This is the BBC television outside broadcasting position in the Olympic Park, set on top of a structure made from shipping containers!
It was funny being back home and seeing images being transmitted from up here :)
There were examples of artwork all around the park, including these flowers created by cleaning away the layers of discolouration along the sides of the Lea Navigation.
I almost missed spotting this bronze plaque set in the path. The writing is a poem, commissioned by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London and written by Dr Armond D'Angour, Fellow and Tutor in Classics at Jesus College Oxford.
The poem is an ode. This follows the tradition of the Ancient Greeks where a winner would be honoured by a Victory Ode. The greatest composer of such odes was Pindar (c.522 - 443BC) and this Ode is written in his style.
The text is reproduced below (courtesy of the website of the poet). Look out for his deliberate puns on the names of athletes competing in London 2012.
Behold this new Olympic torch, the flames
that first blazed forth at Greece’s early dawn:
Now give a rousing welcome to these Games,
on London’s riverbanks reborn.
Applaud as rival teams, in sport allied,
march in from the far corners of the earth.
The poet now must emulate their stride
and craft an ode to sporting worth.
A countless throng of watchers will observe
the dazzling relays of the running-teams,
watch rival oarsmen straining every nerve,
and gymnasts on the balance-beams.
The crowds will view with wonder and delight
the rider urge her horse about and back,
the skillful archer draw his bowstring tight,
the lightning bolt around the track.
The drums will volley and the pipes play loud
as tales of victory are daily told;
the stands will echo to the cheering crowd
when victors raise the prize of gold.
Now welcome all to Britain’s sea-girt land:
join London’s Mayor and company within.
To all who strive may fortune lend a hand:
applaud, and let the Games begin!
Apparently, over a dozen names, including Ennis, are embedded in the Greek.
ἴδεσθε καινὸν πῦρ τόδ᾽ Ὀλυμπικόν,
ὅ γ᾽ ἐξέλαμψε πρόσθε καθ᾽ ῾Ελλάδα.
ἀλλ᾽ ἡδέως δέχεσθε τἆθλα
Λονδινίου ποταμοῦ παρ᾽ ὄχθας.
ὑμνεῖτε δ᾽ αἴγλην ἀντιπάλων σοφῶν,
στρατὸς γὰρ ἦλθεν ἐκ περάτων χθονός•
καὶ χρὴ μεγίσταις ὧδ᾽ ἀοιδόν
ἀμφ᾽ ἀρεταῖσι καθ᾽ ἅρμ᾽ ἐλαύνειν.
πλῆθος θεατῶν μυρίον ὄψεται
ὁρμὴν τρεχόντων καὶ λιπαρὰν χάριν,
σπουδήν τ᾽ ἐρεσσόντων ἑταίρων
ἀκροβατῶν τε δοκοὺς πατούντων.
θεάσεται δὲ χάρματι τοξότην
τείνοντα νευράν, καὶ ποδὶ σωφρόνως
τὸν ἱππότην στρέφοντα πῶλον
ἀστεροπῆς τε σέλας θεούσης.
πρέψουσι δ᾽ αὐλοὶ καὶ τύπανον βρόμῳ
τιμῆς φλεγούσης πολλὰ καθ᾽ ἡμέραν•
ὄχλος δ᾽ ἀΰσει καλλίνικε
χρύσε’ ἄεθλ᾽ ἐσιδὼν φέροντας.
δεῦτ᾽ αὖτε γῆν ἐς τήνδε περίρρυτον•
ἄρχων γὰρ ἄγχι καὶ πρύτανις βαρύς.
νίκη δ᾽ἀρίστοις αἰὲν ἔστω•
νῦν κρότος, αἶψα δὲ τἆθλ᾽ ἀγέσθω.