Thursday, May 07, 2009


A factual account of Anglo-Danish espionage during World War 11 contained inaccuracies regarding my stepfather, Colonel C E C Rabagliati. The writer, Mark Ryan, has corrected those inaccuracies in the second edition. The book is a good and exciting read. Find it on Amazon: THE HORNET'S NEST (HarperCollins UK) - or in your local library.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


Matt Holland organizes the Swindon Festival. He is a neat man of trim figure and clipped beard. Amongst his attributes is a wonderfully childlike enthusiasm. This enthusiasm is shared by Matt's brother, Robin.
Robin accompanied me to my presentation. Many in the audience were members of the Vintage Motorcycle Club. I am a great fan of the VMCC. Members make a mature audience (mature being how I might perceive myself were I to wear rose-tinted spectacles) and are sufficiently good-mannered to hide their boredom/show appreciation.
I will be the guest of another branch of the VMCC in Northampton on Monday, May 18.

Monday, May 04, 2009


I have been accused of Blimpish misuse of language. You know - all those traps for the unwary (though I remain puzzled as to why it is impolite to refer to a lady as Chairman rather than Chair)?
My present transgression of political correctness involves Hamish. True, Hamish is a dog. However calling him a Porn Dog rather than a Porn Star is belittling of the canine species. In recompense for my error, Bernadette has presented him with a new collar and lead.


A cold wind and rain baptises the Bank Holiday. Saturday's Guardian Travel section carried Katrina Larkin's and my tour of Herefordshire together with a short video. Sun bathed the cricket fields yesterday. Devon lost to Herefordshire on the upper field. Colwall was eliminated from the Village Knockout Competition on the lower. And Colwall Cricket Club suffered a great loss. Peter Pedlingham died while watching the Village Knockout. Colwall Cricket Club was a precious part of Peter's life. He was one of those rare and admirable men on whose great generosity of time and effort and dedication the continuing existence of village clubs depend. His parting will be of particular and daily loss to those of us who live on the boundaries of the Club's fields. He was so essential a part of nature's yearly cycle. He appeared at the ground with the first Spring buds, tirelessly mowing, raking, pruning – only to cease with the last of the Autumn leaves.
My own sense of loss is very selfish: I shall miss never again carrying his mug of tea out to the field of an evening (strong, two sugars). I shall miss persuading him to cease work for a moment, to sit with Derek Brimmel, Graham Careless and I on a bench by the ceder tree to admire the sunset. With his parting, there will be an emptiness there as we sip our tea and look across the cricket field – as if one of the oak trees had been felled.