Homeward Bound

Easy title for our last night in the beautiful Pyrenees. The scenery has been truly stunning. I actually think it beats the Alps although that might be unfair. I have clocked up several thousand feet of climbing on my trusty bike. It has performed superbly. Yesterday watched Bearded Vultures circling above us, they have a magnificent wing span.

I managed to write a poem about the Tormalet ride. I have written it in an epic style because that seemed appropriate. When I tidy it up I may if I feel brave put it on here.



Tourmalet conquered!

Well I slowly made my way to the top. 4500 feet of climbing so it took a while! The views were stunning I will add the pictures when I get home. My two boys did go onto do another col. I wisely decided to do just another thousand feet before retreating to the bar for refreshment! Body not too bad but like the Tour and the Giro a rest day today! A walk and bird watching planned instead.

Technical issue with pictures so will put them on next week.


Vultures Circling

A non Story Telling blog today. Cycling and birds are today’s themes. We are currently in the Pyrenees with all the family. From our Gigs we have wonderful views and we are surrounded by birds and red squirrels. A pair of Common Redstarts and a pair of Black Redstarts are nesting in the garden. There is also a Great Spotted Woodpecker nest in a hole and have seen a young one poking his head out. Vultures and Black Kites soar overhead so for me it is like paradise!

We are cycling here and have already climbed 3 cols. We aim to do the Tourmalet tomorrow so feeling apprehensive as I write. Will blog afterwards and will attempt to add a photo to this blog and tomorrows.

Sick as a Parrot!

Oh dear talk about below the belt and cruel! I watched my team outplay Blackpool in the cursed Play Offs. Somehow Blackpool managed to come back from the dead. Wonderful atmosphere and a great game till the end!

I managed all my story telling sessions yesterday and had a great bird survey first thing. Watched a Cuckoo for some time. Saw two Lapwing chicks, Marsh Harriet, and Yellow Wagtails. For one we had decent weather. I also saw a poor cow stuck in the mud I managed to report it so I hope they got it out before the Bore.


Short blog at the start of a busy week. Today’s title is ready for Thursday’s second play off leg. We travelled to Blackpool yesterday and saw the Hatters fail to turn up in the second half so we lost 3-2. I think the ref’s vision only went to one penalty area, he gave them a penalty and it was, but sadly he missed one clear cut penalty at the other end plus a significant hand ball. Hey Ho, let’s hope up it evens out on Thursday night.

The rest  of the week is taken up by logistics, story telling (x2), bird survey, collecting bikes from Exeter and Putney for our cycling adventure next week. I am looking forward to being onto the ferry on Friday evening!!!!!!

Pirate Pete

I thoroughly enjoyed telling my Pirate Pete story on Wednesday night. It keeps evolving! I have some new ideas to develop it further as a result. I rushed from Wick Court to our Book Club evening this time it was a meal based on Howard’s End. Once again it was a superb evening and we all excelled with our offerings.

I went to a really interesting talk earlier in the week by a Blacksmith who specialises in reconstructing mainly Saxon and Medieval weapons. He uses the same methods of smelting and working the iron as the people of the time. He is often used on television programmes to demonstrate how things were made. As I sat listening a tiny germ of an idea for a future story popped into my head. Watch this space!

I played cricket yesterday I am still struggling for runs but had a good game in the field as we beat Cheshire.

Just about to go off on a cycle might get wet, but need to do some hills because have no chance in the coming week and then we are in the Pyrenees!


Just been listening to a CD with Ralph McTell and Wizz Jones singing the song that is the title for today’s blog, a classic Woody Guthrie song. Seems appropriate with all the nasty stuff going on in the world and this country picking on the most vulnerable.

Enjoyed the last league game of the season on Saturday, just need to do it now in the Play Offs (this is our fifth Play Off we have to win it sometime!) I have just booked my tickets for both games against Blackpool.

I was Story Telling in Nailsworth this morning at the Nursery attached to the school. Delightful!!! I cycled there with all my stuff getting there via Frocester Hill. I have been really upping my cycling ready for the Pyrenees which isn’t long now!

Princess and the Pea plus Hockney and Radio Gloucestershire

Well that title should prompt some curiosity! What an earth is he on about? Has he lost it completely?

Firstly at Wick Court yesterday we had a Royal visitor. It was Kate who was there for nearly four hours. I did suggest to the children they should try the Princess test and put a pea under a cushion but they declined! I know someone will say she is a Duchess but it is the same thing isn’t it? My contribution to this event was to clear away some stinging nettles on the previous day so she wouldn’t get stung! The place apparently was crawling with media and of course security. Michael Morpurgo read a story to the children and Kate, he was sitting in my Story Teller’s Chair! I did make a comment about that to the children today!!!

I missed the event because we had booked to go to London to see the Hockney Exhibition at Tate Britain.  That was superb. He is a fascinating artist who experiments with so many diverse mediums!

I did tell stories in that Chair today! I tried out the Shadow Cage again it is a while since I told that one. The picture below is me last week performing in Bristol Harbour to adults at Folk Tales .

    Finally the Radio Gloucestershire mention is because I was randomly interviewed today about my Story Telling as I was riding home. It should be on tomorrow afternoon. Fame!

Sugar Mountain

Going back in time for today’s title from Neil Young, a slightly tenuous link! Yesterday I was cycling just over the border in Wales doing two climbs the Tumble and Llangynidr Mountain (it is a long story why I was in Wales and not Yorkshire as originally planned but I will gloss over that). This is part of my training for the Pyrenees at the end of this month. Picture below is me reaching the summit of Llangynidr.

We were in Lancashire for a couple of days taking in one of our favourite bird reserves at Leighton Moss and I also did a football match at Accrington Stanley while Clare did a National Trust property nearby.  Leighton Moss didn’t disappoint with great views of Marsh Harrier. We also spent the Saturday morning in the town of Clitheroe, where I was in seventh heaven pottering in a super second hand bookshop.  The football was good a wonderful away win courtesy of a comedy own goal that I would of been proud of in my day. I was once known as Own Goal for some impressive strikes against my own team!