So, I'm in London, it's the Summer of 2012 and there's a pretty major event going on - the London 2012 Olympics kicked off this week and the city is abuzz with excitement.
We started the week by joining the hoards of people around the country who have turned out to see and cheer on the Olympic Torch relay. The week before the Games the Torch was scheduled to traverse the boroughs of London, having already made its way around the rest of the country. On Monday, it went through Wimbledon so I decided to take Archie up to the gates of the All England Lawn Tennis Club to see it. The weather was glorious, for the first time in weeks, and there was a real family atmosphere as people brought their kids to line the route. The Torch itself was the inevitable 'blink and you'll miss it' affair, as it went past, but that didn't take away from the fun of being there.
I may be breaking a core rule of Geekdad in talking about sport. It's not the usual domain of the geek, I know, but I've always enjoyed it. There's also been a significant influx of science and technology into the sporting world, from Michael Lewis' Moneyball to GPS receivers in sportswear and equipment to pretty much the entire sport of Formula 1, where the winners are more determined by the engineering teams than by the racing drivers. Working in data analytics I'm seeing more and more involvement of my industry in sport. A guy I've worked with for many years was responsible for putting the predictive analytics into the Wimbledon Championship's PointStream application. The world of sport is no longer the exclusive domain of the jock, it seems.
As as dad, I really hope my son shares my passion for sport as much as my intellectual passions. I'm no athlete, in fact, I'm pretty damned clumsy, but I was brought up in a family who liked sport and I think I benefitted from that enthusiasm. I don't have any pretensions that Archie will turn out to be an Olympic athlete but we'd really like to support his physical as well as his academic health and fostering an enjoyment of sport is, I think, the best way to achieve that.
With that in mind, and given that he is a London 2012 baby, we took Archie to his first sporting event on Saturday morning. The Mens' Road Race Cycling final route was just a few miles from home and we joined the thousands of people lining the streets along the route. Archie will never remember it, of course, but he'll always be able to tell people he went to the London 2012 Olympics.
Finally, I'd like to join so many of my compatriots in saying how proud I was of the opening ceremony. I really felt it celebrated so much of what is great about my nation and its history. To celebrate the likes of Isembard Kingdom Brunel and Sir Tim Berners-Lee alongside our great cultural output was wonderful.