Christmas Part 2

Now, where was I … oh yes, enjoying myself with the Christmas festivities.

I made sure I helped Karen with decorating the tree and making her lounge festive and cosy. I’m glad I didn’t have to stay in the tree as it was a bit awkward what with those pine needles and all that, but I couldn’t resist my sparkly decoration.

171222-01 Christmas tree.JPG     171222-02 Lounge.JPG

We popped down to the festive fairground at Dreamland with our friend Jenny. Dreamland also had many Christmas trees but I didn’t think any of them were a patch on Karen’s. It certainly wasn’t as warm either.

171222-03 Dreamland tree.JPG

I did rather like the teapot ride and the reindeer but they didn’t seem to have many presents under any of the trees.

171222-04 Dreamland teapot.JPG     171222-05 Dreamland reindeer.JPG

We did have a nice meal and I’ve got a photo of the main course. I particularly liked this as it had orange bits in it. The desert was lovely too but photo hasn’t come out on that one (and it didn’t have orange bits in it).

171222-06 Dreamland risotto.JPG

By the time we got home it was dark but thankfully we were welcomed with some pretty outside lights.

171222-07 Outside lights.JPG

So then it was Christmas and what a lovely time I had. I was made to go for a walk in the morning and got a bit worried as there was white stuff on the beach which I thought was snow but Karen told me it was chalk. As we were on the beach, it was only right that I went for a paddle and I found a nice little shallow pool for me.

171225-01 Snow.JPG     171225-02 Paddle.JPG

When we got back, I had to work for my Christmas lunch as Karen wanted me to help her peel potatoes. I’m not quite sure how she expected me to do this as the peeler was bigger than me. Let’s just say I supervised.

171225-03 Peeling spuds.JPG

As I’d made such a good job of the tree, thought I should apply that to the table so it was appropriately festive. It looked better when the candles were lit but I’m a bit hazardous to be left alone with them.

171225-04 Table set.JPG     171225-05 Table close up.JPG

Christmas lunch was very delicious and there was lots of food left at the end. No pudding at lunchtime as far too full.

171225-06 Christmas dinner.JPG

Boxing Day started with another walk, although that was probably a good thing after all that food the day before. It was a lovely sunny day so a very pleasant walk even if it was a bit fresh. Thankfully that’s ok for me as I’m made out of wool.

171226-01 Morning walk.JPG

We then headed to Botany Bay Hotel for lunch but I did get to do a bit of tree climbing while we were waiting for our food.

171226-02 Tree climbing.JPG

More food was consumed and the pudding was particularly stunning. Just to point out, it was a sharing pudding and I didn’t eat it all myself.

171226-03 Lunch.JPG     171226-04 Pudding.JPG

Big sister, Steph, led me astray and gave me some of her wine. Not a good idea as I then did silly things.

171226-04 Wine.jpg     171226-05 Hanging about.JPG

Fortunately I was rescued before I fell. My punishment was suspended so I was free to go for a walk on the beach.

171226-06 Botany Bay.JPG

In the evening we played a card game called Belisha, inherited from Grandma, and James won (we think it was beginners luck). I particularly like this game as it has orange cards.

171226-07 Card game.JPG

So that’s the final part for Christmas in 2017. I did see a very nice saying in a local magazine which I’d just like to leave you with:

Happy New Year 2018

  • Wishing you 12 months of success
  • 52 weeks of laughter
  • 365 days of fun
  • 8,760 hours of joy
  • 525,600 minutes of good luck
  • 31, 536,000 seconds of happiness

I look forward to sharing mores of my stories and adventures to come in 2018.

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Christmas Part 1

Welcome to the start of the Christmas festivities. It began quite early this year with a party on 30 November – rocking the Christmas boat with Tanya. Here’s me under the disco lights.

171130-02 Disco.jpg

I was lucky enough to stay over in London that night and booked into a hotel so didn’t have to worry about trains home. The hotel helped with making me feel festive by having some reindeer in reception. Not sure where Santa was though, maybe having a rest before all the hard work starts.

171201-01 Reindeer.jpg

The next day I was out for drinks with Julie as a belated birthday celebration. We left work early and went to one of the high rise hotels near Canary Wharf. The view was fabulous view and even better as we got there just in time for sunset. The way the sun lit up the water was so pretty.

171201-03 Sunset drinks.jpg

The only problem was choosing which cocktail to have as they were all so unique. I was not impressed with the girls for not having chosen an orange cocktail although Julie’s did come close and, of course, Karen had a purple one.

171201-04 Cocktails.jpg

On the way out, I saw these fabulous cups outside a coffee shop. I think they were more wobbly than me but that’s because I was good and only had one cocktail (despite what’s the picture shows).

171201-05 Tea.jpg

At the weekend the lovely Maria and her hubby John were staying in Broadstairs so I went over to meet them to see the Christmas lights switch on. I was lucky enough to have a ride on a blood bike but fortunately didn’t need it for real (apart from anything else, I don’t have any blood).

171202-01 Rescue bike.jpg

Later on we went to Restaurant 54 for dinner and that was all rather delicious.

171202-02 Starter.jpg     171202-03 Main.jpg

I think, though, that the chocolate platter for desert was my favourite even if it did mean I didn’t have room for the after dinner chocolate despite the fact that they were orange.

171202-04 Desert.jpg     171202-05 Chocolate.jpg

I was then lucky enough to meet Santa at the hotel so that must have been where he was resting when I didn’t see him earlier with his reindeer.

171202-06 Santa.jpg

The following Friday was the works Christmas do and we went to a place in central London for lunch which was delicious too. I even dressed up for the occasion but that was more so I didn’t have to do a forfeit.

171208-02 Starter.jpg     171208-03 Main.jpg

I may have had one too many sherbets as started climbing the Christmas tree.

171208-01 Christmas tree.jpg

After a few more drinks, I even managed to make a new friend.

171208-05 Clubbing.jpg     171208-04 Meringue.jpg

The only thing I could do after all that partying was have some fresh air and exercise at the seaside. Gosh, though, it was rather fresh yesterday but Margate was looking as stunning as ever in the winter sunshine.

171216 Fresh air.jpg

So that’s it for part 1 but look out for part 2 in a couple of weeks time.

October

At the beginning of October Karen was on holiday although she wasn’t much fun as had a stinking head cold. Still managed to get out and about a bit, starting with afternoon tea with Debbie at Bessie’s Parlour in Broadstairs.

171003 Afternoon Tea.jpg

We then headed to Cromer for a couple of days to see Karen’s mum. The sea air certainly helped her cold. It was nice and bright and sunny, a perfect autumn day for walking along the seafront.

171005-01 Cromer pier.jpg

Walking further along the seafront, right into the wind, we came across a shipwreck. Don’t worry, it wasn’t a real one but something that had been designed as a children’s play area. It was so much fun to explore and thankfully it was in a less windy area.

171005-03 Shipwreck.jpg     171005-04 Shipwreck.jpg

It took me back to my childhood but, wait a minute, I still am a child (or was I ever a child if I’m a monkey?)!

And, of course, it wouldn’t have been Cromer if I didn’t have some crabs.

171005-05 Crabs.jpg

I then fancied playing hide and seek – can you see me?

171005-06 Underwater.jpg

Isn’t it a beautiful painting? Someone very talented did that but I don’t know who.

After all that playing, I was rewarded with lunch at the Rocket House Cafe which gives a great view of the pier.

171005-07 Rocket Cafe.jpg

And that was just the morning. In the afternoon, we headed to Sheringham Park to see an exhibition of outdoor photography. If I remember correctly, it was organised by Kew Gardens. On the way we came across this brilliant wooden arch which meant more playing.

171005-08 Wood arch.jpg

More sustenance was needed after that so we went to a local cafe and I had a very nice hot chocolate. It was relaxing as there were some artworks to look at too.

171005-10 Hot chocolate.jpg

The next day we headed back home to Margate. It was a bit of a journey so I made sure I put my feet up and relaxed.

171006 Going home.jpg

I’m not quite sure where the rest of October went but we’re now in the last weekend. Despite it being windy and cold, Karen still took me out for some fresh air and she had to hold on to me.

171029-01 Seaview.jpg     171029-02 Seaview.jpg

We were heading to The Hoy for Sunday lunch, always good value there and tasty too.

171029-03 Sunday lunch.jpg

After that it was back out in the wind and the cold but the sun had come out, so it was actually quite lovely walking back along the beach.

171029-04 Harbour Arm.jpg

I even managed to stay awake to write this blog although think it may be an early night tonight.

Afternoon Tea and Seaside Sunshine

The other Friday I was lucky enough to work from home, actually that’s all I do now but without much work involved. What I meant to say was that I was able to go for a lunchtime walk as I had Karen to supervise me. We had a lovely wander to the Bus Cafe and the beach practically to ourselves. Shame that we had to go back to work.

170915 Lunchtime walk.JPG

On the Saturday I was let loose in London. We met up with Alli to go for a Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson Hotel which was quite a treat. I wasn’t sure what to expect or if I should have dressed up but fortunately it was fairly flexible so it didn’t matter that I didn’t have my tie on.

170916-01 Mad Hatter.jpg

It was a bit strange though going for afternoon tea in the evening. Think it was because it was a tipsy one as had a few cocktails included as well.

170916-02 Cocktails.JPG

I wasn’t sure which one to start with and, then to make it even more difficult, there then came layers and layers of food. The best bit about that was that they had Malcolm sized cocktails so that finished it off nicely.

170916-03 Afternoon Tea.JPG     170916-04 Cocktails.jpg

After all that food and drink I needed a rest, so sat in the garden chair. Technically it wasn’t the garden but it felt like it because of the landscaping and waterfall.

170916-05 Garden Chair.JPG

On the way out and in the reception area I found a very lovely shaped sofa. Much loved it was by all.

170916-06 Sofa.jpg

This weekend I had a relaxing one in Margate as I’ve had far too much fun of late. It was lovely wandering into town yesterday whilst being able to listen to the waves lapping against the sea wall.

170923-01 Sea.JPG

Even though it was quite a nice day, the beach was relatively empty. Karen took the opportunity to have a walk in the sand barefoot.

170923-02 Beach.JPG

When we eventually got to the harbour arm, lots of seagulls had congregated, probably because they were being fed.

170923-03 Harbour.jpg

That gave me an idea and so I decided to have a snack at the Turner Contemporary. Lovely it was too as less noise and even found a place to sit in the sun.

170923-04 Tea at Turner.JPG

Sunday we went to the Farmers Market in Cliftonville as it was their 16th birthday. Managed to get the odd treat or too but made sure we walked a bit so that we could enjoy them. We weren’t far from Walpole Bay tidal pool and it did look tempting. Karen didn’t have her swimming costume and, as you know, water doesn’t agree with me.

170924 Walpole Bay.JPG

My next blog may be back to having more fun as going on holiday so will let you know how it goes.

Puddings and Birthday Bonanza

We were treated to a rather glorious bank holiday weekend when the sun shone loads. It was really beautiful so I couldn’t resist getting out and about. The challenge was finding a bit of beach without too many people on it but I did manage it (just). It was so lovely walking home as the tide was coming in so the waves were gently lapping onto the sand (sigh).

170827-01 Westbrook Beach.jpg     170827-06 Westbrook rocks.jpg

170828-01 Westbrook.jpg     170828-02 Westbrook.jpg

To make sure I didn’t have too much sun, I went into the Turner to see their exhibition but, before going inside, I was very impressed by the orange pieces outside. Perfect colour and perfect shade.

170827-02 Turner.jpg

I then, of course, headed out to see the Anthony Gormley sculpture and was rather taken by the sailboats too.

170827-03 Gormley.jpg     170827-04 Turner beach.jpg

I then headed onto the Harbour Arm and had a longing look across the sea to my home. Its just a bit too far to swim (and water doesn’t agree with me) so I did walk back but took lots of breaks to enjoy the scenery and not tire out my little legs too much.

170827-05 Harbour Arm.jpg     170828-03 Westbrook.jpg

Then it was back to work, unfortunately, but I did get treated to this amazing sunrise.

170829 Sunrise.jpg

At least Karen had the decency to provide a chair for me this time around. Not sure it was approved by occupational health but it did the job as I felt that I was still in Margate.

170901-01 Office deckchair.jpg

I did have to do some proper work at some point but I was supervising really.

170901-02 Office.jpg

I soon found out that it was actually a trick and the reason I was in the office was because we were going away for the weekend to the Cotswolds. We went to the Three Ways House Hotel in Mickleton because that is the home of the Pudding Club.

170903-02 Hotel.jpg     170903-01 Mickleton sign.jpg

Pudding Club was on the Friday night and was very ceremonial, including the march of the puddings. I won’t give too much away but would highly recommend it.

170901-05 Pudding club.jpg     170901-06 Pudding club.jpg

We also had to mark each of the puddings (if we had each of them) and choose our favourite. Karen’s was apple crumble and Maria’s was jam roly poly but unfortunately not everyone agreed (which is just wrong).

170901-03 Pudding club.jpg     170901-04 Lyles syrup.jpg

As I was rather full after all that food, I had a little explore of the hotel and enjoyed the lounge. It will be really comfy in winter when the fire is lit. There are some really lovely photos adorning the walls too.

170902-02 Lounge.jpg

Saturday I looked a bit further around the hotel and found these very nice purple flowers in reception. I can’t imagine why Karen liked them, can you? I also saw some of the gifts that you could buy too, many with reminders of the Pudding Club, but somehow I didn’t come home with any.

170902-01 Reception flowers.jpg     170902-03 Presents.jpg

Karen and Maria then headed into Broadway which was a lovely village not too far away. I think they went the scenic route though which is fine, except not much good for Maria who was driving. Fortunately I found some signs so it was better on the way back. Even after all those puddings, I still managed to fit in a scone, just to keep me going.

170902-04 Broadway.jpg     170902-05 Scone.jpg

Some of the shops in Broadways were art galleries and I had lots of fun climbing on some of the sculptures when no-one was looking. Karen did, of course, spot me messing about but it did amuse her, particularly when I was on the sheep.

170902-06 Sheep.jpg     170902-09 Sheep.jpg

170902-07 Glass sail.jpg     170902-08 Tree.jpg

We then headed back to the hotel and found some treats in the room, something to do with chocolate indulgence apparently. Decided to have a little wander around the hotel garden before having a snooze.

170902-10 Chocolate.jpg     170902-11 Hotel garden.jpg

I did wake up for dinner which was good as I had a gap in my tummy by that point. We didn’t choose all the dishes with chocolate in but certainly had to have it for dessert.

170902-12 Dinner.jpg     170902-13 Pudding.jpg

Again, for some reason, felt quite full after that food so decided to have a few games of scrabble. Not sure I was much help so I was the referee and Maria won.

170902-14 Scrabble.jpg     170902-15 Scrabble.jpg

Sunday was the rest of the chocolate indulgence and that was much better than the Saturday. We had a car treasure hunt where we had to solve clues which were chocolate related. It was quite good going around new areas in the car but we didn’t do very well at the quiz. Despite that, we still got some chocolate goodies and watched the chef, Tim, cooking up three different dishes, all of which had to be tasted.

170903-03 Pudding.jpg     170903-04 Goody bags.jpg

Somehow the girls managed to fit in Sunday lunch too, although it was so that they didn’t have to cook when they got home (apparently).

170903-05 Sunday lunch.jpg

After all that food, I really needed a rest, but it was back to work again. However, it was Karen’s birthday on the Monday so her and Julie went out for a long lunch by the sea and then they had a paddle! Well, they paddled, I looked after the shoes.

170904-01 Paddling.jpg     170904-02 Harbour Arm.jpg

Karen was rather spoilt as she got lots of lovely cards and presents which also included all these flowers.

170904-03 Flowers.jpg     170904-04 Flowers.jpg

Karen also purchased a picture from Julie, who is extremely talented, and it looks very lovely on the lounge wall.

170904-05 Poppy picture.jpg

So the next birthday in the birthday bonanza was Maria’s (but not the Maria that went to the pudding club, her’s is on the 11th). This Maria had a milestone birthday so I made sure that Karen remembered her gifts and tried to help her carry them but not very successfully. Fortunately they got there in one piece.

170908-01 Maria's presents.jpg     170908-02 Maria's presents.jpg

As it was a special occasion, we went to the Ivy City Gardens near Liverpool Street. I hope you notice that I got dressed up. We even had a cocktail too.

170908-03 Ivy.jpg     170908-05 Cocktails.jpg

The food was yummy too and Karen had an rather inventive dessert which was, of course, chocolate. Its a video that Karen has but she hasn’t quite worked out how to add this to the blog so you’ll have to ask her to see that one.

170908-04 Lunch.jpg

I wasn’t sure if somewhere so smart would allow animals but they do as they have their own elephant.

170908-06 Elephant.jpg

I think that’s you all caught up now and sorry it was such a long blog this time around but I do hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed making it. I promise the next won’t be so food orientated (apart from afternoon tea next weekend …).

Bristol and beyond

Hello, have you missed me? I know its been a while, but I’ve been too busy having fun and being out and about. I would say that I’ve been enjoying the sunshine but the weather hasn’t been that great for August.

Anyway, this blog starts off in Bristol as Karen decided to have a long weekend there to help Morph celebrate his 40th birthday. She thought I’d enjoy it as he’s orange too (although a different shade). Because it was a long weekend, we were greeted with this sign at breakfast in the hotel.

170728-02 Its Friday.JPG

I suspect I may be using that quite frequently!

Before heading out to Cribs Causeway we had a wander around the town. I quite liked some of the street furniture although some of it was tricky to stay on.

170728-03 Globe.JPG

So then we headed out of town on the bus which was an experience in itself. The exhibition was good and a trip down memory lane for Karen. I quite enjoyed it too because they were my size so I fitted in quite well. It was also fun reading about what Morph is planning for his special year.

170728-05 Chas and Morph.JPG     170728-07 Morphs plans.JPG

There were a couple of giants there too but I was made very welcome so it wasn’t too scary.

170728-06 Giant morph.JPG     170728-08 Gromit and Shaun.JPG

And, what with it being Morph’s 40th birthday, there was only one way to end – cake!

170728-04 Morphs 40th.jpg

After all that excitement and being indoors, we had to get out into the fresh air. Although Bristol is a city, I did manage to find a nice bit of green space which also happened to have a fountain. Quite lovely after all the roadworks and traffic.

170728-09 Fountain.JPG

As it was Morph’s birthday, as well as cake, it seemed appropriate to have something bubbly too and how could I resist at such a good price.

170728-10 Prosecco.JPG

And then it rained and rained and rained – so much so that Karen had squelchy shoes. It also meant that photo opportunities were limited but I did manage to find a gap before breakfast on Sunday, after which it started raining again. We took this shot because it had one of the giant painted Gromit’s on. I think something like that would look very good on Karen’s patio but quite hard to get home on the train.

170730 Quay.JPG

Then it was back to work on Karen’s work from home days. She was quite kind and made me tea although wasn’t impressed when I tried to dive in. I only did it because Debbie suggested it and, as she is the boss, I don’t see why the problem is.

170804-01 Tea.JPG     170804-02 Diving in.JPG

As Karen’s mum was visiting for the weekend, we were showing her the newly redone Dreamland. She quite liked the giant letters too so we found one of the A’s for her as her name is Anne. I then found a rather colourful star and think I blended in quite well. Can you spot me?

170805-02 Giant A.JPG     170805-03 Star.JPG

Sunday was pretty relaxed and Karen and her mum played crazy golf in the morning. Then it was all about waiting for the carnival to come to my road but I was lucky enough to have a chair so my legs didn’t get weary.

170806 Carnival.JPG

The following weekend was Margate Pride and its only the second year its happened in Margate. I joined in by having a suitably decorated cupcake.

170812-01 Pride cake.JPG

The town was quite busy and there were a few visitors, as you would expect in August. Luckily one of them left an excellent sandcastle for me to play in. They moved quite a lot of sand and the soft stuff too, so it would have been quite hard work, but I did appreciate the effort.

170812-02 Sandcastle.JPG

And now we’re at this weekend just gone. On Saturday it was a bit breezy and Karen had to hold onto me so I didn’t blow away. There were also some interesting cloud formations and it did shower occasionally.

170819-01 Windy rocks.JPG

When I was wandering around town, I came across this rather nice piece of street art, mainly because of the colour of the flower. This picture doesn’t really do it justice as it was tricky to get the angle right.

170819-02 Street art.JPG

Sunday was a much better day in the most part so I was able to have an opportunity to sunbathe whilst Karen went for a paddle.

170820 Clifftop view.JPG

So, there you have it, you’re all caught up and that was almost a month’s worth too. I’m sure I’ll do the next one sooner as there’s lots of things planned in the near future but don’t be disappointed if it takes a while because at least you’ll know that I’m enjoying myself somewhere.

Out and About

Yes, yes, I know its been a while. Nothing to do with recovering from a night out in Covent Garden (honest!). But more on that soon …

I did start by being civilised and met a friend at the Breakfast Club. Food was lovely as always but, best of all, they had an orange mug. Not sure why its not got a smiley face though so just as well I can make up for that.

170702-04 Orange mug.jpg

I’ve also been to the lovely woodlands where the team did some work the last couple of years. Fortunately I didn’t have to do anything apart from sit on a log and admire the view.

170706 Woodlands.jpg

I then had the pleasure of helping Karen choose her 10 year award gifts and I think she chose well. She went for a new phone (as the other one had broken) and a new mantlepiece clock. That’s because she’s been buying things again and the clock she had didn’t go with the new stuff but it all blends in rather nicely now.

170709-01 Phone.jpg     170709-02 Clock.jpg

Now we come to Covent Garden – it was a girls PMO night out but they let me come along as an honorary guest. Such fun!

170714-01 Cocktails.jpg     170714-02 Beer Pong.jpg

170714-03 Porn Star Martini.jpg     170714-04 Food.jpg

As you can see from the menu, we didn’t get through that many cocktails from the huge selection available but had a reasonable go so that we made the most of the deals and vouchers we had.

170714-05 Menu.jpg     170714-06 Menu.jpg

But, in the end, you can’t beat a nicely chilled prosecco and, yes, that is Alli dancing in the background – you just had to really, the tunes were great.

170714-07 Prosecco bucket.jpg     170714-08 Prosecco & dancing.jpg

As I knew it was going to be a late one, I had decided to stay over in London. Not in a particularly special hotel but the view was pretty good in the morning. If you look closely you can see Nelson’s column.

170714-09 Room with a view.jpg

Not sure what goes on at the hotel but they had a rather cheeky label with the bottle of water. Just as well as I was only there for one night, I wouldn’t have wanted to be corrupted.

170714-10 Take me I'm yours.jpg

Later on in the week, I was then lucky enough to go to Roost Restaurant in Margate and shared some very delicious chicken and lobster. For some reason, though, there’s no picture of the dessert which was a caramelised pecan banana split (just in case you wanted to know what you’re missing).

170720-01 Lobster.jpg     170720-02 Chicken.jpg

Friday was a work at home day (as was most of the week). Not sure I like that anymore now that I’m a home monkey but I did get to go out for a paddle at lunchtime.

170721 Lunchtime paddle.jpg

I’ve then been treated this weekend – I got some new eyes!

170723 New eyes.jpg

I’m rather pleased because I do like looking at the view and it has been a bit blurry of late but should be all better now. Here’s a sunset from Thursday night.

170720-03 Sunset.jpg