Why does it always rain on me……

Today’s title is because of the incessant rain outside. It has curbed my plans to do a decent cycle today. So instead I am taking stock after a busy week on the Story Telling front! I was pleased with my telling of Savitri the Indian tale of how she fooled Death on Thursday, I do emphasis her as a strong feminine character, I am conscious that many of the stories I tell, particularly the traditional ones are dominated by male characters. The supernatural tale “The Shadow Cage” by Philippa Pearce also had its second telling by me it is a good well crafted story.

Yesterday was a first for me in a school because I shared the performing with my mate Brian. This was wearing our “Farms for City Children” hats! A wet cycle to get there!

I am now preparing for next Friday’s Story Telling for the ladies of SP3. I did buy an angel that lights up for my story “Christmas Angels” which I am telling  a few times this December.



Show me the way to go home………..

Well what a hectic start to the week! Monday’s gig in NWLondon was a long day. Harlesden is a delightful school with a wonderful caring ethos and chimes with my educational philosophy. Performing nine stories to eight different age groups tests your resources! Despite being tired at the end of the day I came away with a lovely feeling thanks to the warmth of Harlesden.

Had a great bird watch with the children at Wick Court yesterday. Today we have celebrated Clare’s birthday in some style! We have had a succession of visitors calling- plumber, gardener and boiler man. We then had an early meal with the two young lads we are looking after. I am blogging from their house, they are now asleep!

More Story Telling Thursday and Friday!

On Tour

Off to London tomorrow for a Gig at Harlesden. A lovely school I was there around World Book Day earlier in the year. It is an early start! I have had to learn some new stories and returning to some old favourites. I am entering a busy spell of Gigs as Christmas approaches.

Had a marvellous bird watch on Friday, spectacular views of three Short Eared Owls, Stonechats and Kingfisher.   Saw two Owls have a spat and locked claws! It certainly made up for our Bird Survey Thursday morning where we got absolutely soaked! I also saw my first Brambling of the winter and it was in the garden!

Christmas Angels

I am using one of my stories for today’s title! Only because I am dealing with Christmas Bookings. I have offered a few stories for telling to schools and adults.

My story “Christmas Angels” about a boy making sure his younger brother gets his unusual Christmas wish is one I have offered to both schools and adults. I am quite excited about this because I have added some new audience participation!

It is a busy period for me with several gigs booked over the next month. I have been a learning a few new stories and told two of them today at Wick Court. Both went well though I need to find a couple of props (I need to find a small green bottle for one story if anyone out there has one!)

Don’t forget the Three Horseshoes Frampton-on-Severn on Wednesday 16th December all welcome to join our Beer and Books extravaganza with plenty of live performances! Please get in touch if you want details of the evening.

Away from Story Telling I feel I must mention last Friday night in Paris. I find it totally incomprehensible the cold-blooded brutality of what people can do to the fellow human beings. I have been moved to tears listening to the stories and that moving open letter by a husband who lost his wife.

Hatters, Hatters what a great team……….

Well I bet not many of you have heard that wonderful song from the 1970s! I am sorry but today’s blog hasn’t got any Story Telling in it! You might have guessed that today’s title is about my football team the mighty Hatters. I had a lovely day yesterday taking my eldest son David to enjoy hospitality at the ground. I am lucky to have a special season ticket which allows me to have hospitality once during the season.  We had a visit to the changing rooms with the players flitting in and out, a walk down the tunnel and pictures taken. A little boy’s dream, (well I am still at heart!) We actually played some good stuff and we won! We had a great time.

Today one of my buddies and I cycled to Tewkesbury and caught the train back. A great 40 mile pedal!

Shelter from the Storm

Well I am anticipating tomorrow’s weather with the Storm  Abigail approaching , hence using Bob’s song for today’s title! I’ve been Story Telling today at Wick Court and told a new story -The Wishes of Savitra an Indian Story. I like it because Savitra is a strong female character. I was pleased for a first telling and I can now add it to my repertoire.

Great discussion at last night’s Book Club which I highlighted yesterday.

Beer and Books

I am off to Book Club tonight to discuss “A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush” by Eric Newby. I only mention it because our meeting in December is our  traditional evening entertainment with Poems, Stories and Music in the Three Horseshoes on Wednesday 16th December. So if you are reading this you are welcome to join us I will be telling a story (not sure which one yet), Mike will be performing his poems (his new book will be available to buy), and Brain Dimmock will be doing his poems and a couple of songs. There is likely to be more performers as well. I will keep reminding you readers about the evening in some of my future blogs. Hope to see you there!

Easy Rider

Well not quite with our travels I’ve been out of the saddle for a while so a bit of a shock to the system to get back on the bike today! A real windy day so it has been hard work especially climbing Frocester Hill into the wind!

We enjoyed our week in Turkey and visited some beautiful mosques and wonderful historic places that I have mentioned previously. Turkey itself appears to be at something of a crossroads following last week’s election. To me it is disappointing that the strengths of a secular  republic founded by Kemal Ataturk seemed to be being dismantled by the current president who is pursuing a policy of divide and rule.

I now need to work on learning stories for my November Gigs and start thinking of the Christmas ones.

Beware of Greeks bearing Gifts!

Update on our travels. Those of you who know me will know how much I like to indulge in various myths and legends. You can imagine how I let my imagination run away standing in the footsteps of Odysseus, Achilles and Priam to name a few while wandering around the ruins of Troy. I am sure I could see Hector on his chariot sweeping across the plain towards the Greek ships in the distance. Then Mighty Achilles wrecking his terrible vengeance after the death of his friend and lover. Some of the ruins were a muddle but that doesn’t stop a Storyteller setting the scene.

Have thoroughly enjoyed Ephesus today the scale and beauty was wonderful. Pergamon yesterday was another highlight seeing those beautiful ruins on top of that great hill with breathtaking 360 views.

And the Band played Waltzing Matilda……..

Had to be the Eric Bogle song for today’s title. Have just left the Gallipoli Peninsula to end a moving day. Having seen the terrain what a bloody stupid idea Churchill had to attack the Dardenelles. Stood at a few cemeteries today and you realise what a waste of lives the whole campaign a 100 years ago was. Blair and now possibly Cameron fail to learn the lessons of history. You do appreciate the bravery of the men on both sides of this campaign. I think one of our worst defeats in modern times that is if anyone ever wins.

One cemetery was particularly beautiful right by the Beach. From there you looked out to sea with the daunting cliffs behind. If you don’t know the song try and find it on the net it is a moving song.

Troy tomorrow so reading some of the Illiad tonight to get the atmosphere!