run eat life

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A year of blogging

Yesterday was my first anniversary with WordPress. One full year of blogging.

Naturally I had to go and read my very first post again from January 3rd, 2012:

Welcome 2012! Now is a good time to start working on all the changes that I want to see in 2012. Or as a wise man once said: a fool is someone who expects a different outcome even though he hasn’t changed any of his actions. So, let’s get a start on changes! Running in wind and rain is horrible? No way! Get on those trainers and run through the mud. It’s fun! I did it this morning! Welcome change!

I started my blog at a different location (http://inspiringandhealthyrunninginlondon.wordpress.com), experimenting with blogging about my running and training experience.

As the year progressed, I noticed however that I wanted to write about more than just running and subsequently I started the Run Eat Life blog.

Between the two blogs, I created 317 posts. That’s more than I could have ever imagined when I started.

If I had to pick a topic that was my favorite to blog about last year, it would have to be the London Olympics 2012. It was a fantastic time being in London, being in the heart of all that happened around the Olympics and Paralympics and taking part wherever I could. If you want to read some of my blogs on my experience last year with London 2012, please go here: http://inspiringandhealthyrunninginlondon.wordpress.com/tag/london-olympics/

I still get lots of traffic on people looking for photos and comments on the London Olympics and Paralympics and the most viewed pages are the ones with the Tower Bridge – with the Olympics Rings, with the Paralympic Agitos – and Tower Bridge by night. Therefore, I thought I’ll share some of those photos again with you.

We had quite a bit of fun with the Olympic Rings at the Tower Bridge. They weren’t always showing, so we reported them stolen one day to a couple of policemen who looked like they were enjoying talking to silly people like us. Luckily, the London police had it all covered and we were rest assured that in fact they hadn’t been stolen, but were just being retracted when Team GB didn’t win a gold medal it was windy or a ship passed through Tower Bridge and the bridge had to be opened… phew…

During the Olympics we also had special night views and night lights and light shows at the Tower Bridge, so a visit to the Tower Bridge By Night became a regular thing last summer.

And then last but not least, once the Paralympics started, the Olympic Rings were removed the the Paralympic logo – the Agitos – were displayed. Here is what I found out about the Agitos:

The Paralympic swooshes, swishes, things are actually called agitos, which comes from the Latin and means “I move”. The Paralympic symbol represents  the Paralympic motto “Spirit in Motion”. The colors (red, blue, green) were chosen as they are most commonly used in national flags.

paralympics - tower-bridge - agitos

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London Landmark Wenlock and Mandeville

I told you there are 83 Wenlocks and Mandevilles all over London. I still haven’t seen them all. I better hurry, not sure how long after September 9th (end of Paralympics) they will be around. I really should bid for one in the Wenlock and Mandeville auction. 🙂

Today, I am going to share a few sculptures with you of British landmarks that you should all be able to recognize…

The Red Bus Wenlock

The Telephone Box Wenlock

The Beefeater Mandeville

And my favorite from this series, the Queen’s Guard Wenlock

I think this one is the least scary of all the Wenlock and Mandeville sculptures that I have seen so far. He looks very peaceful, nearly cheerful even.  🙂


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Did you know that you could own an Olympic mascot?

Yup, you can! The London 2012 auction site allows you to bid for any of the Olympic mascot sculptures offered. You probably have to make a fast decision. It seems like new sculptures are added every day and are only on for a couple of days.

Keeping with the animal theme from yesterday’s post I am introducing Safari Mandeville and Birdy Wenlock. These two Olympic mascots are also roaming Regent’s Park.

Safari Mandeville says, “I am travelling across the world on safari to see some amazing creatures.” I like Safari Mandeville. He has got beautiful colors.

Birdy Wenlock is pretty cute, too. Similar to Animal Wenlock he has details all around and you need to see him from all sides to appreciate his beauty.

The owl looks great.

“Quack, quack”, he says, “I am enjoying bird-watching. Can you spot the water birds?”

I might have caught a little too much sun with this photo below. But we definitely do not want to complain about too much sun! Birdy Wenlock and Animal Wenlock are definitely my current favorites.

Punk Wenlock is still eluding my path…


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Animal Wenlock

Of course by now I have a much better understanding of the Olympic mascot discovery trails. There are 6 of them, all identified by different colors. You can find out more on the Mayor of London website. It will give you maps on where the discovery trails are and where the mascots are located.

This past weekend, we headed out to Regent’s Park to follow the green discovery trail. One mascot stood out: Animal Wenlock.

If you don’t know Regent’s Park, London Zoo is located in Regent’s Park, hence the animal themed mascot.

Animal Wenlock has so much detail. It was just beautiful to look at. And like most mascots he talks:

“I like talking to the animals. Better watch out for the lions though!”

Animal Wenlock has details all around. Some mascots just show details on the front, therefore this one is one of the special ones.

Do you see the lizard?

Not sure, but looks like a lion baby here:

The penguins are just adorable and so is the panda bear.

So cute and not scary at all anymore. Who said the mascots are scary? LOL!

Happy Monday!


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The Olympic Blues

I have the Olympic Blues.

Twice this week I took the tube into Central London and both times I felt bereft. Gone were the travelers sporting their national colors or at least a London 2012 t-shirt. Replaced by work suits.

No more smiles and laughter and happy chatter on the tube. Back to quietness and stern faces. Avoiding eye contact by all means.

I miss the Olympics. I miss the energy. I miss the friendliness and happiness of people around me.

The Paralympics are soon to come. That keeps me going somewhat.

And then it’s only 1450 days to go until the Rio 2016 Games. The photo was taken 6 days ago (even though it feels like a lifetime ago…).

Only 1456 days to go to Rio 2016

Not that anyone is really counting, are they? It looks like the Brazilians are. Some impressive statistics and dates for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics. Mark your calendars!

Rio 2016 – the stats

With all the fun I had here at the London 2012 Games, I am seriously contemplating starting to save up for a trip to Rio in 2016. What a great reason to travel to Brazil, right? Casa Brasil seems inviting!

Rio 2016 – the logo

Sometimes during the day I have to pinch myself and remind myself that the Olympics 2012 really happened. It was such an intense few weeks that it now feels almost like a dream.

I am best when I am planning something, so let me get started on finding out what road events may be available for the Paralympics and then start a savings account for the Jogos Rio 2016!

Happy Friday!


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Houses of Parliament lights up for the Olympics and Paralympics

One of the many London 2012 highlights has been the night lights of London. I already shared with you the Tower Bridge by night illuminations.

Further west along the Thames, there is a different kind of illumination.

Every night during the Olympics and Paralympics from 9.30pm onwards, you can watch a video projection onto Houses of Parliament. Images from 1908 and 1948 Olympics are projected across the river. There are some ‘modern’ images as well of athletes that are competing in the 2012 Olympics.

It is a very beautiful collection of iconic  images and I got some goosebumps just looking at them. They really set the scene for the great Olympic games.

If you live in or around London or visit, make sure to go and visit before this night event finishes.

The important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part. The essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.

~ Baron de Coubertin

Each photo depicts a different projection. You may want to click on them to open the photo gallery.


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Tower Bridge by night – without Olympic Rings

What!!?! I hear you shout? Without the Olympic rings? Who wants to see Tower Bridge like this??

Get over it! 🙂 I told you before, sometimes the Olympic rings are there and sometimes they aren’t. The day we went out to take night pictures the Tower Bridge was without Olympic rings again. Actually, that’s not quite correct. The Olympic rings were there, just retracted or folded up underneath the top of the bridge.

This time I actually asked  several policemen about the rings: Why are the Olympic rings not showing at Tower Bridge today?

Here are the answers I received (you’ll see why I had to ask several policemen…):

  • It’s too windy today.
  • The British Team didn’t win a gold medal today.
  • There may be a ship coming through sometime later.
  • Someone stole them, we have already written a report.

There you go. The mystery about the missing Olympic rings at Tower Bridge all solved. Now, I let you see my photos. 🙂

Enjoy!!