Pre holiday treats

I bet you weren’t expecting this as my next blog post, were you? Don’t worry, the Isle of Man one is on the way but there’s a whole week to tell you about first which turned into some pre holiday treats.

On the Wednesday, I was treated to afternoon tea at the Hilton South Quay. They’d kindly reserved a table for us which was good planning (and you know Karen likes a plan).

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Surprisingly, we were in the executive suites at the top of the building so it had a rather impressive view.

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Talking of impressive, the cake stand was pretty huge. Not sure you can even spot me?

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Don’t worry, they weren’t all ours, in fact we didn’t get any of them but we did get a rather nice selection delivered to our table. I wasn’t sure which cake to have first though.

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After all that yummy food, Karen thought it sensible I have some fruit or something savoury so I didn’t get a sugar high. There was plenty of choice of those too.

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I wasn’t able to manage anything else until the next day and even then I only had a banana and some water. Think I need a refill on the water, its looking a bit low.

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The weekend eventually arrived and it felt a bit like summer still as the sun was out. I had a bit of a pool weekend with a rock pool, my own personal swimming pool and the tidal pool. Just a shame I’m not good with water!

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When I was walking along the beach, I noticed this big dome and thought an alien had landed, but it was a pop up theatre.

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I then went to the absolutely brilliant exhibit at the Pie Factory by Ross Andrews and Darren Lewis called Sand, Sea and Light. Two different mediums, one photography and one paintings, showing different aspects of the seaside. They were stunning and Karen was very tempted to buy more than one thing.

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I then had a rather nice walk home along the promenade which rounded the weekend off nicely.

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End of summer

Karen took me home from work on Thursday as she was working from home Friday and wouldn’t dare leave me behind for the weekend. I was allowed out on the train and had a seat all to myself, although it wasn’t until we had passed Canterbury West. Can you see how dark it is outside though (and that wasn’t because we left late)?

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On Friday, Karen had an appointment and the weather had got a bit windy so didn’t feel as warm as previous days which meant that the beach was lovely and empty. Look at that smooth sand which hasn’t been stood on. I was tempted to go and leave my mark but Karen had an appointment to get to so there wasn’t any time.

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On the way back home, the wind had picked up and it was making the sea really choppy.

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That was a sign of things to come as it started raining shortly after we got home and didn’t seem to stop all afternoon. It rained and rained and rained. It did eventually stop, of course, and there was a bit of a sunset through the clouds which looked quite dramatic.

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The wind didn’t stop though and it had clearly been a stormy night as there was loads of seaweed on the sea front on Saturday morning.

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I was getting quite battered (not the fish and chip kind) about in the wind, so much so that Karen had to hold onto me when I wanted to look at the sea further on.

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I was almost tempted to put my jumper on but I was persuaded it wasn’t really that cold, it just seemed like it because of the strength of the wind. It was a perfect afternoon for having a snooze on the sofa in front of a film.

Sunday was a much nicer day and the sun came out again, although still quite breezy. The waves were also up again and I was allowed a little closer than Saturday.

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The beach wasn’t that busy but a few people out and about, even a few sunbathing. I think that would have been ok with a windbreak but it was nice to have the fresh air on my face. Makes a nice change from air conditioned office air.

I was also allowed a bit of a play and found a few feathers, so I had a bit of a go at making a seaweed fort.

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I then made the defences even stronger and went into a metal pipe. I thought it was a cannon but Karen thought it might have been something else so I wasn’t allowed in there for too long.

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I spent a bit more time beach combing as the tide was going out and found this interesting rock with remains of two shells attached to it which reminded me of my ears.

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On the wander back, we stopped to watch a kite surfer and a seagull decided to join us too.

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It was all rather pleasant for a Sunday afternoon.

Now that I’ve starting thinking about getting ready work for work tomorrow, I was rather amused by this Dilbert cartoon as it seems to indicate that I should be in charge. I’ll raise it with the bosses but I’m sure they wouldn’t have a problem with it …

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Sandcastles

Not much to report from the working week except a lot of work, not even any trips out at lunchtime and no work from home days.

Thankfully, the weekend was rather lovely, although it didn’t seem that way on Saturday morning. I was quite tired after all that work though so was having a lie in so I didn’t miss too much.

I did eventually venture out in the afternoon because I wanted to see the sandcastles. On the way, the tide was coming in and it looked quite appealing for a paddle. Karen thought I got a bit close though and I had to be rescued.

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What I actually went out for was the RIBA sandcastle competition which is part of the heritage open days weekend. It was tough going over the soft sand but got there eventually and saw some great sculptures.

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2016-0910-04 Sandcastle.jpg     2016-0910-05 Sandcastle.jpg

Some of the photos didn’t come out very well as other people kept getting in the way and they had some sort of security, so a bit awkward. I think Karen may have got a few strange looks too.

After all that effort, I needed a sit down, a snack and a cup of tea so headed to the Turner and sat outside. So lovely to sit outside at a cafe and be able to see the sea.

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As I’d had a nice rest, I felt able to walk up Fort Hill to go and see the art installations at one of the pavilions.

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I decided not to attempt making a kite as thought I might get blown away (it was quite windy and nothing to do with there being no orange).

I did have a bit of fun on the cliff top and was hiding in some bushes before being drawn to the crystal clear water, but not enough to go down to the water as I had walked a rather long way and had yet to walk home too.

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When I was walking home, I went past the place where the sandcastle competition was held and it was almost like nothing had ever happened, just a few lonely lumps in the sand.

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There was also a bit of interest this weekend as a super yacht was moored just outside Margate which is worth a ridiculous amount of money, is owned by a Russian and called A. It did seem like the sun just shone on the yacht at times but think it was only because of it being so white. Not sure if you can see it in this photo or not – I could have zoomed in but then you wouldn’t have been able to see me.

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I had a bit more energy on Sunday so went for a nice long walk in the sunshine to Westgate. Fortunately, there’s a cafe at St Mildred’s Bay so was able to have a sit down for a bit before walking back.

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In the early evening the tide was coming in so I just had to get out to paddle. I started with some cliff bathing and felt like I was doing my Grease impression.

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What a fabulous paddle it was with a stunning view.

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That was until I saw this – a jellyfish (one of three)! So I decided to run into the sandcastle someone had helpfully left behind (did you see what I did there, bought it back to the title).

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I was lucky enough to see the sunset, although not all of it as it was quite late and I had to get some rest.

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Do I really have to go to work tomorrow???

Beach Birthday

Before being able to enjoy the weekend, I was working from home on Friday which can often be a long day. To keep up my energy, I had to make sure I drank enough fluids as well as walking occasionally. The latter wasn’t quite so successful due to my short legs but, thanks to Karen, I did pretty well on the fluids front.

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Saturday bought a nice surprise as I went to the Sands Hotel and not just to visit. I got to stay there overnight as a treat and, even better, they had a special Monkey sized pillow for me. I also rather liked the decorative lamp.

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One of the reasons for staying there was so that I could have nosy around and I particularly wanted to see the roof terrace. Well that was worth the trip, what a stunning view, even in the rain.

 

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To make sure that I was able to have a decent dinner, I made sure I had a walk beforehand and went up the hill to Fort Terrace. I got a bit defensive at that point as lots of ships were out to sea so I was a bit worried they were trying to invade and just had to protect everyone  with the cannon.

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Dinner was at Mullins Brasserie which had an unexpected Caribbean theme but, gosh, it was delicious and what a lovely venue and great atmosphere. I had Mhai Mhai fish for the first time followed by one of the best ever cheesecakes, along with a little bit of prosecco.

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After a restful night at the Sands, once the noise had died down, I was treated to a full English breakfast, vegetarian of course, with a  wonderful view.

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As the sun had come out, it seemed only right that I returned to the terrace. It looked stunning in the sunshine even though it was so windy that Karen had to hold onto me.

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After I got home, I decided to go for a paddle on the beach which made me

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So, I should probably tell you why all these nice things are happening – that’s because its Karen’s birthday today (Sunday) so she’s had some nice treats to mark the occasion.

Thanks to all those wonderful people who made her day special.

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Half a holiday

I sort of had half a holiday this week due to the heatwave. It was so warm that Karen decided it was better for me to stay in Margate where I could keep cool. She lent me her hat but it was a touch big.

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Luckily for Karen, she was able to cool off when she got home from work and had a rather lovely paddle, even more appreciated because Stratford station was rammed with West Ham fans which was no fun trying to get through that many people.

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Unfortunately, the holiday didn’t last the week (hence why it was half a holiday) and Karen made me go back to work on Friday so she had someone to talk to. I found a different spot to sit on but she insisted I do some typing as well. That was a bit difficult though due to my short arms.

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Thankfully it was only for one day and Saturday I got to enjoy the beach again. I did have to share it with some seagulls but they weren’t too close.

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We then had a trip to Canterbury which is the first time I’ve been there apart from going through on the train. Its a rather nice town with lots of lovely historic buildings but also lots of cobblestones.

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Sunday was sleep day and pottering at home as well as a stunning Sunday lunch at The Hoy. No pictures of that, though, after my behaviour last time, but I have got some pictures of the walk back. It was low tide and the closest I have got to the harbour arm without being on it.  The weather wasn’t quite as nice but it was good that it was a bit cooler again. I needed a bit of a rest on the way home and found a nice rock pool which looked like a collection of islands.

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2016-0828-03 Low tide.JPG     2016-0828-04 Rock pool.JPG

I then got another bit of a holiday as it was bank holiday on the Monday and, quite unlike British weather, the sun was shining.  We went to the Turner Contemporary to look at the exhibition Seeing Round Corners which was good – a real eclectic mix of artists and materials with some quite famous names. Some work was extraordinarily talented but other pieces I think I could have done myself. Photos weren’t allowed in the gallery but there was a big polo mint outside.

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When we got home, I helped Karen wrap up a certain someone’s birthday present, although not sure how much help I was apart from hanging onto the sellotape. I nearly got wrapped up in the paper which certainly would have surprised the recipient!

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Talking of surprises, Karen also had a couple in store for me as well as she thought I needed a new hobby. The Isle of Man post office has issued some stamps which she thought I’d like – one is the Aardman 40th anniversary and the other is the Year of the Monkey. Best I get an album now so that I can keep them safe.

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So, after that half a holiday, Karen told me that I had a full holiday coming up when we’re going to the Isle of Man. This means that I’ll be able to visit the same places as Morph. I think that’s where Karen gets inspiration from for me as we’re quite similar colour, although Morph is far more flexible than me and a bit older. The holiday is a few weeks away yet but getting ever closer.

Yo-Yo

Well its been a rather busy week, partly because Karen kept taking me to and from the office (hence the yo-yo title), so that was rather tiring. Its just as well she has a nice, comfortable space for me in her bag, otherwise it would have been even more tiring.

It all started on Tuesday evening and, rather than leave me in the office as normal, Karen decided that I had to go home with her. At Stratford International station there were some replicas of landmarks of London and they were the perfect size for me. Can you guess which ones they are?

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2016-0809-03 Big Ben.jpg     2016-0809-04 Olympic Park.jpg

So, after having to work at home on Wednesday rather than looking out of the window like I wanted, I then had get up early for the second time this week to go back into the office. The benefit though was a beautiful sunrise, even if it was a bit breezy.

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It was then back home again on Thursday night and I thought that was it for early starts until the weekend but Karen decided she wanted to be in the office on Friday. At the station they were getting ready for Margate Pride, which was on Saturday, although I think the flags had been a bit over loved.

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I did manage to fit in a breakfast with Paul and it was rather great to catch up with all the news.

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Then, at long last, it was Friday evening and time to go home. I thought it would be an early finish but there’s always something that Karen just wants to finish off. This time around, I saw sunset when I got home (view from the lounge).

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Summer had arrived on Saturday which made me rather excitable and, as I started misbehaving, I got a ride in a police car (don’t worry, it was only a shopping trolley for the kids, not a real one).

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When I got home, I just had to go to the beach – look how lovely it was. I think that’s a contender for photo of the week.

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After all that excitement, I had to have a lay down. Fortunately, Karen made me a little sun lounger so I didn’t get sand everywhere, although that may have been more for her benefit than mine.

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Once I’d had a proper rest, I did some exploring and found some fantastic and creative sandcastles that people had left for me.

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Sunday bought more adventures by the sea and I did my pirate impression. No other photos from Sunday, though, as it was just a bit too hot to be out too much.

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I should go for an evening walk on the beach but just too tired, so I’ll have to save that for another day. Hopefully I’ll be less like a yo-yo this week.

Back in time

Thought it was about time that I caught up on a long overdue blog. You may have thought I was hibernating as the weather hasn’t been very good or particularly summer like.

So, going back in time to when it was sunny, I was with Karen who was working from home one Friday and it was such a beautiful day that I just had to get outside at lunchtime. I tried to go for a paddle but, as we know, water doesn’t agree with me so Karen kindly let me float on her flip flop, safely tethered of course.

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On the way back to the flat, I was lucky enough to find a spade which someone had left behind and coordinated quite well with me. Not sure what happened to the bucket though.

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On Monday I had to go back to work, which was a bit of a shame, but at least I got to see the lovely Krissi over a candlelit dinner. Best of all, she had a homage to me on her phone (can you spot what it was?).

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I then stayed in London for quite a while, partly because Karen had an unexpectedly long journey home (4 hours) which meant she didn’t go into the office the next day. As the next day was a Friday, it meant that I got left behind in the hot house tower for the weekend (but don’t tell Adam). Karen also had to stay in her Stratford flat for a few nights the following week whilst some work was done on her bathroom.

It was so good to get back to Margate as London felt hot and noisy. I was treated to a rather lovely sunset as my welcome home.

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That’s not the best picture so I got Karen to take one from the sand which came out a lot better. I think it must have been the excitement, either that or my short arms.

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I think I may have to consider retiring and spending all my time at the seaside.

This weekend was there was lots going on in Margate, although I didn’t participate in everything as there’s only so much you can do when you’ve been working hard. There was the Margate Soul Festival and then the carnival on Sunday. As well as that, the weather was lovely, so there were lots of visitors.

I tried to have another paddle and this time it was the tide that was against me as not in quite enough. I headed over to the steps after that which was a bit better but still quite tricky for someone with no knees.

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I waited quite a while for the carnival to come along but it was taking ages. With the sun out and wind blowing a bit, it felt like I was changing colour so thought I’d better head home into the shade. On the way back, you can see all the people waiting for the carnival to start.

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Eventually, two hours later, they procession did come along at the end of my road and it was bigger than I thought it would be, so I’m glad I didn’t wait outside all that time. Here’s a selection of my favourites.

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We were lucky enough to be joined by a visitor so then headed out for something to eat.

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Strangely enough, or not, the waitress recognised me from when I visited the Sands Hotel last winter. Its a small world after all (cue for a song which really does take me back in time).

Quex Park and Golf

Yay, I’m back online and able to tell you all about my adventures again. It was quite bizarre as the photos just appeared again, so maybe it was just a blip – let’s hope so.

This week was full of treats as there were lots of cakes around in the office. Karen’s team were raising money for charity and had a cake sale. Between them they raised nearly £1,000, so they’re obviously very keen on cake. I’m not sure why, but I wasn’t allow to do any judging. Maybe it was because they thought I’d automatically choose the carrot cake due to it being orange.

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Another treat was in the form of leaving the office on Wednesday, so I got to have a little play with Wilbur and thought I was getting a long weekend. Karen wasn’t too impressed as I was meant to be working but, thankfully, she managed it all on her own. Even though I hadn’t behaved, she still let me have a giant chocolate button for pudding.

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And there was yet another treat – some fish and chips on Friday which were rather delicious too.

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After all that food, it was only right that I went out and got some exercise. I went to Quex Park, which is a large estate at Birchington, and has a very lovely garden with lots of places for me to play on.

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One of my favourites was the monkey puzzle tree and I even found my own little house.

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To make sure I protected my new territory, I made sure the cannon was set up properly to fire at any intruders.

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As I now rule the kingdom, I made sure everything was made in my image, such as this cactus which had ears rather like mine. After that, I visited the post office to make sure my orders reached the masses via mail.

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Even though that trip was rather delightful, there was nothing like being back on the beach later in the evening for a paddle. I also found someone missed me as they left me a heart sandcastle.

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Sunday bought some more fun and games in the form of adventure golf and it was an adventure too. I did have a little trouble with the ball but that’s probably because I was facing the wrong way and then the club was a little large for me.

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The sun came out whilst we were playing but fortunately I found some freshness in the fountain and used the shading provided by the flowers.

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It was thirsty work though so I had a nice, cool lemonade whilst totting up the scores. Who do you think won?

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So, onto photo of the week and, as usual, I have been spoilt for choice so there’s going to be more than one. I think its only fair that we have one daytime and one sunset.

 

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New office

If you remember my last blog, it was all about moving on at work to a different team.

For the first week, I had a temporary desk which actually worked better than I thought it would. At the team meeting, each new joiner was asked to give an interesting fact about themselves so Karen told them about me and my blog. It was only then that I felt safe coming out of Karen’s handbag, although I’m still working on the team getting to know me better.

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On the Thursday, Karen took me back to Margate and on Friday I was home alone. Apparently it was because she was moving desks again and didn’t want me to feel even more confused. Here’s me looking longingly out of the window as she left me behind. What she doesn’t know is what I got up to when she wasn’t there …

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The weekend was a real mixed bag of weather and Saturday you wouldn’t have known it was June. To make up for it being so unseasonable, I enjoyed a nice cooked breakfast at the Cup Cake Cafe.

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Fortunately on Sunday it was summer again and I got to enjoy some time on the beach.

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I really wish it would make up its mind. Even whilst writing this blog, its pouring with rain and thunder and lightening. Really glad that I write this inside!

On Monday, it was time to see my new office and here it is.

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Thankfully some of this is only temporary equipment which is just as well because I know Karen doesn’t like the fact that the screens don’t match. And in case you’re wondering about the bus, the previous occupant had a cutlery draw which one of the directors insisted was kept, but it was so, so messy that Karen just had to tidy it up (which went down rather well).

Being on the 28th floor, there’s an incredible view which I can see whilst Karen is looking at the computer. This one reminds me of being in New York due to the tower blocks.

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I much prefer this one which is rather more British and you can even see the river and the University of Greenwich (just ignore the Crossrail building works).

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The weekend came around again pretty quickly and still a mixed bag of weather. Saturday wasn’t too nice and Karen was quite tired, so I pottered whilst she slept for some of the day.

On Sunday, we went along to Walpole Bay where the other tidal pool is. I would have gone in but, as you know, water doesn’t always agree with me.

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Then I had a Sunday sing along with a rendition of I saw three ships a sailing. It was clearly a pre-emptive rendition for the bandstand later in the afternoon. Can you see the ships?

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Whilst there, I visited the Farmers Market which is held once a month. There was a bit of everything produce wise and so Karen was able to treat her visitors in the afternoon to some nice fresh bread and cheese. They didn’t quite manage to get to the strawberries so I shall enjoy them for breakfast on the way to work tomorrow.

After lunch, we went for a wander along Westbrook Bay. The sea was a whole range of greens and blues which were very pretty. I don’t think it shows very well in this picture though. Lesley was a bit worried that I might fall in but I pointed out the no diving sign and the fact that I was hanging on, so I was quite safe really.

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For this week’s photo of the week there were too many to choose from so I’ve selected my favourite two.

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The second one was taken on the way home on Thursday night when we had that tremendous storm. It looked like the sky was on fire walking from the station so quite dramatic and very wet (for Karen but not for me).

Moving on

It was Karen’s last week with her current team and, despite having had many different role titles, she has worked with some of them for nearly 7 years.

There was a surprise when she arrived at work on Friday as the desk had been decorated. The surprise wasn’t that the desk was decorated but that it had been done in a tidy and straight way (without any sprinkles). I also got a boa so that I could disco the night away.

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See you don’t know what I get up to when you’re not there …

Most of the team went out for lunch and I managed to sneak a crafty chip whilst they weren’t looking.

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In the afternoon, Karen cleared her desk and adhered to the clear desk policy (unlike some) but, even for her, it was rather bare.

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Then it was party time and off they went to the pub but I was allowed to go too, so made the most of it by having wine and a cocktail (by the way, that was a non alcoholic cocktail because I’m only young).

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Despite having been out to lunch, we thought some more snacks were in order and one of them even came with an orange sauce.

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The highlight of the day was the lovely and thoughtful gifts that the team bought Karen, especially the words in the card. I particularly liked the flowers as they had orange wrapping. And, at long last, Adam confirmed that Karen was allowed to keep me which made us both happy and means the blog can carry on. He obviously couldn’t be in non-compliance with the Monkey Wellbeing Legislation of 1972 (thanks Paula!) otherwise we’d have had to escalate to RCOP.

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Saturday was a bit of a write off but I made up for it on Sunday and went out for a walk to get some brunch. On the way, I came across a nice private pool and was going to go for a swim but Karen thought it was a bit deep (and wet) for me.

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As we walked past the square, there were a lot of flags up and I think they were getting ready to do something for the Queen’s 90th birthday, although it hadn’t been terribly well publicised.

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Brunch was at our favourite place, the Cupcake Cafe, but we tried something different this time around which was almost as yummy. No cake though as it was still morning.

2016-0612-03 Sunday brunch.jpg

By the afternoon the sun had come out and Karen was going to wash her windows so that I could see out of them but then decided another walk on the beach would be more enjoyable. I rather liked sitting in the sun, warming myself and feeling the fresh air. It was quieter on the beach today and I think the clouds put the people off from visiting apart from the determined few.

 

2016-0612-04 Beach.jpg

When we got home, Karen did manage to have time to do the windows and they are pretty clean now. Not sure it will last living by the sea.

So that is my moving on story, although not quite sure if I will move on this week as there’s been a delay with the desk move. I also need to make sure the new team are up to the job of looking after me. They do have quite high standards to live up to.

To end on a high note, Karen asked me to share her favourite photo of the week and it was sunrise on the way to work on Friday. I didn’t see it personally as I was already at the office, but apparently it was really warm and the waves were just gently lapping onto the sea wall.

2016-0610-01 Sunrise.jpg