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Olympics and Paralympics Over. Country Asks ?What Now??

There’s nothing on television now. It’s bizarre. You can channelhop all you like, flick backwards and forwards across BBC and ITV and all the innumerable +1s, but you won’t find anything. Oh, there’s a few screensavers. Some soap operas, movies and period dramas trundle their way dully across the screen. Some warbly singers warble for a couple of minutes, and then cry a lot when they’re told that they’re the best singer the show has ever seen / simply not good enough and need to go sort their lives out.

But none of that is enough, not any more.

We have become accustomed to more. We’ve been watching the sweat and the power of raw human endeavour, the straining sinews of greatness and the throaty roars of victory ripping from the throats of champions. First the Olympics, and then the Paralympics, have turned this humble nation into a country with pride; the most discerning couch potatoes in the world.

So what are we to do now, now that the Golden Days are over? What is to nurture the Olympic Flame in our hearts? Here’s a few little suggestions:

1. Legolympics

It isn’t the winning, it’s the taking part which counts, right? Similarly, maybe it isn’t actually watching the athletes in motion which we love, but just seeing the athletes at all. Get your hands on enough little Lego men and you can set them up in photo-finishes all over the house, neck-and-neck, straining for finishing lines which they’ll never reach. It’s okay, it’s not cruel, they’re only plastic.

2. Flowerlympics

Accept it, we at Clare Florist were always going to suggest this one. Why can’t flowers have the Olympic spirit too? The rules for Flower Sprinting are simple: put two flowerpots next to each other, chalk a horizontal line on the wall behind them, and the first flower to reach it wins. Flower Heptathlon is a little bit trickier to figure out…

3. Continue the Commentary

A lot of us act exasperated at commentators – why the hell do they never explain the rules in the damn Judo, for one thing? – but one thing they’re sure good at is creating an atmosphere of hype. Wean yourself off the Olympic bug slowly by muttering your own commentary as you wander around the house: “Aaaand she’s stepping into the bathroom, she’s opening the cabinet, and yes I do believe she’s going to do it! She’s going to brush her teeth! And the crowd is loving this amazing display of hygiene!”

4. Kidolympics?

Got some little ones? Welllll, they’ve got too much energy anyway, right? Dress them up in your best homemade Team GB kits, and set them to doing laps of the living room while you sit on the sofa in the middle, waving a tiny Union Jack and whooping with encouragement. And why stop at kids? Spouses, pets and next door neighbours are all good choices too. Just explain to them that you have an addiction, and it needs to be fed.

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