Tuesday, 26 August 2008

THE WEEK THAT WAS (according to China)

I've just returned happily unsoaked from a great week at Soul Survivor Momentum, held at the Royal Bath and West Showground in Shepton Mallet. I say 'happily unsoaked' because last year was so wet that I never wanted to go back again - but after a bit of persuasion from friends I was back under canvas. I really hate camping, but I suppose it's a suitable sacrifice for a great Christian student conference. Loads of teaching, worship and single women desperate for a nice Christian husband - what could possibly be a better way to spend a bank holiday weekend?

The Olympics have got nothing but praise in the national press, and although Team GB's achievements were pretty good, there's no doubt that it highlighted some serious flaws in China. There was the allegedly underage female gymnast, the etiquette sheet on how to clap and cheer, the free tickets given to students in order to fill up stadiums which clearly hadn't sold out, the computer-generated fake fireworks - and, of course, the singing little girl who wasn't. Now whilst I don't think it's right we impose our own right-wing system on this country, I think the Olympics have shown how far behind China still is. But then again, you've got the great media facilities, fantastic stadiums and tight security that show it wasn't all bad. And I just want to celebrate Britain finally succeeding in the majority of sports that we invented anyway.

Whilst the Olympics have dominated the papers because it's been a bank holiday weekend and there's no other news anyway, I would like to draw your attention to an article in the Daily Mirror on Saturday, about the most violent cities in the UK. You can view it here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2008/08/23/the-most-dangerous-places-in-england-115875-20708340/
I go to university in Sheffield (which is the second most violent) and work in Westminster (which is the fourth). So this report certainly got my attention! I feel safe in both areas to be honest, but that's perhaps because I frequent the nice parts at the right times. Still, it wasn't the most reassuring thing to read over the weekend, and I my mother doesn't know about it. Yet.