Arthur Pendragon

Had to be this title! We visited Tintagel on Tuesday in the rain. (Will add a picture when at home.) Enjoyed walking over the New Bridge which is an amazing piece of engineering. Thought quite a bit about a couple of Arthurian Stories I tell and how I can revamp the telling of them. Those of you who know me well will know how captivated I am by the legend. I have many books and have written a couple of stories with echoes of the legend. So a Tintagel visit is always special.

Awful weather yesterday but we enjoyed visiting the Tate Gallery and Barbara Hepworth’s garden we are staying close to St Ives. A birding expedition is planned for today.  Continue reading

Lost Words and Spell Songs

Another year slips by and I become even more ancient! I am sitting listening to my birthday present Spell Songs (I also got the fantastic Lost Words book that inspired the music) and contemplating and what a wonderful weekend we have just had seeing our youngest Peter get married to the wonderful Nicola. Despite the awful weather on Saturday it was a magical time. Will probably indulge myself and add a picture or two in a future blog.

I have wanted to have a copy of Lost Words for some time frequently looking at it in Book Shops. We are going to a concert of Spell Songs in February.

Taking the opportunity to pop away for a few days to Cornwall enjoying a rest from Story Telling and a lovely family weekend!

Moonshadow (1)

Went to see the giant model of the moon in Gloucester Cathedral so that gave me the Cat Stevens song for today’s title. It was an impressive sight in such a beautiful historic building (a picture at the bottom of the blog).

Busy few days since last blog. More practical cycling on Tuesday to dentist and a meeting for future Story Telling events in National Story Telling Week. Then collecting two large casks of beer for our Pete’s wedding and driving up to the venue on Wednesday to deliver them for Saturday (it was “Bob” from Wickwar Brewery). I then shot off to Craven Cottage for football (we lost),staying at Pete’s. I brought him back to Frampton today -wedding on Saturday so no blog now till next week.

The Ride

Chosen Luka Bloom’s song The Ride for today’s blog (he is a folk/rock singer and brother to Christy Moore) . Only recently found the song and hits a chord with me bit like that wonderfully surreal  book “The Third Policeman” !

I cycled a decent distance (36 miles all round) to Story Tell at Cromhall. Lovely little village school and I was made very welcome. The ride was wet this morning and then back into a stiff wind. Unusually for me all the stories I told today were mine! A couple of them developed another layer with the Telling especially “The Book Worm”.

Went a cello recital last night given by Ruth Spargo (daughter of one my pals) and all proceeds went to Farms for City Children. Lovely evening in Framilode Church an ideal setting!)

Watched the mighty Hatters on Saturday demolish Bristol City with some excellent football which was a pleasant surprise, Talking sport disappointed that Japan were knocked out of the Rugby World Cup because they were wonderful to watch.

Kingfisher and Stonechat

Apologies for not writing a blog for nearly a week it has been a busy few days so haven’t had many spare minutes. Some would say it is good to be busy, but as I sit here yawning I’m questioning that!

Going back to the weekend really enjoyed Sunday night at the Literature Festival. We saw a first rate discussion between authors Rosie Price (a former pupil of mine) and Ayelet Gunder-Goshen it was echoing the Me Too movement and its impact on characters etc. It was certainly thought provoking. Both authors were intelligent and sensitive and was special seeing someone I watched growing up in primary school!

The rest of the week has seen meetings,  my Story Telling residency at Wick Court, two very different Bird Watching sessions and a delightful Book Club. Oh yes have cycled quite a bit this week with my pals! Really enjoyed both Bird Watching and Story Telling with the young people from Charles Dickens Primary School. C.hanged a couple of stories a bit and was pleased with how they developed.

Thursday morning was the monthly bird survey out by the River. Saw my first Redwings of the Winter but the highlight was some great views of Reed Buntings, Stonechats and a Kingfisher quite close to us.

Literature Festival

Just back from Cheltenham Literature Festival-I cycled there and back (44 miles and wet to start with!) It was Children’s Literature over the last 70 years and the three panellists picked a book each for each decade from 1940 onwards. Really enjoyable reflecting on some excellent books-especially as we have been underwhelmed by this year’s programme. We are going again tomorrow night to see Rosie Price an ex pupil of mine from Dursley.

I told an old Chinese Folk Tale  that I haven’t told for two or three years on Thursday enjoyed telling it.

Writing is going well -finished my Rubbish Story but need to tidy it up. Also working on writing some material for our next Two Severn Bores project (aiming to be have this ready for performance in late January.)

What a Load of Rubbish!!!!!

No not me but others may disagree!

Just started writing a short story for an infant class at school I am performing at in the near future. The theme is rubbish and recycling. Playing around with a story I have a distant memory of so we will see how it develops. I usually write a very rough draft and go back to it a couple of days later and see if I think it is viable. I am writing this with performance and audience participation in mind.

Of course today’s title could apply to my football’s teams gift of two goals on Saturday they had ribbons on them! I’m glad I didn’t go!

Fire and Rain

A well-known old song for today’s blog! There were several others I considered! Just  back from a ride with my pals and we got fairly wet-so I thought rain should be in the title! I went on my good bike that doesn’t have mud guards so coming home along the canal I well and truly mud splattered! It was a good ride!!!!!

I have done my regular Story Telling Residency this week and my Bird watching with the children and we managed to avoid the rain!

Have managed to get some good chunks of writing done -I have several projects on the go. (sometimes wonder if I should focus on one thing but I think it helps to keep one or two balls in the air!)

Cheltenham Literature Festival starts this weekend but we are underwhelmed by the programme. I am going to see Michael Rosen on Children’s Literature next Saturday and one of my former pupils Rosie on the Sunday. Will blog about the Festival in a future blog