Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Aircraft Carrier

We are lucky enough that our little island is opposite one of the major naval ports in England, Portsmouth, we see lots of navy ships and helicopters out there but occasionally we get a very special visitor. An American aircraft carrier. These ships are too big to fit into Portsmouth Harbour so they anchor in the Solent and we get to see them from our window. Its been a while since one came but this weekend we had a visit from USS George H W Bush. I first saw it from our window and I couldn't wait to get closer.
Not a bad view but I wanted to see more than that!!
Leroy and I decided to have a closer look by going on the car ferry. The car ferry seems big but nothing compared to the aircraft carrier. Her is Leroy waiting for the boat its the St Helen from Fishbourne to Portsmouth Harbour. Leroy had to be held onto while I took the picture because it was windy again just like last time he was out and about.
As soon as we got on the car ferry we ran up to the top deck to get a better look.
We got closer bt the weather was not so good so we couldn't pick out the planes so well with the camera but we could see them. While we were there we thought we would look out of the other window so we could show you our town from the sea. This is Ryde where we live, our house is near the church you can see.
When we got to Portsmouth Harbour we had to wait a bit to get a ferry back so we decided to have lunch, we went to an American diner. We were thrilled to find we were surrounded by US sailors from the aircraft carrier and they told us something about the plans on board. I wish I could tell you but if I told you I woud have to ......! Top secret!! That made up for the poor visibility I can tell you!!
Today the aircraft carrier was leaving and the weather was better so I hoped to get some pictures on its way out. I waited hanging over the balcony waiting for it.
Eventually it came along!
Its not too clear in the picture but I could see the aircraft clearly on the deck I will put this picture on Twitpic then you might see it better. Here it is powering up to where @henryandfriends is waiting for it on the other side of the Solent.
I was determined to see every last bit of it so I waited at the window to see it come round the corner! My nose is pressed up against the glass I can see it just above the white house there.
I waited until the very last minute when it left the Solent.
Well that was the last we saw of it through the chimneys. It was really fun having it here. I am sorry the weather was not good cos we would have seen it better and the sailors we spoke to did hope there would be some sunshine but its always great seeing some military hardware specially when it is that big. Hope another one comes soon, it does I'll get up close and personal with it for sure!

Thursday, 19 May 2011


This week has been an exciting one for us with meeting friends and having the pleasure of their company on our island. It started on Saturday when two girls who were doing a 26 mile sponsored walk on the island on Sunday came to stay the night to get an early start. We had dinner, watch Eurovision and had fun and thank you to them for doing a walk for the Earl Mountbatten Hospice on our island we are very grateful.
On Sunday morning after they had gone we quickly changed the beds in the spare room for the arrival of a VIP guest, none other than @hi_im_monkey (Monkey) who Leroy and Henry visited in Dallas last month. Although we have known him for nearly 10 years I had never met him in the fur before (or terrycloth in his case) so I greeted him with a big hug! to welcome him to our home.
On Monday Leroy took him out and about around our town of Ryde. First them went for a walk to Quarr Abbey but stopped off on the way to look at Holy Cross Church in Binstead which is a 13th century church. They both wanted to look at the saxon carving above the gate.
It is small like they are and very high up so they had to be held up to be pictured with. I think it looks about like them but without the bow tie or surfy hoody!
The grave yard of the church has some interesting old graves including smugglers so they thought they would have a look at some of them. They were fascinated by this very old one although the writing was too worn away to be able to read it clearly so we don't know who it was.
They sat very quietly and respectfully and thought about all the people buried in the very old grave yard.
They did take Monkey into the church to look around but they could not take pictures there as it was a very holy place. Next they set off on their walk again to get to Quarr Abbey.
Quarr Abbey was originally founded in 1132 but was destroyed in the disolution of monastries in England when Henry VIII closed the monastries and destroyed the buildings. The first thing we showed Monkey was what is left of the ruins of the old monastry at Quarr. Henry and Monkey had their picture taken with the ruins behind them.
Looks like Henry VIII did a pretty good job of destroying it doesn't it!
When they arrived at the new abbey, built between 1907 and 1910, the first thing they saw was the piglets on the abbey farm. Some of them came to talk to them.
They were very sweet piggies and lots of them!
The abbey's style is moorish expressionist and it is a very handsome building. They took Monkey around the abbey but again couldn't take pictures because it is holy. They had dinner at the abbey but apparently it was so yummy they forgot to take pictures! Trust Leroy feeding his face!
The Isle of Wight is famous for sailing but they were a little surprised to find a boat in the abbey garden as there was no water! Leroy and Henry thought it would be a good opportunity to show Monkey the ropes though and that is exactly what they did.
After that they travelled back home by bus and wanted to take Monkey on the chocolate tour of Ryde on the way home. The Chocolate Apothecary on the seafront was so crowded they couldn't breath let alone take pictures. Straw Bonnet in Union Street was closed so they couldn't go and look at their chocolates but Thorntons didn't let them down. They had tea there and look what Monkey and Henry got up to while they were there!
I'm sure Monkey is cuddling those chocolates! Well wouldn't you!!
On Wednesday it was my turn to get out and about with friends. Henry (@henryandfriends) came over to see us and go for lunch. I took Snowdrop who was sent to me by @RetteKaninchen sent, with me so she could meet Henry. It looks as though they got on well!
We went to Olivos in Union Street which @MrsFiddlesticks and @Tim_Kirby liked when they visited the island. I had a pizza I needed to check it out to see how they made theirs so I had a good look at it first to get their trade secrets.
I think it is different to mine by just as nice. I met Henry's new brothers Marmite and Aubyl for the first time. Marmite likes pizza so we shared it because it was very big for us at lunchtime.
Marmite and I did not drink that class of wine you can see behind him that was somebody else's honestly!! I don't think we ate much of the salad either pizza was enough for us.
Then it came to pudding time, they didn't have a banana split but they had a very suitable pudding for me with bananas, banoffe pie is a great pudding for baboons! Snowdrop has got used to bananas since she came here so she and Henry shared it with me. Marmite and Abuyl shared a different pudding with a waffle that looked nice as well.
So you can see that we have had a great week of friends this week and that is fantastic cos what is better than friends. Leroy and Henry also had a great time meeting @pinkbunny, who is lovely, last month so all in all we've had a great time with friends lately. I hope we meet more of you in future and see some of you that we have met before again, but even if Leroy or I don't meet you you are all our friends and that makes us very happy!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Leroy in Kent

I have been travelling again and Kolo has kindly let me use his blog again to tell you about my adventures. This time I stayed in England even though I had to go on a boat to get there, I visited Kent in the south east of England. It was very windy there so I had to be careful having pictures taken to make sure I did get blown away and sometimes my person had to hold onto me to stop me being blow away as I am quite small and light. We were not surprised to see there was a wind farm off the coast but its not usually as bad as it was this weekend.
We visited Broadstairs which is a nice little seaside town in Kent and did some travelling. This is what Broadstairs looks like and I recommend it to anyone especially when the wind dies down.
That is quite a lot of pictures of Broadstairs but it is very pretty so I wanted you to see it.
We stay in a hotel, last time we were in a hotel you saw us looking at the Pacific Ocean out of the window, this time it is the English Channel you can see behind us and France is not far away.
One of the most important places in Broadstairs is Morelli's its a big ice cream parlour and it has not changed since the 1950's. Of course we had to go there it was too windy outside but this is what it looks like so if you ever visit Broadstairs you will be sure to go there.
Henry and I found a very big ice cream there, here it is.
I think between all us anipals we could managed to eat that no worries!
Then it was lunchtime and we looked for somewhere for lunch. We discovered that one of our friends has a resturant in Broadstairs.
Unfortunately Marley (@marleyterrier) must have been attending the Royal Wedding because it was closed so we had to go back to Morelli's and have an ice cream instead.
In the afternoon we went to visit Joss Bay because Jazzy (@jazzydacat) asked us to say hello to Joss Bay. It was a good job we did go because they needed us to do lifeguarding like we did in LA what a good job we were there to help them out.
It was very windy with some big waves so we had to do quite a lot of rescues. We were glad of our Bearmani hoodies that Snuffy (@snuffynorton) made as it was breezy.
On the way back from Joss bay we stopped off to look at North Forelands lighthouse that helps ships and ferries to navigate the English Channel between England and France it is very beautiful there.
Charles Dickens lived at Broadstairs for a while and he owned this house, do you recognise the book title. I think somebody called it that later because Dickens lived there, actually he wrote Barnaby Rudge while he was there not Bleak House. It was very windy and I had to enlist help to have photos taken.
Here you can see Mr Dickens. I had to be held up here the wind was fierce and there was a large and not very friendly dog on the other side of the wall I couldn't wait to get away. He was nothing like our anipals at all.
On Saturday we went to Ramsgate where it was windy again. I found a little church on the harbour dedicated to sailors and to "smack boys". Don't get the wrong idea about this smack boys, they were apprentices on fishing boats known as fishing smacks.
I needed help again because of the strong wind.
On Sunday we went walking the other way back past Joss Bay where they asked us to be lifeguards again but we had other things to do. We thought we would visit our friends @WallasEKatt and @Isa_Gold because they live in Australia and that is where we thought we were, actually we have a few anipal friends there but we couldn't find any of their houses. I wonder why!!
Some naughty people had done graffiti on the sign and we think that was covering the directions to our friends houses. Botany Bay is in Australia isn't it??? There were certainly big surf waves there so it must have been Australia mustn't it??
On Monday we started making our way to Deal where we were visiting Wenda and Edward. On the way we stopped at a place that our friend Arf (@monkeysbrother) would like cos it has a big famous golf course and there will be a big important tournament there this year. Its called Sandwich which sounds funny but its a town not our dinner.
It is a very historic place and I'm going to put some more pictures of it here because it is so old and beautiful.
This is what the streets and like in Sandwich old and beautiful and very narrow it is a lovely place. Look at this house below it was built in 1517 and somebody is still living there. Imagine that.
Finally we reached Deal. We started by visiting Deal castle which was built to protect us against the French, they had some great cannon there. There are quite a lot of castles on that stretch of coast built to protect us from the French. Shame really I like the French they invented croissants and who can complain about that?
While we were in Deal we met a very important person, she is smaller than I thought! She had had a very busy weekend so maybe she had shrunk a bit, she seemed very happy to see a couple of British lions anyway.
Well acutally she was not the most important person we met in Deal (I hope that is not treason)! We met Wenda and Edward who loved our clothes and were very happy to see us (now you know why we had to go in the washing machine last weekend)!
You can see they made quite a fuss of us, we like being made a fuss of so that was fine. We had a lovely lunch with them and then we set off for home, a long car journey and then the boat back to the Isle of Wight. We had a great trip and we are very lucky to get to go the the USA and Kent in one month. We have not got any more travel plans for a while but we will let you know when we are off roving again.
Thank you for reading our story.
Clothes by Bearmain (@Snuffy_Norton)