It’s 1958. Bobby and his plane-spotting friends at Sutton Grammar School (tie blog) are just twenty minutes by bike to Croydon Airport. Long past its glory days (and heading for closure just a year later) there are still plenty of planes for the spotters. And a grapevine.
“Ere Trebor”… “there’s a Beech Bonanza at Croydon! “Coming with us to see it?”
So off they went on their bikes after school to the Purley Way running alongside Croydon Airport. Passed the front entrance and climbing up hill, they turned for the big dash. Rumour had it that the Bonanza was in the big hangar. Gathering speed they shot through the entrance to the airport hotly pursued by a ginger haired copper on a bike. Onto the apron passed the open hangar and there there it was. If only they had cameras. Not one between them. Couldn’t stop but shot out down the side of the hangar.
Bobby and I have two homes now. One, of course, is Laurel Cottage in the glorious Surrey Hills.
Reading this again this morning, I am reminded ‘Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, so live for today’. That glorious clematis, Armandii, had its best flowering season ever as pictured on this blog. And then in mid summer appeared to be on the way out. Its natural habit is regeneration and losing some old growth. But this was far more drastic and in keeping with that, Bobby took an even more dramatic decision to cut back all the dead and excess growth. Basically; reduce it to a fraction of its former self. Fingers crossed, new growth did ensue and the remaining plant has the portent of renewed glory. Buds are there waiting to burst. Or just fall off. A gardener with GAD is a right mess. In a few weeks, he can tell you or even show you how Armandii has coped with its crisis. (more…)
Bertie: “Ere Trev, owd you fancy presenting my blog next week? Trevor’s Stickies, we could call it!”
Trevor: “Do you mind! My name is Trevor. Maybe I should be grateful to you for running the naming competition. But, let’s be honest, it was partly your acquiescence to my anonymity that left me a Bear Without a Name for twenty years.” (more…)
Me? I rely on “flashes of inspiration.” Often precipitated by Bobby’s fond memories of years ago. A classic tendency for “Peter Pan’s” (old men in Sarf London) who can remember the bus ticket on the 93 to Putney Bridge in 1959 but not why they just came upstairs. (more…)
On 15 February 1999, Bobby proposed to Diddley at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire. (more…)
Bet you can’t eat three!
Last week, we promised you ducks. Only one was available. Dusty Duck. Seen here with Bobby and his virtual sweetheart, Merrill. Dusty lives at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. (WWT). In two weeks time we are going back to the Cotswolds and hoping to spend a day at Slimbridge. Headquarters of the WWT. The duck blog will come from there.
But this week, a seemingly sad event has led to an impromptu blog. They are knocking down the Shredded Wheat factory at Welwyn Garden City. (more…)
A Return to Salzburg
We would like to introduce you to Sonny. Bobby’s grandson. The new recruit to the team of Mindfully Bertie. His title is “YouTube Technician”. But we think his ten year old IT skills will go way beyond YouTube. As the only grandson at the time, he and Diddley had a very special friendship.
A Year in the Life of a Bench.
We are so grateful to the National Trust for allowing a very special bench to be installed on beautiful Abinger Roughs. In particular, our thank you to the warden Rob who not only gave his consent but actually did the work of installing it with Chris here. (Rob took the pictures). Unofficially it is now Diddley’s View. Virtually a place of pilgrimage to remember Diddley and find peace and consolation in such a lovely place. It was installed on 17 January 2017. Here is the first year in the life of a Bench.
Love is a Many Splendoured Thing:
It can be disguised as infatuation. The dictionary describes this as temporary madness. For when the dust has settled, as it inevitably must, you could be at the start of a true romance. Or wake up, look across the pillows and think: “Oh my God. Who the hell is that!” (more…)
Christmas Day Morning in Spitalfields 2017.
A few years ago Bobby read a glowing book review of “Spitalfields Life”. By the Gentle Author (GA). He bought the book. Took it to Skomer Island and read it avidly for a whole week. Little did he know that was the start of an adventure. Not just in words, but in footsteps. Culminating in waking up this Christmas morning in Spitalfields with just me, a teddy bear, for company. (more…)