Arrogance, Ignorance and Greed

Probably a good time to have Show of Hands angry song about bankers as the title as all these rich millionaire “Men of the People”  seem to be taking over the Western World. If you haven’t heard it listen to it, originally a response to the Banking Crisis but still resonates with us now.

I hope you have been enjoying this marvellous weather, frosts and spectacular sunsets. I had a delightful day birding with children from Grimsby yesterday at Wick Court and we saw some great birds. Earlier in the week I spent a great couple of hours watching a Peregrine although I was looking for Short Eared Owls.

I didn’t mention we saw Ian McEwan at Stroud Book Festival last week, he was really good and it has motivated me to read more of his recent books.

Story Telling tomorrow afternoon outside by the fire. I will make sure I am well wrapped up!

Fields of Gold

Well almost as the leaves litter the ground, OK a tenuous link to a song title! The leaves do make a bit of a hazard when out on the bike. On my ride yesterday I was very tentative going down hill and hampered by wet leaves going up (tyres don’t grip). It was good to get a decent ride in after the awful rain Sunday and Monday. I now have the delight of filling bags full of leaves to look forward to, we have trees in the garden and around!

I have been playing around with a couple of my stories this week as well as working on a poem. I am also looking for a story for the pub gig (Wednesday 14th in the Three Horseshoes Frampton) to tell. No Wick Court this week so a surprisingly free week on the Story Telling front.

“It is the hope that gets you!” I went to football on Tuesday night full of optimism after my team’s recent form for a big one against Portsmouth. I was really looking forward to this one against another good old fashioned and well supported club. Both sets of supporters have been on roller coaster of fortune in recent years. Sadly after a wonderful start the wheels came off and we were comprehensively outplayed in the second half. I now go to Exeter on Saturday full of trepidation!


Ghost of Tom Joad

A “Boss” song title for today. I chose this one because last night we went to watch Martyn Joseph perform and he sang the above as part of his set. He is a wonderful Welsh singer mixing up gentle sensitive songs with emotionally charged “protest songs”. His song “Cardiff Bay” is one of my all time favourites a lovely song about a father and his son. It always makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and I always feel emotional listening to it. The venue was interesting it was at Woodchester Convent which is now a small concert venue where they film the performance. I would recommend going to a Gig there it is different!

I enjoyed this morning’s Gig for SP3. We hosted it in Frampton and the stories went down well. I was pleased with my “Flowers on the Beach” story. I am thinking of doing one of my own stories when have the village pub gig next month.

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Flowers on the Beach

Not a song title today but a story title instead. It is one of mine and I am telling to ladies from SP3 (Stroud Pyramid of the Third Age) on Friday. It is based on a Degas painting  “Beach Scene” I originally wrote it for a schools project (The National Gallery’s Take One Picture). I have upgraded it for an adult audience so I had to do quite a bit of research. currently learning that for Telling and two other stories. Back to my regular Thursday slot this week with children from Old Oak in London.

Busy spell for me with a long Children’s Centre Meeting yesterday afternoon. Today I was doing my voluntary Bird watching with the young people at Wick Court. Loads of Redwings over today! I eventually saw the Bittern in Frampton and looking for a Siberian Chiffchaff close to my house tomorrow.

Out on the Weekend

Haven’t had a Neil Young song title for a while but as I had a busy weekend thought it was appropriate. Saturday was First Round of the F.A. Cup at Exeter. I went with our Dave and Vicky. A strange game where we at times poor and then some real flashes of brilliance. At least we won but I hope we start being more consistent over the whole 90 minutes. I also had a lovely birthday present from them as well, a beautiful poetry book with photographs of Gloucestershire (all the poems have a link with the county.)

Yesterday two of us went on a long cycle almost 50 miles to the wonderful cakes at the village of Hill. They now close for the winter-a long time to April! We met some others there who cycled back with us.

A quiet week on the Story telling front so I am decorating and reorganising my office. I am building up a decent library of folk tales from around the world.

Cousin Jack

A “Show of Hands” anthem for today’s title. Went to Cardiff last night to watch Show of Hands with Mike my brother and a mate Bernie. A delightful concert as always with a wide range of songs. First time Mike had seen them and was suitably impressed. Some moving songs around the Somme anniversary including a reworking of “The Keeper”. There was a real political edge to some old numbers  including a damming “Crooked Man” following the Chilcott report, and Arrogance, Ignorance and Greed to include Philip Green. Cousin Jack a wonderful song about the Cornish Miners (migrants of the day) was referenced with a comment about the plight of current migrants.  A great evening!


Back in the U.S.SR

Following the Russian theme for song titles for the blog!

Interestingly enough there is hardly any evidence of the Soviet regime in St. Petersburg today. Not sure if St Petersburg ever fully embraced the Soviet era. Our Guide was baffled by the fact his birth certificate  says Leningrad (which no longer exists ) yet he lives in St Petersburg the same place. He later entertained us with the Rasputin murder when taking us to the Palace where it took place and moving us from room to room with the tale. Those of you who know me well will know how much I enjoy History and visiting historical sites. Always good to walk in the footsteps of the past.

We went to St.Petersburg  via Helsinki on the ship. So we spent two days in Finland one each side of the three days in St.Petersburg. Winter looms in Helsinki snow forecast for Wednesday. I had some wonderful views of Waxwings and Arctic Redpolls while we moved around the city and beyond.