Blog Archives

To Lighten Your Mood – 28 April 2013

Every Sunday night, around this time, I quietly sit alone and reflect on the week that is ending. The conversations I’ve had, jokes I’ve been told, things I’ve read, videos I’ve seen, radio I’ve listened to. All that kind of thing.

PREPARATION TIME 50 YEARS: Sophie Hurst, Christopher Pearce (the school's youngest student), and Alexandria Piggott with the school's celebratory cake. (IMG_8673-edit_ARB)This week, for instance, I’m thinking of Syria: praying, in fact, both for the people whose plight is only now being realised, and for the world leaders who’ve got to sort out that desperately difficult and sorry situation.

Of my own personal highlights this week, I’m pleased to have been a part of my school’s fiftieth birthday celebrations on Tuesday, was delighted to manage more runs up Winter Hill than my classmates, and loved going up the ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower at the Olympic Park today. (more…)

Margaret Thatcher: 1925–2013 – 17 April 2013

“MAGGIE DEAD”, screamed The Sun.

“REJOICE!”, cried the Socialist Worker.

“Margaret Thatcher: 1925–2013”, led The Times, The Telegraph, and The Independent with rather more dignity.

MAGGIE MONTAGE: The front pages on the morning after Thatcher's death.

News last Monday of the death of the former British Prime Minister started it all: a week in which the public were accused of bad taste, broadcasters were accused of bias, and (in my opinion) the state massively overstepped the mark.

Above it all, one phrase was used over and over again:  that Baroness Thatcher is proving as divisive in death as she was in life.

What a poetic observation. And how witty. It’s all awfully clever.

But there’s something very unpleasant, I feel, about celebrating the death of somebody… anybody. Sure, she may have snatched the milk from a generation. And she may have ‘ripped the heart out of society’. Don’t mention the trade unions.

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London 2012: We’ve Crossed The Finishing Line – 9 September 2012

EYES OF THE WORLD: Matthew, my brother, looks down at the track of the London 2012 Olympic Stadium. (IMG_2596)

SHUTTING UP SHOP: The Olympic Stadium will be closed indefinitely after the Paralympic Closing Ceremony. (IMG_2687)We’ve won the fight, scored the goal, and hit our target. And other such clichéd phrases under the strained semantic field of success in sport, to show our satisfaction at being able to claim we staged this “greatest of games”. No one can honestly say that they ‘knew it would be alright all along’… but it turned out to be. The long-prophesied ‘London traffic meltdown’ never really materialised. Most of the empty seats in the venues eventually found warm bottoms to comfort. The hugely controversial surface-to-air missiles on that block of flats thankfully never needed to be deployed. But, on the subject of hitting a target, our Great British teams thrashed the ones they’d been set: TeamGB finished with 65 medals (25 of them Gold) compared to their target of 48, while ParalympicsGB (who beat their target of 103 medals on Thursday) leave the Athletes’ Village in third place on the table, with 120 medals in their bags (actually eighteen more than second-place Russia), including 34 Golds.

Now, as the circus packs up and heads for Rio, and the world’s athletes and journalists head back to their own respective countries, I’m sad that the thing we’ve all been following for weeks, months, and years – with both excitement and anticipation, and yet (until it actually began) a strange, irrepressible sense of doubt – is now over.

OLYMPIC RINGS: The Olympic rings stand atop a hill at the park. (IMG_9976-edited)

PARALYMPIC AGITOS: The Olympic rings by the Velodrome were replaced with the three agitos. (IMG_2748)

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