Tuesday 29th March 2016
Spitfire Jock flew in today for repairs and a spot of TLC as he had suffered a mysterious accident which left him with only one wing. If you are not familiar with Spitfire Jock from previous blogs, he was a balsa wood kit bequeathed to me by Jock which I made up for Jock’s grandson Tom in memory of Jock. While I was at it I decided to make a chimney for Lottie’s Wendy House for when the Log Burner arrives. Well you would wouldn’t you?
Also today its Pete’s birthday, he lives near Caloundra in Queensland, Oz. So Happy Birthday to Pete. He probably won’t be reading this but you never know. Pete and I spent a misspent youth together in Oxshott Men’s Club around the snooker table when I had hair – not a pretty sight! c.1957.
It's me on the left, in case you were wondering.
Wednesday 6th April 2016
Well it seems that according to my Google Analytics there are 56 of you out there who spend an average of 6 minutes and 52 seconds reading this riveting story, so, despite that certain person who thinks that I should be doing more useful things, like fixing the fence etc, I am going to risk punishment and continue to blog. In any case I can’t leave you in the dark about all that’s going on at the moment, like Lottie’s extension, my new invention and Emma’s project to name but three.
Lottie’s extension took another leap forward yesterday, the skip arrived, Lottie helped us load it with all the rubble while at the same time directing operations from her new swing. Her new swing is quite a story, last weekend I decided that her old wooden swing was on the point of collapse so I put a wanted ad’ in Streetlife and before you could say Jack Robinson a lovely lady replied saying she had a lovely sturdy swing that wasn’t used any more so I dismantled it and planted it in Lottie’s back garden – as you can see she is delighted. Result?
Thursday 7th April 2016
In order to comply with Log Burner Flue Building Regulations I have now fitted the chimney to Lottie’s Wendy house so now she can keep warm, plenty of logs available from the trashed conservatory and old wooden swing. Also yesterday, just for posterity, I passed my MOT including hearing check, vision check, knee check and spell check.
I can now reveal to the world via this blog that my new invention is available to all at £9.99 plus carriage or if you have a spare piece of square rainwater pipe and a broom handle you can make your own. ‘Bob’s Planter’ will transform your potato/bulb planting experience, easy to use (just tread on it) wiggle it withdraw the ‘core sample’ and knock or shake out the core. The only square planter on the market. Accurate depth of hole, exceptionately robust (made from tough uPVC), more room for manipulation of potato/bulb, light and stylish. How can any gardener be without one?
You can even use it for clam digging on West Wittering beach at low tide!
I need a new pair of wellies!
Seen today in a neighbours parking space!
Tuesday 12th April 2016
Well Bob’s Planters are flying out the door by the thousand so finally I’ve created something that somebody else wants (I last used that phrase when my eldest daughter got married) so you better hurry as I might get bored making them – Bob’s Planters not daughters of course.
We bloggers occasionally go through what is known as writer’s block which seems to have happened in Jan Leeming’s case, maybe I should drop her a line. Writer's block is a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown. Fortunately that hasn’t happened to me yet but I know at least one of you out there is hoping it will. Well for the moment you can only hope Sam, actually I know that you hang on every word! I have promised to mend the fence later so that will keep me occupied for a while but it’s not actually on my bucket list.
By the way I will admit that I started today’s blog with a lie, Bob’s Planters are not actually flying out the door they are being thrown over the fence by a certain person, it’s a good job there is a hole in the fence!
Well for you guys out there in Michigan today here in Cobham it’s hotter than a snakes ass’ in a wagon rut and later today I will be publishing my tax returns but that’s a lie as well.
I can understand that from now on you probably won’t believe any of this; it could all be lies, without a picture that is. Take that picture above for instance, if I told you that a neighbour had strapped her boyfriend to a sacrificial anode and hoped that he would be struck by lightning you wouldn’t believe me would you? Well there you are!
Friday 15th April 2016
Apologies to Jan (Leeming), she hasn’t got writer’s block she’s obviously been on another jolly to the Southern States – very cultural. As for me I haven’t, but I did put the bin out for collection yesterday also popped over to check on the builder, he uncovered a vast lump of concrete and broke his tool on it which did hold things up a bit but the building inspector wasn’t too worried. Also yesterday I got a call from a young lady who happened to be walking to work in the Big Apple – how fantastic is that? Having said that according to my Google Analytics there’s zero people reading this which makes you wonder why us bloggers bother, I’ll tell you why, a long time from now when I’m old and senile (maybe tomorrow) I will want to know what I did with my life and when I get through reading all this I’ll conclude that I was bloody lucky – bloody lucky.
Not to worry Sam I’ve only used 169mb out of 500mb available so there might be more!
Sunday 17th April 2016
Well I don’t know what the weather is like where you are but here in Cobham it’s extremely utchy again, too cold for blogging almost, so there’s only one thing to do and that is to reduce the heat loss through these 9 inch solid brick walls. The heat loss at the moment is 2 watts per square metre per degree centigrade and the required figure according to the latest Building Reg’s is 0.18 watts per square metre per degree centigrade, I know that because the Building Inspector has asked me to provide calculations for Lottie’s new extension. It’s been a long time since I calculated anything so I’ll have to get the old slide rule out which believe it or not I still have.
Seriously though the amount of insulation you are required to have in a new building nowadays is getting ridiculous. To meet the regulations for this house I would have to clad the whole house in sheep’s wool – very cosy! Maybe there would be lots of other people who would like their houses to be clad in sheep’s wool, the only problem with that is that the price of sheep’s wool would go through the roof and then where would we be? Back where we started with all the heat escaping through the roof – obvious.
Yes, I have become paranoid about heat loss. What I can’t understand is that if Global Warming is really on the cards, why are the Building Regulations inspectors worried about heat loss?
Monday 18th April 2016
Did you see it on TV last night? No, not Indian Summers.
Jumbo – The plane that changed the world.
I was there, that’s me just to the left of Jack Swertfager behind the APU exhaust pipe at the rollout ceremony on Monday September 30th 1968. And if you did watch it you will have heard that a trailing edge flap came unstuck on the first flight, I hasten to add that I was working on the leading edge VC flaps so it wasn’t my fault.
Even more exciting I have now started on the story of our trip to Boeing in Seattle in 1968 so lots to look forward to Sam. Have a nice day.
Wednesday 20th April 2016
Lots of decisions to be made in the coming days/months. Let’s hope we all wake up feeling inspired. Whether or not we make the right decision we’ll never know what it would have been like if we made the wrong decision. I’m fairly confident that you will make the right decision. And if you don’t make the right decision the wrong decision might turn out to be the right decision after all. The trick is not to make your decision until daylight otherwise Charlotte you won’t get much sleep, my only decision to be made today is whether or not to publish today’s blog. And if I get it wrong I’ll never know what would have happened if I didn’t. So that must mean that there is never a wrong or a right decision, the only issue therefore is whether or not to make a decision in the first place. I think that those of us who are fortunate enough to have the choice of whether or not to make a decision can thank our lucky stars that somebody somewhere has made a decision. I think they call it democracy.
Friday 22nd April 2016
Right now I am involved in a battle with everyone involved with Lottie’s extension. Lottie insists on having her kitchen in a place that involves awkward and expensive drainage, the building inspector thinks I don’t know what I’m talking about, the builder thinks the same and none of them can see the sensible solution – except me - but they refuse to take any notice of my drawing so what do I do?................. I know I’m off to Ibiza. Thanks for listening.
Calm down, lets have a look at a few bluebells now at their best on Whitedown.
Saturday 30th April 2016
Finally finished the fence also I can give you an update on Lottie’s extension. After a few inevitable ‘issues’ it’s looking great, drains sorted, concrete oversite done and the first few blocks/bricks been laid. Lottie’s a bit worried about what’s going to happen when the builder disconnects the old cooker and kitchen but I told her Granddad has it all under control – maybe!
Tuesday 3rd May 2016
A Happy Birthday to all of you who were born on May 3rd and a Happy Birthday to all of you who weren’t born on May 3rd ! Yesterday was Oxshott Village Day and there was a good turnout for all the stalls and entertainment and the weather was kind but it wasn’t a patch on Oxshott Fete in the 50’s. Back in the 50’s for a fiver I could get 4 gallons of petrol, groceries for a month, see a couple of films, buy a new pair of shoes and have enough left over for six pints of Mild and Bitter. Yesterday that fiver bought me one pint of insipid beer in a plastic glass – outrageous. Ever since I can remember I have tried to avoid joining a Bowls Club but guess what happened yesterday after I had that pint of beer? OK it was two but don’t tell anyone.
Take Lottie here for instance, she is very optimistic she can make a good cup of tea and get the washing up done despite the fact that her new kitchen hasn’t arrived yet.
Saturday 7th May 2016
Leaps and bounds I think is the term, that’s if you are asking how Lottie’s extension is going. The weather is perfect for building so not a lot to complain about. Of course on any project of this sort the guy who did the drawings comes in for the most stick but after 60 years of drawing lines and circles I’m used to that. Of course mistakes have been made in the past but they have been conveniently stored away in a part of the brain which is inaccessible. Which is most of it these days! Anyhow these latest pictures will give you some indication of progress amongst the construction kit, lintel up for the bifold doors, roof timbers delivered, skylight delivery this week and today the old kitchen is history – Lottie is a bit confused.
PS The alien with the orange trousers on next doors roof is not an alien it’s blossom – I think.
Thursday 31st March 2016
About this time of year I start to think about what I might plant in my veggie patch, well it’s not my veggie patch, it’s a neighbour’s back garden who doesn’t mind me whiling away a few hours on his patch. You may remember the sun flowers, runner beans and corn on the cob from last year. Well this year I thought that the old back is not going to be too happy with another year of digging, mowing, sowing, hoeing, raking, weeding and cursing the bugs but then again there’s nothing quite like digging up your own potatoes is there Sam? So it looks like it will be another year of ‘potato city’.
Clawing out a trench for your potatoes is hard work so what do you do? Obvious, .................................................................. and bingo you have a beautifully clean hole the correct depth in which to plant your potato.
Mmmmmmmm! Perhaps there are a few million people out there who might like one of ‘Bob’s Planters’? So, return to the shed, fish out a discarded ............................... and bingo – yet another fantastically useful product that nobody has thought about ready for the market place. Next, dream of fame and fortune. Next, type in ‘bulb planter’ on Google and click on images. * unifom, charlie *. Might be a picture tomorrow, if you are lucky.
Saturday 2nd April 2016
I’m really sorry I can’t show you a picture (yet) as I have had to place my new invention on the TOP SECRET list and also delete part of yesterday’s blog because a Global Manufacturer has requested first refusal on global manufacturing rights. So, unless you copied and pasted yesterday’s blog you will be in the dark for a while. As I said my veggie patch is across the street and during the research and development phase I was spotted by a few neighbours with it under my arm and they were aghast in wonderment at its beauty and simplicity.
PS The above is not an April Fool joke.
While we wait for an answer I was talking to my favourite person last night Charlotte (Bronte) and she said she was having difficulty sleeping as her mind was full of Mr Rochester, couldn’t get him out of her thoughts. I said to her ‘try to imagine dear Charlotte that you are going to have to get up in ten minutes’ of course she hasn’t, but immediately ‘your mind should be relaxed’. And ‘if Mr Rochester is still in your thoughts’ ‘whisper to yourself – got to get up – got to get up – got to get up – just like the sound of the train pulling in to Haworth Station’ ‘slower and slower got ……..to ……..get …….up ……got ………..to ………..get ………..up ………..got …………..to …………..get …..…..…and by the time you get to up you should be asleep’. The only problem is that if the station porter at one end of the platform is shouting ‘Haworth’ ‘Haworth’ and the porter at the other end of the platform is shouting ‘Same up this end’ it could be disturbing.
PS The above is an April Fool story but give it a try.
Sunday 3rd April 2016
It’s very sad when an old friend has been diagnosed with a terminal illness not only that but you are told that she will die at midnight on the 27th October 2016 when the MOT runs out. The problem is that our old CRV, she has been with us for nearly 12 years, has developed high pollution levels and it seems there is no cure. She only just scraped through her last MOT and been running around with an indicator lamp on ‘orange’ ever since.
Having said that yesterday she put in another faultless performance and transported us through the leafy lanes of Sussex to our favourite place ‘West Wittering Beach’. Tranquillity snoozing on the camping chair only spoilt by some fool demonstrating his aerobatic skills in his noisy bi-plane overhead – ‘Uniform Charlie, please go away’.
I bought her to haul around 'Kellar', our Orkney fishing boat seen below on Hayling Island in 2007, you can only see her back end from here but she looks good from the front end as well! Have a nice day and don’t forget to stretch those hamstrings.
I am told by a certain person that this blog is getting ridiculous and embarrassing and in the cold light of day I must admit that I tend to agree with that person so, unless I here (sorry, hear, I'm having my hearing checked next Wedneday, I'll get my spelling checked as well) unless I hear from someone who would like me to continue I think I’ll give it a rest. Sam will be pleased.
Love and hugs anyway.
PS My daughter, Emma is starting a new venture. You can see the beginnings of the new idea HERE. Don't know where she gets these crazy ideas from!
Sunday 10th April 2016
Due to the problems of posting a broom handle I have decided that for £9.99 you will get one predrilled Bob’s Planter complete with screws for fitting to your own broom handle plus full fitting and operating instructions plus one Handy Sander (minus sandpaper) as previously described on Page 1 of this blog, postage and packing included. What a bargain?
If you can't do without one email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will work out payment and delivery.
Don’t forget that Bob’s Planter is unique in the market place, it does a job that no other planter will do. If you look at all the ‘images’ of ‘Bulb Planters’ you will find that they all (or nearly all) are conical, expensive, round and all sorts of crazy contraptions that don’t do the business – how do I know that? – well today I talked to a gardener of some repute who confirmed that she has tried them all, found them all unsatisfactory and she is looking forward to passing judgement on Bob’s Planter. I’ll keep you informed.
Don’t forget also that Bob’s Planter will punch square holes or diamond shaped holes in your garden depending on the angle of dangle. It is made from tough uPVC, 65 mm (2.5”) square, 150 mm (6”) long, predrilled with holes for attaching to your broomstick. You had better hurry as its potato planting time. Yes I know that all the books tell you to dig a trench for potato planting but that’s too much like hard work don’t you think Sam?
Moving on Dave the builder arrived on site yesterday to discuss Lottie’s extension; she’s very excited and hopes that Grandad’s plans and calculations are going to be OK. I told her not to worry.
Sunday 24th April 2016
By the way Henry took the picture of the bluebells from his eye level, he didn’t notice that there was a discarded fag packet hiding in amongst them – sorry about that. No treats for him.
I’m getting on well with our story of life in Seattle in 1969 so not long to wait now Sam. Apparently my article about ‘The Entrepreneurs of Oxshott in the 40’s and 50’s’ recently published in Fedora Magazine has caused quite a stir. I am told by a fellow member of The Old Farts of Oxshott Club (TOFOOC) that it has caught the atmosphere of what it was like back then, it’s great when a smidgeon of recognition comes to an author. Now I know what Beatrix Potter felt like when she came up with Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck, Mrs Tittlemouse and friends. Beatrix went on to buy up half of the Lake District so maybe that Escape to the Country may be a possibility after all. Some hopes. Just for the record it’s raining, cold and miserable today here in Cobham so I won’t be able to get on and mend the fence, bit of a shame, but at least it will keep the London Marathon runners cool, probably too cool.
Monday 25th April 2016
After watching the London Marathon yesterday, which was very watchable, I got into the inspired mood. I can’t run for more than 11.5 seconds so I tried to do too much, took Henry out (twice), mended the fence, tried not to upset the builder at Lottie’s extension, mended somebody else’s fence, look after Lottie, mended the fence, booked a holiday and mended the fence. The problem is that if you try to do too much nothing gets done properly so take a breath s l o w d o w n…….. and act your age?
Tuesday 26th April 2016 (Early morning)
We've never been on a cruise before but yesterday I found one which went to all the right places at the right time, cost thousands and the theme was Ancient Civilisation's so I got excited and had a word with Tina from Saga and the first thing she said was ‘there's only 2 cabins left’ so I panicked and held a cabin for 24 hours but today following careful consideration and a check in the wardrobe when she calls for the deposit I will tell her to cancel it because the dress code doesn't suit us and if we need to know more about Ancient Civilizations we only have to look in our street!
This ‘feeling old’ theme will stop now as tomorrow you will be treated to a story about what it’s like to be young, vibrant and full of optimism – just like you.
Tuesday 26th April 2016 (Late evening)
OK you are in for a treat, bear in mind that nobody is reading this blog so it’s only for me to read when I get old – nowhere near yet! Those involved may find it interesting. I didn’t keep a diary so it’s just a case of looking at a few old photos and trying to remember what happened. There are many more pictures on the old fashioned slides so I might get the projector out and add a few pic’s at a later date so click HERE and prepare to be transported back to 1968.
Thursday 28th April 2016
Well Sam I was planning on giving blogging a rest but yesterday was such an extraordinary day I just had to tell you about it. In recent years an old neighbour of mine who was Irish and a retired Doctor (most of us called him Paddy) and had a million stories to tell most of which are not repeatable here. Anyhow sadly Paddy died a couple of years ago but not before he introduced me to his favourite car mechanic who used to look after his old BMW a Mr Cooper of Peter Cooper Car Repairs over in Byfleet.
I have, on a number of occasions, taken my old CRV to Mr Cooper for a spot of TLC and been more than satisfied. Well yesterday I popped over again to Byfleet for a second opinion on the patient. On the way there I drove through Brooklands Retail Park which as you may know is surrounded by what is left of the old Brooklands Race Track – a very evocative piece of concrete which in my mind should be packaged up in small pieces and sold as souvenirs and called an APO but that’s another story (see Blog Page 1).
Fortunately I happened to catch Mr Cooper during his lunch break who kindly offered to plug in his diagnostic kit into my old CRV and miraculously discovered that she is not dying after all, merely quite ill but not terminally ill.
I accompanied Mr Cooper on a test drive around the old Brooklands Track, past the Brooklands Museum where you can see Concorde and many other old aircraft for nothing if you know where to go. Also on the way we chatted about old Oxshott and discovered that he is married to the daughter of one of my old Oxshott school mates. How incredible is that? So if you happen to have an old Ford KA that needs some tender loving care you now know where to take it, how’s that for a roundabout story?
Mr Cooper, who also lives round the corner from me in Cobham, showed great interest in all my stories about old Oxshott plus an even greater interest in www.walktowork.co.uk so who knows what the outcome will be?
It seems that some of you are having trouble finding things on this blog - me included, so I will attempt to create a contents list with links to all the exciting bits starting with Bob's Blog in the USA click HERE.
Wednesday 4th May 2016
Just realised it’s Bob’s Blog’s first birthday today. Exactly a year ago today I had a crazy notion that somebody might be interested in hearing a story or two but let’s face it somebody else’s blog is about as interesting as a referendum. However having said that I am grateful to those of you who seem to have enjoyed the odd blog. Talking about a referendum, or any election for that matter, as far as I can see it doesn’t matter how you vote so long as you vote, only then will you experience optimism or pessimism and wouldn’t you rather be optimistic? Of course you would so, vote in or vote out, vote Khan or vote Goldsmith, vote Trump or vote Clinton, vote independence or dependence but be optimistic. Simple.
I’m fairly optimistic that nobody will read this.
Thursday 5th May 2016
You see this optimism thing is something that politicians don’t do a lot of. So, today being local Election Day here in the UK I am going to vote optimistically and be optimistic regardless – it’s the only way.
Tuesday 10th May 2016
Don't you get annoyed when somebody tells you that they are going to do something and then they don't do it? Well yesterday that somebody was me. I told someone that I would go along to a Bowls Club and learn how to play bowls, the fact that it was bucketing down with rain was no excuse. Between you and me I simply can't get used to the idea of me bowling balls. I tried very hard to get interested, watched loads of videos, studied the finer points of ball delivery and even tried to understand the rules but I'm very sorry I've decided to take up jiving to Rock and Roll music instead. That’s if I can find a partner, what do you think Sam? I know what Sam is going to say so if there's anyone else out there who can see themselves enjoying jiving with old Bob then let me know. How about you Jan (Leeming) I can just see you and me rocking in the aisles or maybe a spot of Flamenco?.
That’s the problem when you get past it you think you can do still do it but it’s all ‘in your dreams’........... Isn’t it?
Thursday 12th May 2016
Bob's Blog has now moved on to PAGE 10. Enjoy.