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Showing posts from October, 2012

The Austerity Olympics by Janie Hampton

Having moved to one of London’s Olympic boroughs during the 2012 Olympics, it has been hard to escape London 2012 fever. Indeed, it has even affected me and I am now the proud owner of a road bike in my vain attempt to be like Bradley Wiggins. 
With the infection still coursing through my veins, I stumbled upon Janie Hampton’s The Austerity Olympics: When the Games Came to London in 1948 whilst wandering through a Waterstones in Cardiff. 
The book tells a tale of striking contrasts and remarkable similarities with the 2012 games. Sebastian Coe, who was seemingly everywhere before, during and after London 2012, sets the tone in his foreword to the book, stating, “That London managed to stage the 1948 Olympic Games so soon after the Second World War is remarkable enough.” 
The most heart-warming thing about this book is in its tales of a much simpler time. A time where amongst the bomb damage of the WWII, young boys would sit looking wistful outside a stadium in the hope that someone w…

Iglesia de San Pedro, Gijón, Spain

On the last Saturday of September, I was fortunate enough to be strolling along the long sweeping sands of Gijón's largest beach. My friend was getting married in the Iglesia de San Pedro later in the day and consequently an area of Spain I had perviously no knowledge of was opened up to me.
The wedding was simply fantastic. The ceremony started at around 8pm and the festivities, for me at least, finished around 4.30am. There was great food, great wine and even better company, all from the beautiful art deco setting of the yacht club on Avenue de La Salle that overlooks the bay.
Gijón is a gem of a place, with its sidrería's, fantastic and reasonably-priced seafood, and generally laid-back vibe. On the strength of this short three-day visit I am sure to be returning there - frankly I think I could happily live there!

Airbnb: Where Hospitality Meets Social Media

Earlier this year, I was privileged enough to get an invite from a close friend to attend his wedding in Gijón, in the north of Spain. He’s a private kind of guy, so let’s just say he’s an Englishman and his bride to be is Spanish and leave it at that.
I’m not a rich man, so wisely I booked all of the different components of the trip in stages: first stage, beg my boss for a day off work during term time; second stage, book the flights; third stage, book the transfers from the airport in Santander to Gijón; finally, book the accommodation.
Other than the obvious disappointment that my tight budget meant I had to book a flight with Ryanair – an experience I won’t be repeating any time soon – most of the components were booked easily and at a reasonably cost, but I was struggling to find suitable accommodation.
Doing what I often do, I turned to the internet and to Google to see what I could find. Almost purely by accident I came across the website of Airbnb. 
According to their websit…