Keeping this blog relevant

I realise I have neglected this site for too long. Every time it occurred to me that I have things to express to a wider audience, something else comes along and distracts my thought train.

“Hmm! If only I could publish my thought train?”

Heavily redacted of course! Even old gits have thoughts better kept to themselves. In this world of sanitised ideas, the stazi thought police and the like, it comes more and more difficult to express oneself the way of our forefathers. That may sound the wrong way round, given the explosion of social media faciliting instant declarations of stance on all subjects, but with so much fakery and downright lies, it becomes harder to stay honest.

Conversely, my grandfather would ‘call a spade a spade’ and anyone who objected (there were none that would dare, of course) might get subjected to having to confront 6 ft 7 inches of military bred muscle! Having said that, he was a soft spoken gentle giant with a wealth of military stories. I still regret today, falling asleep on his sofa as he imparted his tales of old, waking up an hour later and forgetting everything he had told me!

I have planned, and sworn to, a few features throughout this year to make amends. I’ve also planned new writings to appear over the next couple of years.

It is ten years since I attended the London Olympics as a volunteer and I will be reminiscing on my time as well as reviewing the voluntary sector in general.

Lockdown! Well that was interesting, so I will reflect on the consequences of having comorbidity conditions in the presence of a very nasty virus – Covid 19 in its many guises.

It’s an interesting time to be alive, but not everything goes to plan, but I promise to no longer neglect the blog.

Also watch out for a series of YouTube videos on the subject of looking after your data, on Windows computers in particular. The first will appear here in the Spring.

There will also be a YouTube series relating to 60s culture, which was dear to my heart as a youth. Not to be missed. Check in regularly to see the first video.

I am the latest member of the Coronaism Movement

Formed under lockdown, Coronaism is the latest art movement pertaining to everything Coronavirus.

Coronaism Manifesto:

The Avant-Garde is dead. Long live the Avant-Garde.

The only good art is dead art

The only good artist is a dead artist

Dead artists don’t drink coffee

The only good performance is a non performance

Galleries, Museums and Theatres are for the desperate

All things are possible with gin

Dusty Springfield is out Matron

In at Number 11: George Wombwell Biography – The Real Wombwells (Vol III)

At last the project is complete! The third and final part has just been published. It went straight into the Top 100 Best Sellers of Circus Books at No. 11!

In addition, the covers of all three volumes have been updated to the one above. Look out for the distinctive red covers and the subtitles ( volumes I to III, Events at Warwick, The Greatest Showman and The Real Wombwells)

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In paperback:

Kindle ebook:

This volume also contains many previously unpublished images from the Wombwell Collection and a menagerie events calendar between 1800 and the late 19th century. It is a major addition to the genealogical map of menageries families in the UK and beyond.

Alto Montecatini, Tuscany, Italy 2019

Standing above the Tuscan town of Montecatini Terme, Alto is reached by Fenicular railway in this spa town. €5 single and €7 return journey, gets you a bumpy but pleasant ride up the steep hill to the top of the hill. Just why you would want a single ticket is puzzling, since the track down is more suitable for BMX bikes rther than pedestrian traffic.

It is then a short walk from the small terminal to the town’s centre. Bristling with tourists and open air cafes. this delightful urnabisation retains the magic of Tuscany’s rural past. It was very hot (31C) the day I ventured around the town, discovering narrow streets and wide vistas over the town of Montecatini Terme. Many of the homes appear not to be inhabited, bing boared up or completely deserted. They are, maybe, holidy homes, but there are a few working hotels dotted around the ouskirts of the town and they can be approached by car if required.

Whilst I was visiting, a Leonardo da Vinci exhibition was tking place in the old fort above the town and at the top of the central square. Worth a look, for those interested in Leonardo’s scientific experiments with machines. Some of his contraptions have been recreated in the gounds of the fort.

The fenicular runs from 09.30 to 00.00, but be warned, it closes from one and a half hours for lunch, so timing id important if you need to be back in Montecatini Terme during that period, which starts at

This trip may not be suitable for the infirm without assistance.

Finally, a New Book has hits the Streets!

Oofty-Goofty, born and bred in a secret wind-swept location above the industrial towns of West Yorkshire, is given the task of implementing a new plant in the heart of Paris, the city of light. On his first visit to Paris, he meets the beautiful French girl Anna, and is instantly drawn into her cultured world. Their partnership is continuously tested when they uncover an ancient society that would stop at nothing to maintain its secrets.
Back in Yorkshire, Brexit is rapidly becoming a reality and jobs are becoming a concern for Oofty-Goofty’s bosses. His patriotism is severely tested as they negotiate their way through the ancient ruins under the streets of Paris, around the magnificent cathedral of Notre-Dame.

This is Book One in the Sacred Slab Trilogy.

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Published today in Kindle Format

Published in Paperback Format

RSPB Bempton Cliffs: A Magic Morning

I went to Bempton Cliffs at the weekend and even though it was cold and overcast the visit was not wasted. The North sea blew a cold wind and the mist eventually came inland. However, I managed to get there before the mist appeared. This is a magicsl place for seabirds. Puffins, Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes and Gannets co-exist on the edge of the land. 400 ft of shear rocks are home from March to October every year to at least 250,000 seabirds. nesting looks,a nd is, precarious. Competition for space is palpable and each bird fights for its own space for breeding. There were few Puffins there, but the other seabirds made up for that. there was even a Kestral flying along the cliff tops. probably looking for an easy meal!

RSPB Bempton Cliffs, Post Code: YO15 1JF

Norfolk Wildlife Trust Cley Marshes

My first group of Spoonbills this year. There’s something ‘African’ about these splendid birds. Eight flew in to NWT Cley Marshes yesterday. Maybe we will get hundreds in the future. Also a sitting avocet posed for a photograph.

RSPB Lakenheath: Greylags and others…

Spent a day at Lakenheath in the Mere Hide. All peaceful, feeding Great Crested Grebe and restless Reed Warblers, until this lot of Greylag families flew in. The noisiest of flyers. Three families in all. The Coots scrambled away, they’d seen it all before. Greylag parents and offspring spent the rest of their day bathing, sometimes upside down in the mere.

RSPB Lakenheath Fen, Station Rd, Lakenheath, Brandon, Thetford, Suffolk. IP27 9AD. Grid ref: TL724865

Visitor centre with refreshments.

RSPB Frampton Marshes Lincolnshire

Went to this reserve to see a Black Winger Pratincole, which did not appear for me! Still, it’s a wonderful reserve for waders. Out today was a Spoonbill and these very distressed Avocets. One of their chicks had wandered onto the path. Hope it found its way back OK, but I fear the worse.