The Long and Winding Road (on a bike)

Long time since I’ve used a Beatles title for the blog! Short one today because tomorrow the chaps (we call ourselves the Old Groynes) are off to Chester to start our epic cycle ride through Wales. We start at Chester then pedal across the top to Bangor then we follow a Sustrans route down through the Cambrian Mountains till we eventually reach Chepstow ( we then have to pedal home).

Hopefully will be able to blog about our progress and maybe add a picture for evidence!



Sometimes it is the hope that gets you! Certainly the opposite was true on Saturday morning when I was gripped by sporting pessimism as I contemplated The Ashes disappearing in a whimper and another likely defeat for the mighty Hatters in deepest Yorkshire with us in attendance. We had a lovely few days in Yorkshire visiting the Sculpture Park and riding on the Trans Pennine Way finishing up at Oakwell for Barnsley v Luton. What did I know! 2 up in 5 minutes and a comprehensive win for the Hatters. A flicker of life in the cricket as well up the road on a blistering hot day as we listened on our way home.

A delightful family day with nephews and their families in Cardiff on Sunday where we had miniature railways around us. Wonderful for the small and big children -guess which category I am in? Mike, my brother and I kept glancing at our phones for the cricket score. We can’t can we? Surely not ? It’s a mountain to climb! Wickets kept falling, nine wickets down no chance but Superman was still at the crease. Well the rest is History-what an escape act and The Ashes are still alive!

Sports Personality of the Year is surely sorted now!

Sorry no Story Telling mentioned today!

Jaffa Cakes!!!!!!

Nostalgia time-just eaten a couple of Jaffa Cakes (can’t remember when I last ate one) which took me  back to my youth and I remember how them seemed like luxury when I was a student. An invite for tea and a Jaffa Cake couldn’t be refused!

Played my last game of cricket of the season yesterday for the old men of Gloucestershire and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Still clocking up the miles on the bike and the hills! Our next cycling adventure is looming so need to be fit and ready to go.

I am starting to get bookings for September and beyond. Always good and reassuring when you are asked to go back again!

Peterloo 200 years on.

A poignant reminder that today is of one of the most important dates in British History although you might find it hard to find in too many school history books or featuring in the media. 18 people were killed and over 650 injured cut down by the sabres of the cavalry. It was a peaceful protesting picnic with families turning out on St Peter’s Field, a surprisingly high number of women were present.

It arguably led to us all getting the vote and the birth of the Manchester Guardian that has enhanced our press reporting. Shelley’s poem “Masque of Anarchy” on the event wasn’t allowed to be published until 1832 10 years after the poet died.

Birding Bonanza

A wonderful morning today out by the Severn doing our monthly bird survey. The Bore also came up while we were out which is always magical. We had some great spots as the migration has already started. A Whinchat (see Gordon’s picture below) was only the second we have seen in five years of doing the survey. We were entranced by a family of five Kestrels hovering on the river edge, they were soon joined by two Buzzards, 6 Ravens and a Sparrowhawk which we found rather bizarre. One stage the two Buzzards were on the ground circled by the Ravens (also on the ground) like a wagon train in the old Westerns. Martins, Swallows and a Swift were all on the move. To finish off we saw the female Marsh Harrier as we made our way back.

Played for the County Seniors against Oxfordshire on Tuesday which we won comfortably and my batting was not needed!

Blinded by the Light

Went to see the film of today’s title on Friday. Delightful feel good type of film featuring songs of The Boss (Springsteen) and the Town of my football team Luton. Obviously recognised locations and the music! The racism in the film reminded me of my growing up about 15 years before the time of the film. I had many friends from ethnic backgrounds and it was painful to witness what they went through. I remember us running for our lives on a couple of occasions from a  groups of skinheads out to attack anyone that was different.

Talking of Luton I went to watch them at Cardiff on Saturday, I went by train and thoroughly enjoyed the journey down by the Severn being on the other side from home! The football was going well and looked like we had earned a well deserved point until the 95th minute sucker punch!!!

We were pleased to see a Nuthatch in the garden last week you don’t see many in Frampton. A beautiful male Sparrowhawk was sitting on our fence yesterday. All the garden birds had dived for cover.

I met my fellow Two Severn Bores collaborator last week to plan our theme for 2020 gigs. So now have to get down to writing!

Training hard for next month’s cycling adventure through Wales.

Ashes to Ashes!!!!!!!!

I am still scratching my head over how England lost the first Test! When I blogged after Friday I thought we were on course to win, shows how little I know!

I’ve been busy playing cricket over the last few days and thoroughly enjoyed it and body has stood up well!

Anyone coming to our cycle teas on Sunday 11th (you don’t have to cycle) at Wick Court we will now be outside near the Round House sadly we can’t get into the building as I mentioned in a past blog. Apologies if you thought you might get a chance to see the inside. However, wonderful cakes and bacon butties will be served and the funds raised support Wick Court.


Sorry hardly any Story Telling in this blog it is mainly sport!

I had a wonderful Friday at Edgbaston yesterday I was in the Hollies Stand which was fun and it lived up to it’s reputation for being lively and raucous. I knew our Peter was also in the Hollies so Clare sent him a message that his Dad had left in a bright red dress and red lipstick-he fell for it! (I didn’t but maybe next year!) It was proper Test Match “Ashes” cricket and I was thoroughly absorbed in the contest. Coming home I was keeping up to date with Luton’s first game back in Division 2 (it is now called the Championship). I got back just before Half Time and what a great advert for this level football. I will be watching them at Cardiff next Saturday.

I am meeting Dan (my fellow Two Severn Bore) to plan next year’s stories and music so will give you a hint of our potential performance direction in the near future.