I admit, the thought of the London Olympics had me cold - we're 423.8 miles/682 km (yes, I Googled that!) and a whole other country away. It would have little impact and mean absolutely nothing to anyone north of the M25 let alone we dubious, problematic Scots. This was costing a fortune, was yet another London-centric thing we'd heard about forever more.
And then the Opening Ceremony happened. No one had any thoughts other than remembering the utter, toe-curling, bum-clenching awfulness that occurred at the end of the Beijing games, when a big red bus full of UK shame horrified more than this nation.
Whoever it was that decided to give Danny Boyle the reigns must be now sipping champagne on a sun-drenched island of gratitude because they made an entire nation sit up and take note.
Apart from the ending (how to clear a stadium, Macca) it is an event that is hard to describe properly - you had to be there and yes, tv counts. The hill in a sports stadium; the Industrial age towers; the dancing Isambard Kingdom Brunels; the music (actually ear-pleasing!); the cyclists with wings; Mary Poppins killing Voldemort; the beautifully amazing flower-fire-cauldron with copper petals; the everything!
Written down it sounds like someone was tapping the alcoholic beverages when coming up with ideas, or putting down stuff as a bet (oh they'll never go for this..shall we...oh go on...teehee.) Boyle managed, in the however many hours it took, to make people who scoffed in horror at the ticketing disasters, the transport disasters, the umpteen other disasters leading up to these games actually change their minds.
The Hobbits fell asleep at 11 pm but up until then had been transfixed, even if a little confused at the slightly eccentric goings on. We've gone from not wanting to watch a minute to oohing and aahing at the tense archery finals, cheering at the cycling, trying to figure out who is who in the swimming. And all this from complete apathy.
Amazing what a fantastic event can do to lift the spirits.
I imagine the organisers of the Rio games watched in open-mouthed horror. "Ah hell, let's just do the carnival again."