Friday, 31 August 2012

Day Two

After two full days of the London 2012 Paralympic games team GB sits in 5th with 20 medals.

For team GB there were some notable successes and some unexpected disappointments. Our fabulous bronze, silver and gold winners from today are:


Sam Hynd
Men's Swimming 400 m Freestyle S8
Aled Davies
Men's Shot Put F42/44
Darren Kenny
Men's Cycling Individual Pursuit C3


Aileen McGlynn & Helen Scott
Women's Cycling Individual 1 km Time Trials B
Jon-Allan Butterworth
Men's Cycling Individual 1 km Time Trials C4-5
Shaun McKeown
Men's Cycling Individual Pursuit C3
Ollie Hynd
Men's Swimming 400 m Freestyle S8
James Crisp
Men's Swimming 100 m Backstroke S9
Stephanie Millward
Women's Swimming 100 m Backstroke S9
Heather Frederiksen
Women's Swimming 400 m Freestyle S8
Aaron Moores
Men's 100 m Backstroke S14


Mark Colbourne
Men's Cycling Individual 3 km Pursuit C1
Hannah Cockroft
Women's 100 m T34

So here is how the top of the table currently stands:

Great Britain

Mad Man In A Box

Look who's back*...

Saturday 1st September BBC One, 7.20pm. Can't wait.

* Doctor Who (and the DALEKS) in case you didn't know LOL.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Word From Our Sponsor

The Paralympics got off to a great start today after the fantastic (but very long) opening ceremony, I'm currently watching team GB take on Germany in the wheelchair basketball. It's fast paced and kind of scary if you follow me.

One of the subtle differences I've noticed already is the inclusion of sponsorship branding within the games venues; the Olympic venues were all brand neutral. So we're seeing branding for a well known credit card and a telecoms company around the court etc. And don't get me started on the inclusion of advert breaks thanks to commercial broadcaster Channel 4 having the tv rights not the BBC.

Team GB have made a good start on their medal campaign and have a total of 7 putting them currenlty in third position behing China (15 medals) and Australia (9). Well done Team Oz LOL.

Here are the team GB winners:

Zoe Newson, Powerlifting 40 kg
Ben Quilter, Judo 60 kg

Hannah Russell, Swimming 400 m freestyle
Mark Colbourne, Cycling 1 km timetrials
Nyree Kindred, Swimming 100 m backstroke

Sarah Storey, Cycling individual pursuit
Jonathon Fox, Swimming 100 m backstroke

Oh and apparently this summer has been the westest on record in the UK. Grrrr.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Greatest Show On Earth. Again

Four years ago at Beijing, the team GB Paralympians came second in the overall medals table. Today as the London 2012 Paralympics open, they have been set the goal of improving on that impressive 102 medal haul.

Apparently these games are the first to be pretty much sold out in Paralympic history. Certainly every time I've tried to buy tickets, I've been unsuccessful which I guess says a lot.

Now excuse me, I'm off to watch the opening ceremony. Looks good.

Sunday, 26 August 2012


Home brew is now bottled and in storage. Should be ready to drink in about a week.

Cheers (hic)!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

One (Small) Step Beyond*

Neil Alden Armstrong (5 August 1930- 25 August 2012).

A true pioneer. Read more here and here.

Would you believe I still have this building block kit from childhood and the instructions, held together in places by ancient sticky tape LOL.

* Song.

Sunday, 19 August 2012


One of the (minor) consequences of watching the televised coverage of the opening ceremony of that London event is that I was reminded just how much I used to love the music of Mike Oldfield. What better way I thought to myself to be reminded how good it was- while brewing beer (more later)- than to dust down my trusty copy of Tubular Bells? Well a digitally remastered version on CD which was released a few years back to be truthful. I do still own a vinyl copy, from the dark ages, but nothing to play it on at present.

Number one with a sibling. That is in deed the voice of Severus Snape on the second one*. 

The main thing of course is to find time at actually sit and appreciate it, without disturbances. Oh and to play it very loud. Pity the neighbours LOL.

* Viv Stanshall of the wonderfully named Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band provided MC duties on the 1970's original, fact fans.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Over Paid Pretty Boys Return

The Olympics are only just over, the Paralympics yet to begin and cricket is still "in season," with South Africa currently taking on England. Thinking of London 2012, I can't help but notice the stark contrast between the best competitors drawn from across the globe and the so called professionals who play the "beautiful game" in this country. You know the ones: players who receive weekly salaries of more than most can dream of in a lifetime and yet spend most of their time fouling, rolling on the ground feigning injury and (in the case of the England/team GB squad) not really giving a stuff or trying their utmost*.

Yes you've guessed it: The football season has started; it seems barely yesterday the old season had finished but there you go. Newly promoted (to the Premier League) Reading entertained Stoke at the Mad Stad. The final score being one apiece. Not a bad start.

* Obviously I don't include the boys of Reading FC in this assessment LOL.

Monday, 13 August 2012

It's Not That Bad, Australia

Just for my Aussie readers, I've done a little bit of basic maths, 'cos I know how much it must hurt to be "beaten" by the Mother Country at the last two summer Olympics.

Using the font of all knowledge that is Wikipedia I've compared the last 4 games, that's Sydney in 2000 through to the most recent and looked at the final medal tables to produce some simple averages. Here's what I found, assuming my maths/Excel skills are up to scratch :

Country           Av. Gold   Av. Silver   Av. Bronze   Av. Position
Australia         13.50        18.00         15.75           6.00
Great Britain   17.00        12.75         12.75           6.75

Bet you don't feel quite so bad now? LOL

Sunday, 12 August 2012

And Finally

The competitions are over, a number of records have been broken, and all that remains is tonight's closing ceremony and to look back on the games of London 2012. 

In the last day of action Anthony Joshua earned Great Britain's 29th gold in the Men's Super Heavyweight (+91kg) Boxing.

Here's how the top 10 medals table finished up:

Rank Country G S B Total
1 United States 46 29 29 104
2 China 38 27 22 87
3 Great Britain & N. Ireland 29 17 19 65
4 Russian Federation 24 25 33 82
5 South Korea 13 8 7 28
6 Germany 11 19 14 44
7 France 11 11 12 34
8 Italy 8 9 11 28
9 Hungary 8 4 5 17
10 Australia 7 16 12 35

Our friends from Kazakhstan managed a creditable 12th position with 5 bronze, 1 silver and 7 gold.

As mentioned here this Olympic business will prove to be costly. The stamp first day covers will be going to LL as a keepsake, lucky boy. Sadly the Royal Mail say that due to unexpected demand (really?) and unprecedented success (you don't say?), the FD covers won't go in the post for a few weeks yet. Given the expense of it all, am I being unpatriotic when I say I hope we don't do too well at the Paralympics or at least those wins are covered in a separate FD cover scheme? LOL

Despite the above I did succumb and treat myself to some official London 2012 products courtesy of the UK's Royal Mint ...

Official money- £5 coins for the Olympics and Paralympics. You can spend these in the shops dontchaknow. If you're mad LOL.

I know this past two weeks this blog has focused on reporting team GB's gold winners and I make no apology for that. No one sets out in a competitive sport with the intention of aiming to come second and I'm certainly not of the view that it is somehow wrong to have winners and losers. Having said that as stated in a previous posting, I take my hat off to anyone deemed good enough to be picked to represent their country. In this spirit, here's a list to GB's bronze and silver winners:


Athletics- Men's High Jump
Robbie Grabarz
Boxing- Men's Middleweight
Anthony Ogogo
Canoeing- Men's 200m Kayak Pairs
Liam Heath & Jon Schofield
Cycling- Men's Omnium
Ed Clancy
Cycling Road- Men's Individual Time Trial
Chris Frome
Diving- Men's 10m Platform
Tom Daley
Equestrium- Individual Dressage
Laura Bechtolsheimer
Gymnastics- Men's Pommel Horse
Max Whitlock
Gymnastics- Women's Uneven Bars
Beth Tweddle
Gymnastics-Men's Team
Sam Oldham, Dan Purvis, Louis Smith, Kristian Thomas & Max Whitlock
Hockey- Women's Competition
Team GB
Judo- Women's +78kg
Karina Bryant 
Men's Triathlon
Jonny Brownlee
Rowing- Men's Eight 
Egington, Foad, Langridge, Partridge, Ransley, Sbihi, Searle, Louloudis & Hill
Rowing- Men's Pair
George Nash - Will Satch
Rowing- Men's Single Sculls
Alan Campbell
Swimming- Women's 400m Freestyle
Rebecca Adlington
Swimming- Women's 800m Freestyle
Rebecca Adlington
Taekwondo- Men's 80kg
Lutalo Muhammad


Athletics- Women's 400m
Christine Ohuruogo
Boxing- Men's Welterweight (69kg)
Fred Evans
Canoe- Men's Slalom C2
David Florence & Richard Hounslow
Cycling- Women's Road Race
Lizzie Armitstead
Cycling- Women's Sprint
Victoria Pendleton
Equestrian- Team Eventing
Tina Cook, William Fox-Pitt, Mary King, Zara Philips & Nicola Wilson
Gymnastics- Men's Pommel Horse
Louis Smith
Judo- 78kg
Gemma Gibbons
Rowing- Men's Lightweight Double Sculls Zac Purchase - Mark Hunter
Rowing- Men's Lightweight Four
Chris Bartley, Richard Chambers, Peter chambers & Rob Williams
Sailing- Men's 470
Luke Patience & stuart Bithell
Sailing- Men's RS:X
Nick Dempsey
Sailing- Men's Star
Iain Percey & Andrew Simpson
Sailing- Women's 470
Hannah Mills & Saskia Clark
Swimming- Men's 200m Breaststroke
Michael Jamieson
Tennis- Mixed Doubles
Laura Robson & Andy Murray

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Still Third

Another day, another clutch of golds for Great Britain.

Trainee Accountant Ed McKeever gained the top spot in the Men's 200m Single Kayak Canoe Sprint.

In the Men's 5000m final, Mo Farrah made it the double with the 10000m gold he won earlier.

Luke Campbell beat the Republic of Ireland's John Joe Nevin to become Olympic Men's Boxing champion in the Bantamweight 56kg class.

Team GB now has 28 gold medals. Unheard of.

Thursday, 9 August 2012


Well done to Charlotte Dujardin, gold winner of the Individual Equestrian Dressage and also to Nicola Adams first Olympic Women's Flyweight Boxing champion. Lastly 19 year old Jade Jones became GB's first Taekwondo champion.

Team GB remain in third position with 52 medals (including 13 silver, 14 bronze) behind China on 78 and the USA on 83 medals. China have more gold so remain in first position. Below us are South Korea (4th), Russia (5th), Germany and France (6th and 7th respectively). Our Aussie cousins have now edged Kazakhstan out of the top 10.

Can it get any better than this?

Update: I've just found this on the Telegraph website. Many will know as a child I absolutely loved LEGO and also as an adult. Thankfully LL loves it too and has been collecting the Mini-Figures range, including the Olympic themed Team GB set. Enjoy this depiction of our gold winners.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Good Sport

What a good sport Australia's Sports Minister Kate Lundy is. Soon the former rower will be seen on the river Thames at Eton Dorney racing in a team GB kit. Apparently she lost a friendly wager with her British opposite number.

Take a look at the Telegraph website for more.

 Recent image taken in "That London" LOL.

By the way if anyone has noticed the images on this blog of team GB's gold medal winners have disappeared it is for the simple reason I have been informed I might have run the risk of being in breach of copyright.

This was never my intention. Moreover in my excitement to share in this county's success at London 2012, I got perhaps a bit carried away and used what I thought were public domain images on my non profit making pages. I don't derive any revenue from this blog. Never have done, never will. So I couldn't see the harm but there you go, you learn something new every day.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Best Of British

One of the (many) problems of having to work is that you miss all the fun, if that fun happens to be the London Olympics that is. I can only sneak the occasional look at the internet for updates and I'm afraid highlights after the event, when you know the outcome just isn't the same. Just ask American viewers: network NBC apparently couldn't find time in their schedules for the 10 seconds necessary to screen the Men's 100 metre final live.

Nevertheless let me bask for a couple of minutes in the reflected glory of another set of wins for Great Britain.

The flag on the left has been seen quite frequently of late.

First up Alistair Brownlee took gold by a fair margin in the Men's Triathlon, with his younger brother Jonny taking bronze.

Our 20th gold came in the Team Equestrian Dressage  thanks to a fine performance from Laura Bechtolsheimer, Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester.

Laura Trott won her second gold of the games in the Women's Cycling Omnium, a (new to the Olympics) six event discipline. Trott had been born with a collapsed lung and had overcome Asthma as a child.

Sir Chris Hoy made British Olympic history, winning his sixth gold in the Men's Cycling Keirin. At a total to date of 22 gold, 13 silver and 12 bronze this marks our best performance for 104 years.

Oh and well done to any Australian readers. You must be pleased to have won your third gold, with Anna Meares beating Victoria Pendleton in the Women's Cycling Keirin. The Aussies move to 13th, while our friends from Kazakhstan are in 8th with 6 gold and one bronze.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Two More

Britain's gold collection continues to grow...

Nick Skelton, Ben Maher, Scott Brash and Peter Charles- Men's Team Equestrian Showjumping
Jason Kenny- Men's Sprint Cycling

 Here's how the top 20 medals table stands as of the end of proceedings today:

Rank Country G
1 China 31 19 14 64
2 United States 29 15 19 63
3 Great Britain & N. Ireland 18 11 11 40
4 South Korea 11 5 6 22
5 France 8 9 9 26
6 Russian Federation 7 17 18 42
7 Italy 7 6 4 17
8 Kazakhstan 6 0 1 7
9 Germany 5 10 7 22
10 Hungary 4 1 3 8
11 North Korea 4 0 1 5
12 Netherlands 3 3 4 10
13 Cuba 3 3 1 7
14 Belarus 3 2 3 8
15 New Zealand 3 1 4 8
16 South Africa 3 1 0 4
17 Ukraine 3 0 6 9
18 Japan 2 12 14 28
19 Australia 2 12 8 22
20 Romania 2 4 2 8


Sunday, 5 August 2012

And There's More

Another brilliant day for team GB. It's fair to say it is extremely unlikely our haul of medals will catch either China or the USA but nevertheless things are looking very good in deed for this little island nation.

Ben Ainslie won his fourth gold by taking the lead in the Men's Sailing Finn, making him the most decorated Olympic sailor in history.

Later in the day Andy Murray destroyed Roger Federer, winning in straight sets (6-2, 6-1, 6-4) to take the the Men's Singles Tennis title. (A couple of hours later Murray and partner Laura Robson won silver in the Mixed Tennis final)

Team GB now has 10 bronze, 11 silver and 16 gold. China has 61 medals and the USA 60.

(Best not to mention what's been happening at Headingley in the Cricket LOL) 

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Super Duper Saturday

Great Britain did quite well today. Gold medals were won by:

Mo Farrah- Men’s 10,000 Metres
Greg Rutherford- Men’s Long Jump
Jessica Ennis- Heptathlon
Laura Trott, Dani King & Joanna Rowsell- Women’s Team Pursuit Cycling
Katherine Copeland & Sophie Hosking- Women’s Lightweight Double Sculls Rowing
Andy Triggs Hodge, Pete Reed, Alex Gregory & Tom James- Men’s Coxless Fours Rowing

Now don't get me wrong- just because I'm only listing our gold winners doesn't mean I value our second and third placed competitors any less. Anyone deemed good enough to represent their country at the Olympics earns my respect. For a full list of Britain's gold, silver and bronze winners to date, visit the BBC news site here.

Team GB are now in third in the medal table with 14 gold, 7 silver and 8 bronze. Our old friends from Kazakhstan have 5 gold putting them in 8th.

While some of this was going on, Dad and SM (who are visiting for a few days) took LL and myself out in his new car to the National Trust house Basildon Park. This was used as the location of the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice which starred Keira Knightley dontchaknow. Here's a picture of the little fella (mostly) being sensible LOL.

 Stately home not included.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Three More

Victoria Pendleton- Women's Cycling Keirin
Stephen Burke, Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas & Peter Kennaugh- Men's Cycling Team Pursuit Sprint
Katherine Grainger & Anna Watkins- Women's Rowing Double Sculls

Kazakhstan is for the moment at least a distant memory LOL.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Winning Could Be Expensive

Our Royal Mail has announced they will issue an Olympic stamp for every gold team GB wins at the games. First day Covers will be sent out the first working day after a win. The first two were issued today, featuring Heather Stanning, Helen Glover and Bradley Wiggins.

Click here for more details.

Having (at the time of this post) won a further 3 golds today, this could get to be quite expensive but on the other hand I do want team GB to win as many as possible.

So well done today to the following:

Peter Wilson, Men's Shooting Trap
Tim Baillie & Etienne Stot, Men's Canoe Slalom C2
Chris Hoy, Philip Hindes & Jason Kenny, Men's Cycling Team Sprint

This nice little haul together with a good collection of silver and bronze awards puts Great Britain well and truly above Kazakhstan LOL.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Golden Day

After five days, Team GB has finally struck gold. In the women's rowing competition Helen Glover and Heather Stanning saw off challenges from Australia (silver), New Zealand (bronze) and the USA to win our first gold of London 2012.

Later today a second gold followed, when 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins added to his own impressive Olympic haul with a win in the cycling time trials at Hampton Court Palace. Fellow Brit Chris Froome came third with Tony Martin of Germany taking second place.

Well done to all our winners to date.

In the medals table Great Britain has moved up to 11th, a long way behind China, the USA and the likes of Kazakhstan! Now keep repeating: " It's not the winning but the taking part that counts." Yeah right.