to win, didn't. But it did offer constructive criticism on England's cooking causing many mental pictures of athletes holding a chip butty in one hand and a cup of tea in the other. England happily pointed out that the Parisian stadium sucked and then hid behind the Queen, whilst with a Gallic shrug France went off to drink some really nice wine.
I have often visited, and even lived in both London and Paris, and one thing I find is that you can find reasonably good food in both places if you have heaps of cash and limited taste buds. I know that is going to ruffle feathers, but coming home to Sydney is always accompanied by the welcome realisation that food that is fresh and well cooked doesn't need to be smothered in sauce, be it HP or bechamel, and that the produce here leaves many overseas countries for dead. Even the wines are in many cases favourably comparable to more famous wine regions in the world.
London, however, is my second favourite city in the world. And I lived in Brixton, so that's saying something. I adore the place and I would love to visit and be part of the vibe during the Olympics, but generally the host city's accommodation becomes as dear as poison, and is well overbooked at any rate. The blend of state of the art stadiums just down the road from thousand year old buildings and people walking the streets in euphoric chip butty moods is something I will miss seeing. I will have to get in touch with mates over there and get some bets laid on the Australian vs. English medal tally.
Being a resident of a city which recently hosted the Olympics, I think it only fair that I pass on any helpful tips I can think of to make London's games easier and more successful.
Security. Get Dr. Who. That bloke kicks arse and can keep an eye on aliens intent on turning up for the party. Sherlock Holmes should also be a part of the security team unless he has married Miss Marple by now and retired.
Accommodation. In Sydney people were asked to offer billeting for family members of athletes who had come to support their son or daughter along with their country. I suggest that Buckingham Palace would be an ideal location for this. It's close to the city centre, shopping on Park Lane etc. The only drawback is the no buses rule and the lack of an immediately convenient tube station.
Public Transport. If Sydney is anything to go by, it will be proven that tens of thousands of people can be moved around a large city on a daily basis with perfect efficiency. Immediately after the games those who run the bus and rail system will be so shagged out that nothing will ever be on time again.
Souvenir Shops. London has it's fair share, but it will need more. Close down businesses that are not viable or in the public interest, such as banks, service stations and Hospitals and fill them with cheap crap with a markup that will void any need for G8 summits in the future.
Opening Ceremony. Relive the battle of Trafalgar. That'll show the French whose boss.
The Grenadier and Horse Guard should also be given Valium, blinded or be allowed to kill on sight. They will be beset with so many people trying to make them blink, laugh, talk or fall over that they will all be claiming benefits from the mental health service within minutes of the opening ceremony.
Of course I cannot list all my suggestions here as I will have to keep some against the day I am asked to help with the organisation. My cousin is part of the Aussie mob re-doing Wembley stadium, and we all know what a stunning success that has been financially, so I'm off to get my passport renewed.