the long journey to torquay and the longer journey back

we’ve stayed in exeter a couple of times on our minibobs & travelled to places from there. this time we went a little further – torquay. it took six hours (with two delayed trains)


after reading the online reviews for the hotel (after booking), we were relieved that we were in the ‘good half’; and we had a view of the gardens in front & a sea view to the left…

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i see the sea, the sea sees me (and evie)

after getting some groceries we were walking back along the sea front when we came across a couple of ‘flying men’ – it looked like great fun!

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this is one of them


on wednesday, we caught the train to paignton – a short ride up the track; and from there we went on a steam train to kingswear – a 30 minute ride.

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*getting excited*

okay, so apart from the woo-wooo’s from the whistle you wouldn’t know that you were on a steam train, but it was still very exciting to know that we were on a steam train…

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wooo-woooo on the chooo-chooo

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driving the train

after arriving in kingswear we had to catch a ferry over to dartmouth. in the first store we went in, the human spent all her holibob pocket money on some new clothes (tut tut).

it was a bit misty and a bit rainy so i didn’t take any nice photos…

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a boat.  i think i thought i saw a fort a bit further up.

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bayards cove fort. i thought i’d seen a fort – i thought right. (it’s heart shaped)

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kingswear from dartmouth

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dartmouth from kingswear

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miles, fuzzies, popps

then it was time for the train back to paignton. we looked in some shops, then got the train back to torquay to find pizza express.


there were a lot of daisies in torquay, both the daisy-chain daisies in the lawns & mexican daisies in the walls. very pretty.

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mexican fleabanes “arreeeba!”


thursday; the ferries over to brixham weren’t running so we caught a bus.

as mentioned in an earlier blog ( i assume. i’m not going to check, and i certainly don’t expect you to either) my human went to brixham most summers when she was little, but she’d never been further than the quay. this time we decided to go along the coastal path towards the battery gardens.

after a very nice (short) walk and a sit down in the ‘garden’ to recharge our batteries, we strolled back to town. here are some photos…

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the breakwater in the distance

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seeing how far we’ve walked

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on the way back – with torquay in the distance

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brixham

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the golden hind

after lunch we popped in to the brixham heritage museum, which was a museum about the heritage of brixham.

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junior found a train his size

then we walked back through town, picking up a tub of ice cream along the way – yummy yummy in my tummy!

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raspberry ripple – it was both raspberry-ish & ripple-ly

we walked as far as the ‘beach’ by the breakwater to rest awhile

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evie & junior topping up their tans

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a big deckchair *dreams of ice cream*

then we caught the bus back to torquay & had a couple of hours rest at the hotel.


in the evening we caught a bus to babbacombe model village – here are a few pics

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stonehenge

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statue of liberty

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harbour & white neddy-clops

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a big deckchair

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a thatched village


on friday we checked out of the purple palace and spent a final few hours in torquay

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a boat being lifted up by a stork crane

we walked by the harbour, up the high street (the human bought some sh-andals with more money she hadn’t got… tut tut) then went into a little cafe to have a hot chocolate & a slice of chocolate sponge cake – very nice, but the two chocolate-y things cancelled each other out a bit.


after lunch, which was a bit of a struggle after the two chocolate-y things, we finally got to (see) the beach;

the idea of coming to torquay was so that we could walk the short distance to the beach from the hotel in the evening…we hadn’t considered the tide (!) so this was the first time we’d actually seen it!

there was a little gully* running along the edge of the beach, so junior took his boat out for a sail…

*a small channel of running water not a baby gull

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sailing…

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sailing…

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sailing along

one last look at torquay before collecting our cases & travelling on to exeter

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junior: “it’s behind you”


in the evening we had a ride into exeter city centre…

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exeter cathedral

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rainbow brolly art


saturday was the day of the royal wedding.

we went back to the city centre, bought a bit of tat then headed off to ‘rabbit’, a cafe we’d been to last time. we chose a chocolate & hazelnut torte. the top & base were nice, but there was a bit too much middle 6/10

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junior at rabbit

after a bit more shopping, and going to the cathedral to see if there was a big screen for the wedding (there wasn’t), we’d assumed we’d miss it; but after getting to ‘the stable’ we saw they’d got a telly in the corner so sat sitting watching it while having our pizza – hooray!

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junior at the stable

then it was time to collect our bags & wait for the train home…

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nighty night

so that’s it – another fun-packed minibobs.

i won’t mention the train to birmingham which took a detour to swindon (nowhere near where we’d normally go) which added an extra hour onto our journey – it seemed like forever – we were exhausted when we got in. i think i need a holiday…

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a little bit early – york

last march when we went to york, the daffodils were out around the city walls – this year we went a bit earlier and were too early for most of the daffodils, but there were a few at clifford’s tower.

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a smattering of daffodils

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junior rushing to see if he could find the loch nessgate monster

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our favourite spot on the wall

cake of the day: chocolate & orange sponge cake from goji’s – very nice but not very orange-y 9/10


on wednesday we caught a train to knaresborough

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“are we nearly there yet?”

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junior rushing to find the green dragon

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sydney amongst the crocuses at the castle

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the viaduct from the castle

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visiting the sheepies

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“a single to york please…hello? i’m down here” *

*it’s the ticket man at knaresborough train station & NOT harry potter in jail jezzer!

cake of the day: lemon & blueberry sponge cake from scarlett’s vintage tea rooms – very lemon-y – yummptious 9½ /10


it was raining on thursday so we cut through the train station to get to the national railway museum – and came across a cake stall at the front of the station (more later)…

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the post office train had a climbing net

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“get me back to knaresborough”

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*sings* but I am so lazy, don’t want to wander, i stay at home at night
but I don’t, feeel afraid…

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“i was told there was a lion round here somewhere…”

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a train in the rain (it’s not actually in the rain because it’s indoors, but it rhymes)

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mmm chocolate

cake of the day: a chocolate on the bottom traybake from ‘once across the garden’ – it was quite hard and very tasty 9/10


as it had forecast rain for friday morning, we’d already decided to go back to the railway museum

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a train plug :o/

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a push me pull you

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sydney on the mallard

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junior rushing to find the welsh dragon

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sydney and the diddly-bobs

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*sings* i’ve got a ticket to ryde, and i don’t care… © lennon/fuzzy

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“i’vefoundadragoni’vefoundadragoni’vefoundadragon” junior’s happy, because he’s finally found a dragon

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group photo

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mmm hot chocolate

cake of the day: chocolate & ale sponge cake from goji’s *lick’s lips* 9/10

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waiting for the train home – “i wonder how many people see this little mouse on the bench”

bye bye york – again

first minibobs of the year – i didn’t go…

in her wisdom, the human thought it might be spring-like by late february, and booked a couple of days in norwich.

i saw the forecast and decided i’d stay in my warm bed, but the popps; pepe and junior joined her… *passes you over*

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hello! i’m fuzzy junior! and i’m pepe! here we are at the purple palace

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here we are at norwich castle – it’s square

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if you went in the castle an hour before it closed it only cost £2 each we waited until an hour before it closed *exploring the flinty wall*

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have you fallen asleep junior? er, what? er, no – i’m looking at the ceiling…

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the next morning we had a walk by the river – it was very pretty with the fresh snow

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you can just see the cathedral through the trees

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the moo tower the cow tower!

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we’ve reached the cathedral

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the cloisters where they eat oysters

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thank you for your pearl of wisdom…

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cheeese *smiles* stilton *frowns*

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inside the cathedral wow! impressive!

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a big window wow!

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the ceiling wow!

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the next morning oh, there’s been a little bit of snow overnight yikes, let’s get home…

thanks boys – short & sweet

…well, just one more – york

bournemouth was going to be the last of our minibobs for 2017, until a bus itinerary landed on the doormat; one of the day trips was to york’s christmas market.

the hotel & train tickets were booked a few minutes later!

so mid-november we were back on the train(s) – first derby, then on to york. we checked in to the purple palace, then had a walk into the city. there was a lovely mooosey in one shop…

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a moose waiting for a new home (a bit big to take on the train)

we looked in a lot of (mostly charity) shops & the shambles market. the human bought some pants from m&s… i bought a little tiny mooose from the chrimbles shop.


on wednesday, we had a bus ride to a shopping outlet on the outskirts of york. no photos…


a trip to york is not complete without a visit to the railway museum; so the first thing we did on thursday, the last full day, after having a walk along the wall (which makes it the second thing we did…) was get to the museum in time for the doors opening at 10am.

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me & george on the wall

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the city wall & minster

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“no dafty-dills yet…”

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york minster

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rocket

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they’ve turned the mallard around

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and you can sit inside (if you’re small) – stuffed

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underneath a train

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wheelly interesting

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a black hole

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a train – or two

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“fuzzy! are you coming up?”

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“yep”

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it’s good to be able to climb on trains :o)

after our fairly short visit – and only because we were being lazy -we had a ride in to town on a very uncomfy-able land train !! ouch!!

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on the bumpy land train

we went to the shambles market where we’d seen a dolls house stall; we bought a few pots & a couple of copper jelly moulds for the smaller of the bear apartments.


on friday morning we were out bright & early for our final few hours in york.

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on the bridge

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have i shown you a picture of the minster yet?

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treasurer’s house garden

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taking a seat (not literally as it was made of stone & quite heavy)

we had a yummy hot chocolate while waiting for our lunch at goji’s.

not the most interesting minibobs, but it’s always nice to have a few days away… …oh! and we also had a look at the chrimbles market (took about 20 minutes!)

one & a half weeks later

just a week & a half after our main holibobs we were off again, back to dorset but a bit further up the coast – this time we went by train.

we’d been thinking of going to cardiff, but they’d got engineering works so we thought we’d see what bournemouth was all about. it took nearly five hours with one change.

we had to get a bus from the station. when we got to the purple palace and got to our room we were very excited to see we’d got a sea view & were opposite the pavillion theatre. (not so exciting was the bathroom with a glass door with a gap all the way round!!!)

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*sings* i see the sea, the sea sees me…

later, after our dinner & stocking up on supplies we had a walk down to the beach

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bournemouth pier

on wednesday we walked along the beach/promenade from bournemouth pier to boscombe pier (about 1 & a half miles). it was a little bit (very) windy – luckily helping us along – so we got there in super-quick time!

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oooh colourful beach huts

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purple to pink

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boscombe pier

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i don’t know if it’s supposed to be owt in particular

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me and junior (i’m the big one)

we’d planned on walking back the same way, but decided to carry on in to boscombe town & catch a bus back!

right there on the high street we spotted the tardis – i think we had special skills as we seemed to be the only ones who could see it…

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the box

after a bit of retail therepy, we caught a bus back to bournemouth and spent some time in town. for dinner we went to ‘the stable’ – i don’t know why it’s called that ’cause i saw no neddies, but anyway – i had a pizza called ‘the hazel nutter’; it was very nice & suitable for squirrels.

on thursday we caught a bus to the train station & a train to southampton – the human thought she’d been before, when she caught a ferry over to the isle of wight but having not recognised anything she thought that might have been portsmouth.

anyhow, this is southampton…

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bargate with a big wheel in front, or behind, depending where you’re standing

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the harbour

you may remember when we went to devon in october 2016, we were on the search for rhinoceroses so we were surprised and happy to find one near the waterfront.

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a rhino-saw-us!!

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*sings* ferry cross the solent

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tudor house

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i found a boat in the middle of the street

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just lookin’

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church

after we got back to bournemouth we had a walk to the beach to see the sunset.

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sunsetting

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junior by some sandcastle remnants

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me among the ruins

on friday we caught a train to christchurch, just seven minutes up the line.

here are a few pictures…

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who’d have thunk it! a church in christchurch!

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seven birds on a perch – one says “can you smell fish?”

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me!?

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yikes a croccy-dile! oh, wait a minute, it’s a hippotamus!

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sounds like a great place!

when we got back to the purple palace, we had the idea to go on the beach again after a rest & our tea. but first we went to post a postcard to my cousin wheatus; the postbox was the other side of the pavillion and we’d have to pass it on the way to the beach – but we didn’t get that far as the human decided to go see if there were any tickets left for that night’s show – there were!! yippeee!!

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80s triple headliner

it was a 80’s triple headliner; first up was altered images – i thought i only knew one of their songs, but it turns out i knew five! 9 5/8ths out of ten.

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clare grogan with altered images

next up were the christians – i knew the first & last song. the sound quality was a bit off 7/10

finally it was midge ure – my human was a fan of ultravox back in the day and had seen them a couple of times so we knew most of the songs and it was EXCELLENT!! 12/10

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the shortest walk ‘home’

saturday was the final day

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waiting for the human to finish packing…

we spent a little time on the beach, this time turning right at the pier

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boats

after a nice long walk we saw that the cliff lift was just opening for the day so we had a ride up to the top of the cliff.

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view from the top

a great time was had in bournemouth.

i won’t mention that we had to get a replacement bus at southampton to join up with the train in didcot due to engineering works! grrr

one more minibobs from 2017 to look forward to ;o)

holibobs to weymouth – again!

september is when we have our weekly holibobs. for the fifth time in six years we went to weymouth (well, we stayed a couple of miles up the road in preston).

joining me this time were the poppeteers; pepe panda, rubie rabbit & fuzzy junior.

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making ourselves at home

in the evening we had a walk to the ‘entertainment’ & had a game of bingo – we didn’t win.

there was a bus stop in our caravan park, so on saturday morning we caught a bus in to weymouth. we made our way across the water to go to our favourite antique centre…

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the town bridge opening

…Wwaahhttt? they’ve shut the antique centre? when did that happen? humph

but we did watch a couple of boats being winched out of the water which was interesting to this landlocked bear.

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this side of the harbour

back on the other side of the harbour, the human found a cake shop that sold some cakes that she could eat (‘dietary requirements’) & chose a piece of fig & caramel cake – scrumptious! then we spent some time on the beach before catching a bus back.

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rubie, junior & pepe soaking up the sun

in the evening we had a game of bingo – we didn’t win.

on sunday we went to a car boot sale in dorchester – the human went a bit mad & bought quite a few things. then it was on to a big antiques centre in an old bus depot – it was a bit expensive so i could only afford a little blue & white doggy.

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all aboard!

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just some of the tat finds that we found

the popps popped down to the beach before going to the bingo – we didn’t win.

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pebble beach at preston

on monday we once again caught a bus to weymouth – here are a few pics…

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“i need a boat…”

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can humans PLEASE fill holes in when they leave the beach!

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the grand hotel – a bit posher than our caravan

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a bathing hut

in the evening we went to the bingo – and guess what?

we won! we won! £100! woohoo!

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“HOUSE” we won! we won!

on tuesday we had a drive to lyme regis. we parked at the top car park & walked along the coastal path in to the town.

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junior on lyme regis beach

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examining a dinosaur footprint

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the harbour in the mist

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cobb, but no bread

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my best angle

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we visited alice’s bear shop & said hello to some bears

wednesday was back to dorchester for the market.

our last full day thursday was spent further up the coast, in swanage. a steam train was just on it’s way as we made our way to town.

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choo chooo

then it was on to corfe bears to see my old mate digby…

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hey! this isn’t the same digby that i met last time!

we made our way to the pier & sheltered a while from the beaming sun – i always pick a good week for my ‘bobs!

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on the pier

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cutie alert ;o)

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the old pier from the new pier

we popped into the shop on our way off and the popps spent their last pound on a couple of boats.

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the popps with their 50p boats

so that’s it – back home on friday.

weymouth is a great seaside town with lots to see and do.

we might be back! :o)

tour de devon

at the beginning of july, it was back down to exeter on the train (or two). we rarely go away in summer but we chanced that it wouldn’t be too hot.

on wednesday morning we got a train to totnes (tot-ness). we looked in a few shops, had a hot chocolate & a scone at fat lemons (10/10) then made our way towards the river. for some unknown reason, george & junior were sporting unusual hatgear…

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“we’re looking for the totnes monster”

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“haven’t seen him yet”

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fore street totnes

after having some lunch, we went back up fore street under the clock tower. we were thinking of going to the castle but it was getting a bit hot for us weaklings…and you had to pay, *tight* so we had a quick look and went to catch a train back to the purple palace.

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the famous clock tower

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george at the castle

as we’d got back quite early, and after a rest & some tea we were off out again, to dawlish. we had a walk on the beach, watched some lawn bowls & saw some black swans.

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a black swan

the next morning, thursday was going to be a hot one. we caught a train to torquay and had a walk around a flea market – junior bought a small wooden boat, george got a guitar and i got fleas.

we then went on the ferry over to brixham, keeping in the shade as it was beginning to get quite hot.

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brixham harbour

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fuzzy lane…

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fore street brixham

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marina

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a late rhino

we  didn’t do very much in brixham apart from slowly make our way to the tiny pebbly beach, keeping in the shade as best we could. i stayed in the shade of the wall while my human popped down to the sea a couple of times to cool down while saying how silly some humans can be being out in the sun & even sunbathing/roasting.

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stone balancing

although we didn’t do or see as much as we’d have liked, it was still very nice. and we went back on the ferry sitting on the bow (is that the front bit? if not, then we sat on the front bit).

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torquay

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“i fancy some chips…” “cracking idea”

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humans are stupid

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“george – have you seen the london eye?”

we had some chips and stayed in torquay until about 9pm before catching the train home – a long & enjoyable day!

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it’s not very vanilla-ry…

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waiting for a train

my human had a bath when she got back to the hotel (not usually note-worthy) and discovered that her legs were slightly sun-burned – not just the front, or not just the back but – in a swirl like a barber’s pole or candy cane. yes, human’s can be silly!

the next morning, friday, the last full day we caught a train into exmouth. cutting through the park to go to the beach i encountered a dinosaur!

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yikes!

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pepe, rubie & junior on the beach

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fine sand

we enjoyed some time on the beach before having some lunch & getting a train to topsham.

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fore street topsham

we went to the antique centre (didn’t find anything) & went in a few shops, but we were a little weary so got the train home.

once again, after tea we popped to dawlish again, watched some more bowls & saw some more black swans including two grey swanlings.

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dawlish

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boat

on saturday, we went to exeter centre. rubie had heard of a cafe she just HAD to try (via the park).

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‘bears breeches’ (the plant!)

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at rabbit with a rabbit

we were the first customers through the door when they opened at 10am, and although it was usually too early to be eating cake we were tempted by the chocolate cake! 10/10 yummy yummy yummy!

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yummy cake!

we had a walk around the craft fair near the cathedral, and found a deckchair just the right size for me and george.

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ice cream deckchair

once again our time was up and it was time to catch a train (or two) home.

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waiting for the train home

bye bye devon – thank you for having us :o)