Monday, 25 May 2015

#MiniBreeze's Bank Holiday

We are never far from a drama at Baboon HQ and with some dramatic weather and trips to A & E (translators note, that is the ER), and the work thing #MiniBreeze has not be out much lately.  Today is a Bank Holiday so our people were not at work, so they took #MiniBreeze for a walk.  They started in the very pretty village of Brightstone (pronounced Bristun), in the south west of the island.

One of the reasons #MiniBreeze is fitting in so well at Baboon HQ is because, like us baboons, he likes to climb trees.  He climbed this one to see whether he could see the direction he would be taking.

They walked out through the village, with its very pretty waterfall here, and along some paths to get to the cliff path.

#MiniBreeze stopped to look at the sea, from both directions.

They entered a pine forest, #MiniBreeze agreed with Mini-Kolo's assessment, that pine trees are not specially good for climbing, but he found some pretty early summer flowers on the forest floor.  They climbed up through the forest, which was quite hard going (#MiniBreeze hitched a ride like we baboons do).

They came out at the head of this valley and walked along the edge of it, until they came to......

the long stone.  This is a 6,000 year old neolithic burial site.  You can just see #MiniBreeze perched on it.

They carried on up the slope and around the down until they came to this.  Now, OK this may not look much.  However, it is a 4,000 year old barrow, that is an iron age burial mound, where chiefs and highly respected people were buried.  There are quite a few of these in the west of the island.  OK well nothing compared to a 6,000 year old long stone but pretty important really.

They carried on down this particular down and up the next one.  Next they had to go down a very steep path, lots of concentration required.  At the botton #MiniBreeze looked back along the valley where the long stone is.

On a bit further along the valley floor.  Not much left to do now except climb down another steep path to the village.

Here we are #MiniBreeze looked back up the street at the village museum and took a look at the library.

Imagine such a tiny library, there is #MiniBreeze on the white post.  Finally, #MiniBreeze lived up to his feline instincts and found a sunny spot to rest.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

#MiniBreeze in Freshwater

Yesterday was a lovely day so, as our people were off work, we decided to send them out for a walk with #MiniBreeze.  They chose to walk the Freshwater Way, which is about eight miles.

We started on the Causeway at Freshwater, which is actually about half way around the walk, but as it is a circular walk you can start where you like and you can park for free on the causeway.  This is the river West Yar, it is tidal and the tide is out here.

We walked down the disused railway alongside the river, towards Yarmouth.  You can just see Yarmouth at the back of the view.

From Yarmouth we were going to go back in the opposite direction along the other side of the river but a bit further from the river.

We went through some woods where #MiniBreeze showed off his climbing skills.

Back at the other end of the causeway we came to this old church.  All Saints Freshwater.  #MiniBreeze rested on the wall, before playing in the in the bluebells.

We went on across the Causeway and here we were meant to go through the reed beds.

Advice from Baboon HQ!  If you ever find yourself in Freshwater and think about walking through the reed beds, do not do so unless you can say yes to at least one of the following:

1. The south of England has had a drought for at least two years, or
2. You like padding and sliding through mud and can swim in case you slide into the river, or
3. You have very waterproof footwear and can swim in case you slide into the river.

We used to walk through the reed beds and for several years we found them dry and fun.  However, more often they have been muddy and slippery and you could easily fall into the river Yar.  We took the other part of the disused railway.

We walked down to Freshwater bay and up through some countryside and back to the Causeway, where we picked up the car and drove to the cafe for lunch.

This is the End of the Line Cafe, which used to be the site of the Freshwater railway station until the lines were closed in the 1960s.  My British readers will know all about Dr Beaching, who closed lots of railway lines, including nearly all the lines on the island.  This is a pity from a transport point of view, but does give us great footpaths to walk.

#MiniBreeze went for the tuna baguette.  Well he ate the tuna and left the baguette, salad and crisps!!

Monday, 4 May 2015

#MiniBreeze on the Troll's Trail

Today is a bank holiday in England because it is the nearest Monday to the 1 May, so we call it May Day. The weekend has been wet and horrible but today was nice so we took #MiniBreeze for a walk along the Troll trail.

This is a popular cycle path between two waterways from Newport, the island's capital to a village called Blackwater.  It is quite pretty and tree lined on both sides.

#MiniBreeze met a number of friends along the way.  This giant dragonfly is carved in wood on a bench.

#MiniBreeze was not afraid of the troll who guards the trail and proved this by climbing on his head.  Its OK the troll is friendly.

When we came out of the trees #MiniBreeze looked over the fields to see the countryside.

The troll likes to remind you that he is in charge of the trail so here is a carving of him in wood.  #MiniBreeze showed his bravery again by climbing on top of him.

On the way back #MiniBreeze showed how well he fits in at Baboon HQ by climbing a tree and hiding in the blossom.

After the walk we needed refreshment and we went to the Bluebells restaurant at Briddlesford farm near the village of Wooton, which is outside our town of Ryde.  The first thing #MiniBreeze wanted to do was to meet the calves they have there.  We had to be careful that the calf didn't try to eat him.  They managed to make friends instead.

We had coffee but, as a cat, #MiniBreeze was more interested in the milk jug.

Briddlesford farm also has a great farm shop with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.  #MiniBreeze decided to investigate the root vegetables.

After that we went home to rest up for the next adventure.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Tweet-up and rehomings

Hello everyone, its been an eventful week at Baboon HQ.  You won't want to hear about most of it, humans can make things eventful in ways that baboons struggle to understand.  However, we did some rehomings and went to a tweet-up, of course @Kittehboi's #MiniBreeze came along.

Some of you may know that @icypinklemonade, aka Lillian, is visiting the UK and meeting Twitter pals.  We were lucky that she came to Portsmouth where person works, and a fun lunch was had a Frankie and Benny's at Gunwharf Quay.  We were thrilled that other pals came to join us.

Here is Lillian with all of us, that is: all of @TourGuideTed's gang (TGT, Frank and Theo), @Chalkybear13 (our dear friends of #FurryTails fame, Chalky Bear, Cuddles, and their rehomed baboon Joe), @TabithaTeddy and me with #MiniBreeze.

When we arrived TGT's gang were looking out for us out of the window, so we couldn't miss the table.

As well as fun lots of food was involved.  Mini-Kolo had pizza, of course

So did #MiniBreeze!

That cat can sure eat!  I think he eats more than his body weight every day!! Neither he, nor Mini-Kolo were very interested in the salad!!

Between courses #MiniBreeze got to play with TGT.  I have to say TGT was very patient having #MiniBreeze on his head!!

We were absolutely thrilled that Chalky and Cuddles were able to come.  It must have been really nice for them to have somebody else bringing food to them, as they usually serve us food at #FurryTails.  #MiniBreeze and Mini-Kolo enjoyed meeting them and Mini-Kolo was thrilled to catch up with rehomed baboon Joe Baboonosa!

Joe told Mini-Kolo that he is very happy living with Chalky and Cuddles and their mum and dad!!

Well this was a Twitter tweet-up so obviously pudding was important.  Mini-Kolo and #MiniBreeze went for the chocolate pancake.  It was yummy!!

Sadly when you live on an island you have to be aware of the ferry or hovercraft timetable and we had to leave a little before the others to catch the hovercraft.  We hope to see everyone again soon.  Thank you to TGT for organising everything, as he does so often, and thank you to everyone for being there.  It was a lovely surprise to see Chalky and Cuddles with Joe.

Now other Baboon HQ business, there have been two rehomings.  @BiddyBT was introduced to us, and recommended as a potential good baboon rehomer by @lillieandarchie.

Brian arrived and met the family.  We can see he was welcomed by them and that he has a panda jumper already.  We can see he will be very happy in his new home, with good friends.

@Sugermice (Sugah) has a rehomed baboon Benny who has been with him since around Christmas time.  He saw @SallyjainW's rehomed baboon Betsey and really liked the look of a hamadryas baboon, they are quite distinctive looking!  We were not optimistic about finding one as there are not many around.  However, our hamadryas baboon, Ryan, found a cousin of his who needed a home.

Papio arrived quite quickly and was greeted by the family.  In the top picture they were choosing his name by drawing names out of a hat, because they couldn't decide on the right name.  Papio came out.

Straight away he got hold of the TV guide to decide on their viewing for the evening.  Yes, baboons are telly addicts.  You can see that he and Benny, the little baboon with a red nose, are getting on well and seem to agree about television programmes.  I can see Papio is happy and loved in his new home.