The Return of Bertie
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‘.”
Bertie: “Mae’n braf eich gweld chi hefyd, ond mae pethau wedi newid.” (It’s nice to see you too, but things have changed).
Bertie: “Darllenwch yr is-deitlau!” (Read the subtitles!). “Rwy’n ei hoffi’n fawr yma gyda Rosemary. Mae’n heddychlon ac mae gen i amser ‘i feddwl llawer. Mae rhai eirth yn gwneud’. Mae bywyd gyda chi wedi bod rhyfeddol ond rhy manig. Yn bwysicaf oll, rydw i wedi darganfod fy mod i’n athrylith!” (I really like it here with Rosemary. It is peaceful and I have time ‘to think a lot. Some bears do’. Life with you has been wonderful but too manic. Most importantly I have discovered that I am a genius!)
Bobby: “Have you indeed. Tell us more…”
Bertie: “Rhoddodd Rosemary fenthyg llyfr imi a dysgais Gymraeg mewn pythefnos. Mae hynny’n fy ngwneud yn athrylith. Mae hefyd yn fy ngwneud i’n Gymraeg nawr felly rydw i’n aros yma.” (Rosemary lent me a book and I learned Welsh in two weeks. That makes me a genius. It also makes me Welsh now, so I am staying here.)
Bobby: “Well, Bertie, we have come a long way to be told that but, if that’s how you feel, good luck to you. Eamonn has not only written really good stories, he has become a favourite with our readers. The only problem is that if you stay here as a Welsh bear, you will have to start your own blog. We can change ‘Mindfully Bertie’ to ‘Mindfully Eamonn’ and no hard feelings!”
Bertie: “WOT??? BLEEDIN’ CHEEK. IT’S MY BLOG AND NO MXXX IS TAKING IT OVER!”
Bobby: “I thought you were Welsh? And kindly refrain from racial insults.”
Bertie: “IT’S MY BLOG. YOU CAN’T DO THAT. THE READERS WONT ACCEPT THAT. A TATTY OLD IRISH BEAR INSTEAD OF ME?”
Eamonn: “You might be a feckin genius but you are also a feckin ungrateful heap of mohair. The readers love me. It was your idea.”
Bobby: “Now listen the two of you. Rosemary may have made you very welcome, but she isn’t Welsh either. Most importantly, Laurel Cottage will never be the same without you. It isn’t now. So I am asking you to come back.”
Bertie: “Oh, alright then. Can we go out tomorrow? Just you and I? Eamonn would like to stay with Rosemary, I expect!”
Bobby: “Well, the sun is shining tomorrow and I am walking to St David’s. So that’s settled. But, first we must record today as well.”
Three Days in Whitchurch
Bringing Bertie home was, of course, an excuse for a mini holiday.
Day One. Saturday.
Was a GWR new Hitachi train to Swansea. Still raining.
Was an old two car Sprinter to Haverfordwest. Wonderful views in the rain across the Burry Inlet, near Llanelli. Still raining.
Day Two. Sunday.
The sun shone. A cool, autumnal breeze set the scene for a day to celebrate being alive. Walking to St David’s down a country lane.
Just Bobby and I. The way it had always been.
Cardiac rehab walking. Ten minutes warm up. Ten minutes cool down. In between, aerobic walking with poles. Stopping to see the magnificent view across St Brides Bay to the islands.
“There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country. A fine landscape is like a piece of music, it must be taken at the right tempo.”
Down the High Street of Britain’s smallest city. St David’s had just 1841 inhabitants in 2011. Much smaller than Dorking at 17,098 the same year.
Down to the cathedral. Built in a hollow to hide it, they say, from marauding Viking pirates!
Up to the cathedral refectory for lunch. Parsnip soup. (He’ll fade away, you know!) The refectory is also an art gallery.
Slowly, methodically, cardiacally, we climbed back up those mountainous steps into the “City” and back to Oriel y Parc to order a taxi.
The sun still shone, now lower in the sky. The soft breeze off the sea was now behind us. Shall we order a taxi? Rosemary wanted to pick us up. But no, this was too wonderful a day and so we retraced our steps down that lovely lane to Whitchurch. Slowly! Noting that this lane is part of Route 4 of the National Cycle Network that left the Thames path in London a long way away.
Stopping for a while to rest and watch potato harvesting the modern way. But still accompanied by thousands of birds.
Back to Rosemary. Strictly “results show” and dried fruit. What a lovely day.
Day Three Monday.
Breakfast. Full English. Don’t tell anyone. Bobby has been thinking about it all night. It rained. And it rained. And it rained. Rosemary wanted to drive us to Haverfordwest. Bobby wanted to walk in the rain down to Solva. Aerobically. And get the bus. Rosemary won. The rain lashed down and we chose an earlier train. This one. Transport for Wales to Swansea.
An Hitachi from Swansea. And a 93 bus back to Laurel Cottage. Was that really just three days, of which two were on trains? We assured Rosemary we would be back in May to see the coastal flowers. And back in August for another trip to Dream Island!
Lighting a Candle for Diddley.
This week we welcome our great friend Fliss to “Lighting a Candle”.
“I love Chichester Cathedral. It has a profound sense of the presence of God and its ancient stonework blends with the powerful piper tapestries that depict the Holy Spirit coming to fulfill its role as the powerhouse of Jesus’ ministry on earth as part of the Trinity over an empty cross.
I arrived at 10am. As I came through the doors, the organist was practising. The cathedral was still and I had come to do business with God and give thanks for three special people.
I went to light a candle in the month of both of my parents’ birthdays and to thank God for them.
I came also to remember Diddley. Dear, lovely Diddley. She didn’t “do God”, but she respected my faith. A funny, outrageous and totally wicked friend! Her birthday cards were priceless, her humour so naughty, her generosity of her time, talents and self and who loved so deeply Bobby and her family.
Diddley, You are worthy of such a beautiful, peaceful and God-filled place. Let your light shine among us all…”