Sunday, 10 January 2016

First weekend back at work!!

We were very glad when the weekend came.  First weeks back at work are always stressful.  We started the weekend on Friday evening with Fish and Chips, but we were so hungry we forgot to take a picture.

Saturday morning started with a rehoming.  You will no doubt see more about that in my next rehoming blog.  I always cry when baboons leave so you can see I am looking sad.  He is going to a great home though where he will have a wonderful life, joining another rehomed baboon.  This one is a cousin of mine and he looks like my brother Roko!

Now we know why our manperson wanted the extendable ladder.  Its to check the skylight to make sure its not leaking.  It needs checking regularly.  Jack couldn't resist trying out the ladder.

Suddenly he realised how high up he was.  He came down quickly and carefully.

In the afternoon we all listened to the FA cup third round games on the radio.  Our team got through but they gave us a few nasty moments.  Sadly Hoppo seems to be hidden behind Tashi and Jack seems to be hidden behind Oregon, you can just see his sleeve.  He is a bit camera shy but Hoppo isn't usually.  Washington is only showing his hat and Yaya is hiding.  It hard to take a picture of 33 excitable baboons and get them all in.  I can't see Denis either.

On Sunday morning we started our breakfast at home with blueberries and raspberries with yogurt.  Very nice and healthy!!

As if that wasn't enough berries we went to Olivos for breakfast blackcurrant pancakes!  With cream!!  Manperson had maple syrup with his instead of cream.  They were completely yummy!!

We got the boys who were camera shy yesterday to have their photo taken.  Hoppo and Jack at the back and Washington and Denis at the front.  You can see they were reluctant, but there was no need to be they are all good looking boys!!

In the afternoon it was raining so we dozed and watched more FA cup football.  Manperson was cooking a dish with this vegetable.  Harry and Little Tony found it and wondered what it was.  I explained it was a butternut squash.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

New Year weekend

Just a little bit of holiday left and its raining all weekend.  We baboons cooked one of our favourite dishes, on Saturday.

Bradley decided to cook a dish that we call 'crispy cheese', but is really called pasta parmigiana.  Well kind of!  As you know we baboons are no respecters of other people's carefully designed recipes so we add a leek, change the cream for yogurt and we have a bit more cheese.  Other than that we are completely faithful to the recipe.

Bradley may look familiar, he is a cousin of Hudson, one of the #BaboonsThatCook, Hugo who lives with Zack Rabbit and BiddyBT's Brian.

He assembled the ingredients, well almost, olive oil Bradley!!  You will need it!!

He chopped up the vegetables, grated the cheese and measured out the yogurt and pasta.

He got the pasta boiling and the vegetables frying in the olive oil (I said he'd need it)!

While the pasta was boiling and the vegetables frying Bradley did a bit of multi-tasking, checking on how Manchester City and Watford were doing in Premier League football.

When the pasta had cooked and the vegetables were softened he added the yogurt, pepper and lemon juice to the vegetables (he drained the vegetables to make sure the dish wasn't too wet, because we like it crisp but the recipe doesn't say to do that).  Then he mixed the pasta and vegetables together in an oven proof dish.

He sprinkled the grated cheese onto the pasta and vegetables, so the dish was ready for the final stage.  It  goes under a hot grill to crisp the cheese.

So now for the washing up!

Not the laundry basket trick again Bradley!!  Its getting old!!

After 15 minutes it was necessary to get the dish out of the oven.  This used to be really hard, as a Pyrex dish, under a hot grill, gets very hot indeed.  We used to double up the oven gloves and still found it too hot.  However, our friend Miriam, from Germany, sent us these silicone oven gloves.  They are fantastic, you can't feel a thing through them.

So out of the oven and ready to serve.  Look at that lovely crispy topping.  How crisp it gets depends a lot on the cheese.  This was a good one!

Today the weather is awful, wet and very windy.  We were going to go out for breakfast, to finish the holiday off with a treat, but its too horrible out there and we have nice bread at home, so we will do it another Sunday.

We'll have a quiet, restful day watching the cricket.  Sadly, we will take down the Christmas tree and put the decorations away carefully for next year.  Thank you for reading my blog this holiday, I will try to keep it up to date at weekends during the working routine.


Saturday, 2 January 2016

New Year's Day at Baboon HQ

We had an exciting Christmas and now it is the new year.  We had a few things to do on New Year's day.

After our breakfast pancakes, made by manperson, we did a few chores and then headed out for the traditional new year walk.

We drove out to Yarmouth, listening to our new Patsy Cline CD, lovely music but she does seem to have had a lot of problems with her love life!  We got to Gossips cafe in Yarmouth for coffee.

Now I need to correct some misconceptions here, it is my fault that everyone probably thinks Harry is addicted to coffee.  Actually he never drinks it, none of us baboons do, even Mini-Kolo (Jackson), who claims a caffeine addiction.  If we have hot drinks its only milky tea or hot chocolate.  But Harry does like the little biscuits they give you with coffee.

Harry is looking out at The George pub which is next Yarmouth Castle, you can see the walls.  This forces me to mention King Henry VIII in two blogs running, the castle was built by him in 1547 as part of the coastal defenses.  In those days England used to fight the French and Spanish regularly so they needed to make sure they didn't get their ships into the Solent, the strip of water between Baboon Island and the mainland, and threaten England, especially the naval base at Portsmouth.  There is another castle on the mainland side, Hurst Castle, so any invaders didn't stand much chance with all those cannons pointing at them.

When we set out to walk we realised that the weather had changed a lot since New Years Eve.  It was quite wintery and windy, although still not very cold.  Harry stopped for a climb.

Later Harry looked out a the water, the River Yar (West Yar, there is also an East Yar on the island), it seemed wintery all of a sudden.

Back to Gossips cafe for lunch.  Do we call this lunch?  It looks more like tea to me, German apple cake with whipped cream.  Well we had walked a long way!!  It was very tasty with apple, pastry and almonds.

Next we had to fulfill a British Bank Holiday tradition.  That is a visit to a DIY store.  On the way back we went into B&Q in Newport.

Harry admired the power tools!!  Baboons love power tools but we are seldom allowed to use them.

Now explain this!  This is what manperson bought.  He thought Baboon HQ needed a telescopic ladder.  Harry didn't really do his job here and explain that manperson could have saved the money.  We are baboons, we climb, its what we do, why would Baboon HQ need a ladder?  If we can't climb it its not worth climbing!  Oh well, there you are!

So that was our New Year's Day adventure.  We went for a curry in the evening, to Monsoon in Ryde, we didn't take pictures because baboons posing with curry are likely to get very mucky.

I hope you all have a wonderful 2016!! HUGS HUGS HUGS!!

Friday, 1 January 2016

New Year at Baboon HQ

New Year's Eve was quite an exciting day at Baboon HQ.  It started with a disappointment.  Our dear friend @Henryandfriends was going to come over for lunch, but the weather was forecast to be too windy in the afternoon and he wouldn't have got back until late, and he had plans for New Year.  Anyway, the morning was sunny so Harry went for a walk to Fishbourne.  He saw some interesting things.

Just past the golf course, and before the church he came across these snowdrops.  This was a bit surprising as we would not normally expect to see these before February.  However, it has been warm.  He saw lots more snowdrops on his way.

He went on past Holy Cross church in Binstead.  This is a 13th century church in the woods and it is very atmospheric.  We will take Harry in there one day but it was not open yesterday.

Normally when we walk this way it is to go to Quarr Abbey which has a nice cafe and farm shop, as well as being a beautiful and interesting abbey.  However, Christmas time is a time of quiet contemplation and prayer for the monks so we didn't.  Harry looked at the ancient ruins of the original abbey, that was destroyed when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries and took England away from the Roman Catholic church and to the Church of England.  A very tumultuous time for English Christians, leaving many monks homeless and starting centuries of conflict.

Just because the cafe at Quarr Abbey was not open did not mean that Harry missed out on coffee.  We went to the Fishbourne Inn, near the car ferry terminal.  This is a lovely pub for food, great fish and chips and puddings and an extensive yummy menu.  We did not go right down to see the bay where the car ferry docks, as the weather was getting a bit windy, earlier than forecast.

Harry saw quite a lot of primroses on the walk, these are outside the Fishbourne Inn.  This is surprising.  We would expect to see these around Easter time, in March or April, but we had seen more primroses by the seafront so not such a surprise.

In the evening Freddy helped manperson to cook pizzas.  He prepared the toppings.  Manperson was having a Fiorentina with mozzarella, parmesan, spinach and an egg, person was having a Veneziana with mozarella, capers, sultanas and pine nuts (a real Venezianna would also have onion and black olives but we are not big olive fans at Baboon HQ and prefer pizza without onions (pizza names curtsy of Pizza Express restaurant).

We baboons have what we call the Arsenal pizza, mozzarella with tomatoes and little red peppers, so red and white.  When England are playing we can rearrange the red bits to make a St George cross so it becomes an England pizza. 

Freddy arranged the toppings on the pizzas to get them ready for the oven.

When they were cooked he served them with a side salad with different coloured little tomatoes.

Freddy and manperson worked hard and the pizzas were lovely.  A New Year's Eve treat.

On New Year's Day morning we were all hungry again and manperson cooked pancakes.  Washington was very excited about those.

He had them with maple syrup and coffee, from the big Starbucks mug, well he does come from Seattle!!  The mug was actually from Portland, Oregon, but when we go to Seattle this year we will get him a Seattle one.

We will have a quiet day today, a walk, lunch, a relaxing afternoon (after the Friday cleaning) and a curry tonight at our favourite Indian restaurant, Monsoon in Ryde.