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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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

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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.

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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.