Brief Encounter

Just got back from a couple of days in Lancashire, we stayed at Carnforth famous for the David Lean film in 1945. We had a super day on Friday at one of our favourite places the RSPB reserve at Leighton Moss even though we got soaked and the word Hide took on a different meaning as we sheltered watching Redshank and Godwits! I also briefly saw an otter dash across the path.

We bumped into Simon King the well-known wildlife photographer in the café who was at the reserve taking photos.

Later at the Eric Morecombe Hide had some great views of a Great White Egret. See the pictures below one with a Grey Heron and one where you can compare a Little Egret with it. I did hope being in the Eric Morecombe might give my football team some luck -Eric was a Hatter!

So Saturday saw us visit the beautiful Forest of Bowland in the morning it involved driving through lots of mini-floods. It was then onto to a marvellous pub with a brewery out the back before getting to Ewood Park home of Blackburn Rovers with some trepidation (picture below). However the Hatters came up trumps and won (thanks Eric)!

I have written a short story (rules state no more than 500 words) for a competition and currently working on a second entry! Shall certainly enter one you never know maybe two stories!

Crow on the Cradle

Old folk song for today’s title – Show of Hands do a wonderful version of it. Chose this title because yesterday with the young people from Syston  while doing bird watching we saw Carrion Crows, Jackdaws, Rooks and Magpies. Pity we didn’t get a Raven do almost complete the Crow Family. We had a lovely time! I am Story telling with them tomorrow, it is a school I have visited twice so will need to check my stories ( I know they haven’t heard Mollie!

I saw my team thrashed last night in the League Cup it was a pity we made 10 changes when playing a premier league team Leicester who were champions 3 years ago. have to be philosophical about it.



Shoes, Suits and Sandals

Sounds like a song title doesn’t it! However it reflects a rare occurrence for me Shopping! I didn’t buy a suit in case anyone is worried knowing my eccentric taste in clothing but had to be measured for the suit for Peter’s wedding (he is hiring matching suits for 12 of us!). I did invest in new shoes for the wedding and a new pair of sandals for next summer! We also popped into Waterstones and Clare got me my birthday present (early) so it has to go away for a month-will reveal what it is in a later blog.

Looking forward to seeing old friends St Peter and St Paul’s Primary Syston tomorrow at Wick Court – a school where I have performed a couple of times. Will need to check what stories I did before I Tell stories in the Round House on Thursday.

Proud Dad for the second week. David’s team at Devon and Somerset Fire Service won team of the year last week. Picture below.

Sadly my football wasn’t great on Saturday we stuttered against a poor side to lose at home. League Cup tomorrow against Leicester I am going with fingers tightly crossed!

Severn Sunshine

What an absolute corker of a morning! Up at the crack of dawn to do the monthly bird survey by the River. Wisps of mist slowly clearing in the sunshine made for atmospheric start. Some great birds including an Avocet, Whinchat and a Wheatear with an evocative soundscape courtesy of  Curlews on the River. I also had a lovely Bird Watch with the delightful young people from Baguley Hall from Wythenshawe. They were full of enthusiasm and enjoyed several good views of Buzzards overhead.

We were totally exhausted from our Iron Man support role at the weekend so Monday was recuperating!

Still playing with some ideas for stories and did even manage to get some writing done this week.

Off to tell Stories this afternoon, I feel one of my old favourites my pantomime Russian Folk Tale with my stereotypical characters will go down well!

Our Pete is an Iron Man!!!!!!!!

Really proud Dad today (well always a proud Dad). Yesterday we were in Tenby to watch Pete take part in an Iron Man. We had been on tenterhooks all week because Pete had been training earnestly in the three disciplines had a calf strain last weekend so his participation was in doubt.For those of you who don’t know it involves a 2.5 mile sea swim, 112 mile bike ride and a full marathon!!! Makes you tired just thinking about it! We are exhausted just from the support, we were up at 5 a.m. to watch the 7 a.m. start and we got back to Frampton at 1 a.m. Monday. It is tough work being an Iron Man supporter! As we were in the thousands on the sea front a choir struck up with the evocative Welsh National Anthem  which was beautifully joined in by the crowd. It does make you jealous of other nations stirring anthems compared to our dirge! The swim was hard to pick him out in the thousands but we had good views of the cycling and the ride! Picture of him at on the run at the bottom of the blog.

The Story Telling all went well last week and more bookings have come in over the last few days.

Back in the Saddle (a different one!)

No not bikes today but Story Telling. After a welcome break I am now out and about carrying my stories to different audiences. I am working in a Care Home this afternoon telling stories. I have done a few over the last year (I seem to be on the circuit) and have enjoyed doing them. Tomorrow it will be good to get back to my residency at Wick Court in the marvellous Round House (I ought to post a picture of me in it in the near future).

Trying to write regularly  now (have a few projects on the go, Two Severn Bores, a story based in Gloucester and a possible story for a competition).

Finally I was back to volunteering at Wick Court yesterday taking young people from Prior Weston School near the Barbican Bird Watching. We were rewarded with two active Spotted Flycatchers (a first for us with children) my first sighting of the year of one of my favourite birds. We used to have one nest in the garden but sadly these birds are struggling for a variety of reasons.

Tour of Wales

Well we finished our ride yesterday in pleasant sunshine the only downside was I fell off my bike on the climb up to Gospel Pass. Luckily I was almost at walking pace as it was really steep, I was grateful for my helmet that saved me from injury. We had stunning views from the summit-picture of me near the top at the end of the blog. The quiet country lanes were delightful. We had followed Sustrans routes nearly all the time it is an excellent charity- if you ever wonder about those little blue signs with numbers on there are put there by Sustrans and their hundreds of volunteers.

The weather over the six days of the  ride was a real mixed bag, strong head winds especially along the North Wales coast where we were frequently sprayed by the sea. (Bike encrusted with salt water just given it a good wash!), Persistent rain on a couple of days where we got really dirty and then sunshine towards the end.

Old Groynes (part 2)

Only a brief showers today although it meant we kept putting on waterproofs then taking them off. It was our penultimate ride and we are now in Hay on Wye. Long ride  home tomorrow with some serious climbing. It was delightful pedalling through Wye Valley today. The hospitality at the Bluebell pub was exceptional our hostess washed our wet and muddy clothing!

I did manage to take a few photos which I am aiming to put a few on the blog on Friday.

I promise to put some Story Telling thoughts on the blog next week as I am back to performing again after a decent break.


Old Groynes Abroad

A quick blog tonight. We are now over halfway through our Welsh cycle ride. We were certainly wet and dirty tonight although an enjoyable ride. Yesterday wet and  tired we also did an extra 10 miles because we got lost! Pictures to be added to blogs when we get home, it has been a delightful ride and we have certainly done a lot of climbing I reckon already over 10,000 feet. Will update this blog when home with a picture.