Sunday, September 30, 2012
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Friday, September 28, 2012
Strike a Light
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Today I had my first sighting of the Renault Twizzy, I was quite taken with it. Reading more it is clear that there are problems to address, but even so I think it is the shape of things to come. It will take more than this to persuade me off my bike, though.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Mansion Blocks were purpose built at the end of the 19th and start of the 20th century, intended for the upper middle classes they make for pleasant living conditions. If you want to live in this one, Cardinal Mansions in Westminster, you'd have to pay £1.2M to live in the basement - sorry, lower ground floor, £1.9M to live on teh Ground Floor and £3.4M to live on the top floor.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Not Quite PC
I love London't Victorian cemeteries and the way they open a window into a different time. I can't imagine anyone responding kindly to being called "Jolly Jumbo" these days, dying at 52 might well have been linked. His wife, if that's who she was (sister?) as she is listed as being the wife of Sol Goodman by contrast lived to the grand old age of 89. The monument places them firmly in the upper middle class, through its size and prominence. Plus I rather like the photograph.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Friday, September 21, 2012
Now is the time to drink!
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Roll Up, Roll Up!
Anything from the top shelf! The ride yesterday is part of a very self conscious effort to turn the corner of green by the London Eye into a mini Colney Island. The cost of the rides is a little off putting (a couple of minutes on the high roundabout costs £7) and your chance of winning anything at this stall is as likely as at any fair, but I have to confess the cooking at the food stalls really smelled good.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Monday, September 17, 2012
Smarten Up Your Act
The problem for Leyton was that they expected the world to show up on their doorstep, (at Leyton Station) from where the route to the stadium took you through a shopping centre where all the smaller shops had shut up. So, what to do? The answer was to brick them up and paint cheerful shop frontages over them. Crafty, eh?
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Bringing the shots from the Paraalympics to an end is this from wheelchair tennis. Again, it shouldn't be possible. The rules are as normal tennis, except that the ball is allowed to bounce twice. It doesn't take long before you almost forget about their disability and concentrate instead on the entertaining sport. Anyone that feels at all sniffy about the quality of the sport at the Paralympics, that only means you haven't seen it.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
The Shape of Dreams
Friday, September 14, 2012
Still rolling with the Paralympic photos, the wheelchair basketball was a thing to behold. The team players are graded according to mobility and given a handicap value, there is a maximum value any team can field at one time. These guys roll and shoot, mostly with stunning accuracy, and play the game with 100% commitment. If you thought disabled sports would not be as engaging and thrilling, think again.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Keep it Quiet!
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
New World Records
The world records in the Paralympics were tumbling like ninepins, 251 in all. Everybody has a theory as to why this was, I think it has more to do with the relatively recent understanding by disabled people that they can compete, and the way many more people are now participating. Add to that the power of the crowds and wonderful things happen to human performance; mostly these athletes get to perform in front of a handful of people - here there were thousands. And that's another record for which London can be proud - 2,700,000 people visited the Paralympics.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Monday, September 10, 2012
The Flame Burns Bright
The Olympics, Paralympics are over; probably the most exciting event London will stage in my lifetime. Inspirational is the single word I'd choose to describe it, and I feel a little sad now it's over.
So, for today, as we hand over the torch to Rio in 2016 my image is of the Olympic cauldron burning bright.
(and no, I'm not finished with the images from the games by a long way....)
Sunday, September 09, 2012
He shoots... he scores!!!!
Blind five-a-side footbal is different from teh normal game. This game is played with blind footballers and a ref that CAN see, as opposed to the normal game.
Actually the difference is that in the blind version, the goalie is sighted, there is no offside and there are unlimited substitutions. In addition, a player coming in to tackle must shout "Voy!" (spanish, I'm coming). That's it. This game should be impossible, with only the gaolie, a guide down the far end and the coach to shout instructions and a ball with a bell, you should not be able to run, tackle and shoot.
If you ever get a chance, go to watch a game, it is an education.
This is TEam GB playing off against Turkey for 7th place, GB won.
Saturday, September 08, 2012
The Velodrome has probably the best reputation of all the venues for the atmosphere. Only 6,000 in there, but all sat close to the track and able to raise the roof. The atmosphere in there was fantastic, really very special. And the athletes? Guys like this, riding with one leg only, complete the 500m time trial at a speed averaging over 50 kph. To read more about the venue experience, I'd direct you again to Diamond Geezer
Friday, September 07, 2012
One of the different games for the Paralympics is Goalball. Played by by the blind or those losing their sight, there are three on each team. The object is for one team to roll the ball with a bell inside into the other goal. This is Team GB defending against Brasil, a hard fought match won by GB. And if you think this is incredible, you should see a penalty being taken. And saved.
Diamond Geezer covered Goalball yesterday if you want to read more, a few more photos showing a play are here.
Thursday, September 06, 2012
I was at the Olympic Stadium again on Wednesday evening and I saw Oscar Pistorius and the South African team win gold and set a new World Record in the 4 x 100 relay. It was a thrilling action packed race (several teams ended up disqualified), a monument to his addage: "You're not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are able by the abilities you have." I think I will forgive his South African turn of phrase.
Two more shots (actually, off the big screen at the Stadium) are here.
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
The Golden Girl
This image of is of Jessica Long, just after she had won Gold in her 100m Butterfly race and just before she pulled on those prostheses and walked away. Want to know what she looks like out of the pool? This is she.
For the record, her time was 1'10". Which, for those interested, was the time for the able bodied women's world record back around 1960. Isn't that simply fantastic?
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
This is NOT a Freak Show
The unique aspect of the swimming is that, whereas with all other Olympic sports, the athletes appear to compete together with their mechanical and cosmetic aids such as those running blades, wheelchairs, you name it; in swimming they appear, then divest themselves of all those things that help them cope on land.
So they line up, the shriveled, the lame, the amputees - not that long ago that would only have happened in a freak show. Disability was something to hide away, something families were ashamed about. But here they are, Olympic athletes whose dedication is second to none ready to compete in front of us. This takes the phrase "differently able", wrenches it from the hands of the politically correct and shows us all what it truly means.
Spasticus Autisticus, the shout from thirty years back, echoes down the years; sung in the opening ceremony (on C4 here, starts at 8 mins in, an excellent piece on the song here and a warning here)
Tomorrow I will share my favourite image from the games on the same theme.
Monday, September 03, 2012
Me and the Olympic Torch
We interrupt this Olympic coverage to bring you a picture of me and the (an?) Olympic torch. This was the free kicker at the BP exhibition a few weeks back (I've just managed to collect it), please try to ignore the VERY strange background that has been photoshopped in, but me and the torch are real.
Sunday, September 02, 2012
Olympic Park at Night
Saturday, September 01, 2012
A Golden Moment
This is the very moment when Jonathan Fox won his gold medal for the 100m backstroke (you can see the light indicating his win). And, I have to tell you, that the noise, atmosphere and sheer exhilaration of being in that Aquatic Centre was a once in a lifetime experience. Nothing you see on the TV can match being there. If any of you have ever been to rugby at Twickenham or Arms Park (as was) you have some idea.