So Far away

My sporting idyll has hit the buffers! No cricket on Thursday and surprisingly no cricket today (supposed to be a waterlogged pitch but I think our opposition were struggling for a team. I have another game on Monday at the lovely Stowell Park but the forecast is iffy! Hopefully riding with the old groynes tomorrow.

I finished the Shakespeare story,  a little bit contrived but I was asked for a Shakespeare story-will have its World Premiere at my gig in Birmingham on Wednesday. If it goes well I may perform it a fortnight Monday as well.

The title for today’s blog came from watching Carole King and James Taylor last night. Forgotten what an excellent album Tapestry was!


You take the high road and I’ll take ……………

Better late than never with a post! Last Friday went to Cardiff to see our Mike in Bouncers at St David’s Hall. He played the part of Lucky Eric and was superb-very proud big Bruv! Several members of the family had turned out so good to see everyone.

Saturday saw us drive up to Scotland to meet up with many old friends on our traditional OTT weekend. Good to catch up, walk, bird watch and cycle as well eat and drink! We stopped one night in the Lakes on the way back just above Ullswater-we have promised ourselves more time there perhaps later in the year or certainly next year. We should be able to time it to miss many of the crowds. We also promised ourselves the Hay Festival next year. I managed to cycle the Kirkstone Pass my highest pedal this year, good training for the Alps! Was pleased with how well I managed it. Getting very excited just over a week away! One more long ride this weekend and then a few gentle rides next week. Next week I will be busy with cricket and my gig in Birmingham.

I found the election results disturbing especially the way selfish negativity is coming to the fore. Would be good to see someone lead with a positive message about people and the environment!

As I walked out one summer’s morning….

Of course this year is the anniversary of Laurie Lee’s birth so there is much happening around the area. We are hoping to go to two or three events over the next month. I always remember when first came to Stroud I stayed for the first fortnight with the school secretary who had gone to school with Laurie Lee. I did ask her if she was Rosie! In that first year when i didn’t know anyone I used to go on long walks often in the Slad Valley and would end up for a beer in the Woolpack and he would invariably be there. I used to eavesdrop just to hear that lovely rich Stroud burr that I found so romantically evocative.

Got some interesting gigs over the next couple of months. I have said yes to the RSPB on midsummer’s day.

Sunshine on my shoulder

What a great spell of weather! Certainly good to sit outside and enjoy a ride in the sunshine. Over 120 miles in the saddle last week. We had a great ride yesterday 44 miles in the heat. The Alps are looming and getting ever closer! I am supposed to be playing cricket against Somerset on Thursday it will be ironic if after this great weekend’s sun  the weather spoils my cricket!

The Shakespeare story is looking a bit contrived so I may have to re look at it.

I actually watched my first cup final in nearly 30 years because I wasn’t playing cricket and I enjoyed the game!

Birnam Wood to Dunsinane….

Not the right quote or play for last night! We watched Henry IV (part 1) at the cinema live from Stratford with Antony Sher as a brilliant Falstaff. He was outstanding, a superb presence and great timing. We are going to see Henry IV (part 2) in August at Stratford so it will be good to compare the different experiences. We thought some of the close-ups of the actors particularly Falstaff and Percy were excellent and you wouldn’t get that at the theatre but on the down side you couldn’t get the whole stage on occasions.

With the quote above my Shakespeare story is still developing and the quote above hopefully is featuring in it. I have to perform it the first week of June.

Had an enquiry from the RSPB about doing an open air performance at a  Devon reserve on Midsummer’s Day. Got back to doing a Wick Court session on Tuesday. Children did really well although as they came from Aylesbury and frequently see Red Kites over their school it did feel slightly bizarre showing them a Swallow in the telescope.


Lovely to half a dozen Arctic Terns last night on the lake by home. What a fantastic story their migration is going from pole to pole and they turn up here in Frampton! Also heard a Cuckoo this morning. I will check out if the Nightingale has arrived tonight.

The Shakespeare story is developing. Hope to pull it together this week e.g. finishing writing it and get ready to learn it for performance.

My training for the cycle up Alpe d’Huez  is going well. Climbed Haresfield yesterday, that last part is hard! Looking to do a few hills this week.


Weather Report

Well after some lovely days at the weekend, we now have what I call “typical start of the cricket season weather!” I should have played for the Glos old men today but was unsurprisingly washed out. Went for a cycle to drop off story telling leaflets and pay some money in. Almost 50 miles today and yesterday with some decent hills in. Wet and windy on both days! With the weather as it is it does mean I can spend some time on preparation for future gigs. I am still developing my Shakespeare story.

Book club last night was a meal on the boat-it was supposed to be linked with Wind, Sand and Stars. A jolly evening all round. I must now read the book!

Spirit in the sky………..

I mentioned yesterday I learnt much about a story while I was away. What I meant to say I learnt much about learning the many layers of a story. This will be invaluable when preparing a story for a performance in the future.

Clare and I pedaled into Stroud this morning. This afternoon I played cricket for my mate Ian Dixon’s leaving game at Cam. Lovely afternoon, the weather was great and the game was played  in a lovely spirit. I even managed to get some runs -72 before I got myself out. I’ve been around the block so many times I know so many people and I knew must people involved in the game.

Back Home they will be ………….

Who remembers that dirge from 1970?  It seems appropriate as I have just returned from my week’s storytelling course with Ben Haggarty. A superb week where I learnt much about performance and have much to work on to take me to the next level. Also helped me see a story in a different light. Hoping to get back to writing later this week. I am aiming to send my Harriet story to Lisa Bingham to see if she wants to do illustrations for it.

My bike Sir Gawain came back from a costly service today so it is ready for the Alps. Did a gentle 20 mile ride today to get back into training after being away.