I can feel the atmosphere, announced the Missus as we were on our way to give Hamza and Sharifah a lift to the airport. The atmosphere to which she was referring was that generated by this nation's 50th National Day, snappily summed up as SG50. My heart is with Singapore, she observed, slightly to my surprise, even though my IC isn't.
It's easy to see why she might be swept along by it all, after all she's effectively lived here pretty much all her life. And I must say the celebrations have been done well, as one of my colleagues observed to me when we sitting together for the celebration in school last Thursday, he being not an uncritical sort of chap when it comes to straight talking about the deficiencies of the government here. The triumphalism has been reined in, though understandably there are distinct elements of it, and there's a genuine sense of community about the proceedings, or so it seems to me. Actually, a sense of fun, which is always good for a nation's soul.
These observations I'm afraid serve as a mere prelude to the real meat of the day: England's triumph in the Ashes series after just four tests. Just where are Australians when you need them around to mock? Hiding, as usual. Funnily enough I was chatting to Peter on the corridor at work just a couple of weeks ago and he was bemoaning having doled out the shekels to get the Cricket Channel on cable for the series only to see the Aussies draw level after the second test. His analysis at that point, and he is a man who knows these things, was that we were likely to get beat by the sheer pace of the Australian pace bowlers. How wrong he was, and happily so as he'll no doubt agree.
And, looking out to yet another nation, Hamza's sense of indignation over events north of the Causeway in regard to the finances of his nation has been both audible and palpable in the last three days. He reckons it's possible we'll see a new PM over there in the next three weeks, but I'm not quite sure how that's supposed to work.