Exotic Guernsey

Hello and welcome to 2019 here in the Eyrie. We all took a bit of a break to recover from Christmas/New Year but we are getting back into things now.

Well yesterday it was time to pull on our travelling boots once more and set off for a day trip to exotic Guernsey. We are lucky here as we are only 45 minutes away from Southampton International Airport so day trips are an option. This time it was off to the Channel Islands and plucky little Guernsey. It is a lovely little island and we got a good view from our little turbo prop plane coming in to land. All rocky shores and little bays so rather pleasant.

We got the bus into town and realised that it might be quite a challenge to fill 6 hours here. Still our dynamic duo accepted the challenge and we set off. We took a walk round the centre of town and staked out some likely prospects for closer investigation. We turned a corner only to find absolute mayhem going on. The local department store had just started their blue cross sale in all departments. Cue polite mayhem as people very politely elbowed each other out of the way. Needless to say that man entered the fray as there were bargains to be had. He found a rather nice shirt but it wasn’t quite the right size. Imagine his delight when he found that this was one of the legendary blue cross bargains. Fortunately saner heads were available in the form of Uncle Tache who calmed him down and found the right size in an obscure part of the store. Victory! A shirt that was £67 was reduced to £16.75. What a thrill and it is already been described as the bargain of 2019.

After that is was off round the town once more. It is a nice town but after the third round of the main drag it was decided that a stroll round the harbour might be a good thing. This was a good move as we all enjoyed the feeling of the wind ruffling our feathers as we walked out on the breakwater. What a bracing treat for all concerned.

It was soon time to get the airport bus back and we settled in for our short hop home. The plane only goes up to about 10,000 feet and the flight lasts about 30 minutes. Well that was the theory. We all boarded on time and we sat for quite some time. The captain came on to the PA and announced that we couldn’t set off as they couldn’t find the First Officer. Apparently he had simply vanished. Now as you know I am game for a laugh so I did offer to take over but that man didn’t think that I would inspire confidence in the rest of the passengers. Spoil sport. Anyway a substitute was eventually found and we set off about 45 minutes late. As we came into land it was very windy and it was quite a bumpy landing. Now if I had been in charge this wouldn’t have happened as we would have had to divert to an airport that was slightly more exotic than Southampton but hey ho. Still a good start to 2019.

Cliffiefest is rapidly closing in on us. I am still auditioning people for the role of travelling companion so any offers gratefully received. Trust me the bribes are going to have to be big as the trip is a good one. Watch this space.

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The face of 2019 is…

The more Eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that our customary review of Bob’s Christmas bell “extravaganza” (think the “Greatest Showman” on an unbelievably low level of budget and starring Bob the Sheep instead of nice Mr Jackman. Incidentally it might interest you to know that that man has never actually seen all of this particular film. He started out with the best of intentions on the way to San Francisco in the spring but fell under the influence of a nice Burgundy and was fast asleep before we had passed over Reykjavik. He then tried it on the way back but the same thing happened as he asked the lovely Kelly to make up his bed and changed into his PJs as he intended to watch it whilst lounging and sipping red wine. Epic fail once more as all he managed to see was a massive hangover the next morning. “Ha, Ha” is what we said at the time and we still stick by that reaction. He then tried to watch it on the way to Chicago and fell under the influence of a nice Californian red (“oh we went past this vineyard when we were in Sonoma in the spring” he says and promptly downs the whole bottle in one go. (Hello to Uncle Jeff by the way who kindly took us on a wine tasting tour of Sonoma last time we went to see him)). By the time it is time for the return from Toronto quite frankly the moment had gone and he watched “Early Man” instead whilst sipping his Hot Chocolate and nibbling on his warm cookies (following the consumption of industrial quantities of Champagne and red wine in case you thought that sounded quite tame by comparison.)) of four hours of mindless bell ringing is missing. Goodness I did go on a bit of a diversion in the middle of that last sentence so I hope that you are keeping up. Anyway the reason for this is that luckily we discovered that you can actually bribe Bob. The bribe was that we had to promise to make him the Face of 2019 for this blog. Here is the picture of him receiving his reward in a hanging basket full of Viola for some reason. His win was dedicated to Aunty Tracy who has always had a soft spot for little Bob.

Our face of 2019 and some Viola

Our face of 2019 and some Viola

As he was out there he decided to go for another little explore in search of Barry the Crocus. He got into one tub and this is what he found.

That is not Barry

That is not Barry

That is not Barry he tells me. Time to move on. We move on and he suddenly sees what he is looking for.

It is really Barry!

It is really Barry!

Barry he cries and starts to nibble away. A happy scene to end this particular story on and a good start for this new Face of 2019. Incidentally I wouldn’t worry too much about him being over exposed as he will inevitably go the way of all of these nominees and end up in blissful obscurity by the 2nd of January so enjoy the moment with Bob whilst you can. As you can see the bulbs are doing very well indeed. Sadly this is late December so they are very early but there is no stopping them. They certainly haven’t listened to yours truly telling them to keep warm. That’s bulbs for you though.

To whet your whistles for 2019 we have got quite a lot of travel booked and we are looking forward to reporting back. We have Cliffiefest firmly in the diary and a trip to exotic Switzerland for a certain birthday is also in the diary. We also have another couple of trips to the USA to look forward to but I won’t spoil the surprise too much apart from saying that if anyone gives me any trouble in the next few months they could very well find themselves in the wrong part of Alligator Alley. Just saying.

Anyway I hope that you have a nice New Year and enjoy the evening. I will see you next year.

Happy New Year

Hello there. I hope that you had a nice Christmas and spent the time wisely re reading my Christmas special.

Officially Christmas was a very restrained time spent quietly with family. Yeah right! It was riot after that man went off to bed I can tell you. Non stop food and drink and good company. Anyway back to the official version of events. We had a lovely time at our staff Christmas party on Christmas Eve. We went round the corner to our local Pizza Express where that man had booked a table for us all. We weren’t too sure about all of this but we had a lovely time. Glasses of Prosecco were drunk and a lot of food consumed. At the end of the evening that man braced himself to ask for the bill. In a dramatic twist the lovely people there had given it to us for free as we had been such good customers through the year. This was a slightly dodgy moment as the lovely manager was talking to me but that man thought that he was talking to him instead. The Lads and I are very good customers of this particular restaurant but we don’t necessarily want that man to know this. What a lovely present for us all as if that man hadn’t had enough on him we would still be washing up to pay off the last of that particular bill. Phew! Christmas Day arrived and young Kivster left us. It was all very emotional for about a nano second and then Kiv had come back. He has been remarkably calm and quiet for some time but I don’t think this will last much longer. The big day whizzed by fuelled by copious amounts of Champagne, Bacon and Chocolate. I hope that everyone liked their presents and that man is going to look a lot smarter as a result of some of his gifts. After that we have been snoozing off mid afternoon and generally enjoying the ambience.

Anyway are you ready for New Year? We think that we are. There are a couple bottles of something very nice chilling in the fridge and the fridge is also full of tasty nibbles. What joy. This is coupled with the fact that that man goes to bed very early and we are set for a good night in. We hope that you all have a lovely evening and that you see 2018 out in style. We certainly intend to!

Away in a manger, No crib for a bed, The little Lord Jesus, Lays down his sweet head

Good afternoon and welcome to Christmas in our little community. It is very mild down here and the rain has finally stopped so it is all good.

This is a bit of a Christmas photo blitz as we have a lot to share with you all. So to set the scene this is how we are welcoming visitors this year.

Welcome to our home

Welcome to our home

The Christmas wreath was actually decorated by Uncle Tache. There is no end to his creativity when presented with a plain wreath, some red baubles and some red ribbon. We like the end result so well done mate.

It is a big day for us as Kivster has come to the end of his advent journey. Yes he is off back to the North Pole tonight when Santa arrives to take him away. There are slightly mixed feelings about this forthcoming event. Obviously we will be very pleased to see Santa once more but we will be sad to see the back of Kivster. This is mainly because he has had to be very quiet for the whole month and this has been wonderful. We are assuming that Kiv will be back to replace him and that means a constant diet of moaning and world shattering pronouncements. Hey ho I suppose we can always re-invent the tradition for next year. Anyway here he is waiting for Santa to arrive.

Kivster has reached the end of his journey

Kivster has reached the end of his journey

You can see that young Bertie the doggie has relocated and also been renamed. That man felt that he was more of a Bertie than a Rufus. Good call. As you can see things are looking quite festive at the moment. Christmas is definitely on its way as that man made a very alcoholic chocolate mousse this morning. Those who have tasted it know how good it is and we are looking forward to having chocolately whiskers some time soon.

To complete the Christmas context that man has got the Spice Girls on full blast and is singing along. He is already muttering about some Britney to follow. This coupled with the prospect of the staff Christmas party to follow makes it festive central at the moment. Yes this is very exciting as we are off to Pizza Express later on for our staff Christmas party. We have never been allowed to go along before and we are looking forward to larking about in the stationery cupboard if given half a chance. It just gets better and better you know.

Now we know that you have all been on the edge of your seats waiting for the Christmas photo. Well here we go.

First of all to give some context. We live next door to a church and this year they put on a peripatetic nativity play for the neighbourhood. They set up a manger in the churchyard and here it is.

A distant manger

A distant manger

Imagine the scene a lowly Shepherd/Eagle and his two sheep are wondering looking for some shelter for the night. Lo-what do they see in the distance but a little manger. They rush over to see if it might offer them some shelter. Here is what they find.

Away in a manger

Away in a manger

This looks all right say Bob and Bucky. They start to get settled down.

No shepherds will sleep tonight

No shepherds will sleep tonight

A little star appears

A little star appears

Finally they decide that they can stay and the baby Jesus will simply have to find somewhere else to rest his little head. This then is the official Christmas photo. The three of us settled down for a Christmas nap on Christmas eve. Pure genius and a very important religious message if we could but work out what it was! Perhaps if we actually knew someone who had a degree in Theology they could work it out for us. A shame that we don’t know anyone who fitted that bill.

It's Christmas!

It’s Christmas!

This was literally seconds in the making as we could see a slightly irate rector approaching quite rapidly to ask us what we were doing in her manger so we then had to leg it. Still we had our little moment of peaceful contemplation and that is all that matters. It was also a bit nippy out there so we decided that discretion was the better part of valour and decided to come back in. I am thinking of selling the story to that Spielberg chap or maybe Cecil B De Mille might be able to make something of it all. I am not sure but we could just go with the highest bidder I suppose.

We hope that you have enjoyed sharing our few moments of Christmas madness and good cheer. Happy Christmas everyone and good luck bagging a reduced turkey this afternoon when the supermarkets lose their nerve. We will be stalking the dessert aisles to see if we can get some Christmas treats half price before going next door to Greggs for a celebratory sausage roll and to sing along to the Christmas number one before spontaneously singing a couple of verses of Baby Shark-our real festive favourite. It is just non stop down here you know. Good luck for tomorrow morning and we hope that Santa leaves you a little of what you asked him for.

Welcome to Rufus

Good morning everyone. Welcome back.

I thought you might like to see our latest arrival. That man and Uncle Tache went to Dorchester and inevitably came back with a new doggie. He is called Rufus and he is a Christmas doggie. As you can see he is a fine little fellow.

Rufus arrives

Rufus arrives

A fine little fellow

A fine little fellow

We are all enjoying welcoming him and briefing him on the way things are here in the Eyrie. You will be pleased to know that Kivster carries on with his elfing activities. He can be found in a new position each morning and has to stay there. It is brilliant as he just has to sit still. It is a long time since we have had such a peaceful month. Not long to go before he is back with us though. Speaking of not long Bob the Sheep has finished “rehearsals” for his epic bell ringing concert. We are so looking forward to it I can tell you!

Look out for our Christmas picture which will be with you on Monday.

2018 a year in review

Hello there. It is a very wet and windy Saturday morning here and so I am settling down to hand out a few awards as you do. Yes it is time for the annual Cliffie awards/review of the year. Good luck to you all.

The year has been a bit of a strange and disrupted one in some ways. That man stunned us all and simply up and left his permanent job without a proper plan for what to do next in the middle of the year. This has had a big impact on all of us as we now spend rather a lot of “quality” time together. He has taken an unhealthy interest in our little lives and at times this isn’t too comfortable for some of us who have real lives to lead. I mean to say there are times when you want to have a little bit of wiggle room in what you are doing and not to be subject to intense, Soviet style surveillance. Our first award therefore goes to that man for surveillance professional of the year. Well done and don’t forget that we know where the CCTV is installed and can easily evade it you know.

The other big change has being that Uncle Tache has now moved in full time. Hooray! This is much better for us as he brought along some new friends for us to meet and play with. We have introduced you to some of them over the past few months and I try and keep you up to date with their comings and goings. The other good thing to happen is that the standard of catering and overall civilisation has gone through the roof. We are therefore awarding Uncle Tache a general hero of the Eyrie award (first class) for keeping everything on track.

We have also been out and about which is always lovely. The highlight was to go and see Niagara Falls as part of our Cliffiefest in Chicago this year. First class travel and lovely hotels made it a wonderful trip. The icing on the cake was meeting up with our US fan club for a day of culture and refinement-qualities that are sadly missing from our normal live here in the Eyrie I can tell you. We also managed to go out to the countryside and enjoyed a wonderful stay in a Landmark trust property in Devon. It was a bit dodgy in places as that man nearly took out a 17th century plaster ceiling with a champagne cork but things worked out in the end thank goodness. There is a also joint award for that man and Uncle Dave for comedy moment of the year when that man got stuck in the back of the car and couldn’t get out. That man and Uncle Dave took the situation very seriously and just laughed and laughed until they were exhausted. Priceless.

We have created a new award for kind host of the year and this goes to Aunty Helen and her little helpers for a very civilised trip to her house in the summer. We had a lovely time and look back on the trip with a good deal of affection. Thanks to everyone who made it so special.

I have also created another new category (2018 is a year of innovation you know!) of forgetful traveller of the year. This goes to my stalker who turned up to see me and then left a rather vital bag on the train and had to hare off to Weymouth to collect it. Well done mate as this cheered me up no end so thanks for thinking of me.

I am slightly anticipating 2019 here but I am awarding railway porter of they year to Uncle Tache who has volunteered to be a porter on our local steam railway.   We are expecting great things of our very own Mr Perks the porter.

Another award of part of the year goes to that buffoon Boris Johnson. He perfectly personifies the stupid, crass, self interest of the Brexit camp in this country. I am sure that it will end up in slapped legs and tears before bedtime. What a wally is all I can say. Incidentally in another innovation overseas readers can insert their own politicians names into this award if they feel that it is helpful. I will leave some space for you to do this.

There we are back together once more.

I am awarding the wannabe award to Kiv the Koala. He has been a little bit of a pain since he joined us in the spring. His constant attempts to get our attention get a bit tedious at times but he is also a happy little fellow nonetheless. Just be warned you won’t be getting your own blog anytime soon mate.

It has been quite a difficult and sad year at times. We simply want to thank all of our readers for their help and support and so for the second year in a row we are awarding the incredibly prestigious follower of the year award to all of you. Thank you for all of your help and support and we are hoping that things will get better in 2019. In the meantime we hope that you have a lovely Christmas. Don’t forget to look out for the official Christmas picture which will make those royal cards look like an amateur effort I can tell you. It was literally seconds in the making you know.

God bless good King George

Afternoon all. Welcome to an uncharacteristically quiet Eyrie. Yes a little miracle has occurred and peace has broken out. I am not quite sure how we have achieved this state of affairs but we suspect that it is connected to young Kivster our little elf on the shelf. Yes he is in a different position each night and that means he has to stay put. There is no indulging him and him quoting “We Koalas you know…”. He has to stay still and not disturb anyone as otherwise Santa will have a thing or two to say to him. It is bliss here you know. Peace and quiet and I know exactly where the Koala is at any given time. I am thinking of extending the tradition into Lent and on to Easter so good it is.

I am getting quite excited as Christmas cards arrive on an almost hourly basis. The big day is rapidly approaching and fans of Christmas traditions will be thrilled to know that I now have the Christmas picture in the bag. You will have to wait until dusk falls on Christmas Eve to see it but I think it rather successfully captures some of the more religious aspects of Christmas. Granted this is a bit of a turn up for the books but I can guarantee that you will all go “ahh” when you see it.

It was a nice sunny day yesterday so our dynamic duo set off for a trip to Weymouth and a sit in one of the shelters on the front. It is full on here as you can see but they did say hello to nice King George as he sits on the front too. He liked Weymouth too so it is only right that we say hello to him when we go and visit.

I am working on the review of the year and some awards so watch out for those. In the meantime we are all braced for the big vote tomorrow and to see what is actually going to happen to the country for the next few years. Perhaps nice Mr Blair and nice Mr Cameron might form a coalition with nice Mr Clegg as tea boy once more. I tell you they couldn’t do a worse job than the current lot. I was going to do one of my now legendary “Cliffie explains all” features on all of this but actually I don’t think it would help so you are a little bit on your own on this one. We await events with a great deal of interest though.