The next big thing

‘I went to see a fortune teller. She said that she could see a number of foreign looking people and that I would be taking a trip into the unknown. So I did’.

This Thursday, 28 November, 7.30pm at Upton Library, I will be reading excerpts from letters I wrote home from my sabbatical year in France. If you want to know what it’s like to be a middle-aged woman who has run away from home, please come along.

There is a £2 entry fee towards the funds of Friends For Upton Library.

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A select number of intrepid contestants braved the elements tonight to participate in the F4UL biannual quiz. There were sufficient numbers to comprise three competitive teams who, despite Upton Eyes photographic evidence, were not asleep and were a great deal more enthusiastic than these pictures might suggest on first glance.


These two, having been abandoned by fellow team members in pursuit of biscuits and photo opportunities, are left to puzzle out the anagram section. Actually, we did quite well on this round coming joint first. We also did well on the tie break, also coming joint first and even better on a question relating to the weight of the world’s largest pumpkin which secured the chocolates for Table One.

DSCF4958I hate to be controversial but these monthly events arranged by the Friends for Upton Library could be better attended given that it’s an inexpensive evening out arranged by volunteers. I just hope there’s more of you next month when, on 28 November, yours truly will be reading from letters written home from a lost year in France.

In the meantime, grateful thanks to Jean & Peter for putting tonight’s quiz together and presenting it so efficiently.


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All the fun of…


There was rather a lot of country type stuff going on over at Upton Country Park at the weekend. Animals of one breed or another featured prominently during this spell of fine weather. Click on the photos and see if you can spot anyone you know.




On the right is a well-trained gun dog who’s spotted someone or something of interest in the audience.

Below, are another three specimens preparing for that popular game, rope-spinning dogs. Get ready – they’ll be up in the air any minute.








In this interesting Dorset game parents make their offspring chase terriers along two pieces of rope. The winner gets that orange cone for a prize DSCF4895







While the older ones are occupied elsewhere, some folk try to make off with baby cars that they’ve camouflaged with spare a piece of turf. Looks like she’s already managed to fit the matching scooter in her bag. But she doesn’t know that lot behind have got her number.



This chap’s so bored he’s propped himself against a horse and is considering a nap. Or has he spotted a more interesting breed?

Oh yes – that could be it. Looks as if that woman was apprehended: the baby car’s been dumped




A small but hopeful group rested awhile under the impression that Punch & Judy might appear after the bloke doing the audition for the new Doctor Who stopped practising his script


This was my favourite. What do you think’s going on here?

DSCF4888Yes, you’re right. It’s that old favourite –

‘Let’s abuse a ferret’.



You know how it goes:

First of all you walk around and swing them about in the air for a bit. Then you shake them around, rub them up the wrong way, roll them in the grass and finally force them down tubes. The first one to escape into the crowd and nip an ankle is the winner





Had enough animals? Time to pay that fella in the blue shirt a fiver to tie your kids to the human catapult while you scurry off to the beer tent. Something for everyone at the country fair.DSCF4885

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Carnival – the true story

DSCF4746Almost the hottest day in the history of Dorset – just perfect for the Upton & Lytchett Minster Carnival. What could possibly go wrong? It certainly started well but there was a bit of a hiccup at the crossroads. See if you can spot yourself below. And – excellent effort by all those involved!










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Carnival time


The weather is perfect for our carnival this Saturday (13th).

The procession will start at 1pm in Factory Road, proceed down Dorchester Road and terminate between 2 – 2.30pm at the rugby club.

See you there!

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How does your garden grow?

alchemy medaffodils 00310 July?






That’s the day after tomorrow


Better get watering! The Upton in Bloom spies are coming.

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Early warning!

roundaboutAnnie Hobell has written to Upton Eyes with news that the Bakers Arms roundabout will be completely closed between 7pm on 4 October and 6am on 7 October. There’s no escape!

Annie politely suggests this will have a ‘big impact’ – a euphemism for ‘carnage’.

Could be worse – at least we don’t live in Wareham.

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Community market fast approaching


Annie Hobell writes to warn us that the next community market will take place at Upton Community Centre on 15 June. She’s looking for donations for the tombola or white elephant and you only have to look at the photo to see how popular the last event was: no hope of getting your motor into the car park.




There’s nothing quite like recycling other folk’s junk. Here’s a picture of part of Upton Eyes’ garden to prove the point.

If you have anything you can contribute – to the market, not my garden – or if you can spare an hour or two to help, please contact Annie:

Tel. 01202 280 942


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Upton Story Slam

Members of Dorset’s literati converged on the library yesterday evening for the first ever story slam initiated and organised by F4UL. In a county famed for its authors – Thomas Hardy, Enid Blyton, T.E.Lawrence and Adrian Ford to name a few – events that offer a chance for aspiring writers to showcase their work are surprisingly few and far between. F4UL, therefore, will quite rightly be revelling in the praise of esteemed critics that must surely appear in this morning’s national and international press reviews.

DSCF4527We were privileged to boast the presence of two very busy people who agreed to judge the contest. Local author, Pam Fudge, has a long pedigree of published works: her tenth novel will appear in July. Dr Jim Pope has a diverse range of publications and is currently Director of the International New Media Writing Competition. Never let it be said that F4UL goes for anything other than the best.

DSCF4528Speaking of the best, we were also lucky enough to secure the services of the inimitable John Barclay who acted as Master of Ceremonies throughout the event. John explained that the entrants would read a story they had written, taking no more than five minutes. Councillor Burns was commandeered to act as time keeper, being in possession of a rather nasty buzzing device on his mobile phone; a task which he performed with much vigour.

The audience also enjoyed Mr Barclay’s rendition of a humorous poem and a reading from his new book, Surface Male, a copy of which he generously presented to the library.

So, now dear readers, I offer you the contestants. If you were unable to attend the event, see if you can guess the winner.



Richard Green

(Upton Eyes was a little alarmed on hearing this contestant announced having once had the misfortune to be married to someone of the same name. However, this Richard could spin a yarn. Although, come to think of it, so could the one I knew.)




Mike Lawrence





Frances Colville






Richard Nicholson







Anne Peterson





Adrian Ford





Maria Pruden-Medus




Jenny Piercy










Kathy Hallsworth and

Gail Aldwin.










A further story written by Bob Hitching was read by Councillor Drane.

And the winner is……………………..




… No – Wait! here’s Jim Pope telling us how brilliantly constructed all the stories were and how enjoyable but tricky the judges’ task had been.

The stories were judged on whether they had a good beginning, how well they’d been structured and the quality of the delivery – because a story slam is about performance.


The runner-up was Maria Pruden-Medus and the winner is………………….





Frances Colville for her beautiful story Merman. Here’s Frances with Pam who not only awarded our worthy winner a handy cheque but also gave her some sound advice on where to get Merman published.






Many congratulations to all the contestants and particularly the winners, grateful thanks to the judges and MC and a big pat on the back to F4UL for a most excellent evening.

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Ask not what Upton can do for you…

… just open your eyes!

DSCF4455It’s true that Upton Eyes has been a bit quiet lately. I like to think of it as losing the muse. Others might call it sulking. This writing business is a tricky thing: it’s bad enough choosing a lonely occupation but when it’s cold and wet and dismal and you think no-one’s reading your work anyway – well, what’s the point?



Not only that, I’ve been otherwise occupied proof reading a Masters thesis on advanced computing written by a Chinese person with limited written English skills. In all fairness, his English is better than my Chinese but it’s still enough to make a person want to watch paint dry for a laugh.




Speaking of which, Upton Eyes has also been busy applying copious amounts of red paint to a bargain patio set recently purchased from that first class emporium, eBay; and refurbishing various wooden ‘things’ and ‘stuff’ bought at local boot sales after careful negotiation.






Anyway, two things occurred which have nudged Upton Eyes back towards the writing machine. First, there have been a number of missives from local author, Adrian Ford, who has published a new book of poetry & prose called ‘Vapour Trails’ as a paperback and also on Kindle via Amazon. Adrian’s such a fervent supporter of the blog that guilt kicked in.





Secondly, Upton Eyes was driving home from the day job today and spotted an infamous local councillor doing his reknowned David Bailey impression close to some of these fantastic flower beds that various altruistic Uptonites have gently reared for your delectation. It’s no good Ron, that false beard doesn’t fool me.





So, inspired by these two stalwarts of our community, and the lovely flower displays that you can see from your place in the tea-time traffic jam at the roundabouts, Upton Eyes felt it only right and proper to make a bit of an effort.



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