This evening I joined thousands of people outside the Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium. We all jammed together by the side of the road to watch another rehearsal of the fireworks for the opening ceremony.
Many in the crowd stood in a row with hugely expensive cameras and tripods - looking like they were about to photograph an eclipse or a passing film star (if there are any protests during the Olympics you can guarantee that they will be caught on camera by at least several hundred people.)
At eight in the evening the fireworks exploded over the stadium. Slightly terrifyingly, they exploded not far from two police helicopters circling overhead - no doubt giving the pilots the best view of the night.
The fireworks carried on in bursts for an hour or so. But the people in the crowd told us they wanted much, much more. When you've promised to put on the greatest show on earth, your people will expect to be dazzled - even during a rehearsal.
In the odd break between helicopters and fireworks we got to hear the sound of crickets chirping. It's a sound that always makes me think of the Olympics. In the heart-in-your-mouth moments just before the final of the men's 100m in the Athens 2004 Games, the tens of thousands of spectators in the stadium (including me) went so quiet that you could suddenly hear the crickets chirping from the trees outside - one of the most spine-tingling moments of that entire Games. I imagine we'll hear the same sound in Beijing if/when China's Liu Xiang settles into his blocks for the men's 110m hurdles final.
PS. thanks for your Olympic predictions. Once the Games are over, I'll have a look back and see who got it right.