Nuffin.

Posted on 22/07/2018 By

Nuffin: "People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day" - Pooh

Nuffin.

I’m worried about him. When he drives round a roundabout three times looking for his exit a mile from home late at night you might be concerned? Don’t be. He nearly got heat stroke at the Flying Legends Airshow. Many did! And it was midnight. He says he is worried about me. We haven’t asked Trevor. Not after he took my place at the Flypast…

Nuffin: Trevor and the Red Arrows above Buckingham Palace (A pillar of which is sticking out of his bonce!)

Trevor and the Red Arrows above Buckingham Palace (A pillar of which is sticking out of his bonce!)

(more…)

Nuffin    


One Hundred!

Posted on 15/07/2018 By

One Hundred: Halfway down the stairs is a stair where I sit...

One Hundred!

Bertie: “Stone the crows and strike a light mate. One Hundred? Are you sure?”

Bobby: “Yes Bertie. This is your… ONE HUNDRETH BLOG! A century of stories. A week late after last week’s headache.” (Trevor is getting a little full of himself. More later).

Bertie: “Crikey! I wonder what Diddley would make of it?”

Bobby: “Well I can tell you that she knew, like all of us, she would meet her maker one day. More than anything she hoped that she would not be forgotten.”

Bertie: “Fat chance of that mate!”

This 100th blog is spread over two weeks, centred on where it all started. Spitalfields. The National Garden Scheme’s Spitalfields Open Gardens (see 31 Fournier Street) has been featured by the Gentle Author. All the gardens are behind the houses and you have to walk through them to the gardens. Here’s his take on it:

www.spitalfieldslife.com

His student Bobby has a rather different take, dominated by me. The Bear that he created as Mindfully Bertie. And has now given rise to one hundred blogs!

Townhouse Fournier Street

One Hundred: Townhouse above which the course was held that saw the creation of Mindfully Bertie.

Townhouse above which the course was held that saw the creation of Mindfully Bertie.

(more…)

GardensMindfulnessSpitalfields    


Uncle Dick.

Posted on 08/07/2018 By

Uncle Dick: The Ward.

Uncle Dick.

Dear Friends

Uncle Dick: Posh Pea Ice Pack!

Posh Pea Ice Pack!

Today is our ONE HUNDRETH BLOG. Or would have been. I am sick as a parrot, and decidedly Uncle Dick. The symptoms are… my bleedin ‘ead is coming orf! (more…)

Illness    


The Ballet.

Posted on 01/07/2018 By

The Ballet.

The Ballet: Swan Lake live at the cinema.

Swan Lake live at the cinema.

I knew when he told me he was going to the ballet it would be a problem. It always is. Not Covent Garden, but a packed Dorking Halls. The Royal Opera House screening live to 1,500 cinemas in 35 countries. (more…)

AlcoholMusic    


Queen Mary’s Rose Garden.

Posted on 24/06/2018 By

Queen Mary's Rose Garden - Lighting a candle to Diddley. A Shropshire lad.

Queen Mary’s Rose Garden. Regent’s Park, London.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary’s Rose Garden in Regents Park is a world-famous garden named after the wife of King George V. In 1932, when Queen Mary’s Gardens opened to the general public, the first superintendent planted a rose garden, which was completed in 1934.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden - Gloire de Dijon

Gloire de Dijon

Gloire de Dijon

When she rises in the morning
I linger to watch her;
She spreads the bath-cloth underneath the window
And the sunbeams catch her
Glistening white on the shoulders,
While down her sides the mellow
Golden shadow glows as
She stoops to the sponge, and her swung breasts
Sway like full-blown yellow
Gloire de Dijon roses.

She drips herself with water, and her shoulders
Glisten as silver, they crumple up
Like wet and falling roses, and I listen
For the sluicing of their rain-dishevelled petals.
In the window full of sunlight
Concentrates her golden shadow
Fold on fold, until it glows as
Mellow as the glory roses.

— D H Lawrence

The rose garden is London’s largest collection of roses, with approximately 12,000 roses planted within the gardens.

We are so lucky In having a capital city that has so many parks. But, at present (beginning of June), the rose garden in Regent’s Park is unforgettable. Roses are not the only flowers and the whole garden, just a short distance from the busy Marylebone Road, is an oasis of beauty.

We dropped in for half an hour and fell asleep in the sunshine with the scent of roses wafting over us.

So, enjoy our virtual tour of Queen Mary’s Rose Garden – and try and imagine the scent!

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Map showing the location of Queen Mary’s Rose Garden.

 

Lighting a Candle to Diddley

We were going to light a candle at Holy Trinity Church, Marylebone, close to the Park entrance. Not noticing the sign board that said “One Marylebone”. We rang the doorbell and a very nice chap came down to tell us that this was not a church any more, but “a private event space”.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden - "One Marylebone", the former Holy Trinity Church.

“One Marylebone”, the former Holy Trinity Church.

Built in 1828 by Sir John Soane, the architect whose own home is now a famous museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. It is one of the so called “Waterloo Churches”, built with Parliament funds to celebrate the defeat of Napoleon. By the 1930s it had sadly fallen into disuse and neglect. Newly formed Penguin Books used it to store books in the crypt. Delivering them down a children’s slide. They moved out in 1937 and other organisations have used the building until today it seems to have found its feet again by becoming “One Marylebone” A posh event space. Weddings and so on.

Go to www.one-events.co.uk/marylebone to see what you can do to preserve a building that nobody wanted.

We couldn’t light a candle there and chose one of Laurel Cottage’s roses instead. “A Shropshire Lad”.

Queen Mary's Rose Garden - Lighting a candle to Diddley. A Shropshire lad.

A Shropshire lad.

Gardens    


Cuckoo.

Posted on 17/06/2018 By

Cuckoo.

The Cuckoo.

A fine example.

Cuckoo, cuck-ooh, cuck-oooh…” Was Bobby half asleep? Maybe he was a little “cuckoo” himself! The days of waiting for the first “cuc … koo”, to confirm that summer really was here, seemed a distant memory. Hearing that evocative, unmistakable call again would be wonderful. Especially from his cosy bed at Laurel Cottage. The village is close to farmland and the Surrey Hills and we heard them every year until recently. For these birds have suffered a catastrophic decline, as detailed later.

At times, Collared Doves and Pigeons cooing can be mistaken (for a second or two) for the Cuckoo, but the deception is soon realised. But there it was again. The dawn chorus was starting at first light. Bobby rushed to the window. Flung it open. An early morning. Mike next door would have got a right eyeful! And yes it was one of these delightful birds that cuckooed for the next half an hour. Moving around the lower reaches of Redlands. We hope he found Mrs Cuckoo. If he did, it would be a romance of very poor morals.

Meet the girl of your dreams for a passionate affair. Just a one night, or even a one minute affair and off to find another. Cuckoo cuckoo. And then the “Mrs” dumps her offspring on some other unsuspecting parents and clears off too.

The genetic antics of a newly hatched Cuckoo in a host nest can be likened to a small child. Move into a family you have never met and chuck their children out of the window. Then expect your new mum and dad to feed and nurture you even if you land up miles bigger than your parents.. The following film seems awful but equally incredible…

Baby Cuckoo already bigger than its unsuspecting parent Reed Warbler.

Baby Cuckoo already bigger than its unsuspecting parent Reed Warbler.

And then you fly to Africa without saying goodbye and never knowing your parents. All on your own. And yet that young bird will hopefully return one day. In its genetic make-up it seems that the species its mother chose for her deception will follow for her offspring.

There are other Cuckoos in a worldwide family. Ours is the common Cuckoo. Few birds call their own name.

Not surprisingly, the sound and the knowledge of its unusual lifestyle have got the romantic poets at it. Here’s one from William Wordsworth:

O blithe New-comer! I have heard,
I hear thee and rejoice.
O Cuckoo! Shall I call thee Bird,
Or but a wandering Voice?

While I am lying on the grass
The twofold shout I hear,
From hill to hill it seems to pass,
At once far off, and near.

Though babbling only to the Vale,
Of sunshine and of flowers,
Thou bringest unto me a tale
Of visionary hours.

Thrice welcome, darling of the Spring!
Even yet thou art to me
No bird, but an invisibly thing,
A voice, a mystery.

The name has also led to other derivations. The urban dictionary describes its human counterparts as one who enters a friend’s house, eats all their food and sleeps in their bed. Note the word “friend”. Otherwise it could be a burglar or psychopath. A friend may be called a bit of a cuckoo.

Alternatively, you could have:

“Did you hear about that girl the other day”
“You mean the one who acted like a child and was bouncing off the walls?”
“Ya. She must’ve had a lot of sweets that day and gone totally cuckoo!”

Or even a person who steals a best friend’s girlfriend. What sort of bird is that?
(Take care with the Urban Dictionary if you are averse to foul language).

And, we mustn’t forget the term cuckold. (Do NOT google it!). Much favoured in William Shakespeare’s time in reference to the bird laying its eggs in the nests of other birds. Or, in human terms, somewhat derisory as the man whose wife has been unfaithful to him.

“The cuckoo then on every tree
Mocks married men; for thus sings he, “Cuckoo”
“Cuckoo” “Cuckoo” – O word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear.

{Loves Labour’s Lost)

But, back to the bird and its decline in Britain. The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) estimates our Cuckoo population is 50% down on twenty years ago. Not evenly spread, so that the decline is more marked in the south of England. Since it is a migratory species, there are many factors away from our shores that could come into the equation. In these days of modern technology, smaller and smaller devices are being invented to attach to birds for information gathering. Starting at first with very large birds, like migratory swans. Moving onto seabirds, who always return to the same burrow, enabling recording devices to be recovered. (As in the Shearwaters on Skomer Island). And then, most impressively, attached to a group of Cuckoos. Individual birds could be tracked in real time. The observers even followed them to their native wintering quarters in Africa. Named after pop stars, they included Kate Bush, Mark Almond and David Bowie. More recently they have included more. The following website will give you fascinating knowledge about the work of the BTO and how it is getting on with tracking individual Cuckoos.

www.bto.org/science/migration/tracking-studies/cuckoo-tracking

The Cuckoo - Mick Jagger, perhaps?

Mick Jagger, perhaps?

And finally, far more people hear a cuckoo than actually see it. You may follow its call and find it calling from behind you. So here is the RSPB’s “how to identify a Cuckoo”.

“The Cuckoo is a dove-sized bird with blue grey upper parts, head and chest with dark barred white under parts. With their sleek body, long tail and pointed wings, they are not unlike Kestrels or Sparrowhawks. Sexes are similar and the young are brown. They are summer visitors and well-known brood parasites, the females laying their eggs in the nests of other birds, especially Meadow Pipits, Dunnocks and Reed Warblers. Their recent population decline makes this a Red List species.”

The Cuckoo - A spectacular sight in full flight.

A spectacular sight in full flight.

PS

If you saw the last of this year’s BBC Springwatch on 14 June, you will have heard Chris Packham mention the BTO’s Cuckoo survey.

They now have some more Cuckoos electronically connected to the survey with tiny devices. One of the earlier ones, “David Bowie”, is still being tracked and has already left England and currently being followed through France. This is when modern technology takes your breath away.

My guess is that David Bowie flies to England to attract as many females as possible. Does the job and heads off for sunnier climes.”

Lighting a Candle for Diddley

We went to Paris in May and some stories will follow in the weeks ahead. The Basilica of St Denis is very important in French history and we lit our candle there.

The Cuckoo: Lighting a Candle for Diddley - The Basilica of St Denis

The Basilica of St Denis

– – – – – – – – –

PSWildlife    


Rob and the 840 to Whitby.

Posted on 10/06/2018 By

840 to Whitby: Goathland. Just a gift shop for "Heartbeat” fans.

Rob and the 840 to Whitby.

This Is Rob:

840 to Whitby: Rob.

Rob.

This is the 840 to Whitby:

840 to Whitby: The bus.

The bus.

Rob is nice.

Bobby can be nice, but needs to try harder.

They first met as skinny teenagers in the halcyon days of their ‘careers’ at the Legal and General Assurance Society in 1965.

Both were christened Robert in the 1940s. A name that was very popular then. Still is, but more so in its derivative, Bob. Or Rob.

Both had countless nicknames. For Rob, Robert became:

Puss (school).

Rob/Bob/Catty/Catty Boy, Trebor. (Surname Catt … work).

Cato (Dave).

Chuckle Junior (golf … there was a Chuckle Senior).

Bucko (Gym).

Robbo/Rob (nowadays).

For Bobby, Robert became:

Bob/Bobby (school and work).

Trebor/Sitch/Roberto/Bobby Ballcock (work).

Bobbykins (girls).

Bobble (Fliss).

Bobster/Bobstar (old work colleagues).

Bobbley (Diddley).

Bobby (nowadays and bears).

Rob is nice. Even openly reads the Daily Bleedin Mail (DBM) with equanimity and no shame at all.
Bobby hates the DBM and everybody who reads it. Or says he does.

Rob is nice. Despite Bobby’s ranting and insults, he remains calm. For he knows a secret. Bobby is a secret admirer of the DBM.
Bobby is offended, but admits that some really good articles have come from the DBM. He knows this, because Rob sends him anything he thinks will interest him. This is because he is nice. Diddley did the same in reading the Mail Online and sending articles to Bobby!

Bobby isn’t very nice. Despite his good fortune, he still tells Rob that the DBM is a rat infested, sewer soaked, slimy, lie ridden excuse for a newspaper and sends Rob helpful advice.

www.facebook.com/IHateTheDailyMail

How Much I Dislike the Daily Mail.

I would rather
Eat Quavers that are six week’s stale,
Blow dry the hair of Gareth Bale,
Listen to the songs of Jimmy Nail,
Than read one page of the Daily Mail.

If I were bored
In a waiting room in Perivale,
On a twelve hour trip on British Rail
Or a world circumnavigational sail,
I would not read the Daily Mail.

I would happily read
The complete works of Peter Mayle,
The autobiography of Dan Quayle,
Selected scripts from Emmerdale,
But I couldn’t ever read the Daily Mail.

Far better to
Stand outside in a storm of hail,
Be blown out to sea in a powerful gale
Then swallowed by a humpback whale
Than have to read the Daily Mail.

Even if
I were blind
And it was the only thing
In Braille,
I still would not read the Daily Mail.

(anon)

Bobby is also a hypocrite because he posts articles from the DBM as his own. Like the 840 bus. Did you wonder when we would get to that?

840 to Whitby: The bus.

The bus.

As you know, we love Whitby. With Diddley and the grandchildren we always drove. Nowadays, with just the two of us, we go by train to York. And then it’s England’s most scenic bus route to Whitby. Two hours of glorious countryside on a spectacular bus. Bus pass for Bobby. Free for bears. It was voted “The Most Scenic Bus Route in Britain” and the article printed in the DBM. And, of course, forwarded to Bobby by that nice chap Rob.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44226761

(Play the video for the real atmosphere of this bus route).

Joining the bus outside York station, the pictures that follow were all from the top deck of the 840 to Whitby on one single journey.

840 to Whitby: Luxury seating.

Luxury seating.

840 to Whitby: Front seat for a grandstand view.

Front seat for a grandstand view.

840 to Whitby: York. Roman wall, Minster in the distance.

York. Roman wall, Minster in the distance.

840 to Whitby: York. River Ouse.

York. River Ouse.

840 to Whitby: York. City wall.

York. City wall.

840 to Whitby: Malton - where the bus company is based.

Malton – where the bus company is based.

840 to Whitby: You can change to the 843 to Bridlington or Scarborough.

You can change to the 843 to Bridlington or Scarborough.

840 to Whitby: North Yorks Moors.

North Yorks Moors.

840 to Whitby: RAF Fylingdale on the horizon. Remember the golf balls years ago? Radar early warning system.

RAF Fylingdale on the horizon. Remember the golf balls years ago? Radar early warning system.

840 to Whitby: North Yorkshire Moors. The brown heather is a glorious purple in August.

North Yorkshire Moors. The brown heather is a glorious purple in August.

840 to Whitby: Goathland Station. Aka Aidensfield in “Heartbeat”.

Goathland Station. Aka Aidensfield in “Heartbeat”.

840 to Whitby: Goathland. Just a gift shop for "Heartbeat” fans.

Goathland. Just a gift shop for “Heartbeat” fans.

840 to Whitby: Goathland aka Heartbeat’s “Aidensfield.

Goathland aka Heartbeat’s “Aidensfield.

840 to Whitby: There’s the sea! Can you see it?

There’s the sea! Can you see it?

840 to Whitby: I can see Whitby Abbey. I doubt that you can. But the excitement was gathering on the 840 that day.

I can see Whitby Abbey. I doubt that you can. But the excitement was gathering on the 840 that day.

840 to Whitby: And here we are by the River Esk in Whitby. Two hours of sheer delight on England’s Most Scenic Bus Route.

And here we are by the River Esk in Whitby. Two hours of sheer delight on England’s Most Scenic Bus Route.

840 to Whitby: This is the whole route.

This is the whole route.

840 to Whitby: One day we must go west to Leeds.

One day we must go west to Leeds.

Try this:
www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5779877/Britains-scenic-bus-route-revealed-doubledecker-trip-North-York-Moors.html.

840 to Whitby: The end of the line.

The end of the line.

840 to Whitby: Here's to our next ride on the wonderful 840 to Whitby.

Here’s to our next ride on the wonderful 840 to Whitby.

Bobby reads the “I”. He could get the DBM free with his shopping in Waitrose. But couldn’t bear the ignominy if someone found out. So he relies on Rob.

Rob who is really nice putting up with Bobby’s two-faced cheek.

PS

We are reminded by the Gentle Author that the gardens of Spitalfields are open on 16 June. Including 31 Fournier Street.

http://spitalfieldslife.com/2018/06/05/visit-the-secret-gardens-of-spitalfields-x/

Lighting a Candle for Diddley.

840 to Whitby: Lighting a Candle to Diddley - Not for you. Us neither.

Not for you. Us neither.

840 to Whitby: Lighting a Candle to Diddley - Here’s some proper ones in Whitby.

Here’s some proper ones in Whitby.

And its another excuse to play the most famous bus music of all:

(Written in Pret A Manger in Islington during a thunderstorm over a cup of tea and a pain aux raisin. Twenty minutes. (text). Proving it was either easy, brilliant or rubbish. So bleedin what? Brian Bennett wrote “Summer Holiday” in twenty minutes on a bus. There is also a lie in this blog. First one who notices gets a Mars Bar).
– – – – –

Whitby    


Halcyon Days.

Posted on 03/06/2018 By

Halcyon Days: Swingchair.

Halcyon Days.

Do you have a favourite word? Mine is serendipity. If I can remember how to spell it!

Bobby has a favourite word too. Halcyon. A word that always uplifts his spirits. The halcyon days of youth maybe. Or of summer. Or maybe autumn. In the countryside and in life. But for him the dazzling flash of iridescent blue along the river will lift his spirits to the heavens. For the halcyon is also the kingfisher.

Halcyon Days: Kingfisher.

Kingfisher.

(more…)

Gardens    


Good Thinking

Posted on 28/05/2018 By

Good Thinking: 2018 Brooklands Museum

Good Thinking

It’s a strange thing, bereavement. You may think “you have got over it”. ”Moved on”. You would have thought that would be “good thinking“. Those around you may think how “well you are doing” and “making the best of life”. Then something quite insignificant happens and you realise that it’s not quite as simple as that. Such was Bobby’s experience a few days ago.

The glorious sun, shorts and even suntan lotion of Dunsborough Park (www.dunsboroughpark.com) had given way to rain, turning the heating back on and a new unwelcome friend. Gordon. Like “Enery Ernia” and piles, Gordon is a condition that seriously undermines the sufferer while amusing the general populace. And here is why…

Good Thinking: Gout!

Gout!

Once associated with the high living and self indulgence of rich ne’er-do-wells and the like in previous centuries. Gout is no fun at all. Particularly in Laurel Cottage. Once the world centre of red wine drinking and now alcohol free. Ha ha ha. Ouchhhh. (more…)

Islands    


Frank’s Walk.

Posted on 20/05/2018 By

Frank's Walk: Tiptoe through the bluebells...

Frank’s Walk.

The fun and laughter of the Teddy Bears’ Picnic was wonderful. But a quiet and pensive mood has its devotees as well. A time to think about life and the world we live in. A time to appreciate the beauty of that world and those who have shared it with us. And enjoy Frank’s Walk.

Frank's Walk: Sonnet 18. William Shakespeare.

Sonnet 18. William Shakespeare.

Diddley - Frank's Walk 2014.

Diddley – on the Walk 2014.

(more…)

National Trust    


%d bloggers like this: