We live in extraordinary times. The last time Bobby’s life was in such a turmoil was in 2015, when he lost Diddley. The weeks and months that followed that were very difficult. But they had one certainty. She wasn’t coming back. (more…)
Number 5: Westcott to Denbies Hillside.
This is a short walk full of interest. The road section up Hole Hill has very few cars. Please note that beyond the cattle grid onto National Trust land is a private road. No entry to vehicles. It’s worth noting that for all these Covid-19 walks we describe the walk. We do not cover car parking anymore. Most country car parks, including the NT ones, are very busy.
So the walk starts in Westcott Village. Heads north down Balchins Lane. Turns right up Hole Hill and down again to the cattle grid entering NT land. You can now follow the walk via the pictures and map. Couple of miles maybe. The pictures are all current. The Marbled Whites are on the wing. Or were on 4 July… (more…)
The Narrow Gate.
This week we are delighted to welcome our friend Ivan Tucker. A true wordsmith. Instead of pictures we ask you to imagine the scene as he walks along the bank of the River Mole near Dorking. (more…)
East Preston’s Yarnbomb Sisters.
Do you remember the very first regular mid week story that appeared in Mindfully Bertie? We had decided that during the pandemic there might well be an opportunity for an extra shorter story each week. Three months later they have been very well received and we shall carry on. (more…)
Bertie: “Bobby… will it always be like this? Will we ever go to those places we love again? I really miss all those adventures.”
Bobby: “I am sure we will, Bertie. But a lot of people like me will be too nervous to go for quite a while. All we can do is be patient.”
Bertie: “We could dream about those lovely places…”
Bobby: “Of course we can. Where would you choose to dream about first?”
Bobby: “I love Whitby too Bertie. So did Di. And the grandchildren. In fact, there are stories we have saved for a rainy day from times gone by.”
Bertie: “It’s raining now.”
Bobby: “OK Bertie. How about a story of a rainy day in Whitby?” (more…)
“Cor blimey! I dunno! Poor old Bobby’s in a right old two and eight. I think lockdown is getting to him. He sent this message to his friends in London early morning and no one replied. Probably thinking ‘silly old sod!’. He also sent it to a very respectable lady of the cloth and apologised for swearing. And she replied agreeing with him! How she felt old and irrelevant. I tried to cheer him up by reminding him of the brilliant things he had done during the lockdown. But he insisted on publishing his rant, swearing an’ all. And the Rev lady’s reply. Sorry.” (more…)
Each year, the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) organise a Big Garden Birdwatch. Taking place over the last weekend in January, we are asked to spend an hour watching birds in our gardens and recording what we see. And then entering those results on the RSPB website. If you haven’t got a garden, a balcony or just a window is fine. The results website asks what the environment is where the survey took place. (more…)
The Spotted Flycatcher.
Each morning we read the Skokholm Island blog.
Written by wardens Richard and Giselle it is, of course, largely bird or natural history focussed. After all it is, in company with its equally illustrious neighbour Skomer Island, world famous for its seabird colonies. Both have been featured regularly in Mindfully Bertie. On Skokholm, the migration seasons are particularly exciting and the Island now provides valuable records for birds seen or more importantly caught, ringed and released. 2020 will be unforgettable for all of us. For Richard and Giselle in particular living in the lighthouse on the island with no visitors at all. We are booked for August, but “old plus underlying” will almost certainly rule that out. So we read the daily news. Wallow in nostalgia. And, now and again, an item catches the imagination. One such item was the Spotted Flycatcher. Photographed beautifully by Richard.
The Chief Scout.
In the early part of the twentieth century, a movement for young people was started that quickly swept the world. The Boy Scouts. In time, this also included the Girl Guides and the Wolf Cubs for younger boys. Millions of people today have fond memories of their young days in this organisation. Many more continued into adulthood to be part of the movement whose ideals were to prepare young people for adulthood. To give them strong principles. While all the time ensuring that they had fun doing it. Bobby has fond memories of his own time as a Wolf Cub. A Boy Scout. And later a Scout Leader. A brief memoir is attached to the end of this story.
Today the scout movement thrives in over 200 countries with a global membership of over 31 million. Male and female. Two thirds of the international membership are in developing countries.
One man was responsible for starting this movement. Lord Robert Baden-Powell. Based upon his ideas and his book “Scouting for Boys”. He eventually held the title The Chief Scout of the World. Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell. And remained that until his death in 1941. A memorial issue of “The Scouter”, the magazine of the Scout Association, was produced at the time and Bobby has a copy.
As the years went by, we got used to Diddley’s idiosyncrasies. When her mother, the lovely Sarah, died, she developed a new one. If she found a single white feather in front of her she would say… “That’s my Mum, telling me she is alright.” We thought it a nice sentiment. She told us she believed in angels. (more…)