Daily Archives: 18 October 2014

A Message from Sir Ian McKellen

National Treasure Sir Ian McKellen—make that International Treasure Sir Ian McKellen—visited Chew Valley School, a performing arts college outside of Bristol, on Friday, and “caused an absolute sensation for star-struck students and teachers alike”, according to the school’s website.   And they have the video to prove it.

For anyone who doesn’t get the reference, here’s a scene from The Lord of the Rings:  The Fellowship of the Ring:

“The visit was a celebration of the tremendous work the Equalities Team have been doing for more than a year now in promoting human rights, opposing bullying and in particular challenging homophobic language and behaviour in school.  The Equalities Team have achieved national recognition for their campaigning work, addressing a Stonewall Conference in London and being made Stonewall Champions. 

“Sir Ian McKellen was a founder member of Stonewall and has devoted much of his private time to supporting the organisation and promoting equal rights…. 

“In a series of mesmerising addresses and question and answer sessions he talked movingly about his own personal history in the context of changing attitudes and legislation in relation to gay rights.  Whilst celebrating the undoubted progress he has witnessed in his own life-time he urged Chew Valley students to continue to be a beacon for civilised attitudes and behaviour against the cruelties that can exist on these shores as well as intolerant societies abroad.”
–from Chew Valley School’s press release


The Queen Visits “Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red”


Image from Historic Royal Palaces.

Last August, I posted an entry about the opening of “Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red”, the art installation at the Tower of London that commemorates the centennial of the British Empire’s entry into World War I.  I added another note when Prince Harry and the Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge visited the site a few days later.

Yesterday, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip viewed the poppy installation and attended a service in the Tower’s Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula.


Photo by Chris Jackson.

Prince Philip is 93 years old, born only seven years after the war began.

There are 888,246 poppies in the display, one for each of the British and colonial fatalities of World War I.

prince-philip_queen-elizabeth-ii_art_exhibitions--h=500aLost in a sea of red.