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Violating Sanctions

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

The London Logs: The Portrait Gallery in a Snapshot

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

I expected the Portrait Gallery to be a stuffy museum of painted headshots of the royals. It’s not! The current exhibit is the entries in the annual portrait painting contest. (www.npg.org.uk)
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The winning entry was a mesmerizing full body portrait of the painter’s elderly aunt – in the nude! The artist skillfully caught every unaltered wrinkle and twinkle and made me want to meet this saucy woman who looked like she didn’t play by the rules. (”Auntie” by Aleah Chapin)

Exposed my ignorance! Read the rest of this entry »

Category: London

The London Logs: Richard III Redux

Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | August 9th, 2012 | Comments No Comments »

After experiencing the Royal Shakespeare Company’s extraordinary Richard III in Stratford-upon-Avon last month, I was eager to see a different treatment of it. (www.rsc.org.uk)

The Globe’s featured Mark Rylance, who was artistic director at the Globe for a decade. This eagerly awaited performance marked his return appearance. It was a traditional production, with period costumes and heavily made up men playing the women’s roles. (www.ShakespearesGlobe.com)

I didn’t like it. Read the rest of this entry »

The London Logs: From Bethnal Green to Brick Lane

Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | August 8th, 2012 | Comments No Comments »

London sure loves its tourists and has several vibrant spots for them to hang out: Leicester Square, Covent Garden, the South Bank with rows of restaurants and pubs intermingled with ATMs. Bethnal Green and Brick Lane 100_0192.jpgare not such spots. These are ethnic ‘hoods, pulsating with funky boutiques, affordable aromatic restaurants and a street market that sells everything from batteries to bras.100_0188.jpg

Bethnal Green is also the home of the New Media Networks (www.NewMediaNetworks.org), the company owned by my new friends Karen Merkel and Akim Mogaji. They are working on a public relations project for Palestinian students who have been awarded opportunities to study in UK universities. Read the rest of this entry »

Category: London

The London Logs: Brick Road Wall Art

Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | August 8th, 2012 | Comments No Comments »

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Category: London

The London Logs: High School Homeboy Hits the Olympics!

Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | August 7th, 2012 | 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 Read the rest of this entry »

Category: London, Olympics

The London Logs: Jonathan Scheer’s The Thames

Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | August 5th, 2012 | 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.
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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, Read the rest of this entry »

Category: London, Olympics

The London Logs: Missed Connection

Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | August 4th, 2012 | 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. Read the rest of this entry »

Category: London, Olympics

The London Logs: The Groundling View

Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | August 3rd, 2012 | 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. Read the rest of this entry »

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

Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | August 2nd, 2012 | 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? Read the rest of this entry »

Category: London, Olympics

The London Logs: Domestic Day

Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | August 1st, 2012 | Comments No Comments »

A benefit of being in a place so long is that there’s no pressure to sightsee every day. Today was a domestic day spent doing my nails, laundry, banking and junk reading. Ahhh, what a joy to just live life!
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Here’s the view from my bedroom window that I wake to every morning. Tomorrow, I promise there’ll be another London adventure!
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Category: London
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Kelly Hayes-RaittOn the Listening Tour Through the Axis of Evil, Kelly Hayes-Raitt will travel to countries threatened by America's foreign policies as she puts a human face on "the enemy."

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