Christmas? ‘Appy Bleedin’ Krismus!

Posted on 08/12/2019 By

‘Appy Bleedin Krismus

Bertie in a festive hat in front of the Christmas Tree.


Here he goes again, I hear some groan. But Bobby has a mission. When someone you love dies too young from alcoholism there are those like Bobby who try to redress the balance with honesty. You may feel he is being disloyal to Diddley telling you her secrets. But, of course, they were not secrets but carried out in full view of her admiring audience. The audience that assumed she ‘liked a drink’ . Laughed their heads off at her antics. Her total disregard for other people horrified that a grown middle aged woman could carry on like that. Oblivious to the humiliation she heaped on her husband. And then bought her another drink despite her husband’s exhortations not to. Totally in control of her destiny, she maintained she lived in a fantasy world where alcohol was fine. But really she didn’t believe herself deep down inside but was unable (or unwilling) to try to even reduce her drinking. She told her Middlesbrough aunt that she had never been so happy in all her life. Couldn’t believe she had found someone to adore her like Bobby. And yet she knew she would die young. From drink. Like aunts from her family in the past. It was a family trait she maintained. (more…)


Feeling a bit Wordsworth.

Posted on 01/12/2019 By

Feeling a bit Wordsworth.

Buttermere... One of Wordsworth's favourite lakes

Buttermere… One of his favourite lakes

Bertie: “You OK, Bobby?”

Bobby: “Not really, Bertie. I feel quite discombobulated. Certainly a little pensive. Maybe a bit vacant at times.”

Tim: “I hope you’re not feeling at all maudlin, Bobby. I felt you were quite chipper when we met up just a few weeks ago. You really seemed to enjoy yourself at that show.”

Bertie: “Do you think you are feeling a bit Wordsworth, brought on by all those hospital visits?” (more…)

AlcoholBenchGardensLaurel Cottage    

Three Lions, the Lionesses and some Cubs.

Posted on 24/11/2019 By

Three Lions, the Lionesses and some Cubs

This is a story of hope, excitement, thrills, disappointment and reflection. It is told through the medium of three football matches. But don’t worry. The football is incidental to the stories and all the games were lost. What we gain from team sport in terms of winning and losing is far more than just that. As team sports go, football is the world’s game. And now the women and the children have a much larger impact than they ever did in wanting to be an equal part of it.

Three football matches. One in 1996, narrated by Bobby. One a week ago, narrated by “Ellen” (a new member of our team). And one the day after – narrated by me. (more…)


Paratrooper’s Bicycle – One Picture, 500 Words

Posted on 17/11/2019 By

One Picture … 500 Words

Head and shoulders shot of Bertie.

We were staying with Chris and Angie down in the Cotswolds last February, when Chris showed us a picture that really caught our imagination. We remembered how successful BBC Radio 2’s “500 Words” competition for children had become. And thought how about “One Picture… 500 Words” for Mindfully Bertie? Not a competition, but a chance for our readers to share a special picture and 500(ish) words about it. If you fancy joining in, just send your picture and story to for consideration. The picture that inspired the idea follows, together with Chris’s story. (more…)

500 Words     ,

Fireworks and Bonfire Night.

Posted on 10/11/2019 By

Bonfire Night.

Bertie and Bobby gazing into each other's eyes!

Well, dear readers, you may have concluded that Bobby has an obsessive nature. Currently split between writing stories and cardiac rehabilitation. The latter including an element requiring him to get thinner. Lose weight. Not for aesthetic reasons, but a desire to stay lucky and alive. And I have found one answer for him. Give him a really interesting story on the spur of the moment and, in his desire to seek further information, he forgets to eat! Right now, he’s consumed by Bonfire Night. It’s nearly midday and he is still searching the bleedin’ internet for information. So, Bobby, please have some breakfast. Even if it is just a melon! Hahaha. (more…)

Sutton United    

Autumn on a West Somerset Railway Steam Train.

Posted on 03/11/2019 By

West Somerset Railway

Autumn in Somerset on a Steam Train.

Many of our heritage railways stage special events in October. Galas, or for the Bluebell Line, “Giants of Steam“.

Two "Giants of Steam": Britannia” (left) Mayflower (right). Bluebell Line, October 2019.

Two “Giants of Steam”: Britannia” (left) Mayflower (right). Bluebell Line, October 2019.


Railway JourneysTrainspotter    

The Last Day of Summer at Duxford.

Posted on 27/10/2019 By

The Last Day of Summer.

Bertie sitting on the wing of a Spitfire. Duxford. Last day of summer, 2016.

I have been to Duxford to see Spitfires. Here I am sitting on the wing of one in 2016.

Would it be wise of Bobby to even consider going to an Airshow just six weeks after a ‘Very Serious Event‘? He couldn’t ask anybody, in case they said “No”! He couldn’t ask me, as I was 300 miles away in Wales. Preoccupied with learning Welsh. Was it that important or, as we say in Al-Anon, “How important is it”? Well, to him, very important. (more…)

Flying LegendsMuseum    

Eamonn and The Landsker Line.

Posted on 20/10/2019 By

The Landsker Line.

During my “genius period” with Rosemary, I wrote one or two stories. In Welsh! To celebrate and close our season of stories from West Wales, I have translated just one into English for you, my admiring readers. It is very appropriate, as this story is all about “Language”.

Bertie sat on a pebble beach with his right arm around Eamonn looking out to sea.

Me and Eamonn at Newgale, Pembrokeshire.



The Return of Bertie

Posted on 13/10/2019 By

The Return of Bertie.


Bobby: “We have missed you so much. Nine weeks altogether. One of our readers did suggest having you posted back by Parcelforce. But that would be sacrilege for a bear like you. So here we are. Bobby and Eamonn. 300 miles on the train. Six hours in all. Rosemary very kindly picked us up at Haverfordwest Station. We are staying two nights. A mini break for us.

When you asked Eamonn if he would like to stand in for you going to Skomer and Skokholm, who could have guessed what would eventually happen? But I must say you would be proud of Eamonn. The stories he wrote have been really good. Especially the one from Swansea Hospital following the ‘Very Serious Event‘.” (more…)

CountrysideDream IslandGuided TourIslandsWildlife    

Erik Adolf von Willebrand

Posted on 06/10/2019 By

Erik Adolf von Willebrand

What is an eponym? Well, it is a word derived from the name of a person, real or fictional. A medical eponym is thus any word related to medicine, whose name is derived from a person.

It seems to Bobby that many people have heard him mention von Willebrand’s disease. Or, as he calls it sometimes, vW, the von willies, the blood lark. They know it is to do with blood. Quite often lots of it. And, on occasion, seriously debilitating. So, we thought after the exhilaration of those glorious days on the Pembrokeshire Islands what followed immediately landing on the mainland has raised a certain amount of interest in what exactly the “the blood lark” is. In doing so, we have engaged in a little research, including chats with the lovely Haemophilia nurse Roisin from County Galway, but latterly in St George’s Hospital. (St G). We also remember back in 2016 how he was an inmate in the Ruth Myles Unit at St G after yet another vW involved accident (St George’s blog).

Although a mystery to most people, vW is in fact a common disorder. About 1 in 100 people suffer from it. “Suffer” being a little subjective, as only roughly 1 in 10,000 of those 1 in a 100 are aware they have it, as the symptoms are mild enough not to attract further investigation. But we are racing ahead here. Who was he?

Black and White head and shoulders portrait of Erik Adolf von Willebrand.

Erik Adolf von Willebrand.


Ruth MylesSt George's    

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