THE Olympics have taken over my life. I've been sorely tempted to use up my precious few- remaining holiday days in order to sit at home and channel hop through sports I know nothing about but in which I am now suddenly gripped. It's all very unexpected.
I remember vividly the utter elation I felt when it was announced we'd won the 2012 bid and the Games were coming to the UK. I was in the office, huddled around a TV screen with my colleagues, and we whooped and hugged with joy when London was unveiled as the winner (the fact we'd beaten the French only added to our glee).
Then there was the logo unveiling (no one liked it – it made me think of a 1970s sci-fi interpretation of the "future" ie 1989). Then the cynics (including me) started to ponder just how successful we could be at getting all those stadiums built.
Then we wondered just how many medals we would be able to bag at our home Games – Brits were underachievers, under-supported by fans and investors. All told, there was a lot of negativity and very little hope.
Then, for the past 12 months, we've had the Olympics rammed down our throats. How many of you thought you were bored by it all back in May, when the torch began its epic journey around the country?
But that torch was the start of something wonderful – it was the catalyst for enthusiasm and national pride.
Last weekend all the talk was of Danny Boyle's spectacularly British opening ceremony.
Around the world, nations were left bemused (perhaps a little bit baffled – the Americans really didn't understand the NHS tribute) but mostly bowled over by our celebrations.
All of a sudden everyone, even those people not on tenterhooks after the torch relay, were really excited and looking forward to the action getting under way.
So, over the first few days, I'd planned to watch the cycling road races, some swimming and diving, rowing and the three-day eventing.
I was amazed to find myself glued to the archery, the gymnastics, hockey, fencing and even weightlifting, too. In fact, I was amazed to be enjoying it all quite so much.
I thought one of the most poignant moments of the opening ceremony was the Olympic oath, taken by an athlete, a judge and a coach on behalf of all the Olympians (of which there were more countries represented than at the UN).
It was a welcome reminder that the Games are not about how much they cost, what colour the logo is or whether the Queen jumps out of a helicopter. They're not even about Gold, Silver or Bronze.
The Olympics are the world coming together to play, regardless of power or politics – and the fact they're doing it here, is really rather special.