Autumn Drift

Great weather at the moment but obvious signs that Autumn is taking over There are still many summer migrants around but they are noticeably on the move. With the children at Wick Court we spotted a Willow Warbler and a few Swallows on Wednesday (I was really impressed by the young people who asked many searching questions.)  I also played my last game of cricket yesterday against Warwickshire and we won! Always a sad moment when you pack your cricket kit away.

Thoroughly enjoyed watching the football at Bristol City on Wednesday night. The Mighty Hatters played some wonderful football and we were scratching our heads that we hadn’t scored in the first half. We got worried when City scored in the second half but we scored in the last minute but really we should of won comfortably.

Finally pleased with the many positive comments on Pig the Legend from people who have read it. I am aiming to pay the Alzheimer’s Society their first installment on the book sales next week.

A Blast From The Past


The publicity surrounding the publication of Pig The Legend has meant I have had several people from my dim and distant past get in touch. The picture above is the Church Street Junior Football team (Stroud) from the late 70s that was sent to me (Thank you Mark) It prompted many happy memories of my early teaching career.

Just to remind you I have a good number of copies if you want to buy one if you buy it directly from me all that money will go to the Alzheimer’s Society if i have to post it I will have to add that cost to the price. It can be ordered through any Bookshop but try and avoid Amazon if you can because we will get a negligible return and I keen we raise as much as possible for the Society.

A busy couple of days coming up so blogs may be intermittent!

Purple Stain

I think Prince got his lyrics wrong! Actually referring to my hands after picking Blackberries earlier! One of my favourite seasonal activities especially when salivating over the thought of a Blackberry and Apple Crumble!  It is a bizarrely therapeutic activity despite the scratches, stings and insects flying into your face. While picking I recalled  a semi autobiographical semi comic telling at Harvest Celebration in school about the ups and downs of Blackberrying.


The Tour of Britain has been compelling to watch on TV over the last week, hopefully it will come to close to us again next year to see it live! Wonderful racing right to the end!

Aiming to get down to some writing this week.

Sing When Your Drawing!!!

The title refers today’s football. I didn’t head North today to watch the Mighty Hatters but after a busy morning in the garden and out on the bike I sat down to listen to the football via the internet. Gloom crept round my living room as first the referee made a howling error and  then we slumped to 2-0 down – have to say I was fearing a hammering but my team bounced back to score right at the end to draw. Now looking forward to my mid-week trip to Bristol City (hope is what always gets you as a football fan).

Lovely write up in the local press about my book Pig The Legend. Don’t forget you can get it from a bookshop you may have to order it (try and avoid Amazon because we will get next to nothing for Alzheimer’s Society via that route) I did attempt to do a link on here but failed! So try either the Stroud News and Journal or Dursley Gazette’s web sites!

What a turn up!

I mentioned in the last blog that I was going to take children bird watching for the first time in eighteen months at Wick Court. There was a hint of apprehension as we topped up feeders and prepared binoculars before meeting the young birders! It was another scorcher of a day and I wasn’t that optimistic about seeing many birds. And yes it was a slow start with a few fleeting glimpses of the usual suspects. When we were ensconced in the hide by the river we had an unexpected treat a Marsh Harrier flew over us – a first for Wick Court! The young people  were amused by over excited childlike reaction!!! The picture below isn’t mine!


Hot, Hot, Hot!!!!!

Of course I refer to the weather. Spent the morning in the garden and later I foolishly set off on my bike climbing a steep hill. Talk about mad dogs and Englishmen!

Looking forward to tomorrow  and returning to Wick Court where there are children for the first time in eighteen months! Thank goodness! These children are from near the Barbican in London. We will be bird watching so fingers crossed that some birds appear. We have for a variety of reasons only been doing the feeders for a couple of weeks so the bird’s bush telegraph may not be working yet!

I follow my day at Wick Court with a Book Club planning meeting – negotiating what books we are going to read over the next few months.

Ball Chasing

The title doesn’t refer to England at the cricket although it doesn’t look great as I write – I really thought the Test would go to the wire with all results possible! Sadly it looks like our chances of winning have diminished! No the title today is because I cycled 40 miles today to pick up a cricket ball for our match on Thursday! Fantastic ride but nearly got taken out by a squirrel that kept changing its mind on what direction it wanted to go!

I start relearning stories tomorrow for a gig the following week. I have found I have been a little rusty although with the gigs I have done through the summer it is coming back!

Finally we have had regular Charms of Goldfinches in the garden over this last week- I counted a dozen this morning-last week on the monthly Bird Survey we had nearly 40 in one Charm.

Oh Deer!!!

Close encounter early evening today on my bike- a deer leapt out in front of me on a quiet road just below Rodborough Common not sure who was more surprised me or the animal. It bounded away quickly! Another wildlife encounter my son Peter met a Hedgehog in our front garden last night. We were really pleased to hear that they used to be frequent visitors but it is an animal that has suffered over the last few years.

Book sales for Pig the Legend are going well since the launch. All proceeds are going to the Alzheimer’s Society. The book is £7.99. Please get in touch if you want a copy, you can also order through your local bookshop (please avoid Amazon as we don’t make anything on the sales.)

Book Launch (3)

Last lot of pictures (there are many more!) of the launch. It has been something of a whirlwind since that night. We have had my grandson Owen staying (and his parents) and I have forgotten how full on it is having a nearly nine month old baby around! It has been a real pleasure! I did watch the Hatters on Saturday.

I start my voluntary work again for the first time in eighteen months at Wick Court which I am looking forward to.



Finally family support at the launch!

Book Launch Part 2

A few pictures from last Friday, more to follow.


My multi-talented brother performing on the night.


Someone is  really focused on the action!