St Dunstan’s is gone – Blind Veterans UK is here

In the summer of 2012 I visited Blind Veterans UK. Its story fascinated me…this is what I found.

The Phraser

The logo for Blind Veterans UK The logo for Blind Veterans UK

Changing names is never easy. St Dunstan’s has had to move very carefully. Nearly a century old, and trusted by the blind, it shed its name in February to become Blind Veterans UK.

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The London Olympics 2012 – was that us?

The Olympics dust off continued…this, again from the early days of The Phraser, was how it felt after the Olympics had happened. I can still remember the vivid switch in mood.

The Phraser

London Olympics 2012 London Olympics 2012

London raised its Olympic hat to the world, and found a new bounce beneath its feet.

The Games ignited the city with music, confidence, competition, and a collection of the most charismatic athletes the world could ever hope for. The fortnight exhausted us and then added new energy.

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Some thoughts in the weeks before the 2012 Olympics

Another piece from the early days of The Phraser. This one is my impression of London and the ‘mood’ before the 2012 Olympics. I’ve tidied it slightly but only to shorten a few of sentences.

The Phraser

London Olympics 2012 London Olympics 2012

London’s high performance summer is about to begin. A Henman Hill mood carpets the capital…surprise at having got this far and anxiety about what happens next.

The weather is damp and dreadful – an oppression of rain – a familiar blanket for a public keeping its chin up, and disregarding all logistical odds. This is what Londoners understand – how to create miracles on a soggy island.

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Fresh Food in Camden Lock Market’s West Yard

Here’s another piece on Camden Lock Market’s West Yard. It was written in 2012 after a visit to the food stalls. I’d love to know if anyone has fresh news of the food there. There was such a great atmosphere when I visited.

The Phraser

Fresh food in Camden Lock Market's West Yard Fresh food in Camden Lock Market’s West Yard

The food stalls in the West Yard of Camden Lock Market last Friday were all sunshine and service. It was a world food experience – a gap year in a lunch-hour…minus the alcohol.

If you have a London ‘to-do’ list that burst with parks, palaces, museums and big stores perhaps you might add Camden Market. It’s a day out to stretch the senses – a break from the big brands.

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Film Review: Angels’ Share – rich with real laughter

Do you remember this film? I found this review back in the early pages of The Phraser so I’ve dusted it off, and am showing it again. The film made me smile so much the first time.

The Phraser

Angels' Share - a film directed by Ken Loach Angels’ Share – a film directed by Ken Loach

Angels’ Share introduces us to a group of Glasgow’s young offenders as they spiral down into nowhere…and then it adds hope, urgent, illogical hope.

It’s a ninety minute diamond of a film, with an age-restriction of 15, some on-your-nose violence, and great publicity for whisky and Irn-Bru. It also shows the meaning of useful compassion, and it feels real.

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Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking jump with parachute

Here’s something with fright attached. I remember Felix Baumgartner’s jump so well…we listened to the live broadcast whilst driving into rain on an English motorway.

The Phraser

Garnerin parachutes into London - 1802 Garnerin parachutes into London -1802

That was 1802 – a decade over two centuries later the following happens: a huge gossamer balloon floats into the nothing of the stratosphere. Beneath it clings the tiny dot of a capsule, and inside it is an Austrian, Felix Baumgartner, aged 43.

When the balloon reaches 128,000 feet (24 miles) above the Earth, he will step out and drop into the deep.

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Visit to the food stalls in Camden Lock Market’s West Yard

My first visit to the food stalls in Camden Lock Market’s West Yard was in 2012. I loved it and a few articles followed. This is one of them.

The Phraser

Camden Lock Market, London Camden Lock Market, London

Camden’s markets attract some 15 million visitors every year. This summer we joined the crowd.

Once through the curiosity and distraction of the general stalls and the shoppers, we made our way to the West Yard for food.

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