Cuckoo and Terns

I’m sure Spring is here now, heard my first Cuckoo tonight and the Terns have returned to the sailing lake near home. I do enjoy watching Terns swoop and dive, now hearing their screams regularly. Now looking forward to the arrival of the Swifts.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) is the final performance of this sequence of Severn Songs and Stories by the The Two Severn Bores at Wotton Arts Festival 7.30 at the Star Inn. Friday’s gig went well and we were much more polished in our links. We are doing another gig in June.

Notice I have avoided mentioning football. I was really depressed to see my team the mighty Hatters come up short on Saturday, sadly it was probably our poorest performance of the season. So it is definitely fingers, toes and anything else crossed for Saturday!

Two Severn Bores again

Wednesday’s gig went well and good to see the excellent band Tenderlore again. There was another superb Story Teller Polly Tisdall performing as well. We had to cut out some of our info section from our act because of time. Full programme from us tonight at Frampton Village Society and again at the Star Inn Wotton (Part of Wotton Arts Festival) on Tuesday. Both gigs start at 7.30 .  Hope to see some of you at one or other performances.

Sick as a Parrot …..Brian!!!

The title refers to last night at the football. A short blog today the football will be at the end of the blog for those who don’t like footie.

Off later to perform at Folk Tales in Bristol tonight, we have a rehearsal later to hone our act. I do enjoy Folk Tales it has a lovely atmosphere.

Football last night was superb from the Hatters but sadly the result didn’t reflect that instead  of winning by four or five goals they somehow only drew they opposition got a last minute equaliser. So emotions were somewhat mixed at the end. Hopefully we will get over the line on Saturday.

Springtime Promises

Felt I needed a Spring title so going back 50 years to Pentangle for today! Talking about 50 years this July sees 50 years since the first Moon Landing so look out for space themed titles round then!

We have just a cracking couple of days up in Lancashire in the Forest of Bowland what a beautiful part of the world. Had a lovely walk up onto the moorland saw plenty of great birds Sandpipers and Dippers in the water and Crossbill in the conifers. I am planning to cycle in that area over the next year or so.

Late afternoon we went to Accrington Stanley to watch the mighty Hatters consolidate the position at the top. It was warm on the terrace! Great away following considering it was live on TV.

Don’t forget the Two Severn Bores are performing our “Severn Songs and Stories” over the next ten days-Folk Tales at Bristol on Wednesday, Frampton Village Society on Friday and the Star Pub Wotton on Tuesday 30th.

Morning Mr Magpie

Radiohead’s song seemed appropriate for today’s title-first time I’ve had one of their songs for a title!

Had a cracking morning doing the monthly bird survey near the River. We saw some great birds (more than just the Magpie!) Male Marsh Harrier very active which we took to be an encouraging sign. Great views of male Redstart and the colours were fantastic. A couple of Peregrines flew by and loads of migrants passing through Sand Martins, Swallows, a Willow Warbler and for all of us our first Whitethroat of the year. Still buzzing as I write this! I did forget my camera being the only downside.

Been able to get my number one bike out in this sunny spell so clocked up a few hills! Even had an outdoor cricket net this week!

Clare has done a brilliant job on revamping the Bird Watching Books for Wick Court. They look really good and we have expanded the number of birds in the book for the children.


Velo, Stories and Footie

Blurry picture of yours truly below at the Velodrome on Friday. Full of admiration for the professionals who race, the bikes are fixed wheel with no brakes so handling isn’t as easy as a normal road. Back on my road bike tomorrow!

Thursday at Tuffley Library was aided by great weather so I was able to point out birds to the children and told bird stories as we walked around the local park. Important places Libraries and are important to local communities.  A break this week until my busy spell with Two Severn Bores, a reminder of our dates-Wednesday 24th April at Folk Tales in Bristol (8.00 p.m. Benjamin Parry Scout Hut), Friday 26th Frampton Village Society (7.30 p.m. welcome to anyone) and Tuesday 30th at Wotton Arts Festival  (7.30 Star Inn Wotton).

Finally it had to happen my fantastic football team lost a match ending our record breaking unbeaten run. So it was some adjustment to the normal smiling Saturday night We were a bit short on numbers certainly up front and we didn’t take our chances in the first half. Fingers crossed we will get back to winning ways next week.

Munch, Sutton Hoo Helmet and Velodrome!!

Not sure that title has ever been used by anyone before! Currently staying with Peter and Nicola in Maidenhead. Yesterday we went to see the Edvard Munch exhibition at the British Museum. Really enjoyed it and it was well curated. Afterwards couldn’t resist going to see the Sutton Hoo Helmet I decided it was for research to give texture to my Saxon story that I tell as part of Severn Stories and Songs! We are lucky to have excellent museums and they are free. Pity about the decline of libraries over the last few years!

Later we met Pete at the Velodrome in the Olympic Park. He had treated me to an hour on the track! Brilliant! Terrifying at first as you cycled round on the banking especially on bikes that don’t have brakes. Had a great time and grew in confidence over the hour. Might add a picture on next blog. Will also blog about Thursday’s Story Telling in Tuffley next blog when home.

Dippers, Egrets and Wagtails

What a super day! We cycled over the top to visit an old friend Alex who lives in an old converted mill near Nailsworth. She had promised us views of Dippers. The Dipper is the bird that got me in interested in birds all those years ago when I lived in Stroud as a young teacher. The Dippers were busy but not particularly photogenic. Some pictures I took of the birds we saw below.


One Swallow………..

My first Swallow sighted today as Clare and I cycled to Hill for their legendary cakes and tea. The cakes were once again up to their high standards with much choice. Cyclists were arriving from all over to sample the cakes! Going back to the Swallow it is a later date for me than I have had for the last three years.

I forgot to mention last week while we cycling out one evening from our Dorset camp site we saw a white deer. It was a Stag. Not sure if this was mystical moment but never seen anything like that before except for albino Blackbirds!

Football was a topsy-turvy affair mainly because of a very weak ref1 Enough said! But despite that we managed to set a club record of 28 games without defeat. Fingers crossed for the next five games!

Underneath the Stars………………

Well she didn’t sing this last night! It just shows what an extensive repertoire of songs Kate Rusby has in her catalogue. A smashing evening with many new sensitive beautiful songs. We really enjoyed it.

Had a lovely gig today telling stories to residents with dementia in a Care Home. Had to be visual in my telling and as always I learnt quite a bit doing it.

Next week doing something completely different taking young people at Tuffley Library for an event called “Words on the Wing”. I am telling bird stories while walking round spotting birds. Hopefully will be fun.   Will be interesting how many birds we see.