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

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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)

(nearly) a week in gloucester

mid-september is the time we usually go on our week long holibobs. we would like to have gone back down to weymouth, but we were travelling by train and looking at the prices of train fares & hotels (plus the six hour / three change train journey) we decided to look closer to home.

we’d been to gloucester for a short visit a couple of times before, but this time we were staying for six nights in a brand new sparkly purple palace.

since we last visited, there’s now a lovely new garden seating area in front of the cathedral.

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lovely flowers

thursday was spent in a drizzly gloucester. lunch was veggie gumbo & herby chips – yums!

on friday, me & sydney stayed in bed while the three popps travelled to cheltenham…

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having a lie in

junior had a pizza for lunch – his eyes were bigger than his belly…

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roast veggie pizza

in the evening we had a walk around the docks

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cathedral in the background

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no, no idea what it is…

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the side of a big blue snail

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“are you sure we’re allowed to climb on the crane?”

saturday was a rainy day so we stayed in gloucester. we went to the cathedral

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our special window in gloucester cathedral

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big window

you could go upsteps at the cathedral

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rock climbing

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our favourite window

in the afternoon we went to a little cinema. the tickets were only £4 – and without the usual 20 minutes of ads or trailers.

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the teeny tiny cinema

we went to see ‘christopher robin’; when he was all growed-up & had all but forgotten winnie-the-pooh – we really enjoyed it, and liked the fact that they were the ‘original’ characters rather than the disneyfied version. 4.44/5

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lights down – ready to watch the fil-um

on sunday, sydney caught the train to cardiff…

hello everybeary *waves* i’m sydney – i went to cardiff all by myself (with humum)

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we looked at the pretty flowers in bude park

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hydrangeas – the litmus paper of the plant world (alkaline)

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the leaves were turning all autumn-able

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i had a choccie ice cream what fuzzy gave 100/10 – i’d give it a nine

after my ice cream, we caught a couple of trains to cardiff bay

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on the wolfydog – he was friendlier than he looks

we walked as far as the norweigian church and mostly sat overlooking the bay, soaking up the sun.

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it was a lovely sunny day in cardiff bay

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i stared at this for quite a while – it was rivet-ing

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junior would have liked to have seen the welsh dragon on the carousel

monday was our last full day and we finally got to worcester – here’s a few pictures of the cathedral.

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worcester cathedral

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an etched window looking out to the cloisters

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a big ding dong bell

tuesday morning, after booking out of the hotel, we went back to gloucester cathedral…

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another favourite window

had a look in the beatrix potter shop and (small) museum…

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i see miss tiggy winkle

and after lunch we went to the waterways museum – as we went outside, we saw that the boat was going on a trip so bought tickets and hopped aboard

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“i’m on a boat i’m on a boat”

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the big blue snail in the background

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it wasn’t the most scenic boat ride we’ve ever been on but i did see my first (the human’s second) kingfisher! yippeee!

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back inside the museum…

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sydney found a sun puddle

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i’ve finished the puzz-zil – and i can see another kingfisher

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give us a hand fuzzy, it’s full of choccie-lit

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nosing in the narrow boat

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boat pots

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another boat

all too soon our time was up and we made our way back to the train station to catch our trains home. thank you for having us gloucester – it was a fun-filled trip :o)

back to cardiff – and a grand day out…

it’s been over two years since we’ve been to cardiff so it was high time that we returned.

the plan had been to have a trip to the bay after dinner – a pizza at the stable with roast aubergine, courgette, peppers & onion like a rat-or-two-ee, but thankfully nothing like when the human put left-over ratatouille on a pizza (yuck!) 10/10 – but after getting back to the hotel just in time to watch ‘the repair shop’ we totally forgot about going out again…


a couple of weeks before we were due to go, i found out (after seeing an instagram post from kenny koala) that sculptures of gromit, wallace & feathers mcgraw were on display around bristol, so on wednesday we were off on the train. we caught a bus into the centre to get a head start – here are a few of my favourites…

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‘game of cones’ good enough to eat!

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‘wallace’

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‘rocket man’ rocket bear

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‘caractacus paws’ chitty chitty bang bang – he even had a couple of toot sweets in his pocket

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‘cracking build gromit!’

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‘the emperor’

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‘long john wallace’

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‘oceans 1: deep blue’

we had a walk down to the water to catch a ferry over to the other side, which saved our little legs.

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‘wallambard’ by s.s. great britain

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‘alex the lion’ one of my favourite favourites!

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‘gromitronic’ this was an interesting gromit – his tail wagged, his eyes moved, he had different coloured lights & a plasma nose

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‘oceans 2: yellow sub’

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‘bristol in bloom’ cute dog & a cute bear

we saw 19 out of about 30 sculptures, plus a bonus gromit on a ferry. there were about five missed because of barriers/road works and others were too difficult to try to find or we’d missed them and hadn’t got the energy to double back.


before we caught a train to swansea on thursday we popped into the market to buy some welsh cakes. the morning was spent looking in shops, then after dinner we had a walk down to the marina.

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a flower tree by the castle

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swansea marina

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a whopping great diddly-bob on a stick

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one i made earlier (well, two…and i didn’t make them)

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i spotted some pretty yellow flowers at the edge of the beach which on closer inspection turned out to be wild rocket! *nibbles leaf*

swansea has a nice marina & a lovely long beach (where we collected lots of seashells) but although i saw the sea, i didn’t see any swans!

in the evening we went to the cinema a couple of minutes from the hotel (& only £4) to see ‘mamma mia – here we go again’ if you enjoyed the first one you’ll enjoy this (warning: if you’re thinking of seeing it & haven’t seen cher lately, you ought to google her so you don’t get the shock of your life…)


we had a ride to penarth on friday, our last full day. we made our way through the park down to the seafront.

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“i see the sea! i see the sea!” “so can me!”

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fizz, junior & bay

but when we got down there we saw that the tide was in and there wasn’t much sand (well, none actually), so we just had a walk on the pier then made our way back in to town.

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view from the pier

after lunch the plan was to go down the steep hill to the marina & across the barrage, but luckily when we got to the marina there was a boat waiting to take us across the water! phew!

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the pierhead building

we’ve often seen the red building – it’s difficult not to – but this time we decided to have a look inside. it’s the opposite of the tardis in that it seemed quite small inside.

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i’m not sure what this is!

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ceiling / light

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outside the building junior spotted a dragon (or two)

we continued through the roald dahl plass (or plaza) past the fountain & millennium centre and caught a train back to the hotel.

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reflecting…

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millennium centre


after checking out of the hotel on saturday we had a long walk past the castle, over the river to some shops then caught a bus back.

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cardiff castle

we went to get some more (special) welsh cakes, but they’d run out! grrr! so instead we had an ice cream (or two). i’d tried the raspberry ripple so decided to have the ‘hunky punky chocolate’ – yummy yummy in my tummy! the best chocolate ice cream i’ve ever tasted ever!! 100/10*

*just because i loved it doesn’t mean you will

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mmm mmmm

so that was that – we didn’t see that much of cardiff, but i’m sure we’ll be back fairly soon…

*waves farewell*

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…

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