A Special Day for Pondering

Posted on 26/01/2023 By


Bertie sat pondering on a stoney beach, wearing his Sutton United scarf.

Today would have been Bobby’s 79th birthday. I’ve been pondering on this day for quite a while, from my new favourite pondering spot on the beach near my new house. I wondered how I might feel when the day arrived. A little sad and rather befuddled, if I’m honest, as I miss Bobby’s chatter very much. But it’s also nice to have the chance to ponder on some fun Bobby stories.

Bobby liked birthdays. His birthday always had to involve a large slice of cake at some point during the day, but I think he mostly enjoyed celebrating other people’s birthdays.

Bobby’s son, Andrew, was telling me about his childhood birthdays and how Bobby was excellent at creating garden games and adventure trails. And, with Andrew’s birthday in late August, birthdays could also involve beach trips and sandcastles and unwrapping presents on camping holidays with friends.

On reflection, it was all quite 1970s idyllic. Andrew recalls one birthday at Swanage flying his Peter Powell kite, to which Bobby had rigged an Action Man parachutist on a pull mechanism. As the kite flew higher, you could control when to release the parachutist. It all sounds very ingenious and lots of fun, and very Bobby.

Finally, pondering often leads me to special quotes. Bobby was a great quote lover, and throughout the pandemic he helped Andrew find a daily quote for the Rolls-Royce team: thoughtful, motivational, profound or funny – or sometimes all four. Bobby loved Winnie-the-Pooh, and Andrew was recently reminded of this lovely, and most appropriate, Pooh Bear quote:

“But, of course, it isn’t really good-bye, because the forest will always be there… and anybody who is friendly with bears can find it.”

Yesterday, Tim happened to be in Kew Gardens, where the snowdrops were beginning to appear. Bobby would have been in his element. And, of course, he would have told Tim all about them. Incessantly!

Snowdrops in Kew Gardens.

Lighting a Candle for Bobby & Diddley

I’m conscious that a number of Bobby’s friends and extended family have lost loved ones over the last few months. I invite you to join me in lighting a candle for them today, and for Bobby, and for Diddley.

A mug, with a picture of Bertie on it, alongside a candle lit for Bobby & Diddley.

Bertie, wearing his Sutton United scarf. There are three candles in jars in front of him.

A candle for Bobby, a candle for Diddley, and a candle for all family loved ones.


  1. Felicity Drewett says:

    Oh Bertie, what a sad day for you. Bobby would have been chattering non-stop and enjoying his cake. We all miss him but you and all his growing family especially. Bobby adored his big family more than tea, cake and Sutton United. He was a special friend to us all. Lots of love to the Balls and the Rowlands today. Happy birthday memories Bobby ❤️

  2. John Bettell says:

    What a lovely read Bertie. I’ll be taking a little wander up the rough this afternoon to visit diddleys bench and have a little thought of you Diddley and of course the big man him self. Much Love

  3. Chris Norman says:

    Bobby was a great friend of ours, Diddley was a an old school friend of Angie’s and Diddley (Solly to us) introduced her new man . We too miss Bobby’s chatter, he used to visit us here in Gloucestershire every February. I went to Skomer with Bobby and endured weeks of stories and recounted life experiences, now all gone. Even the long phone calls and emails, all dearly missed. Yes, Happy Birthday memories Bobby so sad you didn’t make 79.

    • Estelle says:

      How lovely to read that Bobby’s memory and thoughts are still so alive.
      My thoughts are will all his beloved family members.
      I’m sure the snowdrops this year are especially wonderful in his memory.
      Estelle x

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