Blog Archives

Seb Coe ‘Made In Britain’ Speech, In Full – 9 September 2012

The curtain fell on London 2012 tonight, as the Paralympic Games came to a tremendous end with their own Closing Ceremony. Lord Seb Coe delivered a fabulous and universally well-received speech, in which he thanked all those who’d made the Games so successful.

ROUSING SPEECH: Seb Coe delivered a closing speech that delighted the 80,000-strong crowd in the Stadium.

ROUSING SPEECH: Seb Coe delivered a closing speech that delighted the 80,000-strong crowd in the Stadium.

“Your royal Highness, Sir Philip, distinguished guests, ladies, and gentlemen.

Together these past few weeks, we’ve shared some wonderful days, haven’t we?

Days when incredible people have performed feats we hardly thought possible. Days in the Paralympic Games when our minds opened to what people can do, to what they can achieve by sheer talent and determination.

And I want to share with you two stories from these days. Everyone will have their own tales to tell, but these are mine.

I was travelling on the Tube when I met someone wearing the familiar purple uniform and a pass marked ‘Medic’. A Games-Maker. And the Games-Makers stand among the heroes of London 2012. We began talking. His name was Andrew, and he told me he was a doctor at St Mary’s Hospital, on his way to helping out at Boxing. But when I tried to thank him, he wouldn’t let me. He said he was the one who wanted to do the thanking. And as we did a very British dance over who should thank whom, he suddenly cut through all the politeness and said: ‘I was on duty on 7/7, that awful day. For me, this is closure. I wasn’t sure I should come, or whether I could face it. I’m so glad I did, for I’ve seen the worst of mankind, and now I’ve seen the best of mankind.’

Just a few days later, I met Emily, a Games-Maker at the Paralympic Games. She talked of what the Games meant for her, and what participating in Wheelchair Basketball means for her. ‘It has lifted a cloud of limitation’, she said. So Andrew and Emily, I’m going to have the last word: thank you. Thank you to you and all the volunteers.

The Paralympic Games have set new records every day: sporting records, records for crowds, the television audiences, for unbridled spirit. In this country, we will never think of sport the same way, and we will never think of disability the same way.

And Emily, yes: the Paralympics have lifted the ‘cloud of limitation’.

Finally, there are some famous words you can find stamped on the bottom of a product. Words that, when you read them, you know mean high quality, mean skill, mean creativity. We’ve stamped those words on the Olympic and Paralympic Games of London 2012. London 2012 – ‘made in Britain’.”

— Lord Coe, LOCOG Chairman, speech at London 2012 Paralympics Closing Ceremony, 9 September 2012

LEND ME YOUR EARS: Seb Coe appeared relaxed as he delivered his fourth and final Games Ceremony speech, at the closing of the Paralympics.

LEND ME YOUR EARS: Seb Coe appeared relaxed as he delivered his fourth and final Games Ceremony speech, at the closing of the Paralympics.

Don’t miss my poignant reflections on the end of London 2012, and read Boris Johnson’s ‘Olympomania’ speech that started the sporting festival over six weeks ago.

My Thoughts: Maths Calculator Exam – 14 November 2011

UPDATE: I later found out that my GCSE Maths result, with the calculator and non-calculator results combined, was an A.

Click here to read my thoughts on the non-calculator paper.

Last Wednesday, GCSE Maths students across the country found themselves outraged at the difficulty of Edexcel’s November non-calculator paper (the post I wrote on that day has now been read almost a thousand times). This morning, at 9:00am, we sat the second part of the exam – the paper in which the use of a calculator is permitted. Here, as ever, are my thoughts on how that exam went.

For me, the exam started positively. Again, before the time had even begun, I consulted the front cover to see how many questions there were. Expecting a small number (each worth lots of marks), I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were in fact 25 (three more than in the non-calculator exam). This meant that each would be worth, on average, four marks, and therefore that if I couldn’t do one, it wouldn’t be quite so critical.

The questions themselves were a lot more like what I’d prepared for by completing the past papers. They were by no means easy, but certainly manageable in the time allowed. In exams, I’m not a quick worker, preferring to spend a long time on each question than ‘fill’ the remaining time at the end with endless double-checking. I moved slowly and steadily through the paper.

There were a few questions that I had to omit to answer. One was on congruence – a topic my maths-teacher mother had warned me wasn’t worth learning given the few potential marks ‘up for grabs’ – and another was effectively about moving a numerator to make x the subject – again, with so few marks available, I moved on.

Some people were thrown by a question on converting currency. Given the London and Paris exchange rates for £–€, we had to decide which would buy more euros (the snag was the fact that the number of pounds with which we started was not the same in both). I decided against writing a cheeky remark to the examiner to the effect of ‘Why would Amy want to buy any euros anyway? Hasn’t she seen the news lately?’.

In summary, I found the exam a great deal easier than the last one, but I’m not getting my hopes up for a grade on the top of the spectrum. On the question I asked on Facebook, entitled ‘Maths Calculator HIGHER TIER Exam: How did you find it?’. If you’re on my Facebook friends-list – or one of your friends is – click here to vote yourself.

The results from the immediate post-exam thoughts poll on Facebook.

Side Note

Today’s last lesson was Maths. It was great to unwind by watching a 1986 comedy, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, which replaced the MathsWatch DVD in my teacher’s laptop – the first disc to do so for three months. That’s not to say, aside from the inevitable retakes, that we’ll never be doing Maths again: we’ve been entered for the International GCSE (IGCSE), which we’ll take in the summer. But for now, at least, it’s lovely to be ‘free’ – however badly I’ve done.

FUNNY FILM_Our Maths class were treated to a film in today's lesson, just hours after leaving the exam room.

Family Walk in Chinnor – 23 April 2011

To give me and Mum a break from my revision, we drove to Oxfordshire, parked the car, and walked to the Chinnor train station. The weather (having been glorious all week) continued to hold, and I managed to get some nice photos of our afternoon.

BLUE SKY VISTA_At the start of our walk.

THE STATION'S THIS WAY, SIR_To the trains it was.

CALLING IN AT THE STATION_The train, almost ready to depart.

ALL ABOARD_My parents, Ann and Richard, on board the train.

IGNORING THE WARNINGS_Dad traditionally ignores the signs instructing him not to peer out of the window.

Here’s a little film I made of our ride on the train.

ROUGH CUT_A quick piece I made wholly for the blog.

Our afternoon was rounded off by a drink at the Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve, offering picturesque views of Oxfordshire (and the M40!).

FAMILY DAY OUT_Enjoying the last of Saturday's sunshine at the Aston Rowant Nature Reserve.

BY CONTRAST..._As seen at the Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve.