A Day Out With Thomas.
Here is your friend Thomas, the Tank Engine.
He wanted to come out of his station-yard and see the world.
These stories tell you how he did it.
I hope you will like them because you helped me to make them.
Your Loving Daddy
April in Paris.
She was 97 on 3 April.
Bertie: “A Museum! We have come all the way to Paris to go to a bleedin’ Museum!”
April in Paris.
Bertie: “What’s the matter with you, Bobby me old mate?”
Bertie: “They took my bleedin ‘ead off last year. Anyway, wot about our ‘oliday round Europe?”
Bobby: “Well, it’s just two weeks away and I can hardly walk.”
Bertie: “Do you know what mate? I don’t think you really want to go.”
Bobby: “‘Course I do. I’ve booked all the tickets and reservations.”
Bertie: “Well, in the past you were dead up for it mate. Full of it. Over excited, even by your standards. This year hardly said a word. Be honest. Do you really want to go?”
Bobby: “Those first two trips all round Europe on trains were fantastic adventures. Look where we went. Paris, Venice, Rome and lots of other places.”
Tie on Baggage Labels.
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…)
Armandii. The Queen of Spring.
This is the story of a plant, a priest and a love affair.
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… 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.
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…)
We Won the Cup!
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…)
Routemaster…. an Ode to a Bus.
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…)
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…)