Tuesday 25th July 2017
Waiting for something to happen.
Wednesday 26th July 2017
Something did happen the day before yesterday also yesterday but I can’t remember what it was so all I can do is tell you about what happened today before I forget ……….. bugger!
I do remember reading a book called something or other which was written by what’s his name and it has made a lasting impression on me. I now look at the world in a totally different light which is fantastic; I now realise that I am an incredibly fortunate person and I thank my lucky stars that I didn’t have to survive a 300 mile barefoot trek through the Burmese jungle chased by the Japanese, the Chinese, the head hunters, the snakes, the leaches, the ants, the mosquitos and the maggots back in 1942. I’ve just remembered the guy who wrote it, it was Stephen Brookes and it is an account of his incredible escape through the jungle and over mountain ranges to India at the age of eleven. The title of the book is ‘Through the Jungle of Death’, see, I can remember. I now look at all those well stocked shelves in Waitrose in a totally different light. Yes I know Sam there are two references to ‘a totally different light’ well now there are three.
Thursday 27th July 2017
I’ve just remembered what happened last Monday which is worth blogging about because it doesn't happen very often. And that was another hike for the old codgers (Den, Ron, John and Bob) this time following a walk extracted from Fancy Free Walks dot org (give it a try). They are very detailed hikes telling you exactly where to put your feet, such as, through the kissing gate, left at the holly bush, right at the cow and over the two planked bridge, in fact the two planked bridge turned out to be the three planked bridge so be warned.
This particular walk (or part of a walk) started at the Bolney Stage pub at Bolney village in West Sussex. Bob had arranged for the four old wrinklies to meet for a coffee, so far so good. The weather was crap, grey and drizzly but didn't deter the old farts a bit. Ambling off into the undergrowth in good spirits led by Bob reading from a soggy page, the conversation ranged from 'did you hear about poor old Mike? ' to 'did you hear about poor old Jim?'. The route was around a tree and past the Bolney Wine Estate where you can sample a glass and learn all about Rodney Pratt’s passion for wine, except on a Monday, today was a Monday.
The route then takes you past a finger post, round the duck pond, under a branch and onto a gently rising bridle path. After about a kilometre, past some noisy chickens, past a ‘Dog Will Bark’ sign, through a number of kissing gates, spot the culvert pipe and you find yourself on top of a ridge with commanding views over the Downs but we couldn't see a bloody thing through the murk, except a few inquisitive sheep. At this point lunch boxes were opened and contents devoured whilst leaning on a 5 bar gate. Also at this point Bob, being a bit concerned about stamina, decided to ditch plan A and head back along a Private Drive. The Private Drive sign was snapped off so 'I'm very sorry Sir we didn't see it and one of our number urgently requires medical attention ' response seemed appropriate if confronted by an irate farmer.
At the end of the Private Drive Bob's worst fears were realised, there was a bloody great 8 foot high security gate bristling with sensors, clicks, whirs, cameras and key pads. Bollocks, what happens now? Bob tried all the locks and trip wires and thoughts of another couple of miles to get to the other side of the gate began to enter his head. Fortunately to the left of the gate was a gap through which the four trapped hikers escaped - simple. CCTV may be used in evidence!
Back on track past some very expensive houses the final plunge through the undergrowth and over a few rickety stiles left the youngest wrinkly with a problem that should have required a helicopter extraction but with a quiet determination and with the assistance of the other three wrinklies John managed to hobble back to the Bolney Stage for a very welcome beverage. Get well soon John.
No pictures this time, just a rather magnificent Tawny Owl feather found in a hedge and now stuck in Bob's straw hat.
Sunday 30th July 2017
In my new capacity as an unpaid BBC Weather Watcher I have posted yet another picture of clouds over Cobham, I hope you like it. You will also notice my refurbished Wright Flyer on top of the pole; unfortunately the wind blew and shook it to bits although I have to say it wasn't entirely unexpected. I am open to suggestions as to what next to stick on top of the pole that wouldn't frighten the neighbours. Any ideas Sam?
I could wait for an A380 to fly over and catch it when it’s on top of the pole? Or wait out all night for the Moon to fly over, now that would be something? Watch this space! Probably the glass of Ginger Beer I had earlier!
Thursday 3rd August 2017
I've just read another book, this time it was Countdown (or How Nigh is the End?) written by Sir Patrick Moore. He explores all the possibilities / probabilities of Planet Earth meeting a sticky end. Chance encounters with asteroids, comets, rogue planets, black holes, white dwarfs, red shifts, aliens, self destruction and all the fruitcakes predicting doom are all discussed also all the current science on the subject. His conclusion is that there is no doubt that we will end up toast in three thousand million years. Just thought you'd like to pop it in your diary - April 7th.
Apart from that Ted has reappeared after going walkabout for 48 hours and causing untold anxiety to his house-sitters. I will be proposing a GPS tracker inserted somewhere next time - if there is a next time in the next three thousand million years.
This is Ted.
Tuesday 8th August 2017
Once again, here in the UK, it is high summer and the holiday season is at its peak so I am going to get the old guitar out and strike up a chord of A minor and sing you a song. The only other song I know is ‘I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas’ so be quiet.
# Summertiiiiiiiiiiiiime, and the livin' is eeeeeeeasy
# Fish are jumpin' and the cotton is hiiiiiiiiiiiigh
# Oh, your daddy's rich and your ma is good-loooooooookin'
# So hush, little baby, dooooooooooooooooooon't you cry.
I now would like to read you today’s weather forecast for South East England
Showers are expected to develop on Tuesday. Where these occur they are likely to be heavy, slow moving and perhaps thundery. Some areas may miss the showers entirely whilst others could see 2 to 3 hours of heavy rain. Where this occurs some disruption is possible such as localised flooding of roads. Periods of heavy rain are likely to persist for much of Wednesday. Some transport routes may be affected by localised flooding leading to longer journey times. In addition localised flooding of homes and businesses is possible. The heaviest of the rain should gradually become confined to the extreme southeast of the UK later in the day. Feeling cool.
And by the way, Waterloo Station is closed for the holidays – sorry about that Sam.
And now the News.
Brexit negotiations have gone pear shaped and the Presidents of the USA and North Korea have decided to have a game of nuclear tiddly winks. But fear not, our little Lottie here has found a new friend who won’t give her any trouble!
Thursday 10th August 2017
Driverless cars seem to be inevitable according to the BBC s Horizon Programme. Millions of pounds/dollars are being spent on development, soon we will be able to park our cars anywhere and request them to be outside the door at the touch of a button. So does that mean that you can programme your car to take your dog for a walk?
Saturday 12th August 2017
The explosion of Techy's from Silicon Valley hell bent on controlling our lives is a bit scary. I have to admit that in the past I have been keen to produce something that would 'change the world' details of which you will find earlier in this blog. The fact that, so far as I am aware, nobody has taken up any of my ideas you would think would discourage me from any further attempts at changing the world well far from it. My latest idea is ...... you will have to wait!
In the meantime I am reading yet another book called 'In Search of Rex Whistler’. The artist Rex Whistler you may remember I discovered at Mottisfont House and I am in awe of his work, his artwork spanned portraiture, landscapes, animals, advertising and particularly murals. The detail, perspective and particularly the scale he was able to achieve with the end of a paint brush is incredible. This one of Haddon Hall will give you some idea but my reproduction here is not the best however as a BBC Weather Watcher I was more than impressed with the clouds. There is a horseman crossing the bridge and two dogs in the bottom right hand corner, one ugly and one not so ugly, but you can't see them here.
Sunday 13th August 2017
In case you hadn't noticed you can now click HERE to search for vacancies in Cobham Surrey.
One small step for mankind, one giant leap for Bob!
Wednesday 16th August 2017
If it’s your anniversary today then a very Happy Anniversary to you. Not much to report today except that I deleted hundreds of pages from this web site. It took me 22 years to create them and now I’ve decided that most of them are cr*p. I will be deleting hundreds more tomorrow so I’ll be creating a lot more free space to blog in which is great news don’t you think? I’m not expecting an answer to that. The problem is that what you believe to be a brilliant idea one minute 22 years later you decide that it was a rubbish idea; I hope tomorrow I don’t decide it was a brilliant idea after all. Now that would be really depressing.
Thursday 17th August 2017
This 'brilliant idea ' which came to me 22 years ago and prompted me into buying this website, involved creating around 2,300 pages, one for each postcode district in the UK. My plan was to franchise out all these postcode areas to 'on the ground ' operators (like me) who could provide us all with local job info'.
However, dear reader, I still think it is a bloody brilliant idea but in order to take it forward I need a Global Operator to take an interest as my sales and techy skills are zero also (let's be honest ) my life expectancy is also zero.
Now then, as we all know every click, fart, swipe, sneeze, tap we all do is monitored by all these clever b*****s somewhere out there in Silicon Valley but it can also work in reverse and here's the thing, I happen to know that at least one of those Global Operators is monitoring this website right now so it's only a matter of time before I get a substantial offer for www.walktowork.co.uk, fantasy land? Indeed it may be Sam but as you well know I am forever the optimist.
Thursday 24th August 2017
Today, dear reader, I decided to renew enthusiasm for www.walktowork.co.uk. I called on many of the retailers in Cobham who had vacancy notices in the window. Understandably I was told that they would need approval from Head Office or the manager or the owner before advertising the vacancy.
I then discovered that the vacancies were already advertised on a global job advertising website without knowledge or permission from the advertiser.
How was this done? By chancers taking pictures of the notice on their iPhone and uploading on to the website and presumably making fortunes from 'clicks'. Needless to say the retailers were not best pleased but were unable or couldn't be bothered to do anything about it. This is, in my view, yet another creepy intrusion into privacy, control and another step on the slippery slope to Armageddon. The name of the website in question? Well I'm not into advertising without permission but I am indeed pissed off, well wouldn't you be? I am considering taking this to Trading Standards or The Sunday Times or both.
Friday 25th August 2017
Now calm down, you know it doesn't do your blood pressure any good, why don't you forget about walktowork pop off into the shed and dream up another crazy idea that will change the world. For instance, I've got a million pictures in the loft that really need hanging on the wall for people to admire. I've tried banging nails into the wall and those double sided sticky pads but all I get is a bent nail a sore thumb and frightened to death when one of them falls off in the middle of the night. Now if you could solve that problem you would make a fortune.
All you need is a piece of 75mm x 12mm planed softwood from Alsfords, saw it into one metre lengths and hang them on the wall then nail your pictures to that.
That's a bloody brilliant idea, why didn't I think of that? You will make a fortune, why don't you tell somebody about it?
If I did that some clever dick with a DIY website would publish it saying it was the greatest idea since sliced bread, pepper it with adverts and make a fortune from ‘clicks’. Then I would be really pissed off.
Now calm down, you know it doesn't do your blood pressure any good, why don't you forget about hanging pictures, pop off into the shed and dream up another crazy idea that will change the world?
Monday 28th August 2017
I appreciate your concern regarding my blood pressure but please don't worry because as it happens I monitor my own with my Omron machine and also occasionally visit the Cobham Health Centre where they have one of those machines which automatically checks your weight, height and blood pressure, it also calculates your BMI index, gives you a printed report and adds the results to your medical file. You should try it sometime but be aware that it also tells you in a loud voice to take your shoes and watch off stand still and don't talk. Can be a bit embarrassing as the whole waiting room can hear. Anyhow you will be pleased to hear that all my readings are in the green zone, probably down to my exercise regime which is walking to the shed every day. Talking of which I have now finished hanging my pictures and taken the project off the secret list, see above, I can now easily adjust all my pictures up, down, left or right, take them all down for decorating put them all back in the same place without banging any nails into the wall. If you are interested I charge one bottle of Jamesons.
Is that per wall or per picture? By the way I saw you wandering along Cobham High Street yesterday with a note book and camera, what was that all about?
Cheeky bugger. Well if you must know I was checking on all the vacancies in the street and adding them to my list HERE, I always ask permission unlike some websites I could mention. At the moment I don't charge for advertising but yesterday I was offered a free haircut at the Village Barbers if I could fill the vacancy! So there are some perks to the job!
Wednesday 30th August 2017
Have you thought about what happens if one of your crazy ideas really takes off? That is, if you are around to see it, sorry I'll rephrase that. How are you going to cope with success?
I like your optimism, I have many times in the past managed skilfully to avoid success and at the moment I feel fairly confident that I can avoid it again provided I make the right decisions or perhaps that should read the wrong decisions. Coping with success or failure is just another challenge don't you think? Anyway I'm a bit cheesed off with answering hypothetical questions with hypothetical answers so if you don't mind I'll stick to what actually happened rather than what might happen. For instance yesterday I decided to pack up writing letters to myself because if I don't I might start talking to myself then that really will be the end. And today while out in the woods with Henry I came across the largest mushroom I've ever seen!
Sunday 3rd September 2017
And last Friday I popped in to Denbies Wine Estate to inspect an old tank which presumably had been excavated when vine planting, it reminded me of Oxshott Woods in the 40’s when I inspected tanks manoeuvring around concrete tank traps from my pram. If you know where to look there are still lumps of concrete waiting to be APO’d! (see page 1). While I was there (in Denbies that is, not in my pram) I bought a rather lovely oil painting on display in the gallery which also had connections to Oxshott Woods but I am not at liberty to divulge which one.
And yesterday Virgin Broadband went down for half a day preventing any blogging or booking holidays. Don’t you find it extremely annoying when booking a flight, holiday, cruise or hotel you get flashing messages telling you how many people are looking, when it was last booked and offers at this price will end in 1 day, 9 hours, 43 minutes and 27 seconds? Can you imagine that happening when ordering your groceries on line? There are 26 people looking at your potatoes. 72 people bought potatoes in the last 10 minutes. Potatoes at this price are available for the next 3 minutes and 4 seconds. They have the technology!
Wednesday 6th September 2017
It's a bit late now darlings but I've just been made aware that I don't speak very nicely. You would think that by now I would be aware of this but it has genuinely escaped my notice. Buggered if I know where it comes from as none of my family or friends speak badly anyhow from now on I will endeavour to ditch the lazy cockney and try to nurture a more refined tone. Mind you the person who made me aware has been known to utter expletives on occasions but in a more refined Perivale accent. So apologies to all who have been affected in the past, I am now a changed person – honest! Many years ago I did attend classes for public speaking in order to deliver ‘The Father of the Bride Speech’ which went down very well so I was told despite the yawns.
Apart from that a DNA kit arrived in the post this morning swabs were taken and we will await the outcome – the mind boggles – by the way it wasn’t my DNA. I already know my ancestors were Scavengers from Peaslake no less – one up on the Paupers from Peaslake. I signed up for the kit on My Heritage web site (cheaper than Ancestry) and already I’ve been inundated with emails and phone calls telling me I have a lot more relatives to discover – at a price! Maybe one of them was a cockney?
Friday 8th September 2017
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words so here are two pictures which will save me a lot of blogging. One is tonight’s sunset over the rooftops of Cobham and the other one isn’t.
Sunday 10th September 2017
And here we have another couple of pictures worth at least a couple of thousand words and no, I didn't spot any bare flesh on display as the weather was b***** wild, wet and windy sorry rather inclement. They are the result of yet another short break to Dorset. The last minute booking.com to Knoll House Hotel started with an almost faultless drive to Studland Beach the one glitch came at a roundabout which didn't match my Tom Tom so a 720 round the roundabout was required to solve the problem. If you don't know Knoll House Hotel it has a certain old world charm that will suit both old wrinklies and those families seeking to experience rooms with old fashioned keys but be aware that many of the old wrinklies have old wrinkly dogs which are allowed everywhere! It has a plethora of comfy lounges, magnificent life size portraits hanging everywhere, a lovely indoor pool, outdoor pool, gym, childrens play area and a variety of health and happiness facilities. Anticipate happiness.
Monday 11th September 2017
Too much dinner last evening and too much breakfast this morning resulted in an overwhelming desire to sleep all day but an even greater desire to make the most of the continuing inclement weather took hold. Hiking boots on, ruck sacks on, hiking poles extended we waited for a No 50 bus! to check out the fourth most expensive real estate in the world - Sandbanks. After a hike around multi million pound properties, a few average coffee shops and, it has to be said, a stunning beach I'm damned if I could see what all the fuss is about. No doubt it appeals to a few footballers wives. Back over the chain ferry the 4 mile hike back to Studland via the Heather Walk, primeval bog and frequent downpours was taxing but satisfying. Anticipate satisfaction.
Tuesday 12th September 2017
Revisiting after 10 years the heather clad Arne Bird Reserve was the plan for today which was a delight despite many yappy dogs frightening the birds. Two well behaved Yorkshire Terriers surprisingly made an impression. St Nicholas Church, Arne also made an impression with its cool, quiet, timeless stone even if you aren't religious. The shafts of shimmering sunlight on the flagstone floor adding to the peace and tranquility. A couple of hours on the camping chairs and a disgusting greasy Cornish pasty back on the magnificent Studland Beach brought to an end another successful short break to Dorset. Anticipate success.
Wednesday 13th September 2017
Back to work?
Thursday 14th September 2017
So, have you noticed? Everybody these days seems to start any conversation or answer any question with so. So, what is it about so that's so important? So, I reckon, along with absolutely it allows you time to think before you speak, although so, to me, indicates that a terribly boring story is about to follow. So ............... Whereas absolutely, to me, indicates end of conversation. So, absolutely.
Monday 18th September 2017
So, before we leave the lovely beach at Studland I hope you will agree that this picture taken last week is worth a few words, but perhaps not a thousand. If you were playing on this beach back in the summer of '95 you would have seen a couple of dinghies rock up for a cup of tea on their way to Swanage which is around that rocky headland bathed in evening sunshine known as Old Harry Rock. Incidentally the mushroom cloud over Harry Ramsdens in Swanage hopefully doesn’t mean that Kim Jong-un was not happy with his fish and chips! And that's not funny either.
The dinghies were affectionately known as Smashey and Nicey and they were crewed by Mike, Phil, Spike and Bob. Avid readers (if there are any Sam) of this blog will know that already as a few words have been written about the trip earlier in this blog, which, if you are really interested you can find HERE but be warned there are mild erotic scenes from the start.
Thursday 28th September 2017
To me, this is a work of art. Aesthetically, structurally, functionally and worthy to be hung in any art gallery. It is the port wing of an Airbus A319 which yesterday carried us back from another successful trip to Ibiza. It is also carrying around 90 other people plus their bags plus half the crew plus half the fuel plus half of everything needed for a flight from Ibiza. The starboard wing is doing exactly the same thing on the other side. I find that truly amazing. Bit of a shame it was an hour and a half late taking off due to fog at Gatwick but even more amazing it survived an extremely hard landing that Captain Whiteknuckles was not too happy with – I hope.
The reason for the trip to Ibiza was to attend a bored meeting but nobody turned up so I fitted a new bell rope to the back door. Well you would wouldn't you! It now gives a polite Ding or a loud Dong depending on how important you are.
Saturday 30th September 2017
And before you get carried away with the idea that I have a villa in Ibiza, I haven't but we are very fortunate to be able to stay in one on occasions. Thank you T and J.
We have now reached the end of page 15 and all things being equal page 16 might follow, that is if my ancient lap top doesn't die first?
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Image temporarily removed.