Absolutely soaked yesterday at Wick Court doing the Bird Watching with the children. Really hard keeping the binoculars dry! Children were cheerful and enthusiastic throughout. Still drying out the telescope! Forecast doesn’t look great for tomorrow so may get wet cycling to my Story Telling!
Another great win last night for the Mighty Hatters. We splashed our way there and it did stop raining when we got there.
My last blog I posted just before going to Story Tell at Wick Court to old friends from Old Oak. I did visit their school a couple of years ago and have taken them bird watching and told stories to them for a number of years. Imagine all our surprise when I bumped into them on Friday morning at Reading Services; not sure who was stalking who!
Clare and I spent the weekend in deepest Kent. It included some lovely walks and bird watching. Also saw the Hatters win at Gillingham in a physical encounter and it stopped us playing our free flowing football.
Now in back in Gloucestershire so managed to fix a puncture, do quite a bit of leaf clearing and 23 miles on the bike today. Now learning my story for next Wednesday’s Beer and Books gig in the Three Horseshoes. Feel free to join us for our now traditional old fashioned pub entertainment-we start at 8 p.m.
I was surprised I didn’t mention any sport in my last blog. I went to watch one of the most complete performances by a football team (I know Barcelona supporters probably see them regularly) last Saturday. My football team the mighty Hatters played sublime free flowing football. I had to pinch myself that this was third division football it was so good! The other sporting note was a brilliant Test Match in Sri Lanka that ebbed and flowed with highs and lows and England have now won the series. There was also a good one between New Zealand and Pakistan at the same time. This weekend we are watching the Town play away!
Had a lovely day in Stonehouse on Monday working on writing with Year 5 children. Off to Story Tell at Wick Court this afternoon.
Birds and the bike have dominated this week. On Thursday I did the monthly bird survey out by the Severn. For a pleasant change it was a lovely November morning. My highlight was a pair of Stonechats by the reed bed. Clare and I also had to do two map squares for the BTO November survey, so we had to do this on different days and involved quite a bit of cycling as well! Two contrasting areas and very different results. Plenty of winter migrants on the first day but today in beautiful woodland and sunshine we didn’t see that much.
We managed to see the wonderful Show of Hands give a superb musical show earlier in the week. Brilliant!
Busy week ahead on the Story Telling front.
More about the title later in the blog as I recount some of our experiences at the Stroud Book Festival. I thought First I would round off my previous blog about Remembrance Day. I did watch Jackson’s film on Sunday night and the pictures that were restored were superb. It did show what a pointless and costly war it was. The conditions were appalling and it was good to hear authentic voices of the time talk about their terrible experiences. I also caught the end of Dan Snow’s programme on shell shock last night and it seems our leaders still don’t look after our soldiers well-very moved by the man who had been to Afghanistan twice when it was obvious he had PTS from his first tour.
The other things we saw at the Festival was Alan Johnson (former Home Secretary) talking about music but recalling much of his formative years in the 50’s. He came over both as amusing, talented and compassionate man. We also saw Tim Dee talking about Gulls and particularly their relationship with rubbish tips and how this is changing. He had a wide knowledge of literature as well that enhanced his talk, considering the topic it was fascinating.
Today’s title is from Ivor Gurney’s book of poems published in 1917 which seems appropriate for today 11th November 2018.
We have enjoyed Stroud Book Festival this weekend a real treat. Today we went to see a performance called “Author, Composer, Soldier-of-a-Sort” about the enduring friendship between Ivor Gurney and Marion Scott it was written and performed by Jan Carey. She was superb and yes the tears flowed, those of you who know me will know how moved I am by the poignant story of Gurney’s life.
We cycled into Stroud to see the performance and then went down to Slimbridge to see the wire figures amongst the gravestones. These figures are impressive but the crowds were overwhelming and chaotic on the road. A picture at the bottom of the blog.
I will blog again tomorrow about the rest of the festival but now going to watch Peter Jackson’s restored film of the First World War.
Great song for today’s title for a shortish blog. We had it played at our party on Saturday and lots of people danced to it. We had a super time with many of our lovely friends.
Managed to get in a decent bird watch today at the 100 Acre in Frampton saw a Great White Egret, Stonechat and a Marsh Harrier although no sign of the bird I was hoping for a Short Eared Owl, better luck next time!
Sad to hear that Children’s Services across the country are struggling as a result of penny pinching because of deep cuts. One of my proudest achievements was working with Sure Start and managing our charity, sadly that format has evaporated. I still think Sure Start was one of the best things brought in by recent years, it started in1999.
Had a great cycle ride today involved two decent hills but had a bumper number of Birds of Prey overhead as I cycled through a valley close to Nailsworth. Three Kestrels, one Buzzard, two Red Kites and a Sparrowhawk all within a mile or so of each other. I have heard that there is also a young Hen Harrier in the area which is encouraging. We can tell the seasons are changing with the first Bewick Swan arriving at Slimbridge this week.
I’ve taken a couple of bookings for after Christmas this week and I am slowly putting together my ideas for a story for our proposed Severn Tour next year. Just need to knuckle down and write now!