The Return of Bertie

Posted on 13/10/2019 By

The Return of Bertie.

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).

Bobby: “Pardon?”

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 raining.

Was a GWR new Hitachi train to Swansea. Still raining.

Hitachi GWR Train in a station.

Hitachi.

Was an old two car Sprinter to Haverfordwest. Wonderful views in the rain across the Burry Inlet, near Llanelli. Still raining.

An old Sprinter at Haverfordwest.

An old Sprinter at Haverfordwest.

The Burry Inlet near Llanelli. Great windows in a Sprinter. Just two carriages.

The Burry Inlet near Llanelli. Great windows in a Sprinter. Just two carriages.

Interior of a class 150 "Sprinter"

Refurbished inside, but over thirty years old.

Pendine sands across the water where they used to break world land speed records before the war. When the tide was out!

Pendine sands across the water where they used to break world land speed records before the war. When the tide was out!

The River Towy (Tywi) flowing from Carmarthen. Great train journey.

The River Towy (Tywi) flowing from Carmarthen. Great train journey.

Bertie in Rosemary's arms in the doorway of her conservatory.

Back to Whitchurch with Rosemary. Stopped 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.

Bobby, with his rambling sticks, on the patio outside Rosemary's. Bertie is on Bobby's back in the rucksack. Both are looking right towards the camera.

Old friends together again.

Bobby & Bertie's shadows cast on the tarmac of the country lane.

Me and my shadow!

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.

St Brides Bay on a clear, heaven sent day. Skomer to the right. Mainland, including Martin's Haven (of 'serious event' fame) to the left. Just visible almost in the middle, above the last tree to the right of centre, Jack Sound and the lighter grey of Skokholm Island beyond.

St Brides Bay on a clear, heaven sent day. Skomer to the right. Mainland, including Martin’s Haven (of ‘serious event’ fame) to the left. Just visible almost in the middle, above the last tree to the right of centre, Jack Sound and the lighter grey of Skokholm Island beyond.

Bertie stood over the sign: Stopping again at St David's Airfield, now a nature reserve. Where once Halifax bombers roared off to protect the western approaches, there are now skylarks. Hen harriers in winter.

Stopping again at St David’s Airfield, now a nature reserve. Where once Halifax bombers roared off to protect the western approaches, there are now skylarks. Hen harriers in winter.

Derelict remains of an old runaway at the former St David's Airfield. Berite is sat on a gate in the front right of the shot.

No buildings left from the airfield days, but the runways and aircraft standing zones are still there. Here is a runway stretching into the far distance.

And finally, refreshments at Oriel y Parc. St David's contemporary visitor centre. A tourist centre/café/art gallery. Outside, a "living roof".

And finally, refreshments at Oriel y Parc. St David’s contemporary visitor centre. A tourist centre/café/art gallery. Outside, a “living roof”.

Inside Oriel y Parc. Very nice café. Bertie is sat front right facing the camera.

Inside Oriel y Parc. Very nice café.

Words on an internal beam read: 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.

Words of wisdom.

“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.”

Nice hare, drawn by a student.

Nice hare, drawn by a student.

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.

St David's. The Market Cross. The Bishops pub. The large Tavernacl Presbyterian church to the left. The tower of the cathedral right, off-centre. The sea beyond and, just visible, the Bishop and Clerks islands. Dangerous rocky places, with a protective lighthouse out of the picture at South Bishop.

See… The Market Cross. The Bishops pub. The large Tavernacl Presbyterian church to the left. The tower of the cathedral right, off-centre. The sea beyond and, just visible, the Bishop and Clerks islands. Dangerous rocky places, with a protective lighthouse out of the picture at South Bishop.

Down to the cathedral. Built in a hollow to hide it, they say, from marauding Viking pirates!

St Davids Cathedral. The heart of religion in Wales. Home to music. Bertie in pride of place in the bottom right-hand corner, of course!

St Davids Cathedral. The heart of religion in Wales. Home to music.

Inside St David's Cathedral. Bertie is bottom left in the pews.

Inside the cathedral. A truly wonderful place, with so many memories for our family.

Close-up of Bertie in the pew.

Up to the cathedral refectory for lunch. Parsnip soup. (He’ll fade away, you know!) The refectory is also an art gallery.

Bertie is posing in front of a 3D picture of a rabbit's head. The ears are sticking up over the top of the frame.

Bobby really liked this picture. So did I.

Slowly, methodically, cardiacally, we climbed back up those mountainous steps into the “City” and back to Oriel y Parc to order a taxi.

The hill back up to St David's.

Quite a climb.

Looking back down to St David's Cathedral.

Easier going down.

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.

Route 4 of the NCN. Administered by Sustrans. Whitchurch on the horizon, far right.

Route 4 of the NCN. Administered by Sustrans. Whitchurch on the horizon, far right.

Small White butterfly in the green undergrowth.

Lots of butterflies. “Small White”.

Stopping for a while to rest and watch potato harvesting the modern way. But still accompanied by thousands of birds.

Digging up the spuds in a beautiful landscape.

Digging up the spuds in a beautiful landscape.

A red tractor pulling a yellow trailer heaped high with spuds across the ploughed field.

Lots of spuds.

Birds flocking around the trailer as the harvested potatos are dropped by conveyor into the trailer. Farm workers throwing out the rejects.

All you need is two tractor drivers and three Albanians in the gazebo chucking out the manky ones as they creep along. Birds love it!

Back to Rosemary. Strictly “results show” and dried fruit. What a lovely day.

Day Three Monday.

Pouring down!

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.

BR Class 175 DMU. 2-coach set 175004.

Just two carriages, but very nice.

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!

Bertie, Eamonn and Trevor sat on Bobby 2, with Betty Boop looking on.

The family reunited.

Lighting a Candle for Diddley.

This week we welcome our great friend Fliss to “Lighting a Candle”.

Chichester Cathedral.

Chichester Cathedral.

“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…”

Fliss’s candle for her parents and Diddley.

——————-

CountrysideDream IslandGuided TourIslandsWildlife    


  1. Avatar Phil Barnett says:

    Mae popeth yn dda!

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