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Wednesday 4th April 2018

 

Dear Reader

 

Now that sounds a touch depressing like there is no hope for the patient but surprisingly following a dose of Kaspersky Anti Virus life has been restored,  another Easter miracle?  So, what next?  Closing date for the Oxshott Village Sign Competition is looming so get your sketches in fast.  Also following a barren period of art creativity Bob has surprised himself with his version of 'Monet's Garden' but you'll have to click HERE to find out more.  He still needs a lesson or two don't you think?  

 

Love and hugs

 

Bob

 

Friday 6th April 2018

 

I'm not looking for sympathy Sam but yesterday I visited the local hospital expecting a scratch and a plaster but came out with my arm in a sling covered in bandages and out of action for a week.   Fiona had cut out a patch on the back of my hand the size of a  £2 coin, cut out another patch the same size from my upper arm, glued the second patch on to the hole where the first patch came from and stitched up the hole left by the second patch.  Talk about trauma, now I can't do the washing up, mend the fence or mow the lawn so next time you pop in wear your old clothes and don't worry about the grapes.  Thanks.

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Sunday 8th April 2018

 

Thanks for mowing the lawn Sam as a reward I'll show you my etching for the Oxshott Village Sign Competition, it's supposed to be on the secret list really but you won't tell anyone will you?   Let me bore you with all the detail.  On the top is the Royal Kent School insignia  (went there when I was 5), then comes the Stone Bridge  (it's not really stone it's reinforced concrete but us locals call it Stone,  it's the only footbridge left in the country spanning a three track railway.   The third track was for delivering coal directly into the brickfield but it was torn up in the 1960's).  On the skyline are the Pines on Oxshott Heath, the smoking Brickfield Chimney,  the Church bell housing and the War Memorial which was built by Sir Robert McAlpine a local resident of Knott Park who also employed my Father and Mother before they were married and the rumour is that Sir Robert was my father but he couldn't have been because he died in 1934 but they gave me the same name.   I digress.  Under the bridge is a down train, an up train and a coal truck on its way to the brickfield having been shunted from the station.  Then comes a Wren and the Oxshott Jug, the Oxshott Pottery was started by the Wren family in Oakshade Road but they moved to Devon in 1978 but kept the name and their work still commands a high price.  In the centre is a brick made by the Oxshott Brick Company which probably was made by my Grandfather or my Great Grandfather, there is a long story about the Oxshott Brick Company here but I'll spare you that bit for now.  It is thought that the name Oxshott derived from Occa's Sceat in 1179 so that is a requirement for the sign.  Finally I would like to see four metal brackets with silhouettes depicting the Cricket Club, the Tennis Club,  the Bowls Club and the Oxshott (Men's) Club all of them have well over a hundred year history and I spent 10 of those years on a miss-spent youth around the Snooker Table from 1956 until 1966 but that is also another very long story about which I am not particularly proud.  Just to remind my regular reader Mrs G that Sam is a fictitious person who advises me on what is fake news and what isn’t fake news.  We're going to have to wait until mid May before we find out which design is chosen so watch this space https://www.oxshottvillagesign.org

 

 

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Thursday 19th April 2018

 

Today it is 29 degrees C which is unheard of at this time of the year especially at the Sand Pit in Oxshott Woods,  Henry our borrowed Chocolate Labrador was melting so he wouldn't 'watch the birdie'.  Back in 1965 I was in exactly the same spot but it was me 'watching the birdie'!  How time flies.  Sorry.

Saturday 28th April 2018

 

Today it is 9 degrees C, cold, grey, wet and windy which is pretty miserable for this time of year especially for the stall holders at the Cobham Farmer's Market but that's England for you.  Back in 1965 it was bright and sunny but my Hypnotherapist daughter tells me that it is not healthy to dwell on the past so I won't.  

 

Despite the gloom today the Isobella Plantation in Richmond Park looked magnificent, bit of a shame I didn't have my sketchbook with me so you will have to be satisfied with a few photographs taken at 8am on Friday May 12th 2006 when the sun shone.  Dwelling on the past again!

 

Dwelling on the future can be a bit depressing but not if you click HERE.  I've been interested in Hydroponics for as long as I can remember so this further development is mind blowing.  I will be planting my lettuce today.

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Monday 14th May 2018

 

Happy birthday Brian from Streetsville, Mississauga - have a good one.

 

Just returned from another week in Ibiza.  We're a touch lucky that we still have the opportunity, health, stamina, ability, determination and knowledge to negotiate the hazards at Heathrow's Terminal 5.   Touch screens, digi passports, swipes, contactless sushi bars etc. etc what a performance.  Surely it would be much better to be microchipped?  I saw plenty of dogs in the queue for boarding, they don't seem to have any problem.  No matter how they try to improve the experience, boarding is always a pain in the a**se don't you think?  Bloody chaotic.  If they made all the windows into doors things would be so much easier, I'll have a word with Mr Boeing, maybe he might listen to an old employee.  Talking about great design skills!  Later today we will know the outcome of the Oxshott Village Sign Competition, I've bored everybody senseless with the OVSC so  watch this space.

 

Wednesday 16th May 2018

 

And the winner is .......................................................................................................................................

 

Thursday 17th May 2018

 

And the winner is .......................................................................................................................................

 

Friday 18th May 2018

 

And the winner is .......................................................................................................................................

 

Saturday 19th May 2018

 

And the winner is ..................................................................yawn............................................................

 

Sunday 20th May 2018

 

And the winner is .......................................................................................................................................

 

Monday 21st May 2018

 

And the winner is ....................................................................zzzzzzz.......................................................

 

Monday 21st May 2018 9pm

 

And the winner is............Robert Jones...................................zzzzzzz.........wha!....... hang on a minute, that's me!

Jeepers would you go to the foot of our stairs.

Prosecco

Friday 25th May 2018

 

Ever so slightly chuffed if not to say over the moon with the fact that so many people voted for my design in the Oxshott Village Sign Competition.  Without knowing the exact figure it seems that it was an 'overwhelming' vote according to Graham and Felicity who are the prime movers of the Oxshott Village Sign Society.  The task now is 'delivering the goods'.

 

My job will be to 'fine tune' the design so if you see someone with a measuring tape creeping around the 'Stone Bridge' area don't be alarmed, its only me being rather particular about getting the proportions right.  Its going to be some months before the 'unveiling' but hopefully the final product will look as near as possible to the original.

 

There might be a few pictures and a report in the Local Press but its not likely to go viral - yet!

 

Apart from that another hike with the old codgers is planned for later today but 'the hike' will only be from the the Pub car park to the Pub, thankfully.  So if you are in the Skimmington Castle area around lunch time today there might be a glass of Prosecco to celebrate something or other.  It's probably going to rain anyway.

Monday 28th May 2018  (Bank Holiday Monday - not much to do!)

 

I expect that if there are any readers of this blog, apart from you that is, they will know that Bob is a bit of an Anorak when it comes to all things that fly and that includes space vehicles, jumbo jets, tiger moths, buzzards, sparrows and dragonflys.  Aerodynamics has long been a fascination since he used to catapult home made Gloster Javelins with his mates from the ridge on Oxshott Heath when he was ten.    

 

Here in Cobham (and Oxshott), as I'm sure you are aware, we are right in the middle of the Ockham Stack.  The Ockham Stack is one of the holding points for aircraft approaching Heathrow.  So, at busy times, which is most of the time, there are at least half a dozen aircraft cruising around at various heights between 5,000 ft and 10,000 feet waiting for final approach instructions.  Above the stack are aircraft at various cruising altitudes on their way to Swanage  (sorry Swanage came up on predictive text) I meant to say all parts of the globe. Below the stack are departing aircraft at around 4,000 ft and below that are a variety of general aviation aircraft and helicopters heading for the nearest race track.  Below that are Red Kites cruising around being harassed by crows, below that are swifts and swallows feasting on buzzy things, below that are thousands of twittery things and below that are thousands more buzzy things.  So, on a clear day like today the sky over Cobham is full of metal and feathers.  Recently Bob had the pleasure of being up there in the Ockham Stack and the visibility at all altitudes was zero and it was raining.   Predictably everything returned to earth safely.  Isn't technology (and nature) amazing?

 

Sunday 3rd June 2018

 

What a lovely day,  West Wittering in the sunshine (again), with Lottie enjoying the rock pools.  Flying my kite without getting the string wrapped around my neck and skilfully avoiding the colourful streamers getting in somebody's picnic all topped off with faultless aerobatics overhead performed by Captain Whiteknuckles in his Harvard, how much better can it get?  Eventually the incoming tide swept us all off the beach including a hundred pooches who no doubt had left their messages in the sand, in my mind they should be banned.  A stunning drive back through the rolling Downs of West Sussex via Petworth and the A272.  Magical. No pictures I'm afraid, you’ll have to imagine.

 

No doubt you have been informed of the winner of The Oxshott Village Sign Competition?  If not you can click HERE and read about a 79 year old who can still walk, talk, draw, annoy the neighbours and hold up a village sign.

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Thursday 7th June 2018

 

No doubt you switched on readers will know that there are no rock pools on West Wittering beach, plenty of sand pools but no rock pools.  If you want rock pools. you will have to go a bit further afield like Cornwall for instance.  Deliberate mistake or just checking to see if you are awake?

 

Apart from that you will be pleased to know that I have just written, or rather, put together another book.  It's called An Andalucian Journey with Greg, Marcia and Bob back in 2014 and if you wish to have a sneak peek you can click HERE.  It's another project that has been on my list for 4 years so job done.  You don't have to buy one because it's a touch expensive but if you do buy one send it to me and I'll sign it for you and then it will be priceless!  By the way Bob Books are nothing to do with me, unfortunately.

 

Just read that instead of making aircraft windows into doors as per my suggestion they are proposing virtual windows would you believe?  In fact Emirates have already introduced them.  Whatever next?  Virtual doors?  Virtual meals?

PS I'd quite like to go back to Andalucia!

I know.  There's no fool like ...................

Wednesday 13th June 2018

 

If there is anyone out there who has any Bricks made in The Oxshott Brickfield please let me know as I will be proposing a brick plinth around the Oxshott Village Sign when it finally gets erected.  The bricks will have the OBC mark inside the frog (that's the indent moulded into the brick but don't ask me why it's called the frog, I should know but I can't be bothered to Google it).   I might even propose a brick column if we can find enough bricks but none of it will happen unless Graham and Felicity can raise a bit more cash as it appears that whoever designed it! made it a touch more complicated than anticipated.  If you donate more than £250 you will even have your name on a brass plaque, if you so choose.   All info' HERE.

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Saturday 16th June 2018

 

Good luck to Zoe and Paul who were married yesterday in Peaslake a lovely occasion with the reception in Farnham Castle complete with ghosts, medieval window latches, cool jazz, canopes and falling masonry but we survived.

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This is not Zoe and Paul                                                 but this is.

Friday 22nd June 2018

 

Now it's a pretty sad situation Charlotte if you have to look in your junk folder to check if anyone has sent you a message, I bet you didn't have that problem in Haworth!    Not that you'd be interested but yesterday I did a spot of DIY over in Abinger which I was quite pleased about so I thought I might stop for a pint on the way back but don't tell anyone.  Reflecting in the pub garden in the sunshine is what it's all about don't you think?  Although too much reflection in the sun is not always a good thing either especially if your Optometrist has told you you've got Age Related Macular Degeneration and he's going to stick needles in your eyes and your skin doctor tells you she is going to dig another bit out of your face and the rumbling sound from the M25 could be tinnitus but it's all part of getting old they tell me which is not what a lot of people did in Haworth so stop complaining, get your quill pen out, get creating and send me a message Charlotte.    Did you know that Charlotte had an 18 and a half inch waist?

 

Tuesday 26th June 2018

 

Just for the record and when it's bloody cold and raining out there here is today's weather forecast -

 

Another fine, dry and very warm day with unbroken sunshine.  A light breeze from the east, temperatures nudging 30 centigrade (that's 86 degrees F in old money) so get plenty of sun cream on and I promise not to sing #Summertime ....... ever again ....... honest.   #Your Daddy's rich  And your Mammy's good looking ...... So.......

oxshott mag

Friday 29th June 2018

 

Just to confirm that I'm not dreaming or making it up but this appeared on the front cover of The Oxshott Magazine this month.  It seems that the project is gaining momentum judging by the amount of 'pledges of cash' coming in from local residents and businesses, all thanks to Graham and Felicity who are driving the project.  Let's hope we can find a manufacturer / blacksmith to turn the drawing into the real thing.  I'm still hoping to find a few Oxshott Bricks to form a plinth.  I might be allowed to mix up a bucket of cement and lay a brick if I'm lucky, it might even be one made by my Great Grandfather John Jones or my Grandfather John Percy (Jack) Jones, both of them were Brickmakers in the Oxshott Brickfield according to various Census's.  Wouldn't that be amazing?  Pretty unlikely but you never know!

 

PS Let me know if you really want a copy.

Friday 6th July 2018

 

Yesterday I sold my first painting, couldn't believe it, somebody actually bought one of my paintings, must be because I'm famous? .....  and if you believe that you will believe anything  ..... just trying to think positive you understand,  it's good psychology so my Hypnotherapist daughter tells me.  Tell your brain to be positive and you can achieve anything, bit late in my case but you never know Sam.

 

Apart from that a lovely nurse deliberately stuck a needle in my eye last Monday, she was very gentle and she plans to do it again on a monthly basis. . Lucky?  What was that?  Might improve my artwork if I can't see a bloody thing?  Probably right Sam, think positive.

drone

Saturday 14th July 2018

 

Strolling along the top of Beachy Head (again), as you do, I came across a guy sat right on the edge of the cliff staring at his screen and presumably recording his last message to the world?  Not so, he was delicately manipulating his very sophisticated drone which was dodging seagulls hovering a few yards away above the void sending back pictures of Beachy Head Lighthouse and us peering over the edge.   On enquiring as to the range of operation and battery life, thinking that he was taking a chance of losing his expensive machine, 'no problem ' he replies 'it knows how much battery is left, also how long it will take to return from its take off point so if it runs out of juice or I fall off the cliff it automatically returns to its point of take off' !! How ******** clever is that?    'And presumably folds itself up and puts itself back in its box' I said,  'yes' he says 'and if I don't turn up inside half an hour it will catch a number 93 bus back home'.

 

The temperature here in the UK is still hovering around 30 Celsius and beginning to affect the brain cells Judy!

531 ft drop!

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Shadow

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Thursday 19th July 2018

 

It seems that everybody's getting Dash Cams these days, my insurance company is even offering, me one for free, that is if you've already got a smart phone, which I haven't.   The only thing smart about my phone is that it's worked for years with a cracked screen.  So, does this mean that we are all on video all the time?  All cyclists now seem to have sprouted a Dash Cam, presumably to record evidence of old farts who shouldn't be driving, or dogs who don't use plastic bags, or dogs who do use plastic bags and hang them in the trees, or cyclists who ignore red lights, or idiots who drive up your exhaust pipe, or  ........ think I'll get a Dash Cam.

 

What I don't understand is where are all the millions of miles of video stored?   Any ideas?  My cloud is full to bursting so no more emails from me Sam, what was that?

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Tuesday 24th July 2018

 

Another lovely occasion, this time at the magnificent Cranleigh School, we were thrilled to be part of the celebrations good luck to May and Steven.  Would have loved to join in the Scottish Caleigh (Ceilidh) but probably wouldn't have survived!

IMG_1221 table and chairs

Friday 27th July 2018

 

Yet another visit to Eastbourne and if you find yourself in Eastbourne be sure to visit the Towner Gallery, here you will find a bizarre collection of 'Art'. This exhibit is a table and chairs with all legs sawn off at different lengths which renders a perfectly good table and chairs useless, presumably to give you the impression that you are in a multiplace, my take!   Also you will find a pile of old TV sets with Cathode Ray Tubes most of which are working.  Also you will find two galleries devoted to pictures taken by drones.  There are of course bloody amazing works of art hanging on the walls but I've got plenty of those hanging on my bedroom wall Mrs G.  Yours are the best.

 

Also witnessed an hour long live broadcast on the parched grass slopes of The Wish Tower for Channel 5 hosted by Sian Williams all about our sweltering weather,  I didn't wave my arms about or make silly faces in the background but I could have done!  Respect.

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday 2nd August 2018

 

Getting quite hot again here in Cobham, Global Warming Donald?

 

Hate to mention Google Analytics again but it's telling me that my followers have increased by 400% in other words I now have 5 lovely people in California who read all this gobbledegook.  I think that most of them are interested in Oxshott well let me tell you the latest hot news and that is my original 'artwork' of The Oxshott Village Sign is now hanging in the Oxshott Mens Club, sorry,  The Oxshott Club as it is now called.   I popped in to relive a misspent youth and check on the beer which is still disgusting, just for the record it still looks and feels the same as it did in 1957 except that Harry Champions snooker cue is no longer displayed above the bar which is a shame.   Anyhow hopefully The Sign will help in the quest for an Oxshott Brick as I am now proposing a Brick Column to support The Sign.   But don't tell anyone.  This is yet another piece of Artwork destined for the Planning Department which hopefully will be approved, and yes my Pentel 07 with a 2H lead still works!  It's the same pencil which drew up a few bits for the Boeing 747 wing leading edge back in 1969, Impressed?

 

Sorry its unreadable but none of my drawings are! (readable)

 

Monday 6th August 2018

 

Good idea?

 

During this period of intense heat and concern over global warming I have a suggestion to make and that is instead of defrosting a slice of bread in your microwave try holding it between the palms of your hands or holding it against a part of your body which needs cooling down.  Not only will you find that you have precise control over the degree of defrosting and you will save energy by not using your microwave but perhaps most importantly you will find that that part of your body on which you place your slice of bread will be very cool Sam.

brick column

Monday 13th August 2018

 

Revisited a misspent youth last Friday night.  A visit to the Oxshott (Mens) Club didn't dissapoint, met a sea of old faces who welcomed me back with open arms, very touching.  Especially when they presented me with a copy of The History of The Oxshott Club by Mike Crute who was there and very kindly signed it for me.   Even better his latest project is A History of The Oxshott Brickfield and even better than that he's got a few old bricks with the OBC mark which we will be able to use when the Oxshott Village Sign is unveiled.  Result, thanks Mike.

 

Apart from that we are looking after Ted the cat in Long Ditton for a few days.  Cobham, Long Ditton and many other Surrey villages  have been besieged by travellers in the past few weeks and left a trail of destruction and intimidation,  this time they have destroyed any sympathy that they may have had.  Even hit the National Press.  Amongst other things they dug a hole in the middle of the cricket pitch, filled it full of water and used it for a swimming pool.  No respect for people or property, what can you do?  Why do they insist on treating everybody and everything like shit?  Don't they understand that the communities they plunder are the communities that feed them?

 

I'm off to paint a picture.

bob 22 chimney! slate

Tuesday 14th August 2018

 

This is my proposal for The Oxshott Village Sign.  A brick column similar to this chimney built with Oxshott Bricks and a stunning slate plaque with brilliant white lettering describing The History of Oxshott together with a list of all those who donated more than £250 towards the project.

 

Will it happen?

 

We'll have to wait and see but I promise not to mention The Oxshott Village Sign again.

 

I'm off to paint a picture.

oxshott brick

Friday 17th August 2018

 

Thanks to Mike we now have a genuine Oxshott Brick which we can use as a pattern for The Oxshott Village Sign.  Will it happen?

We'll have to wait and see but I promise not to mention the Oxshott Village Sign again.

 

I'm off to paint a picture.

RKS

This is the rather lovely emblem for The Royal Kent School (my father and I attended from 1915 and 1944 respectively) which will be cast and painted and positioned on top of The Oxshott Village Sign.

 

Will it happen?

 

We'll have to wait and see but I promise not to mention The Oxshott Village Sign again

 

I'm off to paint a picture.

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This says The Old Bakery Pudding Lane but it's nothing to do with The Oxshott Village Sign .................!

 

The chimney is in Cobham if you really want to know.

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