Murder Mystery Weekend

I’ve been out enjoying the sunshine and not doing my blogs lately, so here’s one from a few weeks ago when I went away for a murder mystery weekend. For some reason, Karen’s now got the tune ‘Its a Mystery’ in her head! Do you remember who sang that?

We started by going to Debbie’s on the Thursday after work and had the usual fun and games on the trains so it was straight to bed when we got there. I thought we had the whole of the Friday off but, no, we had to do some work in the morning. I tried to make myself at home in Debbie’s office but got in the way a bit so went back onto the shelf where I’m really more at home anyway.

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On the way to the hotel we stopped at Meat Inc. for lunch although I didn’t have much food as not much room after the hugely delicious milkshake.

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The journey took a little while and I got restless so had a little play in the car but then got told to belt up (don’t know why as I am a very quiet monkey).

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Karen told me it was for my own safety. As I was then a good monkey, I was allowed out into the drinks holders which were a perfect fit for me and just as safe.

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I thought I ought to be helpful when we got to the hotel and so I delivered Debbie’s suitcase to her room. I was rather glad that it was on wheels.

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In the evening there was a dinner and the theme of the whole weekend was a tennis club. I can’t say too much more than that in case any of you are going to a similar event as don’t want to give the plot away (not that I could do even if I wanted to).

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On Saturday I got a chance to explore the hotel and gardens and there were lots of places for me to play. I particularly liked this orange plant because, as we know, orange is my favourite colour.

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Later in the morning Debbie made us go and see the cows. For some reason she rather likes them and likes to pat them but there were a bit big for my liking so I kept my distance.

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There were loads of trees in the hotel gardens so I was in my element when climbing all over them.

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I even found an orange sign to climb on but was told that wasn’t the done thing so I went back onto my favourite tree trunk and had a rest.

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In the evening the dinner was a ‘Ball Ball’ event so Debbie had made us a necklace each out of tennis balls but I found it a bit big for me (and it wasn’t orange so would have clashed with my outfit).

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Sunday was spent finding out the answer to the plot and then travelling home. I was welcomed home with a lovely Margate sunset.

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Isle of Thanet

Hello everyone and, yes, here is my holiday blog at last from the Isle of Thanet. If you’ve not heard of the Isle of Thanet, its the north east part of Kent and has its own micro climate (apparently).

Sunday started quite well and I enjoyed sitting in the lounge window basking in the sunlight.

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Although not overly warm, it was a dry and sunny day so I had a walk along the beach. It didn’t seem terribly busy and I think that was because of the wind. Karen even had to hold onto me at one point.

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After that walk, I decided it was only appropriate to have a cup of tea and read the paper which just happened to be the Margate Mercury.

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It was good to be outside so I decided to people and gull watch from the steps. Or was the gull watching me?

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We were going to head home but then Karen thought it might be a good idea to go into Dreamland as we were quite close by. This is a landmark for Margate and they have been doing lots of renovation.  Its still relatively small but been done very nicely so it feels quite spacious and there are lots of places to sit. I even went into the tree top bar despite not being quite 18. Best of all, I found an enormous M which, of course, is for Malcolm.

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Later in the week Karen picked up the car she’d hired and I tried to help but she didn’t seem overly keen on that. I think its something to do with having little legs so I couldn’t reach the peddles. Apparently automatic doesn’t mean everything is automatic (yet).

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As it was raining (its pouring, the old man is snoring), we headed to Shell Grotto. Again, another key site in Margate and no-one knows how it came about which is all rather strange. I quite liked it though but a bit dark in places so glad I had someone with me.

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We even got a guide and some games too. When I got home I played the word game. How many words can you make out of Jellyfish? Prize to the highest person who submits this week (including all the words as evidence).

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Finally the rain stopped so we headed to the famous Botany Bay but just to have a bit of fresh air somewhere different. It was still quite windy though so I had to hold on tight to the fencing.

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Wednesday was charity day and we had a nice lunch at Quex Park. I was even given a Beach within Reach polo shirt although I think it might be a bit big for me!

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Thursday we headed somewhere new and went to Walmer Castle which is an English Heritage site.

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Its a good lookout place and I could see how scary the cannons might have looked, although I don’t know what distance they would be capable of reaching so not sure how effective they were. Glad I didn’t have to find out.

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There were also some very nice gardens which were made for the Queen Mother as she liked to visit for a break.

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So that was a full day and the sun did eventually come out just in time to see it going to bed. Karen got this great picture through the lounge window and it also helped her not be dazzled as the frame provided some shade but you may need to put your sunglasses on.

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The weekend came and finally the weather was more like summer. I did go out around 10ish but the beach was still fairly quiet at that point. Someone had kindly left me a group of sandcastles.

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On Sunday we thought a bit more of a walk would be good so headed to Westgate and I got to play in the buttercups. They’re not orange but still colourful.

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When I got home, I did a bit of bungee jumping. I don’t think Karen liked me doing that in case I fell off but, don’t worry, I’m still in one piece.

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The reason its taken so long to write this blog is that when I would normally be writing it on a Sunday evening, I wanted to make the most of the last of the sunshine and my holiday so headed to the beach to enjoy the last of the rays before going back to work.

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I hope everyone will be sensible this week and use sun cream, wear a hat and drink lots of water. You must take care of yourselves and each other, even if that does mean a bit of nagging.

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May Bank Holiday

I thought I’d treat you to some of the things I got up to this weekend, especially as the weather was (mainly) quite nice. It was more like an August bank holiday than the May bank holiday.

Before the weekend, though, I was lucky enough to go out twice in the week for dinner with friends. On Tuesday, we headed to Bothy in West India Quay and had a bite to eat washed down with a bit of summer rose.

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We decided to change venue and walked across the bridge. There were some swans swimming in the water, including a signet who was still quite fluffy. As we were quite close to the water, I had to stay safely in Karen’s bag to make sure I didn’t fall in, especially after that wine.

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Over the bridge we had another drink and Julie was helping me decide which cocktail to have. After all, someone had to keep her company, it would have been rude not to.

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Julie was telling Karen all about a pop up art event which sounds quite interesting. We’re going to have to see how the weather holds as its outside but could be fun.

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On Thursday we went to Plateau for dinner with Maria and I had a very special spring cocktail. I got to keep the flower but probably more because it wasn’t edible than because Karen didn’t want it.

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The pudding was really tasty and light, as well as being particularly pretty (even if the chocolate disc was as big as my head).

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Friday was fabulous when we got off the train. Not only could we hear the music for free at Dreamland, but had a walk on the beach on the way home. It was just perfect as the sun was setting and the tide was out so the sand was easy to walk on and ideal for my little legs.

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Saturday was a nice relaxing day and moving a few bits around at home, as well as some flower arranging. Honestly, there’s no end of them, its almost as if I live with a girl. At least there was an orange one for me to blend in with.

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Sunday was walk day and we went all the way from Margate to West Bay. You can see me getting further and further away and, at one point, there was nothing but sea to see.

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170528-03 Sea.jpg     170528-04 West Bay.jpg

Monday was another glorious start so we had breakfast at the Bus Cafe and very nice it was too. We even saw the coastguard helicopter land and I had a good view from my shell shelf.

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We then had a late lunch in Westgate and a very nice fish finger sandwich although no pictures of that. I think Karen thought I needed a rest after all that walking.

Talking of pictures, we haven’t had a picture of the week for a while. Karen took some nice sunset and sunrise pictures (of course) but I wondered which one you preferred?

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Now that the bank holiday weekend is over, that means its only 4 days to go and then I’m on holiday for a whole week (yippee).

Nottingham

I promised you a separate blog because I went somewhere new. It was to visit big sister Steph and brother-in-law James up in Nottingham. Not only had I not been to Nottingham before, it was my first visit to their new home which they’ve only been in a few months.

I felt at home quite quickly because they had pets which were my size, so it wasn’t just the big humans in the house.

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On Saturday, we wandered into Beeston and went for tapas at a place called the Frustrated Chef, and very nice it was too. Whilst we were perusing the menu, I had a nice leaning post in the form of Karen’s glasses. Its good that I’ve got that as I’m still a bit wobbly since my tail became frail.

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The girls had a few dishes between them and I think this was my favourite because it was so well presented.

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After lunch we sat chatting although I did get scared for a brief moment as all I saw was hair, but it was all good, just Steph coming to say hello with a great big smile.

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I got a bit bored after that as all they were doing were talking, so I had a bit of an explore and found a tree to climb.

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We then went to another local shop and Karen nearly exploded with joy as she found an orange pipe cleaner to reinforce my tail with.

After the walk home, that really was enough for the day, so I had a rest on the armchair in the conservatory. I may have even rested my eyes for a short while.

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Sunday was a relaxed affair which started with a very delicious brunch. Even my napkin coordinated with me and I had my very own seat.

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Things got a bit silly after that and I started to explore the house a bit more, playing as I went along. As my tail is all strengthened now, I had a little swing from the light before I had a ride on the elephant.

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The reason I needed the elephant was so that I could have an explore round the garden. Best of all I found a swing, so more swinging around for me before I took a few deep breaths and smelt the roses.

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Thankfully I got a lift back with James and I think I blended in rather well, don’t you?

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Now you’d think that was enough excitement for the day but, no, there was more. As I’d explored the back garden, I really had to take a look at the front garden, especially as we were passing through on our way out. And, of course, Karen made me sit in the purple flowers.

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We went to Lakeside Arts Centre although no pictures of the art as we weren’t allowed to take any but it was an excellent exhibition, all about colour. I was allowed out afterwards when we had a cup of tea in the cafe. I even got to sit near the window so that I could see the fountain.

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James kept himself amused by waving to the people on the passing trams but my arms were too short to join in.

After that, we had a wander around the lake. As well as seeing some local wildlife, flora and fauna, there were also some people using the orange boats.

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As we turned the corner, we saw a grand view of Nottingham University which looked rather impressive.

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And so that was the day over and we all headed wearily home to have a rest. This time I managed to bag a seat on the sofa which was handy as it meant I could do some reading (or did I rest my eyes again?).

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Variety is …

a) the spice of life

b) very confusing

c) a good show

Answers on a postcard please!

Its been awhile again but its not because I’ve not been doing anything, quite the opposite, I’ve been doing way too much. So bear with me while I tell you all about it.

Earlier in the month we went to see Andy Parsons at Margate Theatre Royal although technically I didn’t see him as I’m too young, but I was able to hear him and he was really quite funny and amusing. Afterwards, we went to the London tavern and had some rhubarb cider. Very hospitable they were too.

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The weekend bought a bracing walk along the clifftop to Westgate. Brrr, glad I was am made of wool and that Karen held onto me. Its really not what you expect for May. Karen even had her hat and gloves on.

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Despite the weather, I was still able to enjoy the orange flowers because, as you know, orange is the best colour. Because I was with Karen, she did make me pose with the purple ones too although, as you can see, orange still dominated.

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We then headed into Mental Health Awareness Week and Karen kindly lent me her green ribbon when she was working from home. This year was all about surviving or thriving and we certainly thrive on our adventures together.

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Fortunately the weather had improved by the Wednesday and I was able to get out for a walk at lunchtime. Strangely, I had to take a photo by this beach hut but really can’t imagine why. Even though the sun was out, hardly any people on the beach as still quite cool (and it was midweek).

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After all that exercise, it was followed by a yummy lunch from the Good Food Cafe which was a spinach and cheese toastie with an apple, carrot and rhubarb juice, which, of course, came out orange which made me rather happy.

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After another afternoon grafting away at the computer, I thought I deserved a nice rest in the sunshine. It was really quite relaxing and I’m surprised I didn’t doze off.

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More excitement to follow in the week when I went for a night out with the team. I was lucky that they fed me too and I helped myself to some of the chicken before washing it down with some prosecco.

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And now we’re onto the final weekend for this blog. The weather had got even better by now and we were in Westgate again. I saw these rather nicely decorated beach huts before enjoying the sun on the walk home.

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Sunday bought the sunshine again and the wind had dropped, so it was rather like summer. Went for tea and cake at the Bus Cafe and they had kindly provided some exotic shade for me.

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It was all rather pleasant and the walk back along the beach barefoot was lovely, so I was surprised that there weren’t more people (not that I minded).

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So that’s you all caught up with my weekends apart from one. That’s going to be in a separate blog as its somewhere new.

Before, During and After

Sorry its been a while since I’ve updated you. I didn’t have many photos before but now I have loads, so hope this isn’t too long for you. The reason for the title is I need to tell you about before I went away on holiday to Cornwall, during my holiday and afterwards when I got back home.

It was going to be a tale of two halves (don’t worry, my tail isn’t in two halves!) but it extended into another weekend so I had to rename it.

Before I went away, I had a bit of an orange themed weekend. It started with me finding some orange flowers near home and then Karen having an orange drink.

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After all that excitement, it was only right that there was some more so decided to have some tea and cake with a bit of cheeky ice-cream.

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The weekend bought some lovely sunshine so I just had to get out onto the beach.

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When I got home Karen had made me a cup of tea and surprised me with a cupcake, all because it’s my second blog birthday. Yes, it’s been two years that I’ve been amusing you with my tales. The other reason for the cupcake (as if we needed another) was that we were finally on holiday. The first one since November so very much needed.

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On the Monday we took a trip on two trains. As we had to go through Paddington station to get the second train, we just had to visit the namesake himself. I had to be on my best behaviour though as otherwise there’d be no marmalade sandwich for me, emergency or otherwise.

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The second train was quite different from the Margate to London train. Look at all this space I had on the holiday express.

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Finally we got to our destination – the Scarlet Hotel in Mawgan Porth, Cornwall. It was amazing having a cup of tea whilst basking in the sunshine and looking at the view.

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Before going to the room, I had a little explore and the hotel had won these awards which were art pieces in themselves. Not only that but they had orange flowers too which I’m sure they got especially for me.

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If you think I had lots of space on the train, you should see my room.

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And the view from the bedroom patio was quite something too.

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I had another chance to explore after breakfast on the Tuesday and found this chess board which was beautifully crafted from wood. I then found a perfect Malcolm sized boat although seemed to be missing some water.

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After all that exploring I had to have a sit down so went to Karen’s reading spot which, for some reason, I didn’t keep for long.

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As the Scarlet is an adult only hotel, I had to be careful how often I explored, especially as I didn’t want to ruin the peace and quiet with my excitement. I was allowed to monkey around in the room though and found this great spot where I could hang around and look at the view.

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By Wednesday, Karen thought I ought to get some fresh air and exercise so took me down to the local beach. I think the exercise was getting down to the beach as it was quite a high clifftop. When we got onto the beach I was glad to see that it was sandy, just like home, and also had rocks that I could climb on.

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Best of all, someone had an orange kite and was flying it just in the right spot so I could get the hotel in the background.

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Before too long, it was time for us to head back up the cliff to the hotel, especially as the tide was coming in.

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Thursday bought a trip into Padstow and, whilst Karen was doing far too much shopping, I sat and looked at the boats.

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That was the holiday over with as travelled back home on the Friday but was lucky enough to have visitors at the weekend so it still felt like a holiday.

Saturday was a lovely sunny day and quite warm when out of the wind, although the Main Sands wasn’t as busy as I thought it would be.

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The other reason that the weekend still felt like holiday was that we had a treat of afternoon tea at the Sands Hotel. They even had carrot cake just for me so I was kind and let Karen have the chocolate cake.

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Sunday we headed to the Cliftonville Farmers Market but it was a bit windy for me to come out. Fortunately we weren’t out for too long as headed to the Turner Contemporary for some culture so I even joined in and did a bit of artwork myself.

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As it was Sunday there was only one other thing we could do – have Sunday lunch which we went to Olby’s for and it was scrumptious.

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That’s it for now although already counting down to the next holiday in June but, don’t worry, there’ll be a blog before that.

April Sunshine

April has been a pretty good month so far weather wise. One day when I was working from home, I went out for a walk at lunchtime and I wanted a paddle but Karen wouldn’t let me as we didn’t have time. It was rather mean of her, even the seagulls thought so.

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And I was so close to the water too!

Friday last week bought some frivolity as we met Sam for a drink but even before that I started misbehaving and playing in the flowerbeds. Its only because the flowers were so colourful, just like me.

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As it was Sam’s birthday soon, we decided to have some bubbles. I then moved onto something stronger but only because the gin infusion was my namesake. Not sure I’m quite 47 yet although (shhh, don’t tell anyone) I know someone who will be in a few months.

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We went to the Tea Merchant but I have to admit that I didn’t see much tea being consumed.

The weekend was really lovely and relaxing, with lots of sunshine on Sunday.  I even had the patio doors open when I got home although not for that long as it wasn’t that hot. It was nice to have a hint of how its going to be when its properly summer.

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So nice to be sitting and relaxing with a cup of tea.

Unfortunately another work week beckoned but it wasn’t too long until the next weekend and we were spoilt again and on both days.

Saturday I had a wander into town and saw some boats on the way near the harbour arm. I didn’t think you’d be able to see them with me in the picture too, so got Karen to take a close up for you.

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They were even there when we stopped at the Bus Cafe for a cup of tea, although behind us so slightly hard to see, but I could still see the sea!

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The other excitement on Saturday was that I was given one of the new pound coins. I’ll try not to spend it all at once and I’m certainly not giving it to Karen as she won £5 on the lottery.

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I did go for a walk and then Karen got wet when she went for her first barefoot paddle of the year. Fortunately she dried off quite quickly as sat on the sea wall for a bit in the sunshine and people watching.

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Let’s hope next weekend is just as nice when its Easter (keep everything crossed).