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The Bigger Picture ( of what Robin spends his time on )

Last Update at 2030 BST UK ( 1930z GMT/UT/GPS Time Wednesday 7th April 2021 UK time.
( Scroll down on a wide screen to see all the content, then use Contents List shortcuts ? )

Introduction and contacting me ...

Robin is a Grumpy Old Man ! :-)

Hi ! I'm Robin Lovelock, a "Grumpy Old Man" born in 1947, living in Sunninghill UK, with my wife June and our eldest daughter Samantha. This "Bigger Picture" page may save time in discussion. A picture says more than a thousand words - and I'm a very slow keyboard operator. It may help you find shared interests that you did not know existed. If you don't already know me well, start with my Home then AsOnTV pages.

Most of this page was written in 2017, and little needed to be changed. I gave it a "tweak" in 2021, including adding the recent Walks page.

rocking chair I prefer face-to-face communication, essential if talking about things too sensitive to put in an email. I enjoy my regular "Pub Grub" meetings with our local "Last of the Summer Wine Team", where we discuss many things, including global politics and "righting the World's Wrongs". If any picture or topic interests you, just email me, and I can direct you to the relevant page, before we chat in more detail.

I like our detailed conversations to start with an exchange of emails, so we both know a little about each other, before we speak on the telephone or face-to-face. In the past 20+ years that I've been doing this, I've built up a huge network of friends in over 150 countries. Over 10,000 of these have used my GPS Software. So, wherever you are in the World, I may know someone within walking distance of you :-)

Robin's mobile 'phone is NOT smart :-) Please take care if you text my Mobile 'phone: it is not smart, and often texts are broken into many messages. My mobile is for more urgent tasks, like arranging a rendezvous. I like to leave the Internet at home, for life-style reasons. June has a smartphone for SatNav - if needed.

June Nagivates Robin :-) I retired over 10 years ago, but still help those who use my GPS Software. However, in recent years, many who contact me are interested in my Snoopy's Robot Boat hobby, or "doing good" related to my charity interests, such as in the UK, or even one or more topics on Grumpy page. I prefer direct email communication, and not via social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. To e-mail me, click on or My emails are received by the desktop PC in my Study. I do NOT have a smartphone ! I often hear emails coming in, so you may get a quick reply. Where possible, please contact me, Robin, by e-mail before making a 'phone call.

Emails may have topics that are relevant to some of our shared interests. You are welcome to CC who you wish when we speak on a particular topic. I will do the same with my reply. Some will certainly want our conversation to remain private, as it always has been. Many things should not be put in emails.

Robin's GPS Software is like having a little friend with you I pioneered GPS Tracking in the early 1990s, and I'm indebted to an old friend suggesting, "Robin's GPS Software is like having a little friend with you". In 2008, with popularity of GPSS on Pocket PC, I was tempted to add "... in your pocket" - but thought better of it.

These days, I prefer to use a paper map and a magnetic compass. It's much more fun, including finding interesting places when we get lost. I have learnt to delegate most things, and I have replaced my GPS based SatNav, by what I call my "Nagi-vation System". She sits beside me, shouts in my (deaf) ear when I'm in the wrong lane or above the speed limit. She does have GPS Satnav on her smartphone, which usually gets us lost, such as our visit to Tolworth Hospital, on Sunday 23rd October 2016. white strip

Robin rarely dresses smart :-) Jack June has put up with me since we were married in 1971. She is known as a "long suffering wife", as are several of my friend's partners. We obviously have activities that we share with the extended family. e.g. 97 father in law Jack, and many other things. June and I share a passion for all things Italian, having taken holidays there every year since 1999. Since 2004 it has mostly been Sicily. We've been learning Italian for years, and still attend small classes on Monday and Tuesday evenings - although these are very much social gatherings, with some wine tasting. See our Holidays . We also enjoy visiting NGS gardens, open for charity, sometimes meeting interesting people who share an interest. e.g. the guy who was also in the 1979 Fastnet race ( see "Sailing" below ). We sometimes combine a walk in the country with Geoching. See .

Oh yes... It is rare for me to dress other than "scruffy casual". The one exception is when I am on my best behaviour, as June's escort to a a Royal Television Society Dinner ;-)

Please give me feedback on anything you wish. e.g. maybe the layout of this page looks terrible on a smartphone or a particular browser ? e.g. that list of contents below should be one topic per line with the animated picture on the right. Or perhaps you see silly mistakes or typos ? Don't pull your punches - I have a thick skin :-) white strip

Contents & Topics often discussed within different groups of friends ....

Pictures and videos communicate far quicker than text or spoken words. Some topics are best discussed face-to-face - such as in a pub ;-)

GPSS, the GPS Software from Sunninghill

You can skip to a section of this page with a Tap or Click on a line above or an image below. Or just scroll down, so you don't miss something :-)

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1. Robin's "Grumpy Old Man" page ....

girl fleeing from napalm attack Utube video Written in 2017: My "Grumpy Old Man" page on started with the "Marconi Mysterious Deaths" story, after my close work-mate David Sands died in mysterious circumstances. Cabinet Papers are released next year, and it seems there is no political reason for UK or Russian Government to feel they "did the wrong thing" at the time. There are many other interesting or important topics on my "Grumpy" page, but I've not bothered to add "Brexit". Much too easy for a competent UK Government to handle, if it's done in the same ways as my work mates ( through others ) handled billion pound overseas arms deals, such as into Malaysia or elsewhere. e.g. 17 billion. Not exactly the sort of thing that can be discussed other than face-to-face, but it involves using the right "Customer Friend" company to work with the vested interests in every country. e.g. strategic deals for particular companies to announce new investment in the UK, perhaps helped by secret "facilitating payments" ;-) If we have a UK Prime Minister as competent as Margeret Thatcher was, when my recently departed female EASAMS workmate briefed her, it will be easy for us to get the Free Trade Agreement most of us want. But there are far more important and difficult problems on that Grumpy page. Love & Strength to All.

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2. ( NHS is UK National Health System ) charity work - within the UK....

Robin's NHS ( UK National Health System ) related charity work - only applicable within the UK, although I sometimes have contact from overseas, like ex-pats. - how to get the NHS ( UK Government ) to pay for long term care under UK Law, unchanged on this since 1946. The Media have been helpful in the past, to "spread the word", such as those three 1 hour BBC Panorama programs, and the Daily Mail front page campaign, that started with the journalists finding and contacting me. See AsOnTV and for early publicity. I think UK publicity on this would be better after a UK Election ( early in 2017 ??? ), after the "dust has settled" and the new UK Government has had time to clarify it's policy. 1 or 2 months max. Most of you will know of my "Bluebell" pages, linked from the top of and a far more difficult problem to fix. I've obviously been (allegedly) in contact with one or two key people last year, resulting in that BBC "Mental Health Season" at the start of the year, but that's all I can do - other than the private conversations face-to-face we occasionally have.

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3. Bray Lake Watersports, Snoopy, and News Coverage on TV, Radio, and Newspapers ...

Bray Lake Video Snoopy with Bray Lake Watersports staff in 2012 See Snoopy's Press Release (2015) for information about Bray Lake. Here is a video I made of Bray Lake, before Snoopy said "Bye Bye" to Bray Lake Watersports staff, before his 2012 Atlantic Attempt.

I first made contact with Simon, owner of Bray Lake Watersports, back in 2003. This was for the Old GPS Bottle project. Artist Layla Curtis was to promote the opening of Turner Contemporary at Margate, in 2004. I wanted to establish the speed that a bottle would drift due to wind. The answer was 0.3% of wind speed. This, with our Admiraly TotalTide model, gave good predictions in our later sea trials, and the later "GPS bottle missions".

Bray Lake was the obvious choice for Snoopy's robot boat tests, that started in 2008. There has been a long and happy relationship ever since, with numerous "rescue missions" and amusing events.

TV Publicity for GPS Software We are not strangers to newspaper, radio and TV publicity, ever since June and I stole most of BBC and ITV coverage of the London Motor Show, even though we did not have a stand. See my AsOnTV page, for a few videos and other things. e.g. the radio interview broadcast across USA radio networks and AFN ( American Armed Forces Radio ).

Eric Wardle There has been the occasional visit by the Media to Bray Lake, over the years, including national newspapers and the BBC. The most significant was probably the Jasper Coppings article in the Sunday Telegraph the Sunday before the 2012 launch. That's the guys at Bray Lake saying "Bye Bye Snoopy". There was news coverage on TV, radio, and Newspapers, in UK and overseas, including the USA and even New Zealand. e.g. the video put together by Ben Moore, the BBC camerman who filmed the 2012 launch, and who lives near June's dad Jack in Ascot. See Snoopy prepared for self-navigating Atlantic voyage by Paul Miles in Maidenhead Advertiser - one of Bray Lake's local newspapers. There were many other examples, some of which are on the Snoopy page. Click on Eric, to visit his page of videos. Sometimes there is linkage between the topics on this "Bigger Picture" page. Some might call it "Serendipity". white strip

4. Snoopy's Robot Boat - tries to cross the Atlantic every year ....

Robin Utube video I started this crazy hobby project in 2008: developing a small robot boat, capable of sailing itself across the Atlantic, from UK to USA. See the Snoopy page for a proper introduction, and pages of information, with pictures and videos. e.g. each attempt since the first in 2012, and details of the design, construction, and testing.

It was Yves Briere in France, who first suggested the idea in 2004, at a conference. My local friend John told me about the friendly Microtransat international competition, and I was soon hooked. The early other attempts fired my enthusiasm.

See the 2016 Attempt page is our record in pictures and video. for our most recent attempt. If Snoopy's boat 10 is seen, or eventually washes up and is is found, we can easily "wrap up" our story, and decide what museum to place him for retirement, such as Bray Lake or our Games Room - like one of the BBC GPS Bottles ( see section below ).

Affinity video We are now going into a relaxed period of preparing Snoopy's 2017 boat11, including tests on Bray Lake. This may be combined with demonstrations to journalists. There are many "spin-offs" from the right publicity other than the obvious "returning of a favour" to Bray Lake Watersports and others. e.g. old friends contacting me from far away places, and making new friends. A few of these friends, here and overseas, have been key members of our Team-Joker/Snoopy team.

Spot Trace We have a Picaxe 08M2 based Autoplot ready for test on Bray Lake in little Affinity, just 0.65 metres ( 2 feet ) long. This very slightly modified software may compensate for hardware errors such as the rudder not being completely central - but better to fix and properly test the hardware of the boat before a launch ! This means MANY Bray Lake Tests and days of 24/7 Tests. Blog6 gives the detailed progress, including "Tea-Tray Tests" of new 28X2 software, and assembly of the new Boat 11 for 2017. Mostly it will be a record of the testing, as in earlier blogs such as Blog5.

Since we already have a reliable 08M2 based Autopilot, the main function of new software may be the more impressive demonstrations for Radio & TV. e.g. The boat speaking, over our FM or PMR radio. New remote camera products, such as the X009 Remote spy camera might also have a role. See the AVL page, for things like new "Spot Trace" product, destined for the next boat. Also the X009 "spy camera" available at 10 GBP from China, and a little more from The Spy Shop in Wroclaw, Poland. Collaboration on testing, here and in Poland, is in my queue of things to do. Nice if we can all pull back photos from the Boat on Bray Lake or at sea, and "listen in" to ducks, sea gulls, or sailors ! white strip

5. Sailing ....

Samantha and Robin on the Solent See my old GPSS on Water page, that has become my "Stuart Quarrie" page. Or simply click on that picture to the left, showing Samantha at the helm on Stuart's boat, with me a mere passenger. The video on the right was filmed when June and I were shown around Cowes by Stuart, at the end of the famous "Cowes Week" Sailing regatta, that he had been running for 14 years. I remain a "landlubber", and detest jargon, if it heeds communication. So you will hear me say "right", instead of "starboard". Maybe even "backside" instead of "stern" :-) This old picture is old, and from the 1980s, but I did a bit of sailing, every week, in Holland, during the 1970s. I am still in contact with some of my ex-NATO chums, who skippered our boat on a big inland lake. Some of these guys, along with John, of Team-Joker, have been my source of sailing knowledge related to Snoopy's Robot Boat . Here are pages that deal with technical things like the tide, and dynamics of robot sailing boats: Q and A and TIDE .

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6. Radio Direction Finding (RDF): Radio Hams; Falconers; Military; Police; Business.

Visit the Radio Direction Finding page to know more: location of a radio transmitter by "hunting it down", with a suitable radio receiver and antenna.

Direction Finding Direction Finding Direction Finding Direction Finding Direction Finding

white strip The military were the first to use RDF, not long after radios were invented and being used in the battlefields. It works based on "Triangulation". e.g. You draw a line on a paper map from your known position, in the direction of the detected signal. For this you need a radio receiver with a directional antenna. A "yagi array" is an example. You need at least one other line, from a different position, so you can see where the lines intersect: the "target". Robin's GPS Software, GPSS, was doing this automatically in the early 1990s: it used the GPS and radio receiver supplying it received signal directions, to show this on a map, and automatically do the triangulation. It made this "target" the destination, for voice guidance to the driver, so he could keep his eyes on the road. This enabled single-man operation in radio detector vans, as used in one overseas use of GPSS. Most users in later years, were Amature Radio enthusiasts ( "HAMs" ) using it for the sport of "Radio Foxhunting". white strip

7. Geocaching - the "GPS Treasure Hunting" hobby which we started in 2001....


Sunninghill Geocachers on BBC World in 2001 The hobby of Geocaching started in the USA in 2000, not long after the Americans switched off the delibrate Selective Availability error, which had prevented the public from getting the same GPS accuracy as military users. i.e. typically 2 metres, instead of nearer 100 metres.

Read about how we started, in 2001, in this Interview with an American High School Student. Back in 2001 there were only about 100 geocaches in the whole of the UK. Now there are a LOT more :-)

These days, June and I don't bother with "micros" - everywhere is flooded with them: a little film cannister with no more than a tiny scrap of paper, with room to put something like name, date, and "TFTC" (Thanks for the Cache).

We also see if we can find the cache without use of GPS: just a print out of Ordnance Survey map, and a mark roughly where the cache is, and the clue. e.g. "hidden under a fallen tree". It is usually pretty obvious by the trail of footprints to the spot :-)

June and I often combine this with a weekend walk or visit to an NGS Garden: . Checkout those caches that we visited again, after many years: some still had the original log books, with our entry from all those years ago !

June's dad Jack came on a few geocache hunts with Robin. He appeared, with our local AMRA neighbours, in the BBC Worldwide TV broadcast, that went into 200 million homes. We did eventually find that old VHS video of the TV broadcast - above on the left. Those young guys are still neighbours, 20 years after :-) white strip Geocaching Geocaching Geocaching white strip

8. Model Aircraft, aerial filming, Quadcopter, Drones, Rockets, Robot Puppy Dog, etc.

Red Kite with Snoopy Chobham Common Model Flyers Association CCMFA See my Trans-Atlantic Model or "TAM" page, set up years ago after that successful robot 'plane Trans-Atlantic flight from Newfoundland to Ireland. This page soon hosted my own aerial photographs and videos, from when I started this hobby after we got back from Holland to England in 1980, and much of the flying was over Chobham Common. However, I soon "spread my wings" to fly from many places, taking aerial photos and video: everywhere you can imagine within travelling distance of Sunninghill, but also places like over St Ive's Bay near Hale, in Cornwall, or Albenga in Italy. In the later years my friends and I used Snoopy's little electric model gliders, like the Easystar, to do air-to-air filming of the Red Kites from the Air .

You may enjoy playing 20 minutes of Robin's Hobby Clips, intended to entertain old and new chums at a meeting of Chobham Common Model Flyer's Association (CCMFA). These clips include those old VHS air videos below, and also other material that has been on my pages for years. Please note the "Health Warning" on the test of an intelligent car by a pidgeon. Rockets are not now allowed on Chobham Common, be they SAMs or Air-to-Air missiles. Click on the pictures to enlarge or play video. white strip Chobham Common Model Flyers Association CCMFA Chobham Common Model Flyers Association CCMFA Chobham Common Model Flyers Association CCMFA Peter's Air Recce Test

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9. GPS Bottles thrown into the sea by the Artist Layla Curtis then BBC Radio Solent.

Layla Curtis Message in a GPS bottle

The first GPS Bottle project was in 2004. Artist Layla Curtis contacted me, and we collaborated, to promote the opening of Turner Contemporary at Margate. These bottles were thrown in off Ramsgate, and were tracked out to sea, near France, then up the Belgium and Dutch coasts, as far as Den Helder.

The final result was a large screen display, showing live tracking of the bottles, using map artwork provided by Layla. For me it was "a bit of fun", but an immense amount of useful information was gained on things like predicting the drift resulting from wind and tide.

Years later, while June and myself were in Taormina, on holiday in Sicily, I received a mobile 'phone call from Helena Harland, of BBC Radio Solent, who had found the GPS Bottle page above.

This time we were able to use lower cost and more advanced trackers from China, and some more fun was had by all. Chris Carnegy See the BBC GPS Bottle Project for how BBC Radio Solent threw bottles into the sea, which the public could then track from this web site. Chris Carnegy, the BBC Radio Solent Station Manager, took a "hands on" interest in the project. This included use of his boat for sea trials in the Solent, to confirm that the GPS tracking and GSM communications worked. Chris even took the role of "Dr Bottle", after one of the GPS bottles was found, and needed repair ! :-)

The BBC GPS Bottle tracking was a great success, and I even managed to get one of the GPS bottles back, after it was found by a beachcomber :-)

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10. Hot Air Ballons, starting with Samsung in 1996 through to the Birthday Flight in 2007.

Hot Air Balloons See the GPSS on Balloons page. Our interest in hot air balloons began in 1996, when Ian Ashpole of Flying Pictures, contacted us. They were helping Samsung Computers promote their products with a suitably shaped hot air balloon. Ian's bright idea was to put our GPS Software into a Samsung Laptop PC, using GPS, and "Sensitve Areas" data, that tells balloonists where NOT to fly. These had been printed on Ordnance Survey maps, but were soon automated and in the air.

GPSS on Pocket PCC video We were contacted by balloonists in UK and other countries, and we had many an enjoyable trip, chasing guys to their landing spots, aided with GPSS in "chase" mode, helped by pioneering chaps like Klaus in Germany. We soon had the balloon "sensitve areas" in the Pocket PC version of GPSS.

However, we did not have our own hot air balloon flight until years later, when we were given a flight with "Reach For The Sky" as a special birthday present. This was a fantastic experience. Forgive me showing this attempt at a promotional video - it does at least have a glimpse filmed from our balloon flight.

June and I still cannot resist chasing a hot air balloon when we see one ! :-)

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11. Sunninghill and AMRA - Armitage & Murray Courts Residents Association ....

Old Super 8 movie from 1978 or 1979 Sunninghill Utube video Utube video Utube video white strip AMRA BBQ 2001 Our house in Sunninghill was built in 1977 but June's family go back a lot further. Her father Jack, June, and our three children, all went to St Michaels School, in the centre of the village. See my old Sunninghill Page. See my AMRA page for information, pictures, and videos of our local Armitage & Murray Courts Residents Association. For 1977 and the old Armitage Court Estate, see AMRAOLD .

The Raj Vooj reopened with new management including Boona. Some may recall seeing these guys at the start of the first new Top Gear presented by Chris (Ginger Media) Evans. There are relevant pages tucked away on my Mr Khan is no longer the landlord, but remains in the village. His son went to school with our daughter Saskia, and I did a deal with him MANY years ago, when I was Chairman of our local AMRA Resident's Association ;-)

That video on the right, of the 2001 AMRA Barbecue on our Amenity Area, was found 20 years later on an old VHS Video tape.

Perhaps the most amusing stuff is on our AMRA and linked POND pages :-)

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12. Robin and June's holidays and love of Sicily and things Italian.

Italy animation Sicily Holidays See my Holiday page, for our love of Sicily and Italy.

We'd had the occasional trip to Italy in the 1970s and 80s, combined with my work, but it was not until 1999, that June and myself took our first two weeks holiday in Italy. We fell in love with the country, food, and warm-blooded Italian people.

We started evening Italian lessons at the local college, and we still do: in two small groups of friends, on Mondays and Tuesdays, in each other's homes.

We discovered Sicily in 2007, and that is where we return every year. Click on the map to see where.

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Rome in 2012 Sicily in 2013 Sicily in 2016 Click here for map of Sicily and places we often return to white strip

13. Our "Dutch Connection" - the 1970s in Holland and Axon in later years.

Samantha's Birth Day June and Robin got married on 26th June 1971, having met each other at Ferranti, the Defence Contractor in Bracknell. Their courtship had been speeded up by Robin having been offered a job as a NATO Scientist in Holland. Their first 9 years of marriage were in Holland, from 1971 until late 1980. Their first two daughters, Samantha, and then Saskia, were born in Holland, when they were living in the little Dutch village of Zoeterwoude, surrounded by young families. Tap or Click on baby Samantha, to go to Robin's Memories of SHAPE Technical Centre and John Maniello :-)

Axon Party in 2014 They returned to the UK for Robin to work at another Defence Contactor, EASAMS , from 1981 until 1994, when he started his GPS Software business - now a hobby.

At their 25th Wedding Anniversary Party, in 1996, their old Ferranti work-mate friends, Alan & Pam Edwards, offered June a job with their company, Quartz, that made video routers for the TV Broadcast Industry. In 2005 Pam & Alan decided to retire and sold Quartz to the Canadian company Evertz. Within a year, June chose to leave Evertz and join Axon. Axon was a Dutch company, with a UK Office and a the head office in Gilze, Holland.

June worked for Axon until she retired in 2019, and One of the "perks" was the annual weekend in Holland, for an "Axon Party".

2014 was an example: Checkout the 2014 Axon Party Video on the right. Robin went suitably dressed for the heavy cloud-burst, when rain poured in through the roof. As always, great fun was had by all - Axon managing to keep a real "Family Feel" to the company. June was rubbish at the "Jumpy Joy" game. It seems the kids had been briefed to release all the sticks at once ! It was great to see them "stuff their faces" - the kids too :-)

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14. Astronomy e.g. my old telescope, photos of the night sky, and the Orionid meteor shower...

Robin with his old telescope in Wokingham From an email to friends on October 22nd 2016: Astronomy: Watch out for the Orion Meter show tonight. I may put out a Mobius camera. See my "Telescope" page . It includes some nice photos and what is in my queue of "waiting to be done sometime": replace woodwork by metalwork ! See below for the unexpected turn into the next day ...

That Orionid Meteor Shower and Sunday 23rd October 2016 ....

The following was put at the bottom of Robin's Old Telescope Page ....

Night of the Orionid Meteor Shower on Sunday 23 October 2016: This picture is parked here, until replaced with anything found useful in Robin's few hours of night sky video, recorded on a wide angle Mobius camera. The shower was certainly not in the same league as our young family watched many years ago, laying on our backs, in the field we kept our caravan, near Dorchester. Even with light polution, in Sunninghill, we can see, and photograph the stars well, and even a comet. If a shooting star was visible to the naked eye, our video camera should have caught it. I'm sure it caught the passing aircraft ! Looking at the video will need to wait until more important "work" is done. June and Robin got little sleep in the 24 hours of Sunday. Strange as it may seem, we enjoyed our visit to Tolworth, particularly talking to the people we met in Tolworth Hospital. The patients we saw will recognise the significance of many of these images gathered here, from elsewhere on my web pages. Anyone in contact with me by email, can be pointed to the relevant pages, if I know who they are. I'll give a clue on one connection: the patient knew my workmate at EASAMS who died mysteriously, almost 30 years ago. Cabinet Papers to be released in 2017 may reveal the truth. For most of us, including a large numbers of my friends here in UK and overseas, good health treatment is our main concern. I'll change this when we have somewhere better to park it, and after someone (else?) has trawled through my three hours of night sky video ! :-)

Night of the Orionid Meteor Shower Sunday 23 October 2016

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15. Garden - our "Wilderness of a garden": Are you a local gardener near Sunninghill ?

Spending money will avoid me doing work, other than supply of tea/coffee/beer. Click to enlarge or see Robin's Wilderness of a Garden page. Home address please. white strip Robin's Wilderness of a Garden Robin's Wilderness of a Garden Robin's Wilderness of a Garden Robin's Wilderness of a Garden Robin's Wilderness of a Garden

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16. Robin's German Connections ... Don't Mention the War(s) ... WWI, WWII, WWIII.

Robin's German Connections Poppy to remember them Anyone who knows me well will know one topic that will bring tears to my eyes. It is when I recall my dear Grandfather, Harold Sharp, telling me of his experiences in the First World War - WWI ( 1914 - 1918 ). He would talk of the Christmas Football Match: Germany v England, when there was a short, unofficial truce, before they went back to their own trenches, and resumed killing each other. What particularly moves me, was his personal account of his being among the "walking wounded", making their way back through the confused lines. German and Allied soldiers would be walking together, helping each other, until they eventually parted company, sometimes bidding "farewells", to their respective Field Hospitals. His was "Le Treport", the name of his bungalow in Agister's Lane, not far from Arbourfield Army Camp. His eldest son, my Uncle Ern, was in the 8th Army "Desert Rats", during WWII, coming up through Africa, through Sicily and Italy. I inherited my wicked sense of mischief from Harold, as my dear Uncle Berny and Aunty, near Sandhurst Military Academy, will confirm. They share many memories, with my Cousin Geoff, now retired and sailing in the Med. The Sharps are Thatchers.

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white strip Robin's German Connections Robin's German Connections Jack never used a camera much, and has always tended to avoid one. So if he discovers these words about him, we should remind him of his two major public appearances: the photo on the right was among many published in "Golfers World", when they did a special article on the Sunningdale Artisan's Golf Club. Another was when he appeared on BBC Worldwide, broadcast into 200 million homes: doing Geocaching in Richmond Park with our neighbours. Jack was happy for me to take this picture of us enjoying a rare hour or two of October sunshine at Bray Lake. Click on pictures to enlarge. Jack has worked for the Waterboard Blacknest site since befor the War ( 1939-1945 ). Jack has told me far more detail than we have room for here. He was called up and was among those captured near Dunkirk. When the Germans caught him, he happened to be sheltering in a farmhouse, near the Belgium coastal town of De Haan. It just so happened that he was with Sid de Haan, who eventually set up SAGA Holidays. They made the long march, then train, to Stalag Luft 8b, in what is now Poland. Jack and Sid were in adjacent bunks for most of the war years. There was a little known exchange of prisonors, and Jack returned with about 100 of his fellow POW, through Scotland, and down to Aldershot. He says that was the worse bit - all that news about what had happened while they were away. It was then down to the south coast, to join all the other Allies, waiting for D-Day. Jack has always said that only "Saving Private Ryan" gives a realistic picture of battle. It seems (allegedly) that some of his mates, after realising that they were about to be sent across, said "b*gg*r that for a game of soldiers", rioted, and burnt down their nissan huts. Robin's German Connections The Army would have had them shot, in WWI, but split them up and gave them "cushy home postings". Now it seems that Jack has forgotton this tale, and says that, under the Geneva Convention, they could not be sent to the same front - but could have been sent to fight the Japs. Jack was posted across to France and Belgium, as the Allies advanced, and was stationed near De Haan again. De Haan He remembers German POW being used to clear the mines they had laid, with the occasional fatal explosion. He was posted up to Holland, until the war ended, and he was demobbed soon after. He returned back to England, and his old Blacknest Water Pumping Station Job. He married Ida in Sunninghill St Michaels's Church in August 1945 and the Local Council gave them their first house in Crossways. They took a delayed Honeymoon in 1947, near De Haan in Belgium. Jack met my NATO German friends, like Gunter, years ago. Jack has many amusing "Royal" stories, but they do not belong here. Jack mentioned that, under Hitler, red headed Germans were rounded up, like Jews and Gays, to be taken to the Death Camps. This reminded June and myself of our dear red-headed German friend, who spent her war years in Berlin. I wonder if she will ever meet Jack ? The "What did we do today" image for Sunday 30th October 2016, has direct relevance to the above.

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Fritz Wurstlein Janet Wurstlein Fritz was my first German friend, and I rapidly discovered not to believe the typical stereotype of Germans not having a sense of humour. This was when I left school in 1963 and started an Ordinary National Diploma, in Engineering, at High Wycombe Technical College. I spent over 4 hours each day commuting from Wokingham, by moped, train, and then bus. Part of the course was to learn German, because Germany was a little more enlightened on what "engineer" meant - someone better trained than a doctor or lawyer. Fritz taught me words that were not in our German lecturer's vocabulary. It was fantastic for my wife June and I to meet Fritz and his wife, Janet, over 50 years later, when we made contact again in 2015. The same can be said for Lord Peter Carrington - but that's a different story. The shared links that Janet and I have, to numerous friends, are too numerous to mention here. There is no substitute for face to face meetings in Tring :-)

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Walter Schmidt Robin's German Connections June and I were married in 1971, and we went to Holland for the rest of the 1970s. I worked at SHAPE Technical Centre (STC) in The Haag, and my first office mate was Franz. Many other guys at STC were German, and one in particular, Walter, shared many experiences with me, including Contract Bridge games every lunchtime. There were also many "interesting" trips and experiences we shared. It seems Walter and Gizzy share a passion for the game of Golf with Jack - but Sunningdale Golf Course is a little different to snow clad mountains.

We returned to the UK, for me to start work at EASAMS , in 1981. My first office was on the top floor, surrounded by Italians, English, and Germans. They were the tri-national team, from SIA, MBB, and EASAMS, engaged in the avionics design of the Tornado Interdiction Strike (IDS) fighter. German beer was part of the EASAMS culture, but I never had the pleasure of visiting the EASAMS office in Munich, at the time of the Beer Festival.

Aenne Jackson Robin's German Connections I left EASAMS in 1994, to start my little GPS Software business. There were many German users, but one man in particular did pioneering work: Klaus Hirschelman. He has been on my web pages for years, and had visited me years ago. But in 2016, June and I enjoyed showing Klaus and Hilda around. Check out the Klaus page.

One German person is very special to me: Aenne, who we see every Tuesday evening, when we have our small group of students learning Italian ( these are more like wine-tasting classes ). I've consulted Aenne on many things, including experiences in nursing, shared with Janet. Aenne advises me on German Culture, and my poor taste in humour, such as "Don't Mention The War".

Klaus trip

This is from our 2014 Lovelock Christmas Newsletter ....

June and Robin took a long diversion, on their return from the Axon Party, to the hills around Maastricht, looking for old NATO bunkers and tunnels, dating back to Napolionic times. They then came back via Ypres, or "Wipers", so June could see her relatives's name on the Menen Gate. There are lovely walks, along the moat, either side of the Gate.

Ypres and the Menen Gate in 2014 white strip

Ypres 1914-15 Will Fowler Battle Story Dr Strangelove Riddle of the Sands Defying Hitler Reading books: Unlike myself, June is an avid reader, but usually in electronic form, on her kindle. I've yet to read her "YPRES 1914-15" but I will. Click on the books to see relevant details. I've only read two books in recent years, and that's only because old workmates gave me them, and I felt oblidged. I am very pleased I did: there are indeed lessons to be learned from history. "The Riddle of the Sands", by Erskine Childers, was given me by my NATO days workmate John. We shared an office and worked in the field of Air Command and Control, relevant to that Dr Stranglelove video. We had field trips and discussions at RAF bases and with USAFE guys returning from Vietnam via Ramstein. e.g. the "B52 Barrel Roll competition". We played tennis together. John was an experienced sailor, and we regularly sailed on a large inland lake. The Bomb John sent me the book for my 65th birthday, and I was amazed by the author's life history. More recently, Mitch, a founder director of EASAMS, insisted on giving me "Defying HITLER" by Sebastian Hafner. It is no wonder that this book was such a best seller in Germany: it explains well how such an evil regime can rise to power - in any country. However, wars have started due to good men doing what they think is the right thing. e.g. starting a dispute with a neighbour, to solve internal problems. We have been very close to nuclear war on several occasions since the Cuban Missile Crisis. The World's population is 7.5 billion people, 40% of whom are on the Net. A nuclear holocaust should reduce these numbers a little faster than the few decades predicted by James Lovelock due to Global Warming. See my Grumpy Book.

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17. What did we do today ?

The image below captures what we did today, or recently, that may be of interest to some of you.

What did we do today ?

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18. People are important to Robin. It's not WHAT you know, but WHO you know ;-)

This is the bottom line. Do you recognise these guys ? They are in no particular order. Click on a mug shot to know more.

white strip George Gourier Len Lovelock Pam Coughlan Derek Cole David Gooch Steve Squires Ian Perkin Bleddyn Hancock Adam Afriye Jack Ponsford Paul Burstow Nicola Mackintosh Nick Knowless Stephen Johnson Stuart Quarrie Luigi Costa Trevor Saunders Klaus Hirschelmann Eric Wardle Alexander Haag Bernard Rogers Akalu Alemu Fake SACEUR Dog Fight Pilot Angel Frett Peter Carrington Gianfranco Parinetti Walter Schmidt Aenne Jackson Shamsul Bahri Raaed Gus Russell Roger Pegram John Maniello Layla Curtis Gary Carter Tony Wale Jhinns Cheng Alex Fritz Wurstlein Janet Wurstlein Dave Marsh Stuart Wickes Prof Lefcos Middleton George Chung Chris Carnegy Ruby Sharp Pete Wilson John Silvester Jamie Styles Dick Baldwin James Lovelock Piotr Bolanowski Enrico and Matilda Ferrucio Ferrucio

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( Many more could be added here. Most have been on my pages for years. )

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19. Robin & June's "Walks" page: interesting places & people seen in Covid19 times.

Animated Walks Tap or Click on Walks , or my mugshot, for the page with details of a few walks we've made during 2020 and 2021, under varying Covid19 conditions. Click on any other picture, including the animated picture to enlarge. But note that is just a random selection of pictures from the page.

We did not need to go far to find places and people of interest. I'm amazed at the lovely coincidences that surprise us, and the fantastic history that is to be found almost anywhere we go.

The people you see or meet - at a safe distance - makes the walk worthwhile ;-)

I'll include a few pictures below that may arouse your curiosity. white strip

Robin Walks Walks Walks Walks Walks Walks Walks Walks Walks Walks Walks Walks Walks Walks Walks Walks Walks Walks Walks

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20. How much time does Robin spend on his computers ? As little as possible ! :-)

12th February 2021 The answer to the question, "How much time does Robin spend on his computers ?" IS "As little as possible !" :-)

12th February 2021 Tap or Click on pictures to expand, including that one on the right, also taken on 12th February 2021, showing June and myself enjoying the blisteringly hot English sunshine despite all that ice ;-)

It's certainly true that, since I retired, decades ago, I've been busier than ever. There just are not enough hours in the day for the things that I would like to do, which are mostly spending time with friends. But of course, thousands of my friends are overseas, or not a short distance, so chatting on the Net, typically by Email, has been an important part of my life for 25 years or more.

Covid19 breaking out in early 2020 has made use of the Net more important for everyone, including those who only use one of many Online Forums or Social Media tools such as Facebook, Whatsapp, and countless others. My Contact page has a clearer and more detailed explanation of how we use our many computers, from the desktops, like this in my Study and our lounge, through many Laptops and Tablets, to the handheld Smartphones, or pendants and smart watches.

Robin's mobile 'phone is NOT smart :-) Robin's Pocket Cam GPS pendant Robin's Pocket Pal GPS pendant The mobile 'phone that I carry with me is NOT smart. It is just for voice calls or short SMS texts. I also routinely carry more advanced things like my "Pocket Pal" or "Pocket Cam" pendant trackers, so trusted friends may track me, or might even have a hand's free voice conversation, or send pictures, now commonplace with smartphones. I do not enjoy "playing with technology", but I enjoy the results it can provide: more efficient use of my time, and that of my large numbers of friends and family.

Robin's mobile Alcatel U5 is smart and cheap :-) Since 1995 my web pages, linked off my Home page of have been an important means of communication, with relevant text, pictures, videos, and links. Yes, I do have a LOT of pages, and sometimes I have to resort to searching my hard disks, or even google to find an old but important page. I have 825 *.htm web pages - that only took me several seconds to find out, using that old DOS command "dir *.htm /s" ! :-) so I'm guessing that's over 800 useful pages, most of which are public.

I usually find what I'm looking for, to provide a link within an emailed answer to friend, with just a few minutes search of my web pages, or emails, going back to 1995. In short, my time is precious, so I've always liked to use it efficiently - if not wisely ;-)

For 25 years my daily routine has been to check, answer, and send emails; Check some of my page visit counters - which often give me a few hours warning of a peak in 'phone calls or emails; Update some of my pages, which happens less often, but like this "Bigger Picture" page, can save everyone time, or uncover lovely coincidences, like discovering friends who share a common interest they did not know existed. e.g. in 2020 we discovered that a Primary School friend, from the 1950s, whose career was in the Building business,as an apprentice, did work on TSR2, mentioned on my EASAMS page ! :-)

I'll end here with words and links near the bottom of my Home page. In 2020 I also had problems with Email and Web Counters, due to company take-overs, etc, but these were soon fixed by them. Hopefully Easily.UK/CSC, or the American Company who have just purchased Easily.UK, will enable me to remove that information below ;-)

40% of the World's Population of 7.4 billion people are now on the Net. Thank God they don't all visit this site at once :-)
Some may wish to bookmark these sites below. Some people have all the site on DVD or a USB stick. Your browser is on .

This copy of is hosted on and - since 1997, very well thankyou :-)
The hosting on also worked well for many years, until August 2020. Easily/CSC* in USA have still failed to fix it.
Robin is still asking what the new URL should be to replace that above. But we make slow progress with Easily.UK email support in Ukraine.
We have a 4th hosting on created in September 2020, which is working well, and having uploads.
Other domains of Robin, such as are hosted in sub-folders, such as .
Sorry if the support problems mean translation flags or links to some of my pages fail. Easily Support have their problems too !
Thank you guys, who provide Easily Email Technical Support, wherever you are. e.g. China, Ukraine, Denmark, and maybe UK.
Particular thanks to the guys who provide Easily Voice Support from New Brunswick, Canada - Thank Goodness for your support.
* See Corporation Service Company on Wiki. You may research these companies yourself on , or the Net :-)
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That's the bottom line folks ! :-)

Before we end, some old GPSS pages are under these icons : * , * , * , * , * , * , * , * , * , * , *

The Lovelock family

Who has visited this page ?

Robin Lovelock From Robin: It's very convenient for me, that there are so few visitors to this page: just those given the link. See map and words near end of my Home page ;-)

Visit Counter after reply to Microtransat Group The visit counters may give a rough indication on who else is visiting, or has visited, this page. I don't hide or disguise my visits, but they may appear as "Ascot", or miles away, like "Camberley, England" (on my Study PC), or "Redhill, England" ( on the Lounge PC). Positions may not be accurate, but times are. These may change at any time, without control by me. e.g. if we have a power cut, or I reboot a router. So, you may see if I'm "working" in the Study, or "playing" in Lounge :-)

Not all visits are seen, and some browsers hide location, but you may find Revolvermaps livestats for this page interesting.

The video on the right shows several guys visiting at the same time, after I posted the link on the Microtransat forum :-)

© 1991-2021 Robin Lovelock.

There have been Hit Counter by Digits visits to this page counted by

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© 1991-2021 Robin Lovelock. 22 Armitage Court, Sunninghill, Ascot, Berks SL5 9TA, United Kingdom.