Friday, 20 February 2015


Bert loved antiquarian books, photography, geology,
fossils, microscopes, local history, family history, walking
and cats.
He was a vegetarian.
He never married
and lived a very modest life
in his unmodernised boyhood home,
next door to our first house
until that became too much for him to manage.
His great friend M. took him into her home.
She was a nurse and she cared for him
until the end.
He was 96. She is 94.

He used to put out conkers on the wall for our sons.

Everyone should have a Bert in their life.


  1. Sounds like a long & intriguing story that could be told. Reading this post, prompts so many questions. When did you take those photos? What's to be done with his house? Was that really his house? Who's M?

  2. Lucile, you've given us a beautiful portrait of Bert, whom you and your family were fortunate to have known.

    Yes, wouldn't it be grand if everyone could have a Bert in their lives.


  3. These photos are so intriguing and evocative. Oh to be past caring that the bookshelves need dusting or the windows cleaned - just doing what is important to you and not what other people think you should do. I would have liked a Bert very much and his book collection.

  4. Oh my. So much beauty here. And some melancholy, at least from this perspective. . . it's too long since I've known a Bert, quite honestly, but you're bringing back memories...

  5. The sort of man who would have been described as modest , I suppose , by more aspiring types .....
    Or simply as decent by those who appreciated him .

  6. A lovely post, Lucille. Very touching.

  7. I have only recently discovered the truth of your assertion, Lucille, through my own encounters with older people in connection with my mother. In particular I have recently got to know a woman, in her 90s, who is the longest term resident of the street in which I have lived (except for about 6 or 7 years) since 1959. She's a lovely person, living in a house that she now struggles to maintain. Her 'friend' (de facto partner, I guess) has just had to move into a nursing home - the one where my mother lives. For decades we have lived in the same street without meeting.

  8. That was lovely. Thank you.

    Xo J

  9. Sometimes I am afraid that we, as a society, have become too *busy* to notice and appreciate our Berts

  10. I hope someone's now looking after his friend.

  11. Oh, how wonderful and touching. It seems that knowing people like this has become more rare as we work and commute and cocoon ourselves into our own little worlds.
    Food for thought.

  12. He does sound rather special. M must miss him horribly.

  13. What evocative photos and text. I really loved reading this. Somehow I feel as I do at the end of a novel when I have a sense of knowing the characters.

  14. You are so lucky you had a Bert in yours. Thank you for this post - it is very heartwarming. I am certain he appreciated being your neighbour just as much as you appreciated him.