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Violating Sanctions

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

The London Logs: Renoir on a Rainy Day

Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | July 31st, 2012 | Comments No Comments »

ra.jpgUsing his fortune from Singer sewing machines, an American expat settled in Paris in 1910 and stitched together one of the world’s best private collections of Impressionist artwork. Sterling and Francine Clark originally collected Old Masters and American art, but quickly shifted into collecting the new art of the era: Impressionist work by Monet, Degas, Sisley, Pissarro, Marisot – and especially Renoir. Read the rest of this entry »

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

Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | July 30th, 2012 | 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: Castelesque Windsor & A Swan Song

Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | July 29th, 2012 | Comments No Comments »

I was surprised the village of Windsor is built right around the castle. It seemed at my every turn, windsor-castle.jpgthe castle loomed over the village. The oldest castle in England, Windsor Castle is the main residence of Queen Elizabeth.

She did not come out to greet me, Read the rest of this entry »

Category: London, Windsor

The London Logs: Books & Balls

Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | July 28th, 2012 | 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 (
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! Read the rest of this entry »

Category: London, Olympics

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

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

To celebrate the Opening Ceremonies, the BBC ( 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, Read the rest of this entry »

Category: London, Olympics

The London Logs: Cheaper Than You Think!

Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | July 26th, 2012 | Comments No Comments »

glorious-london.jpgThe rap on London is that it’s terribly expensive. It’s not! Museums are free, theatre is an exceptional bargain and interesting, affordable meals can be found around. Wine and beer are not cheap, however, and a glass of wine can run the equivalent of a meal.

Of course, I’m housesitting, which avoids pricey accommodations, and affords me the opportunity to make a meal or two at “home” – or at least store restaurant leftovers for future meals.

Here are my daily expenses: Read the rest of this entry »

Category: London, Olympics

The London Logs: Lazy Day in Hyde Park

Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | July 25th, 2012 | Comments No Comments »

hyde-park-cropped.jpgLondon is speckled with parks, but the crown jewel is Hyde Park. I sat for hours today in a sling chair, watching paddle boaters and preening swans while reading my Thames book and catching up on these blogs. Nothing more to write! Just a lazy, lazy day!
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Category: London

The London Logs: My Birthday! & Globe Theatre Tips

Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | July 24th, 2012 | Comments No Comments »

Finally, today I was allowed to open the birthday gift left by Emiko and Stephen (the owners of the home I am watching this summer). It’s a book on the history of the River Thames!london-bridge-wolympic-rings.jpg After yesterday’s riverside excursion, my curiosity was piqued about what John Burns called England’s “liquid history.” Perfect gift!

globe-theatre-thames.jpgI treated myself to a performance of “The Taming of the Shrew” at the Globe Theatre. Read the rest of this entry »

Category: London, Shakespeare

The London Logs: Timeless Greenwich & Walking Underwater

Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | July 23rd, 2012 | Comments No Comments »

In keeping with the birthday theme of stopping time, I headed to Greenwich today to stand at Zero Zulu Time. greenwich-the-world-fm-0-longitude.jpgAlas, my timing was off: The Royal Greenwich Observatory is closed during the Olympics. This is where the equestrian events will take place. I’ll return next month.

Greenwich is a charming section of London, hugging the southern shore of the Thames. greenwich-fm-across-thames-2.jpgIt was a brilliant day Read the rest of this entry »

The London Logs: Time Is On My Side

Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | July 22nd, 2012 | Comments 1 Comment »

Hard to believe the Rolling Stones are nearly as old as I am. So, to kick off my birthday week and to celebrate that this was the first morning I woke with my throat not feeling as if I’d swallowed a bagful of bumblebees, I headed to Somerset House to see a photographic retrospective of the enduring band. rolling-stones.jpg

Two things from the dozens of blown-up black-and-white images immediately struck me: Read the rest of this entry »

Author's Bio
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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