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Violating Sanctions

An American Woman’s Listening Tour Through the Axis of Evil

Archive for the Olympics Category

The London Logs: From the Flame to Fireworks: The Closing Ceremony

August 12th, 2012 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments No Comments »

100_0214.jpgAfter an easy domestic day doing laundry and paying bills, I joined “my” neighbors in spontaneously spilling into the street at midnight when we heard the fireworks from the Olympic Closing Ceremony. Neighbors meeted and greeted and pointed out the best vantage of the news blimp between the East London houses. We couldn’t see any fireworks, but the noise bound us together in the shared community experience….much as the flame passing a few blocks from here had a few weeks ago.

I’ve been so blessed to be here to participate in this historically marginal community’s very non-marginal connection to this international spectacle. From the annoyance of the overcrowded trains to the quiet pride of the neighbors, I’ve been a local!
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Category: London, Olympics

The London Logs: Buckingham Guards & Beach Volleyball

August 10th, 2012 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments No Comments »

100_0211.jpgAt the request of Barbara Mountain, the woman for whom I housesit in Ajijic, Mexico, I went on a quest to find the venue where the beach volleyball tournament took place. The idea of photographing beach volleyball a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace was too much for me to resist. 100_0217.jpg (more…)

Category: London, Olympics

The London Logs: High School Homeboy Hits the Olympics!

August 7th, 2012 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments No Comments »

Once you hit 50 and are coaching an athlete who represents the US in the Olympics, is it all downhill from here?
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Laughing, my high school buddy Alex Conti, takes off his collector-item sneakers and shrugs his shoulders. Alex teaches phys ed at our old high school and has coached women wrestlers as a volunteer with the US Women’s Junior World Team.100_0181.jpg (more…)

Category: London, Olympics

The London Logs: Jonathan Scheer’s The Thames

August 5th, 2012 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments No Comments »

It’s pretty challenging to buy a birthday gift for someone you’ve never met. But Emiko and Stephen – the loving couple I am housesitting for this summer – left me an unexpected and very thoughtful gift of The Thames: England’s River by Jonathan Schneer.
thames-book.jpg
While I feel Schneer at times stretches to weave river happenings into England’s history, he sure does a fine job of arguing that the river is inextricable with London’s political, economic, social and cultural history.

From the frost fairs he so eloquently describes to the fall of tanker traffic that led to the demise of East London, (more…)

Category: London, Olympics

The London Logs: Missed Connection

August 4th, 2012 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments No Comments »

A friend of mine from high school is coaching the US Olympic Women’s Wrestling Team!

(I didn’t know women’s wrestling was an Olympic sport!)

Whatever… A high school buddy from my 7,000-person hometown is here in London coaching the US Olympic Women’s Wrestling Team!

!!!

I’m so proud of Alex Conti. (more…)

Category: London, Olympics

The London Logs: The Groundling View

August 3rd, 2012 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments No Comments »

“A kingdom for a stage” indeed! I’d have killed for a seat. I wanted to experience Shakespeare as the “groundlings” had in his day: Standing in the “yard” at the foot of the stage. For only £5 (about $7.50US), I was captivated by Henry V. Jamie Parker masterfully played a young leader conflicted by the impact of his call to war against France. henry-v.jpgst-pauls.jpgIt’s a reflective reticence I wish we saw more often in today’s leaders. Performers were inches away from me; it’s an indescribable experience making eye contact with the actors. (more…)

The London Logs: From Paupers’ Graves to Princely Gourmet, Southwark Cathedral, the Swiss Olympic Stage & London Bridge

August 2nd, 2012 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments No Comments »

Cross Bones Graveyard: This is where “single women” in the 1400s were buried. crossbonesgraveyardsign.jpgThe former prostitutes’ graveyard is now a battleground: development vs historic preservation. These days, there’s an annual ceremony to commemorate the unheralded women by having visitors tie ribbons with the prostitutes’ names and death dates to the fence. (www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/esmagazine/tall-tales-a-grave-question-6359736.html)borough-market-cow-sign.jpg

Why did I end up here? (more…)

Category: London, Olympics

The London Logs: Everyone Has Olympic Fever & I Have a COLD!

July 30th, 2012 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments No Comments »

olympic-rings-on-barge.jpgStill trying to shake my tenacious cough, I hung out in East London today at a Portuguese restaurant in my ‘hood that allowed me to sit for hours catching up on my writing. Lunch was pasta with shrimp, garlic (ward off the cold?), and olive oil and a starter with fabulous olives.

…Only to discover the restaurant is hosting one of the Portuguese Olympic teams for dinner tonight!
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Category: London, Olympics

The London Logs: Books & Balls

July 28th, 2012 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments No Comments »

Tonight, I met my friend Des outside the Globe Theatre and he regaled me with Southbank sites. big-ben-at-night.jpgWe wandered around the vibrant 5-story Southbank Centre (www.Southbankcentre.co.uk)
where there’s an art installation featuring 200,000 used books being set up in a maze. Des commented that it might be a reflection on how obsolete books are becoming. His point: Just the fact that 200,000 used books – which a mere few years ago would have been a commodity – are being donated for this art installation shows how devalued physical books are becoming.

book-display.jpgKill me now! (more…)

Category: London, Olympics

The London Logs: Let the Games Begin! Celebrating with T-Rex & Beethoven

July 27th, 2012 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments No Comments »

To celebrate the Opening Ceremonies, the BBC (www.bbc.co.uk/proms) held a public “sing-out” of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. I showed up at the free amateur sing-along at the Royal College of Music expecting to see earnest music students. trex.movalign=”right” style=”margin-left:7px;” border=”1″/>

Instead, more than 200 people – from kids to seniors – showed up and self-segregated into sections marked Soprano, Alto, Bass or Tenor. Renegade that I am, I started the Non-Singing Section, (more…)

Category: London, Olympics
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