Speedy Evie Fairman Carries The Torch For The 2012 London Olympics

Evie Fairman, London 2012 Olympic Torchbearer with her proud Mom

There are times when I’m fortunate to be standing in just the right place to see and capture a moment that touches my heart. On Saturday I got a bit teary watching my friend, Julie greet her daughter, Evie as she arrived at the spot where we’d been waiting to cheer her on. Fifteen year-old Evie was one the special folks chosen to carry the Olympic flame through Cornwall and she did her family proud in her role as an Olympic Torchbearer.

The Olympic flame will pass through quite a few more hands before reaching London in time for the 2012 opening ceremony in 67 days and while I won’t be able to see any of the events live as I’ll be in the US for most of the Olympics, I won’t forget watching Evie run or the tender mother-daughter embrace on Evie’s big day.

I managed to get a few shots of Evie posing for pictures while she waited for the torchbearer before her, (#105) to arrive with the flame. You can see her with her torch as it looked before the big kiss … (the moment the flame is passed is called a kiss.)

I’ve lifted a bit of Evie’s nomination story from the Torchbearers site so you can read more about her, but let me just say having run along side her through the crowds yesterday with her dad, brother, and loads of other people all trying to get a photo, I learned that  … Speedy Evie Fairman can really run!

“Although Evie was born with only half a working heart (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome), she has always lived life to the full. From playing football and taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme to singing in the school choir and performing in musicals, she takes everything in her stride. She is an active member of the Youth Council of ‘Little Hearts Matter’, a national charity set up to provide support and information for children with single ventricular heart problems and their families, as well as raise awareness of the conditions and the care and attention these children need. As part of her Youth Council work, Evie spends a lot of her time mentoring other younger members, giving them advice and a chance to discuss their anxieties. By participating in major fund raising efforts and writing to celebrities for their help, she also works hard to help raise awareness which will only lead to more heart babies being treated swiftly soon after birth. Recently the City of Birmingham (where the charity’s offices are situated) recognised the extraordinary efforts of the Youth Council by giving each member the Freedom of the City. Evie may only have half a heart but she uses it to the full. She is an inspiration to all who come into contact with her and I feel honoured to be one of them.”  (Evie was nominated by one of her teachers at school)

Evie with her brother, Fred and her mom, Julie. (Sorry about the focus)

She posed for photos like a red carpet veteran.

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I love the look on her face in this shot and the energy of the crowd scrambling to get a photograph. There were people in trees and hanging out of windows along the way.
This one looks as if she’s getting some last-minute advice before she takes off.
Security was tight with loads of police officers along the route.
In addition to the police, Evie had Olympic escorts who ran with her and kept the crowd from getting in her way. She was just about to begin running in this photograph. Notice the van in front with the camera crew in the back. There was point when the van driver had to speed up because Evie was running so fast.
And then she was off!
I was running along with her dad, Ben while he was trying to hang on to her brother, Fred and shoot video at the same time. People were running all around us so it was a bit hectic, but very exciting.
I stopped briefly for the dog shot below. It had come off its leash somehow and was frightened by all the bodies running past. I was going to try to help catch it, but the dog’s owner grabbed it right after I took the photo.
I got behind them after slowing down for the dogs and it was about here that I realized my friend Nicola Mitchell was there too when I saw her just above Fred’s head. She’s holding the cell photo with the pink stripe around it.
Fred couldn’t see a thing as was the case with me in the next minute and then he was lifted up for a better view. This was the moment where Evie passed the flame on to the next torchbearer, but I couldn’t get a shot of it. You can see the flame and torch just behind the police officer’s head.
On the far right you can see the last bit of the flame. Evie’s dad, Ben is right in front of me with the video camera and her brother, Fred has the best view of the exchange.
The was a party afterwards at the pub with family and friends making a great finish to a fun afternoon and evening. Well done, Evie!

Go Directly To Jail

This morning I was stuck. WordPress was not working properly for me and even though I kept deleting and starting over, my photographs would not go up in the order I wished. After trying a few times, I got irritated and then I thought, Right, I’ll just put them up in reverse if they won’t load the normal way!

What you see below is what I wanted in the beginning. It did require thinking about it differently and going at it from another direction which is interesting if you consider the images and subject for this post.

Bodmin Jail, also known as Bodmin Prison, probably didn’t allow much deviation from their standard way of doing things. Rules were necessary to maintain order and it was funny that today’s post would not behave properly.

Bodmin Jail is a collection of old buildings that are mostly falling apart. A few have been restored and you can have a meal in the restaurant or stay overnight as part of a ghostly evening, but most of the buildings are not in use. Unlike historical ruins in America, walking and exploring are permitted and John and I stepped through an old main door and into a former cell without any problem.

Standing in a cell built for one, I wondered what prisoners thought when they stared out through the windows. I found it scary and confining as you might expect a prison would be especially one with such history. Bodmin prison was the first British prison to have individual cells and I wonder if that was better or worse than sharing with another person. They were keen on punishing with silence and isolation and I was surprised to see they had windows. I wondered if prison officials thought that watching others walking free might increase the pain of incarceration.

You can get an idea of the size of the space in the cell by the photo above. John had just stepped out and I was shooting from very near the window. I looked online trying to discover what the long narrow trough was used for. John suggested it might be for waste disposal since there was no indoor plumbing.

As Bodmin Prison was built in 1779 I’m not surprised by the lack of facilities, but it is odd that I could not find anything to tell me why the trough was there. There’s a good bit of info on this site, but be prepared to have to decipher a bit as John and I both agree that it could use some editing.

This same shot appears on the website I mentioned above and I took it in one of the first cells you see once you are inside the main hall. I can only assume that the photographer was as nervous as I was about being in a place where people were once publicly hanged for their crimes and like me, did not feel like photographing the other cells. I did poke my nose in a few others, but I was moving fairly quickly.

This was just one building that housed prisoners. I can’t imagine the despair at being sentenced to serve time here especially when you read about how minor some of the crimes were.

There was no one about guarding the area and one could easily climb around if feeling brave. John never seems to need as long to absorb the details when we see new places and I’m not usually bothered about lingering behind to snap a few more photos before hurrying to catch up with him, but on this trip when I heard him say he’d had enough and was going on, I decided I’d seen enough too and left with him.

 

 

Malicious Intent – Destroying Something Special

The big fish you see in the picture above used to be something Tina ( in red ) and I would pass when we were out for a run. It was a guidepost along the Camel Trail in Cornwall and something many people appreciated even though at first glance one might wonder what it was doing along the edge of the path used by runners, walkers, and cyclists. You can’t see it in this picture, but the River Camel is tucked in the trees not far ahead and a spot where you might see people fishing at times.

The giant aluminum fish sculpture was the creative work of a well known sculpture artist Richard Austin. Mr Austin worked with the children of St Tudy Primary School who envisioned the design that he built for their school project. As you can see by the marker above and the smaller fish on the signpost below, this unusual feature was a popular art piece which never failed to come up in conversation especially when giving directions for places to meet along the trail.

Last Thursday morning, Tina and I set out on a morning run. I was excited to be back in Cornwall having returned the day before from my trip home to America and was shocked when we got to the place where the big fish always helped to mark the milage on our run. What you see below, was what we saw.

It seems just a few days before someone decided to destroy the art work we once enjoyed and set it on fire melting the big fish into an unrecognizable pile of metal. This type of  behavior is really uncommon for our peaceful area and I was shocked to learn of its destruction.

The vandals have not been caught yet, but one can’t help but wonder as to how small and hard hearted someone must be to find joy in the destruction of something that many were proud to create.

On Reflection

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Only when the clamor of the outside world is silenced will you be able to hear the deeper vibration. Listen carefully.

~Sarah Ban Breathnach

I took the image above yesterday at the end of a run/walk with my friend Tina. Although the sky looks threatening in the photograph above, it was actually a lovely blue sky morning filled with magnificent images everywhere we looked. Tina was extremely patient as I stopped more times than I should have to snap a picture that I just couldn’t resist.

What began as a desire to work my body quickly shifted to an exercise in pausing to see what was all around me. I only need open my eyes in the morning to feel an enormous amount of gratitude for the beauty I have in my life and mornings like yesterday make me feel as if I’ve won the lottery. I’ve always been a cup half full rather than half empty kind of girl, but truly, if happiness could be poured into a glass then mine would be spilling over.

Here are a few more images from yesterday for your reflection today…a look at the world just outside my door.

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I could see the tip top of the church through the morning mist as I was leaving to run so snapped this from the patio at the front of the house and decided to take my camera with me. These are presented in the order they were taken and are only a few of the 300 or so I snapped. The first four below are taken of the village green which is very close to the house where we live and usually makes me feel like we live in a park.

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This house sits right next to a lovely ancient bridge called Key Bridge. It dates from the sixteenth century and has a granite sundial post on it from the seventeenth century. The De Lank River flows under it and it’s a favorite of mine.

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A photo of the sundial post.

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This made me think of a high rise building for some reason.

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Public footpath signs can be found almost anywhere as Britain is a country where people are inclined to walk no matter how wet the weather or the age of the walker. It’s never surprising to see someone well into their 80s out for a stroll. I love the picturesque stiles that lead you to the next view like the one below of the cows in the field.

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The Camel Trail is a great place to run, walk, or bike and connects us to several larger places such as Padstow, Wadebridge, and Bodmin. It feels much safer to me to ride a bike to these locations on the Camel than it does to dodge road traffic in the lanes.

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We met a few runners and folks on bikes yesterday morning.

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I always love this view…plus it is part of the home stretch.

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There’s usually something hanging out in these fields as we pass through such as sheep, horses, or cows.

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Almost home.

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My new friend likes to follow me and sometimes he stops by to play hide ad seek in the garden with me.

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He’s still a playful kitten and kept pawing at my camera whenever I would get too close.

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I’ll finish with the same flower that was in the first photograph, but taken from a different angle illustrating how a shift in perspective can change what you see quite dramatically.