WE have been waiting for a long time for the Commonwealth Games to arrive in Glasgow, and it is fair to say that expectations were high.
But instead of the disappointment which usually follows such a build up, Glasgow, and Scotland, is experiencing the biggest feelgood festival imaginable.
First there was the weather. As the build-up to the Games opening ceremony grew, Glasgow saw the kind of sweltering "taps aff" powder blue sky days that the city encounters about as often as proverbial pigs fly.
Across the Dear Green Place, Glaswegians, out-of-towners and overseas visitors rubbed shoulders in the streets, cafes and restaurants of the city.
People smiled, there was a buzz, excitement, eager anticipation of the days ahead as this sports extravaganza and accompanying cultural feast got underway.
There was of course some nervousness, that momentary niggle of self-doubt that all too often sits in contradictory co-existence with traditional Glasgow gallusness. Would the opening live up to expectations? Could Glasgow and Scotland pull it off without some toe-curling kitsch and kailyardism that would give us the sort of red neck that had nothing to do with exposure to last week's sunshine?
We need not have worried. The big night went of with a bang as a mixture of fireworks and the Red Arrows, Glaswegian irreverance and mickey-taking, welcomed the athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations.
The morning after the night before a fresh buzz gripped the city. Those fleeting pre-Games hang ups were gone, and in their place a haud-me-back confidence.
And then the games began, and the medal tally mounted. We are now well on our way to achieving our best ever haul at the Commonwealth Games. The number of gold medals so far equal the best ever haul of golds.
The sunshine may have gone ... temporarily we hope, but the pride will remain for years.
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