Paratrooper’s Bicycle – One Picture, 500 Words

Posted on 17/11/2019 By

One Picture … 500 Words

Head and shoulders shot of Bertie.

We were staying with Chris and Angie down in the Cotswolds last February, when Chris showed us a picture that really caught our imagination. We remembered how successful BBC Radio 2’s “500 Words” competition for children had become. And thought how about “One Picture… 500 Words” for Mindfully Bertie? Not a competition, but a chance for our readers to share a special picture and 500(ish) words about it. If you fancy joining in, just send your picture and story to for consideration. The picture that inspired the idea follows, together with Chris’s story. (more…)

500 Words     ,

Fireworks and Bonfire Night.

Posted on 10/11/2019 By

Bonfire Night.

Bertie and Bobby gazing into each other's eyes!

Well, dear readers, you may have concluded that Bobby has an obsessive nature. Currently split between writing stories and cardiac rehabilitation. The latter including an element requiring him to get thinner. Lose weight. Not for aesthetic reasons, but a desire to stay lucky and alive. And I have found one answer for him. Give him a really interesting story on the spur of the moment and, in his desire to seek further information, he forgets to eat! Right now, he’s consumed by Bonfire Night. It’s nearly midday and he is still searching the bleedin’ internet for information. So, Bobby, please have some breakfast. Even if it is just a melon! Hahaha. (more…)

Sutton United    

Autumn on a West Somerset Railway Steam Train.

Posted on 03/11/2019 By

West Somerset Railway

Autumn in Somerset on a Steam Train.

Many of our heritage railways stage special events in October. Galas, or for the Bluebell Line, “Giants of Steam“.

Two "Giants of Steam": Britannia” (left) Mayflower (right). Bluebell Line, October 2019.

Two “Giants of Steam”: Britannia” (left) Mayflower (right). Bluebell Line, October 2019.


Railway JourneysTrainspotter    

The Last Day of Summer at Duxford.

Posted on 27/10/2019 By

The Last Day of Summer.

Bertie sitting on the wing of a Spitfire. Duxford. Last day of summer, 2016.

I have been to Duxford to see Spitfires. Here I am sitting on the wing of one in 2016.

Would it be wise of Bobby to even consider going to an Airshow just six weeks after a ‘Very Serious Event‘? He couldn’t ask anybody, in case they said “No”! He couldn’t ask me, as I was 300 miles away in Wales. Preoccupied with learning Welsh. Was it that important or, as we say in Al-Anon, “How important is it”? Well, to him, very important. (more…)

Flying LegendsMuseum    

Eamonn and The Landsker Line.

Posted on 20/10/2019 By

The Landsker Line.

During my “genius period” with Rosemary, I wrote one or two stories. In Welsh! To celebrate and close our season of stories from West Wales, I have translated just one into English for you, my admiring readers. It is very appropriate, as this story is all about “Language”.

Bertie sat on a pebble beach with his right arm around Eamonn looking out to sea.

Me and Eamonn at Newgale, Pembrokeshire.



The Return of Bertie

Posted on 13/10/2019 By

The Return of Bertie.


Bobby: “We have missed you so much. Nine weeks altogether. One of our readers did suggest having you posted back by Parcelforce. But that would be sacrilege for a bear like you. So here we are. Bobby and Eamonn. 300 miles on the train. Six hours in all. Rosemary very kindly picked us up at Haverfordwest Station. We are staying two nights. A mini break for us.

When you asked Eamonn if he would like to stand in for you going to Skomer and Skokholm, who could have guessed what would eventually happen? But I must say you would be proud of Eamonn. The stories he wrote have been really good. Especially the one from Swansea Hospital following the ‘Very Serious Event‘.” (more…)

CountrysideDream IslandGuided TourIslandsWildlife    

Erik Adolf von Willebrand

Posted on 06/10/2019 By

Erik Adolf von Willebrand

What is an eponym? Well, it is a word derived from the name of a person, real or fictional. A medical eponym is thus any word related to medicine, whose name is derived from a person.

It seems to Bobby that many people have heard him mention von Willebrand’s disease. Or, as he calls it sometimes, vW, the von willies, the blood lark. They know it is to do with blood. Quite often lots of it. And, on occasion, seriously debilitating. So, we thought after the exhilaration of those glorious days on the Pembrokeshire Islands what followed immediately landing on the mainland has raised a certain amount of interest in what exactly the “the blood lark” is. In doing so, we have engaged in a little research, including chats with the lovely Haemophilia nurse Roisin from County Galway, but latterly in St George’s Hospital. (St G). We also remember back in 2016 how he was an inmate in the Ruth Myles Unit at St G after yet another vW involved accident (St George’s blog).

Although a mystery to most people, vW is in fact a common disorder. About 1 in 100 people suffer from it. “Suffer” being a little subjective, as only roughly 1 in 10,000 of those 1 in a 100 are aware they have it, as the symptoms are mild enough not to attract further investigation. But we are racing ahead here. Who was he?

Black and White head and shoulders portrait of Erik Adolf von Willebrand.

Erik Adolf von Willebrand.


Ruth MylesSt George's    

Storm Petrel: A Magical Night on Dream Island

Posted on 29/09/2019 By

Storm Petrel.

Many of the day visitors to Skomer Island will one day consider staying overnight. They hear about one of wildlife’s true spectacles and want to come back and see it for themselves. I am, of course, talking about the world’s largest colony of Manx Shearwaters that only come to the island after dark. And what a spectacle it is! One that you can read about in our blog (September).

The same spectacle takes place on nearby Skokholm Island and we all stay up late to watch it.

But there is another iconic seabird nesting on both islands. Far harder to see or hear. Much smaller and equally breathtaking in its chosen lifestyle. That bird is the Storm Petrel and the best chance of seeing it is to stay overnight on Skokholm island.


Dream IslandWildlife     ,

Eamonn goes to Skokholm Island.

Posted on 23/09/2019 By

Eamonn goes to Skokholm Island.

Dear Friends

This is the second of two stories I asked Eamonn to write for us in recognition of him taking my place in paradise. The island was so memorable for him that the story is in two parts. The second a magical night time adventure will be posted next week. As you will remember, Eamonn asked if we could include some Irish music. Since Skokholm is less than eighty miles from the Emerald Isle, this seems a very appropriate Celtic connection.



Dream IslandWildlife    

Eamonn goes to Skomer.

Posted on 15/09/2019 By

Eamonn goes to Skomer.

Looking across St Brides Bay to Skomer Island.

Looking across St Brides Bay to the Island.

Bertie: “Corrrr- I dunno. Just before we came to Wales, a friend of Bobby’s asked what has happened to the Irish bear. Well, we had to admit, not much.”

Trevor has found his niche. Betty Boop is a little inflexible, but will get her chance. But Eamonn? Dunno. “Tell you what”, said Bobby. “How about me taking him to Skomer and Skokholm instead of you? He’s much smaller, and you keep moaning about being shoved in the rucksack”. (more…)


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