Our household (I'm Scottish; my wife is from Yorkshire) got quite engrossed - checking the medal table on a regular basis to see how Scotland and Yorkshire were doing against bigger competition.... ( It seems the Scottish National Party's plans for Scottish independence have suffered a big setback, what with every Scottish gold medal-winning hero being draped in the Union flag and lustily singing "God Save the Queen"! Sir Chris Hoy - "I'm Scottish AND British!". Andy Murray - no longer the grumpy Scottish nearly-man! A British hero!)
And where we lived in London, Teddington, has been for years the home from home for some amazing athletes. There's a top Sports Management company based there, and years ago, they rented a house for "their" Kenyan runners, who used Bushy Park, my old stomping ground, for training during the European summer season.
About 5 years ago, another client called Mo, joined the Kenyans, and trained hard and regularly around Bushy Park. I wonder what happened to him?
I see from this good Teddington news site that a shop has been named after him, and a couple of post boxes have been painted gold! What a star! (The shop is really "FARA" - a charity for Romanian orphans - but it's provided a great photo!)
If I was still in Teddington, I would probably have had my photo taken in front of the post box. Choosing the BBC Sports Personality of the Year is going to be difficult this year.....Oh, and Usain Bolt also uses the same Management Company. He said last year that he liked going for a Chinese meal in Teddington, as no-one recognised him! Wonder if that will work, now?
Meanwhile, back in sunny Stanley in the Falklands Islands, sporting life goes on here, too. We did a 10km walk over rough ground and only took about 3 hours longer than Mo Farah did the distance!
It started at the wind turbines, about 5 miles outside Stanley, just past the quarry and the abattoir! The turbines are huge and a major landmark on the treeless peat bog landscape. (The quarry and abattoir are rather tucked away and not very noticeable to the visitor!) If there was a cable long enough, and we were on speaking terms with our neighbours, I'm fairly sure the Falklands could export power from this source, given the amount of wind we receive!
|Giant Mercedes-sponsored works of art.....|
|Easy to find the cars at the end!|
|Rock Shags, on a rock.|
After that, we caught sight of several sea and shore birds, some of which are endemic to the Falklands.
|Two (2) Two-banded Plovers|
And, as most birds have no fear of Man or photographers, they blithely ignored us as we puffed past.
|Blackish Oystercatchers, posing before the synchronised diving event. "Oooh, doesn't that wind ruffle your tail-feathers??!"|
Continuing along the pathless coast, we stumbled over the native hardy plants, such as Balsam Bog. It's strange to think that no people or animals had ever walked on these islands until a couple of centuries ago.
|Nordic Walkers to the fore!|
|A very long, and neat, peat cutting|
Near the end of the walk, we passed a lovely, still heron, or "Quark" as it's known locally. Can you guess what its call sounds like?
|A juvenile black-crowned night heron, or Quark|
We had parked a car at the end of the walk, and the first 4 walkers to finish drove back to where the rest of the cars had been left below the wind turbines, about 4 miles away as the petrel flies. They then drove all the cars back to the finish and the waiting walkers. This works really well in the Falklands as almost everyone leaves their keys in the car, so it didn't matter who finishes first!
|Rock shags, on a rock|
Maybe someone is hoarding it, but I heard a rumour that a container full of cheese had mistakenly been offloaded en route at another port. Customs officials recently opened a container to be greeted by a rather pungent odour of cheese well past its "Use By" date!
There's also been the unfortunate delay in new pairs of spectacles. About 250 pairs of prescription glasses had been ordered for Islanders after the annual visit of the optician. However, for reasons unknown, this order has been shipped by sea, and not as air freight.
Hopefully, people will still be able to find their way around while they wait for the specs to arrive.
For those of you who may be interested, a leek (grown locally) cost me £2.57 in the shop today. Cheaper than a pepper, but still takes a bit of getting used to. Looks like the leek and potato soup will be mainly potato....
More foodie news soon, as I dig out the photos of potatoes in Bolivia!
Happy Falklands Day