New Year’s Eve

Another year ebbs away. We have had a lovely family year especially once we were able to meet up enjoying frequent visits to see our grandchildren. Obviously the news from the wider world has been depressing especially the persistent mismanagement of the pandemic.

As a Story Teller the later half of the year was gradually getting back to normal with some school visits and some lovely varied adult gigs but the future still looks uncertain.

In an effort to get my fitness back to where I was in mid December I finished the year with my first decent cycle ride for a week.

Silly Old Fool!!!!


The fine looking model above is sporting his Christmas presents from his eldest son. A wonderful crotchet helmet (it is like what  a medieval knight wore with a movable visor-you can’t really make out the crest on the top from this photo- perhaps I will take another one in the future and put it into the blog ) and a Napoleonic top both will be used for future Story Telling Gigs!

It has been a delightful few days enjoying being with our family especially the two grandchildren. I have done much crawling across the floor and carrying children everywhere. One of many special moments with Owen (my one year old grandson) was sharing a lovely board book of six birds that played their calls). He did recognise the Cuckoo later when I was reading Goodnight Owl later to him and we often watched the Woodpigeons in the garden.

Finally got a real soaking this morning doing our monthly bird survey out by the River Severn. The birds evidently didn’t enjoy the weather although one highlight was a Woodcock flying over-it was the first one we have seen in nearly 10 years of doing surveys.


12 Days of Christmas

Apologies that the blog has been missing over this holiday period. Have had family staying so I have been a hands on grandparent and the body is feeling it! My one year old grandson Owen leaves us tomorrow. It has been delightful having both grandchildren over the holiday. Ellen is now three months old.

Back to regular blogging from tomorrow onwards! Don’t expect any comments about cricket!!!


Well a busy time on the bird feeders this morning. I think I counted 14 species in a five minute spell. Our male Blackcap has been back for a month or so and an unexpected visitor was a young Moorhen. Talking of birds I have seen the Barn Owl  a few times from Splatt Bridge and I did hear a Little Owl from the garden a few days ago.

Just had an email from old friend Chris who publishes a newsletter from my old college and was surprised to see a plug for Pig The Legend ( reminder you should be able to order through your local bookshop or through the publisher Troubador, or direct from me – all proceeds  go to The Alzheimer’s Society).

On a positive note the days are getting longer! It was a beautiful cold morning with a pink coloured sky.


I am thoroughly enjoying reading Storyland – A New Mythology of Britain  by Amy Jeffs. I mentioned seeing Amy at the Cheltenham Literature Festival and Clare brought me the book for my birthday. It is a journey through mythological stories of Britain. It certainly has given me some ideas for future Story Telling. I particularly liked her take on a couple of the better known stories.

You may of noticed I have avoided mentioning cricket because it is so depressing. No doubt I will still stay up on Christmas night (Boxing Day morning in Australia) like all sport it is the hope that gets you!

Mizzle or Drizzle

I ventured out today on my bike with two pals (we call ourselves The Old Groynes). There was moisture in the air that I wasn’t sure how to classify it – was it Mizzle or was it Drizzle? I like both words! A good social ride with cake and coffee. Last year I managed nearly five and half  thousand miles cycling (thanks to lockdown) – I will miss it this year!

My voice needs a rest after almost three hours of speaking as Santa with lots of Ho Hos. You don’t realise how much you have projected your voice till the following day and you sound hoarse!

Jingle Bells and Cold Feet


                                                              Guess Who? 

I spent late afternoon on a float/sledge pulled by a tractor. I was doing this for the Dursley Round Table I have now done this a few times although not last year for obvious reasons. Money raised goes to local charities. I am always amazed by delightful reaction of all the people who come out to see Santa with his lights and accompanying sound system,

After The Lord Mayor’s Show!!!!

Well after a busy spell of Story Telling it has been a day of chilling and recovering. I managed  dropped off the donations including some decent book sale money from the various gigs to Wick Court. 

The stories I have been telling this week have been ones I have written (albeit one of them from adapted from a story that was located in the other side of the country.) I feel I now need to develop another couple of stories for telling so I am hoping to write through these dark winter months.


Rather bizarre that I was able to wear shorts on my bike this morning in mid December. Real contrast with last week when it was tights, balaclava and Winter gloves!

Gig is on tonight albeit with reduced numbers. Not sure when the next one will be with current rate of infections. The Two Severn Bores are still hoping to do a Spring Tour and we are both writing parts at the moment. Not really looking forward to going back to doing things on zoom as a Story Teller I do like to interact with my audience!

The cricket is disappointing again! Just hope we can be competitive. Talking of cricket I am playing indoor cricket tomorrow which is a young person’s game – we must be short!