Ringing in the Olympics

The sky was grey, the light dim, the town sleepy. Suddenly, at 08:12 am – on the dot – it started.
The church bells began ringing.

Friday is market day in my home town of Stamford, Lincolnshire. And yesterday, when I woke up, I was preparing to mark time, waiting for the working week to end and for the London2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony to kick off in the evening.

Bells, Cultural Olympiad, London2012, Olympic StorytellerSuddenly, listening to the morning radio, I heard that a national Cultural Olympiad event was about to start.

All the Bells (work number 1197) was a brilliantly simple idea, designed and created by the artist and musician, Martin Creed.

Question: How do you create a work of art that is (a) truly national and in which (b) everybody can take part, regardless of ability or talent?

Answer: Get everyone to ring a bell, madly, for 3 minutes, all at the same time, across the nation. And it doesn’t matter what sort of bell – church bells, bicycle bells, school bells, door bells, etc. You can even download a free app that makes a bell sound when you shake your phone.

Isn’t that a brilliant idea? And why hadn’t I heard of it before? And had Stamford planned anything? Continue reading “Ringing in the Olympics”

Olympic Torch – a film

Stamford - Olympic torchbearerI put together the photographs of the Olympic Torch passing through my home town of Stamford and managed to produce a mini film, using Windows Movie Maker on my laptop.

This is the first time I have used the program and it was pretty straightforward. Nonetheless, it took me six hours of messing about to make a two-minute film. Then took me another hour to find a piece of suitable music with a Creative Commons license.

I put the finished video up on YouTube and would have sent it to the BT Olympic Storyteller site, but their site appears to be down at the moment.

Here it is: Continue reading “Olympic Torch – a film”

Telling Stories – Olympic style.

TEAMWORK was the challenge set. Despite being chosen to be an Olympic Storyteller, I really have very little personal interest in sports. How do I set about writing a story on teamwork with a sporting theme?

Ruth Livingstone's page on BT Olympic Storyteller site Connection was the topic for the latest Olympic Storyteller challenge.

I have to confess, despite being chosen to be an Olympic Storyteller, I really have very little personal interest in sports. And when I do something sporting, I usually choose an activity where my efforts are solitary. Not for me the team spirit of the hockey field, netball court or relay race. I am more inclined to go for long walks on my own, ski a slope in splendid isolation, or play a game against a computer opponent.

So Connection? How do I set about writing a story on the connecting power of sport? Continue reading “Telling Stories – Olympic style.”

Do you want to carry the Torch?

Paralympic Torch Relay

BT has launched its public nomination process for the Paralympic Torch Relay, giving you the chance to carry the flame in August ahead of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. If you’d like to submit your team of five, or nominate a team who you think are worthy of the honour, then visit http://www.btlondon2012.co.uk/torch-form.php to get more details and to apply online.

Nominations close on 20th January 2012.