I’m a great believer in Murphy’s Law. “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. Why? Because humans have such a wonderful creative capacity and, simultaneously, an equally wonderful capacity to muck things up. (It’s just wonderful in a different direction, that’s all!).
Did you look forward to your end of term report or was it something you dreaded?
My reports came in a yellow book and were filled in year by year at secondary school level. I only got to keep it at the end of my final year. No surprises really that I did well in English and History, less so at Maths and PE (though ironically now with the swimming and walking the dog, I’m probably healthier now than I was then!).
It is just as well we can’t control the weather. For one thing, we’d never agree with what it should be. Even if we all agreed we needed some rain, we’d never agree on the timing, yet alone how much should be “allowed” to fall. It would always inconvenience someone no matter when we selected it! For others the amount selected would be too little or too much.
How would you define the moments that matter?
I’m pleased to share some of the most recent news from the Three Rivers Rail Community Partnership. Many thanks to Mark Miller for the images.
Three Rivers are now advertising the Bluestar South Downs Rambler service which runs on Sundays only from 7th July to 8th September 2019. The run takes you to Petersfield and back and takes you through some of Hampshire’s loveliest countryside.
It is also a great way to get out to the Winchester Discovery Centre (which if you haven’t tried out, you really must try to get along to. Even if you’re not particularly “into” science, there is much to be seen and enjoyed here. Kids/grandchildren love it – and more than a few adults do too, as you will gather from my comments!).
The images are from the main covers of the leaflets but if you would like to pick up the whole leaflets, these are available from the local railway stations. I’d also recommend visiting the Three Rivers website for further information.
The cost for the South Downs Rambler is reasonable at only £7.90 return to/from Petersfield and it is a hop-on, hop-off bus too so you can break your journey. I suspect quite a few might do so at any one of the pubs on the route..!
Another service on offer is the Test Valley Summer Bus which runs on Sundays and Bank Holidays from 5th May to 22nd September so there’s still plenty of time to give this one a go too!
This service will take you to the Romsey Abbey, Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Mottisfont and eventually goes to Stockbridge where it connects with the Stagecoach 77 service. That in turn calls at Danebury Iron Age Hill Fort and the Middle Wallop Army Flying Museum before going on to the Weyhill Hawk Conservancy Trust and finishing up at Andover.
So if you’re looking for interesting days out without having to worry about car parking, you could check these options out and enjoy some of the lovely countryside Hampshire has to offer us all.
I had the great joy of being at the Winchester Writers’ Festival on Saturday 15th June and a lovely time was had by all. As ever, I learned a great deal from the courses I attended. I also loved chatting to friends, old and new, including Scottish crime writer, Val Penny, author of the Edinburgh Crime Mysteries, who I interviewed for CFT a little while ago.
At the end of the main talks and courses on Saturday, there was a celebration of the life of the late Barbara Large, MBE in the beautiful chapel at the University of Winchester at 6 pm.
It was lovely hearing so many people share their memories of a lady who did so much to foster writing, encourage writers (especially nervous newbies including me), and who promoted writing/education/reading as much as was humanly possible. It was also nice to meet up briefly with Anne Wan and Mike and Brenda Sedgwick after the simple but stylish celebration.
[Read more…] about Writing Legacy
I make no apology for the pun! Reading aloud is encouraged in youngsters to help them develop their vocabulary and rightly so but, unless you are a performance poet or oral storyteller, this habit is forgotten in adulthood. I think this is a shame. I find it is a real treat to be read to and it makes a lovely connection to the old oral storytelling tradition too.
In almost every walk of life there are those who are behind the scenes, who are easily overlooked but without whom life would be that much poorer. In any organisation or indeed on a website like this, there is at least one person driving it who makes things happen (take a bow, Janet and Neil).
I guess it is like housework in a way. Nobody notices when you’ve done it. They do notice when you haven’t!
Is that rotten? Oh yes.
Is it human nature to a T? Oh yes.
Can someone ever define what a good book is given everyone has different tastes in genre? I think so.
One of the joys of going away is getting to see different landscapes of course. I’ve recently returned from a week in the far north of Scotland and my trip there gives me a deeper appreciation of cartography as an art form. Why? [Read more…] about Maps in Fiction and History
How often do you take time out to consider the things you value most? Like me, I suspect, not often enough but given it is so easy to be bogged down by the pressures of life and cynicism in general, I thought I would take time out to look at what I value most. The reasons why are self explanatory! [Read more…] about What You Value Most
Well, I was, and it was great to meet up with Janet once again and, later, to meet Roger Clark, fellow CFT contributor. Many thanks to Janet for the selfie (and I guess you could have called this an outdoor editorial meeting!).
Image Credit (or blame as you see fit): Unless otherwise named, the culprit behind the images is Allison Symes. [Read more…] about 2019 Fryern Funtasia – Were You There?
Image Credit: Many thanks as ever to Stuart Wineberg, Lionel Elliott and the Chameleons for the wonderful pictures.
I went to see the latest Chameleons’ production Spring Trio of Plays on Thursday 25th April. I like the mixed assortment of plays they often put on in the Spring as you have a variety of entertainment which have a powerful impact. None of the three plays were long enough to stage alone (at least not in this form) but worked very well in a trio format like this. [Read more…] about Review: Spring Trio of Plays – Chameleon Theatre Group
By the time this goes live, I will have been to the Chameleons’ latest production Spring Trio of Plays at the Ritchie Hall. Review to follow. I like the “selection box” of plays in productions like this given each play has a different flavour to it. It makes for a good evening out.
Images below both from Chandler’s Ford Today archives. [Read more…] about Plays – The Joys and Challenges
Does it seem like an odd thing to do for a writer to regularly analyze stories? Does it take the joy out of reading? I suspect many an English Literature student, at whatever level, may well say yes to that, but I feel that would be a shame. It certainly isn’t the point of analysis. [Read more…] about Story Analysis – Why Bother?
Regardless of what you write, no two writers have exactly the same journey (whether it is to publication or just to produce work they value for their own pleasure).
There are, of course, many elements in common, not least of which is the fact every writer goes through highs and lows as they try to make progress. We all have to work out how to deal with these. Yes, even the highs, because while they are wonderful, life as a whole is not one long continuous good news chain so why should the writing life be any different? [Read more…] about The Highs and Lows of the Writing Life
One great thing about playing Scrabble is it does increase your vocabulary. It’s amazing just how many three and two letter words there are. I play on a mobile app so there are no worries about losing any of the tiles either!
Mind, there have been times many years ago when I’ve played the traditional board game when I would happily have stuffed the Q, X, V, and Z somewhere I could guarantee they’d not be seen again but that’s another story! I’m less hostile to the Q now I know you don’t always need the U to go with it. [Read more…] about Experimenting with Words and Form
What are the signs of spring you love the most?
I adore the lighter evenings and start to spot these in February (though that’s weather dependent). Being out with the dog a lot, you notice when you have that little bit more daylight before needing to get the torches out. [Read more…] about Signs of Spring
What would you say were mankind’s top ten accomplishments? I’m not sticking to a specific field, nor are these in any particular order.
There will rightly be many tributes to the late Barbara Large, who founded what is now known as the Winchester Writers’ Festival. She will be much missed by many writers, including me. [Read more…] about Barbara Large, MBE – An Appreciation