Sunday, 22 July 2007

Car Man

Last night we went to see the Car Man at Sadlers Wells. Wow!

It was fantastic. A dance adaptation of Bizet's Carmen set in an American mid-west town in the fifties. The music was great of course, and played live. The choreography was stunning and the dancing was sexy, physical yet tender, and wonderfully competent. The whole thing was riveting. Well done again to Matthew Bourne and company.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Eurogames 2007 - final thoughts

The closing ceremony in Antwerp was quite moving. We rightly gave thanks to all the volunteers who had done such a magnificent job. One of the volunteers suddenly proposed on stage to her girlfriend. A young kid sang movingly as part of a choir of the children of same-sex parents. There were more music acts including a superb 'Shirley Bassey'. Then finally the games closed and were handed over to Barcelona for them to take up the baton in 2008.

And we watched it all in the happy company of Michael, Ottmar and Heinreich over a few beers,

The weekend was well worth the journey. I think we will
revisit Antwerp.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Eurogames 2007 - a review

Well we have arrived back from a fantastic weekend in Antwerp. The organisation of Eurogames 2007 was excellent, the local people were really friendly and supportive, the city is small but vibrant and the weather was fine.

I enjoyed hugely being part of the opening ceremony and marching into the main square behind the British banner. And then came the golf. Having missed out on a medal in Sydney 2002 and Munch 2004, I was so keen to win a medal in Antwerp. But as my round progressed and I started to hit a few wayward drives into the trees or out of bounds, I thought I'd blown the chance. But I scrambled some points and then with a few holes to play, felt that I might, just might have a chance. I really concentrated especially on the 18th tee. I hit a good drive there, but leaked my second shot to the right of the green with a large bunker between my ball and the flag. Watched by those in the clubhouse, I managed to pitch the ball over the bunker to about 10 feet from the hole and then rolled in the putt for a par and 3 points to give me a total of 32 points. My playing partner, Michael finished with 33 points, so I knew I was behind him. I just needed to have only one other player ahead of me. And that is what happened. One of the other guys had 36 points to win the gold medal, but my 32 points were enought to win bronze. I was really chuffed.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007


I am off on Thursday to take part in Eurogames2007 in Antwerp. Five years ago I played golf at the 2002 Gay Games in Sydney and somehow lost out on a medal by three-putting the last green and losing the bronze medal on countback. This time it would be nice to do better, but I am not playing very well and will be happy just to take part and enjoy the weekend.

Monday, 2 July 2007

Italian Chapel, Lambholm

I cannot leave Orkney without a mention of the Italian Chapel. During the war a number of Italian prisoners of war were sent to Orkney. In camp 60 at Lambholm one on the prisoners, an artist called Chiocchetti, asked to be able to create a place of worship. He was given 2 old Nissen Huts. Using materials which were available, he created a magnificent chapel. It still survives, a testament to his wonderful artistry and to the people of Orkney who have maintained the chapel to this day.

As one of the original prisoners of war, Bruno Volpi, said on his return to Orkney in 1992 - 'People cannot be judged by their precarious situations. Their culture, spirit and will to express themselves in creative thoughts and deeds are stronger than any limitation to freedom.'

Italian chapel from the outside

And from the inside

Sunday, 1 July 2007


Back from a week in Scotland with the main destination being the Orkney Islands.

Despite being born and brought up in Inverness, I have never been to Orkney. The Islands are much greener and much more beautiful than I had expected. Perhaps that is just because they are so close together, so one is never far from the sea and a view over a number of islands.

Most are flat, but we spent a full day on the mountainous, magnificent Island of Hoy. we took the car and drove right round the Island from Longhope in the south to Randwick in the west. And Randwick was stunning.

I also enjoyed Kirkwall especially since we were there during the St Magnus Festival. And of course the Islands are full of history. Skara Brae was so impressive - amazing to think that it was inhabited long before the building of the Great Wall of China or the Pyramids at Giza.

Yes I really enjoyed the few days on the Orkney islands.

St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall

Randwick Bay, Hoy

Near Birsay