Sunday, 27 March 2011

For One Night Only . . .

I may look like someone belting out the last bars of My Way, but this is me, last night, having my first go at stand-up. And I had just the best time. I was kindly asked by a friend to entertain at his wife's 40th party, and buoyed by the promise that others would do their bit too, I agreed. Of course, everyone else bar their daughter, Hannah - who sang beautifully - pulled out, but I actually relished the prospect and surprised myself how enjoyable it was. I suppose that performing to friends three hours into a party, at a pub, isn't the hardest gig ever, but I still had to get up and remember, and deliver, the material I had been writing over the previous weeks. And make people laugh.

And as for one night only? No, thank you, but can I have another go, sometime, please?

Friday, 11 March 2011

The Best Ironman Ever

When training is tough, or you are down or you think that life is just a struggle - watch the link top right. Your money back if you don't have a tear or two

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

A Day In The Life

My working day is no different to that of any dry stone waller from the last few hundred years – apart from my truck, radio and mobile phone of course. This traditional skill requires no modern interventions, and the walls and their construction are timeless features of the Cotswolds.

With over 6000 miles of Cotswold walls to work on, no day is the same, and the English weather provides plenty of variety too. I can be on one wall for a day – a simple collapse caused by tree roots perhaps – or maybe a longer stretch of decayed wall for a few months at a time. Each stone is different, picked out from the remnants of the existing wall, or from fresh bright stone heaps delivered from the quarry.

There is always somebody or something about – walkers always ready for a chat, or horse riders trotting along. I see stoats, kingfishers, red kite, toads ( always nestling deep within the base of old walls) and lizards sunning themselves, mice and lots and lots of spiders. And nearly always there is a robin, searching for food when I am digging the ground.

Sometimes I get cold, sometimes wet and, very occasionally, hot. But always I feel satisfaction and great pleasure from my own small contributions to the Heritage of the Cotswolds.