Forgot to mention something from our journey yesterday. A Buzzard struggled to fly up in front of us as it appeared to have a squirrel in it’s talons. It all looked precarious and as we came underneath the flying bird we braced ourselves in case we were hit by a flying squirrel, we were safe and the bird flew off. It recalled a Story Telling Workshop I was leading with the education staff at the WWT Slimbridge. I had staff recounting travel journeys in pairs. One person recounted a traffic shunt with several vehicles caused by a rabbit being dropped by a Buzzard onto the bonnet of a car and it caused an emergency stop!! You can see why I was anticipating potential danger! It was a great story!
In all the gloom in the world and the poor leadership from the populist politicians around the world it was good to see Jacinda Ardern win the New Zealand election. A consistently impressive leader who shows you can be a decent human being and a politician. Such a contrast to Trump, Johnson and Bolsanaro!
We enjoyed visiting a socially distanced Art Workshops today.
I watched Luton play well today but came second! My David who is now an adopted son of Exeter was over the moon with Exeter’s rugby European win, he has been connected with club for a long time from being a steward in their Championship days to now doing stats for the media at their home games.
Another wonderful Autumn ride today and I certainly clocked up the miles on a long ride travelling South. Always easy to ride when there is little wind.! I have been watching the Giro from Italy and they have had some awful weather to contend with.
A good discussion last night at Book Club where we discussed The Aerodrome by Rex Warner. It was certainly a diverse discussion with many wide ranging views. It was a book many of us wouldn’t of come across or chosen to read, but that is the beauty of a book club you read books you wouldn’t normally be aware of.
We did our monthly bird survey out by the Severn this morning. one special highlight was nearly 100 Dunlin flying and eventually landing on a raft of Flotsam brought down by the tide. I saw many Redwings they had only probably just arrived from Scandinavia.
Pictures at the start for a change! My Gingerbread Coffee from halfway round today’s ride (I met Clare at Prinknash Abbey Café) it was fairly sickly! The other picture is the Autumn Colours looking back at Cranham. It was a long climb (one of many)!
I didn’t see any Martians last night-will try and look again tonight after my Book Club Zoom. We are discussing The Aerodrome by Rex Warner. The book was published in 1941 and has echoes of Huxley’s Brave New World-it was a strangely compelling and surreal book to read and hard to say if I enjoyed it! Should be an interesting discussion.
No don’t be alarmed it is not some Martian invasion or the Roman God of War bearing down on us. No it is just the last time Mars was so close to us here on Earth was fifteen years ago. I did notice it was bright in the night sky last week so later tonight I am taking my telescope out to have a good view-if I see Martian spaceships coming our way I will blog about it tomorrow -not sure how they would cope with the virus though! I think for my sanity it is important to experience and enjoy the natural things around us.
Had a lovely ride today with the Old Groynes cycling group (there are four of us who have undertaken many long distance cycling adventures over the years). The trees in the Cotswold Valleys were decked in their autumn colours, looking especially beautiful from the hill tops.
As I write this I am enjoying listening to the music of Show of Hands. I do hope that we will be able to see live performance of music, theatre again in the not to distant future; and of course Story Tellers!!!!
I have mentioned the problems I had with my bike “Shadowfax” and the back tyre. The good news the new tyre appears to have done the trick. Yesterday riding on my Winter Bike “Gringolet” aiming to a fairly quick 25 miles or so disaster struck! I was going full pelt and I was distracted by a Thrush so didn’t notice a large stone lying in wait for me! Yes another back wheel puncture to deal with! I fumbled by the side of the road as it seemed all the cyclists in Gloucestershire passed by (many offers of help!) I struggled to get the tyre to sit properly in the wheel. I did set off again but found I had a big lump near the valve. So once again I was messing about at the side of the road trying to sort it. Eventually I set off again with oil stained hands, deciding to curtail my ride. Keep your fingers crossed -aiming to do a ride with my pals tomorrow!
I have finished going back over my Pig the Legend story and getting close to sending it off-fingers crossed.
As I have talked about cycling of sorts above. I have added another cycling picture I took below It features Mark Cavendish on the Tour of Britain a few years ago (2012)when he was at his peak. Sad to see that age looks like it has now caught up on his career. 30 Stage wins at the Tour de France isn’t bad! The great thing about road races is that you get really close to the top athletes -it doesn’t happen in many sports.
An update on my Pig the Legend story. Just had a friend (Terry) read it through and put the illustrations in the text. Looks good! I now have some more work to do-a couple of things need to be adjusted. I did promise I would put one of the pictures in a blog-will do that this week.
I even had a tentative booking for Story Telling next year but things will need to improve significantly for that to happen. I am going to put together some virtual Christmas Story Telling ideas for schools over the next fortnight. Anybody in a school reading this please get in touch-obviously it can be anywhere!
Cleaned and oiled all my bikes yesterday-needed it after riding on wet roads! I am hoping to do a couple of long rides next week.
A walk between the showers this morning I managed to take a walk up to Splatt Bridge that looks over to the River Severn. In the Reed Bed I saw a pair of Stonechats, a Whinchat, Reed Bunting and a brief glimpse of a Water Rail. In the distance was a female Marsh Harrier. So a good half hour for me! Stonechats are charismatic perky birds and a joy to see.
I worked on my bikes this afternoon-a job I’ve been putting off for a while.
Pictures below of a Stonechat (top) and a Whinchat