Mr Bean’s Ode to Joy – the ‘European Anthem’ and Thoughts about Europe.

Hi everyone,

I had to share this. Someone who read my post last week sent me the link to Mr Bean doing the ‘Ode to Joy’, or European Anthem. My father and Mr Bean obviously had a lot in common. 😀

I think my Dad actually got there first, but the Mr Bean clip is refusing to allow me to write anything else underneath it… OK, Mr Bean, you win. My Dad was funny, but not that funny!

Now I want to write wise thoughts about Europe, which is kind of fitting when it comes to the European Anthem. I’m going to content myself with linking to this excellent, up-to- the-minute, summary from We Are European.

And now I’ll leave you with Mr Bean, and the hope that we get over our insular British nonsense! (How long does it take for people to wake up?) Incidentally, I understand the European Anthem symbolises not only the European Union, but also Europe in a wider sense.  A beautiful thing that we have been privileged to be part of… and that I sincerely hope we can be fully part of again.


Cotswold Plants and Trees – Blog by Pippa Roberts, Cheltenham

Hi everyone,

This post is a bit different from usual, because I want to write about something I do more or less as a hobby. I love walking, and even when I’m not really well I try and get out into the hills, as that is what makes me feel better.  I’m no expert on the things I see, but I was taught quite a bit in childhood, as my mother used to record for the Wild Flower Society, and we used to go on expeditions to see what we could find.

I’ve been a fan of Pinterest for a while. As many of you will know I had head injuries about 25 years ago, and they affected my visual recognition. (I couldn’t recognise my own children for a long time.) I play on Pinterest quite compulsively; in theory collecting pictures as background to stories, but in practise, just enjoying the saturation of beautiful images. My boards are constantly being reorganised and refined, and this morning I decided to branch off my usual ‘Plants and Trees’ board, and create one uniquely for the plants and trees of the Cotswolds. I’d taken photos of three different orchids on Cleeve Hill yesterday, and many other things… though some, including two of the orchids are still waiting for definite identification. (Must take the flower book next time!)

This is the link to my boards, if anyone is interested. I just happen to have been saving some black and white images, but most of the pictures are in colour. You’ll see the Cotswold Plants and Trees board in the list.



I’ll look into creating a group board next, so that other people can post (or if you find a way to do it you can do it now.)

See you all soon,

Pippa x

Restaurant Reviews, Talk and Play – Pippa Roberts, Cheltenham.

Hi everyone,

I’m hoping I’ve managed to make the picture come back for you this time. It seemed to disappear last week.

Well, what have I been doing?… It’s been quite a busy period. I went to try out a new restaurant, for the Food and Drink Guide on Monday.  I never choose the places I review; they are, more or less, chosen for me. This one, the Maison Chaplais in Tivoli, Cheltenham, was a lovely surprise. I took a friend, and both of us were a bit puzzled as to what we’d find. We’d both walked past, and assumed it was just a deli, as this is what you see on the ground floor.

In fact it is a deli, with a very wide range of foods, but there is also an absolutely delightful cafe on the floor above, run by the same people. Everything is home-baked, and I honestly thought the bread was the best I’d ever tasted… in spite of doing restaurant reviews for twelve years. I’ve just picked up a Groupon voucher for a cream tea there, so will definitely be going back. (Vouchers are still available, so do check it out!) I intend to take my play, and work on it there, some time soon. If you see me please tiptoe by if I’m writing… 😀

On Wednesday I found myself in Witney. I was speaking to a Probus group at the Methodist Church, but the only way to be there in time was to catch a bus from Cheltenham at 7am. I treated myself to breakfast in ‘The Fleece’, in Witney (also a very good eating experience :D), and then sat outside, writing a play in the early morning sunlight.

I talked to the group about the social history in Effie M Roberts’s poems, and was delighted by the feedback at the end. One man told me that Effie’s poem about the lights coming on at the end of the war reminded him of that day, in his own life. He was a small child, and his parents took him out to look at the lights, sparkling across the town. He had never seen anything like it. His voice was still full of awe at the memory.

Here’s Effie’s poem, for those who don’t know it:

April 23rd, 1945

Mark it well, - tonight, tonight
We walk from darkness into light, -
A symbol of triumph, victory near,
Of a precious freedom we all hold dear. -
In suburban street and city square
Twinkling lights are everywhere,
No sirens feared, no terror, dread
Of approaching horrors overhead;
The fearful drone of death is gone,
Hurrah!  Hurray!  the lights are on!

That’s all for now. I’m still getting terribly tired; sleeping for a large part of every day,  and I have to spend an incredible amount of time on the phone to inefficient bureaucracies. (Npower three times this week, for about an hour a time… only to be sent emails afterwards, contradicting everything that had been arranged.)

Would Shakespeare have managed more than me?

Pippa :/