Snoopy made another Atlantic Attempt this year ... launched from Boscombe on 18th March... SPOT tracker stopped on 27th... Landed at Brighton on 30th ! You can play the 8 minute Youtube video of Snoopy's March 2015 Atlantic Attempt, or simply visit the Snoopy Page for all the news. Who rescued Snoopy ? :-)
In April, Robin took two weeks extra holiday in a "Funny Farm". This was after too little sleep, watching Snoopy, then preparing for the Election. His write-up in October started as a "damage limitation" exercise, but very soon became an enjoyable trip down Memory Lane. Checkout Robin's Mini-Autobiography from a Shrink's Point of View :-)
Sicily in May & June 2015 .... This year we used the bus instead of the usual hire car. Buses work great - and are really cheap ! We spent lots of time with our crazy italian friends - see the picture below. Enrico and Matilda took three nights holiday with us on the remote island of Salina, reached by train and ferry. Enrico showed Robin how to light a Tuscan cigar, so Robin could blow the smoke in June's face. Matilda and June just LOVE the smell. More pictures are on our 2015 Sicily Holiday page, uploaded while in Sicily. Watch the first 2 minutes introduction of the 26 minute video of "Sicily in 2015" - you will not believe some of the things we saw and did ! :-)
Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight in August 2015 .... We were invited for this weekend break by Stuart Quarrie, Robin's flat-mate, and Best Man at our wedding in 1971. This was Stuart's last year running Cowes - something he's been doing for 15 years ! See Robin's GPSS on Water page for details and play our Cowes Week 2015 video.
Corfu in September .... See Pictures from our Tennis Holiday. June had the tennis lessons. Robin assisted with seeing Corfu, enjoying good company, and tasting the wine ! :-)
We started the GPS Hobby of Geocaching in 2001, when there were only about 100 caches in the whole of the UK. Now there are more than 100,000 ! Sadly there are very few of the traditional "ammo box" like we found again in November 2015. It still had our entry in the log book from when we first found it in 2001 ! Read the details on www.gpshobby.info :-)
Robin has been playing with CCTV and covert TV cameras for years, and has created a new Robin's CCTV page to bring it all together. Wildlife includes humans :-)
June and Robin share their passion for all things Italian, including the Italian lessons two nights a week, and Holidays in Sicily. Here we are with Matilda and Enrico. Click on pictures for bigger versions, if you are not reading this on paper :-)
June now works for Axon only four days a week, giving us longer weekends. Her main other interests are Sodutoo and tennis. She plays tennis at least once a week, and watches Andy Murray when she can, often with Samantha. Here they are at the Davis Cup, held in Glasgow in early March this year. Samantha shares this hobby of tennis, second only to Grand Prix motor racing. Her Japanese lessons continue. Sorry that was Sudoku earlier. They both work, to keep Robin in the manner he has become accustomed :-)
Our other daughters Saskia and Michelle are old enough to write their own newsletters or update Facebook pages, but here is a quick mention: Saskia and Gary are still not far away in Bracknell, and have both recently changed their jobs. We very much like spending time with them, and our "inherited grandchildren". Boys are so much better than girls when it comes to toys ;-)
Michelle is still in Coventry, taking a break from teaching, so she can do overdue work on her house. She plans to have major building work done, to extend then refurbish her kitchen. This is a picture Michelle sent me, from her Facebook page, of her with a hedgehog. I understand that it was very tasty. One of the many silly videos on Robin's youtube channel: www.youtube.com/user/RobinLovelock is a hedgehog stalking a cat !
June's dad Jack, now 96, is still only a few minutes drive away, looking after himself at home. He had a few falls this year, and spent quite a few weeks in hospital, being kept in until they were confident that he would be OK at home. Jack still refuses to have any servants at home, including for gardening or housework. I guess Robin learnt his grumpiness from Jack :-)
Robin enjoys being a "Grumpy Old Man", moaning at the TV and discussing how to solve the World's problems with other old men like himself - our "Last of the Summer Wine Team". We meet regularly in local pubs. Robin drives and drinks coke, so they can drink real ale !
Robin would love journalists to see his Grumpy page and perhaps use some as "raw material" to do some good in the World. It would be great to get some Publicity again for the www.NHSCAre.info Couglan Campaign : The NHS should obey the Law and pay all Care Home fees. It's years since we had those three, one hour BBCTV Panorama broadcasts, and Newspaper campaigns on our NHSCare.info Publicity page.
Robin is in regular email contact with others around the World, including other Grumpy Old Men even older than himself. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience. They include some in UK, like Derek Cole - and, of course, that amazing Pam Coughlan in Exeter.
However, Robin does not spend that much of his time sat at his PC: he gets out in the fresh air when he can, with June, during our long weekends, or takes it easy dozing in the lounge :-)
Yes, it's that time of the year when Homer Simpson is put on duty, guarding our house, along with Christmas lights. You will see, in that picture just taken, that Robin has taken to wearing braces, to stop his trousers falling down. He must have lost weight, due to running around the house doing all that dusting and hoovering ! It only remains to say ...
The following was moved from the "Grumpy" page in February 2016. Enjoy :-)
Click on me to see the photo mum took in Central Park, New York, just after 911. We decided to take a shopping trip in 2001 without dad. He seemed a little concerned, but did not make too much fuss. We had no big problems, despite the lingering smell of smoke, and twitchyness of guys at the airport. It was not until 2015 that dad got to take HIS extra holiday - in Bluebell Ward ! I keep an eye on both of them, as they get increasingly grumpy. Dad certainly is more forgetful. I help to bring in some money, to keep dad in the manner he has become accustomed in recent years. I do it because I want to afford a house to get away from them - before one of them needs care at home. I've heard dad witter on for years about avoiding problems by looking ahead. He's always told mum that she didn't need to go out to work, but mum and I both love our shopping trips. Maybe mum goes to work to get away from him ? :-) I was present during the whole of dad's manic period, back in April, and more recently, when he has started coming dowstairs to work on the PC again. He gives some lame excuse about wanting to grab the chance to drive publicity into his NHSCare.info charity, giving information on how to use the Law to make the NHS pay all the cost of long term care, in a care home, or at home. He also rambled on about promoting a 'peace message' on his Grumpy page. This is EXACTLY what he was trying to do after his stupid Snoopy robot boat landed at Brighton. He said that he had to work hard, to have everything and everyone ready before the General Election. He has seemed very relaxed and happy all the time, including when he was secretly filming the police, who he'd 'phoned, asking they visit our house. We discovered afterwards, that he would not stop doing this, including in the police car, and in Prospect Park Hospital. You can read all about it on his "Bluebell" pages. He includes a photo of me, with mum and dad, on the day I was born at our home in Holland, when he worked as a NATO scientist. It seems he went into work, unshaved, and gave a briefing to some "big wig" or other. I remember when we drove past the big building where he worked, with radars turning on the roof, and a high barbed wire security fence, I would shout "Daddy's Work !". I've seen the old films from those years, copied from film onto VHS tapes in our lounge. Note from Robin: of course I wrote all that stuff here for Samantha - she can tell me to change it as she likes. I must convert those VHS tapes to DVD and for youtube soon. Samantha is the best person to ask about us both, and you might find it useful looking at those "Bluebell" pages ! :-)
You can print out these 15 "Grumpy" pages from
Print a copy of the NHSCare.info Flyer from www.NHSCare.info.
Visit our 2015 Lovelock Christmas Newsletter. The printer-friendly copy is on XMAS15.PDF. We Grumpy Old Pensioners can make things happen ! ;-)
Give paper copies to a few Pensioners you know, who are not on the Net. Even if they are online, they might not take an interest until they saw the paper copy. How about dropping copies into your local charity shops, such as Help the Aged, Alzheimers Society, Thames Hospice, etc ?
It only occured to me today, sat in the coffee shop in Tescos, at Martin't Heron, Bracknell, what huge friendliness and comradery there was between us old folk. This must be the most powerful network for change: no need to march to get attention: just spread the right information around to everybody.
Wouldn't it be nice if these pages went viral ? I'm sure the Media, including the TV and Radio Networks, Newspapers, and web sites, would soon be making sure everyone knew the simple facts. e.g. that 3 minute video from the amazing Pam Coughlan.
If the Media do take an interest, I have expert story-boarder friends, to suggest the content of a particular programme. It's my hope that the "Bluebell" story is preceded by one of the others, such as "NHSCare.info" or "Snoopy". That should address some of Samantha's words above. Maybe some of my friends and close family, like June, will begin to doubt whether I was completely mad, before "Bluebell", or now, after our "Dog and Partridge" Christmas get-together.
Any of these broadcasts could include a few minutes of "Bluebell" material. I'm sure our local police will cooperate, in recreating those events, captured in my covert videos. They did a brilliant job for Nick Knowles, all those years ago in 1997. See my AsOnTV page.
When I heard of the Shenzhen landside disaster, I was concerned for the safety of my friends at Concox Electronics, suppler of GPS trackers, such as used in the BBC GPS Bottles project. I was relieved when Miley Hong at Concox contacted me, and said that friends such as Jhinns and Lori, had recently left Concox, and that is why they had not responded to my emails. The latest news is that 33 building collapsed, two people confirmed dead, but the alarming thing is that 70 people are still missing (Reuters 3:38am on 26 Dec 2015). Miley confirmed the important information in his first email to me at 0341 on 23rd Dec: "Dear Robin, Glad to hear from you. I guess we did not contact from each other for a long while, since you know, Jhins and Lori had left Concox for many months. I am Miley Hong from Shenzhen Concox, which still on GPS business for vehicle and person. It was a huge mistake for some construction company: piling the sand into a mountain, which no plants at all. Earlier it rained heavily therefore the 'mountain' fell down and people around in a disaster. Praying those people could survive, as government and policemen are focusing on this, doing their best". How is things going on your side ? Christmas is coming, wish you will have a great one with families and friends. Best Wishes, Miley". Over the following days, we discussed other things, such as Concox trackers for old people with dementure. Miley works over Christmas, answering business enquiries, so "talking business" suits us both well at this difficult time. Love and Strength, to those with loved ones still missing. Miley and I continued to talk about many things, but soon focussed upon "business": use of the low cost GT03a GPS tracker, into Robin's light weight scooter, popular with Grumpy Old Pensioners. As some of us get more forgetful, we may even forget where we are, and how to get back home. This certainly happened to my dad, as the Alzheimer's kicked in. My beloved froggy friend George would spend at least four days a week whizzing about Bracknell, in his wheelchair, exchanging banter and yarns with his mobility mates. I understand that few meet in Bracknell now, because the incomleted changes make it a boring place to visit. All George's mates are welcome to that "Grumpy Party" below - including any "Minders". Click on the Great Wall, to see my Grumpy Hero and Role Model. Good security dictates that, if any Royals attend, they should not RSVP to me (Note that to speak posh, you use French). They are advised to wear some form of disguise, so as not to be recognised. Any actors, able to give good impressions, will need to submit to auditions. The above should be sufficient evidence of my having Grandiose Delusions, along with that manic photo of me on my latest hobby project, helped by the guys at Concox in Shenzhen.
If you see "Robin" signs outside Sunninghill, that's our Quince Players. Click on "ROBIN" to read the details.
Diary Date: Saturday 23rd January 2016 is the date for my "Grumpy Party" at The Squirrels Pub at Winkfield. Click on the pub for Debbie's web site. The event is for Regulars, and my friends and extended family. Some friends will be old, and some very new. I will be paying for the buffet, and non alcoholic drinks such as Coke and J2O. The event will be from midday until the pub closes at 11pm. For those who I have not already invited, face to face, or by email, I plan to deliver invitations on a slip of paper through your door. If I don't already know your address, please include that in your email, to be found on my Contact page. e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Some of you may even need to tell me your full name. e.g. Leroy who recognised Snoopy. It is for all ages: Children can be grumpy too :-)
Any friend of George is a friend of mine. This is from my "Bluebell" pages ... I neglected to mention how important parrots were in my life, although it is only recently that I realise their significance. John Manniello had a stuffed one, amongst the memorabilia in his large office at STC. I recall his office having been re-arranged into a briefing room, for a visit by SACEUR. I was sat at the back, and John's briefing, was interrupted by a 'phone call.. something about his order for Peking Duck. I think it was SACEUR who whispered, "I thought the parrot said it". Another occasion was in 2012, on Holiday in Sicily, when June and I stayed at the Archimedes Hotel in Siracusa, where they had a live parrot in reception. Click on the parrot to play my video, uploaded in December 2013, of my conversation with my friend George Gourrier's parrot. My obituary to George is in our 2014 Xmas Newsletter. I think it was in 2013, when researching "NHS Patient Choice", that I got excellent advice from a PALS lady at Frimley Park Military Hospital. PALS, or Patient Advice & Liasson Service, are there to handle complaints. There was one person ahead of me in the queue. She dealt with the man sympathetically, and suggested that he take his complaint to the pet shop in Sunninghill, where he had purchased the parrot. It was only last night, when our family was watching Catherine Tait's Nan that I woke up to the importance of parrots in my life. "The first of two specials featuring the foul-mouthed pensioner. Nan's aggressive attitude gets her into trouble with the police". That quote is from the RadioTimes. Personally, I find Nan's language quite moderate, compared with one member of my family, after she's had one too many vodkas, and starts dancing on the table. Nan and I are soul mates, and was struck by how well everything in that program was researched. e.g. group therapy sessions being the only prescribed treatment, when the root cause such as booze or drugs is not touched. I love Warwick Davis' portayal of the Social Worker, who seems to have been attracted into this work by his small stature, and the trauma after realising he'd killed his pet parrot by accident. I'm sure our local vicar will be pleased to hear that I stumbled on George's card only yesterday - it reminded me to add this "Parrot" piece. That must have been a Fruedian slip, when I wrote "Tait" above - I must have been confusing her with that lovely Dr Tait who just left Lightwater Surgury. Googling Catherine Tate's Nan will give the correct details for this actress - a real "Christmas Cracker". Maybe she should do another special, as she did with "Am I bothered ?" Blair, but with our young David Cameron, in a Funny Farm ? I far prefer the search results from Googling Catherine Tate's Nan - even if unsuitable for most children, and immature adults. Spooky Footnote added by Robin on New Year's Eve 31st December 2015: I had a hunch that George's birthday might be a significant date. I popped into Lesley yesterday, and she said George's birthday was on 17th October (1939). I googled "what happened on 17 October 1939" and found this Wiki page. Allowing for time zones, George was born on the day that Hitler issued Directive No. 7, Preparations for Attack in the West, including attacking France, the invasion of Poland, etc.
Fartalot (aka Ginger, or Gingy) shuffled off this mortal coil yesterday, aged 16. That's him on the left, in 1999. Michelle had been up all night with him, concerned that he was not purring. I left the three women in charge, while I went out, visiting a few people, including Lesley above. Her cat, now 17, looked as fit as a fiddle, and had been taken to the vet in Ascot with similar symptoms. Dodgey kidneys were the diagnosis, but Lesley opted for special food - which worked. Maybe her cat will make 20, not uncommon in the USA, where they throw a party - but no telegram from our Queen. The women's decision to have Fartalot put down was probably the right one: he was always terrified of fireworks or gunfire, and he ended his days peacefully, with June and Michelle. Meanwhile, I chatted to the lovely young staff in reception, providing them my credit card. It seems they are too young to remember that guy who came into the shop years ago, complaing of a dead parrot. I drove the taxi back home, for Michelle to bury Fartalot down the end of our garden, in her chosen spot, along with Sooty, Bella, and the ashes of my parents, Len and Eve.
Christmas Eve was a lovely sunny day. June chose a spot near our apple tree, and Michelle dug the deep hole, then gently laid Fartalot to rest, wrapped in a towel. I visited a few places and enjoyed time with Jack, who had now been waiting a week for his doctor to visit. Jack eventually called "The Hub", and two lovely young nurses soon arrived, and unblocked his catheter yet again. Jack and I enjoyed Doc Martin dealing with the Bipolar patient, armed with shotgun, helping his dad smuggle semtex ashore. At home, the women and I watched Mrs Brown in Dublin, and I was reminded of Phoenix Park, in the times of "The Troubles". Chatting to a new friend, about her son, Ira (not IRA), I was reminded of my favourite episode of "Porridge", set at Christmas, when Fletch leaves a very special present for McKay. I won't give the punch line away, but it involves windows :-)
Love and Strength to All.
© Robin Lovelock.
Click on World map below, to see visitors. A Printer-friendly version of above is on www.gpss.co.uk/xmas15p.pdf (4MB).