Ivan Bunked off.
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…)
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.
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…)
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!
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.
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.
Never Give Up
Lighting a Candle for Diddley, Al Anon and the YMCA.
- The Watercress Walk.
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…)
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 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…)