Personal and undiluted views
The Gruffalo

209 days ago

The Greek Hovel August 2020: Day 4 the Arrival of Uncle Johnny

He is not in fact anyone’s Uncle. In India, an older man is always termed an uncle so Joshua has lots of uncles including both his godfathers, Johnny and Lucian Miers, Uncle Brokerman Dan and the list of unsuitable and disreputable “uncles” goes on and on. However, this uncle is in fact a relation. He is something like the third cousin of the Mrs but for historic reasons, these distant families were quite close.

 

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369 days ago

Photo Article: It is world book day and Joshua is not Howard Roark

It being World Book day you are meant to go to school or nursery as your literary idol.I suggested Joshua go as Howard Roark. He looked confused. the Mrs, the woman formerly known as the deluded lefty, looked unimpressed. And thus he has gone to nursey as….The gruffalo

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666 days ago

Photo Article - a Woodlarks training walk up the River Dee

In twelve days time I will walk 33 miles from Horse Hill to Woodlarks with 11 other rogue bloggers to try to raise £40,000 for a charity that really needs that cash. So if you are yet to sponsor me please do so now HERE. Sagturday saw a training walk allowing me to explore the area around my new home, the Welsh Hovel, on the River Dee.

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867 days ago

Photo Article from Eleni's Kourounis Taverna - Joshua reads the Gruffalo ahead of a castle walk on my back

A quiet day in Kambos and at the Greek Hovel for both the Mrs and I have deadlines and important work to do. Right now Joshua is watching some moronic rubbish on his mother's smart phone up at the hovel while the Mrs and I tap away like dervishes. This morning the Mrs, whose deadline is more pressing than mine, got to work in lovely Eleni's Kourounis taverna, while Joshua and i went on a tough walk which he deemed to be "exciting" largely as I kept falling down. 

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917 days ago

RIP Oakley 2001 to 2018

As if the Mrs has not suffered enough during the past five years, today she has the unenviable task of explaining to our, almost, two year old son Joshua why, when they arrive back in Bristol there will be no Oakley to greet them. For yesterday afternoon, Oakley went to a better place.

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1212 days ago

Christmas Appeal - the Woodlarks Christmas Grotto

This is the time olf year when I ask you to consider making a small donation to ensure that folks far less fortunate than we all are enjoy some real joy this Christmas. Woodlarks is a charity with whom I have worked for years. It provides a one-off service: full holiday acccomodation for those so severely disabled that they would otherwise not get such a break.

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1230 days ago

The Highlight of the week - Joshua and I meet a real snake

After I pick up my one year old son Joshua from nursery we allow ourselves a little treat - a vist to Pets at Home. Later on we look at the tanks of fishes and go visit the rabbits and guinea pigs. Joshua knows what they all are and makes appropriate noises at each point of the store. 

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1292 days ago

Off on a road trip with Joshua to see his inheritance and the snakes

It is the 50th birthday party of the sister of the Mrs today. The sister in law is married to a bubble and we are staying in their house in his family village about 90 minutes the other side of Kalamata from the Mani. The party is on a boat so Joshua is not invited and I am showing solidarity with my 11 month old son and we are going on a road trip together.

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1305 days ago

Podcast: Tom Winnifrith reads The Gruffalo in Shetlandese for Woodlarks

Anyone with kids will know the classic tale The Gruffalo. One godfather of my baby son Joshua recently worked in the Shetland Islands so gave him a copy of the book in Shetlandese. I was reading that to Joshua, the other day, when a mining fellow called Paul Johnson rang and Paul said that if I recorded a podcast of the Gruffalo in Shetlandese then he would donate £100 to my favourite charity Woodlarks, which I have been supporting for more than a decade and a half. I know that I will sound like a total prat and my apologies go out to Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson and to the entire population of the Shetland Isles but it is for a good cause. If you appreciate this exercise in self-humiliation and wish to make a small donation to a good cause go to the Woodlarks website HERE

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1420 days ago

Photo article: A no go zone at the Greek Hovel - I blame the Gruffalo

Not withstanding my snake killing heroics of yesterday, I still live in dread of the vipers that slither around the Greek Hovel and across its fields. Irrationally, for I have never seen a snake there, there is one spot that holds particular dread. And it is all the fault of Julia Donaldson, the author of the children's classic, The Gruffalo.

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1554 days ago

Day Four of the Olive harvest at the Greek Hovel: into the lair of the snake

I am so tired. As soon as I press "publish" on this article i am off to bed. Today there was no break other than 20 minutes for lunch and so I did a solid six and a half hours. It is not that I am spectacularly unfit (cue jokes from health guru Paul Scott), it is just that I have to try to keep pace with hardened professionals, viz George the Albanian and his two female assistants. Boris Johnson likes riding bicycles but he would be some way off the pace in the Tour de France. It is similar here.

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2201 days ago

Photo article: A personal triumph at The Greek Hovel

Those who visited the Greek Hovel last summer will remember the enormous pile of frigana built at the end of the garden. We all rather feared what wildlife diversity lived underneath it. It is no more.

I arrived on Friday with the rain tipping down so there was no George. Vreki = no burning. But sod it, I thought I'd have a go myself. With a small dose of petrol from my frigana cutter and a broken seat from an old chair I got the blaze going. What is that recipe from The Gruffalo? Baked snake? No apparely Nigel Somerville says that it is scrambled snake. Anyhow the great pile is no more and I burned it myself while rain stopped play for the locals. A triumph Indeed.

 

 

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