Tag Archives: Olympics

Days Lengthen, Spirits Lift…

The theme of coldness carries over from the last post.

At around 10pm I went out to put a sheet on the car windscreen and ended up having to clear the screen before I could put the cover on.

It’s notably crispy this morning, though not quite as bad as I was expecting.

On a brighter note, I’m excused washing duties as we have Number One son visiting. We have a quinoa salad for lunch, made with tinned beans and sweetcorn, Eventually I intend making pots of the stuff using proper quinoa instead of the microwavable alternative and I will soak my own beans.

For the moment it’s enough of a culture shock without the extra cooking.

And talking of culture shock – it’s full daylight now. The days are really starting to open up now. If only the weather was more spring-like.

This may be good news for North Korean athletes who, it seems, are likely to do a spell in a labour camp after failing to perform in the Winter Olympics. At least it won’t be dark and dismal. This would tend to suggest that the carrot and stick approach may not work, particularly when the carrot is “extra rice” according to the article.

Meanwhile, anyone who came fourth in an event where one of the Russians won a medal is waiting to see if they are going to get an upgrade. I really despair of a world where an entire country is banned for drug use and the replacement “neutral” team provides 50% of the positive drug tests at the games.

I’m not going to add anything more, as there are plenty of accusations flying about relating to GB’s rise to sporting success and I don’t want to say anything that may prove embarrassing in the future.

This article is interesting, and puts things in stronger terms than I would dare.  You can’t blame people for taking a chance to be an international athlete, but it’s important to keep it in perspective. There is no surge in African Winter Sport. If we want to help Africa we should make it possible for the continent to host the Olympics. After what happened with the Commonwealth Games this may take some doing.

At least my joints are feeling better and I seem to be able to think again, even if I can’t solve any world problems.

A Poor Selection of Thoughts

Just a few random thoughts today.

I’ve just been watching Donald Trump talking about  arming teachers. Putting a million guns into schools is a novel solution to the problem of school shootings and has certainly enhanced his reputation for innovative thinking.

The curling situation has developed in a way not necessarily to Team GB’s advantage. That is to say that after the men lost, the women also lost. They may still win tomorrow and gain a bronze medal, which will make it our most successful Winter Olympics ever. We’re currently lying 18th in the table.

If you add every medal we’ve ever won in Winter Olympics, it’s 10 Gold, 4 Silver and 12 Bronze. Norway, Canada and Germany have already surpassed that total in these games alone. I think Eddie the Eagle might be right.

That’s about it. Those two subjects are giving me all the thinking I can handle, apart from the thoughts I’m having about future posts. These will cover Part Two of the £32 million post, salad, quick meals and several on collectables.

The thinking, of course, is the easy bit. It’s the writing that takes the time.

 

What Does £32 Million Buy? (Part 1)

The easy, topical answer, is that it buys a Winter Olympic team, along with 59 athletes, four medals and the material for some great film scripts.

A crowd-funded bobsleigh team, crashing skater and an ice dancer who came back from smashing a kneecap – it’s all there.

I’m not a great sportsman, as you may have guessed from my photos and various comments on size and sloth, but every four years I rotate through Olympics, Winter Olympics and Commonwealth Games. The kids make me watch a variety of World Championships, there’s the Rugby World Cup,the Rugby League World Cup and plenty of local news on skaters and kayakers who train in Nottingham. It’s hard not to get involved with all that around on TV.

Now, the question, as raised by National Treasure “Eddie the Eagle” Edwards, is, are we spending too much on Winter sports. We aren’t, it seems, a natural Winter Sport nation.

Unfortunately we aren’t naturally good at Summer Sports, cricket or football either.

So, where do I go from here?

I could go on to discuss sport, politics and the national mood, which always seems to improve when we do well.  It often improves when we lose too, as we all love an underdog and Elise Christie, though devoid of medals, has set an example of determination that’s a great example to the rest of us.

I could talk about sport and money. It’s a massive subject, and it has plenty to offer a cynic, particularly if, like me, you believe that the money would be better spent on developing better drugs programmes. If people want to run as fast as chemicals allow, let’s help them. I’m looking forward to the two minute mile.

However, for those who want to do it the old-fashioned way – hard work and dedication – I’d have a separate set of games. I’d also ban transgressors for life instead of handing them a short rest between games. Yes Justin Gatlin, I’m looking at you.

Finally, as we’ve sort of covered politics, cash and the cowardice of governing bodies, it might be a good time to mention James “Darkie” Peters. I’ll say no more. If you’re interested in the history of sport, apartheid and spineless administrators you will find it interesting.

In Part 2 I will look at what else you can buy with £32 million.

 

 

 

Christmas gathers momentum

When the Christmas jumpers start you know that the big day can’t be far off.

Today we’ve done more decorations and we’ve been working for Shipshape Arts, a company describing themselves as an “artistic creation company”. They are based in a barn on the farm and do quite a bit for us – including helping us with the Education tent at Flintham Show and making the quoits we will using for the Christmas hoopla. In return we try to help them a bit, though “help” may be be putting it a bit strongly.

Today they gave people hats. You can see them being worn in the main picture. Of course, not everyone got a hat. For some reason I didn’t, despite the fact that my poor bald head needs some warmth. Just saying…

This is one of the statues that they put up for us recently – looked at from this angle it’s a bit more noticeable than it is when you stand on the back of the Ecocentre looking across the field. The stone that looks like it’s on the right comemorates the air crash in 1944 – it’s actually on the left but there’s a curve in the road.

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This is one of “The Sweepers” that were originally shown at the Southbank Centre Festival of Neighbourhood. We also have “The Neighbours”, who were also at the Olympic Park before coming up here. Did you know there was a market in second-hand statues? I didn’t. It was quite a performance putting them up, with low-loaders, forklifts, power tools and lots of helpers.

This is “The Neighbours” taken from a deceptive angle, inreality they are several hundred yards from the kitchen.

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We’re decorating the Christmas tree now. It’s a bit early for me (though I’m not the biggest fan of Christmas, to be fair) but it’s turkey tasting time this weekend and we are aiming for a Christmas Dinner feel to the centre.

Finally – I nearly got a picture of a bird feeding at the table. We’ve had great tits, blue tits, pigeons, chaffinches, robins, house sparrows, greenfinches, starlings and wood pigeons so far. It could be better but we’re hoping it will build up as time goes on. Meanwhile they are all quick to take flight and added to a cheap camera and poor light levels I haven’t much to show for my photographic efforts. Looks like I’m going to have to borrow my wife’s camera or wait until the butterflies come back in summer.

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At least you can tell it’s a robin, most of the others have been unidentifiable blurs.