Turkish Delight

A short blog from Istanbul! Just arrived had a lovely meal and now collapsing exhausted! Will do an update when I can. Anyone trying to make a booking over the next few days please be patient because I will be in and out of email contact.

Elections here tomorrow so it should be interesting! More tomorrow night!

Dazed and Confused

Today’s title needs no introduction but playing some vinyl this week so pulled out some  old Led Zep!

Been enjoying the fantastic Autumn colours with some wonderful walks and rides. Today being a significant day for me saw us walking over Cleeve Common looking for Ring Ouzels didn’t see any but a great walk!  We enjoyed looking after Scruffy (Edwina’s dog) for 24 hours, good to look after a dog but you do realise what a commitment they are.

Did some tidying up of my Pirate Pete story this week.

Brave New World

Those three words often used and heard on a wide range of occasions!  Of course it became well-known from Huxley’s novel but was used by Shakespeare in the Tempest. The reason why I’m waffling on is we saw a production of Brave New World on Thursday. I did feel underwhelmed by the production wasn’t sure if it was the script or the book itself is now dated. I think I need to read it again-I read it in my teens!

Had a couple of decent rides late in the week with some good climbs.

Hoping to get some good writing sessions in this week. I need to tidy up a couple of stories and sketch out a couple of new ones.


Once more unto the breach……….

Perhaps should have saved this title for Sunday which will be the 600th anniversary of Agincourt but went to watch the live broadcast from Stratford last night of Henry V. We have now seen the Henry trilogy over the last year and Alex Hassell has played the growing Hal till he eventually becomes the king in all three plays. As the king he portrayed him as a man full of doubt  and was vulnerable taking his men to war very different from the famous Olivier film or even Branagh’s anti-war film. Really enjoyed it and I saw the play in a new light and it is a play I know well. We are off to the Everyman today to see Brave New World.

I went on an enjoyable afternoon walk with Charles Dickens School at Wick Court yesterday. There were very chatty on a whole range of subjects!

I watched the not so mighty Hatters splutter to a home draw on Tuesday night. I hope we find some fluency quickly!


Short blog today! Yesterday we held our “Octoberfest” at Wick Court to launch Brian’s Poetry Book. Our Mike came over to perform alongside Brian and I. We had the Charles Dickens School from Southwark as well  who joined in with distinction with our many other visitors. It was a delightful afternoon and Mike and Brian were superb. The weather also behaved and we were able to be outside.

Sunday finished a busy three days that included seeing old friends. Looking forward to the rest of the week we are going to the theatre as well as watching a live performance at the cinema from Stratford.


Dirty Old River…………….

A nature blog today! Had a lovely morning doing the monthly bird survey out by the river. Several highlights but I was fortunate to be close to the River as the Bore came up. I heard it roaring first of all and then watched it. I had never seen it from that area before (almost in line with Splatt Bridge) and I had forgotten how magical the Bore is. Saw a good number of birds including my first Stonechats for a while and the Snipe were back in the reed bed.

I did my usual voluntary Bird watching at Wick Court on Tuesday with some delightful children who bubbled with enthusiasm. They were rewarded by good views of the Little Owl, Long Tailed Tits and a Nuthatch. The school saw 26 species altogether.

Finally we had a wonderful Book Club meal last night. The book we are discussing next month is A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush. This gave us plenty of scope for our culinary skills. I think we excelled ourselves last night!

May You Never………..

I ended up enjoying my visits to the Cheltenham Literature Festival. I seemed to have picked historical themes and didn’t really see anyone talking about a novel they had written apart from Rachel Billington on a panel talking about Gallipoli. She was alongside two historians and her input was based on her own family experience her grandfather was killed in August 1915, that in turn has been the basis of her novel on the landings. Churchill was not a popular figure for her family! It is a pity that the festival hasn’t had a Story Telling slot for last two years.

I am currently looking at putting together some Christmas Stories for the seasonal period. I am going to do offer both a K.S. 1 and K.S. 2 story for schools. Also doing an adult performance in December.

Don’t think twice its alright

A busy few days since I last did a blog!

I had a Trustees meeting on Monday where I got myself in a muddle by directing our guest speaker to the wrong venue! I put it down to age! I also got a real soaking on the bike.

A lovely Bird Watch with the children at Wick Court we spotted 25 species altogether plus a couple of surprises a Greenfinch and a Raven. Children asked some great questions and another soaking on the bike!

An enjoyable Story Telling on Thursday doing my story that I am going to self publish for the Farms for City Children Charity. Had a couple of unexpected people in my audience Tessa the Chief Executive of the charity and Tim Brighouse who is one of the educationists I have most admired.

Another update on Sunday!


Once a Jolly Swagman…………..

No comment on the title it is just a reflection on yesterday’s rugby! I went to Cardiff on Friday night, a treat from my son David. We saw the All Blacks play Georgia. A wonderful evening and not quite the one-sided game we expected.  It was interesting to compare the rugby with the football I watched on Tuesday. There are many pauses in a rugby match whereas even low-level football has much more action and if you get distracted at football you can easily miss something.

This weekend saw the start of the Cheltenham Literature Festival. Saw two good sessions yesterday; the first saw a historian and a Pablo Picasso expert discussing Guernica both the history and the painting. It was interesting to hear about the technical side of the painting and also the subsequent history of the picture. We followed that with listening to an entertaining  talk on Waterloo by Dan and Peter Snow.   Today I went to a talk about Clive James. It was both humourous and moving. We are lucky to be so close the festival. I cycled home yesterday because Clare stayed on for another couple of events. A couple more events this week to look forward to.

Dark Side of the Moon

I did get up at some ridiculous time on Monday morning to watch the eclipse allied to the Super Moon. Wow! I watched from a slight shadow to the whole eclipse and through the scope could see the red colour clearly and managed a few pictures that won’t win any competitions but look OK.

Had a lovely couple of days in Lancashire camping close to Jenny Brown’s Point looking over Morecambe Bay. A fantastic day’s birding at Leighton Moss with good views of Siskin, Water Rail, Bullfinch, Nuthatch, Marsh Harrier and glimpses of Bearded Tits. Also watched a large Dog Otter catch 4 fish. A heron provided great entertainment over its inability to swallow a large flat fish, it went on for ages and eventually gave up. The day was rounded off perfectly by watching the Hatters play their best football of the season at Morecambe.

Had an enjoyable evening Story Telling last night at Wick Court. Went over some old favourites.