The Olympic Cauldron has won the Visual Arts prize at this year’s South Bank Sky Arts Awards ceremony hosted by Melvyn Bragg in London. What was certainly the centrepiece of last year’s Olympic Games, the Cauldron warded off stiff competition from the Olympic Velodrome.
The Olympic Cauldron was designed by the English designer Thomas Heatherwick, who is known for his inventive use of materials and engineering in public sculptures and monuments. The Cauldron was a ‘magnum opus’ of surprise theatre, and nothing of the like had been seen at any previous Olympic Games.
Each of the 204 nations delegated a team member to receive and look after a beautiful copper petal, which was laid out in a designated spot at the opening ceremony. These petals were then lifted skywards by a thin and almost invisible wire. One by one the petals took position besides the Olympic torch making one huge beautiful flaming flower.
At the closing ceremony the opposite occurred, and all the polished copper petals were returned to the nations to take back to their homeland with their names inscribed upon them, symbolising the great togetherness that is the Olympic spirit.
This was an absolute masterstroke by Heatherwick, and no one could deny that the designer earned the prestigious Visual Arts award.
Bizarre and unique to London, and when compared to local quirks in the other cities of Britain, you won’t find anything like Cockney rhyming slang anywhere else on the British Isles, or possibly the world for that matter!
Cockney rhyming slang is used often by many Londoners and a form of expression, replacing ordinary words by rhyming equivalents, such as “door” with that of the late great footballer, “Bobby Moore”. Plates of meat, for example are your feet. When Cockney rhyming sland advocators are really hungry they say, “I’m Hank Marvin,” which of course means “I’m starving!”
Londoners are not overly fussed about correct spelling and letters are often missed out or words shortened.
It is believed that the origins of rhyming slang go back to the mid 19th century and the East End of London was the place where it all began. Even today it is London’s East End where Cockney rhyming slang is most commonly used today.
There is some suggestion that market traders used it to talk amongst themselves, in a sort of code of collusion, so that customers were kept in the dark. Others suggest the slang’s origins point towards criminals using it to confuse the police.
Mayor Johnson has recently been trumpeting about the success and growth of the technological achievements of the city of London’s technology sector. The Mayor of London recently spoke about the capital being a technological powerhouse, stating on television: “Without any interference from MP’s or grants etc, we are seeing, over the last four or five years, real growth in the tech sector of London.”
It does seem that the public in general are not fully aware of or focused on London’s growing dominance in technological advances. Mr Johnson went on to say:
“What we need is for the tech sector to be properly supported by investors and to list on the stock exchange where they will get the capital that they need to develop their concerns. One of the mysteries is why America built gigantic tech businesses has over the last 20 or 30 years whilst Europe has never really had anything of considerable size? I have just come back from Silicon Valley in the U.S and I think that London is a much more attractive place to work and live.”
London’s equivalent to Silicon Valley in the U.S. is Silicon Roundabout between the boroughs of Hackney and Islington. The Mayor rightly pointed out that the area has created 40.000 jobs and may well one day re-address the balance with the financial sector in the City, which has more than 360,000 workers.
When you sit at a laid out table in anticipation of a fine meal ahead, the chances are you will inspect the cutlery to see that it has been polished to the highest perfection. But you might also slightly re-shape the layout and in doing so get a feel for the tools you are about to use (That could be just this blogger’s minor OCD coming through…).
How do they feel? Are they ‘weighty’? Ergonomic? Does the cutlery in question sing ‘I am the best you can get…this is a precursor of the food to come!’.
In our view, having the very best cutlery available is so important to the dining experience. In fact, apart from initial impressions, it is a diner’s first tactile experience.
Like most things, it’s the little things that count.
With this in mind, we are very proud to be associated with Arthur Price of England and Harrods in a two-way promotion.
Arthur Price of England is the UK’s leading silverware and gift manufacturer. They have opened their flagship store, the Silver Room in Harrods. To celebrate the launch, customers spending £250 or more in Arthur Price’s new luxury concession on the Second Floor, Harrods will receive a complimentary ‘Dinner for Two’ at the Wyndham Grand hotel’s Chelsea Riverside Brasserie*.
The Chelsea Riverside Brasserie offers a true fine dining experience in London and joining up with the finest cutlery manufacturer in England for this fabulous promotion made perfect sense.
Earth Hour is an event that grows in both participation and importance every year. Earth Hour 2013 is on Saturday 23rd March and the Wyndham Grand London Chelsea Harbour is actively taking part.
This innovative global phenomenon provides education and inspiration on how we can all make the world a better place environmentally.
For Earth Hour 2013, the Wyndham Grand London will be:
* Turning off or dimming all public area lights in the Lobby, The Harbour Bar and Chelsea Riverside Brasserie for the hour.
* The Harbour Bar will be showcasing a special Earth Hour Cocktail throughout the evening.