A Robin Man: All Joined Up: Everything Good.

We can't read and we can't write,
But that don't really matterrrrr,
We all come from CHELTENHAMSHIRE,
and we can drive a tractorrrr, 
Ooh Arrr, Ooh Arrr,
Ooh Arrr, Ooh Arrr, Ooh Arrr,
The above are the lyrics to the " Tractor Song " as sung by Cheltenham  football fans. The Late Derek Goddard admitted to shedding  a few tears when he heard it during a play-off final in 2002 when Cheltenham Town gained promotion To League 1.

He was the sport's writer for the the Gloucestershire Echo. A position he occupied for over forty years  He saw the change during this time from ' hot metal ' printing to a full computerisation process. He had a preference for the older method, which he  claimed allowed  more colleague interaction and, of course smoking at his desk.

He covered home and away matches  for Cheltenham Town ( The Robins ,) from 1963 until his retirement in 2006. He saw eighteen managers come and go and hardly ever missed a match. His reports were extremely cogent and erudite in nature. He never pulled his punches and was always honest with his assessment. He was often to be seen at his desk typing reports late at night, following mid-week away games.

 I knew Derek through a spell of working at the Echo and at lunchtimes at 'The Bays," his favourite watering hole and restaurant . He was very easy to engage in conversation making his views forthright, in keeping with his journalistic style. He was very proud of his two daughters; but never emotionally recovered from his divorce twenty or so years'  ago.

I should also mention that he diligently covered Gloucestershire Cricket Festival at Cheltenham each summer.

But it was The Robins, who claimed his heart. He worked tirelessly selling raffle tickets each week for the club and in doing so raised thousands of pounds. His trouser pockets literally bulged with all the stubs attached by elastic bands causing his trousers to quickly lose shape.

When he retired, he was presented with an honorary life membership of Cheltenham Town and thus it was entirely appropriate that last Saturday at the Robins home match with Burton he was given a minute clap. Well done Robins and well done Derek. I will miss him. A true ' one off the block.'  R.I.P.

Photograph from the Echo ( 9/2 )


Ask a person aged 25 years or younger what you used a car choke for and they would probably give you a blank look. The last decade has used chipped engine management systems  to control optimum  engine performance. This combined with ABS ( automatic braking system) power steering, electric windows, rain and now parking sensors show some of the changes in automotive products.

Chips have become progressively cheaper and more powerful  and importantly, cost effective to include in every day motor vehicles.

In the '90s when the web was introduced, mostly via desktops about one billion people became connected to the internet. By the 2000's with the advent of smart phones another billion went online.
we are now entering the third age and by 2020, it is claimed another fifty billion devices will go live.
This, is being called the Internet of Things (IoT. )

But are we being outsmarted? Do we really need our cookers to produce menus to order on small screens and do we want our fridges to text us when items of food are running low and if necessary notifying supermarkets of our requirements? I think not. For we will be allowing a lot of data  tracking our daily lives to be sent off- home.

I don't want my 'phone to control my home security. What happens if I lose my 'phone or my digital trace becomes intercepted? No thanks. I'll see to it myself.

If you think I'm being over cautious, remember the recent message from South Korea's Samsung regarding their smart televisions with voice control. It reminded customers not to leave voice control on as messages nothing to do with television programming might be recorded.
So why was this option included in the first place? Surely using your remote control hasn't become too taxing has it?

Finally, if like me you are considering in the future, investing in a blu-ray player, try to find one that just plays discs. It's becoming more difficult as most have;  you've guessed it an online connection.
But I just want to watch my films, I don't want to tell FaceBook what I'm doing or tweet the film's rating.
Please KISS - keep it simple stupid. Thanks. Lesson ends.


Theory Of Everything

Today, ( 13/ 2 ) D. and I went to the cinema to see the BAFTA and GOLDEN GLOBE winner " The Theory Of Everything."  The film tells the true story of Professor Stephen Hawking, the brilliant  cosmologist  whose thesis on the behaviour of time, won him fame, acclaim and international awards. His part is  played  by Eddie Redmayne and his patient and loving wife by Felicity Jones.
Both are exceptional in their roles.

Stephen Hawking, whilst working on his doctorate at Cambridge was struck down by motor neuron disease. This is a degenerative disorder which causes muscles in the body to lose control, leading by quick degrees to invalidity , loss of body movement, speech and eventually death. Professor Hawking when diagnosed,  was given two years to live. He is currently seventy two and still working!

This is a glorious film of the triumph of the mind over the body. It brings us all hope and encourages belief that obstacles are only temporary barriers. We will and shall overcome.

Eddie Redmayne plays his part with sensitivity and a disarming sense of humour.

It will be a major shock if he does not pick up an Oscar for Best Male Performance at  next month's event.  Watch the above trailer and go see the film, if you can



It has been a cloudy old week and left me having to invent excuses to engage in physical activity.
Hopefully next week looks brighter and camera-worthy.
Have yourselves a good week.
Cheerio for now,


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