Today is 20/12, which means it's the last opportunity the Olympic PR team and their sponsors have to pump out a press release starting "Today is 20/12...". But there's a lot more than the Olympics happening next year. Boris set even set up a Culture Diary 18 months ago, as a means to collate and coordinate all of next year's events so that none get unduly overlooked. From the largest Olympic festival to the smallest suburban jumble sale, they were all included. Alas the Culture Diary is locked away, available only to those registered, i.e those in the cultural, tourism or promotional sector. So I thought I'd try knocking up a slimline version, below, with some of the one-off highlights. If 2012 does indeed promise "A Summer Like No Other", we should at least be prepared.
February 2012 » The Queen's Diamond Jubilee (Monday 6th Feb 2012): The actual date, 60 years on, since Princess Elizabeth became Queen while touring Africa » Charles Dickens bicentenary (Tuesday 7th Feb 2012): celebratory commemoration on screen, online and in real life, including at Charles' birthplace in Portsmouth
May 2012 » London Mayoral Election (Thursday 3rd May 2012): in which either Boris or Ken gets in for four more years, and gets to wave the flag at the opening ceremony of the Olympics » Olympic Torch Relay (starts Saturday 19th May 2012): kicking off at Land's End, the Greek-lit flame jogs to London via almost everywhere, followed by a trailer carrying various scantily clad pom-pom girls promoting the sponsors widescreen televisions and sugar based beverages
June 2012 » The Queen's Diamond Jubilee (Saturday 2nd - Tuesday 5th June 2012): The designated celebratory weekend, complete with bonus bank holiday, including River Pageant, concert at the palace, commemorative service, beacon-lighting and a day at the races. » TransitofVenus (Wednesday 6th June 2012): one of nature's rarest astronomical events, as Venus's tiny black disc crosses the face of the Sun, to be seen from the UK just after dawn, and not to be seen again until December 2117 » Euro 2012 (Friday 8th June - Sunday 1st July 2012): high hopes as Our Lads fly to Poland and the Ukraine, flags flying high, then national desolation when we get knocked out after the usual penalty shoot-out disaster » London 2012 Festival (Thursday 21st June - Sunday 9th September 2012): the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad, the UK's biggest ever arts festival
July 2012 » The XXXth Olympics (Friday 27th July - Sunday 12th August 2012): eyes of the world, light that flame, clogged-up traffic, queues at stations, world-class athletes, risk of terrorist outrage, wall-to-wall sport, flags and fireworks, meanwhile in Weymouth, plucky Brit wins gold, major drugs scandal, world record smashed, blimey is it over already?
August 2012 » The 14th Paralympic Games (Wednesday 29th Aug - Sunday 9th Sep 2012): International celebration of triumph over adversity, promising yet more medals, yet more travel disruption, and Sainsbury's and Channel 4 trying ever so hard to persuade Britons that this is important
September 2012 » The sudden realisation that bugger all of any international importance is happening in London for ages (Monday 10th September)
October 2012 November 2012
December 2012 » Armageddon (Friday 21st Dec 2012): the end of the world, as potentially prophesied by the Ancient Mayan Civilisation (could be a supernova, could be cataclysmic tectonic activity, could be an invasion by vampire space unicorns, who knows, but we're all doomed, sure as anything) (so we've got one year left, folks, make the most of it)