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Wednesday 18th November 2015


Not been idle, just published a book on, if you click HERE you can read all about Oxshott and Me 1939 - 1966.

Sorry about the price, not much I can do about that but it's worth it!  You can see the great pictures and nearly read the text if you squint a bit.  Between you and me looking at all those young ladies that had the good grace to go out with me and trying to come to terms with the fact that they all are now in their mid seventies takes a bit of getting your head around.


I'm not sure what I'd do if I bumped into one of them in the street, don't suppose that they would know either - I wonder.  My daughter tells me that you should erase the following from your vocabulary - could have, would have, should have and if only - wise words indeed.


I've got another scheme to discuss soon on how to make loads-a-money.  It's something I've always wanted to do but never seen it through - maybe tomorrow.


Friday 20th November 2015


Blimey hits for this site shot up to 10 yesterday, either you like reading my book or maybe you are interested in my idea for making loads-a-money.  Well first I must explain that it involves knocking on doors, which, I have done but not consistently enough so if you are not comfortable with knocking on doors then probably not for you, unless of course you develop your RMA and combat your ISI - simple?


Back in the early 70's I did a course on Salesmanship and Advertising which was fascinating.  It was a correspondence course run by a The National School of Salesmanship in Manchester which concentrated on developing your Right Mental Attitude and combating your Inadequate Self Image.  Now there are a million people out there who will tell you how to achieve this so I won’t go there but all I will say is that you won’t know unless you try.  So, that’s sorted your RMA and your ISI next is which product to help people attain?


Saturday 21st November 2015


During that course in the early 70’s I found myself knocking on doors and asking if they had 'ever wished to own a set of Encyclopaedia Britannica?'  Notice the cunningly worded question! I had completed the week long sales course getting thoroughly brain washed and believe it or not in my first month I was Salesman of the Month having sold 3 sets.  I could write another book about the reaction you get at the door and trying to convince the ‘prospect’ to invest a half a crown a week (12 ½ p) but I won’t go there now.  I did the same with fire extinguishers, various services, kitchens and Home Improvements.


But fear not this is not about selling anything merely passing on a ‘referral’.   My scheme is that you don’t actually work for any one company but have at your fingertips various providers of products/services in order to arrange a number of quotes for your ‘customer’.  Simples?


Take Home Improvements for instance, if you look at most national providers you will find they pay handsomely for a referral.   You will have to wait a long time for the cheque but believe me it will arrive on your door mat eventually.  Of course there’s nothing you can do (or probably  want to do) to help things along as it will be completely out of your hands, all you do is knock on another door in the sure knowledge that there are plenty of people out there that at some point will want what you have to offer.


I can hear you muttering all sorts of ‘what if’s’ etc  but despite this ‘dogs breakfast’ of a digital world the personal contact is still the best. QED  If you do nothing else, read ‘How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling’ by Frank Bettger.


Now I have been there and got the tee shirt on this one but not for years so watch this space.


Tuesday 24th November 2015


Of course I’m a bit ancient to start trotting up and down knocking on doors again (excuses) but since doing that sales course way back it’s something I can’t let go and something that I know will ‘produce the goods’.  There are areas of course that have signs up saying ‘ no hawkers etc’ and ‘we don’t buy anything at the door’ – I’ve got one on my front door but what good does it do?  They still come regularly and if I’m in a good mood (which is not often) I will buy or respond positively, I will usually tell the door knocker that he/she needs to work on their presentation skills and develop their RMA!


Talking of your RMA, how about this for a boost.  You will find that many of the companies that rely on cold calling, like Home Improvements companies offer cash for a referral and the same amount of cash to the customer if he/she makes a purchase.  So, you have a readymade attitude booster, you arrive at the door (or with your clipboard in the street) with cash in your pocket – but only for customers that buy – clever?


Of course life is one big sell from the day we are born but we don’t realise it, you have to sell the idea that you’re hungry to your mother by screaming – right?  Come to think of it it's probably the only way to get your breakfast in this house!


Time for a picture.


In case you are wondering it's West Wittering Beach on a balmy summers day when the tide is out - a favourite - despite the crowds.


Wednesday 25th November 2015


Talking of pictures you might like to check out my efforts with the brushes, back in '94 I had a sudden urge to paint - critical acclaim gratefully received.  This one is of fields near Fairoaks when I used to fly with my easel and paints bit cramped but I managed.

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Thursday 26th November 2015


Still with my head in the clouds I went a bit higher for this one,  I know the blue bits are a bit rubbish but lovely clouds don't you think?  Bit unusual to get this much cloud over Ibiza!  Don't you just want to fly your Spitfire in amongst them?  Dreaming again.

Friday 27th November 2015


Today is Black Friday so I had a couple of glasses of Guinness with two Black Labradors to celebrate - I shouldn't have!


Saturday 28th November 2015


Yesterday's story was true by the way and talking about Black Labradors we had one for 14 years, she was called Kellar and endeared herself to all the family.  We had a local artist paint her from a few photographs and this was the result.

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Not sure why the artist painted a chicken on her back.


Sunday 29th November 2015


I asked Henry if he would like to be included in my blog - he ignored me.


What's new?


Monday 30th November 2015


He's about as much use as a Chocolate Labrador, sorry, teapot!


Tuesday 1st December 2015


No offence Henry 'We love you madly' as Duke Ellington used to say, or he did at the Kilburn State Empire on 25th October 1958 when Pete and I went there to see him and his all-stars on my Lambretta LD 150 Scooter!

Blah! blah! blah!

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I flew a bit higher for this one but ran out of oxygen.

Took my sketch book on the tube for this one.

Monday 7th December 2015


Approaching Roehampton down the hill from the A3 there is a 30mph speed trap to catch the unwary which we all know about (don’t we?) well yesterday I slowed to 30mph, or it could have been 31mph, and the speed flash triggered and caught somebody, I shall be very annoyed if it was me.  Also dropping off my passengers in Hammersmith for the bus station there is nowhere to stop except on a double yellow line which I did and if I get a ticket for stopping for 35.5 seconds I shall also be very annoyed.


Expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed’ - an old maxim that I hope is not true.  I can't work it out either.



Tuesday 8th December 2015


Way back in the 60’s and 70’s you may recall (if you have been reading this blog) that I used to fly a Piper Cherokee out of Fairoaks Airfield, well in the Spring of 1978 I took a friend for a ride over Cobham with a camera and this is the result.  It will only interest those of you who know Cobham so apologies to my followers elsewhere but among the ‘interesting’ bits you will spot in the top right hand corner Ashby’s Garage (in the round workshop, now Waitrose), the surgery next door, Cobham Ironmongery on the corner of Freelands Road, Tesco’s opposite, the Old Village Hall and the Old Bakery behind.  This picture may feature in a forthcoming article in the Cobham Heritage Magazine.  Fascinating, I also have a close up of my back garden with Marcia waving an item from her washing line but only on request!


Friday 11th December 2015


Dear Reader, as Charlotte Bronte would say, (I think there are at least 3 of you out there) it is time once again to send the Season’s Greetings; I hope you found something of interest in this blog.  Way back I quoted from somebody who said that ‘It is exercise alone that supports the spirits and keeps the mind in vigour’ well, I’d like to change it slightly to ‘It is music alone that supports the spirits and keeps the mind in vigour’ so if you can’t exercise I wish you music. Love and hugs, Bob.


PS. If you want more love and hugs try Toby and Belinda in Ibiza click HERE for something slightly different.


Monday 28th December 2015


I hope Father Christmas brought you what you wanted, I was hoping for some snow - still hoping.  Couldn't find any on Amazon!  Plenty of Imitation, Magic, Instant and Artificial stuff but no real snow.  I don't want to go up the mountains to find it I want it in my back garden.

Any ideas?   This would be good -  reproduced courtesy of the artist - I hope - you can but hope.










Image of Snow Scene temporarily removed.

Thursday 31st December 2015


A Happy New Year to you,  yes you,  I hope that you find what you are looking for during 2016.


If you have enjoyed my ramblings then I have good news for you, back in this blog I mentioned that I went on a working trip to  New Zealand in 1982 and if there was anyone out there who would like to hear about it then let me know, well nobody did! but I have decided to tell you anyway.  I have found my old detailed diary of my trip but it may take a while to turn it into a best seller.


Something to look forward to?


Sunday 3rd January 2016


Well I haven't finished the NZ story yet but I thought I would treat you to the 'exciting' adventure as I go along.  I do have a few pictures to spice it up a bit but not brilliant quality - but that was 1982 old fashioned film and a cheap camera - sorry.


New Zealand 1982

Copyright © Robert C Jones 2016


Being blessed with reasonable health and a Capricorn’s quest for ever wanting to know what’s around the corner and over the hill, dreaming about faraway places comes naturally and consistently.  It’s not until you reach a ripe old age when you realise that faraway places are not the answer but it is only within where you will find true happiness, contentment, satisfaction and bliss.  But it’s still worth a try!


Having already tried the good old US of A back in 1969 and the Isle of Wight in 1981 I, despite having a wife, two daughters, a son and a dog all dependent on me I could not resist the urge to give the other side of the planet a try, hoping and using the excuse, that maybe the move would be good for all of us.


Marcia bravely accepted the suggestion but said nothing to put me off.


In the early sixties many friends and acquaintances were sailing off to faraway places emigrating for £10 a ticket to Canada, Oz, NZ and elsewhere and I seriously considered joining them but events dictated I had to put that idea on hold.


Staring out of the window on the 6th floor in one of the tower blocks in New Malden working for Air Products re-ignited the desire to go somewhere, anywhere.  Drawing lines and circles in NZ was surely a better option than drawing lines and circles in New Malden?


Eric, on the drawing board next to me, being a tad more adventurous than I, had already decided to up sticks and take his wife and young family to start a new life in New Zealand.


I was fast approaching the cut off age when New Zealand wouldn’t want me so with not a lot of thought (again) about what Marcia my children and the dog would think I set about making plans for the other side of the planet.  Buying my ticket was probably the most exciting bit as I decided to fly Air New Zealand via Los Angeles and Tahiti and return British Airways via Perth and Bombay thereby completing a ‘round the world’ trip.


In those days it wasn’t necessary to get a work permit before arriving in New Zealand, it was acceptable to arrive in the country find a job and then get the permit.  I had already contacted Hallam Eames and Partners a Consulting Engineers in Auckland who seemed keen to interview me on arrival.  Not a bad start, I thought, I should at least get enough to cover the trip.  




Sunday September 19th 1982


With not much more than a fond farewell one might give to a friend when off for a long week end I said goodbye to my family and the dog and told them that there will be money in the bank whenever they want it – I hoped.  I did have a return ticket in my pocket so convinced myself that it shouldn’t be too much of a hardship to do without me for a few months.  In hindsight I didn’t fully appreciate the fact that three young(ish) children and a dog was somewhat of a demanding task for Marcia on her own with no real clue as to when (or if) I would return, I should have……………….?


The Air New Zealand 747 bound for Auckland via Los Angeles and Tahiti (a new route for ANZ) blasted down runway 26 at Gatwick and headed for Glasgow, I was convinced that the Captain was not sure of the route but trusted him nevertheless.  The roast lamb with all the trimmings went some way to re-assuring me that I had was doing the right thing.


Beautiful people glided up and down the aisles in negligees and whispy track suits all with feet pointing at ten to two, it turned out that they were from The Sadler’s Wells Ballet company – obviously!


I settled down with Chay Blythe’s account of his round the world trip in a yacht and considered myself a touch more comfortable.  Iceland and Greenland drifted by the window presenting spectacular snowscapes and mountainscapes, followed by what seemed like hours of lakes and then hours of wheat fields of Manitoba.  Turbulence over The Rockies I was convinced would bend the 747 permanently but then I remembered the structural tests carried out on the 747 I had witnessed at Boeing in 1969 which were far more rigorous and relaxed.  Ten hours and 30 minutes later we touched down in Los Angeles.  The transit lounge was an unwelcoming inflatable ‘blimp’ parked out on the tarmac miles from any civilisation.


The next leg to Tahiti was somewhat more comfortable as the plane was only half full and most of the passengers were Tahitians and other Pacific Islanders dressed in flowery shirts throwing off a pungent jasmine waft.  We didn’t land at Tahiti we hit the runway very hard but once again the rugged 747 took it in her stride.  It was 1.30am local time and the brief wander around the terminal building only hinting at the tropical wonders to be had outside in the darkness.  Bit of a shame not to see the runway at Pape’ete Airport as it is virtually surrounded by sea


The next leg of 5 hours and 15 minutes to Auckland was in total darkness, outside I mean, so any sense of crossing the International Date Line and the Equator was a non-event.  A smooth touch down at Auckland was followed by an aerosol spray from Official looking Kiwi’s marching down the aisles spraying as they went prior to disembarkation presumably to reduce the possibility of illegal immigrants or more likely bugs of some sort that may affect the 70 million sheep.  It’s 6.30 am local time.


Eric, bless him, was at the airport to meet me, he whisked me off to meet his family, visit his half built timber 5 bedroom house which he was building single handed (that’s Eric), visit the school, the Post Office  and then to downtown Auckland to meet Rob and Jimmy and drink beer and Drambuie till 5 pm!  Rob turned out to be ‘an agent’ in the engineering recruitment business and by 5pm had offered me a job up at the Marsden Point Oil Refinery, some 100 miles up country, start Monday.  Back to Eric’s for the night.  Phew!  I hardly had time to reflect that I was now as far away from my family as it was possible to get without leaving the planet, the Pole Star was replaced by The Southern Cross for navigation, the mid-day sun was in the north so a south facing garden was no good, I was upside down, my family were getting up when I was going to bed and vice-versa and the water went down the plug hole anti-clockwise.  But I did (reflect).


Monday 4th January 2016


This blog went viral yesterday, 31 hits, must be the NZ story.  We used to have Virol years ago it was supposed to be good for you but not sure about viral being any good for you.  My request for snow has been answered I have been offered a bucket from Ottawa - very cheap!  Thanks Mac and Judy.


Wednesday 22nd September 1982


Slept from 7pm to 6am still jet lagged.  Another whistle stop tour of downtown Auckland to visit Eric’s offices, the bank, Dept. of Labour and ended up wandering around Queen St in a bit of a daze.  Wrote a letter home – what have I done?  Jeepers where the hell am I?  Back to Eric’s.


Thursday 23rd September 1982


Still about 3 hours jet lagged another drive with Eric and family to visit friends and yeuky parts of Auckland.  Noted ‘Pole houses’ built on steep slopes ready to collapse when the next ‘quake occurs, which is a regular event in NZ!  Not feeling too bouncy.  Back to Eric’s.

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Friday 24th September 1982


Catch a bus to downtown Auckland.  Visit Hallam Eames offices for ‘interview’ which turns out to be ‘When can you start?’  The job is about 200 miles south in New Plymouth.  Also Rob confirms job start on Monday up at Marsden Point Oil Refinery near Whangarei up north.  So, here we are two job offers in the first week – must be time to celebrate with a lager in the Meridian Room in the South Pacific Hotel!  Followed by a curry!  Check out a few second hand cars but the prices are ridiculous and the bank won’t lend me any money – bugger.  Feeling a touch more bouncy nevertheless.


Saturday 25th September 1982


Eric and his wife Mavash (she’s Iranian or Persian as it used to be) and their two children have been very kind to me, the breakfast enjoyed by the children was large quantities of cheese, sugar and yoghurt – not something that Marcia would approve but they seemed to enjoy it and I hope they are well.  Another scenic drive with the family to high points around Auckland but visibility was no more than a few feet at times so imagination was needed.  The mist turned to rain which continued all night, you might think that in New Zealand with everything upside down the rain should rise (from the clouds) but it doesn’t - it falls.


Sunday 26th September 1982


Pack my case ready for the 100 mile bus ride to Whangarei in the pouring rain, said goodbye to Eric and family.  Where am I going?  What am I doing?  The bus leaked like a sieve which took my mind off trying to find the answer.


Rob, very kindly, had also arranged for me to be met by John and Katriona at Whangarei which also included a room in their house for the night.  John worked at the refinery and also offered to give me a lift to work the next day – lucky?  John also allowed me to borrow his car so I set off to tour Whangarei and its surroundings, the surroundings included the small airport where I checked out flights out of this hell hole as I sensed things were about to go pear shaped.  I also checked out The Whangarei Hotel on Main Street which looked like a reasonable option for my stay at $NZ19 a night!  John and Katriona return late at night, obviously had enjoyed some riotous party.  Uncomfortable night, but grateful for the accommodation.


Monday 27th September 1982


The 25 mile ride to the offices located on the Refinery site curled up in the boot of John’s car was not the best but tried to think of something positive.  It seems strange to arrive at a job and then be interviewed by the boss which was in fact what happened – fortunately he offered me the job with immediate start!


‘The boss’ was a pleasant enough person who went by the name of Mansoor Sultan who seemed suitably impressed with my qualifications and experience, however I already had the feeling that this job was not going to suit me but at the same time I felt that I didn’t want to let him down.


Settling down in a new job was nothing new to me but I was not at ease for some reason.  The situation not helped by being asked to study ‘The Standards’ – again – ‘The Standards’  are virtually  the same everywhere in a piping design office and are a pain – 12,000 miles to read The Standards? Should have stayed in New Malden.  The design office as I said was located on the refinery site adjacent to a white sandy beach which was very pleasant for a lunchtime stroll – slightly different to New Malden!  A tour around the thunderous refinery belching steam and gunge from every orifice, writhing pipes struggling to break free and explosive steam traps blasting up your trouser leg is something you have to get used to when ‘on site’.  By early afternoon I was back in Whangarei collecting my work permit, checking in at The Whangarei Hotel which initially I thought had a ‘homely’ atmosphere, checking out the library and the Information Centre.  Back at the hotel I enjoyed a Shrimp Cocktail starter, a heaving plateful of Goulash followed by Apricot Pie and Cream and early to bed.  Marcia would be impressed!


Continued on PAGE 6

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