Standard reporter

Volunteers manning CCTV in Cirencester

Posted on 8:30am Thursday 30th July 2009

NOTHING ever succeeds if it is not given a chance in the first place.

Standard comment

We should not forget our soldiers who survive either

Posted on 12:57pm Wednesday 15th July 2009

THE human cost of the war in Afghanistan is brought home to this part of the world every time a fallen serviceman or woman is repatriated through RAF Lyneham.

Nick Laing

Around the Med on motorbike - week four

Posted on 3:11pm Wednesday 27th May 2009

Can it really be a week ago that we were in Petra? Time, the places we have seen and the roads we have ridden are beginning to blur. We have turned left, heading north, the sun on our backs for most of the day, a marked contrast between north Africa and the Middle East. The gritty unpredictability of each day has given way to a more relaxed holiday mood. Gone are the simple roadside cafes we encountered along the full length of the coast where a fresh sheep skin hanging up indicated lamb on the barbeque with a couple more tethered nearby in case we were hungry. Now we are subjected to the unfamiliar trappings of modern life such as menus, knives, forks and alcohol.

Nick Laing

Around the Med on motorbike - week three

Posted on 3:08pm Wednesday 27th May 2009

Today, Sunday 10th May, has been extraordinary in contrasts. Breakfast and a private air display in Aqaba with the Royal Jordanian Flying Falcons courtesy of Vic’s aerobatic contacts, followed by an afternoon in Petra.

Nick Laing

Around the Med on motorbike - week two

Posted on 3:25pm Friday 8th May 2009

THE end of the second week and we have reached Sousa in eastern Libya having ridden 1,600 miles with several long days mainly on B-roads from Batna in Algeria, via Tunis and Tripoli.

Nick Laing

Around the Med on motorbike - week one

Posted on 3:18pm Friday 8th May 2009

One week into the ride, three days of which were spent congregating from our various homes. Eventually, the 'Six Pack' were together for the first time just south of Barcelona. No more comparing equipment and checking lists, this was it. Gale force cross winds, making the ride down to Spain quite dangerous but a delicious lunch, brought us together as a group, with Charlie, the court jester, kitted out head to foot in black leather, courtesy of Harley Davidson.

Emma Tilley

Cirencester's Nick Laing sets off to travel the Med on motorbike

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 3:13pm Friday 8th May 2009

RUNNING a travel company means Cirencester's Nick Laing has visited some of the most beautiful places in the world.

Charlotte Shepherd

Beating the recesssion with bangers

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:44pm Tuesday 31st March 2009

LIKE any self-respecting star-spotter I rarely get out of bed now for a star who isn’t of genuine ‘A’ list quality.

Charlotte Shepherd

Pests waiting for seed feast

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:43am Tuesday 24th March 2009

BREATHE a deep sigh of relief – I have finally done it. I have put something in the ground other than just a spade.

Charlotte Shepherd

A sad end for Honey

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 2:04pm Tuesday 17th March 2009

WEEK begins badly when a routine trip out to feed Honey, the sole survivor of the guinea pigs, reveals an empty cage and run.

Di Alexander

Harcombe

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:10am Thursday 12th March 2009

IT¹S CHELTENHAM Gold Cup Week and for once the weather is forecast to be relatively quiet - unlike last year a day¹s racing was cancelled on account of high winds battering the course and the time a snowstorm held up the Gold Cup.

Charlotte Shepherd

Eau de Hamster in the air

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:39am Wednesday 11th March 2009

EVERYONE seems to agree that the smell of Spring is in the air. In a desperate bid to smell it and escape from the odour of hamster that permeates our house I head to the plot.

Harcombe

Posted on 10:11am Wednesday 11th March 2009

OVER the last week a vast army of journalists have commented on the phenomenon that is Gail Trimble - the girl who took the team from Corpus Christie College, Oxford to victory in the final of University Challenge ­ so I¹m going to have my say too.

Charlotte Shepherd

Talking a good plot

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:48pm Tuesday 3rd March 2009

A FIRM believer that talking about something is as good as actually doing it, I decide to invite the women from the allotment ‘club’ for our first lunch of the year.

Charlotte Shepherd

Forcing the rhubarb

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:36pm Tuesday 3rd March 2009

THE combination of milder weather and half term holidays means a family trip to the allotment.

Di Alexander

Harcombe

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:10am Wednesday 11th March 2009

AT THE end of last week, as Lily the Lurcher and I walked down to Syde Village, we both knew that at last spring was on the way.

Di Alexander

Harcombe

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:08am Wednesday 11th March 2009

AT THE end of last week, as Lily the Lurcher and I walked down to Syde Village, we both knew that at last spring was on the way.

Charlotte Shepherd

Snow fun on a bedpan

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:33pm Wednesday 18th February 2009

RECENT snow proves that our inner child is never far from the surface as we head for the Stratton slopes with a party of friends.

Charlotte Shepherd

Rocking in my free-time

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:14pm Wednesday 18th February 2009

THIS week the search for children’s pants in Cirencester has forced me to reassess my relationship with Woolies and I find that it is as the song says "you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone."

Charlotte Shepherd

Running behind the pack

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:37am Thursday 29th January 2009

AS USUAL I am a step behind the true gardeners. So busy have I been drinking cups of tea on the allotment and "planning" where this year’s produce will go, that I have actually forgotten to order any.

Charlotte Shepherd

Battle of the bands

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:13am Thursday 29th January 2009

A BREAK in the arctic weather means I can finally head to the allotment. I have it in mind that I will dig up parsnips to accompany the Sunday roast and possibly make more progress on preparing a bed but the fork almost breaks on contact with earth.

Charlotte Shepherd

Ready for a bun fight

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:22am Thursday 29th January 2009

BEFORE the sales disappear we go shopping in search of a bargain.

Charlotte Shepherd

Knickers to New Year

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:10am Thursday 29th January 2009

FIRST day back at school for the children and nature lays out the white carpet.

Charlotte Shepherd

Time finally runs out

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:34am Monday 26th January 2009

THE Advent Calendar now sits in a corner with all the windows open, giving the children the excuse they finally need to run around shouting "He’s coming, He’s coming!"

Charlotte Shepherd

Library visit ends in a lift

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:26am Monday 26th January 2009

THE neighbours have done it again. They have put up their Christmas lights without consulting us and have caused no end of trouble.

Charlotte Shepherd

A healthy dose of humble pie

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:23am Monday 26th January 2009

WHAT a relief – it’s the first week of December. To my children this means Advent has arrived and calendar doors can be ripped open.

Charlotte Shepherd

No snow for Advent

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:17am Monday 26th January 2009

"MUMMY it’s going to snow," my children shrieked, having heard only half a weather forecast.

Charlotte Shepherd

Shed envy gets to the heart of the matter

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:14am Monday 26th January 2009

MAKE the most of one day of sunshine to put in my remaining daffodil and tulip bulbs.

Charlotte Shepherd

Losing sleep over losing the plot

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:10am Monday 26th January 2009

IT IS THAT scary time of year. Forget the ghosts and witches of Halloween, I am referring to that really frightening event – the allotment inspection.

Charlotte Shepherd

Hamster jumpers keep out the cold

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:05am Monday 26th January 2009

PLUMMETING temperatures means that the annual game of ‘is it too hot, is it too cold?’ begins in our house.

Blow raspberries at cycling woes

Posted on 1:26pm Thursday 23rd October 2008

IN THE last few weeks my face has changed colour so many times that I am contemplating contacting Dulux and offering myself as a walking colour chart.

Charlotte Shepherd

Running back the years

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:20pm Thursday 23rd October 2008

HUSBAND’S birthday arrives and friends are gathered for a night on the town.

Di Alexander

Harcombe

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:32pm Thursday 9th October 2008

WHEN I was five-years-old I pulled a rude face at a woman who worked in a shop in my home town. When we got home my mother (who had obviously decided not to have a scene in public) told me that we would go back that afternoon so that I could apologise.

Charlotte Shepherd

High spirits in Devon

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:56am Thursday 9th October 2008

THE late arrival of summer coincided with a weekend trip to a manor house in Devon.

Charlotte Shepherd

Freezer folly is exposed

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:49am Thursday 9th October 2008

RETURN to Gifford’s Circus after a two-year absence and am delighted to see that some things have not changed. Tweedy the clown and the fiddle playing tightrope walker are still wowing the crowds and as always the lines between surrealism and reality are heavily blurred.

Charlotte Shepherd

Embracing the big chill

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:48am Friday 26th September 2008

AUTUMN is having a liberating effect on me. I spent every day of the summer watching the weather forecast for a hint of blue sky and sun and felt cheated as one miserable week followed another.

Charlotte Shepherd

Back to school blues

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:37am Friday 26th September 2008

SO THAT is that. Summer holidays are over. Labels have been sewn into school shirts and shiny new shoes are just waiting for their first scuff.

Charlotte Shepherd

Vegetables go for gold

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 2:35pm Thursday 14th August 2008

OLYMPIC fever is sweeping though our house. Daughter is particularly engrossed in the Games and has seen the potential for unlimited adoration and sweets that a place in the squad can bring.

Charlotte Shepherd

A bubbly antidote to wet camping

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:45am Thursday 7th August 2008

ONE week into the summer holidays and the children are slowly learning to chill out.

Di Alexander

Is it just me or is this scheme rubbish?

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:37am Wednesday 6th August 2008

MORE fun and games with the garbage collection at Harcombe.

Charlotte Shepherd

Feral family goes wild in the country

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:06pm Monday 4th August 2008

THERE are tears and tantrums in our house at the moment and it’s not just me. It’s the end of term and everyone is exhausted.

Charlotte Shepherd

Rain doesn't stop my play

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:13pm Tuesday 22nd July 2008

A WEEK of rain interspersed with only brief spells of sunshine puts paid to husband’s longed for day at the Royal International Air Tattoo.

Charlotte Shepherd

Rubbish takes centre stage

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:06pm Tuesday 22nd July 2008

THERE are two things that are the talk of the playground this week – dance shows and rubbish. The two are, obviously, not connected.

Charlotte Shepherd

Neil Diamond tonic for allotment blues

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:00pm Tuesday 22nd July 2008

THE allotment blues hit me this week. Not only are my courgettes pathetic but my butternut squash plants have had their stems severed, either by a pest or by the force of recent high winds.

Charlotte Shepherd

Celebrating strawberry success

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:03am Monday 23rd June 2008

FOR the first year the allotment is providing enough strawberries to warrant taking a pot with us each time we visit.

Charlotte Shepherd

Summer delights are sweet and plentiful

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:46pm Thursday 12th June 2008

SPELL of hot weekend weather is not wasted and we indulge in breakfast in the garden, a trip to the outdoor pool and a barbecue at the Keynes Country Park.

Charlotte Shepherd

Red-letter day for the beetroot

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:33am Thursday 5th June 2008

HALF-TERM adventures come to an end and children return to school exhausted.

Charlotte Shepherd

Wet, weary but ready for more

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 2:10pm Saturday 31st May 2008

THE first camping trip of the year to the Forest of Dean with three other families had its highs and lows.

Charlotte Shepherd

A fond farewell to the septic tank

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 2:04pm Thursday 29th May 2008

THIS week we said a fond farewell to the failing septic tank in our garden and a hello to mains sewage.

Charlotte Shepherd

Gearing up for summer

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:45am Thursday 15th May 2008

SUDDEN hot weather has forced me to put into practice "operation summer".

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