Am I the only writer for whom an MA achievement is an anticlimax?

I’ve been trying to put a name to the feeling that’s mine right now – and all of London’s. Not to big myself up, or minimise the impact of London 2012 and the phenomenal achievements of the Olympians and Paralympians. But there’s something in the air that I’ve been trying to feel, own, and put into words. Without sounding ungrateful. Or like a next-project-obsessed workaholic.

Even the best parties have to come to an end.

OK, so I may be both of those things. At times. But this feeling is like the puckered balloons the day after a mega party. The dust-covered peanuts you find down your sofa weeks after a dinner party. And the sense of having loved (all the guests) and then lost (when they all leave) when you’ve worked so hard and wanted to make every detail a winning, talked-about one. Which parties generally are, and they certainly were for the million people I had to say ‘excuse me’ to, on a way to a meeting through central London at lunchtime yesterday. A million people lined the streets to salute the London 2012 stars.

But my individual deflated feeling, in the midst of all this post-Olympic partying, started with the certificate arriving for my MA. Continue reading

What’s wrong with Silver anyway?

inktuition silver medal

People who win silver medals are more unhappy than those who win bronze. (pic: istockphoto.com/JayKJay21(

Why does not winning a Gold medal suddenly make you a ‘ loser’? Like most people in London and around the world, I’ve been glued to the Olympics over the past week, mesmerised by the athletes’ physical prowess and inspired by their dedication, their spirit and their drive.

What I’m not getting is why it’s suddenly a huge disappointment to get Silver or Bronze in the medals. OK, so there’s a lot of pressure on Team GB because this is London 2012: an Olympics on their home turf. But from swimmers to cyclists and rowers, when they ‘fail’ to reach Gold, they apologise for letting everyone down. They’re in tears (in what is becoming an emotional Games) – even though they say  they’ve tried their very best – and some threaten to withdraw from sport entirely. It hasn’t helped that Continue reading