The Prem Again: Birds In The Trees.

First up today. Report on my two Football Teams:

Newcastle: lost to Fulham 1-0. A very poor start, even allowing for a ground that in the past has not favoured them, They should have made a  greater effort and shown a tighter cohesion . Need to improve quickly   4/ 10.

Cheltenham: drew with Leyton Orient. Came back from an early goal, when they looked like being outclassed and overwhelmed, to gain the upper hand in the second half. Played with great heart and team spirit. Very impressed    8/ 10.

Premier League 2016/7

1  Manchester United ( 7/2 )

2  Manchester City     ( 5/2 )

3  Chelsea                  ( 13/2 )

4 Liverpool                 ( 9/ 1 )

Latest odds (11/ 8 ) from Oddschecker.

Just make Man Utd to gain top spot at the expense of rivals Man. City.  If Jose allows freedom to his players, has goal-scoring opportunities  especially with new signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic able to produce goals at any time in the penalty area. A crowd pleaser. Also has record signing Paul Pogba to shore up the mid-field. Lively chance.

They will be chased all the way by neighbours Man City; who I expect to make the semi-finals in the Champions League. Very dangerous.

Chelsea have a  new manager in Antonio Conte, who master-minded Italy's good performance in Euro 2016. He is a systems man and will give each squad member a definite role to play in the team.
A difficult team to break down .

I have chosen Liverpool to join the select four for two reasons. Manager Klopp has the team now playing his way and they miss out on the European Champions League. Hence less games and travel fatigue making them sharper for the Premiership.



Hull City

Bournemouth *

The first two will find life hard at this level. Both have modest squads and in Hull's case are manager less .
*Bournemouth having survived a season in the Premier league, will find the going tough. They have a chance if Manager Eddie Howe stays, but I fear,  that  will not be  the case, and that  being so, will only hasten their departure. If he stays,  I nominate Middlesbrough to take their place.


Serendipity. (the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way: a fortunate stroke of serendipity.) 

This was true when D. and I visited the Forest Of Dean, last Thursday ( 04 / 08 '16 ). We were headed for Cannop Ponds, a local forest feature which allows  a stroll around a large pond, with plenty of picnic spots.
 Turning right from Parkend, we discovered the round ahead was closed and although we carried on; it was indeed closed.
As we retraced our journey, we noticed in the village of Parkend an unmade track with a sign pointing to " The Nagshead Nature Reserve, " run by the RSPB. We drove carefully upwards and after a short time reached a small carpark, picnic area and information building (locked).


We were struck with the peace and quiet of this place set near a verdant green forest. We only ever saw two people, one of whom was sitting watchfully in a Hide.  We decided to take the 'Short ' nature trail. D.,as usual,  fast off the mark gave me a call and when I reached her, I saw a lovely painting of a bird attached to a tree. This was real Art in Nature and reading the notice I discovered that there  was six of these pictures, dotted around and  were painted by members of the Gloucestershire College of Art. How super!

What could be better on a sun-filled afternoon in the Forest?

The Forest looked its leafy best.

The Art work hung so carefully from the trees.

Not all art was of birds.

 We both agreed this was one of the absolute top days that we had  spent in the Forest of Dean.
Go see!


Enjoy your week ahead. Cover up, it's going to be hot.  Tuesday ( 28 C .)

York Races will be sublime.

Cheerio for now,


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