Saturday, August 30, 2008

How Can London Top This?
I loved the Beijing Olympics. The performances were incredible, the ceremonies were spectacular, The Bird's Nest was stunning. So how can London follow this? We can never attempt to emulate this type of event, but instead we need to play to our strengths. Here's some suggestions.
1. Focus on the Individual Not the Collective
During the ceremonies we should focus on individual creative flair rather than the mass co-ordination that the Chinese are so good at, showcasing our global stars of music, theatre, etc.
There should be much less of a corporate feel and there should be the opportunity for different communities to come to the fore.
2. Showcase the Whole of London
Ensure that the world sees all of London rather than just the Olympic Park. It's great that other fabulous settings such as Lord's, Wimbledon, Regent's Park and Wembley will feature in the Games. I remember seeing a lot of Barcelona during their games. We should show off the beauty of London.
3. Create a Party Atmosphere
When Germany held the World Cup, they set up big screens in public places. We should do the same and encourage communal viewing of the big events. There should be a real sense of celebration everywhere with street parties and free public events. We should make the Olympics feel light hearted, entertaining and slightly eccentric. Boris set the tone with his 'ping pong's coming home' speech. More of the same please.
4. Involve The Fans More
In Beijing not all the stadia were full for various reasons. We should ensure that true fans get a chance to go to the events so the crowds can create an intense, passionate atmosphere everywhere.
5. Ignore the Cynics
We're brilliant at negativity in the UK, constantly predicting disaster and moaning about how crowded London will be, how we'll mess everything up, etc. The organisers must ignore and ride through all this and not let the cynicism drive us down.
6. Focus on the Legacy
After the Games we should ensure that everyone has an opportunity to use the facilities and that they don't become empty testimonies to extravagance. We should involve, children and schools before and during the Games so they develop a love of sport and get a chance to develop their talents.
I'm SO looking forward to London 2012. It's a privilege to be given the opportunity to host them and I think they're going to be amazing.

New Addition to the Franco Household
Talullah Lollipop Starfish. 9 weeks old. From Streatham Hill Vet.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Great Film
Recently saw The Lives of Others. It's a German film that re-enacts life in East Germany in the mid 1980s under the watchful eye of the secret police known as the Stasi.
It has everything. Outstanding acting, a gripping story, great soundtrack. No wonder it won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film. A few of us watched it and we all loved it. Can't recommend it highly enough.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Weekend in Glandore

For the past 9 years we've spent the Bank Holiday weekend staying with friends in Glandore in West Cork. Weather was a bit iffy, but it was still great to be there. I always take a picture of Mae sitting at Hayes' Bar. Here's the latest.

Have just arrived in Jakarta. My home for the next 3 days. Flew on an Airbus A380, the biggest passenger plane in the world, in business class with Singapore Airlines. So much space. Was the most luxurious flight I've ever been on. Saw Kung Fu Panda and Ironman. Both very entertaining. Kung Fu Panda slightly more violent.

Nice hotel - the Kristal - with a very inviting pool. Shame I've got work to do.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Same Old, Same Old

Two home games for Derby, two 1-0 defeats. The margins aren't as big, but the results are the same. We've not won a league game for almost a year. Will we be relgation candidates? Looking likely at the moment.
Olympic Withdrawal Symptoms

I can't believe its over. What am I going to do now? I've loved the Olympics. Thought the Games were amazing. BBC coverage was superb. The Chinese put on an incredible show. The athletes were outstanding. Feel inspired and uplifted. Can't wait for London 2012.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back From Hols

Getting back into work from 2 weeks in the sun is really tough as:

1. The weather's awful
2. The Olympics are on the telly
3. I'd much rather be on a beach in Italy

Whilst away, I managed to get through 3 good books

John Dickie's Delizia: if you love food and you love Italian history, then you'll love this
Sebastian Faulkes' James Bond novel: glamorous, escapist nonsense
Russel Brand's Booky Wook: frank, honest and funny. I'm not a fan of his but I realluy enjoyed it.

Am loving the Olympics - particularly Usain Bolt jogging through his 200 metre heats and the British cyclists. Very distracting. Must get back to my work.....

Friday, August 01, 2008

Can On You Rams!

Can you believe it, the new footie season is about to begin. Over the Summer Derby have bought 11 new players - a brand new team - in an attempt to return to the misery of the Premier League.

So..will need to learn lots of new names and try to work out who's been sold. Trickiest name - Przemyslaw Kazmierczak - Polish midfielder. As with all footie fans, I'm feeling optimistic. Hopefully Paul Jewell will be able to record his first ever win as Derby manager in our opener against Doncaster.

He's bought the players so there can be no excuses. My prediction: Derby in a play off position by Christmas or else Jewell will be gone. Let's hope it's the former.

First London game: QPR on 27th Sept. Anyone want to go??