Sunday, 14 August 2022

My Icon for the Commonwealth Games 2022 is the Raging Bull ...

 

It has become the focal point in Birmingham (UK!!) of our Commonwealth Games … where other sports also featured …


Commonwealth Games Seal -
The Friendly Games and most inclusive Games
 - para sportsmen and women also compete

Perhaps before I start this post I'd better explain where I'm coming from … I was a (hockey, tennis and eventually only squash) ball player – definitely not any other sport … especially running …



but way back in the 'Ark' … I was fortunate enough to get a job working for the British Olympic Association as a clothing administrator (another no – no – clothes do not interest me) – but the lure of the Olympics definitely did … Munich 1972.


Munich Olympic Park - photo
taken in 2014
I've found my bumph on that era – so once Paris 2024 comes around I'll get my act into gear and see what's in the pile … and post some info … for example our Dickensian offices … wooden stair treads worn by 200 years of toil …


It was at this point I became interested in all sports and have been ever since … the nod back to the 1972 era will become obvious in my next post …


I enjoy watching as I can get about doing other things … while people swim, somersault, cycling, run rings round friends, bash balls about … today: move like lightning – my heart is still palpitating after watching the competitors play … way better than our day and in London and Johannesburg where we had some of the best squash players in the world at the club … I'm quite glad I lived through the slower pace of life!


Soweto Kinch - who played
at the Opening Ceremony; there
was a festival going on in and
around the Birmingham area

I wrote three comprehensive posts I 2014 on the Games held in Glasgow … so I won't belabour (a better word than bore!) you with much info here – the Birmingham Games came about, after Durban, South Africa pulled out and the UK accepted the Challenge – we compete as England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Island, Guernsey Jersey and the Isle of Man – not combined under the UK/British banner.



These Commonwealth Games came very soon after the World Athletics Championships had been held at the new Hayward Field, Eugene, Oregon … where only athletics was featured … following on in unseemly order due to the pandemic – the Commonwealth Games …



Concept of the new stadium and track
Eugene, Oregon

The new stadium falls under the remit of Oregon University … but I was interested in seeing the new design … also I'd never heard of Eugene as a centre of sporting achievement/excellence – I guess not living in the States allows for this omission of knowledge – not any more …



Showcasing Oregon's lumber in all
its glory - the Eugene concourse

So before another week disappears into the hot ether we're in (or I am in the south of England) – I'd better get this post finished and up … as we're into another sporting event in Munich … the European Championships …



Back to the Commonwealth Games - The Brummie Bull isn't really raging … he's a Steampunk 'concoction' for the 2022 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony/(The Friendly and most inclusive Games – para-competitors too) … and has captured many a person's heart.



The not so (at this moment) Raging Bull

The Opening Ceremony gave us a ceremonial view of Birmingham from its humble beginnings as a Saxon settlement (mid 5th century), to a market town in the 12th century, until the 1700s came around …




The gathering place at the start of
the Jewellery Quarter - as it is today

when the beating heart of the Industrial Revolution began in the 'Midlands' and Birmingham became the city of a thousand trades … including its Jewellery Quarter from the early 1900s …



Imaginery industrial heartland

nearby over half a century ago … an emerging bard made his appearance ensuring that Stratford-on-Avon would remind us of our creative arts … which now includes a ten-day literature festival.



Creative image for the Raging Bull

Back to the red-eyed, steam-threatening bull as he made his entrance onto the Commonwealth Stage – a creative masterpiece …




made from re-cycled aluminium tubing, foam and plastic – painted over to resemble metal and armour …



Mike Kelt - Chairman of the Special Effects
team at Artem Design Company

It took sixty workers over five months to create and was pulled into the Alexander Stadium by a gang of female chain-makers representing the Industrial Revolution … the chains were made from very high density foam machined on a computer controlled cutting machine.



Raging Bull arriving for the 
Opening Ceremony

What next for the Raging Bull – well he'd wilt when it rained again … so for now he can be outside … then as a home has been found – he can remain in Birmingham as a cultural icon – somewhere …



The copy-cat dog ...
empathising with
the Raging Bull!

This is long … but there is more – via the links (should you wish to visit) … and I'll elaborate (I hope more succinctly) in my next but one post – as WEP has caught up due next week.




William Blake - dark Satanic world

Life ticks on … I am so glad I live at the coast! Many of my verbs should be in the past tense … days have gone by! I've been somewhat overwhelmed with over commitment this year … so these idle days are helping … everything starts up again towards the end of the month …



The plays of William Shakespeare by
Sir John Gilbert 1849

My posts … Commonwealth Games three posts from August 2014 - the first is here ... they follow on ... 

Artem Special Effects and Innovative Solutions ...

Mike Kelt - c/o BBC talking about the innovative bull ... 

History and Culture of Birmingham ... an interesting overview of Birmingham and its surrounds ... 


Forbes - the new Hayward Field ... 


PS - Apologies for length ... 


Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Monday, 1 August 2022

Go … Fly a Kite … or 10,000 of them …#WATWB Hmb#4 ...

 

or Come-Fly-a-Kite with 'me' … another wonderful uplifting story …


Alice Denny showing a kite - from
the Good Chance Theatre site

Master Afghan kite-maker and refugee Sanjar Qiam is celebrating the cultural history of kites by inspiring a festival of kite-flying across the UK and Europe on Saturday 20 August.




Many will gather for story telling, music, poetry and dance from Afghan artists and community groups to highlight the cultural significance of kites in Afghanistan's history …


Qiam Sanjir with his wife,
in their toy shop 'Rocket Science'

Some kites will be tethered to the ground through a single thread but fly free of the borders that define the land …



and which are the embodiment of freedom and play … looked at collectively, on the stage of the sky, kites represent togetherness, our difference and our shared humanity.


Flying Kites ... 

With the Taliban in power … kites are banned, along with music, free journalism, theatre and dancing – all and any self-expression.



Qiam Sanjar, Master kite-maker, says:


Fly-With-Me is a reminder to the world:

Remember Afghanistan


while in Afghanistan, kites occupy a unique space between national art form and national sport.


They are a universal symbol of expression, skill and cultural pride.


Sanjar was a successful business man in Kabul … but decided in 2011 to move away … having married a non-Muslim wife … he first went to India and then flew here to the UK … with his 10,000 kites!


This ad for the festival ... says it all ... 

He now has a toy shop in Brighton, along the coast from here, on the south coast … as well as establishing a centre for creative ideas …



offering craft workshops, story-reading sessions in different languages, 'educative' toys from various countries … France, Australia, Russia, USA, Netherlands, China and of course his homeland … opening the doors to learning while playing …



With the Good Chance Theatre (link below)

The business concept can be rolled out for others to take up the mantle of helping new settlers in our country … combining work, with family time, while broadening their and our knowledge of life in another country …



Perhaps across our South Downs, Sussex

Go Fly A Kite … with friends, contacts and family is already opening so many doors for those looking to expand their horizons …




Funds raised will go to Afghanaid and its By-Her- Side campaign to support women in rural Afghan communities.


We are the World Blogfest

In Darkness, Be Light




BBC - Kabul to Brighton ... video ... 

Independent article - Escaping the Taliban and finding security in the UK ... Kite Flying

Good Chance Organisation had kite making packs for sale, but here they describe how to make a kite - simple details by the look of it ... 

Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories