2012: A Review

What to say about a year like 2012? With the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic/Paralympic Games making their way to London, it was surely the time when our tiny nation lit up the world and earned the name Great Britain wholeheartedly. So, as 2012 draws to a close and 2013 looms ever nearer, it’s an ample opportunity to reflect on the best moments, the worst moments and what made 2012 so special. From the Mayan apocalypse to the renowned moments of pride, glory, hope, victory, triumph, excitement and all manner of other things that have made this year the best in a while and possibly for a while to come, offered is a review of the year in all its wonder and splendour. For the ‘Review 2012’ competition.


1. A Review of 2012

I’m sitting at home. There’s nothing particularly remarkable about it- it’s what I do most of the time, between watching telly and not much that anyone could really consider being ‘productive’. I’m also checking Movellas and, purely by accident, I stumble on the new competition currently running, one which involves writing a review of 2012 as this, the most momentous of years, draws to a close. Ought to be easy, I think naively and with careless abandon begin to write how I felt about all that has happened in the time I sat down last New Year’s Eve to write my New Year’s Resolutions and welcome the coming of a brand new start. 2012. The year of possibilities, with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Games, it looked set to be amazing. And it has been amazing. But I didn’t know that, not then. I was too busy misguidedly trying to sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ despite knowing the words (or the tune, for that matter), getting slightly too giggly on the scant glass of Bucks Fizz I was given and falling asleep long before midnight had even reared its head to herald the new year. But, hey, that was then.

   I kept my New Year’s Resolutions for last year simple. Much of the same, ranging from things like “Help out more around the house”-didn’t happen- and “Don’t be nasty to anyone unless completely necessary”- definitely didn’t happen- to things like “Win the school Spelling Bee”- lost miserably- and “Exercise more regularly”- well, I tried. But 2012 wasn’t about the things I didn’t do, or the things I did wrong, or the things I should have done differently. It isn’t important now, seeing as there’s nothing I can do to change it. There’s bits of 2012 I wouldn’t change, not for the world. Like the marking of Queen Elizabeth II’s 60 glorious years on the throne with her Diamond Jubilee, celebrating with everything we could muster. Quite right too; the Queen has served this nation well and in return it was only right that we celebrated her Diamond Jubilee as we have celebrated every other milestone that has arisen during her reign- with pomp, pageantry, patriotism and pride. Most of all, pride.

   And what of the XXX Olympiad, the Olympic and Paralympic Games that happened on home soil for the third time since we first greeted the Flame? I think we can safely say that we did ourselves proud, with Opening Ceremonies that defied all others and a truly mesmerising four weeks, during which we truly solidified our stake as Great Britain and opened our tiny nation to the world, to other cultures, to the people and athletes and to the people at home who all sat with their Marks & Spencer’s ready meals on trays in front of the telly (or is that just us?) to be thoroughly thrilled and unequivocally entertained. And then it came. The end of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Surely a sad moment for all. After two fortnights of competition, of victory, of defeat, of unity, of hope and of glory it had finally drawn to a close. And I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed that it couldn’t last forever. Before the Closing Ceremony began there were poignant images of athletes clutching their medals and of their victories, both personally and competitively. Jessica Ennis, unashamedly teary as she clutched her first ever Olympic gold medal, Chris Hoy still overwhelmingly proud of his sixth and in particular rower Katherine Grainger, who faced disappointment in multiple Olympics by winning silver instead of the coveted gold, crossing the finish line while knowing that she’d achieved what had always eluded her. Ellie Simmonds, Oscar Pistorius… These are scenes of joy, of determination and of strength of spirit- Baron Pierre de Coubertin would have been proud. And I personally wish to show my appreciation to all those who made these moments possible. Thank you for these Games. They have truly been the best.

   So how to sum up a year like 2012? How to convey the emotion, the excitement, the anticipation, the hope, the glory, the tears, the smiles, the laughter, the… the…? It simply cannot be done. Or it would certainly take someone far better than I to capture 2012 in a snapshot, to concisely say what has made this year such a success and one which we won’t quickly forget. I can’t do it without it seeming like I’m gushing, seeming mawkish or sentimental or both. Because this was 2012. And who can’t gush about 2012? 2012 was a year made for gushing. Huh. It’s funny. I’m still sitting at home. I’m still typing away, with my back hunched and my squinted eyes re-reading what I’ve just written over and over. But I feel different. For some reason, though this is written for a competition on Movellas, that it doesn’t really matter whether I win or I lose. Because it’s not about the competition anymore, and that’s really the effect 2012 seems to have on me if no-one else. It makes everything else seem irrelevant. Inconsequential. And that’s because it’s 2012. And that should be enough.

   I’m all shaken up now. Phew. Best get out the Bucks Fizz and wine glasses, the music, the food and get ready for the show to start. 2013, eh? Wow. Wasn’t expecting it to come around so soon. But here we are. So as preparations for the New Year begin, I suppose we’ll forget about 2012 in time, if not right away. But I know, in about thirty years, I can look back and think how astounding it all was. What a feat it all was. But for now, everything is normal and 2013 is just round the corner, ready to be embraced and welcomed as an old friend. I suppose all I have left to say of 2012 is thank you. Thank you, 2012, for everything. You’ve been amazing. And I mean that. I really do.

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