Finding “Serenity”

Posted on 12/12/2021 By

A Robin, who Bobby has named "Serenity".

This little Robin Redbreast is hereby christened ‘Serenity‘. Over twenty four minutes on Holmwood Common he transported Bobby to another world. A world where nothing mattered. No anxiety. No tribulations. No expectations. No exhortations. Nothing but serenity. For twenty four minutes. The time between the first and last photographs.


Serenity and the Serenity Prayer has often been included in our stories. An addendum at the end of this one is included if you wish to read it.

_ _ _ _

Bertie: “Is it MOT day today, Bobby?”

Bobby: “It is, Bertie. And new tyres too. Two.”

Bertie: “Sounds expensive. Years ago, you told me how anxious you became before cars were MOT’d. Even sleepless nights.”

Bobby: “That was then, Bertie. I always had old cars that always seemed to fail through rust and had to be welded back together again. Or, in the case of Little White Van, (LWV) declared unsafe to be driven. It didn’t stop Andrew selling it on eBay for someone to reincarnate. Nowadays, I have learned a little serenity. Partly from age, but also through mindfulness, Al-Anon and so on.

Bobby's Little White Van.

The very last day for LWV. 2008. What fun we had had in it…

We have always bought our tyres at the same place through Jerry and Rocco. A local business that we trust. Now based in former farm buildings on the other side of Holmwood Common. They also arrange MOTs.

Jerry and Rocco's Total Tyres, Holmwood.

Jerry and Rocco’s Total Tyres, Holmwood.

Leaving the car there means walking home across the Common. And back again later. That Thursday was a glorious, but very chilly, morning with blue skies and he chose to walk the long circuit through the Common to arrive at the lookout seat. Facing the North Downs and Denbies Hillside across the valley.

Holmwood Common, looking north to Denbies Hillside and the North Downs.

Holmwood Common, looking north to Denbies Hillside and the North Downs.

As soon as he sat down on the large tree trunk seat, a little robin turned up. Although a popular place, particularly with dog walkers, nobody came by. For twenty four minutes. During which time the Robin, ‘Serenity‘, stayed with him. On the seat, on the walking poles, on his boots, on his knees and finally, to cap it all, on his head.

Bobby was mesmerised, but still conscious enough to take pictures. And here are just a few:

The Robin on the carved log bench.


The Robin on the back of the carved log seat.


The Robin on the back of the carved log bench, behind Bobby.

“He’s behind you”.

The Robin on the back of the carved log bench, behind Bobby.

“No he isn’t!”
“Yes he is.”

The Robin on Bobby's work trousers.

“Excuse me! They may be work trousers. But … you are very welcome.”

The Robin on Bobby's walking pole.

Poles, boots… Where next?

The Robin back on the seat of the log bench.

“Ummm … Not sure.”

The Robin on the back of the carved log bench.

“Coming in from the other side.”

The Robin sat on Bobby's cap - whilst on his head!

“No way! The best selfie he has ever taken.”

The Robin back on Bobby's trousers - complete with deposited "present"!

“Back to the trouser loo”.

The Robin on the top of Bobby's Trilby hat - whilst on his head.

“A little trill on a Trilby to make Bobby’s day!”

Bobby, wearing his cap with the Robin on top.

Twenty four minutes.

‘Serenity’ brought true serenity to Bobby. Until the first dog and its owner arrived. The spell was broken and Serenity had gone.

Emily reminds Bobby of an important belief about Robins.

A black-and-white picture of a bearded man hold a Robin in his cupped hands. Only the chest of the Robin has colour.

Many believe that a visit from a Robin is a sign that a lost relative is visiting them...

Maybe it was Diddley. We like to think so.


Bertie: “Sounds wonderful, Bobby. Just like when dreams came true on the red London double decker bus on Waterloo Bridge. It’s such a lovely day and we don’t have a car. But I have dream too. I haven’t been on a 93 bus since lockdown. Bobby 2 hasn’t been anywhere during that time. And I miss my friends in Waitrose.”

Bobby: “Righto, Bertie. We will catch the 12:00 93 bus and take Bobby 2 to do our shopping in Waitrose.” And we did.

Bertie sat on Bobby 2 as the 93 bus (Metrobus YX63 ZXF - 6771) pulls in to the stop.

Here comes the 93. (Another 93. Not the North Cheam one)

Bobby's shopping trolley in Waitrose - with Bertie amongs the shopping, including a load of "Charlie Bingham's" ready meals.

Shopping in Waitrose (he does like Charlie Bigham’s!).

Bobby, with his colourful face-mask, holding Bertie and with Bobby 2 at the reception desk in Waitrose.

Diary of a heart attack two years on. Thank you to the ladies of Waitrose. What a handsome trolley Bobby 2 is.


Merrill says “What about Betty Boop? She hasn’t been anywhere since lockdown.”

Bertie: “A Betty Boop story will come soon.”

Bobby's car outside the garage awaiting collection.

End of a perfect day back to pick the car up.

The Serenity Prayer

God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference. The Serenity Prayer.

You may wish to open the following link and listen to the audio. Always remembering that AA and Al-Anon are not religious organisations, but they have adopted the Serenity Prayer as the foundation for ‘recovery’ from the affects of alcohol. Neither promotes its existence either.

The fellowships are there if you choose to join them. Many people will tell you how their lives have been transformed.

Lighting a Candle for Diddley


A candle lit for Diddley on top of an upturned glass in an open cupboard. On an adjacent glass is a chunky mug with pictures of Robins on it. Betty Boop is standing alongside looking at them.


Betty BoopBobby 2CarsCountrysideDiddleyLittle White VanMindfulnessPSWildlife    

  1. Phil Barnett says:

    Loved the pics of the robin. We have a friendly robin in our garden – does every garden have one? Unfortunately I locked him in my garage the other day -he must have flown in when I wasn’t looking. I only found out because my garage alarm went off while we were out. My neighbour has a key and he re-set the alarm after a quick check. Off the alarm went again and he told me when we got home. When I went into the garage I saw “evidence” of a bird’s presence on my car (same as on your trousers!) so soon found our robin waiting to be let out from its temporary prison.

  2. Kate green says:

    The robin loved you bob and who can blame him? Thanks for lovely Christmas post. The Christmas before dad died, a robin wandered through open kitchen door into the lounge where mum n dad n i were eating turkey sandwiches. He stared at us and then he panicked and began to fly around. We caught him in a tea towel and took him back out. I think he was letting us know it was dad’s last Christmas. Dad and he were friends, dad being a keen gardener.

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