Thursday, 28 February 2008

Lorra lorra lobster.

So. . . Back on 7 mile beach, Grand Cayman, and excited to see the progress that everyone is making with the new ed system - from building exciting new 21st century schools onwards. I'm rushing around in the few days that I'm here, but back properly in June.

However - aficionados of this photoblog will note a certain soft spot for fish suppers (!) and hurrah it was eat-as-much-as-you-like-lobster night on the beachfront (I spared you the laden plates) so here is the sun setting complete with pirate ship and helicopter AND just a hint of a cold front. It's going to be a windy night and a gentle reminder of the hurricanes that threaten here in the Autumn.

Actually eat-as-much-as-you-like-lobster turned out to be rather less than I thought - quite filling lobster...

Thursday, 21 February 2008


Just finished the first of a series of charrettes explore possible futures as part of our Horizontal project. The two days were at the top of the North Tower of Tower Bridge and this is the room we were in.... a mass of rivets and beams. Lovely!

In this shot are Chris Thomas (Intel) and Alan greenberg (Apple), with Jamais Cascio and Colin Holgate (he's from Funny Garbage) in the background and I think just a glimpse of John Naughton from the OU - Google them and see how interesting the event was!!

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Public Service Sweden

On to Sweden for a BIG debate about the future of public service broadcasting - since this is what i advise the BBC on these days you can imagine I'm in favour. But how wise to have a national debate - all televised and webcast of course.

There are four of us presenting - up on stage ahead of me is Niklas Zennstrom (not sure how to get the two dots over the O in his name on my phone - even though it is an Ericsson!) who, after he frightened the life out of the music industry with KaZaA, went on to equally terrify the Telcos by creating Skype. And now he is busy with Joost with broadcasting and video distribution in his sights. Interesting conference! Flip!!

(is it the weekend yet? - I'm still catching up sleep from the BAFTAs)

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

United at United

What a curious pairing. Here is friend and collegue Prakash Nair - we are working on the new schools in the Cayman Isles amongst other things. Anyway, next to him is a case of Manchester United Caps - European Cup, league, etc etc. He is based in the US so thinks football is something else altogether.

So why are we here - there are no boats at all? Because we are in the Manchester United Museum at their football ground for a dinner - I'm in Manchester to chair and address the annual - and increasingly whopping - BSEC conference looking at new school building. And I'm doing a double act with Ty Goddard dishing out his organisation's Awards for best design and so on.

The conference goes from strength to strength and the discussion is very candid. Suddenly there are folk from all around the world interested in what is happening here with school building... can't wait till next year!

Monday, 11 February 2008


Well, the fire didn't spread. So then, finally, it's on to the Party (I think the number of invites diminish at each stage - numbers go down anyway - maybe it's just stamina issues).

Sorry aobout the picture quality - yes, those are trees. I'm looking pretty ragged by now - which in this context means bow tie undone - but the stars manage to still look fabulous and some have even CHANGED! how on earth did did they do that (and indeed where!)!? Mind you, there is a full Lancome make-up team doing face repair pit stops in the loos and that must help. . .

Anyway the Party is doing fab cocktails so this photo is as blurred as what I a seeing.. I'm at the Open University tomorrow marking some of their geekier modules, so I really do need some sleep somewhere. Good night. zzz

BAFTA Part 3

Part 2 the Awards are over - hopefully you saw that bit on TV - and so now it's dinner time. Yum. Of course because it is cinema the whole industry works in a rather organic way, assembling for a project (a film) and then dispersing - very much a model for 21st century working. But it means that chatting and networking is EVERYTHING so no one sits down for long and everyone is up, rushing round and chatting like mad - it's business.

All our table are fab company with, inevitably, a huge diversity of role, but I hope to talk geeky to Andy Serkis who is one of them. Interestingly, as I type this our table is now on fire (menu, candle, tablecloth.. whoops) , so I 'd better pause. . .

Sunday, 10 February 2008


So here we go for bit of a champagne marathon.

It all begins walking down (this is me...) the vast and of course star studded red carpet with six deep galleries of photographers, and at the end everyone enters the Royal Opera House for a bubbly and nibbles reception. This is all BEFORE the Awards BEFORE the dinner BEFORE the Party. hence marathon. Oh dear! Great fun though. Watch this space!

Friday, 8 February 2008

To bee or not to be

I can't begin to say how excited I am by this. 18 moths ago I was suggesting a Dublin wide festival of light with am emphasis on controlling light. And now here is that Festival after a LOT of hard work by the Science Gallery team. The Science gallery is at Trinity College, of course..

Anyone who doubts that Science and Art can coexist - and indeed feed from each other - need to be here and see the HUGE queues outside - the place is RAMMED with visitors, and to see the vast age range represented here - all with beaming faces. This festival is seducing people into science and art too.

Find it on-line while it is still open (it had to be extended) from: "" and maybe click on watch to see the youTube entries.

The exhibit I've photographed tracks bees s they learn to navigate artificial (but "nectar"-rich) blue flowerrs amongst white. Their paths improve as they learn and two cameras track them. You can literally SEE the learning. These paths are then laser cut into perspex cubes shown here. There are HUNDREDS queueing for this exhibit alone.

I don't often say this but I really feel So proud of this whole festival - other bits are around Dublin too. It is a joy.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

St Pancras

Early start on the way to Nottingham. The new station and international terminal, even at 5 something a.m. and deserted, is really quite a spectacular restoration of a unique architectural and engineering wonder. The champagne bar is a wonder too, but probably not at this time of the morning!

Friday, 1 February 2008

Things you don't want at an airport #27

Snow snow and indeed snow. And here in Toronto we seen to have plenty of it which they are collecting into enormous heaps. Hmmm.

I found a whopping 4 x4 taxi to get me to the airport. Driver was from Essex (where I live)! And if you are thinking 'small world' the driver who brought me FROM the airport was from Bilston! (see below). Amazing!

Snow snow quick quick snow

I just want to say that there was no snow here yesterday - well not much - and now there is simply tons. A tractor just went by on the pavement trying to clear it! This is the main street! So taxi ride and flight home in a minute might be, er, challenging.

And here it is at night

And in a rather exciting way the colours change and the lights chase up and down the CNN Tower at night. Amazing.

It's not snowing. . .

. . . but it is flippin cold here in Toronto. This morning the sky cleared to give a good view of the CNN Tower.

I'm here for the Ontario Libraries Association SuperConference 2008 (Google it) which is big and vibrant and full of good ideas and people who care about learning.