The Great Ride

Sorry but this is a plug for our cycle ride in the summer. A group of us are are cycling 400 odd miles in August it is a sponsored ride in aid of Farms for City Children. It is a great organisation set up by the author Michale Murgpurgo and children from urban settings spend a week on a farm helping and learning about farms. I am undertaking a bird survey at Wick Court and story telling there this week! There are 3 farms one in Devon (Nethercott), one near us at Arlingham (Wick Court) and one in Pembrokeshire near St Davids (Treginnis Isaf). My son David is riding as well (probably to look after his sad old dad!). David has cycled with me quite a bit and we have enjoyed a couple of long rides together. There a quite a few hills on the route! If anyone wants to sponsor us you can go on the Just giving site Brian Dimmock has set up    thanks in anticipation!
I will blog about the preparations and after the ride in the summer.

Sunshine and Happy Days

Well the weather has been stunning just what the doctor ordered! We went to Pembrokeshire this week and it was wonderful. The flowers, birds and the coast all exceeded expectations.
We cycled everywhere once we parked the van up. We explored the coast and had a fantastic day on Skomer. The flowers were great surprisingly for no trees there were great carpets of bluebells on the hillside so the hills shimmered that distinctive blue. When the red campanion mixed in with it and Puffins popping up all over the place it was a sureal sight. The birds of course are special on the island and took some great photos.
This weekend has been sizzling at cricket! We chased leather in the heat and collapsed when we went out to bat! My U13s won this morning so it wasn’t all bad!

Oh No Not Again!!!!!!!

Our Wembley trip we had so looked forward to ended with us coming second. It is disappointing that we will now face a 4th season in purgatory especially when we shouldn’t be there in the first place. I met with lots of old friends and both my boys and Vicky were there. We were unlucky (I would say that anyway). It does feel like 4 years of hurt. I did renew my season ticket so maybe next year-I must be mad!
Not been a good weekend sports-wise. We lost a close game cricket yesterday I was involved in another 50 run opening partnership but really struggled with the state of my back and the legs are still suffering from last weekend’s physical activities.
I had a couple more enquiries for special gigs next month so we will see what happens.
I was pleased with my writing last week the story is going well.

We also saw the cranes at Slimbridge that had been released on the Somerset Levels and had appeared this week. It is the first time I’ve seen cranes in the wild in this country.

We are off in the campervan “Cedric” next week.

Talking Politics

Something different tomorrow night. I have been asked to be a responder to David Drew the former Stroud M.P.s education talk. I have 8 minutes to respond to David’s talk. I suppose I still  have a little bit of credibility having just retired and still visiting schools regularly but is becoming stretched! Morale does appear to be at an all time low amongst the teaching profession.

Sadly because I am at the debate I am going to be late for our Book Club meal-we have just read The History of Mr Polly and we are eating on Brian’s boat and discussing the book. Hopefully something will be left for me when I get there!


Still writing well when there are no distractions e.g. being social, cycle training, being a volunteer, working in the garden and worrying about Sunday’s play off final etc I am enjoying writing up my story Misty the magician-lots of new ideas to develop. I am adding to the challenges my unusual wizard faces. Hopefully should complete over the next fortnight.

We cycled 45 miles yesterday. Body now suffering following nearly 90 overs of cricket Sat and another 40+ miles on Friday. I still think I can do it!

Cricket starts!

Today the  old man played his first game of cricket this season! We went up last year as champions into the County league so today we played our first match at Cheltenham. 3 people got lost on the way-how can you get lost in Cheltenham? Game decided on the toss really. Managed to get 36 and wait for it a wicket! If any of you know what my bowling is like that is an unusual occurrence! We did lose but pushed them all the way! Good to play after all the rain of the last weeks.
Worked on my Misty the magician story yesterday (also cycled into Gloucester)-still need another test for my trainee magicians in the story!
Big training ride tomorrow for the sponsored ride in the summer. Hope the body can last after today’s game!
Still very excited about next weekend at Wembley-a good group of family and friends are going. So it will be a real sporting weekend cricket on Sat, Wembley on Sun!

Clare is off to London next week to see our Pete. I am speaking at an education debate run by our former M.P. I had better think of something to say!

What did the Romans ever do for us?

Good day out today. We visited Chedworth Roman Villa-first time for many years. There is a lovely new visitor centre and the design takes you above the mosiac floor.Spent some time reading a book on Boudicca in the shop. Well it is research for my history Story Telling!. It is an old favourite of mine so I want to update the telling.
We watched a nuthatch on the roman walls getting quite close to it-lovely bird.
I’ve spent all afternoon working on my Misty the Magician story (close now to 5000 words)-I will need to go back over parts because things keep coming to me -good to have ideas still!
I got my Play Off final tickets yesterday. 9 altogether,. Really looking forward to it -let us hope it is 3rd time lucky and we get back to where we belong!

Back in Truimph!!!!

What a good week I had last week on my Story Telling Course. It was with Ben Haggarty who is a wonderful Story Teller (if you haven’t seen him perform make sure you do!).He got us throughout the week, through a variety of methods to unpick a “Wonder tale” and adapt another story for telling (I fixed this story in the present day). Many of his methods helped me to visualise my story clearly in my mind. I had taken the Six Swans from Grimm’s Fairy Tales. From listening to others telling stories and unpicking this story I was able to ask myself much about the story. The culmination was we had 12 minutes to tell part of this story on the Thursday night-what we didn’t know we would be in a pitch black environment (I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face), so the story would be doing the work. I quite surprised myself with my telling because I felt “in the zone” and although I had an idea of what I wanted to say words seemed to cascade from all around me as I was telling it. So much so I was probably only a quarter of the way into the story when my time was up! it was good to let the voice do the work and not rely on the visual-certainly helped with the imagination.
Really enjoyed the company of my colleagues (all younger than this old man). We were well looked after especially by Kate (Ben’s partner) who catered brilliantly all week especially for the one difficult veggie (there is always one!) The only down side was the awful weather.
Returned to Glos and we entertained old friends John and Gill Cooban (we all go back a long way to our school days) and had a great time. Managed to take John at last to the wonderful Old Spot pub in Dursley.
Monday was a nerve wracking day listening to the 2nd leg of Luton’s play off semi. We managed to scrape over the line for a Wembley appearance on the 20th May. Straw boaters will be dusted off and many members of the Church family + friends should be there! I hope it is 3rd time lucky for us because it gets harder watching football in this league with no away fans to speak of. No doubt more of this in the next few days.

Heard my first cuckoo this weekend!

I am having a great time!!!!!

A quick blog from my Story Telling World in deepest Herefordshire (well not that deep) and really good. I am learning much and been able to reflect on where I am with what I do.
It is slightly worrying for my ego that I am the oldest person here! Many of my fellow participents are younger than my two boys! Will reflect properly when I am back.
Fingers crossed for tomorrow for the Hatters!