Thursday 3rd November 2016
If everything remains equal then by the time old Bob gets to the end of this page the snowdrops, bluebells and daffodils should be out and he will be another year older so something to look forward to – as well as Christmas.
GREAT NEWS The Easyreader Book Support is now available on Ebay.
All proceeds to the Queen Elizabeth Foundation for Disabled People click HERE to get one for Christmas.
Saturday 5th November 2016
Just for the record, according to his Goggle Analytics, Bob’s blog is very popular with the people of Epsom. Bob’s not sure why so any feedback from Epsom greatly appreciated GeeJay. A lot of his old school friends came from Epsom so it may be the class of ’52 at Kingston Junior Technical School – all in their late 70’s now – wondering what he’s up to.
Bob does have a picture of the class of ’52 and he remembers all of the names – bloody amazing, also the teachers who were Butch, Basher, Chopper, Flossie, Bas, Bill, Lucy, Taffy, Doc, Di and Gobbo. Doc was our form master – what a crew!
So if Coeshott, Foden, Gleghorn, O’Connor, Beaumont, Rolls, Evans, Gadd, Branson, Astridge, Goody, Yapp, Cooke, Belcher, Bead, Teague, Buller, Heatherington, Ford, Burke, Palmer, Virgo, Jones (that’s me), Martin and Davies are still with us and reading this then Hi from Bob.
Monday 7th November 2016
Prior to global distribution Bob has decided to offer handmade Handy Sander’s in time for Christmas. Those of you who are keen followers of Bob’s blog will remember the Handy Sander from Page 1 and will know that it is a unique DIY product, made of tough uPVC, designed as a sanding block and to dispense at least 1 metre of sandpaper off a standard 115mm wide roll.
Reviews have been ‘ super’.... ‘smashin’.... 'terrific’....’ I've struggled for years to find a sander that's easy to work with. This is 5 star’ and ‘ why didn't I think of that’.
So, to avoid any more grazed knuckles when sanding Bob is offering not one but TWO Handy Sander’s (one square and one round) for only £4.99 plus £3.50 postage. Sandpaper not supplied.
To order send Bob an email with your name and address and he will request payment by cheque or bank transfer - [email protected]
The Handy Sander
ALL IN ONE SANDPAPER DISPENSER
AND SANDING BLOCK
Made and distributed in the UK under license.
– instructions for use.
1. Roll up your sandpaper tightly and insert into the Handy Sander with the outer edge protruding through the slot.
2. Pull out a short length of sandpaper and wrap it around your Handy Sander.
3. You now have a comfortable to use and effective sanding block.
4. To reel back in simply grab the inner end of the sandpaper and wind back in - job done!
Monday 14th November 2016
Very sorry, Bob’s sold out of Easyreaders and Handy Sander’s, heard from all his old class mates and girlfriends, won the lottery and put in an offer for his new pad currently ‘on the market’ in Oxshott for £23 million (A grade II listed hilltop mansion of ambassadorial proportions and international specification, with commanding views towards London) – but Henry doesn’t believe a word of it and he just may be right!
Bob never knew Oxshott was that big.
Monday 21st November 2016
Now, if you subscribe to the Newsletter from a website called ‘DIY Doctor’ you would see this headline on this month’s edition. Reg DIYer appears to be the chief DIYer and editor. Bob is wondering if that's his real name!
Getting ready for Christmas
Reg Diyer is busy this week. The family are arriving for Christmas and he is getting ready for a bit of decoration and right now is in the (painful) preparation stage....Painful that is, until he read an email from a DIY Doctor fan, Robert Jones, who told him about his new idea called the handy sander.
Robert's idea is about as simple as it gets but it's effectiveness is far reaching...Just how many jobs does this little idea help with?!
Grab a piece of downpipe, square section and/or round section and simply saw a slit in one side. Roll up your sandpaper, drop it in, pull a length out and wrap it round the outside.
Now we think that's genius; and so does Reg. We would love to know what you think because Robert is considering producing this for DIYers all over the world and let's face it, not everyone has a length of plastic down pipe kicking around in the shed! Is this a good idea, or could Robert improve the design? Click here if you think Robert should go for it!
Bob is highly delighted that at last this is cast iron proof that somebody is taking notice of his inventions but this has happened before and has led nowhere so let’s wait and see. Be positive Sam.
Saturday 26th November 2016
Bob’s of the opinion that this DIY thing is great if you’ve got the energy, a clear vision of where you are going, decent weather, the right tools and somebody to clear up the mess but otherwise another Latte in your favourite coffee shop dreaming about selling all your junk on Ebay for a vast profit wins hands down.
By the way Reg DIYer hasn’t been back with any news or feedback from his article on the Handy Sander – don’t hold your breath. In the meantime Bob had a very pleasant Latte with Lottie on his Lotto winnings yesterday morning in a rather swish coffee shop known as Garson’s Farm in Esher. If you don’t know Garson’s Farm it is a state of the art Emporium which has gone from a modest Pick Your Own veggie plot to a vast enterprise catering for the rich and famous to the not so rich and infamous supplying everything from Artichokes to Zylophones including a million Christmas Trees (already) and if you are really adventurous you will spot a couple of real live Reindeer in amongst the Christmas Trees, probably called Dasher and Prancer but that’s not what Lottie called them.
Also yesterday was something called The Cobham Extravaganza which starts about 4pm when the police close the roads all around annoying all those who are trying to get somewhere and haven’t read the notices, the place fills with throngs of people, marching bands and loud music? All (most) of the shops stay open late enticing customers in with ‘fine wine’ resulting in some people getting carried away leaving kids screaming and urinating in dark alleyways. Par for the course? Bob’s getting very old (and cynical) now.
Tuesday 29th November 2016
Hardly worth a mention but Bob and his old codgers completed another hike yesterday. This time it was an amble in the cold(ish) sunshine to the pub for a large lunch and a pint via the coffee shop. Not much attention was paid to the autumn colours, the view, the wildlife or the ‘points of interest’ pointed out by Bob on the way as catching up on health, wealth and happiness dominated the conversations. Once more the Skimmington Castle on Reigate Heath came up trumps with atmosphere, service and menu choices. Perhaps the highlight of the day, apart from Den poncing about in his golf shoes as he forgot his boots and gloves, was Bob’s attempts at ‘swinging the ring’ in the bar being cheered on by all the diners. He managed to hook the ring cleanly on the tenth attempt to loud applause. Mind you Bob had had a lot of practice 55 years ago in the Crown and Anchor down in Dell Quay so no surprises! Another energetic hike was agreed to take place at some time in the future so watch this space.
Wednesday 30th November 2016
Your first on-stage kiss especially when you are 16 years old must be quite a moment especially when you are the one being kissed. This happened to Bob's grandson Ivan last night in a play put on by The Harrodian Students. Miranda plonked one on him because he seemed to be the only one who cared about her plight. She was Miranda and he was Ferdy in a risqué take on Shakespeare's play The Tempest. The young lady who played the Social Services Interrogator (Tara Zaman) was bloody brilliant and Bob predicts she will go far.
It’s likely that Bob’s regular readers are heartily cheesed off with the mention of Goggle Analytics and the Handy Sander but just for the record and for those who are really interested in these things the top location for hits for Bob’s Blog readers is no longer in Epsom or Leatherhead London or Burgess Hill but St Petersburg!!
If you receive a letter from your Bank telling you that their computers have been half inched and it is likely that your details are on the stolen computers then it can be a bit of a worry. This happened to Bob recently, not only that despite Bob’s optimism Handy Sanders and Easyreaders are not selling in anywhere near the numbers Bob expected and if the truth be known not one Handy Sander or Easyreader has been sold, now you would think that this devastating news would send Bob into the depths of depression and despair but far from it. Bob, despite these setbacks, remains quietly confident that all will be well. He’s not sure why he is quietly pleased. Maybe it’s because he is greatly relieved that he won’t have to spend hours in the shed making the bloody things, buying jiffy bags, packing them up, sticking stamps on, taking them down the post office, dealing with the paperwork and counting the money. Instead he can spend a lot more time doing his exercises, sweeping up leaves, watching Escape to the Country and dreaming about making a fortune? Phew!
One of the seven books that Bob will write before he gives up will be called ‘How I Raised Myself from Success to Failure in One Easy Lesson’ there are plenty of books out there teaching you how to do the reverse and Bob has read them all but from riches to rags there are none. So, Bob has decided to fill a gap in the market with his success to failure story which he is convinced will be a none seller. There is a guy called Chris Gardner in the news this morning who dragged himself out of a New York gutter and became a millionaire many times over he then wrote a book called ‘The Pursuit of HappYness’ and now his books, videos, films, lectures are sought after throughout the world. The problem is that there are millions of us who think that we can do the same thing if we could only find the right key to unlock our RMA (Right Mental Attitude) but Bob reckons that the key to happYness is merely the pursuit of happYness which hopefully is a never ending journey – right Sam?
Friday 9th December 2016
Writing in the third person , I've decided is much too liberating , hardly believable so it's back to the first person if that's OK by you. This success / failure thing I've also decided is all relative so I suggest that success can be measured not by how many Handy Sanders you sell or how many hits you get on your blog but by any minute achievement. Like making a decent cup of coffee for instance or banging a nail in the wall without bending it or simply breathing in and out, this I achieved all day yesterday and with any luck I will be able to do the same today and possibly even tomorrow. So what I'm saying is success can be achieved every day of the week no matter how old you are, ask Mick Jagger!
Monday 12th December 2016
It’s highly unlikely that anybody will take notice of old Bob’s blog but in the news recently are further concerns about the poor old atmosphere which continues to take a pounding with carbon emissions, methane and a million other nasties. Well also in the news at the moment is a report about some outfit generating power from cryogenic (very cold liquid air), now when I used to work for Air Products many moons ago nobody could tell me how much they paid for their raw material (air), think about it, it takes a million room fulls of air to make half an ounce of liquid air and they and other companies (like BOC) have been doing it for years – sucking air out the atmosphere faster than the poor old trees can make it and faster than diesel engines, cows and 747’s can pollute it. So there you have it, make these companies pay for our air and use the money for making wind-up phones and computers, and I don’t mean wind up phones with batteries, what I mean is if you stop winding it stops working, think about it.
Also quit using leaf blowers and chain saws and get the old bow saw out like I did yesterday to prune the old Bramley. Have a nice day.
This is my old Bramley which was planted by my father (Reg) some 30 years ago (before massacre) and this is me in 1955 aged 16 at Kingston Junior Technical School (third from the right seated). No connection except that I'm completely innocent of Bramley apple trees, the world wide web, Jumbo Jets, girlfriends, wives, mortgages, children, grandchildren and all that’s gone before on this blog.
Wednesday 14th December 2016
I was just about to take a picture of my massacred Bramley to show you and this guy parachuted in – amazing – he must have been looking for the fish and the frogs in our pond which I filled in 10 years ago, so does that mean he thought he had a long memory but he’s forgotten or has he got memories handed down from his ancestors? Either way he looks a touch disappointed so with one flap disappeared over the hedge. Behind is a mountain of prunings from the Bramley which is hardly worth blogging about but it proves that I’m not being idle. It’s a balmy 12 Centigrade here in Cobham at the moment, what’s it like out there in St Petersburg? I’m pretty sure this Google Analytics thing has got its wires crossed and it should read Cootamundra or Ottawa or maybe Putney or some place. Who knows? Who cares? Anybody? Sorry about the picture quality, not my usual standard.
Saturday 17th December 2016
I expect that you find this blog totally, deeply, completely and utterly boring but compared with a round robin Christmas message we receive from a cousin of mine every year, believe me, it is positively inspirational. Let me treat you to a few verses –
Still here! So who do we thank?
Well, us to be perfectly frank,
We are boring old farts
Who cosset our parts,
So! We’ve still got gas in our tank.
The years whizz by, we don’t know where
It seems we’re just stood standing there
Our bones are steadily getting old
I most definitely feel the cold
The answer? Take more care.
I’ll close again now for this year,
Hope your year’s passed without a tear
We just have to hope,
And still try to cope.
Meantime, Happy Christmas,
And! Let’s have a beer
There are plenty more verses so let me know if you would like to read the rest. And if Sylvia’s reading this I don’t mean it Sylvia, we love you madly. We look forward to it gladly. And it keeps us from being sadly. Next year we’re moving to Tadley. Thanks, we’re not feeling too badly.
Monday 19th December 2016
A very Happy Christmas
to all my readers, both of you, and may Father Christmas fill your stocking with dreams.
Lots of Love
Tuesday 20th December 2016
Oxshott Woods is a bit devoid of holly this year but nevertheless came up with this after a thrash through the undergrowth. Never fails. Including yellow berries this year - very unusual.
Wednesday 28th December 2016
I trust Father Christmas didn’t disappoint and that you are now making a list of your New Year Resolutions. Mine is not to worry any more about the fact that nobody reads this blog and not to worry any more about the fact that I am now even older than I used to be, but I won’t complain – honest. New Year plans for this blog are well under way – so watch this space – and a Happy New Year to my readers if there are any Sam.
58 years ago in 1959, Marcia (Nurse Beesley) worked for The Church of England Children’s Society as a Nursery Nurse. She cared for children mostly from difficult backgrounds and since that time she has wondered, especially at Christmas time, what became of 3 year old Jimmy Nash and 2 year old Jenny Hubbard seen here at St Mary’s Children’s Home in Sandy Lane Cheam. Marcia at the time wasn’t supposed to have ‘favourites’ but these two were particularly close to her and the bond was as strong as any mother could have for her children. I would like to use this blog to try to find these children as Marcia would love to know how life treated them. This may be a long shot but there is more to the story including photographs and memories which Jimmy and Jenny may like to have. Marcia is fairly sure that Jimmy was adopted by a family in Hindhead, Surrey and Jenny was adopted by a family in Oxshott, Surrey. These ‘children’ would now be in their 60’s and hopefully could close a loop for Marcia as even now she feels that they are part of her ‘Long Lost Family’.
Tuesday 3rd January 2017
New Years Resolutions from 1940
08.30 Saturday 7th January 1939 whoops sorry 2017
Not much to say today except I like seeing January 7th in print. Also I am a bit cheesed off with writing about myself (I expect you are to) so I thought I might write about somebody else so click HERE to find out who and be prepared for an emotional on-going story.
Sunday 8th January 2017
Driving through Bushey Park yesterday at the regulation 20mph we were joined by two bouncy young deer leaping along beside us about 5 or 6 yards away, suddenly they did a 90 degree turn and leapt over the car and cleared both lanes of traffic and the road with yards to spare. Now, I will forever have the vision of two colourful young deer suspended in mid-air in my rear view mirror. No pictures or video I’m afraid unless the driver of the car behind had a dash cam – was it you Sam?
Wednesday 11th January 2017
For those two or three of you out there who would like to know the ending to the story about our Marcia please click HERE but don’t forget your hanky.
Friday 13th January 2017 (Be careful)
Good job it wasn’t Friday 13th yesterday. Innocent old fart riding his bike alongside 4 ton truck, suddenly 4 ton truck decides to pull out forcing old fart into the bushes, loud mouth driver mumbles apology, old fart suggests loud mouth should look in his mirror occasionally, loud mouth sees red and chases old fart up the road in his 4 ton truck with grievous intent (tyres squealing), loud mouth decides not to crush old fart up against the wall but instead delivers a tirade of expletives which included ‘smart arse’. Thank you loud mouth and may you be lucky enough one day to become an old fart. Road rage?
Tuesday 17th January 2017
Steam wafting off the old Bramley in the weak early morning sun must mean that the snowdrops and bluebells can’t be far away so something to look forward to.
TTNY (This Time Next Year) if you don’t know the ITV programme hosted by Davina McCall is aimed at attempting to make dreams come true. Davina interviews the dreamer in front of an excitable audience walks across the stage and through the misty door (a year later but on the same programme) emerges the dreamer having achieved their dream or not. Usually it is to achieve a personal physical challenge. I am thinking of challenging myself to make www.walktowork.co.uk work and donate the profits to charity. What do you think Sam? The only problem is I can’t be sure what will emerge through that misty door TTNY!
Another trip around the M25 and over the Dart Crossing usually means, for me, a visit to a care home or another funeral; yesterday it was the latter saying goodbye to Barbara, RIP Barbara.
And get well soon all you out there with colds (including me), flu and a million other ailments. Don’t forget your EFT – it works – honest.
Thursday 19th January 2017
There is now a great deal of pressure in this part of the world to build houses, local authorities putting pressure on the green belt, government putting pressure on the local authorities, action groups putting pressure on the planners, developers putting pressure on everything and everybody. The plain truth is that infrastructure and services are at breaking point already and any increase in population/traffic will lock up any remaining flexibility in the system. ‘Quality of life’ will be damaged beyond repair. And that is also the story for a large part of the UK.
So, what’s the answer? Simple - you can’t buy a house unless you can WALKTOWORK. Next.
CLICK ON THE LOG BURNER TO REVEAL ALL!
Thursday 26th January 2017
You can't beat having a decent pair of shoes can you? And yes they are Grenson's. The finest shoes out there on the High Street (OK TIm?). Mine are on the end of my legs (which are not very decent) which are clad in my slim fit Uniqlo Jeans which featured on the first day of this blog. The whole ensemble, including, a Jack Daniels on the rocks are being treated to a cosy glow from the log burner on Boxing Day. But then they deserve it, this blogging business is b****y hard work.
Saturday 28th January 2017
And while I was warming my Grenson’s in front of the log burner (or lock burner as Lottie would say) I was musing about the time way back in the early 60’s when I used to play the guitar in various groups of like-minded ‘musicians’ and dreamers. Avid readers of this blog might remember that one of those groups was a quartet we called The Clancy Brothers (not the real Clancy Brothers). We used to play Irish folk songs in various pubs and clubs in and around Putney, anyway, our lead singer, who was a bit of a cool dude and went by the name of Tony Bowman who, would you believe, I’ve just discovered that he is now, at the age of 80, a champion hurdler and sprinter and holds a number of world records, talk about impressed. I’ve now decided to take up sprinting in my Grenson’s – could be a new sport Tim! What do you think? Check out Tony HERE.
Sunday 29th January 2017
I guess the highlight for me back in the swinging 60’s playing with the folk group was when the four of us (Tony. Dave, John and me - could have been the fab four!) were invited to a folk club in an atmospheric underground crypt beneath an hotel in the middle of Oxford frequented by undergraduates from all the Colleges roundabout. We were playing as second on the bill to a renowned American banjo player but for the life of me I can’t remember his name. Anyhow at the end of the evening we were invited in to one of the undergraduate’s rooms in Brasenose College for a sing song and a final rendition of Where Have All the Flowers Gone. And for the first, and only time, I got a whiff of what learning was all about, what it was like to be in a University surrounded by books, the overpowering incense of knowledge, what could have been, what could I have achieved? Could have, would have, should have, don’t go there. Any way the heady time wasn’t to last long as midnight came and went, the main gate and doors were locked and we had to exit feet first through the security bars on the window, drop down on to the street below followed by three guitars and a banjo. An ignominious end to my time in University! How the hell we got home Heaven only knows.
Thursday 2nd February 2017
Ever since I can remember we have had a piano in the house so you might think that I should be able to play, well I can string together a few chords and the odd one fingered melody which sounds a bit like Errol Garner at times, without the grunting. I also know that there is at least one of you out there who loves to hear me play, especially if we both have had a dram or two. Also I have been known to bang out a few numbers on a few pianos’ in various hotels while on a Saga Tour around Italy much to the delight of most fellow travellers but much to the embarrassment of others. So in order to prove I can play I am going to post a clip on YouTube so you can judge for yourself. But not yet. I’ve got to practice first. In the meantime I’ve got to get some fish as here in Cobham its fish on Thursdays (not Fridays) as Jimmy the Fish from Lowestoft arrives with his van load of cod, and Lottie loves cod. Sorry.
Sunday 5th February 2017
A Happy Anniversary to all those celebrating their wedding anniversary today.
Apart from that last night I saw a film via Netflix called Brooklyn which, is about a beautiful young Irish girl emigrating to the States in the 50’s. It re-awakened passions which I thought I’d forgotten about also passions which I thought I never had. Suffice to say that I’ve fallen in love with Saoirse (pronounced Sursha) Ronan who plays Eilis (pronounced Aelish) Lacey. Sorry Sam.
Apart from that it also re-awakened my old passion/desire to go to the United States however; bit of a shame, but the guy throwing his toys about in the Oval Office is a bit of a worry so maybe I’ll check to see if I’m an undesirable alien first.
Now I know it’s not very nice thinking about old wrinklies having passions and desires but one day, with any luck, you will be an old wrinkly and you will find that passions and desires increase exponentially with age, that means that every day you get 10 times more passionate and desirous than you were yesterday – and 100 times more incapable!
I’m not sure how passionate you are about Streetlife in your area but here in Cobham it certainly raises the blood pressure occasionally. Today a lady is seeking recommendations for a Nursery place for her unborn child and so far she has received no recommendations, so let’s hope the poor little mite doesn’t have to go to nursery before he/she can walk and preferably never. Too many poor little mites being rushed off to Nursery these cold dark mornings, no hats, gloves, scarves etc etc etc Yes I know you need the money but in my view no child should go to Nursery unless the child chooses to. Calm down you wrinkly old sod - I didn’t used to be so passionate - honest.
The good news today is that we have found Jenny (see above) amazingly after 58 years we have found Jenny and she’s lovely and if she’s reading this Marcia and I look forward to another chat or two. It’s quite a story – quite a story. But I promise I won’t blog about it.
Wednesday 8th February 2017
As predicted at the top of this page the snowdrops are out and the bluebells and daffodils are not far behind also as predicted I’m a year older so can’t complain. However, sadly, still not a snowflake to be seen so it looks like I’ll have to import another couple of buckets of snow from Ottawa – last year’s order did arrive but I wasn’t able to make any snowballs – only a cup of tea, so this year Mac and Judy over there in Ottawa you’d better pop a couple of ice cubes in with it.
Back in the mid 50’s Mac and I used to work at the Cottage Laboratories here in Cobham which, you may be interested to know Mac (I know you are reading this – love to Judy), is now a vast office complex and destined to be a vast school very shortly, next door is a vast complex known as The Cobham Curve and opposite is a another vast school known as the ACS (The American Community School) and there are plans to build a vast amount of houses in the vicinity just to add to the chaos. The poor old traffic lights at the junction of Fairmile Lane are going to have their work cut out dealing with the vast increase in traffic. You can see it all on your Google Maps and if you look closely you will see a section of the old Portsmouth Road, now called Lakewood Car Park, which is preserved for posterity and reminds me of our old bangers that might hit 55mph downhill provided the crankshaft didn’t break or the slack in the steering didn’t send the lot into the ditch and heaven help those in the way as the old cable brakes hadn’t a hope in hell of stopping the beast. Happy Days?
This section of the old Portsmouth Road used to be known as ‘Missile Mile’ as many windscreens were mysteriously shattered back in the 50’s; the culprit firing ice bullets was never found! Also this morning when walking Henry from that car park some inconsiderate s***bags had fly tipped their junk (again) blocking the doggie walkers trail but inconsiderate s***bags wasn’t the term used by fellow doggie walkers.
Before I stop reminiscing about Cottage Laboratories in the 50’s I’ll treat you to a picture of ‘The Centre Liners’ which were the Cottage Laboratories Band, obviously the guy on the left with the banjo has just played a bum note as the others including Alan Seager on the drums, Reg Hall on trumpet and Phil Appleyard with the ‘tache and violin have all stopped to have their picture taken.
So with any luck page 13 might follow shortly. Its arrived, see below.
Image temporarily removed.
Might be copyright!
Image temporarily removed.
Might be copyright!