Welcome to John Owen Smith’s log

John Owen Smith Home PageLog for 2006Log for 2007Log for 2008Log for 2009Log for 2010Log for 2011Log for 2012Log for 2013Log for 2014Log for 2015Log for 2016Log for 2017Log for 2018 Contact me


18th March 2019

Forgot to mention last week that my cousin William's son Rupert is working on the discovery of an eighth continent, Zealandia. See him on Youtube.


11th March 2019

Up to Northumberland for a few days. We made a halfway stop at Retford and slept in a bookshop! See pictures below.
Arriving in Alnwick on Shrove Tuesday, we were recommended to go and watch the annual football match between players from the two parishes of St Michael and St Paul. The ball was thrown from the castle gate by the Duke of Northumberland (or it may have been his son) and walked down to the flood plain of the River Aln following a Northumbrian piper. We watched the first half (of 30 minutes) but as it was raining and not overly exciting we left then and sought the warmth of our hotel!

The lounge at
The Barrister's Clerk, Retford

The bedroom at
The Barrister's Clerk

Alnwick Castle. The ball was thrown from the balcony

The piper

The Shrove Tuesday football match in progress


4th March 2019

We had Christian & Maryse from our French twin town of Corné to stay for a couple of nights, and of course gave them the 'full English' for breakfast (see right).
Later in the week I performed in the annual 'Green Room': this year 'Misty' on the sax and three numbers on the 5-string bass to accompany our little 'big band'.
And yesterday, before the storm swept in, I led the monthly walk 'Right Round Lindford'.


25th February 2019

Yesterday I mowed my lawn – in February! Is this a global warming warning?
The previous day I was dressed as Sir Robert Hunter again at a 'Mystery and History' day set up by the NT at Hindhead for kids at half term. Luckily it was a lovely spring-like day, because there was a lot of standing around waiting for an audience to turn up. However, I did learn several ways to start a fire from the man doing 'bushcraft' demonstrations, so not altogether a wasted day.


18th February 2019

So, after having the No.18 bus run through the village from Haslemere to Aldershot since bus services began in the 1920s, we now have the No.23 instead, running from Haslemere to Alton – and only once every 2 hours instead of hourly. Not sure who this is supposed to benefit!


11th February 2019

The Sunday walk last week was a curtailed affair due to snow, but 6 brave souls and a dog rambled up the riverside and back (see photo).
Now we're planning what to do for our Bard's Night at the end of April. This is our English antidote to the Burns Night (see below). A first meeting produced some good ideas, and we'll be building on those to produce a programme over the next week.


28th January 2019

Spent two evenings in the village hall helping Dil to make stage curtains last week, and another there dressed in a kilt being MC at a Burns Night. We seem to spend as many evenings in the hall as we do at home! The Burns Night is organised each year by our Twinning Association – so there you have it: a group promoting jumelage with the French putting on a Scottish evening in an English village. Vive le difference!


21st January 2019

The final weekend of Toad of Toad Hall went well – see pictures. Audience numbers were average, which means as good as recent years but nowhere near the halcyon days when we had full houses. I guess people's habits have changed, but it's still good to put on a show involving the kids and adults together, however fraught it gets at times!


14th January 2019

The first weekend of Toad of Toad Hall went tolerably well. Let's hope the final weekend goes well too.

Today I placed my first order for books via KDP rather than CreateSpace. It was a bit of a struggle, sending me to Dil's Amazon account first of all – but in the end it looks as if books come quicker, more cheaply and invoiced in Pounds rather than Dollars.


7th January 2019

A week of activity in the Village Hall and at home preparing for Toad of Toad Hall. At times the lounge floor looked like we'd had a snowfall as Dil made furry animal costumes!


Continued …


You are very welcome to contact me about anything in the weblogs, or not in the weblogs – but be prepared for your words to appear on-line along with mine!