Long may Queen Victoria reign

PUBLISHED: 11:42 21 August 2008 | UPDATED: 16:29 05 May 2010

I BELIEVE them when they forecast that this month will be the wettest August for 100 years. It has been a soggy summer altogether and I can t see it improving between now and the onset of miserable winter. But wasn t it wonderful when the gloomy, rain-lad

I BELIEVE them when they forecast that this month will be the wettest August for 100 years.

It has been a soggy summer altogether and I can't see it improving between now and the onset of miserable winter.

But wasn't it wonderful when the gloomy, rain-laden clouds over Comet country were dispelled at noon on Tuesday by a bright ray of sunshine beamed all the way from China.

That's when our very own vanquisher of the velodrome sped to victory in the women's cycling sprint final at the Beijing Olympics.

All the disappointment of four years ago when she failed to make a mark in Athens were forgotten as our very own Victoria Pendleton was crowned the best in the world.

It was great to see Queen Victoria's big grin as the enormity of what she had achieved sunk in.

It was pay day after the many thousands of hours of training, much of it done on the roads around her Stotfold home.

Long may Queen Victoria reign, and wouldn't it be amazing if she can repeat her achievement when the Olympics come to London in four years time?

Perhaps then the powers-that-be may have caught up with the 21st century and actually given the ladies equal opportunity with the men.

If that had been the case in Beijing, maybe we would be celebrating Victoria winning not one but three gold medals, the same as Great Britain's sprint cycling man of the Games Chris Hoy who is now odds on to get a large gong from the Queen (Elizabeth that is) sometime in the very near future.

It will be interesting to see if Victoria, who was restricted to competing in just one event because she is female, will get an honour.

Talking about winning ways, men did not strike gold (or silver or bronze come to that) in a recent survey.

This revealed that women are taking the lead in the romance stakes with 67 per cent of them claiming that they would rather organise a romantic night with their loved one than wait for them to take the initiative. Far be it for me to argue against that.

Men took a verbal bashing as they were labelled unromantic (57 per cent), thoughtless (35 per cent) and inconsiderate (24 per cent). (Can I hear the cry "Too true" coming from the distaff side?)

There was a little relief from the onslaught for us married men who were considered to be substantially more romantic than their single counterparts, with females admitting that those with a ring on the fourth finger of the left hand tended to try harder to please and put more thought into gifts and special occasions.

That may be because the ladies are around to nag them, but I could be wrong there.

I cannot let the week pass without mentioning someone loved by millions of women. It was 31 years ago on Saturday when Elvis Presley met his untimely death.

I read that his name lives on in the unlikely field of the top 10 celebrity names for pets. Elvis is eighth.

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