Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Monday, 18 January 2010

School visits and RSPB Birds 18th January 2010

Hello everybody!

At last some school visits and each school was a truly wonderful experience.

8.00am arrived at the Hundred Hoo Secondary School. Greeted by Jade, made my way in and had the privilige of talking to some pupils and staff. My sincere thanks to Tony Mason, Harry, Amy and the others for making me so welcome. I knew I should have grabbed a bacon bap but I was too busy talking as usual. I'll post on the badges I promised you!

A very quick cyle ride to Strood Academy but the wrong site. I love split site schools.

A brilliant reception with Ross, the head boy greeting me [thanks Ross] and straight into a very full conference room. It seems I wasn't what they'd expected. Probably thought a twee little man with a long flowing Dumbledore beard with binoculars and an owl on his shoulder was coming. Instead they got me and my Roz Savage powerpoint. Once again, as at Hundred Hoo it was a wonderful session with great questions and answers, great interest and a great group of young people. Their farewell after a few photos was sincerely warm and I'm very grateful for the promised sponsorship for AsthmaUK. Thanks Strood! My sincere thanks to Ross, Shelbie, Becky, Franchesca, Daniel, Lucy, Brook and Ben [Up the Villa Ben!] and everybody whose name I've either forgotten or wasn't told. Thanks to you all. [How could I forget Lydia - the tattoed lady]

Now for something completely different. An assembly of 200 plus children at Bligh Junior School. Once again a lovely reception [Oh you're the bird mad man] and into the staff room for water and get to know you more chat then woosh, in for the assembly. I know I had fun and I think the staff and children did too. Charlotte with Albert the albatross performed an albatross flight across the stage, repeated by the whole school and Leah/Leia [sorry for the spelling] was a tropical rainforest frog, poor girl. She hopped across the stage but I cruelly said no it doesn't do that and told the story of the frog that climbs a tree the equivalent of the height of the Empire State Building to deposit a tadpole in a bromeliad pool. The children were just about to perform this when I noticed that the staff hadn't stood up. No problem, they did the frog climb first, follwed by the children. The children were wonderful. So many thanks to Daniel, Mitchell, Rhiana, Scott, and Laya/Laya et al. In class with year 3 and then year 5 afterwards with children drawing my route for a geography lesson with Mrs King, and oops I didn't get the name of the teacher in year 5 but thanks both the children and the staff. The school is lonked with Mallaig and I hope to be able to drop in a message from Bligh to them. Very sincere thanks to Rob the Head Teacher and everyone there.


  1. Hi Gaz its a pity you didn't go to Rainham today to get stick of the hammers fans its right in their manner there.
    Upton's ticking over nicely and the bitterns survived.
    Stay safe mate
    cu soon John keep right on

  2. It was a great privelige to meet you today, and as I mentioned before you have been a great inspiration to me. Thank you again for taking the time to visit us and the best of luck on the rest of your journey.

    Francesca Mundy, Strood Academy.

  3. No post for a couple of days, so I'm wondering how you are doing. It was great to read about your school visits.

    A couple of things:
    1. Playing a musical instrument like trumpet, cornet, trombone (ones where there is back pressure when you blow) has really helped a few people that I know who had asthma. One lady who had regular and very severe attacks took up the cornet when she was in her 50's, and was able to stop all medications. I'm not sure why that happens, but it does seem to be worth checking out.
    2. Are you carrying a camera with you? Will you be able to post some pictures eventually?
    3. Is a caravan something like a trailer?

    Stay safe! Thoughts with you.

  4. Dear Carol,

    I've always been told to sing when cycling, running or walking so unfortunately for the people I pass I do. Musical instruments caused a problem when my brother Paul and I were teenagers - I stamped on his trombone during one of our not too infrequent fights!
    As for the camera, just before Christmas a girl in my class threw it and smashed it. I've just managed to pick up my new one and as my children call me Mr Paparazzi you can guess how much I'll be using it. Mind you I need to learn how to get them onto the blog. Any advice? Thanks for commenting carol ATVB Gary

  5. Dear Franchesca,
    The privilige was in meeting such a wonderful group of young adults. I loved every minute of being with you and only wish it could have been for longer. Give my best to all of them; Ross, Shelbie, Ben, Lydia[tatooed lady], Becky, Lucy and Brook etc etc.