London Life Places

olympics fever

July 30, 2012

Still full of pride and joy from the outstanding olympic opening ceremony, i want to declare my unequivocal love for this amazing city. It’s no secret that i believe i live in the most incredible city on earth and that i love the british.

The ceremony, to me, was a love letter to everything that’s brilliant about ‘british’, from history, humour and undeniable creativity, to film, literature, music, tv and design. It was a spectacle to be remembered forever! And i dare you to name any other monarch who would gladly be seen flirting with james bond and jump out of a helicopter. To date, that clip has been viewed on youtube over one million times.

Of course, the backlash has started and that’s to be expected. However, i love how a nation pulls together when most needed. As someone said on twitter: ‘it’s no longer how do we follow beijing. It’s how does rio follow london!’

So, in the spirits of the olympics i zoomed around the back of the olympic park, in hackney wicks, to capture some of the diversity, excitement, quirkiness and eclecticism we saw danny boyle weave into this tremendous show.

This is my little contribution of bonkers london!

How cool is this scrap yard?

Bonkers or what?

I kid you not. Below you see the patrol boats, going up and down, acting as security. Mind you this was a few days before the olympics, but still, thought this is quirky!

The top part of the copper box. Previously known as the handball arena, it was renamed because it’ll now also host fencing and goalball.

The orbit tower and restaurant. Anish kapoor has erected britain’s largest public sculpture over the olympic park.

The white building. This is a new space run by hackney wick and fish island cultural centre, with studios, project space, hire space and a great cafรฉ.
The goal during the Olympics is to demonstrate the importance of arts and artists, particularly those in the area, alongside world-class athletes. It will provide a showcase for artists, helping to secure the creative future of the area, and will seek to engage with local residents.

Ah, the media…… now i feel safe!

What did you think of the opening ceremony? Did you get a chance to watch it? What was your favourite bit? Least favourite? I hope the next few weeks will result in excitement and a few gold medals for britain! Happy week everyone!

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  • Reply Holly July 30, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Cool, Tina! Loving all the quirkiness indeed, and as usual, your photos are just awesome.

    It seems I haven’t caught the Olympic fever this year. Barely watched the opening ceremony. I missed the beginning, I was so exhausted … I can’t remember why now. Saw Canada (got your happy tweet too! Thanks Xx). I stayed awake long enough to see Germany in their ridiculous presentation suits. Ugghh. Tacky. Furchtbar!

    It must be so so so fun right now in the UK ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you are enjoying it.

    • Reply tina August 2, 2012 at 1:33 am

      Thanks Ms Holly!

      What can I say, if you’re tired, you’re tired! Petty, think you would have enjoyed some of it!
      Germany’s outfits were ‘horrendous’. I think ‘Furchtbar’ is not strong enough!!! Shocking!!!!

  • Reply Igor July 30, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    How cool are these colourful shots, Tina?!? Love each of them! And I agree, the opening ceremony was spectacular. Even though I didn’t plan watching it, I was captivated and had to follow it to the end!

    • Reply tina August 2, 2012 at 1:35 am

      Thanks Igor. Really looking forward to meeting you in September. Will be fun!
      I’m laughing coz there’s so many people that want to meet you, I think we’ll need to book slots.

      Actually had a thought. Why don’t I and some other London Bloggers organise a big get together for Saturday night so we can all meet?
      I’m sure we can fill a bar:)

  • Reply Becky - Pretty Dandy July 30, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    I absolutely loved the Opening Ceremony – it was definitely a love letter to Britain. And what was a relief for me was that it was a love letter to a Britain that I recognise, feel part of and proud of – not an old-fashioned image of Britain.

    These photos are really fabulous – I love that crazy scrapyard at the top especially!


    • Reply tina August 2, 2012 at 1:37 am

      Hey Becky. Thank you for stopping by.

      Yes, wasn’t it great? Well said!!!!

      Thanks, isn’t the scrapyard crazy, but brilliant? Not sure the owner realises how funky he is. Will go down there with my car to see whether I can pick up a part:)

  • Reply Chi@106 July 31, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Amazing post, Tina. I LOVE the scrapyard photos and do not get me started on the colourful typography on the walls! ๐Ÿ˜€

    The Opening Ceremony was everything I hoped it would be and more. It was like watching a seamless multi-genre movie being made/shot in real time. I knew Danny Boyle was a genius but he truly surpassed himself.

    The highlight for me was definitely the Queen’s cameo. The Hubster and I kept saying: “No! It can’t be!!” when we saw her shot from behind and, of course, it was! Best moment in the history of TV EVER!!!
    Our mini tweet session was fun, too – I’d never tweeted and watched TV simultaneously before! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Low points for me where seeing Team GB come out in those absolutely awful Next fire hazards (?!!) and Paul McCartney’s finale. ๐Ÿ™

    That said, these were blips in an otherwise flawless production – I’d hate to be in Rio’s shoes right now!

    • Reply tina August 2, 2012 at 1:44 am

      Thanks Chi:) You’re so funny. I know we like a lot of the same things!!

      Boyle should be Sir Boyle by the end of the year, no doubt about this!

      Ha. I can imagine you and Hubster not quite believing your eyes. What I’m so impressed with is that I know quite a few people who went to the dress rehearsal and everyone kept stumm. All I knew was there was a bit of a James Bond moment, but nothing about Queenie:)Didn’t she rock? And that outfit? C’mon, she looked 20 years younger!!!
      Agreed, best TV moment of the 21st Century!!

      Yes, gosh did I tweet. My fingers hurt afterwards:)

      OK, agree with your low point and both GB and German outfits were a disgrace. Nicola had an interesting take on the Macca thing. Hold on let me quote:
      ” Macca. Well, I decided, after some kind and considered thinking, that the World knows him and he did kind of start it all with the all the great music that was performed so I forgive him. But it was kind of hilarious the way his pre-recorded/ computer aided bit was out of sync. I’m not going to dwell on him though because as far as I’m concerned it was all fantastic!”

      I think she’s right!!

      Rio, get your skate on. If in doubt, do Carnival, everyone loves a good Carnival.
      Thank you for your lovely comment! x

      • Reply Chi@106 August 3, 2012 at 9:08 am

        “OK, agree with your low point and both GB and German outfits were a disgrace.”

        So were Nigeria’s – yuck! ๐Ÿ™

  • Reply Nicola July 31, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Only one word for your blog and photographs Tina – superlative.

    Loved every minute of the Opening Ceremony, wonderfully eccentric, breathtaking and bonkers, even the naff Paul McCartney bit at the end xx

    • Reply tina August 2, 2012 at 1:46 am

      I’m actually blushing. Well, I was blushing when I first read your comment. Thank you so much. Huge compliment and very greatfully received!

      Yes, I quoted you when replying to Chi. You are right and I have stopped going on about it… see you Sunday xx

  • Reply Deepa July 31, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    I love these photos, Tina! You are so lucky to be in such an amazing city, at such an exciting time!

    • Reply tina August 2, 2012 at 1:48 am

      Thank you Deepa. Hope all your travelling was fun, you lucky girl!!

  • Reply Theresa July 31, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    Tina, great job capturing the quirky side of London. Love the typography on all the signage, especially “the cut.”
    Sadly, I didn’t catch the opening ceremony. I heard mixed reviews…Oh course, right? Oh well, can’t please everyone. We have been watching the games here in our household. My husband can’t get enough. It must be such an exciting time in London right now. Yes, how will Rio follow London? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Reply tina August 2, 2012 at 1:49 am

      Yes, typography is your thing…:)

      Glad you’re enjoying some of the Olympics in your household!

  • Reply leah of sang the bird August 1, 2012 at 7:02 am

    i love all the all the incredible colours that you captured! and the typography is awesome.
    i love the way you love london! enjoy the fever xx

    • Reply tina August 2, 2012 at 1:51 am

      Thank you Leah, very sweetly put!
      I wonder whether you guys are all sick of us with this Olympics fever? Not long now. Nice that you indulge me, thank you xxx

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey August 1, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Great post Tina. I love your vision of a quirky take on London. I watched the opening ceremony as an unwilling spectator (my partner wanted to see it), but I actually enjoyed quite a bit of it. Despite my belief that we should get rid of the royals, I did think the Bond & queen bit was cool.

    Thanks for the fab pics ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

    • Reply tina August 2, 2012 at 1:54 am

      Ha. Unwilling spectator does end up liking some of it! Classic!!!!

      Gerard, it’s great you can see it for what it is. It was a brilliant PR stunt but I can tell you that the Queen genuinely wanted to know how people perceived it. What a great addition to the legacy she will leave.

      Glad you enjoyed the visual porn xx

  • Reply Kelly Sparkes August 1, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    What a fabulous post, I love your photos! Can’t believe they are using those tiny boats for security, how funny.

    I’m glad we were still in London for the opening ceremony, it was nice to be a part of the olympics, even if only for one day. You are right about the Queen and James Bond, I couldn’t quite believe she did it and I can’t stop thinking about the cauldron, so amazing, can’t wait to see it in the flesh when we get back. xx

    • Reply tina August 2, 2012 at 2:01 am

      Thanks love.

      I know! What happened was that I tried to go the back route to the Olympic Stadium. I missed it by a couple of days. They completely locked it all down for the rest of the year and there is heavy security guarding the fences. I trapped one of the guards and got him to give me the whole spiel. He told me about the boats. When some lovely young women asked to interview me for her PHD on Hackney Wick, he rushed over to me and said that the police patrol boat has just arrived and do I want to have a look. It was a very funny and informative hour I spent there…and got some nice photographs out of it:)

      The Queen and the Cauldron will stay with me for a very long time. Glad you were still here to witness it all.

      What freaks me out is that I remember just arriving that morning to the South of France when it was announced that London won the bid for the Olympics. I was quite sad not to be able to participate in the festivities as my holiday had just started, I really wanted to be in London. This was 2005. Freaky or what??? x

  • Reply ursula (room to bloom) August 2, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Love the roving reporter shots Tina – keep them coming. The end ceremony? Amazing – bar the eye-watering GB uniforms and sleep-inducing Paul McCarthy and the end : (
    BBC’s reporting on the games now also very very good!

    • Reply tina August 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      Ha. Thanks. Bit of fun eh??

      Oh, never thought about the end ceremony. Do we know what’s happening? Shall go and find out!!
      Yep, there had to be some faux pas, right? Couldn’t all be perfect?

      Yes, great BBC coverage, not like on the diamond jubilee. Anyway the BBC does great sports reportage. Thanks:)

  • Reply Christine August 4, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Hi Tina,
    I missed the opening ceremony but have caught glimpses of certain events. I can imagine how incredibly energetic London must feel. Regardless of critiques, the Olympics bring pride, will, and connectedness. Love the scope of this post and being able to see pieces of your beloved city. Thank you!

  • Reply Paige Elizabeth August 6, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Such a FANTASTIC post! Seriously loving your images. And you know I loved the opening ceremony and how brilliantly British it was…

    • Reply tina August 6, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      Thank you Paige. Compliment coming from you. Of course, my photos will never be the same after yesterday’s tutorial x

  • Reply Anya Adores August 7, 2012 at 8:12 am

    I LOVED the opening ceremony and this post is fantastic – just everything I LOVE about London. GOSH actually fully makes me wonder why we live here and not there – HMM we will have to deal with that laters. Thanks Tina for reminding me of all things british – wish I’d been there to feel the atmosphere and the buzz. Visiting soon – can’t wait :))

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