Hail and Rain

Big shock to the system today. I cycled into Stroud for cheese (usually do this every two or three weeks) and ended up with real soaking with hail and rain. All my clothes were dripping! I was shivering when I got back! It has been some time since this happened! The best bit was there was no rain at home in fact no rain within five miles from home.

A good start to the weekend!

Fresh Air

Well I did warn you dear reader that birds would feature today. I have had two wonderful bird watching sessions this week and see some brilliant birds. Also had a forty mile ride over the tops today with a pal that involved much climbing.

I won’t list everything but here are a few highlights of the week. First Hobby of the year that flew close by. First Swifts which seemed early! Heard my first Cuckoo. Many migrant waders and plenty of migrant warblers. A marvellous displaying Black-tailed Godwit. Marsh Harrier and a real surprise a male Goshawk. Couple of other birds I saw below


Lesser Whitethroat


Reed Bunting



A shock to actually see rain today, forgotten what that was like! My goodness we needed it, the garden was really thirsty! I was pleased that our water butts have filled up! I was relieved I delayed my cycle ride for tomorrow! I have had a good day writing instead.

Just to warn you about tomorrow’s blog. I have saved up my bird watching update because I out on a survey tomorrow. Already have some great sightings this week.

Thanks for the feedback I have had about the PIg the Legend book cover – if you missed it click on the link in yesterday’s blog-it did work!

Pleased that I had my second jab yesterday, just the sore arm today.

Spell Songs Live !!!

We have just watched a magical performance of Spell Songs at the Natural History Museum if you have read Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane with the wonderful Jackie Morris paintings you must watch it. The music is beautiful and haunting. You can try the Natural History Museum web site or Youtube. It is available for the next month.

Watching it made you realise how much we miss by not seeing live performance.

Finally and I have my fingers crossed if you click on the link below you may get a picture of my new book cover if it doesn’t work I will try again tomorrow!

Church_Revied (1)

Peru Musings

I did mention in a previous blog our Peruvian Holiday and talked about the Nasca LInes. Well today I will mention the Andes and altitude! Our trip was well designed so we could gradually acclimatise to the altitude. I remember arriving in the city of Arequipa at over 9,000 feet and finding myself breathless as I walked up the stairs to our hotel room. People chew coca leaves in the Andes to help with altitude sickness of course coca is what cocaine is made from. It was openly on sale in of all places including the cathedral! I did manage to buy a few leaves as we were due to go much higher.

Our next elevated stop was Lake Titicaca at 12,500 feet where I encountered a really stonking headache that was altitude related. I was given a cup of steaming herb infused liquid. Miraculously my head cleared quickly, to this day I’m not sure what was in that mug! There is are a couple of pictures from Lake Titicaca below and one of me with the mountains behind. Later I will write about the Inca Trail where I confess I chewed one or two leaves!





We had another walk on Rodborough late afternoon today. Beautiful although there was cold wind you felt in exposed places. So there are a few pictures below of Cowslips. They always make me quite nostalgic of my early days in Gloucestershire when on my solitary walks over the hills and commons I really first noticed them. Having said that many motorways now seem to be adorned with them on the embankments.

Enjoyed watching my football team recover from 2-0 down to win. Especially pleasing it was against one of the local ish teams Bristol City.  We don’t usually do that well at Ashton Gate.


What a Day!!!

Talk about packing things into a day, I am currently sitting exhausted as I write this shortish blog!

I woke early and unable to go back to sleep so I went out for a dawn bird watch. I thought early on I had made a mistake as I hardly saw anything. A fox then galloped past a reed warbler started singing, common terns were sighted. I walked to another part of the sailing lake to see little gulls (lovely birds), common sandpipers, swallows, whitethroat (3 or 4). To round it off I heard a grasshopper warbler reeling  just up from my house (a real treat)

We then drove up to Maidenhead to see my delightful grandson at a pub lunch! He is now 4 and half months. What a treat! We also had about 40 minutes solo!

Yesterday’s Quiz answers (you can tell I worked in primary schools)

a) The Gruffalo was illustrated by Axel Scheffler    b) Elmer was a patchwork coloured elephant  c) Spot was the Eric Hill’s creation  d) Flat Stanley was posted to America  (A book I read to the first class I taught!)  e) E.H. Shephard illustrated Winnie the Pooh

Ice Cream!!!!

A lovely ride today with two pals and we stopped at Winstones Ice Cream Factory on Rodborough Common for an obligatory ice cream. If you don’t live in Gloucestershire you don’t know what you are missing!

I did meet with Dan last night (the other half of Two Severn Bores) to exchange ideas about our next project. Plenty to think about and we are both going away to see how our writing develops.

In other news I have approved the cover for the book. I aim to put it into a blog in the near future.

A couple of Spring pictures from our garden-our Bramley and Crab Apple below!

Today’s Quiz is on picture books and illustrations (well I have mentioned my book cover).

a) Who illustrated the Gruffalo?  b) What is different about Elmer the Elephant?   c) What is the name of Eric Hill’s dog in many of his books?   d) What is the name of the book by Jeff Brown about a boy who gets squashed and gets sent to America?  e) Who illustrated Winnie the Pooh books?


Oh Well!!!

Just been watching my team again. Played well but couldn’t put the ball in the net so nil nil! I have just renewed my season ticket so hopefully we might be able to watch live football again and not a screen!

Two Severn Bores are meeting tomorrow night to plan so watch this space! We are hoping to put together a new show.

Picture of a Pied Wagtail I saw on the lake this afternoon.


Yesterday’s Song Lyrics

a) Mrs Robinson by Simon and Garfunkel   b) Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan  c) Bob the Builder (shows my wide cultural knowledge!) d) Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen (one of my heroes but the two times I’ve seen him he hasn’t played this) e) Common People by Pulp

The Times They Are A-Changin’

Long time since I had a Bob Dylan song for my title! I used this classic today because I have detected that attitudes are gradually changing about entertainment. I have had two bookings come in for this summer over the last 24 hours. Oh for live gigs with an audience!!! I certainly haven’t enjoyed telling stories to a screen, hard to gauge how the audience is responding! Hope that there will be more coming in soon.

Just had notification for my second jab next week. It has been a brilliant effort by the NHS and volunteers. Thank Goodness we have the NHS doing this and not the government cronies who have squandered 37 billion so far! I still don’t understand why the government are waiting for Friday before India go on the red list for travel, we always seem so slow to react.

Thought we would have a song lyrics quiz today to go with blog title! Which songs do the following lyrics come from?

a) Jesus loves you more than you will know wo wo wo  b) Threw the bums a dime in your prime didn’t you?  c) Scoop, Muck and Dizzy and Rolly too, Lofty and Wendy join the crew.  d) Got in a little hometown jam, so they put a rifle in my hand  e) She studied sculpture at Saint Martin’s College