The fun and laughter of the Teddy Bears’ Picnic was wonderful. But a quiet and pensive mood has its devotees as well. A time to think about life and the world we live in. A time to appreciate the beauty of that world and those who have shared it with us. And enjoy Frank’s Walk.
Welcome to the 2018 Teddy Bears’ Picnic. The sun will shine and we shall have fun.
And we certainly did enjoy the Teddy Bears’ Picnic. On a glorious May Bank Holiday Monday, the cricket field at Abinger Hammer in Surrey became a sea of colour, picnics and teddy bears. The River Tillingbourne flows right through the middle. Just a few inches deep, it is the ultimate “catch a stickleback and put it back” stream. Amazingly, with so many human beings invading their habitat, there were lots of sticklebacks, and other tiny fish, in jam jars and buckets. (more…)
31 Fournier Street.
On a cold grey day on April 4 2018, we stood outside No 31 Fournier Street. I could see Bobby was deep in thought. Almost mesmerised by how we had come to be standing outside this front door in Spitalfields, East London.
Not so long ago he knew virtually nothing about East London. Nothing, that is, except the media driven negative impression of a down trodden, criminal element, dodgy area to be avoided. Liverpool Street, trainspotting in the fifties, and Petticoat Lane with his mum and dad shopping were probably the limit of his knowledge. Oh, and a brief foray in the mid fifties to bus spotting… that took him to all the east end bus garages at just ten years old. On a bike from North Cheam. (more…)
Three go to Dunsborough Park Gardens.
We absolutely loved Dunsborough Park Gardens.
I loved the statues (see Information below).
Anne and Bobby loved the flowers.
We all loved the “Secret Gardens” which are hidden seemingly round every bend. Through each gap in a hedge.
And… we really loved the refreshments provided by the day’s charity. Shooting Star Chase Children’s Hospice Care.
These opening times were for the National Garden Scheme. (NGS) special openings. There are other openings during the season that can be found on the Park website.
For those interested in the history of this beautiful garden, the following also came from the website:
DUNSBOROUGH PARK RIPLEY : GARDEN HISTORY AND INFORMATION
Welcome to Dunsborough Park Gardens.
Dunsborough Park, Ripley, Surrey dates back to the dissolution of the Monasteries when the lands of Newark Abbey were given to a local nobleman. The farmer taking over the land built a farmhouse around a single central brick chimney which has now grown to become Dunsborough House. The gardens were laid out in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Re-opened to the public in 1997 after being restored by garden statuary dealer , Dolf Sweerts de Landas Wyborgh and his wife, Caroline, this magnificent 100 acre estate comprises a series of historical gardens brought to life by vistas and garden architecture.
We have just so many wonderful pictures of Dunsborough Park Gardens. Sit back and enjoy the rest of the show!
Phew! How about a cup of tea before the secret gardens?
We went last Saturday, on a glorious sunny day when the refreshments were provided by Shooting Star Chase Children”s Hospice Charity.
Now Anne and Bobby have a legendary appetite for cakes. You should have seen the look on their faces when they saw a sea of home made cakes set out for the visitors to enjoy while supporting the charity. They were so popular, and the scene so reminiscent of a posh garden party, that we half expected Her Majesty to walk round the corner. It was so warm that they had to indulge in elevenses, onesies and threesies! In cake!
The Secret Gardens.
This is my interpretation of what came next, and not called “Secret Gardens” by the owners.
And the glorious mixed tulips meadow:
Lighting a Candle for Diddley
You will see from “information’ above that Dunsborough Park is built on the lands of Newark Abbey. The ruined abbey can still be seen close by across the water meadows of the River Wey. So this week, we are lighting a virtual candle looking back over the centuries.
– – – – – – – – – –
Trevor and Henry.
Bobby: “Watcha mate. You’ve cheered up me old cock sparrow!”
Trevor: “Whatever gave you that idea, you idiot! I can hardly breathe with this contraption on.”
Bobby: “Look here. Your problem was saggy bits due to your filling. We could have paid to have you filled up, but Fliss reckons you are meant to be like that.”
Trevor: “May I ask who Fliss is and what business is it of hers?”
Bertie: “She is my mate and has bears and cats galore. I like it over at Fliss’s.”
Trevor: “Sounds a little crowded! (more…)
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…)