An Afternoon Well Bunked Off.

Posted on 28/09/2020 By

Ivan Bunked off.

Ivan Bunked Off. Rose Hips on the tree against a bright Blue sky.

We welcome back our friend and visiting contributor Ivan Tucker. He bunked off the other day while we were still basking in the Indian summer. Walking locally, just west of Dorking. Denbies Hillside, The National Trust estate and Westcott. Just a record of late summer heading towards autumn. (more…)

Guest WriterTrees and Nature    

It’s a Beautiful World… The Purple Martin.

Posted on 27/09/2020 By

The Purple Martin.

Some of our readers live a long way away. One such is Janis. Sister of our friend Rob. An English Rose, living with her husband in Arizona, US. Whilst retaining a love of the Surrey Hills, she embraces the wonders of American wildlife and, now and again, is able to share with us. We are privileged to follow her lead by sharing this New York Times article with you.

Purple Martin: Male.

Purple Martin – the male…



Manx Shearwater Rescue Service

Posted on 23/09/2020 By

Manx Shearwater in flight over the sea.

Manx Shearwater

Over the years we have now written many stories. Nearly 250 I expect. During that time there have been some that are unforgettable. Some that still make you tingle with excitement. Remembering why the story was written. And where we were to witness it. One such was “September”. The story of the Manx Shearwater and the wonderfully atmospheric article Matthew Parris had written of the night he spent on Skomer Island witnessing one of nature’s miracles. We would love you to read that story again now four years later. (more…)

Dream IslandPembrokeshire    

A Time to Remember

Posted on 20/09/2020 By

The RAF March:

“Time to get up Bobby! We are going to the Biggin Hill Airshow today.” (more…)

Flying LegendsMemories    

One Foot in the Grave

Posted on 16/09/2020 By

One Foot in the Grave: Bertie outside the Morriston Hospital, Swansea, holding a sign saying "Thank you!"

Thank you
To the Morriston Hospital, Swansea for saving Bobby’s life.
Now… I would ask everyone to remind him how bleedin’ lucky he has been!

Thoughts for Today.

The Duxford Battle of Britain 80th Anniversary Airshow this coming weekend has just been cancelled. It was inevitable. Leaving Bobby airshowless for the first year since 1954. But then, as you will discover during the next few weeks, his heart attack and subsequent cardiac rehabilitation has led him to a joyful place of what he has, rather than what he may have lost. You will see the joy of the world and some of its wonders. You may consider living ‘One day at a Time’. But first of all…

Thank You to Bobby’s dad, for instilling in him a love of planes; The Battle of Britain; Airshows; Spitfires; the Vulcan Bomber. And a pride in his country. He still has the programmes of the first two Airshows as treasured keepsakes. Many others followed which he also still has!

Front cover of the Farnborough Airshow programme 1954. Price 1/6d.

The first Airshow. Just ten years old, Bobby’s dad took him there on a Surrey Motors coach.

Battle of Britain Air Display programme. Price 1/6d, but crossed out and changed to 1/-. Saturday 17th September 1955.

The first Battle of Britain Airshow he went to with his dad at Biggin Hill. 1955. Just fifteen years after the Battle. Enormous crowds turned up. A lot of RAF bases took part, with planes flying from one to the other. Sometimes there were big gaps. But they were free and all for charity for the RAF Benevolent Fund. The facilities in those days were a far cry from today. The gents was an enclosure surrounded by hessian sacking about six feet high. Inside was a long drain pipe and a big hole in the ground! No food. No bars. Just 100,000 people queueing up to get the special bus service back to Bromley. And then a wait for the Greenline 725 back to Cheam. This programme is treasured, but also read quite often. As a result it is very fragile. So next Sunday to remember the Battle of Britain we will give you the whole programme before it falls to bits. Including the flying display.

Cardiac Rehab.

I must tell you, however, that Cardiac Rehabilitation is no picnic. The harder you work at it, the better the success you may achieve. Whilst realising that it is not for everyone. When he started his NHS Cardiac Rehab at Epsom Hospital, he learned that only 40% of those offered it actually took it up. He was lucky. He had enjoyed sports and exercise all his life. To him it was something to really look forward to. For others, it would certainly not be so. And then, of course, he discovered the gym. Having always thought it was for saddos who couldn’t stand the open air, he embraced it with enthusiasm. You have to be referred to the gym for Cardiac Rehab classes to ensure your recovery is under supervision. It was great. He bought Bluetooth headphones to listen to his favourite music. And then lockdown came. Shortly after, the YMCA started the best thing of all. Zoom Gym. Trainer Wayne has 25 plus devotees who are all cardiac referrals. They join him three days a week for an hour on Zoom Gym.

The physical exercise and sense of well being it engenders are just as important for your mind. Especially following the insecurity created by serious illness.

Bobby sees Al-Anon as his very own rehabilitation from the effects of someone else’s drinking. It is also a way through life to face and share your experiences with people who really care.

So here are some words of wisdom from ‘Courage to Change‘. The Al-Anon daily reader. As you can see, this links perfectly to our intention to devote the next few stories to the wonders of the world around us.

Page from the Al-Anon Daily Reader.

Never Give Up

Old Black & White newspaper photograph of several men on their pedal bikes outside a row a terraced houses facing straight onto the pavement. Caption above reads "You have nothing to lose but your chains."

Lighting a Candle for Diddley, Al Anon and the YMCA.

Two pairs of brightly coloured dumbells either side of a Candle Lit for Diddley. In front, is a copy of the book "Courage to Change".



Covid-19 Guided Walk for One. Number 7: The Watercress Walk

Posted on 12/09/2020 By

  1. The Watercress Walk.
Black & White picture of men harvesting Watercress manually.

Kingfisher Farm Shop and Watercress Farm, Abinger Hammer.

Everyone is affected by the pandemic. Some far worse than others. Many have had to change their lives completely. Find new ways of enjoying themselves. Keeping sane and, most importantly, keeping fit. One thing we have done here at Mindfully Bertie is share our love of the beautiful world in this series of walks. They have been well received and there will be more. Even one from Austria. “The Schlussweg” (the Waterfall Way) which Bobby and I have done a number of times. This week’s walk is local and has a purpose. We knew that we would have to start shopping again, but didn’t fancy the big supermarkets or towns. We remembered the farm shop at Abinger Hammer and that is where we buy all our fresh produce now. It feels very safe. The next step is Waitrose. We are eternally grateful to friend Anne who has done all our shopping since lockdown. But, to be honest, he actually misses the experience of going to Waitrose as it stood him in good stead when he found himself on his own. (more…)

CountrysideNational TrustTrees and NatureWildlife    


Posted on 09/09/2020 By

Watching the Vulcan take off at Farnborough, on that unforgettable day in 2010, we are reminded that there was another iconic, historic aircraft there that day. From the same aviation company. Avro. Where the Vulcan was largely a deterrent, apart from one foray all the way to the Falklands, the Lancaster earned its reputation in terrible war. Just think Dambusters.

Lancaster bomber in flight. Click on the picture for video.

(click on the picture)


Flying Legends    

The Summer Rain

Posted on 06/09/2020 By

I always like walking in the rain so no one can see me crying! - Charlie Chaplin.

Bertie: “Wot??? We are going to Wisley Gardens this afternoon. It’s raining and forecast to get worse!”

Bobby: “There is no ‘we’. You are always going on about your mohair, so I am going on my own!”

And he did. (more…)


The Best Movie in The World

Posted on 02/09/2020 By

Best Movie - The Spirit of Great Britain. Farnborough Airshow. The last Vulcan flying.

The Spirit of Great Britain. Farnborough Airshow. The last Vulcan flying.


Flying Legends    

The Action Man Armoured Car.

Posted on 30/08/2020 By

Action Man.

Action Man head in the bottom right of the picture.

Are you G I Joe?

The last of our August anniversaries is Andrew’s birthday on 28th. Bobby’s son. Born when Bobby was just 23. They lived in Carshalton Grove, in what was then the new Greater London Borough of Sutton and Cheam. (more…)


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