Tie on Baggage Labels.

Posted on 14/04/2019 By

Tie on Baggage Labels.

Tie on Baggage Labels: Bertie (left) and Trevor, with Betty Boop peeping inbetween!

Bertie: “Watcha Trev! How’s things? You’ve been a bit quiet lately!”

Trevor: “Bertie… I have told you before. Kindly use my proper name… Trevor. I may appear quiet but, quite honestly, so do most people when in the company of you and Bobby.”

Bertie: “Oooohh err. You are so sensitive. How about doing a story next week?”

Trevor: “That would be most agreeable, Bertie. But, as you will remember, my preference is nostalgia and Bobby’s fascinating childhood. A true schoolboy, growing up in the 1950s. We last wrote about airline sticky labels. It seems that many enjoyed the beautifully presented “stickies” for airline travel back in the 1950s. They were the advertising, ‘Look at me and see where I have been’. Lovely graphics from a bygone age. (more…)

Trevor's Stickies    

Armandii. The Queen of Spring.

Posted on 07/04/2019 By

Armandii. The Queen of Spring.

This is the story of a plant, a priest and a love affair.

Clematis Armandii

Clematis Armandii

Armandii - Father Armand David in 1884.

Father Armand David in 1884.

Armandii - We love our favourite Clematis.

We love our favourite Clematis.

Back in 1986, Bobby saw his first Clematis Armandii. The first time, that is, he knew its name. Draped over a disused shed at Highdown Gardens near Worthing in Sussex, it wasn’t even in the main garden, but hidden in a working area. Its rampant glory, and sweet scented cascades of flowers, were unforgettable. Returning to the garden a few weeks ago, there was no sign of the shed or its veil. (more…)


Tick Tock.

Posted on 31/03/2019 By

Tick tock. Look west. Swift's Hill, Gloucestershire, looking towards Wales.


tick tock… tick tock… tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.

Dear Friends of Bertie…

now and again, when the opportunity arises, we like to look at more serious, even difficult, subjects. Alcoholism and the part Al-Anon Family Groups play in helping those affected by the drinking of others is one important story.

Tick Tock: Al-Anon Family Groups poster.

Al-Anon Family Groups.



More Balls Than Most.

Posted on 24/03/2019 By

More Balls than most; Bit shrivelled, Bobby!

More Balls Than Most.

Dear Friends –

The other week, we reminded you of our positive approach to mental illness. This week we can lighten the mood on the same subject. There is no doubt that relaxation, in what ever form it can take, is beneficial. But not always easy to obtain for the person in distress.

Back in 1990, two chaps started a craze that was to be promoted as stress relieving; would help you to relax and make you a super person. Their promotion was so successful that the product became a household name. It was made in London too. Back in the early nineties. (more…)

Frank MansellMindfulnessPS    

We Won the Cup!

Posted on 17/03/2019 By

We Won the Cup!

We Won the Cup: The Winning Team.

The Winning Team.

It wasn’t the FA Cup. It was better than that!

It wasn’t the final of the Europa league. It was better than that!

It wasn’t even the final of the Champions League. It was even better than that!

Why? Because long after those big cup finals are consigned to history and largely forgotten, this cup final will be remembered. These youngsters will move on to under eleven football next season and one day they will grow up. But they will never forget the day they could say “We Won the Cup!” – their first cup with East Preston Football Club. (more…)



Posted on 10/03/2019 By

Routemaster…. an Ode to a Bus.

Routemaster: The Bus of the Future.

The Bus of the Future.

Back in 1957, Bobby finally grew up and became a plane spotter. (He still is… nerd!). Forsaking the dirt and smoky grime of steam trains for the shiny glamour of aircraft. Shortly before, he had also left behind his bus spotting days. Just two years, from 10 to 12 years old, he maintained an obsession for buses. Mainly London Transport but, on occasions, further afield to Southdown, Aldershot and District, Maidstone et al. Bearing in mind London Transport was just one body covering a very large area including London Country Buses. The garage lists below give evidence of that. Many now gone. (more…)

BusesFrank MansellPS    

Cotswold Reverie.

Posted on 03/03/2019 By

Cotswold Reverie.

Cotswold Reverie: Snowdrop filled garden.

As we headed west towards the Cotswolds, the radio was on and we were cruising. No rush. The “scenic route” is shorter in miles, but much longer in time. Bobby had forsaken the boring motorway route to drive over the Berkshire downs near Wantage and into Gloucestershire. The County sign announcing Cotswold Country. Through Farringdon, Lechlade, Fairford. As we bypassed Cirencester, I could see him daydreaming. Thinking of times gone by. All those similar journeys with Diddley. Seeing her sitting beside him as usual and finding a teddy bear instead. When she would also become very quiet and would brush a tear away. Passed the signs to Sapperton, Coates, Minchinhampton. And on they would drive, knowing that she was back where she belonged. Not perfect for her, because of life’s tribulations. But now, with Bobby, finally with someone she loved. (more…)



Posted on 24/02/2019 By

Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Waiting to go in…

Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

(Plus *STOP PRESS* *STOP PRESS* *STOP PRESS* see foot of blog).

Goldilocks and the Three Bears: The Windmill Theatre Littlehampton.

The Windmill Theatre Littlehampton.

“Bobby! When there are shows on down by the seaside, can I always come?”

So said young Kyla, who had clearly enjoyed her afternoon at Littlehampton’s friendly Windmill Theatre. The shows are the ones that Bobby’s daughter-in-law, Marie, together with her daughters Giselle and Daisy-Mae, appear in. Pantomimes, reviews, dance beat shows. They epitomise the world of enthusiastic amateur theatre. A world of fun, companionship, community and a lot of hard work to put on the productions they do. Amateur they may be, but highly professional in the quality of their productions. The costumes, the sets but, most of all, the sheer joy of belonging to a company is there for all to see.

So here we are on a glorious sunny day, back at the Windmill Theatre. To see a production of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. A circus pantomime. Performed by the Littlehampton Musical Comedy Society (LMCS). (more…)


A Walk from St David’s

Posted on 17/02/2019 By

Walk from St David's: From the chapel, looking across to Skomer Island.

A Walk from St David’s in Pembrokeshire.

Walk from St David's: Church and churchyard.

This week we offer you our first guided walk. The story was written last Easter, but ended up being usurped by events and saved for now. (more…)

Guided Tour    

Bobby and Bertie’s Big Birthday Bash.

Posted on 10/02/2019 By

Big Birthday Bash: Friends for ever.

Bobby and Bertie’s Big Birthday Bash.

The Invitation

Big Birthday Bash:The Brighton i360.

Bobby and Bertie’s Big Birthday Bash.

You are only 75, three quarters of a century, once. Bobby’s Birthday is on Saturday 26 January and you lucky people are coming with us.

We have booked the 14.30 “flight” on 26 January. British Airways ask that we get there no later than 20 minutes before. Bobby, Bertie, Layla, Faith, Sonny and Kyla intend to get there about 13.30. We will meet Andrew, Giselle, Daisy-Mae, Cameron, Jasmine, Big Jay and Little Jay there.

Be there or be Square!
(Did we really say that in our young days?) (more…)


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