“May” – John Clare

Posted on 20/06/2021 By

John Clare

John ClareJohn Clare (13 July 1793 – 20 May 1864) was an English poet. The son of a farm labourer, he became known for his celebration of the English countryside and sorrows at its disruption. How familiar is that with the 21st Century?

He died impoverished in a lunatic asylum and it was only in more recent times in the late 20th Century that his work was recognised for being as great as it is. Maybe it’s the times we live in that it has taken nearly 200 years, and still bemoan what we continue to lose in the English countryside. (more…)

MindfulTrees and Nature    

We Saved the Moon Daisies… Year 2

Posted on 13/06/2021 By

Moon Daisies


Yes! We saved the Moon Daisies again. This time in May/June 2021. By “we”, we mean collectively all those who cared about, were disappointed by or, in our case, dismayed that once again our memory of Diddley loving the Moon Daisies had been besmirched by Surrey County Council (SCC). (more…)

PSTrees and NatureWildlife    

Welsh Walks: Walk Around Strumble Head

Posted on 06/06/2021 By

Hefyn… A talking picture.

Bertie: “Wake up, Hefyn! we are going back to Wales. I am on holiday with Bobby and the other bears. You are narrator. Over to you mate.”

Hefyn: “Aahhh, boyo. I have been waiting for this! You did that fantastic walk round Strumble Head last October and now we can share it with our readers. If you haven’t been to Pembrokeshire, make sure you do before you snuff it. It’s glorious. Has the best beaches in the world. The most wonderful islands and wildlife. It might rain now and again, but that’s why it is so beautiful. Next week we will tell you all about where Bobby and the bears are staying. But for now, here is one of the best walks in Wales and, therefore, the world.”

Cael diwrnod
(have a lovely day)

A Welsh Walk around Strumble Head

Map outlining the walk around Strumble Head.

Green: Main walk. Orange: Alternate diversion near the end of the walk. Click on the map for a larger version).

This walk is glorious. Even the car parking space is extra special. Being directly opposite the memorial to the Welsh poet Dewi Emrys. The words on the memorial translated are:

“And these are the thoughts that come to you when you sit above Pwll Deri.”
Car park at Strumble Head.

Car parking.

Memorial to Dewi Emrys and looking out to the sea.

Memorial to Dewi Emrys.

The plaque on the memorial.

The lane leads to the Youth Hostel, with reputedly the finest view of any hostel in Britain.

The walk starts at the coast path sign at the entrance to the hostel. It’s then coast path with the sea on the left all the way to Strumble Head.

YHA Pwll Deri, with the view out to sea.

YHA Pwll Deri… (Bobby’s stayed there a few times).

Bertie, Eamonn & Trevor sat on a bench, with the view and the sea behind.

The start of the walk. Nice seat.

View across the sea.

Deal pup basking on a rock.

Seal pup in the autumn. These in October in any cove visible from the path.

Carn Llidi.

Carn Llidi. Highest point on the coast near St David’s (far distance).

Gorse at Carn Llidi.

Inlet bays at Carn Llidi.

Garn Fawr.

Garn Fawr. The highest point, at the end of the walk.

The path approaching Strumble Head.

Strumble Head just round the corner.

Bertie, with Strumble Head Lighthouse in the background.

Strumble Head Lighthouse.

Watch the light phases. They tell mariners which lighthouse they are seeing the light from:

Information poster for the derelict WWII observation building.

Strumble Head has an old derelict WW11 observation building. Perfect for bird watchers. Lots of information posters. Click for full size version.


Strumble Head seabirds poster.

Strumble Head "The Sea" poster.

Sea Trust's People's Porpoise Project.


Murky view from the observation building.

The weather starting closing in when we were inside the observation building.

The Irish Ferry viewed from the observation building.

The Irish Ferry from Fishguard.

The lane from Strumble Head, with Garn Fawr in the distance.

From Strumble Head the walk heads inland along the lane, with Garn Fawr at the top of the hill.

Classic Pembrokeshire cottage.

Classic Pembrokeshire cottage.

Slightly run-down cottage for sale.

Needs TLC.

Road junction to St Nicholas.

Turn right. The weather turned later and we took the diversion route (shown orange on the map). So we decided to go back the following day to go over Garn Fawr.

On top of Garn Fawr

Bertie on top of Garn Fawr.

Sun reflecting on the sea from the top of Garn Fawr.

Bertie sat by the Trig Point on top of Garn Fawr, with the ssea in the distance behind.

The Trig Point on top of Garn Fawr.

View across the Pembrokshire countryside.

Bertie sat of Garn Fawr, with the sun reflecting on the sea in the background.

View from Garn Fawr of the Pembrokshire coast with the sea in the distance.

Bertie on the Trig Point.

Golden sunset over the sea as seen from Garn Fawr.

A panorama from Garn Fawr:

And back to the car. We really liked the following description of virtually the same walk without the Youth Hostel, but parking at Strumble head. Beautiful photography.


Lighting a Candle for Diddley

Bertie sat in front of a computer viewing the photographs in this blog, alongside a candle lit for Diddley.


CountrysideGuided TourPembrokeshire    

The Greatest Day

Posted on 28/05/2021 By

The Greatest Day for Sutton United: Bobby, Jenny (mascot, a giraffe), David, Andrew.

Bobby, Jenny (mascot), David, Andrew.

It was the Greatest Day for Sutton United. A small football club from Surrey had beaten the odds and the big boys to become a Football League club. Founded 123 years ago, the vast majority of its football life has been as an amateur team. Only in recent years, as amateur status declined, did it become part time professional. In 1965 Sutton became a Greater London Borough and the club is now know as a South London team. (more…)



Posted on 23/05/2021 By

Wisteria in bloom.

There is something majestic about Wisteria. Each year, in May, these fantastic plants come into their own. There is no other plant quite like them. In Japan and China where they originate they have assumed mystical qualities and have been turned into quite incredible exhibitions of creativity. (more…)

MindfulTrees and Nature    

Sir George Edwards

Posted on 16/05/2021 By

From Bouncing Bomb to Concorde

“IT’S SIR GEORGE EDWARDS!” So exclaimed Bobby back in the 1980s. Sitting outside St Martha’s church above Chilworth in the spring sunshine. His walking companion of thirty years and first wife had no idea who he was talking about, but could heard a loud voice telling a small group of people, probably his family, about his life. “My fifties were my best time. Still young and fit enough, but with the all the experience gained in those younger days.”

St Martha's Church

St Martha’s


BrooklandsFlying LegendsMemories    

Tillingbourne Tales. Walk No 1: Chilworth and St Martha’s

Posted on 09/05/2021 By

Chilworth and St Martha’s

Tales and Trails of the Tillingbourne Valley

Back in Bobby’s schoolboy days, he lived in North Cheam. Now just within Greater London. His first experience of the Surrey Hills was cycling to Boxhill. Racing down the famous zig-zag road without pedalling to see how far you could go. Later, with his girlfriend and wife to be, they explored far and wide, but particularly liked the area west of Dorking. Much of it National Trust. (more…)


The Art of Kate

Posted on 02/05/2021 By

The Art of Kate. A drawing of Bobby (holding Bertie) and Kate.

Bobby and Kate.

Today is a milestone. Mindfully Bertie has reached its 300th story.

And this is the first since we returned to one a week on Sunday afternoon. We are privileged to have a very special guest. Our very own resident artist Kate.

While some of us are good at expressing our emotions through music, others are very good at facing life’s challenges with words. Kate does it with her unique art.

We promised her a gallery on Mindfully Bertie and here it is…

Kate’s Gallery

Just click on the first picture and scroll through!

Lighting a Candle for Diddley

Bertie and a candle lit for Diddley in front of one of Kate's pictures.



Mindfully Bertie… An Update

Posted on 25/04/2021 By


Update. Wild Violet.

Wild Violet.

Mindfully Bertie started in August 2016 with “Dream Island“. August 2021 will see us back there for a week if restrictions permit. When the first Covid-19 lockdown started, it soon became obvious that we and our readers would have time on our hands.

So, we started a midweek, additional, shorter story. Tim, our Technical Director, might well question “shorter”. The pandemic appears to be losing its grip. It’s early days, but “normal life” is gradually returning. (more…)


Fame on The One Show

Posted on 22/04/2021 By

Tim and Tracey are famous. Our Technical Director Tim, more importantly our Artistic Director Tracey, but most of all Loki appeared on The One Show on Monday 12 April to celebrate 90 years of Guide Dogs.

We all sat and watched it. On iPlayer. Enthralled.

Tim, Tracey and Guide Dog Loki on The One Show. (more…)

Short Stories    

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