Even Moss Side Carnival gets me all messy in the mascara stakes. I find it's often easier to view such gatherings through a lens. The sliver of glass really removes you from what's going on, which is how reporters must cope.
So, without the filter of a camera, I was exposed, raw and childlike to an alien world where people worked together, sacrificed everything and pushed themselves to breaking point, for Olympic glory.
I will never forget the sky full of Mary Poppins, the final molten ring being hefted into position, the spontaneous laughter when the winner realises they're safely in the lead. Mo's uncontrollable anguish and joy as he crossed the line first, and then again. Louis Smiths beautiful face and grace even when Gold was taken by someone else. Usain's sheer self belief, and exhilarating speed.
Every face in the crowd had a story, and every body on the track had a mission.
Last night was a bit of a mixed bag...the 3d of Lennons face was stunning, and I totally 'got' the rush hour theme, shame it wasn't built upon more, but it wasn't ever going to top Danny Boyles opening ceremony anyway. I loved the ballet, and sobbed when the flames were distinguished.
It really is as though a light has been turned out.
I marvelled at the montages, and think it's such a shame that the media for the most part insist on showing us all how shit we are (dispatches etc) when actually, we're not so bad.
We're pretty bloody amazing really.
So good bye Olympics 2012. I wasn't there, but I will never forget it.