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First fall colors in Richmond Park

Oops – amongst all the excitement of the deer yesterday, I forgot to share the photos of the fall colors.

Richmond Park was surprisingly green, actually, for this time of the year. Maybe not quite that surprising. Summer started late, so that probably may allow fall to get a late start, too.

I did get to catch a couple of colorful photos though:

I love how the colors move from green to yellow to red. It’s such a beautiful sight and made me smile. I took these photos with my Blackberry camera. I hope to be able to go out there on another sunny day and take my real camera.

Fall colors make me happy! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Traveling through Death Valley

Since I have been neglecting y’allย  over the past week, I am making it up with sharing a photo of me in Death Valley. Actually, just outside the entrance to the Death Valley National Park.

This has been my second visit to Death Valley and it hasn’t lost any of its magic. The one thing I still can’t get my head around, why would you run an ultramarathon here in the middle of July? Don’t get me wrong. I am all up for challenges and ultramarathons, I even like the idea of the Pikes Peak marathon (this one is on my bucket list), but running an ultramarathon in 120F is not my kind of thing. Hats up though to everyone who has done it or is planning on running it! You get all my respect!

Taking photos in Death Valley


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Punk Mandeville

Going through some of my pictures this weekend, I noticed that I never shared my Punk Mandeville photo with you.

Punk Mandeville

As we were “hunting” for Olympic mascots, I became obsessed with Punk Mandeville and made it my quest to find him. When I finally found him, I wasn’t really that impressed. Even after a couple of weeks, I am still not quite getting this one, but I thought I shall surely share with you.

My favorites remain Animal Wenlock and Cockney Wenlock.

Walking around town with a friend this weekend, I noticed that all the Olympic mascot sculptures were gone (at least in the areas we walked around). Quite sad. I think they really enhanced the image of the city.

Happy Monday!


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My favorite moments of the Olympics and Paralympics

Some people asked me what my favorite moments of the Olympics and Paralympics have been.

With so many weeks of events that’s a tough question to answer. I loved the spectators who cheered on every athlete no matter what team they supported. I loved the cheery volunteers. Of course, I loved the athletes. The venues were set up perfectly, too.

But I think if I had to pick 3 favorite moments these would be the ones:

Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake fighting it out over the Olympic 100m and 200m. This includes us “storming” the US Fan House to see the 200m final and us just making it inside and to the right TV channel with seconds left to the start. The story will later be told as “An Australian, a German and an American are trying to watch the London 2012 200m final…”.

Oscar Pistorius and Alan Oliveira fighting it out over the Paralympic T44 100m, 200m and 400m. Being in the stadium to see the 200m final, the BIG UPSET, experiencing the stunned and quiet crowd as Alan Oliveira wins this distance unexpectedly, was priceless. I am happy for Oscar Pistorius winning the T44 400m final. I am sure we will see and hear more of both athletes in Rio 2016.

Spectators giving a standing ovation as David Smith, GB Paralympic Team, enters the arena for the Boccia gold medal match. Pattaya Tadtong from Thailand ends up winning the match. Then, after the match is over, the crowd gives a standing ovation to both athletes.

I’ll leave you with a kaleidoscope of images from inside the Olympic Park during the past 6 weeks.


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Skyline Wenlock

This is it!

I caught the last missing Wenlock & Mandeville sculpture on camera!

What am I going to do with all my free time next week? No more Olympics. No more Paralympics. No more Wenlock and Mandeville hunting.

The Skyline Wenlock says:

“I have been counting London’s famous buildings and landmarks. How many can you spot?”

Well, how many can you?

Skyline Wenlock


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Paralympics Day 4 – Inside the Olympic Stadium

This was THE day to be in the Olympic Stadium. The day of the BIG UPSET. Last Sunday.

We had some good seats behind and up from the 100m start line.

Track and Field Athletics has been my sports as a teenager, so I loved being inside the Olympic Stadium. By the time we got to our Athletics session, though, we had already spent 11 hours in the Olympic Park and were starting to get tired.

Our focus sometimes got a little sidetracked to the remote-controlled cars that brought back the javelins, for example.

Or to Kate Middleton, who handed out medals at the Victory Ceremony.


There was plenty of great sports and athletes in the stadium that Sunday, but it will most likely be remembered as the night of the BIG UPSET.

Oscar Pistorius, The Blade Runner, from South Africa was expected to win the 200m final (T43/44). After all, he also competed a few weeks earlier in the Olympics. However, he was pretty much unexpectedly beaten by the Brazilian Alan Oliveira.

The stadium was quiet for a moment. A full stadium of 80,000 spectators rendered speechless.

There even was a World Record in this race which somehow ended up forgotten.ย  Arnu Fourie, Oscar’s team mate, ran a World Record (T44).

It was a night to remember. Plenty of records, World Records, Paralympic Records, European Records, other regional Records.

It was amazing to be part of this!


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Paralympics Day 4 – 5-a-side Football and Wheelchair Basketball

After the Goalball session, we checked what was going on next. Our tickets were for the Goalball session in the morning and then a Day Pass for the rest of the day, which allowed us access into other venues within the Olympic Park as long as seats were available.

5-a side-Football was about to start, so we gave it a go. Similar to Goalball, it is a quiet game. I didn’t mention yesterday hat “Quiet, please” was the catchphrase for Goaball. The audience had to quiet. The ball had bells inside for the player to know where it was. Same thing here with 5-a-side Football. The players were blindfolded and the ball had bells in it. Only the goalkeepers are fully sighted. The goalkeeper is allowed to shout out instructions to the team. Additionally, each team had a guide, who was placed behind the other team’s goal who shouted out instructions. “Quiet, please” for the audience.

The game was, of course, slower than a regular football (soccer) match. It was really about ball control. Tackling became a very different situation.

We saw the Spain vs Iran match and if you think how the heck are they able to score a goal? I can tell you, Spain scored 2. It comes down to the goalkeeper and the guide to really guide the players along. You see the guide behind the goal here.

After the 5-a-side Football, we made our way to the Basketball arena to see if we could get to see a Wheelchair Basketball game. I was lucky! We got there right in time for the start of the Germany vs Canada match.

The Basketball arena is huge. And for once it doesn’t have the bright pink and blue colors. I like these colors really!

But the German coaches made up for the lack of pink in the arena. Last instructions before the game started.

German fans also showed colors.

It was a very high charged game. Until this Wheelchair Basketball match, both teams, Germany and Canada, won all 3 previous matches and were leading their group. Canada did win the match, but it wasn’t always sure that it would go this way. Great match to watch.

Here is Germany scoring 2 points.

Both teams made it into the semi-finals, which are today.

Germany will play the USA at 1pm my time. This should be another great game to watch. I might move my lunch break out. ๐Ÿ™‚

May the best team win!