Snow stopped play

Short blog today. I was supposed to be playing cricket in Wales today but the cricket field was covered in snow yesterday, a novel way for a game to be cancelled. I am relieved because the thought of putting on loads of extra layers and looking like Michelin Man in the field wasn’t that attractive! I supposed to be guesting in-game near Salisbury on Saturday and seeing an old Headteacher friend Ian so fingers crossed.

The Shakespeare tour was very successful, one more Gig on this theme in June. Tomorrow I am performing in my village as part of their World War 1 commemorations so a very different tone needed!

Finally had an exciting spot in the village on Tuesday. I was out with my binoculars checking hedgerows and saw several summer migrant warblers for the first time. The surprise package was a female Pied Flycatcher which is unusual this side of the River Severn.

A bike, a bike my Kingdom for a bike!!!!!!!!

Well to celebrate the anniversary of “The Bard’s” death. Two minor Bards set off on our bikes on a  Shakespeare performance tour. My pal Brian and I have performed in 5 schools Thursday and Friday (a couple more lined up as well) on a Shakespearean  theme. Brian sand two songs while I performed my rather contrived story about William losing the muse in 1594. Brian’s second song saw him serenading me with me in simple drag. We were doing these performances for free but asked for a donation towards the Bird Hides we are building at the Farm for City Children at Wick Court. We have been touched by the marvellous donations. We have also been pleasantly surprised at how well our performances have developed and the searching questions the young people have asked us. We have cycled 75 miles in two days on this tour. Another Shakespeare Gig Monday morning and then I have to put my WW1 hat on for a performance in the village next Friday.

Farewell Bellowhead

I had a blog a long time ago titled “Bellowhead” and after seeing them on Sunday I feel they deserve another star billing. There are an amazing talented band and their gigs are brilliant. They must be one of the best live bands. We saw them very early in their career and have now seen them half a dozen times and always come away purring. It is pity they are finishing but they are such talented musicians you understand they want to pursue their individual careers. What is also good the audience has a wide demographic.

Amazingly I played cricket today. We beat Warwickshire but my contribution was one ball! I sincerely hope I improve on that! The rest of my week is busy another game tomorrow and then it is Shakespeare on tour. More about that later this week.

Octopus’ Garden

Had to choose this title after reading about the Octopus that escaped in New Zealand that sounded like a film scenario! Hope he is enjoying his freedom!

Have had two days enjoyable Story Telling this week. I was particularly pleased on Wednesday with the Slavic Folk Tale “Kingdom under the Sea” which I told for the first time. The audience including the adults seemed to enjoy the story.  It was a lovely school and the children were really responsive.

I also managed to see my football team win a match-Yes!!!! More encouraging today saw the plans for the new ground  in the centre of town. Awesome!

It was sad to read about cricketer James Taylor being forced to retire because of a heart condition at 26. He had just got himself in the Test side to. The memory of those wonderful catches in South Africa with his cheeky celebration run this winter now seems particularly poignant. Good luck to him.

Silver Machine

Now working hard learning a couple of new stories that I will be telling this week after a busy social weekend. Arrived back late on Thursday night from Northern Ireland (a long drive). Our camper van “Cedric” was buffeted by gales on the Wednesday night nearly blowing our awning to the Republic! Even wondered if we were going to take off in Cedric!!!!!!

A short Story Telling on Friday afternoon was followed by a delightful meal and late night with old friends.  Sadly went to watch my football team come second on Saturday which means another season in the Fourth Division ugh! Foolishly a couple of us decided to ride our bikes around the Severn nearly 80 miles and some cruel hills in the Forest of Dean. I slept well last night!


Finn McCool

Our last day in Northern Ireland and we have now walked in the footsteps of Finn. I could say the whole trip has been Story Telling research but that would be stretching things! The Visitor Centre was impressive but I was annoyed with the cartoon image of Finn McCool. He certainly doesn’t fit my idea of Finn, their image was of a clean-cut handsome young warrior style of giant. My Finn is a rough and ready sort of character who is hot-headed and a real chancer.  I suppose that is why I am a Story Teller and not an illustrator ( having the ability to draw might be a factor of course!) I did enjoy the Causeway especially from the cliffs above. I also have managed to cycle 50+ miles along the coast.



Currently on the North Coast of Northern Ireland expecting bad weather tomorrow! Had a good day in Belfast and thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Titanic Centre (if that is the right word). A superb visitor centre on a par with the Mary Rose Museum for innovation. I will certainly use the visit to enhance the Titanic Story I’ve told on a couple of Gigs. We are now camped near the Giant’s Causeway we are aiming to visit on Tuesday. Should help with any future requests for Giant Stories especially Finn McCool!

Oh Danny Boy!!!!!!

Irish themes for today’s short blog.

Christy Moore was superb on Wednesday night. Mixing his set list between romantic Ireland and passionate songs about the vulnerable and dispossessed. Many of these songs move me to tears they are so tender.

We are currently camping outside Belfast. We are spending tomorrow in the city then heading north to the coast and the Giant`s Causeway. Hoping to cycle some of the coast roads. Also hoping to catch the cricket in a bar on Sunday come on England!!!!

If you want to contact me about story telling I might be slow to respond over the next week.