Then and now

I just came across this article in The Independent, remarking upon how drastically things have changed in the UK since 2012. ”The 2012 Olympics brought Britain together in pride and unity – look at us now.” I know what they mean – eight years might as well be another lifetime.  So much has changed since then, not just nationally but also for me personally, that it feels rather uncanny. I’ll always feel inordinately proud that Lyn was involved in that spectacular summer; a summer which the  entire country, it seems, will be looking back upon with fondness for years. ”Of course, it’s easy to look back through rose-tinted spectacles at what was really a brief moment in time, a glorious few weeks of sunshine and sporting prowess. From our current vantage point, the 2012 Olympics seems the antithesis of Brexit Britain, representing a period in which we were united, not divided, and when the phrase “national pride” didn’t conjure images of blinkered, hard-right jingoism.”

That I was not only here in London for that event, but my then-partner actually performed in it’s closing ceremony, fills me with  pride beyond words, and probably always will.  Lyn took it in her stride, yet to me it is astonishing. It was an event which brought us all together, and thanks to Lyn I was there. The 2012 Paralympics allowed the UK disability community to shine as it had never done before. The fact that Lyn passed away this April really drives  home the difference between then and now, for me at least: with my move to Eltham, it feels like I’m living another life. Things seem darker, both for me personally and for the country generally.

I’ll always cherish my memories of my life with Lyn with intense fondness; not just those of 2012 but so many others. She always told me not to look back but forward, that there is always the potential for even better things to happen. Yet now,  with  the country and the world as it is and the most amazing person I’ll ever meet no longer here, it’s hard to maintain that optimism. Having such a personal link with London 2012, losing the friend I associate most with that amazing event, really drives the distinction between then and now which  others are also noting, home

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