Two in One!!!

Went for both our booster jab and the flu jab Saturday morning. Have to say it is impressive seeing the organisation and the many volunteers. Slowly waiting for arms to go back to normal!

Spending time looking for new stories for the new year. I am also learning stories for a gig next week and three December gigs. On the 8th December if anyone wants to join us for one gig our Book Club are running an entertainment in the Three Horseshoes Frampton starting at 8 p.m.-I will be MC and telling at least one story!

Finally I am aware Pig the Legend sales are picking up I need to check how well we are doing. I am getting some positive feedback from people who have read it.

The Left Hand of Darkness

Today’s title is the Ursula K.Le Guin book which we discussed last night at Book Club. We have only really skirted around Science Fiction in the past so this book provoked a lively and thoughtful discussion. What I like about our Book Club is it makes me read books I wouldn’t normally choose. I did read her Wizard of Earthsea trilogy many many years ago! Next month we are doing our entertainment (including  story from you know who) in the pub after missing last year for obvious reasons. It will mean a busy month on the Story Telling front to adult audiences for me.

Had a lovely time taking the young people from Old Oak Primary birding around Wick Court yesterday. I am Story Telling for them later.

Today we went to do our final Winter Square Bird Survey in the North of the county. Sadly we were hampered by footpaths being blocked off and a stile in poor repair.

Wow-What A Morning!!!!

I went with two pals Bird Watching this morning near the River Severn. We ended up with 46 species spotted. Some of the highlights were Common Cranes, Curlew, Lapwing,  a Merlin sitting on a post, Short-eared Owl, my first Fieldfares of the Winter -nearly a 100 and resplendent male Stonechat. Really lucky to live where we do. I managed to get the Cranes in flight!

                               

More birding tomorrow with young people from Old Oak London at Wick Court followed by Book Club tomorrow evening.

Writing

A short blog tonight written on my phone (only do it occasionally this way because of fat fingers!) Only doing it this way because I am part way through a webinar it is the break while I am writing!

I have had a good session writing this afternoon. I am currently playing around with a sequel to my unpublished story The Test (not anything to do with cricket with that title!) Not really sure where it is going at the moment but was surprised what ideas popped up today. Usually I have some idea of where I want the story to go.

Dweller In Shadows

Just got back from Stroud Book Festival where we went to “Dweller in Shadows” celebrating Kate Kennedy’s biography of Ivor Gurney. Those of you who know me well will know that I am fascinated by Ivor Gurney’s story. It is a poignant tale of a man who went to France in 1915. He loved the Gloucestershire landscape, and it features in his  poems and music, often written while at the Front. Kate was joined on stage by fabulous singers and a pianist sharing some of Gurney’s compositions. The evening was an excellent mix of discussion, poems and music. His story always moves me particularly with him being incarcerated in a mental hospital in Dartford for the last fifteen years of his life a man who yearned to see the Gloucestershire landscape yet only coming back to Gloucestershire to be buried.

We did our first Winter Square bird survey for two years because of the pandemic this morning (an OS map square). We always enjoy doing these squares because we are always allocated a square in a place where you would normally think of going for a bird watch- today we were only five miles from home by the Severn.

Owl Service

                                                     

I thought that Alan Garner’s book would be a good title for today’s blog. I went looking for Short-eared Owls  late afternoon yesterday by the River. I didn’t see any but spotted a Barn Owl instead. However, this morning as I was driving across the Common on my way to football I was surprised to see a Short-eared Owl being mobbed by crows. They are super birds to watch.

The day went downhill after that magical moment. Sadly my football team lost to a very ugly team well versed in the dark arts of game management. It is always the hope that gets you!

The picture above is a Short-eared Owl but it isn’t my picture

 

Fisherman’s Friends

A friend gave me a ticket to see Fisherman’s Friends last night in Cheltenham. A lovely entertaining old fashioned evening. A lovely reflection on our island’s nautical history.

Also had a great long ride with a friend yesterday with a fantastic cake stop!

Short blog today – sorry!

 

Merlin!!!!

                         

I forgot to mention one of my highlights from our time away was seeing a Merlin fly past the hide with a poor Starling in its talons. Normally when I see a Merlin our smallest falcon it is quick and some way away. I did right a story many years ago playing with the bird and the magician which I may revisit at some point.

Had a lovely time looking after young Owen yesterday. It was all action!!!! After crawling all over the floor with him I certainly slept well afterwards!

I was pleased the mighty Hatters won on Tuesday night especially after being second best in the first half and a goal down. Was beginning to think it was going to be a repeat of Saturday’s game.

Autumn Colours

Super ride today in sunshine with the trees looking wonderful in their subtle Autumn colours.

We are doing quite a bit of yo-yoing this week. Yesterday we were Exeter seeing our delightful granddaughter Ellen (now 5 weeks old) and were allowed a solo walk with her and Tully the dog. Tomorrow it is Maidenhead to look after our Grandson Owen. As a result decided not to travel to Luton tonight for football so will watch it on TV. A little apprehensive about it just  hope we don’t repeat the indifferent display we witnessed at Preston on Saturday where we were totally over run in midfield.

Halloween Stories

I had a lovely time at Kingshill House on Wednesday. I had a mixed age audience so had to be careful I wasn’t that frightening but still appeal to the older children. Humour and some audience participation was the way I went. It did work!

It was certainly a horror show watching my beloved Hatters yesterday. Second best all over the field- we did seem really sluggish. Hope we get our game back for the two matches this week.

I promised a few photos form our birding at Leighton Moss. A marvellous Nuthatch who posed for several photos. Also included is a Marsh Harrier and Black-tailed Godwits (one shot is my arty shot of the birds in flight some people  might think it is just a blurry photo!)