We Brits: Stopping The Go: River Stories: Footy Recap..

We Brits are a funny lot. We like to win; to see our  well backed horse flash first  past the lolly- stick ; to see our football team score an improbable victory and of course our cricketers  to  defeat  the Aussies in a Test Series.

But, we don't like to win too easily. So here we are, with one week to go until the final test at the Oval and already we have regained the Ashes by the margin of three games to one. Furthermore the last  two back- to- back victories were concluded in three of the allotted five days. At Trent Bridge, the Australians were bowled out in their first innings for a mere sixty runs ( shame )

In achieving this,  Stuart Broad achieved his best ever figures of  eight wickets for fifteen runs. " Stu- pendous " went the headline ( wished I'd have thought of that pun) and in the their second innings new boy Ben Stokes skittled  six Australian wickets for thirty six runs; { Stoke up the Barbie perhaps? }.

Now we learn that the wicket was ' spiced up for English conditions' and therefore the ball was conducive ( good word) to late swing. The Aussies played too much on the front foot and tried to smash everything for four as befits  Cricket One Day World Champions.

The Australian captain Michael Clarke was in poor form and will retire after this series  and naturally morale was at a low level.

So I suppose if the Aussies win the last test, the great British Public will feel a strange sense of relief.

Me- I want to win everything and demand  a crushing final victory, to send those ' green baggie cap ' wearers back home to face their 'loyal ' press ( ho ho !)


Now here's the thing. Visibility excellent. Temperature equable. Blue skies with no heat haze. Traffic flow progressive.

So how is it,  given all the above conditions, that on both outward and return journeys we ground to a halt on the M4?

Both stoppages, were as a result of motorway accidents. So one can only deduce that careless driving was the main culprit.
In fact road statistics bear this out. The summer months are the worst for motorway incidents.

The safest months are January and February, where  although  there  is slightly less traffic flow  the crucial element,    because of the possible inclement  conditions drivers take more care.

So beware switching lanes too frequently and constantly be aware of forward and backward points of view.
Safe driving.

There was one amusing incident from the pictures above. Three cars ahead a lady driver opened her car door and walked back to the car behind her. Whereupon a young guy stepped out of his car and faced the oncoming lady. As they got closer they both started swinging both their arms. 'Oh dear,' I thought' surely not the dreaded road rage!'

But as I looked, I realised  they were not actually touching one another, they were having a chat; whilst stretching their arms to relieve steering wheel tension.
Thank goodness for that.


This last week D. and I went on two short river walks. Both started and ended in town centres.

The first one started in front of Cirencester Park. It was a re-visit of a walk we had originally done in September 2009. This walk ( on 09/ 08 / 15 ) took us through the town's streets past  buildings in white Cotswold stone, until turning up a path,  we went by the Cirencester Open Air Swimming Pool.
Further along the path we had our first glimpse of the River Churn; or rather we didn't.

As you can see from the photo above , here it was a mere trickle, very different from our last visit when it overlapped the path. However further on, near to the busy A417, the river exiting from a weir had regained some of its strength.

A pleasant short stroll on manicured grass led us to another road and access to  Abbey Grounds, a large grass oasis, close to the Parish Church,  in the centre or town, where people can stop, picnic and watch the world go by.

As we entered the grounds, we were assailed by the sounds of the song " The Urban Spaceman" part of the repertoire  of the Bonzo Do Dah Dog Band from many years' past.
Intrigued by this, we reached, through a hedge path, a band stand with this group playing.

 We gladly joined the audience and listened for a time to their performance of mainly  country and western and blues songs. They were very good and I loved the mixed age range of the group. If you look carefully you should spot " Gran and Grampy ' sat down at the front playing (and singing ) wash boards and  ukulele respectively.

A great way to end a sunday afternoon stroll.

Our second river walk (11 / 08 / '15)  took us to Fairford, Gloucestershire. This was a new walk. It started by the Parish Church in the main square. From there we walked to the junction and crossed the narrow, but busy A417 and then kept straight ahead up Beck Lane. After only a short distance we ventured to a path on the right, which indicated a river walk. After following a track past  pleasing houses we emerged in meadow land with the exuberant River Coln on our right..

This water was full of life and flowed merrily along. We spotted ducks and fish with almost no evidence of litter. Eventually after about a mile, we left the river by crossing a small wooden bridge on our right. Directly in front was a fenced in  conservation area.

Our path to left gave us glimpses of a large lake;  home,  I read   to a wide variety of birds including Canadian geese,

Shortly after this lake,  our path went left and after passing a field of corn and  the nearby local football stadium, we made our way back to Fairford Town and our car.
 A refreshing walk.


Well the new football season is in full swing, so how did my selections do? Quick answer mixed. Here they are with W= win; D=draw and L= lose.

Premier: Chelsea D; Man Utd. W; Arsenal L

 Championship: Middlesborough D; Wolves W; Bristol City L

League One  Wigan L; Swindon W; Peterborough L

League Two   Leyton Orient W; Luton D;  Barnet L

National League ( was Vanarama)  Eastleigh W; Grimsby D /

So fourteen teams  = 5 wins ;  4 draws and 5 lost.

I shall return in January to see how the teams are progressing. Meanwhile local team Cheltenham have played two and drawn two. They lead to win their next match to keep pace with the leaders Eastleigh, who as I predicted have made a great start with two wins and five goals.

Next week brings  York Races, the famous high summer event and is one of my markers for the passing of summer.
Enjoy  as usual,



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