Team Quiz and Year of the Monkey

Last week got a bit confusing as I was taken out on Thursday and went to a team quiz. It was a fund raising effort for Cystic Fibrosis Trust organised by the IB SRC citizenship team. Adam’s team was called Morris’s Minions.

The evening started quite sensibly and I was trying to choose between a cranberry juice and tonic water. Don’t worry, this picture was taken before the questions started, so that’s not Adam cheating and looking the answers up on his phone. That’s Lucy sitting next to him and she’s getting the answer sheet ready so we were raring to go.

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But then Stephen led me astray and gave me some beer (tut, tut and on a school night too).

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That made the choosing of which Minion I was rather fuzzy but I decided on Bob leaping for joy in the end. After that beer, I thought it best if I had some sustenance so I had burger and chips. I needed a lie down after all that food.

2016-0204-03 Choosing Minion.jpg     2016-0204-04 Burger.jpg

On Friday, Karen made me go back into work but I wasn’t happy about that – it really wasn’t on after a late night out (well, late for me). I tried to protest but she did rather  insist and said she needed supervising.

The weekend was a fairly quiet one and it was a lovely sunny day in Margate on Sunday – look at this view of my local beach.

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There were some really cute sausage dogs running around with purple coats on, having races with each other and chasing after a ball. They were rather amusing and I think Karen wanted to take a couple home with her.

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After all that walking, I had to have a sit down so found a nice sand mountain to rest on. It also kept me a bit protected from the wind and I had to make sure I was securely in so I didn’t blow away.

2016-0207-03 Sand mound.jpg

Monday was confusing again as Karen was working from home but I’m normally with Maria on the sunflower tin on those days (I might have to sneak a visit to Maria later in the week but don’t tell Karen). It was a bit breezy when we went for our morning walk, thanks to the start of Storm Imogen, so Karen had to hold on to me. Can you see the sand blowing?

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It got a bit worse later on, but not as bad as I thought it would (although it does sound like its still blowing quite strongly outside).

Anyway, to top a confusing week off, Karen made me write my blog on a Monday and not a Sunday.

Apparently that’s so we could celebrate the Chinese New Year which is the year of the monkey. That means that we have to celebrate me and do monkey things even more. The description of people born in the year of the monkey is that they are lively, quick-witted, curious, innovative and mischievous. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether that’s true of me or not.

2016 Happy Chinese New Year.jpg

 

January weekend

Karen rather confused me on Saturday as she made me get on the train and it was daylight. The reason was to go shopping in Ashford which is about 50 minutes on the train from Margate.

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It was all rather different from a working day and the train carriage seemed rather noisy in comparison.

Ashford was quite nice as there were places for me to play. Lots of flowers around which is good as its a sign of spring.

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There was even a fountain, although I didn’t get too close as didn’t want to get wet.

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We weren’t there too long and, back in Margate, it was really rather windy. The kite surfers were out on the water. Not sure if you can see them in this picture.

2016-0130-06 Margate kite surfers.jpg

The sun did come out later but I was indoors busy watching Karen snooze on the sofa.

Sunday was a treat as Lesley and Ali visited for lunch, which was rather lovely and we headed to Buoy & Oyster. I had to help Karen with her dessert which was chocolate brownie with salted caramel ice cream – I nicked the flake as there was rather a lot of chocolate so she needed all the help she could get.

2016-0131 Sunday pudding.jpg

One of the waitresses made a play for me and tried to steal me, but Karen protected me – heaven forbid if she let me go after what she went through to get custody.

After lunch we had a nice walk along the front and Karen showed her visitors the flat that she’s buying. The current owners were in so we couldn’t be too obvious that we were looking but it was nice to see where I’ll be this summer and beyond.

All in all a good weekend and now back to work tomorrow. I would sigh (boo hiss) but I get to see people I like (hooray).

 

 

Cape Verde

I’m now back from my break in Cape Verde which was hot, hot, hot. I did like it though as orange was everywhere and, as you know, that is my favourite colour. Can you spot me in this picture?

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I took charge when I arrived but did have some difficulty choosing which castle to stay in.

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I also managed to go back to my roots and climb a tree, which was most fun.

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Unexpectedly, I also found another colourful fire hydrant. You may remember that I saw quite a lot in Boston in October, although no palm trees there.

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After all that activity, I needed some rest so went poolside with Karen. She made sure I had somewhere to lie in the shade so I didn’t fade and was drinking enough water.

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And that was me for the week, just relaxing my the pool and not doing much.

I was happy to be back in Margate, though, even if it was rather chilly. But it was a nice sunny day yesterday.

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And to finish off the orange theme, Karen let me help her cook one of her lunches which was a butternut squash, pepper, halloumi and pine nut risotto. I’ll enjoy helping her with that at lunchtime this week.

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Starting 2016 with a bang

Well happy new year to you all. My 2016 started with some fireworks over the Harbour Arm in Margate. They were pretty, but a bit loud and, as it was dark, it was a bit scary so Karen held my hand and made sure I was kept warm and safe.

2016-0101 Fireworks.jpg

The long weekend was pretty relaxing and mainly involved playing on the beach to have a change from the TV. I found some ‘twins’ – orange shells which were lovely, although not as lovely as my orange, because I am the original don’t you know.

2016-0102-01 Shell.jpg

Then I came across a nasty looking double oyster shell that I tried to run away from but my little legs wouldn’t allow it, so I tried to escape on a homemade raft made from a single oyster shell. That wasn’t terribly successful either, not sure if that was because of the weight of the shell or lack of water (and absolutely nothing to do with all the Christmas food and goodies).  I think some oars might have come in handy but, unbelievably, Karen didn’t have any with her (shocking behaviour).

2016-0102-03 Clam.jpg     2016-0102-04 Oyster boat.jpg

Fortunately I was able to go to the top of my castle for safety (which someone else had kindly built for me).

2016-0102-05 Castle.jpg

I also went to Westwood Cross shopping centre and they still had their Christmas decorations up. There was this rather huge reindeer which I stayed away from and I think even the baubles were bigger than me. I couldn’t see many orange ones so that was a bit disappointing.

2016-0103 Reindeer.jpg

It was back to work on Monday and, as I had been working last week, it wasn’t too much of a shock (but trains were busy again). Maria had bought Karen an origami calendar and the first item was a paper cup. I thought it looked more like a pirate hat (ahoy me hearties) and I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to put any water in it as it had a hole in the bottom!

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Jo gave me a very special Christmas present which was perfect timing as it is just right as a sleeping bag (apparently it is a glasses case but I’m not convinced personally). Not sure I felt quite comfortable in the office because of the position of my head, but I’ll get to use it properly next week when I’m off to Cape Verde on holiday.

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So watch out for the photos of me on the sun bed by the pool (I promise I’ll be decent).

All wrapped up

This is the first Christmas I can remember properly as I was too young before that. There was lots of stuff going on so let me tell you all about it.

It started the weekend before Christmas and I had a sit by the fire in the pub followed by helping choose what TV to watch.

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I then tried helping Karen open some presents but got a bit wrapped up!

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I then had to go back to work for a few days and that was full of festive fun. Lots and lots and lots of food around. The first was some donuts and cakes that Vicki and Maria brought into the office.

2015-1223-01 Donuts.jpg     2015-1223-02 Cup cakes.jpg

I couldn’t decide which one to have so had both – yum, yum. It got a bit messy though as the donut was as big as me. I even got sugar on my ear so had to be taken for a wash.

2015-1223-03 Both cakes.jpg     2015-1223-04 Donut.jpg

After all that sugar, I was on a bit of a high and ready to party (that Maria does tend to rather lead me astray).

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Then there was yet more food in the form of a ladies lunch and so much to choose from. I had a selection guinness, cider and gin to drink but only had a sip of each as it was a work day.

2015-1221-01 Guinness.jpg   2015-1221-02 Cider.jpg   2015-1221-03 Gin.jpg

After all that alcohol, I needed some sustenance and looked at the Christmas buffet menu but decided on the mini burger slider. They were just the right size for me but a few too many, fortunately I had Vicki to help me.

2015-1221-04 Buffet menu.jpg     2015-1221-05 Mini burgers.jpg

For the Christmas weekend, I was invited to Maria’s and John’s which was very lovely. I saw the angel lights and said hello to the Christmas snowman.

2015-1225-03 Angel lights.jpg     2015-1225-01 Snowman.jpg

I even got to help with the presents.

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After all that food and TV watching, I needed some exercise so, when I got back to Margate, I took the dog for a walk (or did he take me?!).

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That’s it for the Christmas story, Monkey style, and back to work tomorrow but only for a few days before the long new year weekend.

Eating my way through the week

Thankfully, I was allowed out for the team meal, although I wasn’t quick enough for the starters and missed out on the calamari but I did very much enjoy the main, particularly the macaroni and cheese with lobster.

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I wanted a dessert as I missed out on the starters but, for some reason, the others were full – can’t imagine why.

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We went for the meal on Monday and I got to go to Margate afterwards so, when Karen left work on Tuesday, I jumped in her bag. It meant that Maria missed me on Wednesday as I normally visit her on those days, but Karen enjoyed me being in Margate with her for the day even if it was for work.

The weekend came and we went to Dreamland on Saturday. The deckchair was nice even if it could do with a clean although Karen’s mum had to hold the seating down as it was a bit windy. The best bit was the scenic railway but I didn’t reach the height line so had to make do with standing by a Christmas tree on the railings.

2015-1212-01 Dreamland deckchair.jpg     2015-1212-02 Dreamland.jpg

After all that fresh air, we had to warm up so had a yummy caramel fudge hot chocolate. I tried to play in the festive cup but got told off for being silly so held hands with the penguin instead.

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The next day we went for Sunday lunch – it was only polite really as it was Sunday and we had a visitor. I started with a champagne cocktail whilst admiring the fish artwork on the wall.

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That was followed by a rather scrumptious piece of lamb shoulder and roast beef – it was really hard to decide which one to have.

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I thought I ought to do some exercises after all that food but I was told that standing on a shell doesn’t count. I don’t quite know why, it was a lot of effort for me to get to that height and then I stayed there for a while looking at the view.

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I’d better make sure I fit in some more exercise before Christmas otherwise I won’t be able to enjoy all that festive food.

Two for the price of one

There was so much advertising around about the Black Friday sales that I thought I’d join in and am giving you two blogs for the price of one.

Thanksgiving was uneventful (well, it would be, as I live in the UK). Karen and her team went out for drinks and they didn’t let me come along as, apparently, I’m too young so I had a bit of a sulk.

2015-1127-01 Sulking

But then on Saturday, I was completely led astray …

Julie and Lesley came over and it started rather civilised with a cup of tea and biscuits, then we went out to see the Christmas lights being switched on. This was the prettiest tree in the square in old town and had some lovely ladies walking past.

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We did also see the lights switched on at the Turner Contemporary although that wasn’t as pretty but Father Christmas was there. Fortunately, there was a pretty window display near Karen’s flat and that was rather lovely.

2015-1127-02 Window decs

So let’s go back to being led astray. Karen went out for a meal with her visitors and it started with a rather tasty cocktail called Purple Reign. As it was Saturday, I was allowed a sip or two and, conveniently, there was a little ledge so I could reach.

2015-1128-03 Purple Reign cocktails

The rest of the evening has been censored but I can tell you that it did involve more alcohol and the Dreamland disco.

On Sunday we ventured out for fresh air but it was rather windy, so windy in fact that Karen had to hold onto me.

2015-1129-01 Windy seas

The week at work sped by and I also visited Maria on Wednesday, so I had to be on my best behaviour. I then escaped to Margate for the weekend and got into the festive spirit.

Karen had a rather delicious waffle and hot chocolate and, as there were Christmas songs in the cafe, it felt rather festive. We then wandered back past some more Christmas lights as well as doing some Christmas shopping (but no pictures of the presents as otherwise that will spoil the surprise).

2015-1205-01 Waffle     2015-1205-02 Street decs

When we got home, I tried to help Karen with the decorations but got rather tangled in some tinsel!

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So I was set next to the tree so I was safe. Fortunately it was on the radiator so I was nice and warm and no jumper required.

2015-1205-04 Tree at home

Its the team’s Christmas meal on Monday and I do hope that they let me join them, otherwise I might sulk again. I may be allowed to go if I help them with the Christmas decorations so I’ll let you know next time.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Have you got that tune in your head now? Hee hee hee.

I wasn’t kidding, though, there is loads of stuff around which is all sparkly and bright. First there were these lights I saw at Canary Wharf.

2015-1121-01 Canary Wharf tree     2015-1121-02 Canary Wharf

2015-1121-03 Canary Wharf life bouy

Then we were at Westfield Stratford and saw these giant balls of lights.

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It was all rather exhausting after a week at work and I needed some refreshment, so had this rather tasty calamari and sweet potato fries (when Karen let me get a nibble in).

2015-1121-05 Westfield meal

We then spent the day at the Stratford flat on Saturday as Karen is getting ready to sell it. I tried to get into the photos but Karen wasn’t having any of it and said someone might want to buy me. That felt a bit threatening so I quickly relented and was allowed a spot on the sofa when she’d done the official ones.

2015-1122 Burford Wharf

We then headed back to Margate (the scenic route with train delays, of course) and it was freezing, seriously freezing and windy. It was so cold that Karen made me put a jumper on – just one problem with it, it wasn’t quite the right size. I did rather like the colour and that it had a heart on it though.

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We did head out on Sunday but I wasn’t allowed out as it was way too windy, so Karen took a couple of photos so I didn’t miss out. The first one was a rather space age beach.

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And then there was this sunken garden.

2015-1122-03 Sunken garden

I had to put my jumper back on when I got home as there was no heating or hot water. Bit of a shame really and typical that it had to happen on the coldest day of the year and when I was spending the day there. Oh well, I’m sure it will be fixed soon (I do hope so or I’ll be staying in the office) and at least the jumper covers me up.

 

Unexpected Surprises Awaited

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin … to tell you all about my travels in the USA.

It all started at Heathrow airport where there was a rugby ball for the world cup. Fortunately it wasn’t being used for play as it was rather large, even for human sized people.

2015-10-01 Heathrow rugby

We flew to New York and spent one night there. There was a great view from the hotel room and Karen wanted to go out but all I wanted to do was go to bed.

2015-10-01 New York hotel

So she dragged me out for a milkshake but there were so many people about. Fortunately, I felt much safer and a bit more at home when I saw this.

2015-10-01 New York Times Square

After finally getting to bed at 9pm and having a good sleep, the next day we met Vivi and Andrea for lunch which was great to see them both. I couldn’t believe it was the first time I’d met them and Adam hadn’t taken me to New York although, as we all know, his looking after me skills are questionable at times.

2015-10-02 Lunch with Vivi and Andrea

Afterwards we got the train to Washington. It was quite comfortable and lots of leg room. Fortunately I had a window seat some of the way so could see the start of fall.

2015-10-02 Train to Boston

There were lots of open spaces in Washington and loads to see and do. We got a bus tour which was fun listening to the commentary but Karen would only let me out when it stopped as she didn’t want me falling over the edge. Here I am at the station.

2015-10-03 01 Washington bus

I did get to see Capitol Hill from a distance but got a bit confused as there were Canadian flags in view too, let alone the dome being covered in scaffolding (probably getting ready for the new president in January).

2015-10-03 02 Washington Capitol Hill

One of the many sights was Lincoln memorial which was slightly larger than me but that was expected.

2015-10-34 Lincoln Memorial

I also visited the sculpture park which was interesting and there was another one I went to, although they wouldn’t let you touch much. This seemed particularly odd for the Henry Moore items as he wanted them to be touched and for people to see how it changed with the weather. I did get out a couple of times though.

2015-10-37 Washington sculpture     2015-10-38 Washington pond

The hotel was nice and they even provided a dressing gown for me.

2015-10-35 Dressing gown

I wasn’t too keen on their breakfast bar table, despite it being orange and it demonstrates how over the top Americans go for Halloween. Can you spot me?

2015-10-36 Halloween

Karen had a rather unusual door key, not because it was a credit card but because of the picture on it. I hope she wasn’t telling me I was a back seat driver – its front seat for me all the way.

2015-10-40 Back seat driver

Fortunately, I didn’t have to walk between Washington and Boston but got the train which was quite comfortable and I managed to peek out of the window at the start of fall.

2015-10-02 Train to Boston

When we got to Boston, it was tipping it down with rain so got a taxi the very short distance to the hotel and the room was huge, absolutely huge – can you see me on the bed?! It was really rather comfortable.

2015-10-03 Boston hotel room

The next day the weather was much nicer and the sun was out again. We headed to Boston public gardens which isn’t the best name for such a beautiful place. Its so well looked after and really peaceful, so lovely to just sit and watch the world go by. I also got to play with the famous ducks too.

2015-10-06 Boston duck     2015-10-05 Boston duck

And played hide and seek in some plants and then perched in a monkey tree.

2015-10-04 Boston public gardens     2015-10-25 Boston tree

Whilst I was sitting there, a conker fell off a tree but fortunately it didn’t hit me as it might have knocked me out.

2015-10-09 Boston conker

After such a big day with so much fresh air, we needed some sustenance so we went to the Cheesecake Factory, as recommended by Adam, and had this rather delicious slice of Adam’s Peanut Butter Cup  – heaven. I don’t think he has shares in the place …

2015-10-10 Cheesecake factory

We did loads more walking the next day around the harbour area and saw this rather fascinating bridge.

2015-10-11 Boston bridge

We then went for the harbour walk and I rather liked this sun dial.

2015-10-12 Boston harbour walk

All over America, there were tons and tons of fire hydrants. This was my favourite as it was red and yellow and we know that makes orange which is the best colour ever.

2015-10-13 Boston fire hydrant

The third day was spent at the Boston Aquarium which was a really interesting place although I was worried there wouldn’t be any monkey’s but there was one after all.

2015-10-26 Aquarium monkey

Once I knew I was catered for, I made myself at home and introduce myself to many of the animals. I particularly liked the baby penguin.

2015-10-14 Aquarium seal     2015-10-15 Aquarium penguin     2015-10-16 Aquarium penguins     2015-10-17 Aquarium penguin     2015-10-18 Aquarium

I even saw some dolphins outside but not in the sea.

2015-10-19 Aquarium dolphins

Karen went on a whale watching boat trip but it was too windy for me to be out, so I got a picture when she got back.

2015-10-21 Boston whale watching

It was Columbus Day when we were in Boston and I was feeling rather patriotic.

2015-10-24 America

We then headed back to New York and visited the high line which I liked as there were lots of trees to climb.

2015-10-23 New York highline     2015-10-22 New York highline

So, I think that’s quite enough for now. Sorry its taken so long to update you on this trip but, as you can see, there was rather a lot to tell you. In the words of Boston – sea you soon.

2015-10-20 Sea you soon

Safely home in Margate

I wanted to let you know that I arrived safely back in the UK and have been home in Margate, even if it has been three weeks already. I’ve been a bit tired since then so not had chance to blog. I got around to doing it on Sunday but then had some technical problems with the photos, so the USA blog isn’t quite ready to publish yet.

This is just a short one so you know I’m still (monkeying) around. Having said that, Karen hasn’t really helped and she rather neglected me last weekend so I had to visit Vicki on Monday as I was in a sulk. Fortunately Vicki kept me entertained and made sure I was appropriately looked after following the neglect. Fortunately, Karen learnt her lesson and took me out on Sunday.

It was after two minutes silence for Remembrance Sunday.

2015-1108 Remembrance Sunday

Then we had some fresh air. It was low tide in Margate but I didn’t mind that as its difficult for me to paddle.

2015-1108 Low tide

We then wandered round to the Main Sands but it had all changed. A sea defence had appeared and, apparently, its done every winter to help protect the more low lying part of the town.  The mound was rather daunting for someone so little like me.

2015-1108 Sea defence

I hadn’t realised that there was quite so much sand on the beach, which I know sounds a bit of a silly thing to say, but I know what I mean. The mound was amusing people so I hope it lasts to do its job.

It was much better round the corner, just near the Turner Contemporary – much more sedate and not at all like November.

2015-1108 Bay

That’s all for now I think. I’ll try to sort out the technical problems soon and get the USA blog to you soon.