Thursday, 29 November 2007

Caymanian Navy?

Driving home at the end of a long day - looking out across the bay here in Georgetown on Grand Cayman and there is a very typical sight: Paul Allen's amazing private yacht Octopus is to the left - she is 127m long, has a permanent crew of 60, two helicopters, seven boats and a 10 man submarine. The submarine alone has the capacity to sleep eight for up to two weeks underwater. Read the brochure! Flip.

But in the bay this evening there is also a pirate ship (!), small fishing boats and a tender to the tourist submarine. VERY Caymanian! The three huge cruise liners here at lunchtime have gone, so the town is a bit quieter. Luckily they hadn't sold out of Rum Cake, so i bought some. Mmmm...

Would you Adam and Eve it?

Cor stripe me pink. Here in the Caribbean and I find this old London bus- cut in arf! - wiv no sign of a sparrer, pigeon or our Ken innit?. And the bus is a bloomin bar complete wiv its original apples and pears and thatched porch. They're avin a laugh surely!

But in fact they weren't - Deckers is a fab bar on 7 Mile Beach and we have all just enjoyed "all you can eat lobster" (thanks Rick) which was yummy - it turned out that "all you can eat" was quite a lot!

Not fish n chips, but heh!

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Empty field filled with possibility!

The bulldozers are rolling. . . and although this is not the most inspiring photo (!) from the Caribbean it does show the masssive progress being made on the groundworks at the John Gray Campus - I'm out here regularly helping with what is surely one of the most exciting makeovers of an educational system anywhere in the world. The new schools are wonderfully 21st century, and will be simply a delight to learn and teach in. But most importantly they are agile enough to cope with tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. As Rick Dewar of architects owP/p commented "These buildings, as much as any school in the world, will allow endless change in future teaching styles"

And there are three all building at once - to keep up with all this visit the Cayman Island's blog of the action

I am proper excited as the whole Cayman Campus project takes shape and as the world watches this corner of the Caribbean. Makes this flat field of dirt and and dust quite thrilling doesn't it?.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Sunrise, sunrise

Sailors love sunrise because they have made it through the night, but above the clouds it always looks beautiful too. I still love sitting by the window and gazing out. Even if what you see does look a bit like Mars sometimes...

This is sun rising as we come towards landing at Los Angeles (although I didn't see any angels) which looks so neat and new from above - everything in tidy rows and so unlike Europe. On the ground though it was complete chaos of course - Thanksgiving crowds and queues galore. And later, Miami was even worse.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Sleep tight

Not quite sure of the genesis or thinking behind this striking art installation on a Melbourne wall - it draws attention to homelessness I think. But these sleeping bodies hammocked to the wall (there are just a few!) Is certainly pretty striking. Melbourne is a city with a heart.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Balloon pioneers

Presenting at a conference from 10.00 till 3.00 (voice now croaky!) . Stopped work (finally!) to sail in the Royal Melbourne Yacht Club's Wednesday night race - and appropriately ("it's not like this here normally!") the weather dropped from 37° to just 17° with rain lashing down and more than half a gale blowing (Melbourne = 4 seasons in one day!). the boat, a Farr 38, surfed like a good 'um so we had fun. Then enjoyed a meal with old friends here (we're looking slightly like Mount Rushmore!) Judy, Martyn (who has been my indefatigable host here all week), Ken (one of my first - and best - university students), myself and Pete (who'd popped over with Judy from Tasmania).

Cue HUGE excitement (= much toasting!) because they had all wonderfully arranged to take me on a dawn Balloon flight over Melbourne today... but alas all this unexpected wind and cloud meant that at 3.30 a.m. as I was started to get ready (dawn remember!) i got a text saying "sorry, can't fly danger danger death argh" or similar. Which was sad. But the race, meal and great company made yesterday a perfect day.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

On top of the world

A seminar / conference on top of the Telstra building in Melbourne gave me quite a view of the whole place - and it is a rather nice combination of European and Australian (i.e. decent coffee in friendly cafés) with some really interesting architecture.

The Telstra people, and their invited guests were smart and clearly very engaged in the whole potential of Telecoms in 21st century learning and I now hope to be running one of my Horizon Scanning events there next year some time.

But what a view! You can see the Yarra River (thanks for the correction anonymous reader) and the sea from here.

Monday, 19 November 2007

VITTA Conference - Melbourne

Just getting ready for this big conference - with an ICT and learning theme, but a title "You say you want a revolution" that has us all chatting about 1968: Paris, Beatles et al! Melbourne is warm - 37°, but the people are wonderfully warm too, as is the welcome, so that it is a pleasure to be here despite the heat. I still have my wooly hat in my bag from England - I think I have season lag!

The conference is at the Racecourse - home of surely the most famous horse race in the world, so a pretty exciting place to be - and there is something exciting too about all these seats which will be full in a very few minutes. As you see, my faithful MacBook is all fired up and ready to go...

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Manly Beach

I'm afraid this phoneblog could get pretty intolerable for a few days if you are in a Northern Hemisphere winter. Sorry.

Had a half day clear so took the early morning Manly Ferry to fab Manly Beach which even early on a Saturday is a mass of activity: beach volleyball, surfing, surf boats, kayaks, lifesaving etc most of which I have spared you - this is the lifesaving competition in quite lively surf.

Curiously Comms has been a problem here - mostly problems with port numbers I think - but the good old phone to blog never fails. The Australian federal election is being hard fought here - promises include one-laptop-per-pupil (but not teachers though!) and an overdue national broadband development.!

Friday, 16 November 2007

Iconic and warm too

After a hugely enjoyable day with the students, mentors, administrators, teachers and heads of the Sydney Catholic School system as they presented to, and swapped ideas with, each other I find myself enjoying a late afternoon macchiato in the late afternoon, but warm, Spring Sydney sun.

And however much fab architecture I see round the world the Sydney Harbour Opera House takes a lot of beating, especially close up with its wonderfully white tiled surface and wood textures. Wow.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Flood alert

Oo er. A not huge tide at just 4.7 m (really high is approaching 6 m) on the East Coast, but coupled with a storm surge in the North Sea of maybe 2m or even 3m it produced the potential for some REALLY serious flooding. If the surge and the high tide coincided, then...

...but they didn't, quite (phew!) today, so although the tide never really went out (as fast as it went down, so the surge moved it up again) we didn't see life threatening floods - although some villages were evacuated and a few major roads (eg A12) were blocked. This is Brightlingsea, from the Colne Yacht Club, usually a fair way back from the water. Click to enlarge the phone-photo and look at the town jetty with the gangway to it going UPWARDS!. Oo er indeedy.

It is inevitable that one day the surge, a really big tide and time will all coincide. I'm just glad that today wasn't the day.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Take two

Cracker had barely been tied up at St. Kats for a day and already she is a film studio as I am interviewed about learning technology and futures. It will be on iTunes as a podcast and elsewhere too on doubt. A perfect sunny day made lighting straightforward, and it was all great fun as usual. It is curious that now I am formally doing Horizon Reconnaissance for the government everyone else seems to want to know about the future too.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Dawn at the Tower

After a fab and very fast trip up to St Katherine Docks: fireworks all along the coast, bright starlight, phosphorescence in our wake, calm sea, clear moon. . . We arrived VERY early and so we are waiting here enjoying eggy bread and sleep. Perfect.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Yummy Touchy

Flip! iLove my iPod Touch. It is so slim - smaller than the iPhone - and has so much power. I've hacked mine (well, of course!) using the wonderful Jailbreak and some other geeky stuff so now it has a host of powerful applications - screensful of little icons in fact - and is well on the way to being a fully functioning little computer on its own.

Mine is currently having much fun running as a web server too (good old Apache!!) but it is the very sensitive and subtle motion detection that is so seductive. And using Remote Buddy I can even monitor the live video camera on my MacBook remotely over a wireless link - from anywhere! How cool is that! Very.

Listen, just go out and buy one. I've bought eleven so far (well, children, partners, etc etc) and they are all fab!!