Underground, overground, wombling free………..

Yesterday’s football gave me today’s title! I watched the mighty Hatters struggle to beat 10 man Wimbledon the “Wombles”. Still a win is a win! I then dashed back to Stroud to watch Steve Knightly perform. So I missed having to watch the rugby so I think I made the right choice; any Welsh readers of my blog might disagree with that thought!

Lovely Story Telling at Wick Court last Thursday where I told a new story (originally from Serbia). I will do it again either this week or next. I think I can embellish it more next time. Also had a delightful time on Tuesday with the children on the Bird Watching and it was very dramatic watching a Stoat chasing a Rabbit. The Rabbit escaped!

Looking forward to watching Cider with Rosie tonight. Anyone who has known me for a long time will remember I applied for my first teaching job in Stroud on the basis I had enjoyed the book. The rest is history! It was the book that kicked off our wonderful idiosyncratic Book Club (Beer and Books). I know it is a hopelessly romantic idealised book but I have always enjoyed reading it. In my first year in Gloucestershire when I was finding my Gloucestershire feet I invariably found myself in the Slad Valley and would see Laurie Lee at the bar in the Woolpack. At school I worked at the secretary had been to school with him. I did ask her if she knew who Rosie was!

We are off to Lancashire tomorrow, calling in on my cousin, bird watching at Leighton Moss hopefully seeing Bearded Tits and maybe Otters. We are also watching the Hatters play on Tuesday night at Morecambe.

Jumping Jack Flash

The nearest song title I can get to my last couple of days! I have been jumping on and off my bike quite a bit in the last couple of days. I’ve gone up Frocester Hill twice in the last couple of days and also climbed up the hill up to Horsley for good measure. Yesterday I cycled to Forest Green for their local derby against Cheltenham, I thought it would solve any parking headaches! Today I met up for lunch with our retired HT group and cycled again. I went on to visit my friend Edwina and she has agreed to accompany me on her cello when I Story Tell in December. I just need to finalise what stories I am going to tell.

Question of Balance

Well Pirate Pete went down well on Thursday. I adapted it from my original story so it would appeal to an older age group. I added a touch of sex to make the story grab their attention. I remember years ago advising a speaker coming into school-I said children like to hear toilets, sex and something violent if you can combine all three you can having them eating out of your hand!

Managed to get down to a good spell of writing this morning. Went back to my Allotment story and have a few possible ideas to develop.

Shock horror! I saw my team win a league match on Saturday! Hopefully this is the start of our climb up the table, fingers crossed! Up the Hatters! Also managed a good cycle up over the hills yesterday.

See Emily Play

It is Book Club tonight where we will finally discuss Far from the Madding Crowd. I did enjoy re-reading it. A while since I have read Hardy. We will also confirm our programme for the next 12 months.

Had a lovely bird watch with children yesterday at Wick Court. We had a first with the children when a Coal Tit turned up on the feeders. I will be Story Telling with these children  tomorrow. Toying with what stories to do maybe I will redo “Pirate Pete” originally aimed at infants but could be upgraded for these children.


I Shall Be Released

I have had a busy weekend pollarding the walnut tree in our front garden. I enjoy doing these sorts of jobs because I can think over stories and ideas. For some reason I remembered those delightful Joan Aiken magical books of short stories I once had. I thought they might be good tales to tell, once I went through my book-case I realised I must have left them behind when I finished teaching! I thought Meg the Baker’s Cat would be a good one for Infants to tell. Maybe I will replace them in the future. Those magical tales certainly inspired to develop stories in the early stages of my teaching career.

Talking of ideas last Wednesday was a sad day. We went over to Suffolk for the burial of ashes  of my old friend Chas Buchanan. Charlie as I always called him introduced me to “The Once and Future King” by T.H. White. That book sparked my interest in Arthurian legends and was probably the start of dabbling in Story Telling of Myths. Thanks Charlie!

I have really enjoyed the BBC’s Literary productions on Sunday nights. I thought “The Inspector Calls” was outstanding and as thought-provoking now as it was when first written. The current Refugee Crisis and the attitudes of some was what I thought of as I watched the drama unfold. I have to say I have been ashamed of my country’s response to this crisis. Next week is the “Go Between” another book I read in my formative years!

Purple Haze

Well almost on this beautiful morning! I have performed twice this week doing my new story at Wick Court-I need to cut some parts out when telling because the written version makes it a shade too long. I am trying to learn a couple of new stories for telling over the next couple of weeks. They are old tales that I want to place in the present.

I cycled off to Dursley last night to meet some pals for a drink and plan our cricket watching next summer! Talk about forward planning!


Hit the Road Jack

Or should that be Bill. First gig yesterday for a while because of holidays etc. I cycled there and then later to a Children’s Centre Meeting. So combine that with an energetic performance the body is suffering this morning. Off later to do my voluntary work where I take the children Bird Watching all day. So I should sleep well tonight!

Tattered Dreams

Talk about an anti-climax! Back home to play our cricket semi v Cheshire and our chances of glory ended in a dismal failure, we batted first and were skittled out very quickly and the Cheshire openers knocked the runs off easily. At least my football team won their first league match today!

I had a surprise this morning, I was taking some young carers around the lake on a nature walk and in flew 4 Snow Geese with a group of Canada Geese.  A first for me in England (have seen them in Scotland before.

In Search of Thomas Hardy by bike

Well my best intentions were to blog from deepest Dorset on a couple of occasions. We had no internet in the house so that is why there has been silence-possibly a good thing!

We had a good cycle down to Frome St Quintin where we were staying. We had a rendezvous planned at Bath Railway Station for 10.30 ish we were late because we had a coffee stop. In fact food featured large on the ride with our refuel stops; the champagne moment was a wonderful cream tea in an eccentric hotel. Scones and jams were all home-made delicious! The whole ride was 98 miles and surprise, surprise our comrades at the house cooked a splendid meal for the weary travellers. We are thinking of doing a cycling food book, we would enjoy the research!

Once established we visited the sea-side, Dorchester, Maiden Castle and of course Hardy sites. We cycled to all the above apart from the sea-side. Dorset Hills tested our resolve on occasions! The cottage where Hardy was born was a particular favourite, if you haven’t visited it you will find a delightful cottage, garden and a lovely woodland walk (it is National Trust). As our evening treats apart from the wonderful feasts was to watch Far From the Madding Crowd (the old one-we all loved Julie Christie’s eyes) and Under the Greenwood Tree.

So it is now back home in Gloucestershire to prepare for Story Telling next week and a cricket semi-final today for the Gloucestershire Old Men against Cheshire. Fingers crossed!