London Prepares: Two Tales of One City

August 31, 2011   |   Posted by The Commission

The price of fish Having recently moved into Stratford, I was delighted and surprised to find evidence of a resident badger in the garden.  Its fresh digging, D shaped tunnels and chubby paw prints mean I eagerly await the arrival of a wildlife camera so I can set eyes on the snuffling creature….and dispel my suspicion that it is a cruel joke played on the unsuspecting Aussie by my London friends. My mother has another theory entirely:  she’s convinced that ‘Badge’ is an environmental refugee from the Olympic Park.  I live 30 minutes walk away Mum!  I know those setts are big but I don’t think Boris has extended the superhighways from Bikes to Badgers just yet. Badgers though, are topical for the Games. At least, they are at Hadleigh Farm where LOCOG recently held its Mountain Bike test event as part of the London Prepares series.  Here, LOCOG had carefully roped off a major Sett close to the field of play after attempts to lure the Badgers to human-dug ‘hotel accommodation’ in the nearby paddock failed to attract stayers (one suspects a poor review in the Badger Daily but who knows?) There are definitely more glamorous occupations than peering …

Half a world away

August 18, 2011   |   Posted by Shaun McCarthy

Shaun McCarthy - Summer 2011 - Olympic Park Australia

Can London match Sydney’s “green games” legacy? I recently paid a visit to Australia in a privately funded trip connected with my non-CSL business. Despite this I could not resist the temptation to take a look round the Olympic Park during my free time to see how the legacy is going. I was impressed. The Park is located in the moderately affluent suburb of Homebush, 30 minutes train ride from the city centre. It does not have the green space as a centrepiece that London will have but it is good to see economic development in the area, with good …

Conversation killer Queen

August 1, 2011   |   Posted by Shaun McCarthy

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Rubbish Bin - Aquatics Centre

A couple of years ago I was invited to speak at a conference organised for university purchasing consortia (I get all the good gigs!) I was asked to give the opening keynote speech but I was told that I would be following a “motivational speaker”. I have done this before and was quite relaxed about it; these people usually get the audience in a good mood before I put them to sleep. I did not realise until the evening before the event that the motivational speaker was Lenny Henry! However, having experienced Lenny as my warm up act did not …