Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday's Spotlight - The Olympics come to Lincoln!

By guest blogger Pete.

Yes, you have read that correctly. Lincoln sets the pace for the rest of the country to follow - often takes them a bit of time (like 2012) but they get there eventually!

Our Olympics weren't affected at all by the weather. We're tough folk here and snow or frost, gales and floods don't put us off. Everyone was present for the opening ceremony first event and everyone stayed to enjoy the rich triumphant closing celebrations. We even had medals! Who has ever heard of an Olympics where there weren't medals? We do things properly in this part of the world.

Our Olympics were the Christmas celebrations of the CAMEO Club. I've mentioned this Club before but in case you've forgotten (not, coming from Lincoln and all that) CAMEO stands for "Come and Meet Each Other". In our events 80+ years olds competed with teenagers and some won gold medals. The events we had were things like the "200 yard Puff". Teams are given a balloon and without using their hands they have to blow it between the legs of a chair - there is only ONE chair so the fun starts when they all arrive at the chair at the same time. High Jump is a spelling contest, with a word added to each spelling requirement per round (i.e. 5 letters, then 6 then 7, etc.).. An 84 year old lady won this so walked away with a gold medal. The Javelin was an even where straws were thrown; the hammer was throwing a opened paper handkerchief; the Marathon was equated with bouncing a tennis ball and there were various other events to test people's talents. I first used this idea when teaching English to 13 year olds, where events were equated with English language skills. If you want further details then please contact me through the "COMMENTS" link on this blog.

On a more serious note, the really good news that greeted Lincoln folk and which made the ending of 2009 so joyful was the release of a Lincoln man, Peter Moore. Peter was an I.T. financial consultant working in Iraq and had been held hostage for 946 days. As you can imagine, he was under tremendous pressure during that captivity and that continued right up to his actual release. He commented that as he was taken to be released he was convinced that, in actual fact, he was about to be assassinated.

A candle has been burning 24 hours every day of Peter's captivity. The Bishop of Lincoln, in a broadcast this morning, said it would be kept alight so that when Peter returned to Lincoln he could extinguish it. The only but very real sadness connected to the event was that Peter's four bodyguards were all executed.

It's New Year's Eve as I write this blog. The photos are from a recent visit to Kew Gardens - I know - not the most seasonal...but maybe they'll get you thinking of spring, just around the corner.....

I wish you all a blessed and very happy New Year. Keep on hoping, as Peter, his parents and so many folk in Lincoln and Lincolnshire, did.

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