Jayne Dawson: Sorry, but the Olympics are leaving me flat this time

Colombia's Oscar Albeiro Figueroa Mosquera celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men's 62kg weightlifting competition.
Colombia's Oscar Albeiro Figueroa Mosquera celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men's 62kg weightlifting competition.
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I think the moment I started to feel a bit weepy was when I switched over to BBC 4. It’s always such a safe haven, isn’t it?

When you can take no more Masterchef, when just one more dish inspired by someone’s grandmother and tasted by a man who sounds like he has major sinus problems will kill your appetite completely, it is always there. The channel of reason.

On here you will find all manner of insights into the sweet mystery of life.

Except for now. For two weeks BBC 4 has been snatched from me, kidnapped by the Olympics, alongside BBC 1. I have lost a friend and now all is sport, and I do mean all.

It’s overwhelming, it’s a torrent, a tsunami, a perfect storm. I, personally, am drowning.

And yet I don’t like to sound like this. I don’t like to be one of the whiners, the negative people, with their ugly, mutinous faces. That’s not who I am.

And so I have found a plus point. So far, I have rediscovered Lovejoy, Father Brown, Doc Martin and Jonathan Creek. They pop up on obscure channels like comfy old friends, and that’s not too shabby.

But I’m disappointing myself. I like to join in with a big occasion, I like to enjoy the shared national experience. Give me an England football match, say, and I will give you a passable attempt at an evening themed in honour of the opposing team. The winning team, more often than not.

I did it for the Russian match in Euro 2016. I admit the beer was Polish, since Russian is harder to find at short notice, but there was beetroot soup, and some pickled cabbage and gherkins.

I didn’t do it for Iceland, even though it would have been easy enough to pick up some of that Skyr yoghurt, because it was a school night and no-one could come round, and I’m glad given the eventual humiliation of it all, but the point is no one can accuse me of not being a joining-in type.

And the Olympics four years ago, on our native soil, picked me up and swept me along beautifully.

We even travelled down to London to see one of the events live. I was wearing a gold medal made of chocolate to mark the occasion and someone stopped me to ask what I had won it for - before he took a closer look at my face and realised I was long past any sporting endeavour.

To be honest, it was all so embarrassing I had to eat my medal there and then to bring myself round a bit.

We went to watch the women’s volleyball, because it was all we could get tickets for, and had a jolly time.

I can’t claim to have been hugely engaged, but it was fun making Mexican waves - at least until my mother overbalanced and ended up sitting on the man next to her. At that point I was wishing I had another chocolate medal to bring me round from this fresh and even bigger embarrassment.

But he was kind and claimed not to have been completely crushed even as he shifted in his chair trying to find a comfortable place for his broken hip. After that we tripped off to John Lewis for tea, where a gold for Britain was announced over the store’s public address system while I was in the toilet, and all the other women in there cheered. Gosh, I enjoyed it.

But this time. Not so much. Not at all actually. The Olympics in far away Brazil are just not doing it for me. I couldn’t be bothered to watch the opening ceremony, because I knew it wouldn’t have dancing nurses in it and therefore would not be the joy that ours was.

It all sounds a bit mean spirited of me, I know, but in my defence I can only say it’s the contrast.

For two weeks four years ago we were carried away by pride and patriotic fervour.

The fact that sporting achievement was creating the mood almost didn’t matter. The mood was the glorious thing.

But this time the action is far away and the mood is flat - and I am missing BBC 4.

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