It isn't just the actual games (of which I have the most hazy understanding) or the spectacle of the Olympics, although these are compelling enough: the heroics of Ennis, Murray and Bolt, the surprise results, Super Saturday, the medal tables, and so forth; it is also what it has done for the national morale, the commentary on the Twitter feed (these are the first "Twitter Olympics" I guess), the display of national pride normally so alien to the British psyche; the nuances of what it says about Britain and our culture.
And then there are the logistics and the economics of it all: just how is our transport system coping? (pretty well by all accounts, although you do hear some hilarious stories). Are the London taxi drivers really out of pocket? Why are some parts of London completely empty now? Who thought up that brilliant PR coup on the part of the Royal Mail? Can the antics of Boris Johnson become any more bizarre? Why was there a large group of almost identical young men in blue tracksuits and Olympics accreditation stranded on a traffic island in the middle of Hammersmith Broadway yesterday morning? Just what is going on? It is montage of idiosyncratic, and sometimes downright comical, behaviour that is just, well, just so out-of-character for London. And for Britain.
I guess, put simply, it is the politics of it all that I find so fascinating - are the Olympic volunteers the greatest yet exponent of David Cameron's Big Society? And can we induce them to carry on after the Games? And I am clearly not alone. Someone will make an award-winning documentary about all the bonkers fringe activity after the show is over.
And I am so very surprised by myself, being the ultimate couch potato, with no tickets or locus, who has blanked the Olympics almost religiously all her life; just why am I so engaged? Well, one thing is that I feel so... well... so connected with it all. And not just because of the wall-to-wall coverage on the telly, or because my kids and my mates and my neighbours are all attending events and volunteering.
My old mate Matt Black has started guest blogging over on Nick Whitten's EG Olympics blog (and about time really, as he was on this project from the outset, and he Knows A Thing) and it is brilliant stuff; I predict more, much more, to come from him in the next few days. In turn he attracts commentary from one Julian Cheyne of "gamesmonitor" who, I would imagine, fall neatly into the camp of those Boris is telling to "put a sock in it". And then Mr Cheyne, in his turn, was featured on Saturday morning's Today programme on Radio 4 in the "naysayer" item on the Olympics put together by that great mate-to-regeneration Andy Hosken.
And our own Chris Brown was on the Today programme on Friday unpacking, completely rightly (and rather bravely), the shortcomings of the Olympics project as a regeneration project, wisely saying "think very carefully when spending public money about the benefits you are getting". Tough call for anyone to tell that truth at this time, given the country's mood! But particularly tough for Chris, given how bloody sporty he is and how very excited he himself has been about the Olympic Games. And if the true legacy of the Olympics is sport (and an uplift in fitness of the British people) then both Chris and I would be the very first to raise a cheer; but don't tell either of us old regen lags you couldn't have achieved a much greater return on investment had the spend been solely about the regeneration of East London.
We are a real and complex and connected community. So much to monitor, so much to observe and think about! So much so, that all of it adds up to one huge distraction. So I do apologise; normal service will be resumed on this blog shortly. I haven't lost sight of urban regeneration (completely) I promise. And just on this very subject, and to add to the sense of irony, I am thrilled to report of a new Community Land Trust being mooted by... um... the LLDC at the Olympic Park.