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Tuesday 1st January 2019 - A Happy New Year from Old Bob
New Years Resolutions
1. Breathe in ∞.
2. Breathe out ∞.
3 Move ∞.
4. Eat and drink what you need and not what you want.
5. Resist temptation.
7. Trust to fate.
∞ means ad infinitum if you didn't know and breathe in means extend your stomach to a maximum and then extend it further and hold it until you look like Dick Strawbridge and then slowly breathe out and suck your stomach in and hold it and then do the whole lot again for as long as you can, just like Terry Wogan used to encourage to do you while driving to work in 1972 and then by lunch time you will have a trim profile just like Charlotte Bronte and move means any exercise that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, a ladder leaning up against the wall will give you a million options for exercising every muscle. Resist temptation means don't get annoyed with all those inconsiderate bastards who drive like maniacs and be nice to everyone, or at least try. Create means get your paint brushes out or make a nice cup of tea or create a square foot of clear and clean space amongst the junk and then do the same again and again until you've cleared all the junk. Trust to fate means trust to fate. You might be surprised at what or who turns up Sam.
# puttin on the agony puttin on the style that's what all the young folks are doin all the while (sorry)
# just walking in the rain, thinkin how we met, knowing things could change, somehow I can't forget (sorry)
# let's rock, everybody let's rock, everybody in the whole cell block was dancin to the jailhouse rock (sorry)
Saturday 5th January 2018 - sorry 2019 - be lucky.
Let's face it I'm useless with the paint brush Mrs G, I've tried to create scenes, gardens, flowers, snow, trees, birds, chickens, horses with little satisfaction, hopeless. I think I'll stick to portraits in pencil.
Sunday 6th January 2018 - sorry 2019 - be happy.
Now I did plan not to be introspective but this is a touch introspective. Yesterday I switched on my old lap top, donned hiking boots and walking pole, walked to Cobham Library via Waitrose to take their trolley back collecting a few smiles along the way, logged on to one of the library laptops, blogged about nothing, continued walking up and down the expensive areas of Cobham and Oxshott via Leigh Hill Road, along Oxshott Rise over Eaton Park, along Littleheath Lane, over the crossing and into Steels Lane, reminiscing all the way and then hey, ho, there was Oxshott (Men's) Club beckoning. Spent a pleasant hour or two with a scotch or two and a buddy or two, thought about having a game of snooker but didn't, wandered back down Steels (memory) Lane over the railway line on the footpath skirting Poly Apes past the bomb craters, but few would know they are bomb craters, across the Stoke Road and down into The Tilt, a quick detour around the graveyard to visit a few old buddies, thought about popping into The Running Mare but didn't and finally staggered back into Cobham. I lied, I got a lift back home from the graveyard and found my old laptop nearly ready for the next instruction. Not bad for a 79 year old? And that's the last time I will be able to say that!
Wednesday 9th January 2019
The past few days, for me, have been quite amazing, a drop of scotch followed by a birthday party lunch at The Swan in Claygate, highly recommended, followed by a drop of scotch followed by a jive session to my new music centre followed by a drop of scotch followed by a coffee at my old flying club at Fairoaks chatting to some old and bold pilots followed by a drop of scotch followed by a session at the Art class for 80 year olds resulting in
followed by a drop of scosh! Will the silly old bastard never learn?
If by any chance you wish to purchase any of old Bob's artwork please click HERE.
Sunday 13th January 2019
No doubt the Sun will come up next Wednesday, deal or no deal, brexit or no brexit, government or no government and we'll deal with it.
And no doubt the Sun will come up on Saturday March 30th when we are due to leave the EU but if it doesn't we'll deal with it.
And no doubt the Sun will come up on Friday May 10th when The Oxshott Village Sign is due to be unveiled but if it doesn't we'll deal with it.
Yesterday a light bulb went phut in the cloakroom and I dealt with it.
Sunday 20th January 2019
I'd just like to record that I've just been informed that an old buddy of mine died in Australia back in August. Pete and I were thrown together when we were very young. We played together, laughed together, cried together, fought together, sang together and got drunk together. Pete was never one for communicating. Never a letter, Christmas card or email but we never forgot each others birthdays. A phone call to say 'happy birthday you old bastard' and that was it.
Rest in peace Pete - you old bastard.
Saturday 26th January 2019
A glass or two was raised in memory of Pete last night in The Oxshott (Mens) Club.
Now this blog, like it or not, is chock full of expletive brilliant ideas. None of them are recognised as such, yet, (a bit like my paintings Mrs G) but given time (trust in fate), their time will come. Here's another one, expletive brilliant idea that is. This one assumes you can still wield a spade so get moving. This time of year those of us who wish to grow something look at the weed patch and want to give up, right? The task of digging in the traditional way is not the way to go about it, you will only chop up the weeds and bury them only to grow again, right? So, attack your patch of weeds as if you were at the coal face, in other words dig in such a way that the soil falls away from the cliff face exposing the weeds, including the bind weed, allowing you to pick out the roots and weeds in one piece. You then simply scrape or rake the soil into a mound behind you. Now how expletive brilliant is that? Yes, it's expletive hard work but expletive satisfying.
And when we voted to leave the expletive European Union any question of an expletive Deal or No expletive Deal wasn't mentioned or considered so let's expletive leave and then sort out an expletive deal. Right?
Sunday 27th January 2019
And if you think I'm anti EU Sam, absolutely not the case. My first trip abroad was a coach trip to Southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland in 1957. I met Inga on the top of a mountain, she was lovely, she asked for my mate Gerald's address and I was the only one with a pen and paper so I gave her my address, sorry Gerald. She was much too good for Gerald!
So, if instead of getting a deal with the EU we can get an agreement with the EU we'll all be happy, right?
Inga included - I hope.
Sunday 3rd February 2019
It was fate that gave me an hour to spare to wander up and down The Parade in Claygate, years sInce I'd been there. Firstly a traditional old Greengrocer with his fruit and veg strewn about the place (beautifully presented) all with artistic tickets in immaculate Greengrocer Script proclaiming that they were the best that money could buy. They reminded me of another old Greengrocer I know who used to wash his beetroot in the toilet. I tried to take a picture but the pavement was obstructed by a pile of bricks. On closer inspection the pile of bricks turned out to be a wonderfully constructed hexagonal brick column supporting The Claygate Village Sign no less, would you believe? Exactly what is required for the Oxshott Village Sign but will it happen? We'll have to wait and see but don't hold your breath.
Next door but one was a shop window displaying rather nice, but only rather nice, works of art to adorn your walls. On closer inspection inside the shop a lady obviously quite used to timewasters introduced herself and proceeded to explain that she only displays the work of well known artists, I explained that she was talking to the winner of The Oxshott Village Sign Competition but no ice was cut.
Further up The Parade, past Estate Agents, Restaurants and Coffee Shops is the Station which which was built in the late 1800's and to me brings on a bout of nostalgia. My parents used to bring me here on the train in short trousers all the way from Oxshott to Claygate to see Auntie Gwen and Uncle Alf, usually on a Saturday afternoon. I looked in vain up and down the tracks expecting to see the sidings, coal trucks and coal yard but alas only car parks and bike racks. By the time we got back to Oxshott it was often as black as your hat but we could all navigate the way home through Oxshott Woods blindfolded, so no problem. It's exactly the same today except that not treading on black plastic bags full of dog **** presents a bit of a problem.
In those days Oxshott Woods was a magnet for many of these parked near The Tea Rooms which to my mind deserve a place on The Oxshott Village Sign but will it happen? We'll have to wait and see but don't hold your breath.
Raspberries £1 a Punnet
Claygate Village Sign Base
My next job!
Wednesday 13th February 2019
And for those of you who think that young Bob is past it let me tell you that he has now embarked on a new career as a Dynamic Sales Engineer for Technigraphic Systems Ltd. So, if you are in the market for glossy, highly graphic technical brochures to explain any aspect of Plant Maintenance and Operation including Health and Safety requirements you know where to go. Emergency evacuation instructions a speciality.
Click HERE to find out more.
Saturday 16th February 2019
It's been a long time since I've been to Bocketts Farm on the Downs above Leatherhead, it used to be a couple of old barns and muddy fields with a few smelly old goats, sheep, cows and chickens but yesterday with Lottie under a cloudless sky the llamas, sheep, lambs, horses, donkeys, goats, cows, calf's, rabbits, guinea pigs, chipmunks, chickens and especially the piggies and piglets performed beautifully. The piggy race was probably the highlight, they went round the field like a dose of salts, one of them even decided to do a lap of honour backwards. Many of the animal enclosures had PLEASE DON'T FEED ME signs, I thought about hanging a sign round my neck but thought better of it.
The place was heaving with young Surrey mum's, dad's, kids and a smattering of senior citizens all with cameras ar the ready. The play parks, tractors, bouncy mounds, trampolines, race tracks, pirate's ship and picnic parks were full of screaming kids enjoying life without a tablet in sight. Occasionally a frantic Mum would make herself heard above all the din screaming for Charlie fearing the worst but Charlie would eventually emerge from under the hay bales looking a touch guilty. The lady painting faces at £4 a pop was doing a roaring trade mmmmmmmm thinks! If you wish to know more click HERE but it is a bit pricey unless you stay all day but a bit knackering if you do Sam.
Lewis Hamilton look out!
PLEASE DON'T FEED ME
PLEASE FEED ME
Sunday 17th February 2019
Hash tag SchoolStrike4Climate (I don't do Twitter)
First of all sorry. Sorry for polluting the planet. It's not all my fault. Personally I've been aware since 1956 that sucking fresh air and oxygen into any form of engine, setting fire to it and exhausting it into the atmosphere is not good news for a delicately balanced atmosphere. The industries I have been involved in ie Petrochemical, Offshore, Air Separation Plant and Aviation Industry have had little or no regard for the environment. Having said that the Aviation Industry have tried very hard and deserve a touch of recognition. The problem is that we are all too clever at inventing things and get carried away with generating profit and lose site of, ignore or are unaware of diminishing resources.
As you say it's no good relying on politicians to solve the problem, you did say that didn’t you?
So, what's to be done? Firstly I will not be buying one more knob of coal when I've got through the last few bags in the shed, about three. Also I will not replace the open fire with a log burner. Also if I buy another car it will be wind powered, water powered, solar powered or tidal powered in other words electric. Insulating this old 1930's house is virtually impossible because of the 9 inch solid brick walls so unless somebody invents some super, duper insulation about 6mm thick we'll have to put up with it unless I knock the house down and rebuild it with sheeps wool. Heating our houses also has to be electric, there are already clever heating and hot water systems on the market. Generating electricity could be supplemented by muscle power, see earlier in this blog.
Plastic is a problem but replacing it with glass, wood or paper does have a downside as the energy required to manufacture and transport alternatives will be huge. Recycling plastic in your kitchen will be the answer so I propose a hand operated press which will chop up and compress all plastic into plastic Lego bricks and recycle them into plastic.
Feeding ourselves seems not to be a problem as there are already incredible new ways of producing food already out there, see somewhere earlier in this blog.
Thanks for marching and waving banners about to remind us all to do something.
It's great to be young, enjoy.
Tuesday 26th February 2019
As my fictitious legal advisor I would like advice on whether or not I should publish a story about the only time I lied about my qualifications. Well perhaps not the only time I lied but the only time I was caught out. You see back in 1955 when I started my engineering apprenticeship I also was studying one day a week at Kingston Technical College for an ONC in Mechanical Engineering, easy peasy. I carried on studying for the HNC, which was another two year course, and failed on one subject, took it again the following year and failed again on a different subject so in my mind l considered I had my HNC but no certificate, I expect you would feel the same, wouldn't you? Well wouldn't you? The reason I failed was I spent most of the time fiddling with my old Lambtretta LD 150 and my old 1933 MG J1 which was much more interesting.
Over the next few years I had a number of boring jobs as a contract Draughtsman, one of which was with Plessey Radar in Addlestone where I met Chris, he was working on the drawing board next to me. Anyway, after a few more boring jobs on the drawing board I applied for a job with Boeing in Seattle, no, I didn't lie about my qualifications so they offered me a job paying $5 an hour, so off we went, by this time I was married with a two year old toddler, I won't bore you with our story in the USA because it's somewhere back in this blog. On our return from the States I got a job with BOAC at Heathrow Airport as a very responsible engineer with a lovely boss. About two weeks into the job he said 'by the way Bob, perhaps you would bring in your HNC certificate, purely formality you understand'. I didn't sleep that night, went in the next day, told him the story and left, I felt like s***t..
What next? I didn't know anything about pipes but they were paying more for Piping Draughtsman so I applied, as you do, and got a job commuting up to Red Lion Square.. Still boring so one lunchtime I decided to spend £12 on career guidance from the Vocational Guidance Associaton, they told me I would be good at selling, bloody ridiculous I thought. Another lunchtime wandering down Kingsway into The Aldwych a stairway beckoned with a plaque on the wall announcing The National School of Salesmanship. I started a correspondence course which wasn't boring, in fact I loved it and ended up with this (see below). But after selling a few Encyclopedias, fire extinguishers, soap products, plastic bins, Apo's, EasyReaders, Handy Sanders, piano's, double glazing and kitchens got bored and went back to the drawing board. It was now 1972. 47 years and 65 boring jobs later I find myself working for Chris, remember Chris? As a Dynamic Area Sales Engineer (see above) and I love it. The question is, well I don't know what the question is so I've decided not to publish. Thanks for your advice Sam.
Lots of love
PS Got my first two sales already
Friday 1st March 2019
Now I don't want to crow on too much about this guy but not only has he been accepted to train at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York but he's won a scholarship there. Now how incredible is that? His name is Ivan Little so when he becomes famous you can say that you first heard of him on Bob's Blog.
By the way, he is our grandson. Not sure where he gets it from but his great, great, great grandfather on his mother's side used to make bricks in the Oxshott Brickfield and his grandfather won the design competition for The Oxshott Village Sign, obvious.
Monday 18th March 2019
Well it seems that we are stuck in the EU forever unless Northern Ireland declares independence or there is a United Ireland. None of which will happen very soon so let's make the best of it and forget Brexit, Frexit, Dexit, Swexit, Gexit, Spaxit, Itexit, Irexit, Bexit, Grexit, Poxit, Porxit and all the other xits and call ourselves The United Multi Racial, Multi National, Multi Ethnic Oxshott Village Sign Society or TUMuRaMuNaMuEtOVSS for short.
This could be our flag and our anthem would be
# Me and you
# We're all good
# On the last train to Waterloo
# Via Claygate and Hinchley Wood
# Surbiton, Wimbledon
# Clapham Junction
# And Vauxhall
By the way, thanks to all those who voted for my design in The Oxshott Village Sign Competition.
And Rod of Black Forge Art who added his own brand of artistry.
Unveiling on Friday May 10th at 12am and I promise not to say anything!
Thursday 28th March 2019
Last Tuesday I was driven to a sales meeting, which I had arranged, to a large flour mill in Ponders End, as you do. On the way up the M25 past the end of Heathrow's Runway 27R a jumbo lifted off right in front of us, I couldn't believe my eyes, it was in BOAC livery of the 50's and 60's with the speedbird motif on the tail. I blinked, looked again and yes there it was, straight off the Boeing 747 assembly line at Everett Washington State where I worked in the late 60's. Apparently BA have painted 4 of them in retro livery to celebrate the centenary of BA. This is the only one sporting the BOAC livery.
If you zoom in to the wing leading edge you will see the deployed leading edge variable camber flaps, not to be confused with leading edge slats. These flaps are deployed to improve lift at low air speeds and are folded back, flat, underneath the wing when not needed. The triple scissor mechanism which achieves this remarkable transformation is only one of many amazing engineering features that make the 747 unbelievably reliable. All these were achieved on an old fashioned drawing board in the 60's without a Mb, Kb or byte in sight, only a slide rule, pencil and rubber, sorry erasor!
And yes, we landed a big order!
And now, page 21 has arrived as if you care!