In Praise of Sir Cliff Richard.
Diddley did not like Sir Cliff Richard. His squeaky clean image did not suit a sixties art student heavily into Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Neil Young and the rest.
Over the years, she introduced Bobby to all her music. He grew to love artists he had never even heard of. He went to see Ute Lemper one memorable evening. Even saw Shane McGowan and the Pogues one irreverent evening at the Fairfield Halls. And finally Leonard Cohen. What a performer he was!
She enhanced his musical outlook for all time. (more…)
Life as the Other Half of an Alcoholic.
Mindfully Bertie commends the Daily Telegraph for publishing the article below. In doing so, we see an opportunity to also commend an organisation whose sole purpose is to help those who suffer from other people’s drinking. Those affected by an alcoholic.
Al-Anon. Does not promote itself, but offers you and everybody else reading this blog the chance to find serenity in the mad world created by alcoholism. It may not be for everyone. All we suggest is that you give it a try. Bobby is convinced that the combined affects of his own anxiety (GAD), and his beloved Diddley’s drinking, would have been unsustainable had he not found the rooms of Al-Anon.
We urge you to read the Daily Telegraph article that follows. And consider if you or someone you know is struggling with life in the way in which the writer so eloquently describes it. Situations so familiar to members of Al-Anon.
Daily Telegraph Article
This article is about the affect of one person’s drinking on another. In reality it goes far beyond that in affecting a whole raft of people. Family and friends. Even after you have lost the alcoholic the affects of their disease will continue to affect their loved ones long after. This is the case in Bobby’s family.
Diddley would have hated her name being used in this manner. She didn’t have a problem. For she was a functioning alcoholic. She didn’t hide drink. Really! Never humiliated Bobby. Really! Always loved him and never meant to hurt him. Even when declaring that life was not worth living when told officially that her body could no longer survive alcohol. So Bobby says sorry to the love of his life and hopes that by telling the story that others may gain some comfort and knowledge.
Lighting a Candle for Diddley.
This week’s candle is lit in St Anne’s church, Soho. Just a few yards from Shaftesbury Avenue and Theatreland. A church founded in 1686 and destroyed by a German bomb in 1940. Leaving just the steeple. For years, the church grounds were used as a car park and complete demolition forecast. Until a committed set of determined people re-founded the church by building modern rooms within the grounds and turning the remainder into a garden. It’s a remarkable story of fighting adversity. One that I doubt I would ever have known had it not been for writing a blog dedicated to those l love and their memory.
Just Two Hours (on 15 March 2018).
Bertie: “Ere Bobby. The ‘Beast from the East’ is coming again!”
Bertie: “Tomorrow. Snow, ice. Seriously taters, mate.” (more…)
Continental Railway Journeys to Paris. 2017.
The Special One.
Don’t worry about that Portuguese football manager. I am the Special One! It says so on my new membership card for the world famous Brooklands Museum. (more…)
It’s 1958. Bobby and his plane-spotting friends at Sutton Grammar School (tie blog) are just twenty minutes by bike to Croydon Airport. Long past its glory days (and heading for closure just a year later) there are still plenty of planes for the spotters. And a grapevine.
“Ere Trebor”… “there’s a Beech Bonanza at Croydon! “Coming with us to see it?”
So off they went on their bikes after school to the Purley Way running alongside Croydon Airport. Passed the front entrance and climbing up hill, they turned for the big dash. Rumour had it that the Bonanza was in the big hangar. Gathering speed they shot through the entrance to the airport hotly pursued by a ginger haired copper on a bike. Onto the apron passed the open hangar and there there it was. If only they had cameras. Not one between them. Couldn’t stop but shot out down the side of the hangar.
Bobby and I have two homes now. One, of course, is Laurel Cottage in the glorious Surrey Hills.
Reading this again this morning, I am reminded ‘Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, so live for today’. That glorious clematis, Armandii, had its best flowering season ever as pictured on this blog. And then in mid summer appeared to be on the way out. Its natural habit is regeneration and losing some old growth. But this was far more drastic and in keeping with that, Bobby took an even more dramatic decision to cut back all the dead and excess growth. Basically; reduce it to a fraction of its former self. Fingers crossed, new growth did ensue and the remaining plant has the portent of renewed glory. Buds are there waiting to burst. Or just fall off. A gardener with GAD is a right mess. In a few weeks, he can tell you or even show you how Armandii has coped with its crisis. (more…)
Bertie: “Ere Trev, owd you fancy presenting my blog next week? Trevor’s Stickies, we could call it!”
Trevor: “Do you mind! My name is Trevor. Maybe I should be grateful to you for running the naming competition. But, let’s be honest, it was partly your acquiescence to my anonymity that left me a Bear Without a Name for twenty years.” (more…)
Me? I rely on “flashes of inspiration.” Often precipitated by Bobby’s fond memories of years ago. A classic tendency for “Peter Pan’s” (old men in Sarf London) who can remember the bus ticket on the 93 to Putney Bridge in 1959 but not why they just came upstairs. (more…)
On 15 February 1999, Bobby proposed to Diddley at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire. (more…)