Sunday, 28 June 2015

Mini-Kolo and #MiniBreeze at the Emirates Stadium

We had a very exciting adventure yesterday.  Our wonderful friend @TourGuideTed arranged a trip to the Emirates Stadium, where our team Arsenal play.  We met @MarthBBear, @ReddyTeddy and @RosieBear there as well.  This adventure started with one of #MiniBreeze's favourite things, going on the car ferry.

Mini-Kolo and #MiniBreeze needed to check that the loading was going well.  After that #MiniBreeze turned his attention to his surroundings.  He thought the ferry was very smart.

The ferry St Clare has been refurbished and #MiniBreeze was impressed.  After that he had a look at the harbour.

This is Fishbourne where the Ryde car ferry arrives and leaves.

After a long drive and a trip on the London Underground which was very crowded (wanted to take pictures for #MiniBreeze but couldn't move), we arrived at the stadium.  Arsenal's emblem is a cannon so Mini-Kolo was keen to check out the safety of the cannon before allowing the bears to go near them.

Once he had declared them safe he joined the others for a group photo.

You have to be careful taking pictures here to make sure you get more than the first three letters of our team's name in.

The tour began with a trophy cabinet with some (of the many) trophies Arsenal had won through the years.

We went up to the top of the stadium and looked down at the pitch.  See the cannon represented by some white seats among the red ones.  The red thing sticking out is the players' tunnel where the teams run out at the beginning of the games.

We soon found the directors' seats and had a rest!!  These are not the type of seats we sit in when we go to games, although ours are still quite comfortable.

Mini-Kolo soon found the directors' bar!!  Not open unfortunately!!

While Mini-Kolo was trying to get a drink (non-alcoholic of course), #MiniBreeze found the special trophy that Arsenal were awarded for being the ONLY team ever to go unbeaten in the Premier League, in 2004.  Other teams are trying to copy this but so far no takers, that Arsenal team were known as the Invincibles.  #Mini-Breeze was impressed!!

Now Mini-Kolo was wearing his kit as he was hoping to be signed up by the club.  He thought if he stood on the reception desk of the directors' box (note the club needs to add an apostrophe here), he might get noticed.

On consideration, a better way of getting signed up would be meeting he manager, Arsene Wenger, he found his head but not the rest of him.  The same for Arsenal legend Denis Bergkamp.

Mini-Kolo and @ReddyTeddy were thrilled to find this time capsule that was planted when the stadium was built.  We don't know what it contains but people finding it in a few centuries time will know how great Arsenal are.

Mini-Kolo couldn't resist being photographed with the team.

He found the entrance to the player's tunnel, he was planning how he will run out of the tunnel when he makes his debut with the team.

The showers fascinated Mini-Kolo, he is not usually that keen on showers but he was amazed by the size of these ones.

Of course he needed to sit in the changing room and see how it will feel when he is changing with the rest of the team.

He needed to investigate where Mr Wenger sits during the game, so he checked out the home dugout.

When he and the others got onto the pitch he was so overcome with emotion that he fell over!!

#MiniBreeze had other interests, he noticed that the red seats were bleached a bit by the sun.  This suggested that he might find a sunpuddle to enjoy.

These are the seats were get to sit in, comfortable but not quite like those seats we showed earlier that the directors get to sit in.

#MiniBreeze was not desperately impressed by being told to keep off the grass, but he had found a sunpuddle so he wasn't too concerned.  He is really keen on the football though!!

Finally we reached the press room where Mr Wenger gives his pre-match press conference.  Mini-Kolo took this opportunity to show that he could give a very convincing press conference.

We moved on to the Arsenal museum, where Mini-Kolo and #MiniBreeze found an old advertisement for a game.

They really knew how to do things in those days!!

Mini-Kolo went to meet our favourite ever Arsenal player, Thierry Henry, one of the Arsenal Invincibles of 2004.

#MiniBreeze met the great Arsenal manager of the 1930s, Herbert Chapman, who said he would make Arsenal the greatest team in the world.  #MiniBreeze was impressed!!

Well it was a wonderful day but we had to leave before the others went to eat, because we had to catch a ferry and these get very booked at this time of year, as our island is a tourist island.  When he arrived home Mini-Kolo presented me with the certificate to show that we had taken the tour of the stadium!

How impressive is that!!!

Thank you for reading this rather long blog.  #MiniBreeze has got more adventures to come before he moves on to his next family.  We know he had a lot of fun yesterday.  He did get fish and chips when we got back to Fishbourne, but as he tends to he had eaten them before we got a photo!!  Next time!!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

#MiniBreeze buys a car

You may remember that we said our journey to Deal was not entirely uneventful.  Well the event was that we decided that it was time to buy a new car.  As my people were still off work today, this was the day to check it out.

#MiniBreeze likes cars so our people took him with them to look at them.  My people like VWs and decided that they might get another one, so went along to the VW dealership.

We don't need a massive car at Baboon HQ but it does need to be big enough to fit a bike in the back.  #MiniBreeze liked the look of the small VW car, the Up!  He checked out the interior and liked the look of that.

Next step a test drive.

Wow!! Check out this smart dashboard in the test car!!  Sadly it doesn't come as standard but it was rather nice and attracted a good sun-puddle.

We drove out to the west of the island.  Sadly no sunshine there today but #MiniBreeze decided it was a smooth ride.  He has had to get used to cars being right hand drive over here.

Well food is important and when we stopped for coffee #MiniBreeze decided to try a scone.  This is a very popular food item in England.

Back into the car and #MiniBreeze's turn to drive.  He highly recommended the car and drove back to the dealership to do the deal!!

Yes, we bought the car, a red one, sadly no fancy red dashboard but we are very excited.  We will probably have to wait 6 to 8 weeks for delivery but that is OK.  Thank you #MiniBreeze for helping us to decide.

Monday, 15 June 2015

#MiniBreeze goes for a trip

Hi, ever since @Kittehboi's #MiniBreeze got here he has been keen on the idea of going on the car ferry.  He got the chance when he and Mini-Kolo went for a trip to Deal in Kent to stay in a hotel and visit our grandmother.

#MiniBreeze was so excited that he wanted to look out for the ferry, but all he could see was the queue at the Fishbourne terminal.

Eventually it was our turn to board the ferry, #MiniBreeze was very excited.

We were sailing from the Ryde terminal, at Fishbourne, to Portsmouth Harbour.  This is the resort at Portsmouth, called Southsea.

Entering the harbout you see the Spinnaker tower which is a landmark for miles around.

Further into the harbour you see more and more interesting things.

After a not uneventful four hour drive to Deal, in Kent, we arrived at our hotel and a very comfortable bed.  The hotel was the Royal Hotel at Deal.  Admiral Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton stayed there once, so it is very old.  It gets a good baboon rating for service, lunch and dinner.

The hotel was on the seafront and we got views of the sea from one window and nice old buildings from the other.

Uh oh!!  What have they found?

Oh dear, it looks as though somebody has left their luggage behind.

The hotel had a nice bar, no #MiniBreeze and Mini-Kolo didn't drink these drinks.

We went out for a walk and #MiniBreeze checked out Deal beach.

We came across this interesting character wrestling with fish.

Yes #MiniBreeze climbed all over him.

Then #MiniBreeze checked out Deal Castle, it is an old castle, built during Tudor times, along with others, to guard the English Channel against invaders, mainly French or Spanish.

Later we went to pick up my grandma for dinner.  Mini-Kolo introduced #MiniBreeze to the rehomed
baboon Russell, who lives with my grandma and his friends Somer, the little white gibbon, who came from the Owl and Monkey Sanctuary on our island, and Harry Fox who my people gave to grandma more than 20 years ago.

We took grandma to a restaurant in Deal, called 81.  Grandma likes it a lot and it gets a high baboon rating.  It was difficult for #MiniBreeze to decide what to eat as there was too much choice.

The risotto looked good to him, as it had cream in it.

But oh, the monk-fish is fish, um not sure what to do!!  In the end he decided that he would have manperson's monk-fish with the cream from person's risotto, clever #MiniBreeze!  He was polite and left grandma to eat her skate wing in peace, even though it was fish.

When it comes to puddings #MiniBreeze knows his stuff, but Mini-Kolo is the expert.  What to choose?

Person's tiramisu?

Manperson's cheesecake?

Or grandma's peach bake with sorbet?  Well he and #MiniBreeze opted for a piece of each.

After that it was back to the hotel for bed.  It had been a long, and not uneventful, journey (watch this space), a long walk and a biggggg dinner. The next morning #MiniBreeze was the first to check out the breakfast buffet.

He was quite impressed with the amount of yogurt on offer!!  Kippers were available too.  #MiniBreeze was very happy.  After all that breakfast we went for a walk.  #MiniBreeze was quite surprised when he saw the beach at Kingsdown (where we walked).

This is a beach, but it is full of flowers. We don't get that on the island, our beaches have stones or sand.

Back to the hotel and we met grandma for lunch in the bar.

#MiniBreeze has developed a taste for fish finger (translator's note - fishstick) sandwiches.  This one was particularly nice, in ciabatta bread.

Well the afternoon brought more walking.  #MiniBreeze found a boat that must have been meant for him.

The evening brought a dinner of scampi and chips (translator's note - fries), so nice that #MiniBreeze ate it before we could photograph it.  It was a fishy weekend.  Deal is a fishing town.

The next morning we had to leave for the drive back.  After breakfast we checked out.

We drove back and got onto the car ferry again.

#MiniBreeze looked at the smart flats that overlook the ferry terminal.  We wondered whether the ferry made them a bit noisy for the people.

The harbour was sunnier than on Friday and he got good pictures.

His last view of the mainland (for now) was the yachts at Gunwarf Quay.

#MiniBreeze had a very good weekend away and lots of his favourite foods.  He has more adventures to come.  He has already been on one today, details to follow.  Clue, we said our journey to Deal was not uneventful!!