Sunday, August 05, 2012

POTW: 5 August 2012

Things I've liked this week:

The Olympics: the buildup

I used to be someone who described herself as not keen on sport.  I've always liked cricket, and used to watch tennis at Wimbledon and the world snooker championships, but really, until I started following the Tour de France a couple of years ago I'd have described myself as a non-sports-fan with a strange fondness for cricket...

However, as a family we always watched the Olympics, and obviously the buildup in London has been quite fierce.  I took most of this week off, but was wandering around last week taking some pictures:

The Jubilee Line signage gearing up for the sheer number of Olympics venues along its length (and, although I didn't get a clear photo due to the ban on using flash in the station, I'm loving following signs to Lord's cricket ground to get onto the Tube!)


The Games cars are quite swish, here seen in front of the Treasury Building in a dedicated Games lane...


A couple of hours before the Torch procession came down Whitehall, the (presumably-non-sponsor) Blimp going past Big Ben over the towers of Portcullis House


At King's Cross, the students of St Martins (which has just moved up there) have put together a Songwall, which consists of thousands of rotating balls, each half black and half yellow, to be manipulated by passers by.  (I don't know what the song connection is as it doesn't seem to make a sound...)


Also at King's Cross, rainbows inside


and out


and some rather stunning graphics across the front of the German Gymnasium.


One of the more alarming features of the Olympics is the scary monocular mascots - but these strange Cyclopses are currently clutched, in fluffy form, in many small hands.  Presumably small children don't feel as worried by their strange, police-state CCTV stares...  Here's an example of a Wenlock (for the Olympics; the Paralympics one is Mandeville), outside a church in Bishopsgate near Liverpool Street station.


And just by accident, I happened to arrive early on Friday morning last week, as Big Ben was striking 40 for the beginning of the Games, 12 hours before 20:12 when the opening ceremony started...  And there were so many people who turned up to watch.  It was really quite moving...  Here they all are:


The Olympics: the events

I absolutely loved the opening ceremony - listened to it all on the Friday evening, and then watched it on the Saturday evening to see if the pictures in reality were as good as the pictures in my head (just for a change, they were).  I loved its quirkiness, and its Britishness, and its willingness to send itself up.  And I thought the "cauldron" made up of all the petals was fabulous.  I gather each nation will be given its petal to take home and the cauldron will cease to exist, which is both a nice bit of symbolism and saves someone the bother of wondering where on earth to put the thing afterwards...

Desperately sorry for Cav and the rest of the road race team on Saturday afternoon (and great kudos to him for turning up to commentate cheerfully on the track events this week when he could have retreated to lick his wounds); and many congrats to Bradley Wiggins for a majestic win in the time trial (quite literally majestic given the ridiculous gold thrones at Hampton Court...)

Some support was given from here...


And I think the Guardian's  headline was just about perfect...


Like Cavendish, Wiggins is looking like a man who doesn't want to leave the party and go home - having used his victory interview with Radio 5 to pitch for an invite to A Question of Sport on the grounds they hadn't asked him for ages, he then popped up to commentate on the track cycling on Thursday...

I've also been enjoying the frankly incomprehensible rules of the track cycling events, and the fact that UK competitors turn out to be good at things you only hear about every few years, like trap-shooting...

(And there's been Test cricket, too - we're not doing stunningly against South Africa, but it's wonderful listening to TMS - Blowers yesterday afternoon lamenting his inability to tell the difference between men and women, and there was that time in Saõ Paolo... sadly we never heard the rest of the story...)

Holidays and friends

I was on leave from Monday afternoon to Friday this week, and managed to catch up with some people...

On Saturday Sue and I went to the Tickell Arms at Whittlesford for a very belated birthday celebration (Sue's, not mine)!  Excellent food and a lovely atmosphere.  We got back to Sue's just too late to see the road cyclists come in...

One of the benefits of the Olympics is that out-of-towners were visiting London for the events.  Nic, of Yarns from the Plain, was one - we met for the first time at That Knitting Event Neither of Us Travelled To two summers ago; and it was really nice to see her again and meet her husband on Monday afternoon after they'd been to watch the archery at Lord's.

On Tuesday night we had a small impromptu get-together at the Devonshire Arms, just four of us; and on Friday lunchtime I met Sarah for lunch... and then there was knitting on Saturday afternoon, during which we watched tennis (mostly; once the stroppy man who comes in and changes the TV channel in front of the people sitting there watching it and then stalks out again had gone, and I'd ambled over to security to get the guard to change the channel back again)...

Oh, and some crafty things

We shall not speak of my Ravellenic Games knitting project.  Put it this way, making a cardi in 4-ply in my size was already very ambitious.  It turns out I knit a lot more when I'm travelling back and forth to work than I ever do if I'm on holiday.  And it also turns out that despite many attempts while joining both fronts to the back at the armholes (this is a top-down cardi), I managed to twist one armhole once and the other one twice in the joining, necessitating the ripping of over a day's work.  Gah.  I'll put it down at the end of the week and take it up again during the Paralympics, I think...

Still, a pair of socks was finished... this is the Lindsay pattern from Cookie A. and the yarn is Yarnscape's Footsie-HT in colour Wisteriosis (a club special):


I can now show the shawl I made Sue for her birthday (or at least a blocking shot as I forgot to photograph it once the pins came out) - seemed to be popular though as she wore it for lunch...


And so was a scarf, the first of two woven ones for the Ravellenics...


The weft yarn for this one was also from Alison at Yarnscape; Dance in the Moor colourway.

My second Ravellenics weaving is a present for my Mam's 75th later in the month; warp in merino from KnitPicks, weft in 100% cashmere from KnitWitches.  Beautifully soft, even before washing...  This is where I's got to at the end of the time-trial on Wednesday; there's another couple of feet done now and some more due later...  This is the first time I've done weaving in laceweight and used my 12.5 dpi heddle - really enjoying it so far...


Two other things arrived through the post on Tuesday; a new book, and more lovely club yarn (for Lammas).  I did some test-knitting for Woolly's latest book, and also copy-editing; there's something about an actual book rather than a PDF, even though the PDF is excellent for printing out and moving around with!


This post is reaching War and Peace length, so I'll stop now.  It was a nice week.  Hope you had a good one too.

1 comment:

Daisy said...

Those are pretty much my conclusions about the Olympics too!