ONE News Olympics bureau chief Claire Watson writes from London as the team prepare for the start of the Games.
As I write, Simon Dallow is decorating our London workspace, as the city swelters in a week-long heatwave, timed perfectly for Saturday morning's (NZ time) Olympic opening ceremony.
London is excited and it's so nice to see. As a former inhabitant of this wonderful place, I know it's also out of character. Yes, there are worried taxi drivers, angry they're banned from the special Olympic lanes, there are grumpy Londoners worrying about the traffic and, yes, the odd security concern.
But from the moment you get off the plane at Heathrow, the moment you step out from Paddington station, out of the tube stations, out of your taxi, the Olympics are in the air. There's an earnest Games volunteer on every street corner, anxious to help. They are kitted out with Olympic-issue bags and bottles to prevent heat stroke in this much-welcomed hot spell.
Get yourself out to Olympic park and the environs are heaving with anticipation. Every second person you pass is a lanyard-wearing semi-official type, beaming with the important job they find themselves doing.
As you near the park, talk on the trains is all about the Games and there's an energy to this place right now that is unlike anything I've experienced, especially from a city as curmudgeonly as good old London.
As I keep writing, colleague Garth Bray has just made his way to us - his trip should've taken about an hour, including seven minutes on the super-high-speed javelin train.
But the queues for that were so long, he gave up, and spent two and a half hours getting from the shadow of Big Ben to the Olympic Park.
He's grumpy, but I have to say it's going to take more than that to dampen our enthusiasm.
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