We Missed You Bertie!
We Missed You Bertie!
Bobby: “I really missed you Bertie!”
Bertie: “I really missed you too, Bobby! Not just being in hospital for a few days, but all those weeks waiting for the op. Sitting day after day on Bobby 2, wishing I was joining in the adventures.”
Bobby: “Trevor did do his best you know, Bertie, but he isn’t you. He doesn’t like being carted around in a rucksack. Getting dirty. Last week, I could see he hated the West Somerset Railway when I sat him on a steam engine. The final straw was the Fleet Air Museum, when he refused to even go in. He has a very important place now in Mindfully Bertie in doing what you don’t really like doing. Writing documentaries about my endless memorabilia. Things like that. Indoors out of the rain. But we have really missed you, Bertie.”
We were recommended to Alice’s Bear Shop and Hospital for Poorly Bears and Dolls. They are so busy, an appointment was made for 20 August. Weeks later.
And here we are in beautiful Lyme Regis. Home of Alice’s Bear Shop. A long way from home. Bobby decided to make it a holiday. Doctor Dave recommended staying in Ilminster Travelodge. As we drove just 14 miles from Somerset, through Devon to Dorset, I could see Bobby thinking of times gone by. But we try to live in the moment now and here is Doctor Dave and Nurse Lesley taking over for a few days. Very good hands indeed.
Bobby: “I practised mindfully doing nuffin at all for the rest of the day on the seafront in Lyme Regis. The next day, I took Trevor to the West Somerset Railway. So many memories of years ago. By Wednesday, Trevor was a bit Donald Trumpy. I took him to the Fleet Air Arm museum and he refused to go in! By this point I knew how much I missed you, Bertie.”
Bertie: “But then there was…”
Thursday 23 August 2018.
A day to remember, three years since our lives changed for ever. A day to celebrate our good fortune in having friends to share it with and have fun. But not forget how we got here.
And, ultimately, driving from Somerset to Devon to Dorset and not being pinched for speeding on a road where the speeding signs out numbered the trees. And you will read all about it in a story about the “Speed Awareness Course”. OOoooooh errrr. Soon. Ha ha ha. Idiot.
Back to Alice’s Bear Shop. Ladies making teddy bears. No sign of the Doc or Nurse Lesley. Instead, here was Nurse Rikey. What a laugh.A teddy bear nutter. She has even written books and gave us one.
I was still in bed. Nurse Rikey gave me a once over. Or even twice and declared I was all heart. Could have told her that without a telescope. Stethoscope …
Bobby wouldn’t shut up and I could see where this was heading. Straight through a sea of teddy bears to the “bears who need a home”. Rescue bears. Old bears. What he didn’t realise was that I had already made friends with one and done a deal!
We need a home. Rescue bears.
Eamonn: “Hello. Moy name is Eamonn. Oy come from te Emerald Oyle. Oy am very old. Maybe 1940. Tatty. knackered and worst of all, unloved. Oy was left at Alice’s Teddy Bear Hospital. They gave me new pads for my paws and feet and placed me with all the bears looking for a home. Someone to love them.
Then Bertie turned up. “Wot’s with you mate? You look a bit of a raspberry ripple.” “Sure and begorrah, I don’t know what’s after being the matter with you. You don’t look so good yourself, with your head falling off.”
Bertie: “Bleedin cheek. I’m not having some mick telling me what for!”
Eamonn: “Look here, Bertie. Oy am Oyrish. Oy love singing, dancing, swearing, drinking, fighting, telling stories. And I do have my own original glass eyes!”
Bertie: “TELLING STORIES!?? Ummm. Tell you what, mate. Ere’s an offer. You could come back to live with me at Laurel Cottage. And tell Paddy stories. Especially about Diddley, who loved the Irish. There would be no fighting, no alcohol and no feckin swearing. What do yer think? Oh and loads of adventures with Bobby. Maybe even go back to Ireland.”
Eamonn: “YES PLEASE!”
And so, now we have a new member of Mindfully Bertie.
On the way back home, we stopped at Diddley’s bench and told him all about Diddley.
SEB’s Story (on the Seaton Tramway).
“It’s still August 23rd.What to do? How about the Teddy Bear Museum at Dorchester. Nahh .. long way. Lets nip over to Seaton and the tramway.”
And here we were, sitting on a miniature tram. Upstairs. Me just out of hospital. And I forgot to mention how well the hospital had scrubbed me up. Soft as a baby’s bottom. I could give myself a big hug. A little boy and a lady came upstairs. He asked her and Bobby if he could sit with me. We smiled and said, “of course”. Bobby asked if he could take pictures. Granny Ya Ya smiled. Seb smiled. We all smiled.
“Seb is short for Sebastian” he told us.
“I am five. And I love you, Bertie” and hugged me all the way to the terminus. Bobby told him all about the trams. Why I had been in hospital. Asked him to hold me for pictures of other trams. And Bobby remembered when he had five year old children and grandchildren who clung to every word.
Too soon, the tram came to the terminus. Granny Ya Ya smiled and said goodbye to both of us. Seb gave me one last hug. As he went down the stairs, he turned and said …
“Bobby, you are a very nice man.”
“And you, Seb, are a very nice little boy.”
And that’s why love affairs, true friendships and partnerships cannot be bought. I would not have been on the tram without Bobby. But I was the difference between an old man’s daydream and making a little boy called Seb happy.
Lighting a Candle for Diddley.
On 23 August 2018 at Ilminster Travelodge. Three years gone by.