For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!


Friday, 12 January 2018

Nick's funeral.

I am not sure if anybody reading this blog would want to know about funeral arrangements for my brother Nicholas Robinson. I often get more than a hundred page hits per day, but I have no idea where most of them come from, as comments seem to get ever sparser.

The funeral is on 29th January at 2:20 pm at Stonefall Crematorium, Harrogate - HG3 1DE

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Brother Nick

I am sad to say that I had news from Nick's daughter Kate this morning that my younger brother Nicholas Robinson had died this morning. He had been suffering from Alzheimers for several years and I visited on Christmas Eve at the nursing home near Darlington knowing that he was very frail and unlikely to survive more than a few days. For over a year he had not recognised family and had an apparently soulless existence, but the tragedy is one just doesn't know what is going on in the mind.

My elder brother Rod (the subject of the post before this one) has written on his blog about Nick in words that convey much of what I feel and anything further I may write would only be less eloquent repetition.

Click here for link to Rod's blog - post title: "Released" 10th January

Monday, 8 January 2018

Singing at eighty plus

Big Brother (RR) who comments here has been taking singing lessons over the last eighteen months. At the age of 83 that is somewhat remarkable. RR, whose background was journalism as a magazine editor, and in retirement a writer of several novels, has now published Opening Bars, an interesting account of his music lessons to date.

The book is published on Amazon at  a modest £6.95, and even allowing for a little bias on my part it is a very worthwhile read for anybody with a passing interest in music, and even more absorbing for people with a deeper knowledge and love of vocal classical music.

Here is a copy of the review I have put on Amazon, and I know RR would be grateful for further reviews.

I have to admit to being younger brother (78) of the author , but that would not lead me to write anything other than an honest review. I read the book in two non stop sittings with interest and fascination. I enjoy listening to music, both classical and jazz but I have no ability whatsoever in playing an instrument, singing, or reading music. I thought I was familiar with the extent to which Big Brother embraces music as an irreplaceable part of his life but then found myself surprised at his even deeper knowledge and grasp of its technicalities, recently enhanced I guess by his involvement with this
project, and especially at the age of 83! It is surprising from the depth of detail that RR has already assimilated that he opines that he has only so far scratched the surface, but he identifies many of the even more sophisticated techniques and skills professionals develop. I welcomed the clarity of the writing and avoidance of technical jargon combined with lots of the more subjective analysis of the role of, and the relationship with his teacher
V - It seems RR was very lucky in finding such a teacher, and that has now been proved over a meaningful period. This is certainly a worthwhile read for any enquiring person to experience a truly vicarious insight into the business of learning to sing seriously, and also as a valuable source for anybody contemplating taking lessons in other subjects.

Knee progress is slow. I am having a lot of pain at night and not sleeping. I drove the car again yesterday after speaking to my insurance company, but for the moment I intend to keep that to a minimum. I have a follow up appointment with Mr. P the surgeon on 17th January.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Compliments of the season

All the best to my readers, commenters and fellow bloggers.


Perhaps the most remote bothy in Scotland - OS grid NH 052 360.
 I stayed there - 17th June 2008 on my Land's End John 'o Groats walk

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Latest "round-up"

“There was a shepherd the other day up at Findon Fair who had come from the east by Lewes with sheep, and who had in his eyes that reminiscence of horizons which makes the eyes of shepherds and of mountaineers different from the eyes of other men.” 
― Hilaire Belloc

Nobody has ever commented on that kind of look in my eyes, but I live in hope.

On my birthday yesterday,  I received an unusual present from son W:  a shepherd's crook. W's thinking was that I would soon progress from crutches to walking stick, but knowing me suspected I would not want to be perceived as a feeble old man needing aid. The crook would provide a clever subterfuge.

Going along with Hilaire I should now have double reason for that look in my eyes, and watch out, any of you lot organising multi-person walks (Martin?); I now have the means to round you up and keep you in check, that is when Knee 2 is back on form after being replaced a few days ago.

I had a look to see if Findon coincided with any of my walks, but sadly not, but for any of you randonneurs marching on the Monarch's Way watch out for shepherds as you sneak through that town.

Exercises are going well, but I am feeling a bit woozy in the mornings, I am still taking pills for another couple of days. I did a nuclear stockpile of food prior to hospital, and installed a new freezer under the stairs to reduce tedious trips to the garage, and that has all worked well, but my stock of tea is diminishing rapidly. I had the dressing changed on Tuesday by the practice nurse and all looks  ok there, and I have an appointment next Tuesday to have the clips removed.

Back to the crook. My Thursday walks with Pete traditionally end up in Café Ambio which is attached to the livestock mart and well frequented by our local farmers. I don't think I would have the bottle to walk in there with my shiny new crook, but it may well get its chance when I am recovered enough to make my trillionth ascent of Arnside Knott.



Fine prose from Hilaire - it flows with a rhythm of delight.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Lord dismiss us with thy blessing...All who here shall meet no more

Sunday 3rd December 2017

Lines from the most joyous hymn which we sang as a prelude to the summer holidays at Bradford Grammar School - well I was dismissed (discharged ) from hospital yesterday equipped with boxes of pills, an ice pack thing to put in the fridge, and most useful of all, a lasso with two loops. One goes round my foot and then, to get into bed, I sit on the edge, haul Poorly Leg up, then swing the good leg up afterwards, and when getting up the good leg can go down first. This is still pretty painful, but I don't think there is any better method. I have found that in hospital we were using the wrong side of the bed, and now, at home I got son W. to shift my bed to make more room to get in from the other side, good leg first - a huge step forward.

I am walking on elbow crutches which means I can't carry much from room to room especially a tray of food from the kitchen. I have ordered a tea trolley from Amazon which should arrive tomorrow.

I have exercises to do and don't feel much like doing anything else at the moment. There is stuff scattered all over house making things untidy, and whilst I don't think I suffer from OCD I do like to keep things fairly straight and in their place,  and that all bugs me when I look round, but having a quick tidy is out of the question. Any walking about must be reserved for the priorities of eating, and toileting.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Oliver Sacks

I recently Read Oliver Sacks autobiography: On the Move. I recommend it

Sacks was British neurologist who only died a short time ago. He had a very eventful life rising to become one the most respected in his milieu, all well documented in this book .

Sacks spent most of his life in America. He found a rest home occupied by patients stricken with a Sleeping Sickness that had swept America between the two World wards. These patients were mainly in a catatonic and hopeless situation. He administered a drug called L-Dopa with amazing results bringing patients back to almost normal, but unfortunately for most only for a limited period. All this is outlined in the autobiography which was written much later.. He wrote a much more detailed account of individual case histories called: Awkakenings which I have now nearly finished here in hospital. Awakenings is as near as anything to an academic text book, but written with so much empathy and human understanding that I always wanted to read on. There are huge numbers of lengthy footnotes most of which I skipped.

In part of Sack's research and study he makes great importance of doctor and patient having a COMBINED mental approach and I found it fascinating that an academic of his standing was prepared to publish these almost metaphysical ideas - he ponders where this power for helping with neurological diseases can come from and how it can square up with the most up to date research in brain function. He also discusses the use of music (another very interesting section of suppositions and conjectures.)

 I was also impressed with the amount of knowledge sharing between OS and his many fellow scientific and academic friends and acquaintances.

My immediate reaction to things medical makes me squeamish, and often, in my own case, I think the less I know the better, so reading this was against the grain, but I know these two books and Sacks contribution to humanity will be stashed in my mental list of memorable books.