Once a Jolly Swagman camped by a…………….

Short blog today. Football was fairly turgid yesterday with a 0-0 draw. last year we played some cracking football and lost so I suppose it is better! Last night we went to a delightful party in the 3 Horseshoes. It was Terry our village Aussie so the theme was Australian so many Ned Kellys, cricketers, Steve Irwins, Dame Ednas on view. I wore my bush hat and had looked Banjo Paterson on the internet writer of Waltzing Matilda so I went as him. Great night the pub was heaving and rocking!

I’ve been asked to do a Story Telling as part of a Village fund-raiser next month. Not quite sure of my audience so may need some variations if it is family I think more likely to be adult.

The Happy Prince

A varied few days, a couple of decent rides on my trusty steed Sir Gawaine at a reasonable lick.

Did my birdwatching with some lovely enthusiastic children at Wick Court. Funny how I now refer to stories as we are wandering around. Last week I mentioned the Oscar Wilde story “The Happy Prince” because we watching an active swallow’s nest and it did seem very late to still have birds in the nest. The Happy Prince always moves me when I have told it to children and his Selfish Giant has a similar effect. The good news is the birds fledged at the weekend so hopefully they will be able to feed up before their long journey South. Another story I mentioned was the Welsh Story King of the Birds after a child asked me what bird can fly the highest. I also mentioned the story from the Middle East about why the swallow has forked tail, one of my favourite stories to tell. I now have a good collection of bird stories I know so perhaps I should  offer my services to the RSPB- “Bill’s Avian Tales” perhaps. I have a couple of ideas for stories to write during the next few months.

I have been busy on developing my Dreams story this week. The story was originally written for children to tell but I am extending it.

Been a good week for my football team; hope it continues at Hereford on Saturday. Looking forward to it and have found an interesting pub to visit before the game.

Kitty Jay

Just booked tickets for Seth Lakeman playing at Glos Cathedral on Tuesday week. Looking forward to it, hopefully will do a couple more gigs after the Literature Festival. I have booked 3 Story Telling performances from 3 different performers at the Festival.

Football was a nerve jangling affair yesterday. We were outplayed for long periods but came back to win 3-2. Hopefully this will see us push on (I have said that before). The Kenny was rocking at the end. I am writing up some of my sporting adventures and hopefully will get one or two gigs at sporting occasions. I have done a couple of cricket clubs many moons ago. I have my adult dark tale that has a cricket link.

Sporting Heaven

I had genuinely meant to have a hard-working week on writing. Only spent a couple of hours with one story and managed did do my tax return on my Story Telling work for the last financial year.

Sport has dominated this week. Thursday was the Tour of Britain at Caerphilly. I drove to Mike’s house and then cycled to Caerphilly Mountain. Was pleased to cycle up the steep ride where the tour came through. Big crowds on the mountain, a great place because they come through twice. Tuesday and tomorrow is football. Today went down to Bristol to watch the last day of Gloucestershire’s home season, Lancashire sadly didn’t make a game of it but a relaxing day watching cricket.

Next week I have earmarked the week for structured writing sessions and hoping to learn a new story for telling.


Dazed and Confused

Looking forward to a hard-working week. I need to settle down to some regular writing and learn a couple of new stories. I am also hoping to work on a printed flier to send out.

We were feeling tired today after a late night. We had to pick up Peter and Nicola from a wedding reception well after midnight. So by the time we had a chat it was about 2 when we got to bed. I have felt fairly sluggish today!

The football was a disappointment on Friday night. Hope it is better on Tuesday night! Off to our cricket club AGM later. We have to decide if we drop to one team or stay with two. If we go to one it is likely to mark the end for me of league cricket because I can’t take a young person’s place in the team.

After Midnight

Book club was yet again another wonderful evening. We are about to read Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene so it was a loose Caribbean theme for food and drink. Great cooking by the boys and some interesting cocktails! We managed to put together a programme for the year although we were undecided about next July and August. a theatre trip has been mooted and Hardy cycle tour of Dorset. We are asking my brother Mike to come back and perform poems in the Three Horseshoes at Christmas will confirm the date later in a blog because all are welcome. It was a very late finish and Thursday morning seemed a bit of a haze!

A few more emails to schools went off today. I’ve had bookings for this term and March next year since the fliers went out. Hoping to start writing next week a script for the 1st world war project next year I am hoping to do develop for both primary and secondary schools.

Watching the mighty Hatters on T.V. tonight!

You ain’t goin’ nowhere

Well hopefully I am going somewhere. Spent yesterday sending a few emails to selected schools reminding them they have a Story Teller on their doorstep. Ironically later in the day there were two emails from  schools that I hadn’t emailed checking out my availability.

Been at Wick Court two days this week. Taking children from a central London school bird watching. Children delightful and today they were rewarded by seeing two Little Owls. First time for a while I have got children able to see them.

On Monday morning I cycled with my David and mate the start of their cycling trip. Got soaked doing nearly 40 miles.There are back tomorrow. I was pleased with the HVV Trustees Training meeting Monday night. Impressed by my fellow Trustee’s expertise and quality of their questions!

Tonight is one of our Book Club “research” meals this one is on a Caribbean theme. Terry is coming with an appropriate cocktail-worried about my head tomorrow!

Travelling back in time

Visited Hitchin my old home town-I do normally 2 or 3 times a year but usually to visit and leave a pot at Mum and Dad’s grave. This time had time to poke around the town, we ended up in the Red Hart  pub for lunch. The last time I had been there was probably about 40 years ago, then it could accurately be described as a Hippie Pub and was often raided by the police. I seem to recall they played Pink Floyd a lot well before the success of Echoes and Dark Side of the Moon time. It was different now but when I went to the loo that didn’t look like it had changed in 40 years! Afterwards we went to watch the Hatters who drew again.

Our Dave was here for Sunday night with a mate before going off cycling for four days. I cycled with them for the first 15 miles and then turned round. We were soaked and my legs were encased in mud. By the time I cycled to do my Birdwatching with children at Wick Court I had done 40 miles. To end a busy day we had a positive Trustees meeting for HVV. I should sleep well tonight!

Blackberry and Apple Crumble

I am a simple man and I love it when the blackberries are out. I went out Blackberrying on Thursday. It always takes me back to the lazy late summer days of childhood. Off with my tubs searching for where the best bushes are. Stretching to reach the big fat juicy ones, flies buzzing in your face, barbs scratching your arms, nettles stinging, wasps menacing by the berries are the many delights! As well as returning with purply blue stained hands and lips smeared with a bizarre lipstick for extras! Why? For that wonderful Blackberry and Apple Crumble of course! Will go out again soon. I did once perform a semi autobiographical story for a harvest theme based on childhood experiences.



Bring me Sunshine (in Norfolk)

Back home after a great week! The ride to Norfolk was enjoyable but Day Two was hard graft a long day in the saddle. Milton Keynes was our low point as we seemed to take ages to get through. Particular highlights was cycling through the Windrush Valley, hurtling across the Fens, and the approach to Kings Lyn.

Enjoyed our time with the lads at Brancaster and Clare and I went onto near Cley for some great birdwatching. Chris Hillyer joined us yesterday for lunch and a walk.

Hopefully working on my promotional leaflet tomorrow and Friday.