I’ve always been a big tennis fan. I played a lot as a child and have been lucky enough to see most of the top players live. I’ve read loads of tennis books, including, of course, Open by Andre Agassi (review here). I’ve also been to the famous lawns of Wimbledon, and even got a photo with the famous trophy. So I just had to go and see Roger Federer when he was in the Nitto World Tour Finals, an exclusive tournament for the best eight male players of the year. In the opening match of the London-based tournament, he faced Japanese star Kei Nishikori. But in a huge shock, the Swiss maestro lost 7-6 6-3.
Even now, over 100 years later, the words Battle of the Somme send a cold shiver down the spine. Though any war is brutal and casualties can be heavy, the battle between the British and French troops against the Germans in northern France is infamous for the horrific loss of life. More than three million men fought in the battle and one million men were wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history. To mark 100 years since the end of the First World War, 72,396 shrouded figures have been laid out in rows, shoulder to shoulder covering an area over 4,000 square metres across the South Park Lawn in the Olympic Park, best known for being a pivotal part of the 2012 Olympics. Each figure represents a British serviceman killed at The Battle of the Somme who has no known grave, many of whose bodies were never recovered from the battlefields. The Shrouds of the Somme is a poignant tribute.
This is the spectacular installation at the Tower of London, commemorating 100 years since Armastice Day. There are 10,000 flames, which represent not just the soldiers who lost their lives, but all those who were bereaved or affected by the war. Each flame is ceremonially lit, creating a circle of light around the tower as a powerful symbol of remembrance. The lighting takes 4–50 minutes and the flames remain lit for around four hours. I really recommend you see this post from a previous commemoration.
If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.
A wonderful quote by the iconic Baptist Minister and activist leader Martin Luther King Jr (1929 – 1968). A true inspiration, King won the Nobel Peace Prize and helped lead the seismic changes in civil rights. You can find more of the great man’s wisdom here.
I’ve always loved photography, either taking them myself or seeing them in exhibitions. So when I saw The Guardian’s latest photography awards, I just had to post my favourite ones here. It’s focused on the beauty and diversity within the British landscape, with categories including Living the View, Classic View and Your View. Feel free to share your favourite or try and guess which was the overall winner.
As someone with a strong Mexican background, I just had to celebrate the Dia de los Muertes or Day of the Dead, a tradition that dates right back to the Aztecs. The traditions of the holiday are wonderfully captured in the Pixar film Coco.
One post on the insightful quotes of Oscar Wilde was never going to be enough. Not even close. That’s why the first one was geared to his more wittier quotes and the second part is focused on his more philosophical, more profound quotes. Before you do, here are two extra quotes.
Where heaven waits, those golden gates and back again
You take me to and lead me through oblivion
This is the morning of our love
It’s just the dawning of our love
Taken from the song I Feel You by English artists Depeche Mode, from their studio album Songs of Faith and Devotion (1993). It was the Basildon group’s first album to top both the UK and US charts and is one of my favourites, including Walking in my Shoes and In Your Room. They’re an incredible act and I’ve been fortunate enough to see them live.
I haven’t been part of a Blogathon for quite a while now. In the past I’ve really enjoyed being part of features like the Back to School, The Top 10 Most Iconic Female Character and Song and Screen series ones, but I have been too busy for any ones recently. However, when Nuwan Sen suggested some flexibility for his October Birthdayz Blogathon I just had to contribute. And I knew just who to choose when selecting someone with a film background and an October birthday. Born on 9 October 1940, Lennon was in films such as Help, A Hard Day’s Night and Yellow Submarine, as well as numerous documentaries released posthumously such as The US v John Lennon. Here are eight of the most memorable quotes from a man who spread peace his whole life.
Perhaps more than any other artist, Michael Jackson’s legacy stretches beyond record sales and number of chart-topping singles and albums. Of course, both are astonishing and barely believable. But more than mere numbers, he was the King of Pop, a global superstar and a musical genius who revolutionised the music video. And as this highly-acclaimed exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery makes clear (neatly titled On the Wall), he was an inspiration even to those far outside of music.