Bob's Blog 17 - Holiday highlights

Bob’s Blog 17 – Holiday Highlights

Last year my August holiday coincided with the finale of Fringe By The Sea. Jo suggested I should come two weeks earlier to catch the full event. I went on their website and saw Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band were on the programme. Victoria booked it for me well before I arrived. Good job as it proved to be a sell-out. After I arrived I asked Victoria about the Elkie Brookes concert but that was also fully booked.

Friday night I was taken to hear Geno. At 77 he still has a tremendous voice but can only shuffle slowly across the stage. The highlight of the gig for me was Sam and Dave’s Hold On, I’m Coming. There was nobody I could see in the audience that was below the age of 60. I was in my reclining wheelchair about a metre from the stage so had a great view. My ears were still ringing the following morning.

A lady supporting her father said that he had seen Geno in Edinburgh 1967. Apparently, he was as good last night as he was back then. However, I suspect he was a lot livelier on stage!

The night reminded me of when in 1964 a group from Bognor (1) Grammar School, including my good friend Steve, went to see Cream in Worthing. It was standing room only, just because there were no seats! We stood next to the stage and I don’t think I paid more than my week’s pocket money to see them. This was a few years before their first album Fresh Cream was released. Both Steve and I remember Ginger Baker’s 15-minute drum solo when the other two went off for a cigarette and drink. I’d hate to think what you would need to pay to see the surviving member, Eric Clapton, when he plays again. Geno at £27.50 seems a steal given the inflation after almost 60 years!

Iain was keen to use his straight-out-of-the-box iPhone 14 Max Pro. He videoed the whole 65 minutes but I suggested shortly after he started he should turn the phone sideways to get the whole band on screen not just Geno and the drummer behind him. I think it was just Iain getting used to a new phone. I was seriously impressed with the quality even in low light. I think my 8 would have run out of battery and/or memory after the first 10 minutes! Kevan confirmed the battery was on its way out after he had fixed a few issues for me.

Jen typed up a WhatsApp report of the gig for my school reunion group chat. Jen also had one of these 14 Max Pros. I think the peer pressure is on to upgrade (2). That’s it. No more talk about mobiles… I promise!

When Lilia was polishing the first draft of this blog, just minor changes to punctuation, grammar and spelling, she said she hadn’t heard of Geno but she was sure her grandad would have because he was well into his blues music. That confirmed I was old!

Another highlight was giving my brain a thorough workout having long, proper conversations with Grace and Lilia. I mean 50:50 talking and listening with two very smart people who have their heads screwed on. This was refreshing because my carers at home are on a very tight schedule and there is rarely time for much chit-chat. We enjoyed putting the world to rights and discussing issues facing young adults today.

Steve and I agree in 1964 you were either a boy or a girl until you left school when you became an adult, well some of us did. A young adult wasn’t in our vocabulary nor were any of the other descriptors. Maybe we’re old fashioned or just plain old. My maxim is KISS (3).

I’ve been plagued by a fly all week. It would sense my presence as soon as I was wheeled into the Quiet Room. It would alight on my knee and gradually move up to my head. A vigorous shaking managed to get rid of it, only for it to then torment me by crawling through hairs on my arm. I could feel it tickling my skin. On Sunday during a game of Boccia between Susan and Alison I thought of a cunning plan to get it for once and for all. Victoria would be armed with a rolled-up copy of the Daily Record and would wait until it arrived on my knee and then smash it. However, she thought if anybody witnessed the incident it could be reported to the Care Inspectorate. The idea was abandoned. However, Victoria had some of Alison’s Biscoff traybake. A short trail of crumbs was put on a chair as a trap. Sure enough, the susceptible fly abandoned me for the traybake, and Victoria gave it a good thrashing and it was no more. Job done. Relief for me for the rest of the holiday!

On the last Thursday Jackie, not wanting to be outdone by Claire, gave me a perfect brew. It only took 2 sooks. However, later that day I was given a slightly warmer than tepid beaker. I dare not ask for it to be zapped in the microwave for a minute as I didn’t want to run the risk of being restricted to water for the rest of the fortnight! Water, that’s another story as Assistants and Nurses will know. That’s it. No more talk about drinks! I promise. (2)

Thanks to all the care assistants who started the blog off for me. Kate had a really easy time just copying the words off my phone. When she was typing the second draft of the blog I was watching Stevie mow the lawn. I think the tractor must be due its 6000-mile service by now!

Guest Iain said in May the new massage mattress had soothed his aches and pains. I said it would be on my list things to do. Katie and Louise set it up on the bed in my room. After I was hoisted onto it, it took a little pushing and pulling to get me in position. Then it was switched on. I felt it straight away, a rolling, rippling gently poking, starting at my shoulder and working down - back, thighs, legs, calves and up again. This was repeated over five minutes in a random way. Definitely a holiday highlight. There are 9 programs depending on where your aches and pains are. I just wanted a shot because I like trying new things. It was enjoyable especially with soothing Classic FM playing in the background. So, if guests have a particular issue or they just want a pleasant half hour relaxing then they should try it. I have just read the 11 page brochure. The developers of the Cyclo-ssage claim it soothes every known condition under the sun…and I believe them!

Editor’s notes.

Bob prefers his water from the Waterlogic dispenser pressing the button without the snowflake!

Lilia is off to Uni in October to study medicine. Bob suggested she contact Emma to see if she could train up to be a care assistant in the holidays. Georgia, currently making some money during the Uni holidays, will be returning soon to start second year reading medicine at Edinburgh.


1. Bognor Regis is halfway between Portsmouth and Brighton and Worthing is half way between Bognor and Brighton for those of you who haven’t ventured to that part of the world before.

2. see Blog 16.

3. KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid

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Cast: Jo – Bookings Manager; Victoria – Guest Engagement Manager; Iain – CA; Kevan - Smart Technologies Coordinator; Jen – CA; Lilia – NBHS; Grace – NBHS; Susan – Guest; Alison – Guest; Jackie – GA; Claire – GA; Kate – Digital Marketing Officer; Stevie – Facilities; Katie – OT; Louise – Physiotherapist; Emma – Director of Care; Georgia – CA.

CA – Care Assistant; GA – General Assistant; NBHS – North Berwick High School Volunteer


Kevan’s prediction was correct in that a new i-phone would come out to coincide with the new version of their operating system. I heard on September 13 on BBC Radio 4 about the launch of the 15. It wasn’t news worthy because of the new phone but because apple has to release it with an universal USB-c charger mandated by the EU. This brings apple devices in line with android ones (Samsung et al) This should reduce costs if an additional charger is needed. I will wait for a few months after the 15 is advertised and then see if I can pick up an early version, 2022, of the 14. Finally no more talk about mobiles, I promise!