These Boots are made for Walking!!!

Short post today! I went to do my bird count at Wick Court and drop off some seed for the feeders there , I am taking the children for a watch around the site next week. Although it has been dry for a couple of days it was still very muddy and my wellies got stuck in the mud so it would have been entertaining watching me trying to get out; I was tottering and managed to avoid falling over. Spoke to Heather at Wick Court about the next step in equipping the children for keeping their records, we may do a laminated sheet for individual children with pictures of the main birds on.

Tonight we are going to watch Daniel Mordern and some other Story Tellers at Postlip Hall beyond Cheltenham.

Paperback Writer

Had a very vivid dream last night that I have remembered and written notes on. Great possibility for a short adult story involving bittersweet time travel. I will let you know how it develops.

I have just done another update on the Magician story and sending to another couple of young people and two adult friends for comments and then will try to see if I can persuade a publisher!

I have also started writing something on Sporting theme that is hopefully different and how it has touched me, it may come to nothing but those of you who may remember my idiosyncratic football reports for the Stroud News (I was always given a theme that I had to incorporate in my reports at the end of a game!) or some of you may recall my tongue in cheek offerings for the old Luton Fanzine “Mad as a Hatter”-well samples of both are likely to feature if this project develops. It will also include a political dimension, I always felt on the outside of the sporting mainstream of the time (still do)  because of my views e.g. as a cricket lover I was firmly in the anti-apartheid group when all you heard at cricket matches was sport and politics shouldn’t mix-I did flounce out of one or two bars over this and shout abuse at Mike Gatting and co! My football perspective has always been odd and almost the dinosaur like-e.g. I always make a point and will say “top flight football” instead of Premier League, I resented Sky giving the impression that football only started in 1992!  I will try to write with humour even if it is from an old git’s perspective!

Heart of Gold

Well what a weekend and I’m not talking about the weather (I seem to talk a lot about the weather in this blog)! It was a significant birthday for Clare. I had booked a surprise  weekend in Salisbury with the boys and their partners to join us. I had my fingers crossed that we would all get there and the weekend go well. Despite the persistent rain on Saturday the weekend went like a dream. We had a wonderful stop at Avebury on the way enjoying both the wonderful Henge and the delightful Manor. We enjoyed Salisbury Cathedral and the a great Thai meal on the Saturday. Clare enjoyed the time to talk with the boys and the girls. Old Sarum walk on the Sunday morning was the icing on the cake. Clare is still floating!

I am aware that several people have had problems posting comments on the blog. I think that has been fixed so feel free to leave a comment to test the system-I did get an awful lot of spam before, hopefully that won’t happen this time.

Been cycling in wellies and waterproofs this week to get the paper because we have a small flood/gigantic puddle at the end of the road!

Off tonight to David’s and on to watch the mighty Hatters play a Trophy game at Dorchester. The real big time! Hopefully a chance to watch some of our youngsters.

Cycling through even more floods!!!

Busy week for ordinary stuff-dentists, opticians etc. Last week I had a health MOT at the surgery. A fine healthy specimen all round!

Yesterday I made the irresponsible decision to cycle to the dentist! the rain had eventually stopped but my goodness there was much water everywhere-more rain expected this afternoon, so stand by to baton down the hatches! Being on the bike was difficult where there was flooding but once on the cycle path I was quicker than a car because roads were blocked.

I had some feedback from one of my ex pupils who read through my story. She was positive but she did suggest the language some of the vocabulary might be difficult in places for children of primary school age. Useful to hear that because I had made a deliberate effort not to simplify the language. So I am now looking at it again. I will keep you posted on progress!

No more blogs till Sunday night or Monday-away for the weekend.

Its raining its pouring the old man is ……………..!

What a day it is more than Cats and Dogs today! More like Horses and Cows or even Elephants or Hippos! Just had a wonderful ploughmans at the Three Horseshoes here in Frampton. Sorted out arrangements for “Poetry in the Shoes on the 19th December when my brother Mike is coming up to perform. Not sure if I will tell a story or not on the night.

Yesterday we had wonderful news about the bid Hill, Valley and Vale Children’s Centre put into to run Children’s Centres in Stroud. We have been selected as the preferred bidder by the County Council. It has been a superb effort all round. We now wait for the cabinet to approve and hopefully I will be signing papers in the middle of December. Now the work in earnest begins!

Still writing regularly, I’ve got two projects on the go at the moment.


Since my last post I did another bird watch at Wick Court with children from the Southwark, once more full of enthusiasm. Book club was a good discussion on Carmen Bugan’s “Burying the Typewriter” a book about childhood in Romania. She grew up with her father arrested by the communist regime, very moving and thought-provoking especially her anger at her father’s political activity putting the family at risk. George’s Romanian background really enhanced the discussion.

Saturday night we went to see Bellowhead who are a really dynamic talented band. Edwina joined us and we met my brother Mike and my niece Carla. Fantastic gig, really good support band and the Colston Hall was rocking!

Today I went for a 30 mile ride with Peter Spargo, it was a super ride and wonderful weather. We rode out to Painswick via Harescombe. Views were stunning.

Who knows where the time goes?

Title of one of my favourite songs, that voice, melts me every time! Done much since my last post. Went and watched Luton forget to perform on Saturday-what a disappointment! Sunday was spent mainly on doing things for the cricket club, working on the pitch and attending the quiz in the evening. My team won!

Monday saw me doing a voluntary birdwatching session at Wick Court with children from the Charles Dickens school in Southwark. They were pleased to hear I had cycled by their school! Lovely group who were enthusiastic about what they saw. In the evening we went with our friend Bernie to see Domby and Son performed by the Red Dog Theatre Company. It was stunning and imaginative use of set and costume-plenty of ideas for my Story Telling as well.

Today we met up with one Clare’s ex colleagues in Bristol for a tour of Medieval  Bristol. Really enjoyed it and finished up in the second-hand bookshop and got a book on Napoleon  on St Helena, last time we went there I found the Observer Book of Bird Eggs! Tonight off to watch Chris Raffle (my wonderful secretary at Dursley) acting at the church. More Birdwatching with children tomorrow and Book Club in the evening, “Who knows where the time goes?”

Sort of work!

Spent Thursday in Bristol at a conference for Trustees of charities. A useful day for my role as Chair of the Hill, Valley and Vale Children’s Centre. We are still waiting to know if our bid to run 7 centres in the Stroud area was successful.

I am writing regularly on two different projects, will keep you updated.

Who ate all the pies!

Well me actually! Tonight we had a celebration meal at Wick Court for our epic cycle ride. Wonderful food, good company and a delightful evening. Clare presented certificates to all involved based on mr men characters-for some reason I was Mr Cheerful! I had my own special vegetarian pie cooked!

David and I went for ride earlier up to Haresfield Beacon-my goodness that is a steep climb. I had to go back down to get moving!

The name is……………….

Had an enjoyable day on Saturday. Watched FGR in the cup and then Clare and I went to watch James Bond “Skyfall”. Enjoyable romp and a decent story until the predictable shoot out at the end. Good pantomime “Baddie”!

I enjoyed cooking a super fish recipe yesterday from the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingsall/Nick Fisher book that David and Vicky gave me for my birthday.Sadly our monthly old man bike ride was cancelled because of the rain. So I pedaled into Stroud this morning and Dave and I are hoping to do a ride on Wednesday. We are off to Hereford tomorrow to watch the Hatters possibly go top (fingers crossed).

Did start writing another book as well will update my progress as it develops but don’t want to give too much away.