Cider with Rosie

A gentle Sunday in the Church household! A good session in the garden and enjoyed watching the football always more interesting when it is the knock out stage!

Gloucestershire has been celebrating the Laurie Lee centenary and last night we went to a performance by Johnny Coppin and friends. Beautiful photos of the Slad Valley and a good number of historic photos as well to accompany songs and readings. David Goodland read from his books and poems and his voice was a delightful echo of Laurie’s. A nostalgic evening and left with a warm glow. I was reminded of my first year Gloucestershire as a young naive teacher. I used to go on long walks of the Slad Valley and often used to call into the Woolpack and would often see Laurie in there. Perhaps the reason why I am so fond of his writing is that lovely romantic view of the world and of the people in it. It chimes with this hopeless romantic!

Our David has just got promotion at work what a star! Peter is at Glastonbury but I haven’t seen him on the TV which is a surprise!

Clare has just read through my story “Dreams” and has given me a strong positive response. A bit of work now on polishing and developing a couple of parts and then I will give it a good go and seeing if I can get it published.

Simple Twist of Fate

Not Jim Morrison today! Lovely day at Wick Court on Tuesday. Children delightful and there certainly was that super sense of awe and wonder! Another decent uphill pedal on Wednesday.

Quite a few enquiries this week. A booking next month in a library which will be different. I am looking to learn a couple more adult stories for performance so the next week or so will be doing some research.

Embarrassing moment today on the cricket field.I always pride myself on my fielding (most of the time) but in the second over I chased a ball to the boundary and tweaked my hamstring. I don’t do that sort of injury! Struggled through 45 overs in the field but didn’t get to bat because the rain came!

Hoping to make some updates to the web site in the next fortnight. Certainly need to add the Shakespeare Story and Pirate Pete to my story page!

Light my Fire

Great weekend, hopefully this wonderful weather will last for a while. I had a complicated day on Saturday, I had to go to our Dave’s in Exeter to change bikes around because I had brought his back from the Alps. Also had all his stuff, tent etc. Turned out his cricket team were short so the agreement was I would play for them until the tea interval. Fielded in the heat! Then set off to Aylesbeare Common (RSPB reserve) for my gig.

It was for the Great Sleep Out and people had been there all day constructing an Iron Age Hut (I did help ). It was a great advert for team work. I told some stories around the evening meal. As the light faded we went for a walk looking for Nightjars (and listening for their churring noise). Lovely walk and I told another story in the dark ( I geared this one more to the adults).  I was very tired by the time I got home!

A lovely envelope full of Thank You letters and children’s writing from last week’s gig arrived today. The writing was impressive!

Went for a ride up Frocester Hill today and did a PB. Still have some of my Alp legs!

Summer Breeze

I writing a short blog tonight. It has been a busy week with two HVV meetings, a long trip out to play cricket (all of Thursday), guest of honour at the Dursley District Sports, last Monday’s gig and tomorrow’s in Devon. I have managed 3 20 mile pedals this week. Climbing up to the Parliament Centre this morning did remind of the Alps last week except this one ended after 15 minutes of climbing!

Cricket was out near Swansea yesterday. Pleased with my fielding but was up against it when batting as I came in needing to get on with it I tried but didn’t last long!

Enjoyed seeing many old faces well many were quite young at the Sports on Wednesday night.

15 men on a Dead Man’s Chest

I said I had a busy week! I pedaled to Thrupp School for a gig yesterday and saw some old friends Donna and June. I was pleased with how I have developed the physical presence of the performance since I did the course with Ben earlier in the year. I think very much about the mental positioning of the story. Pirate Pete went down well and in the telling other ideas slipped in! Certainly think this story has “legs” as a journalist might say!

I then had a Trustees meeting for HVV Children’s Centres. We are pleased with the progress we are making and I am very proud of my staff colleagues!

Today I was back at Wick Court bird watching with children from London. Delightful!

Story Telling again!!!!!

Just a short note to say we are going back to normal well normalish when I will talk more about Story Telling again or writing rather than an old man who should know better than climbing up mountains in his dotage on his trusty steed “Sir Gawain!”

Exhausted after the journey back (two days driving) and staying up to watch England last night! When I was much younger I used to get excited about watching England but maybe it is the greed of the Premier League that has soured the dream. Don’t get too worked up about them, it certainly doesn’t matter as much to me as the England cricket team and even there the egos have taken the edge of supporting them. However when it comes to the Mighty Hatters it is a very different story, they really matter to me!

I’m off pedalling to a Gig tomorrow. Just finished Pirate Pete so it will be a world premiere tomorrow! Also doing Perseus for the first time in many years. I do have a busy week with meetings, sport and another gig on Saturday in Devon.

Final ride!

Just finished my last ride I did 32 miles with another 1500 metre climb. I was a mature adult and didn’t follow George up yet another climb! Oh my poor body!

My Garmin congratulated me on my best days climbing yesterday 2250 metres it wasn’t a Sherlock deduction you only had to look at me! I think I have done about 130 miles this week and goodness knows how much climbing. No doubt when I load it on Strava I will get an accurate picture. I am pleasantly surprised at how I have climbed especially as most of the fit young things round here have much lighter bikes and probably cost 3 times dear old Sir Gawain my trusty bike! It is quite a sight in the morning as we do our warm up circuit before we start a climb to see the many riders pedalling their way to pay homage to the great mountain! Not too many of my vintage! There are many nationalities here on their bikes. We adopted a Dane on Tuesday who had lost his companions.

Have to start thinking stories with a gig on Monday and one for the RSPB in Devon on Saturday. So back to Pirate Pete now!

Epic pain and saddle sore part 4

Oh, oh, oh, oh!!!!! What a ride! We decided to do Alpe d’Huez again and this time we went at least 200 metres above the tour finishing line. Views were great and saw an alpine swift up here. After a well deserved beer; we zoomed down the mountain you realise just how far you have climbed on the descent. For some unknown reason we then climbed the other side of the valley to Villard Dr Notre Dame. Only another 1450 metres of climbing! I know my maxim was to follow the Jenny Joseph poem I will wear purple when I grow old but this was ridiculous! However the views were fantastic and we had a glass of beer and waxed lyrically about the views.

David leaves us tomorrow and George and I have one more day cycling here. How about the valley floor George? Will blog once more tomorrow before we drive Cedric back to the ferry!

Allez, allez part 3!!!!!!!

Supposed to be a light day today! So about 30 miles in the saddle and up a climb slightly above the height of Ben Nevis! Stunning views both looking down where we had climbed and across to the snow-capped peaks opposite. When we descended couldn’t believe how much we had climbed. About 80 + minutes climbing and 3 minutes to get down. Sitting now in sunshine with a glass in my hand. Very French!

We are thinking about Alpe d’Huez again tomorrow!

I am thinking stories as well. Trying to write a pirate story for next Monday’s gig. Poor Dave and George might have to listen to it.

Bradley, Chris Froome you have nothing to fear!

Sitting with a well eating cuppa reflecting on our day. We did it and achieved a dream! Our day didn’t get off to a great start. Those of you who know France will know that most shops Don’t open on a Sunday so we were light on provisions so fortified with black tea and porridge made with water we were off! A light pedal into the village to get the legs working and straight into the climb with the 22 hairpin bends. I decided to keep to steady rhythm so my young bucks went on ahead. The old bloke carried the padlock and the cake (made by Daisy)!!!

Surprisingly I overtook a fair number of youngsters peddling up. Round and round went the crankshaft down cascaded the sweat in buckets. Soon saw the village below reduced to model village. Now the thrusting young bucks started to overtake. Onward and upward the minutes ticked away and I would like to say I was eating up the miles. For those of you who know Frocester Hill at home it is about a mile to the top. Already I had covered about 7 or so miles when I saw the village high above. Some people were stopping for a drink or a rest but this old boy kept grinding away. As I approached 10 miles the village was almost there,sadly it was a mirage almost another mile before I raised my arms aloft just like a tour stage win! After handshakes photos we went onto the col de Sarenne at 2000 metres and this bit was hard and slow! Grind no it was slower than a grind! Then we started the descent which was terrifying especially with the drop at side. Not sure if I have felt so scared on a bike. Touched 40 mph but brakes were used a lot! Even managed to puncture on a level bit no team car or mechanic to help! A lovely ride back through breathtaking scenery. Body needs seeing to no blonde Swedish masseur in sight so better have a beer instead!

Feel right chuffed as my mum would say. Still life in the old dog! More adventures tomorrow! Forgot to mention there was a cuckoo singing at the top of the col De Sarenne. Not sure who is more cuckoo me or that bird singing so high up.