Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Thursday 28 July 2011

Clanking and bonging

Sometimes it seems as though all the interesting events are repeats of ones that I've posted about before. Next year, of course, it will be different, with the Really Big Event. Yesterday, an uneasy mix of ceremonial and young people's rally in Trafalgar Square (with Our Beloved Mayor™ sounding even more like an over-caffeinated pre-teen than usual: over-generous hospitality from the Official Olympic Cola Beverage?) announced that we have less than a year to go, and we saw the inside of the Olympic Aquatic Centre in use for the first time (and very impressive it looks, too).

But this week saw a number of other events designed to get us all in the mood, and not all sporting, for there is to be a whole Cultural Olympiad programme as well.

It was a pity the Sky Orchestra launched so early in the morning with the wind in the wrong direction to come our way, as it looked spectacular on the TV news: but it was flying over bits of London that could do with some cheering up.

Nearer to home, Trinity Buoy Wharf staged an open weekend, with some of its resident artists showing their wares. The mixture wasn't too different from the last open weekend I visited there. Andrew Baldwin's mechanical sculptures were much in evidence, clanking away deconstructing human figures and re-assembling them with as industrial a sound as might have been heard on the site when it was building ships and light-buoys, all under a pair of majestic, if slightly alarming, mechanical wings.

A couple of studios in the Container City were open, if not exactly inundated with people, and there would have been music workshops for enthusiastic children, if I had stayed.

In the lighthouse, the Longplayer's singing bowls continue to bong away mysteriously and evocatively, as they will be for the next 988 years or so (all being well).

It tends to make you wonder just how soon all the new buildings around the riverside here will seem to have been as passing an event as the Olympics.

Tuesday 26 July 2011

Big Breakfast

Oh dear.

I went into the kitchen this morning and filled the kettle to make tea to have with my breakfast, filled a bowl with cereal and some milk from the fridge, wondering when I'd emptied the milk jug, and took the bowl through to the living room.

Only to find the bowl of cereal I'd taken through barely minutes before.

Thank goodness I don't have gas.

Friday 15 July 2011

Busy day in Canary Wharf

We're quite used to finding a cruise ship moored opposite the estate, at the grandly-name London Cruise Terminal (a couple of portakabins on a pontoon, which moves up and down the river according to where the mooring has been booked). Yesterday, it was a surprise to find it at Canary Wharf, for the Deutschland (it would have been even more of a surprise for any late risers in the flats beside the dock when they opened their curtains).

Apparently she is on a proving trip for use in next year's Olympics (are they really not putting up their Olympic team in the Village?). Yesterday's passengers, though, looked as though they would, at best, be competing in the 100-metre shopping saunter (my last remaining chance of an Olympic medal).

But we also had more familiar visitors. As I arrived, a couple of ships from the Belgian Navy were passing through the lock from the river, their military fearsomeness rather overshadowed by the size of the Deutschland, and (it has to be said) their rather unwarlike names - Godetia and Primula.

Thursday 14 July 2011