When You’re Smiling!!!

I still have a grin on my face following yesterday’s football. Talk about a change of fortunes, as I mentioned yesterday we were abysmal in the first half and I couldn’t see anyway back and thought we were in for a real thrashing! My goodness what a transformation and what a change in my mood. Perhaps the England Cricket Team can take note! can’t see it but then couldn’t see yesterday’s turn around.

Watched a delightful video clip featuring my Peter with our lovely baby Owen. Peter lying next to Owen and waving a toy giraffe and he is making what might be called a squeaking sound (well more like a high pitched  crow)  and Owen is replying with a baby squawk. We have replayed it endlessly because it so joyful.

The pictures below is from our walk this morning some blossom and a Buzzard being mobbed!


Winter Sunshine

What a lovely Winter Day showing that Spring is just round the corner. A delightful walk around Frampton Lakes. We saw two .Oystercatchers in the field near Court Lake picture below. Also managed some honest endeavour in the garden – moving compost!

A roller coaster of a football match today! I was at rock bottom at half time as the Hatters looked woeful and were fortunate to be 2-0 down. It was lucky there were no cats nearby!   Couldn’t believe I was watching the same team in the second half and we won! So currently Over the Moon Brian! Looking forward to Tuesday now!

Yesterday’s Answers on the Accident Quiz

a) Jackson Pollock was killed in a road accident in 1956   b) It was the Hudson River that Chesley Sullenberger landed his plane. c) Black Box Recorders are Bright Orange   d) Alpha Piper exploded in 1988  e) 3,000 m was the race where Zola Budd accidently tripped Mary Decker

No Quiz today!


Disaster !!!!!

It has been an interesting 24 hours! Yesterday I was cycling with a friend (you are allowed to exercise with one other) and we had done the same route almost a year ago. That ride had ended in disaster with a spate of punctures for both of us. Lightning couldn’t strike twice could it? Perfect cycling weather hardly any wind and we had enjoyed the first twenty odd miles until…………..I was whizzing downhill at 35 mph when I hit a pot hole! Luckily I didn’t fall off but both tyres punctured. Sadly the tyre was damaged so I had to call the cavalry (the wonderful Clare). Then my phone played up so struggled to get messages about what was going on (Clare had to detour because the road was closed. Eventually after 100 minutes plus since the pot hole collision I was rescued. You could say I was lucky I missed the cricket! Fingers crossed I have sorted out the bike now. I was out of sorts for some time afterwards.

I am down to do some Story Telling online over the next fortnight. Looking forward to it.

We had a dramatic moment this morning when my 85 old next door neighbour was demonstrating to me what Ian Botham would of done to the Indian spinners and he fell over and hit his head. He cut his forehead and was shaken. He couldn’t have it stitched but it was glued at the hospital. His wife told me the guidance from the hospital was he mustn’t play any rugby or football. I said he shouldn’t play cricket!!!! He is OK and can laugh at himself.

I have had positive feedback on the quizzes -thank you. I am going to change from doing a quiz on every day (apart from Sunday) to maybe three or four times a week and see how that goes.

Wednesday’s Quiz Answers on Dreams

a) A giraffe sleeps about 4.6 hours in a day in cycles the longest is no more than 35 minutes. They can sleep lying down and standing up.   b) Hypnos is the Goddess of Sleep  c) Oneirology is the study of dreams and sleep  d) The boy on the DreamWorks logo is sitting on a crescent moon  e) John Lennon sang “You may say I’m a Dreamer” in the song Imagine

Today’s Quiz is on Accidents

a) In August, 1956 which artist died in a single car accident while driving under the influence of alcohol?    b) Pilot Chesley Sullenberger landed his plane on which river in 2009 after his plane lost power?   c) The flight recorder on aeroplane is called a “Black Box” but what is its actual colour?    d) In 1988, an explosion destroyed which oil production platform in the North Sea?   e) Zola Budd accidently tripped Mary Decker in the 1984 Olympics in which distance race? 

Tattered Dreams

Well last night  I was looking forward to watching my team play and football followed by today watching England bounce back in the cricket (I made sure nothing was going to get in the way of me watching today!) Oh dear! last night it was all going so well and it looked like we were on course for a well deserved three points. Then we decided to “manage the game” with about 10 minutes to go and it came back to bite us with a last minutes equaliser (still not sure where the ref got six minutes injury time). Then we got to today and the cricket………oh dear! Maybe tomorrow will be better because I am out cycling so will miss it!

Fingers crossed all goes well with the so called Road Map (I saw a letter in the paper saying why is not a OS map a more environmentally title perhaps!) I would like to see my family before too long!

Yesterday’s Car Quiz answers

a) The Driving Test came into law in 1935   b) Alec Issigonis designed the Mini   c) The Spirit of Ecstasy is on the Rolls Royce bonnet  d) The Model T Ford was called Tin Lizzie  e) Cedric is a Volkswagen T5 

Today’s Quiz is on Dreams/Sleep

a) How many hours sleep in a day does a giraffe need?  b) Who is the Greek God of Sleep?   c) What is the name for the scientific study of dreams?  d) The boy who is fishing on the DreamWorks logo is sitting on what?   e) Who sings “You may say I’m a Dreamer, But I’m not the only one”?   

Sparkling Cedric!

One of the  jobs I try and avoid is washing our wonderful campervan  Cedric. Sadly because it stands outside all year a layer of green grime  builds up. I hate the job because it involves climbing up on a step ladder many times to scrub the roof. It is hard work getting rid of that grime. There is also a lot of walking backwards and forwards with buckets of water. I always manage to soak myself and because of the angles I get water running down my arms! Still he looks wonderful the orange and white sparkling (well it would sparkle if the sun came out!) Cedric is named after the dragon that lives in our loft which we try to keep secret because you know what is likely to happen if it gets out into the world that we have a dragon living in our loft! So please don’t report us! The picture below is Cedric away in Dorset (a couple of years ago) with some old bloke!


Before my cleaning exercise I recorded a Japanese Folk Tale for a school. Tried a different location in the house today! I am gradually improving my techniques for these recordings! I actually enjoyed the process but I look forward to doing a live gig with a proper audience!

I am hoping my football team remember to turn up later tonight -fingers crossed!

Yesterday’s Quiz Answers on Schools

a) Miss Trunchball is the Head of Crunchem Hall    b) The History Boys by Alan Bennett was the play    c) O Levels were last awarded in 1987   d) Dotheboys Hall is in Nicholas Nickleby and features of course the infamous Wackford Squeers   ( did I base by teaching career on him and  Miss Trunchball?)  e) To Sir With Love was the film starring Sidney Poitier.

Today’s Quiz is on cars!

a) In which decade did Britain introduce the compulsory driving test (extra point if you get the year)?  b) Who designed the original Mini?   c) Where will you see Spirit of Ecstasy?   d) Which model of car was called Tin Lizzie in the early part of the 20th century?  e) An observation question was is the make of Cedric? ( the company will do)


Grumpy Old Man (part2)

How wonderful to see the sun today after the unrelenting grey we have had for most of February. Also good news on the effectiveness of the vaccine from Scotland. It is really encouraging news. Thank goodness the NHS have been organising the vaccines for us  and not the private firms (with friends in high places) that have made such a mess of Track and Trace.

It is time for one of my moans today. As you know if you read this blog that I cycle many miles on my bikes and I am really looking forward to the dry spell that is being forecasted. Sadly while out on the bike I have witnessed in many places is litter in the small brooks and streams that run close to the roads. Many bottles and cans clogging up the water flow. I’m sure it contributes to flooding problems. Why do people drop so much litter?

I spent quite a bit of today clearing gutters and trying to remove moss (loads of it) from the garage roof.

Today’s quiz is on schools as they look like being back to normal soon!

a) Who was the Headmistress of Crunchem Hall ( a children’s book)?    b) Which play, set in the early 1980s, opens in Sheffield Cutler’s Grammar School ?   c) In which year were the last O levels awarded?   d) The cruel fictional Victorian Dotheboys Hall features in what Charles Dickens novel?   e) Which 1967 British drama film is about Mark Thackeray   who takes a teaching post at North Quay Secondary School in the tough East End of London?

Virtual Stories

Spent part of this morning recording a story for a school. My “studio” is my workroom and I use my telescope tripod with a bike clamp for a mobile phone attached! I then fix my phone on it horizontally. I used a puppet to disguise my switching the phone on and off mainly because I struggle with the editing! It was actually good to do and you learn to adapt your Telling. You do realise how much you feed off your audience at the moment it is slightly disconcerting when performing that you  see yourself instead of the audience! Aiming to do a second story tomorrow!

Still disappointed by yesterday’s football, my team were awful; actually they weren’t that good! Still hopefully better on Tuesday, it is the hope that gets you!

Yesterday’s Quiz on Pond Life

a) Toads are not eaten by most fish because of the toxins in their skin. Some mammals do, Otters flip them over and eat them through their belly.   b) Pond skaters use the vibrations on the surface to detect their prey.  c) There are 36 species of Dragonfly in the UK there are also 21 species of Damselfly     d) Spoonbill is of course the Heron type of bird with the bizarre bill – we are lucky here because the odd Spoonbill turns up on the flashes near the River  e) The Great Crested Newt is the biggest newt in the UK

Pond Life

Trying to beat the frogs today by getting as much weed out of our pond as I can before the frogs move in. We are often kept awake by frisky frogs at this time of the year. I then have to get protective with the spawn to stop a pair of Mallards hovering it up!

Dismal performance today like the weather by my football team against an average Stoke team. Lucky there are no cats around! The word naïve comes to mind in summing that up!. On to Tuesday!

Yesterday’s Quiz answers on Cars

a) The delorean car was in Back to the Future  b) Drive My Car was from Rubber Soul  c) Professor Potts drove Chitty Chitty Bang Bang  d) Ford set up the factory in Detroit  e) Dick Dastardly’s car was Mean Machine

Today’s Quiz is on Water Life (nearly all can be found in ponds)

a) Why don’t fish eat Toads?   b) How do Pond Skaters detect their prey?    c) How many species of dragonflies are there in the UK?  d) Which Heron type of bird has a bizarre spatula like bill?   e)  What is the biggest species of Newt in the UK?


Grumpy Old Man (part1)

The title refers to me of course! I thought every now and again I would share some of the things that make me a Grumpy Old Man on occasions! One of my pet hates is SUV’s! I do find it bizarre that these seem to be more and more of these monstrosities on the road. They fill up car parking spaces and you can’t see round them and I’m not sure they are that environmentally friendly! I also got splashed by one of them today!

Yesterday’s Quiz on Pigs

a) The Sheep Pig was written by Dick King Smith and I remember him saying on a school visit it was the book he was most proud of. Of course it later became the film Babe   b)  Wilbur was the pig in Charlotte’s Web  c) The Tamworth Two were the escaped pigs  d) Napoleon was the Supreme Commander in Animal Farm  e) Denmark has more pigs than humans

Today’s Quiz is on Cars

a) In which 1985 film starred a delorean  car?   b) Which Beatles Album includes the song “Drive My car“?    c) Which famous car did Professor Caractacus Potts drive?  d) In which city did Henry Ford establish a car factory in 1899   e) What was Dick Dastardly’s car in Wacky Races?