a week in torbay

at the beginning of may we went to torquay for a six night stay – it took just under five hours to get there by train(s) .

in the evening we had a walk along the waters’ edge and around to the harbour.

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fizz popp at torquay harbour

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on the first morning, thursday, we caught a train to teignmouth; my human was trying to remember whether it was pronounced teen-muth or tyne-muth – it turns out it’s tin-muth! (too much ego).

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after looking in some shops, we went down a road marked ‘beach’ and found teignmouth back beach – with boats, and buildings close to the water’s edge.

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womble-ling free

we then went round to the main beach and esplanade.

junior was looking for a sea monster near the ness, the green lumpy rock*

*technical term

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looking for nessy

after a walk on the pier we made our way back to the high street & popped into a cafe for lunch and a hot chocolate, and bought some cake on the way out…

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yummy choccy hot choc with chocolate on top

after lunch we got the train to dawlish, just a few minutes up the track. junior thought it was time to try his cake.

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carrot cake with a gingery tone – very nice!

the last couple of times we’d been to dawlish (on a previous holibobs) were in the evening, so we got to look in a few shops before following the river down to the beach…

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famous black swans of dawlish

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catching the sun

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life’s a beach

then it was back into town. we saw some wildlife at the mini golf and watched some lawn bowls before catching the train home.

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you’re having a gir-rarfe

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on friday we bought an all day bus ticket (only £4.50). the first desination was totnes which was a 45 minute journey with about 96 stops, but we were on the top deck right at the front and had a wonderful view of the countryside.

we had a walk by the river, up the high street (i’d forgotten how hilly it was – in fact i don’t think it was hilly the last time we came!) , looked in some shops and round an interesting car boot-y/antique-y market and after having some lunch went back down the new hill to the bus stop.

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down by the river

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anyone for a little blue budgie?

the next destination was dartmouth, another 45 minute trip. there’s not very much to do in dartmouth, but it’s very nice down by the water and it also contains my human’s favourite clothes shop – she only spent half as much* as she did last year!

*more cake

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we met a new friend

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kingswear from dartmouth

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on the ferry from dartsmouth to kingswear

we stopped by the train station and went into a wagon museum – it wasn’t a museum of wagons, but a wagon with a (small) museum in it! our favourite exhibit was the popp-sized ‘rocket’.

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a token in out machine*         *technical term

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a little mini loco

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waiting for the bus

we got to the bus stop early – at least we thought it was early but the human had looked at the wrong timetable – luckily the bus to paignton was running late! phew!  another bus took us back to torquay.


on saturday we went to newton abbot, mainly because there was a pizza cafe where you could have a small pizza and have room for pudding – and what a pudding! 11/10

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scrummy yummy brownie with blueberry ice cream

we went back to the hotel for a short rest before catching the bus firstly to paignton…IMG_1702

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paignton harbour

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along the beach

…then later to brixham.  the human had a paddle in the sea at the breakwater (steep pebbly) beach, then slowly and painfully made her way back to where we were sitting.

as we were right next to the breakwater it was deemed a good idea (silly human) to walk to the lighthouse.

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half a mile? yikes!

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view from the breakwater

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we’ve made it to the lighthouse!


on sunday we caught the train to plymouth – it was a special pirate weekend so it was crowded around the quay.

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view from restaurant

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big boaty

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plymouth lighthouse, as you can probably see

in contrast to the last time we visited – rain rain and more rain – it was a very warm bright day, but there was a fresh breeze so there was a lot of sitting on the hoe (that’s the green area where the lighthouse is, not a garden implement!) looking out to sea. my naturally pasty* human was, of course, covered (nearly) head to toe – she’s not silly. when she took her sandals off back at the hotel, she had a big red itchy sunburnt triangle on each foot where the sandals didn’t cover – silly human!

*pasty (rhymes with pastry) not pasty as in pastry – i hope that’s cleared that up…

later we popped over the road to play on torquay beach.

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cute bear

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two popps

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colourful pots


on monday we were going to catch the ferry over to brixham, but due to choppy seas, had to get the bus.

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early elevensies

after the early ice cream we walked past the smelly fish market along the coastal path

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we tried – and failed – to make a daisy chain, it ended up being a bucket bouquet.

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lazy daisy fizz popp

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we went back to torquay in the afternoon and cutting a long story short – involving bagels – after going back to the hotel, shops, back to paignton; we decided we might as well carry on to brixham for a final time.

we took the road up to a seating area, seeing a different view of the town.

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a curved house

as we were walking back to the bus station, the church clock struck eight, followed by the bells chiming out ‘abide with me’ – the author of the song was a priest at the church.


on tuesday we travelled to bristol to stay the night to break the journey up, but first we had time to have a final walk round torquay and stop by a cafe for hot chocolate and cake – you can’t tell by the photo, but it was an enormous slice!

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it was (almost) bigger than my belly!


we weren’t catching the train home until 6.30pm so on wednesday, we had plenty of time to look round.

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colourful balloons

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can you see me?

the only other two times that we’ve been to bristol have been day trips to see the shaun the sheep sculptures in 2015 and wallace and gromit last year – we even saw a gromit on a boat*!

*ticks off gromit no. 20

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a late gromit

so despite not getting home ’til nearly 9pm we’re glad we broke the journey up and had an ‘extra’ holi-day.


my human bought advance train tickets plus got a third off using the two together railcard. she worked out that if she’d bought the tickets at the stations, and without a railcard – home to torquay; torquay to bristol; bristol to home – it would have cost nearly five times as much!! enough to cover ALL trains, buses & ferries, both hotels and even our cakes and ice creams!!

another fun-packed holibobs! hurrah!

until next time, tootle pip!

 

 

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york and beyond

me sydney & brother ellis travelled up to york the last week in march to see the dafty-dils.

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are we nearly there…?

when we got to york we decided to go on a bit of wall that has yet to be explored – behind the minster – it was nice to see it from a different angle.

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minster

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don’t look down – yellow and white

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cake!

dessert(s) of the day; ellis – lemon & poppy seed cake 10/10 sydney – choccy cake with choccy top 8/10 from goji’s


on wednesday morning we went along the wall, then circled back to the station to catch a train to scarborough.

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getting braver

the last time the human went to scarborough was when she was quite young – it rained every day for two weeks! she couldn’t remember much about it other than it rained every day for two weeks!

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the harbour – we love boats!

the human (in her wisdom) decided to go around the headland to a second beach (we hadn’t seen the first yet!) so we walked and we walked and we walked and finally got round to the beach. we saw some colourful beach huts in the distance so went to investigate…

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double decker beach huts

i’m sure you don’t need to know this, but my human needed to spend a penny and it cost forty pennies!

anyway…

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view from the north bay

we were very relieved to see that there was a bus stop close by and even more relieved that we didn’t have to walk back. we got off at the harbour and walked to the lighthouse.

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the long castle

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don’t jump!

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no sign of rain yet

we walked towards the first beach and decided to pop into an amusement arcade and played pac-man ball which was very fun :o)

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spending tuppence

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view from south bay beach

as we’d already done a lot of walking, we had a ride up the steep hill in a cliff lift

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one tram up one tram down

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view from the top

we liked scarborough very much and i’m sure we’ll be back for a visit.

desert of the day; ellis – south bay beach 8/10 sydney – north bay beach 9/10 i liked the beach huts and surfers.


thursday, the plan was to catch a train to knaresborough at midday, but first we found some cake for elevenses.

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cake!!

dessert of the day; carrot and walnut cake 9/10 i’d have liked it a bit spicier.

we went to catch the train, but it was cancelled so we got our money back and after lunch decided to go to the railway museum – we may have been once or twice before!

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chocolates!

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i bet paddington is missing his trolley

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an old lorry

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ready to drive the train

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lots of red flowers

as it was a nice day we also had a ride on the mini train in the south yard – not very scenic, but we always enjoy riding on trains.

dessert of the day; flapjack from york station lobby – there was a lot of choice and i chose a choccy & coconut topped one 8/10

no, i haven’t already had cake today… tra la laa…


friday morning, we walked along the wall then down some steps along the river and into some gardens

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hyacinth bouquet

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ruins of the abbey

dessert of the day; lemon cake 9/10 and a hot choc 6/10 not very chocolatey :o<

all too soon it was time to make our way to the station to go home

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dafty-dils

another great visit to york – and scarborough!

*waves* sydney & ellis xx

junior and fizz popp – the beatles revisited

hello it’s me, junior (brown bear), and fizz popp.

tuesday, early march we set off up north to chester….

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on one of the three trains

we arrived mid afternoon and had a walk around the shops and stopped off at a cafe to have threesees threesies some cake and hot chocolate.

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at the jaunty goat

dessert of the day – lemon & poppy cake; very lemony 10/10


on wednesday, we bought a hop on/hop off train ticket and starting off at ellesmere port, went to the national waterways museum – we had an annual pass from when we went to gloucester that also got us in to this one.

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anchors away

it was much bigger than gloucester’s museum – both inside and out.

there was a row of houses, built in 1833 with each of the four interiors dating from a different era from the 1830s up to the 1950s. it was very interesting – we especially liked the flying ducks.

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porters row

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quack quack

upstairs in the warehouse there were lots of things to see.

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embroidery boat

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roses

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it says nowt about bears

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a crochet’d neddy-clops

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the stable

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o miles

we really enjoyed our visit and bought a tea towel with narrow boats on before we went to catch a replacement bus to birkenhead.

we were going to go on to hoylake but when we got to the station we caught a train to west kirby because on the side of the train it had a picture of a sandcastle at west kirby! we didn’t build a sandcastle though.

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on the empty beach

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fizz: between a rock & a hard place

desert of the day; west kirby beach 9/10

we travelled on to liverpool and after a few minutes of watching the downpour outside the station, decided to visit the beatles along the waterfront.

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paul, george, ringo & john

then went to the museum of liverpool to see the john & yoko exhibition again. something that we hadn’t noticed the first time was a small room at the back showing the full video for ‘imagine’. we also got a badge each (free).


we went back to liverpool on thursday morning, looked in a few shops – boring! – then travelled back to birkenhead for lunch and a hot chocolate, then back again over the mersey to liverpool (well, under the mersey!)

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a BIG hot chocolate

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take out cake

dessert of the day; red velvet cake with pretty things on top – looked nice but didn’t have a lot of flavour 8/10

as we didn’t want to do shopping, we decided to just see where our legs took us and very quickly we ended up at the famous cavern club, so decided to go in and could hear singing – could it be paul mccartney? yes? no, of course not but he was very good.

we stayed about an hour until ‘paul’ left and ‘john’ started singing (dreadful!)

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the cavern!

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listening to ‘paul’

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two cute bears…and paul

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lambanananana (or something)


on friday we walked in to town (chester) and starting near the cathedral walked around the city wall

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cathedral

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up the steps to a corner turret thingy

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dafty-dills

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both; “yikes!”

we got about half way round the city wall, then took a short cut through town to have lunch (and a hot chocolate – of course!) and before setting off for home we just had time for an ice cream each!

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not quite the weather, but…

dessert of the day; a tub of chocolate ice cream for fizz, and vanilla for me – yummy/10

bye for now, junior & fizz signing off :o) ;o)

a mini popps minibob mini blog

hello, i’m fuzzy junior. this time last year (end of feb) me and pepe popp went to norwich for a couple of nights – it snowed – quite a lot. we booked again for this year (only one night) expecting that we should have better weather this time, all things being equal.

it couldn’t have been much different. monday was the hottest february day on record – i nearly took my scarf off!


we arrived just after noon, and after dropping the case off went into town. we took the lift up to the castle, had a walk round it, then tried not to get lost in norwich ;o)

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castle

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hello iris

we got a bit lost in norwich, it’s not an easy city to navigate. i think we saw about 50 churches – all a couple of feet from the next one and all looking the same *mind whirling*. finally we got back to the hotel where we rested our weary legs for an hour before going out in search for dinner.

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in the purple palace


the next morning it was a lovely sunny day again, we started off with a walk / drive along the river

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reflections

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bridge over the river nor

then through the park

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resting near the cow tower

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it’s a lovely day for a drive *toot toot*

we then went in the cathedral

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a big window

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a neat snake

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painting in the cloisters

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mister blue sky

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cathedral

after a rest in the hotel and checking out, we had our lunch – nothing special and i left some so that i’d have room for pudding – yummy yum yum!

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carrot cake – warning; contains carrots

we looked round norwich some more, got a bit lost again. bought fuzzy some blue & white china cats for his mantlepiece and finally made our way to the train station for 6pm.

tuesday was the hottest february day on record – i kept my scarf on!

junior signing off – bye bye *waves*

sound the alarm

back when the human was a young’un (i think it was in black & white), her favourite band was ‘the alarm’. she’s still got all the singles, but probably hasn’t played them since the late 80s.

fast forward to february last year, the human’s sister (hs) asked her about going to ‘the gathering’* (they’d mentioned it in other years but this year the stars were aligned…) so tickets were bought and an anxious 11 months of waiting followed.

*an annual gathering in north wales for fans of the alarm


the week before we went, we kept a close eye on the weather forecast – with threats of snow in much of wales and across the west of the country we were a little worried – but although it was cold and there were signs of snow in places, luckily the roads were clear.

we stayed in chester the first night then travelled on to llandudno.

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me & wheatus with our special gathering t-shirts (ordered from tgt)

on friday night there was an acoustic concert starting with former alarm-er dave sharp :o/ then a duo of dave sharp & alarm singer mike peters :o\ , then finally the alarm themselves :o)


on saturday morning we had an explore of llandudno

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snow-capped mountains

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on the pebbly beach

saturday evening started off with a band made up of mike peter’s two kids & a friend who did three covers; then ryan hamilton (never heard of him but it was okay); then then jerico – the human & hs saw them about five times in a couple of weeks back in the day – they were good, but weren’t on long enough and i only knew a couple of the songs.

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mark shaw, then jerico – the least blurry photo

the alarm came on stage at about 9pm and finally finished at twenty to midnight when gaz top, ryan hamilton, then jerico and the alarm came on for a brilliant encore of slade’s ‘get down and get with it’.

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the alarm

even though it was past the human’s bedtime, we went in to the ‘disco’ for a while and as we were about to leave we saw mark shaw signing stuff, and to cut a short story shorter found ourselves in the queue; so got him to sign the human’s ticket & the hs had a selfie with him (the human doesn’t ‘do’ photos or hugging strange men – thankyouverymuch).

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ticket with two cards and poppy petals

the next morning we met at the venue then had a (mass) walk to the pier.

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in the venue

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four songs at the end of the pier

mp

the embarrassing human…

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llandudno from the pier

so that was it – a once in a lifetime trip. on the way home we went via rhyl to see metal mickey. bye bye wales – see you next year…?

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a quick stop in rhyl

paw/handmade sheepherd’s hut

hello and a happy new year! a couple of weeks before chrimbo we decided to make a sheepherd’s hut and if you’ve seen the bear beach huts and bear apartments that we’ve made, you’ll know we’re tight we don’t like spending a lot of money so once again we rootled around in the attic to see what we’d got.

we made a brilliant discovery of an old-ish wooden lap tray – perfect for the base.

two small pieces of old packaging (mdf-ish) – one piece was  made into the back and one side (up to the window). the other piece was shaped into the other side and the offcut divided into two for the fronts – just enough!

the roof supports are four coathangers that the human has had quite a while.

then it came to the cladding. luckily someone had chucked out a couple of wooden blinds down the road which we’d nabbed – we used almost one blind’sworth of wood for cladding inside and out.

 

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junior supervising

it took AGES but we had finally finished the cladding.

a divide was made for the bed ‘room’, the window frame (30p) & door frame were put in and then we were ready for the roof…

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getting there

a wider, thicker blind (from the dump) wood was used for the roof slats. they were cut in half lengthways to make it easier to bend round the curve, then stuck on. and cotton ribbon was glued on top to give it a bit of extra strength.

then it was painted…

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nearly finished

we’d had a couple of wagon wheels for absolutely yonks (i think the human was a child – as i say, absolutely yonks!)

and the folding ‘legs’ of the tray were cut down and fixed again on the bottom of the hut and voila!

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parked up for winter

we still need to sort out bed arrangements for the five poppeteers – there’s room for two in the bedroom & three (at a squeeze) in the tent (made by bearmani) but snuffy suggested hammocks, so the human will try to make some sometime.

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in for chrimbo (pepe, junior and stanley(the dog))

so there we are – we’re very pleased (and surprised) at how well it’s turned out – thirty pence well spent.

bye for now

dedicated to jed and tito’s inspiring & talented human. muchly missed xxjed bear

up north to chester

apart from york, we’ve mostly gone down south or a bit sideways on our mini-bobs; so we didn’t know how wise it was going up north in mid october  – it always rains up north…

so i sent junior, bay & fizz popp to investigate the north…

junior: on wednesday the human had planned on going to liverpool for the day, but she wasn’t feeling too well so we started off going to port sunlight – ‘the village built on soap’. the buildings aren’t made of soap, but the village was built for the sunlight soap factory workers – a bit like bournville was built for the cadbury chocolate workers. fizz: “did someone mention chocolate? can we go to bournville next?”

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fizz popp, bay & junior

we had a walk through the village then popp-ed into the port sunlight museum – where we saw a lot of soap…

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something fuzzy’s never been near!

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what’s paos thgilnus?

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windy bank! ha ha ha! #parp

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we then caught the train to birkenhead to have lunch & a hot chocolate. afterwards we walked down to the river and were very excited to see the liver (lie-ver) building and also a ferry crossing the mersey *sings* ferry cross the mersey…

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i see the liver building! i see the liver building! *excited*

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*sings* we all live in a black submarine


on thursday we caught the train to liverpool, starting around the waterfront.

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this is a lambanana

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reflections of liverpool

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ice cream ice cream we all scream for ice cream

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the fab three

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the fab four

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cilla outside what’s left of ‘the cavern’

after lunch (a lovely leek tart & tatties) we caught a train to crosby, home of  ‘another place’ – 100 sculptures on the beach – by anthony gormley.

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don’t look down (noodie danglies)

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looking out to sea

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life’s a beach

unfortunately, we weren’t too sure where we had come through the grassy bank to get to the beach, so took a bit of a detour getting back to the (wrong!) train station…tra la laa

long way

a long way back…

strangely enough we caught the train(s) straight back to the hotel. *flop*


on the last full day, friday, we bought a merseyrail day ticket which allowed us to hop on and off trains around the wirral & liverpool – so we started by going back to port sunlight to see more of the buildings…

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…and went in the (free) lady lever art gallery which was very well laid out and they had a temporary exhibition of some of quentin blake’s drawings (he did drawings for roald dahl, don’t you know). very interesting – *recommended*

we then had elevensies at the ‘blooming skull coffee’ – a hot chocolate (yummy) and cake – before catching the train to liverpool.

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yikes – a scary hot chocolate

we had some lunch by the waterside before having a look in the museum of liverpool – we hadn’t bothered to look it up, we knew it was free entry, so that was enough for us – so we were thrilled to find out that they’d got an (temporary) exhibition of john and yoko! *excited*

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the jacket worn by john lennon & skirt by yoko ono on their wedding day *wow*

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bed hair & peace

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all you need is love – and bears

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a shirt worn by john lennon – he actually wore it! *wow*

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mini age

also in the museum…

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a tate & lyle green machine

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fizz: “close-up of a super cute bear”

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fizz: “let’s catch bay”

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bay: “you can’t catch me”

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“no, it’s not st. paul’s cathedral – we’re nowhere near london!”

we decided to travel to ‘new brighton’ because we knew that the brighton on the south coast is by the sea so we had our paws crossed that there would be a beach – and there was! yippeee!

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lighthouse on the beach

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the big human

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we played hide & seek – bay: *whispers* come on fizz – he won’t find us up here…

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then it was fizz’s turn to seek. fizz: “…7…8…9…10 – coming ready or not”


after checking out of the hotel on saturday, we went to have a look round chester cathedral, although it took us quite a while to find the way in, it didn’t look very big – until we got inside.

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chester cathedral

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mosaic

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mos(es)aic

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a new-ish window

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i think it’s a monkey

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old building & the cathedral

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clock tower on the city wall

after having something to eat we had a walk through the park and reached the riverside.

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view from the suspension bridge

it was a lovely warm, sunny afternoon and we stayed by the water until it was time to make our way to the train station.

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down by the water

the human hadn’t needed her mac, brolly or body warmer – it’s nice up north!

we hope to be back very soon! fuzzy junior, fizz & bay signing out :o) :o) ;o)