Bobby’s Rant

Posted on 24/06/2020 By

Bobby’s Rant.

Denbies Hillside on 31 May 2020. Calm before Bobby's Rant!

The Surrey Hills at Denbies Hillside.

“Cor blimey! I dunno! Poor old Bobby’s in a right old two and eight. I think lockdown is getting to him. He sent this message to his friends in London early morning and no one replied. Probably thinking ‘silly old sod!’. He also sent it to a very respectable lady of the cloth and apologised for swearing. And she replied agreeing with him! How she felt old and irrelevant. I tried to cheer him up by reminding him of the brilliant things he had done during the lockdown. But he insisted on publishing his rant, swearing an’ all. And the Rev lady’s reply. Sorry.”

Bobby’s Rant.

Will I ever go to London again? Will I see out my days Zooming?

Am I the forgotten generation left in nervous limbo while the rest of the world fights their way into a Nike shop? With old people dying of the virus every day, a younger generation goes to raves. Or attacks statues of my heroes. Where I was never prejudiced before, but could be now given that I am now surplus in their world of discontent. If I was a Bible man I would say this is Armageddon.

Will I ever go to London again? I love the big city but ‘over 70 and high risk’ means it won’t be for a long time. But it’s OK! London is coming en masse to the Surrey Hills and covering them in BBQs, rubbish and dog sh*t. While they want equality, so do I. When In Rome, do as the Romans do. I love sharing these hills with the people of London. And other cities. I am a Londoner myself. But there is a Country Code which you should abide by, as I abide by the rules in a city. The Country Code…

The Countryside Code Online Version updated 5 June 2020.

So in short: Come here. Enjoy it. And take your cr*p home.

The Rev’s letter (part).

All well here, but very put out by ageism that has come upon us all over seventy having been classed as “vulnerable”. I do not wish to be wrapped in cotton wool and told to sit quietly in a corner until death eventually catches up with me. I want to live life, not exist. I shall continue to protest!

Take greatest care.

Bertie: “Is that it? Simple isn’t it What you bring with you – take it back with you. Some National Trust Countryside car parks do have dog poo bins. They say DOG POO on them. Not crisp packets and BBQs. In London open spaces have waste bins and cleaning personnel. In the country you don’t. RESPECT mate!

Can we lighten the mood now, Bobby? The readers like your pictures. Come on. Cheer up. It’s been a wonderful spring.”

Bobby: “OK Bertie. And don’t forget granddaughter Jasmine has moved just a few miles away. Di would be proud of all of us. I’ve bought a ticket for the Duxford Airshow in September hoping to be able to go. And, since I am only buying Charlie Bigham pies from Waitrose through Anne, I am saving the money I used to spend in London to buy an electric bike.”

And goldfinches have a tiny nest just above the front room window buried in the wisteria. You can just see the tiny beaks of the young ones. Fingers crossed for them!”

Missing London.

Christmas. Mary Poppins.

Christmas. Mary Poppins.

Trafalgar Square with the fountain and Nelson's Column.

Christmas. Nelson. Keep your hands off!

Missing London. March 8… Our last day in London.

Our course with the Gentle Author in Spitalfields. Staying in Room 311. Who would have thought that day would be our last in London in 2020?

Bertie in the window of room 311, with the view of Fournier Street to Christ Church and Spitalfields at dawn on the Sunday morning.

Room 311. Early morning looking down Fournier Street to Christ Church.

A graffti covered wall in Brick Lane.

Brick Lane.

The Beigal Shop, Brick lane.

Breakfast in Brick Lane.

Bobby, using the mirror to surreptitiously take a selfie! He is wearing his hat and has a beigel stuffed in his mouth.

He loves that ‘At!

Bertie sat on the threshold of 31 Fournier Street.

31 Fournier Street. What memories.

Bertie, wearing his Sutton United scarf, looking up towards the top of Christ Church tower.

Christ Church Spitalfields.

Bertie, wearing his Sutton United scarf and a hat, sat on the vintage hat stall in Spitalsfield Market.

Spitalfields market.

Linda, Amanda (holding Bertie) and Jo outside Town House, Fournier Street, Spitalfields.

Linda, Amanda, Jo. Fellow writers on the Gentle Author’s course. Outside Town House, above which the course was held on that last day. March 8.


Bertie in front of an illuminated Underground roundel, a picture of Bobby's parents and other memorabilia.

Laurel Cottage. Or Lockdown Cottage. A wall of memories. Bobby’s Mum and Dad on their wedding day in 1925. And many more. And a constant reminder of London.

Rainbows for the NHS. Not all children, but a special one from Kate.

Rainbows for the NHS. Not all children, but a special one from Kate.

Bobby's Maderia Slice.

All shopping delivered by Anne and David. We haven’t been inside a shop since lockdown.

The spring leaves of "Brilliantissimum".

Breakfast birdwatch through April.

Bertie outside Laurel Cottage (sitting on the fence) with Trevor and Eamonn sitting on a Bobby 2 behind.

VE Day.

We saved the Moondaisies - Bertie sat in a verge surrounded by Moondaisies.

We saved the Moondaisies.

The Adonis Blue Butterfly.

Adonis Blue.

Bobby's wearing a black face mask.

No comment! (“Is it soundproof?” – Tim)

Yellow roses.

It’s been a wonderful year for the roses.



Wedding scene with the happy couple in front of a seascape.

We went to Lauren and Ed’s wedding by YouTube.

Witches Broom Tree.

The Witches Broom tree. Waiting for the grandchildren.

Bobby doing "Zoom Gym" in front of the bedroom mirror.

YMCA Zoom gym. Brilliant.

Goose and goslings at Fourwents Pond.

New life at Fourwents Pond.

Abinger Roughs looking up to Diddley's Bench, Samuel Wilberforce. Bishop of Winchester fell off his horse here and was killed. Son to William Wilberforce credited with bringing slavery to an end.

Abinger Roughs looking up to Diddley’s Bench, Samuel Wilberforce. Bishop of Winchester fell off his horse here and was killed. Son to William Wilberforce credited with bringing slavery to an end.

Jay, Jasmine, Bobby and Little Jay in their new home. Socially distanced. Bertie looking on.

Jay, Jasmine, Bobby and Little Jay in their new home. Socially distanced.

New life. Goldfinch nest above the bedroom window.

New life. Goldfinch nest above the bedroom window.

Goldfinch nest.

The goldfinches safely fledged leaving behind this exquisite little creation. Just three inches across

Bobby looking out to sea.

Seeking serenity on Fathers Day.

Lighting a Candle for Diddley in Spitalfields.

Candle lit for Diddley on top of a cupboard. There are some books on top, a gargoyle behind, and Bertie, wearing his Sutton United scarf. to the side.

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  1. Jo says:

    Your photos are really amazing, Bob. You have such a good eye. The Spitalfields ones are very evocative!

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