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.

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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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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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The Sultan’s Elephant in London – a true story

This is about an elephant that came to the streets of London in search of a little girl. It happened in 2006 and I wrote about it in 2015. It’s a tale about wonder where you least expect it … and about the power of elephants.

The Phraser

The Sultan's Elephant in London ‘The Sultan’s Elephant’ by Royal de Luxe, produced in London in 2006 by Artichoke. Photo copyright Sophie Laslett.

It all began on one of those long weekends when no-one was looking.  To start with it was just an ordinary, empty day – too busy to see.

Then, suddenly, people started to hear things, they started to wonder … because … wasn’t that … did they really hear an elephant in London?

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The UK – an island off Europe: pain and politics

Storms threaten

Storms threaten

The United Kingdom is on its way … but where to?  The future looks complicated, and the present is far more serious than we would like it to be.

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Planning and pitching non-fiction: 10 tips for beginners

Our host for the day in London

Our host for the day in London

I had the idea, I had the material, but I couldn’t see the shape … and I didn’t have a clue about what to do next with my fragile bubble of a plan. That was until last Saturday when my confusion switched suddenly to focus.

The ‘I-think-I-get-it’ moment was thanks to a Guardian masterclass programme on planning and pitching non-fiction.  There were 14 of us in the class, all adrift with various book ideas.  Our trainer was Jenny Rogers who has published seventy non-fiction books – here’s some of the advice she passed on.

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