Thursday 30th August 2018
Between you and me coming to terms with failing faculties, capabilities, abilities, vision, hearing and sense of direction if you rely on GPS can be a bit of a challenge. That is if you choose to drive to Norfolk in the rain at the age of 79 via the M25, the A12 and the McDonald's on the Colchester bypass. Brain cells that are a touch low on voltage can plunge you into situations that heretofore wouldn't pose a problem especially when walking into a drive in burger joint in the pouring rain but being fluent in Essex saved the day. 'Excuse me mate how do I order a Latte?' 'Wha?'
On arriving at The Cock Inn in Diss where everything was off including the coffee, the backup Jack Daniels reset the braincell which then easily coped with the Angel Cafe opposite which fortunately still operates in 1950's mode. No plastic and cheap pancakes.
Lisa at the South Norfolk Guest House in Great Moulton lived up to her four star rating for the night - highly recommended. An evening in nearby Forncett End reminiscing with Greg with apples to spare completed a busy day. A final thrash around Norwich on the brand new 'Thunder Road', not yet registering on your Tom Tom, brought us to Aylmerton the tiniest hamlet in the fields inland between Cromer and Sheringham. Aylmerton doesn't have a village shop or a village pub but it does have, surprise surprise, a village sign! It is a beautiful creation in iron resembling a tree trunk surrounded by a creeping vine winding around the trunk and cradling a lovely model of the church on the top. Golden finials and lettering complete the artwork. Apparently it was 7 years in the making crafted by the village blacksmith and no doubt a fine effort by the Aylmertonians in cooperation, joint venture, togetherness and love.
Hollybrook Cottage in Aylmerton also lived up to its 5 star rating, so much so that 'Escape to the Country' could well be on the cards. The search for Cromer Crabs was unsuccessful because of global warming and the beast from the east so cod and chips at Mary Janes was an OK substitute. A stroll to Felbrigg House to check on the chickens was enjoyed by all. Highlight of the week was a visit to Wells next the Sea where you will find a magnificent beach, magnificent pasties, magnificent coffee, magnificent service and beach huts for sale at £60,000 a pop, thoroughly recommended. You may also find a camera in the sand, it's mine.
The Henry Blogg Lifeboat Museum in Cromer is also worth a visit, his exploits and bravery are legendary as coxswain of the Cromer Lifeboat, amongst the many disasters he attended was a fleet of cargo boats that went aground on Happisburgh (pronounced Haisboro) Sands on 6th August 1941, one of those wrecked was a freighter that went by the name of SS OXSHOTT! And why was she called OXSHOTT? Haven't a clue.
The drive back was without incident, I think!
Thursday 6th September 2018
Increasingly I find I am impressed by artists, this time it is Andrew Dibben from Norfolk click HERE for a tour around his gallery.
Talk about attention to detail, and the lighting, how the heck do you achieve that? Thanks to Greg from Norfolk for sending me one of his prints. I'm off to my easel!
Aylmerton Village Sign with Lottie,
shame about the background
Sunday 9th September 2018
Yesterday residents and visitors to Cobham lined up in their thousands to watch 8,000 plastic ducks float down the river. Talk about excitement the winning duck was fished out of the river by local MP and Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, no less. Not only that we even had live commentary from a BBC Radio Surrey presenter risking life and limb wading in amongst the floaters and riders. It was all part of Cobham Heritage Day celebrations which included Stroking the Pony, Painting the Owl, Inspecting the Vegetables, Smelling The Classic Cars, Enjoying Punch and Judy, Avoiding Loud Music (and Pimms!), Guessing Higher or Lower and many other colourful stalls with colourful ladies. You should have been there. Lottie was mesmerised.
Wednesday 12th September 2018
To describe West Wittering beach in all its moods is pretty much impossible. Yet another visit yesterday saw it in an unexpectedly vicious one. It was high tide with a strong Southerly whipping up sand and spray. Impossible to find a sheltered spot for your picnic table. The sand driven into spiral vorteces corkscrewed its way in all directions and deposited itself on higher ground in the most exquisite patterns. There were a few other brave souls many with their pooches battling their way to East Head where you could, if you know where to look, find a quiet spot downwind of a high dune and watch a lone helmsman with half a jib threading his way between the cans on his way to Chichester Yacht Marina or maybe even Dell Quay if he's lucky Mac and Judy! Heady days? Back at the car park with not many cars, probably due to the extortionate £7 parking fee, a spot behind a blackberry bush heaving with blackberries was just about OK to allow camping chairs to be deployed and coffee to be served. A difficult choice between snooze, fly your kite or pick blackberries was made. Bliss? It's Blackberry and Apple Pie tomorrow!
Here they come, mine's the yellow one.
That's Dominic Raab in his waders behind the tree trying to find the winner!
Talk about a Moonscape, the Green Man bobbing about in the distance is not an alien but your Starboard Channel Marker at East Head - in case you were wondering!
And this is 50 Million, Billion, Trillion minus one bits of sand on the move. You can't see or hear the wind but you can feel that one grain of sand that's lodged itself in your dodgy eye.
Thursday 20th September 2018
I promise not to mention The Oxshott Village Sign again except to say that Planning Permission is now under way which you can inspect (or object to!) if you click HERE, there aren't any bricks, yet!
Wednesday 26th September 2018
Not a lot going on today except that I'm in Kingsbridge Library down in lovely Devon playing with a computer that actually responds in milliseconds rather than milliyears! And I'm certainly not going to mention Oxshott Village Sign Teeshirts ever again.
Monday 1st October 2018
Flossie Philips my Technical Drawing teacher at Kingston Junior Technical School introduced me to this lot in 1952 at the age of 13. For the next 65 years I hated it but it did feed us, clothe us and keep a roof over our heads. Now I love it. Why? Because it's the only way I can create. And we all love to create, don't we?
Bought another Two Together rail ticket last Tuesday and joined all the other jolly travellers to Totnes via Reading which was challenging but successful, I had forgotten how many green fields and trees there are in England's Green and Pleasant Land. Just to prove a point I hiked up Heart Attack Hill from Bantham to Thurlestone and ordered a pint at the Village Inn, the young lady behind the bar told me I looked very fit.
Wednesday 3rd October 2018
'Old Bob's Creations' are now available HERE and every purchase will mean that £1 will be donated to The Children's Society (formerly The Church of England Children's Society) Charity Registration No 221124.
Tuesday 9th October 2018
Yes, I realise that 'Old Bob's Creations' are a touch embarrassing but he's convinced that one day the 'Apo' will one day be a success, in the mean time he went along to his art class today and drew his hat. Which he will eat if his 'Apo' idea doesn't make a million.
Thursday 11th October 2018
Talking of Old Bob's Creations this may not mean much to you but to me it is a rather wonderful creation. During our recent trip to Devon and in order to, repay our hosts for a lovely experience I set about designing and constructing a much needed handrail to help the oldies down an uneven stairway. Running around Kingsbridge builders merchants getting the bits was easy mainly because staff were helpful and not very busy, reminded me of Lynwood, Washington State back in 1969 when I was constructing a sand box for our two year old daughter! Anyway having completed a rather fine and detailed drawing of the handrail project I set about drilling holes and screwing in some large bolts to anchor the uprights. As you will note they are cut to the right length and most importantly upright due to fact that I can still see the bubble in the spirit level. The rail itself was completed by Paul, a magnificent joint effort.
And in case you've forgotten what Julia's sand box looked like back in 1969 in the back yard of Apt 8, 17422 52nd Ave W Lynwood WA 98036.
It's still there.
Monday 15th October 2018
52 years ago today I was in Epsom Registry Office at 9am. Today at 9am I was on Platform 2 at Epsom Station waiting for a train to Sutton, why? Because the train I got from Leatherhead went to Waterloo via Stoneleigh and I had to change and wait for a train to Victoria via Sutton - obvious. I would have preferred to go to Stoneleigh, why? Two reasons, one, because Mick Charles Models are there and I would like another Spitfire, preferably one like THIS - sorry about the language. And two?
Friday 19th October 2018
In the news today is yet another NHS study into the advantages and benefits of standing instead of sitting at your desk. If they had have come to me I could have saved them loads a money. Apart from that.
During the past two weeks I have had the privilege of receiving treatment at The Royal Marsden Cancer Hospital in Sutton. Not something that you would normally consider blogging about but the care, courtesy, efficiency and professionalism extended to me has been exemplary so I consider it worth mentioning. How they deal with a constant stream of people on a daily basis is truly amazing. Most patients, I have to say, must be in a far worse state than me and they have my sympathy but they couldn't be in a better place. Cancer for the most part is invisible so when it is revealed to you that you have it it does require a certain 'it is what it is' frame of mind if possible. I know plenty of others who have been through the experience in one way or another, some have come through and others sadly haven't.
My story is hardly worth blogging about but I will because maybe it will allay fears that may be lurking in others. It all started when l was lazing around in the sun in the 50's thinking I would develop a bronzed body, no chance of that obviously but I didn't give up trying. So, 60 years later a few benign lumps appeared that wouldn't heal and were removed from my face and hands, one of them under my right eye turned out to be cancerous requiring surgery and then radio therapy. Fear of the unknown is in all of us but no need to fear Radiotherapy. Usually it is only XRays at 160,000 volts! aimed precisely at the problem (so don't worry) . In my case before treatment a protective lead mask was moulded (Phantom of the Opera style) in order to prevent my head from being fried. Treatment, again in my case, was to be 3 minutes every day for two weeks. This does require a certain resolve as to the commute to Sutton. Being a seasoned commuter of yesteryear I relished the challenge. So, drive to Leatherhead, park for free (if you are lucky and know where to go), walk to the station, jump on a train which were every 10 minutes and stroll a mile up the hill from Sutton Station and arrive in plenty of time for another breakfast (but don't tell anyone). Yes, there are plenty of buses and I have a bus pass but also being a seasoned hiker I chose to stroll. Following treatment by the lovely Barbara, Kelly and Hannah a quick scan of the bus options and reverse the procedure, keeping your wits about you is a pre-requisite, I've forgotten what wits are but keep them anyway. My fellow commuters didn't look too happy, 99% of them intent on their phones, tablets, laptops and coffee cups. I felt sorry for them but at the same time felt I should be one of them. Offers seriously considered!
The highlight of the experience was a train guard, although they call them conductor's now, when approaching Cheam, instead of the usual pre-recorded announcement, 'We are now approaching Cheam', he decided to try out his sense of humour 'Welcome to Charming Cheam, today we are offering buy one get 25 free as we have plenty of room and do please spread yourselves out and take as many seats as you wish'. Approaching Epsom he once more announced his idea of what passengers needed to know about Epsom which was hilarious, this time I was ready with my recorder so if you are interested in the sounds heard on the 10.30 arriving at Epsom yesterday let me know.
PS I do have a picture of me in my lead mask but I've promised not to share it - you have been spared. I might draw a picture!
Tuesday 23rd October 2018
If you've forgotten about 'Old Bob's Creations' already
you might like to keep an eye on his latest now available globally. And if you want your own message on your teeshirt just let me know, it's as easy as ABC 123.
Simply click on the image to reveal all.
And I promise not to mention the OVS again!
Friday 2nd November 2018
Not sure how long it will be before it dawns on me that none of my crazy ideas are likely to bear any fruit. Looking back through this blog, which in itself is a task and a half, would seem to indicate that it has been a long list of failures. Being content with failure is not something that comes easily, so perhaps we should call it the pursuit of the unattainable? Which is easier to live with don't you think? Trying to understand the exponential growth of this digital world, to me, is certainly a pursuit of the unattainable. It seems to me that those who are caught up in the phenomena of 'social media' for instance have developed another character, I call it 'zoned out'. Trying to get any sense out of my grandchildren or me when I've been staring at a screen for an hour would also be a case of the pursuit of the unattainable. Take yesterday, for instance, after spending an hour trying to create with 'paint' on the screen I lost my glasses, went down to the library to buy another pair for £2.99 came back looked in the mirror and found them on my head, now you might say that that is nothing to do with being 'zoned out' but purely a function of a lack of brain cells which maybe true but coming up with a coherent blog surely proves something or other!
Tuesday 6th November 2018
I'm not looking for sympathy, honest, but today Fiona had another go at my face in Epsom Cozy Cottage Hospital, now I've got radiotherapy burns on my right cheek and gouges out of my left cheek, they wouldn't even let me drive home so I had to get a taxi which cost an arm and a leg. Whatever next?
Lots of love
PS Not only that I've got an unused return ticket from Epsom to Leatherhead dated November 6th which really hurts.
Monday 12th November 2018
Working on updates 4% complete. Don't turn off your PC. This may take a while. Familiar? My old machine takes what seems like weeks grinding away. A bit like Brexit negotiations but don't worry all will be fine in the end - promise.
Apart from that you will be pleased to know that The Oxshott Village Sign has now received full planning and building regulations approval so now we are into the home straight. Only manufacture and unveiling to go.
Love and hugs # And I love you so - sorry.
PS Three cheers for Acker and Chris (Bilk and Barber!). Sorry if you haven't a clue what I'm talking about - you are not alone!
Friday 16th November 2018
Within the past few days a 79 year old drove all the way to Eastbourne without hitting anyone or anything and checked to see if his name was on a seafront bench. Next morning he drove 30 miles across country to Wittersham in Kent relying totally on his Tom Tom. Chatted to Rod of Black Forge Art about the Oxshott Village Sign. He then returned to Eastbourne imagining he was Lewis Hamilton. Next morning he drove up to Beachy Head to watch a sky full of Paragliders hanging in the mist. He then experienced Nirvana on the empty road past Bell Tout to Birling Gap. He then bought a coffee and a raffle ticket and then avoided everything and everybody on the road back to Cobham. Not very newsworthy or environmentally responsible but his passenger was in awe and it's not fake news Sam.
Beachy Head Lighthouse.
Wednesday 21st November 2018
On the left is a picture of the cow sheds and chimney stack in Oxshott Brick Works as seen from Aylings Corner (now Oxdowne Close). The chimney will feature in The Oxshott Village Sign when it is unvieled next spring. The chimney was demolished c1960.
On the right is a sketch I drew at Art Class yesterday which might be for sale at The Leatherhead Theatre Gallery next week.
There is no connection between the two except that I was born next to the cow sheds on Aylings Corner!
Friday 30th November 2018
Everybody's doing it so I thought I might join the Switching Club i.e switch my energy supplier, switch telephone, broadband and TV supplier because Martin Lewis says I will save a load of money. Switched to British Gas for Gas and Electricity, saving about £20 a month plus free boiler cover, but they can't read my smart meter so they say it will have to be switched but so what? Decided to switch away from Virgin for broadband, telephone and TV but they called one evening and offered me 2 months with nothing to pay to stay and halved my monthly bill from next January.. So following a few weeks of frustrating telephone calls and emails, result. Don't you think?
Then I decided to read another Stephanie book, sorry I meant to say Persephone in case, like me, you come from Oxshott and don't know how to pronounce Persephone. Persephone Books are very readable, engaging, soulful, passionate and full of atmosphere so click HERE for a jolly good read Persephone sorry Stephanie. Just for the record I can now read a Persephone Book while I am waiting for this page to become responsive on my old laptop
Then I decided to hang a few of my works of art in the Leatherhead Theatre Gallery just in case anybody would like to bag a cheap original by a live artist as opposed to a dead artist! But you'll have to be quick.
Thursday 6th December 2018
Today, here in the UK, millions of us were hit by a bug which knocked out a large part of mobile phone networks and Internet connections which, in turn, led to loss of business, frustration, travel chaos and hardship. My 15 year old laptop and phone are working perfectly - sorry folks Also today John from California sent me this poem.
We met and we married, a long time ago,
We worked long hours, and wages were low,
No T.V., no wireless, no bath, times were hard,
Just a cold water tap and the loo in the yard.
No holidays abroad, or carpets on floors,
We had coal fires, and we never locked doors,
Our children arrived, no pill in those days,
We brought them all up, without any state aid.
They were safe going out to play in the park,
And old folk could go for a walk in the dark,
No Valium, no drugs and no L.S.D.
We cured our ills with a nice cup of tea.
No vandals, no mugging, there was nothing to rob,
And we felt we were rich with a couple of bob,
People were happier in those far off days,
More kinder, and caring, in so many ways.
Milkmen and paper boys would whistle and sing,
A night at the pictures was our one night fling.
We all got our share of trouble and strife,
We just had to face it, that was the pattern of life.
Now we are old, and look back through the years,
We don't think of hard times, troubles and tears.
We remember the blessings, our hope and our love,
For we shared them together, and we thank God above.
I'm pretty sure it was written by someone from Oxshott who was never without his mobile phone.
Mobile Phone c.1968
Travelled all the way from Fred Meyers Lynwood Washington State USA to Cobham Surrey UK.
Image of drawing board temporarily removed.
Might be copyright!
You know what a drawing board look like.
Sunday 9th December 2018
You missed a great night last night at The Oxshott Men's Club, sorry, The Oxshott Club. Reminded me of 1959! Mince pies, sausage rolls, sausages on a stick, mulled wine, Christmas decorations and jolly folk music by all those who turned up for the Open Mike Night with their guitar's and banjo's. Those with an instrument out-numbered those without an instrument and The Oxshott Village Sign or Brexit wasn't mentioned once. Bliss.
Friday 14th December 2018
You missed a great night last night at The Cobham Village Hall, An update from Cobham Heritage on all the planning applications, footpaths and community gardens followed by a recital from students from the local Yehudi Menhuin School, Heavenly, followed by mulled wine and mince pies. Magical. The Oxshott Village Sign or Brexit wasn't mentioned once. Bliss.
Hope you are similarly blissed. Sorry slipped into my Kiwi accint.
Tuesday 18th December 2018
From The Department of Work and Pensions
Now that you are approaching 80 you are entitled to a higher amount of State Pension.
Age Addition of 25p per week will be payable from your 80th birthday.
If you think this decision is wrong please get in touch with us.
Love and hugs
Department of Work and Pensions
I've forgotten what I voted in the 2016 Referendum but I've changed my mind about leaving the EU, will that make any difference to my pension?
Yours as ever
Friday 21st December 2018
Who'd have thought that a piddly little drone could bring the country's second biggest airport to a standstill for a couple of days? Obviously nobody. Just shows how vulnerable we are in this high tech digital world. Back in 1965 I was flying my Piper Colt into Fairoaks and nearly landed on a crow, lightening reactions saved the day and the crow, just thought I'd mention it Sam. And if you want a late Christmas present click HERE.
Wednesday 26th December 2018
Dear Readers (only 2 according to my Google Analytics)
I hope you had a lovely time over the holidays and thanks for reading thus far. You will be pleased to hear that I've got nothing to blog about today except that I'd like to wish you A Happy, Healthy, Peaceful and Productive New Year. Bob's Blog will now continue on PAGE 20. When he's got something remotely interesting to blog about. Sorry.
Love and hugs
Working on updates
Don't turn off your computer - yawn!