Music

Saturday song.

This week I couldn't have chosen anything other than a Linkin Park track to share today. The soundtrack to my uni days featured their music regularly so the news this week of the death of Chester Bennington left me very sad. I know many deemed them not a cool band to love, but I never cared about that, I loved their sound and what they had to say mattered to me a whole lot. I saw them headline at Reading Festival back in 2003, while I was there with a group of friends we all did our own thing so I went on my own (some of the others were elsewhere in the crowd) and had such an amazing time – they were a highlight in a weekend that was full of so many musical highlights.

I often talk about music getting under my skin, those songs that seem to capture my heart most intensely. Of all the Linkin Park songs I love In the End is the one that absolutely got under my skin so it had to be my choice.

Book Review

Mascots Go For Gold.

Last weekend at the Para Athletics I picked up a copy of the games' picture book Mascots Go For Gold, written by Paul Aldridge and illustrated by Ben Barter.

It features the mascots for both the World Para Athletics Championship and the World Athletics Championship as they enter into a relay race against some proper wrong uns. The story has plenty of twists and turns, there's always some new way that the baddies try to cheat their way to the win. It didn't always flow quite as well as I would have liked, but the story itself worked well. I'm really looking forward to sharing it with my friends' boys in a couple of weeks time when I next visit them and deliver their copy.

Days Out · Sports Thoughts

Para Athletics 2017

On Sunday we travelled down to London to go to the Olympic Stadium to go to the evening session of the World Para Athletics Championships. I bought the tickets ages ago, during last year’s Paralympics, so our anticipation levels were really high. Buying the tickets was really easy – the website highlighted which of the Team GB stars were competing in which session, I chose the Sunday evening session so that we could see Jonnie Peacock compete in the men’s T44 100m.

We got to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in plenty of time, after a quick trip through the gift shop we went and found the Hero Village. This had some stalls running activities, but more importantly was home to the Medal Plaza. No medals are actually being presented in the stadium during the session they’re won in, instead they’re presented later at the Medal Plaza. Just as we arrived they were presenting the medals from the previous evening’s men’s T42 200m final, for GB a gold to Richard Whitehead and a bronze for David Henson. It was very cool to get to see it, but at the same time felt like a shame as we realised that we wouldn’t get to see the medals from our session actually presented to the athletes who won them.

Getting into the stadium itself was so easy, the security was efficient and the entry system had clear instructions to make sure you entered the stadium in the right place. We were in our seats very early when there was hardly anyone else in the stadium.

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It soon filled up though, there were over 30,000 people there – the biggest crowd so far in the tournament. It was brilliant to see the crowds including loads of families with children, lots of them clutching their cuddly toy version of the competition mascot Whizbee.

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The sport was brilliant. We saw such a variety, from our seats we had a fantastic view of the long jump as well as all of the track events. Most of the throwing events were a little further away so I found myself paying a little less attention to them, but there’s so much going on that you can’t possibly watch all of it.

There was so much good sport to watch and enjoy but the highlight was of course seeing Jonnie Peacock race. His heat and his race were both highly tense, even if they did both only last just over 10 seconds! Seeing him set a new record, and win the gold medal was absolutely brilliant.

We had such a great evening. I came away definitely wanting to go and watch more live sport. I’d gladly go back to watch more at the Olympic Park, but also plan to investigate some other venues – locally we have the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham which hosts major athletics competitions, and also other sports – after both London 2012 and Rio 2016 we said we’d love to go and watch some cycling at a velodrome and I don’t want to get to Tokyo 2020 and still not have done it.

Geek Stuff · TV Stuff

Changing faces

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting in the shadow of the Olympic Stadium, waiting to go and take our seats to watch the Para Athletics (more on that tomorrow when I've got my thoughts in order) when this video finally went live

While I was waiting for the video to load I felt so nervous, there had been so much discussion about the fact that this time might actually be the time when we got a female cast in the role of Doctor but I couldn't bring myself to believe that might be the case. I was so delighted when it started playing and it became clearer and clearer that the Doctor was indeed being played by a woman and the reveal that the lucky lady who gets to write history is Jodie Whittaker.

As expected there are choruses of disappointment and anger over the move to cast a female in the role. I'm choosing to focus instead on the many voices saying that this development is going to bring them back to the show, or is going to be the step that makes them finally start watching it after years of disinterest. With regards to those negative voices though I love this post by excellent author Susie Day that is aimed at young people but speaks really to fans of any age.

I'm really looking forward to seeing where this next regeneration of The Doctor takes the story. With every new Doctor comes a shift of everything, a new beginning nestled inside the richest of histories, this 13th (or 14th or 15th depending on your personal take on the show's canon) face of The Doctor is surely going to take us on yet another incredible adventure.

Book Stuff · Films

Best get reading

I was so excited to see this new trailer for the upcoming film adaptation of¬†Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.¬†It’s more years than I care to remember since I last read the book, it’s going onto my reading list so I can read it again in plenty of time before the film comes out next year.