10,000 Runs!!!!!!

Have to celebrate the brilliant Alistair Cook on scoring 10,000 Test runs. What an achievement! He is occasionally seen watching the mighty Hatters when not touring for England.

Talking of the mighty Hatters we went to see the exhibition about the new ground on Saturday. If everything goes well (fingers crossed) it will be an iconic stadium and will regenerate the town centre. It is encouraging that the stadium will be in the town and not some soul less  out of town stadium like many of the new ones are. It is good to see my club taking a leading role in the community.

We also went to George Bernard Shaw’s house in Hertfordshire while there. We are making full use of our National Trust membership!

Enjoying my new bike “Merlin” and I am now flying up the hills well at least a bit faster!!! I am recording quite a few PBs. I am clocking up the miles for the year.


Three Little Birds

It will become apparent as you read this why I choose Bob’s song for today’s title.

I am writing this watching a busy Great Spotted Woodpecker hammering on the nut feeder on a beautiful May morning. Brilliant!

A long day yesterday at a school in West Bromwich doing European Stories for the start of their Arts week. Journey was traumatic when the M5 through the road works near the M42 became a slow moving car park. The children responded well to the stories and I revisited the Impudent little Bird from Spain which I have only told once before. Only one more Gig this week but life looks busy after half term , I have been asked to do some work again for the National Literacy Trust.

The bird survey on the Severn last week was a delight. Two Avocets in my patch was a special highlight. Plenty of singing warblers too. I watched hundreds of Swifts on the lake near my house last night, one of my favourite birds.

I don’t like cricket…I love it!

You may have noticed the lack of cricket comments recently. It is not because I am having a poor run of form-honest! Since my long innings at the end of April I have been hampered by an inflamed Achilles and have had to drop out of all my cricket. I am still cycling but I am beginning to think I might have to reduce my hill climbing! Still at least there is cricket to watch!

I am currently re-jigging the webs site hopefully you should notice a difference in two or three weeks. There will also be a few new pictures as well.

Yesterday’s gig around the fire at Wick Court saw me enveloped in wood smoke! Adds a new dimension to the list of things that can go wrong when performing!

So how can you tell me your lonely……………

No excuse for today’s title back to music and one of my heroes although he is best known for one song (in the title) it is a long way from his best. We went to the Albert Hall to see Ralph McTell. He was superb and it was a journey through many of his best known songs. The first time I saw him was at Cambridge Folk Festival I think in 1972 and his resonant voice and sublime guitar work had me transfixed. I have watched him many times over the decades and have enjoyed his vast catalogue of beautiful and thought-provoking songs. While up in town we went to the Natural History Museum  to see a fantastic exhibition of photographs from Space of planets, moons and comets. We also did a couple of galleries as well as listening to a wonderful classical lunch time concert at St. Martin’s in the Field.

Story Telling at Wick Court on Wednesday night went well and I was surprised at how I adapted a couple of old favourites. Funny how the story develops a different direction at times and how new words come into your head. I am also busy learning some new ones.

A long ride this morning with my Peter with much climbing!

Terns, books and stuff

No music title today-I suppose I could have had Turn, turn turn…..no I’ve done enough contrived titles and writing recently!.

Had some lovely views of Black Terns on the lake near my house. Wonderful birds and I came back smiling!!! Followed that up with a delightful bird watch with the children yesterday at the Farm for City Children. The Swallows seemed to enjoy being the centre of attention.

Busy day socially. Met old friends today for lunch (a mention just for you Dave!). Off to Story Tell at Wick Court soon followed by our Book Club meal. We are looking at Clive James so it is supposed to be a Cambridge Ball; we are dressing up for it! Well top halves have to be a Tux! I made some savoury biscuits that are quite fiery (it was a recipe in Saturday’s Guardian). Off to London tomorrow for 48 hours.

Show of Hands

Lovely concert last night at St. George’s Bristol. If you have never seen them you won’t be disappointed. We have seen them many times over the last few years and they are brilliant live.

Delightful set! The first half was songs from their latest album and the second half was going back to their roots. It was back to the original duo, Miranda Sykes will be back later in the year. They played a number of songs that haven’t been aired for some time like Santiago and many of them had found a new political resonance with many of today’s issues. I was especially pleased that their encore was an acoustic version of The Setting ( a moving Ralph McTell song about Irish Emigration ) interlaced as a medley  with Mary of Dungloe and yes the eyes did water!


Take a Tumble…..

A short cycle blog tonight. Our Peter is away with “Cedric” our camper van for the next 10 days. To start his adventure I accompanied over to the Black Mountains (really big hills) and we tackled the Tumble this afternoon. It was certainly a long climb much bigger than any Cotswold Hill. Marvellous ride after the top and hardly saw a car as we rode over the hillside and through fresh wooded glades. The weather was great, you feel so much better when the sun shines! The scenery was stunning in the sun.

A lovely bird watch at Wick Court with young people from Putney. They were intrigued watching swallows casing out a possible nest site in the boot room and a busy Willow Warbler building a nest. Now planning my stories for tomorrow afternoon.

She’s a Rainbow……..

Today’s title was obvious after my game of cricket on Saturday. I was guesting for Cam Cricket Club for a friendly for an old mate near Salisbury and we had a cloudburst with sunshine hence two fantastic rainbows over the ground. The body is suffering now; hobbling around,  I have an inflamed Achilles after batting through the whole innings. Scratchy at first but good to score runs at last after my uncertain start last week.

My storytelling in the village for the Frampton Remembers First World War One project was enjoyable. It is unusual to tell the same story five times in a day! The exhibition was thought-provoking with some wonderful artefacts.  This week will be a quieter week on the Story Telling front; my only performance is my usual residency spot at Wick Court.