Cat crazy at Belfast Castle

Dear Mummy it’s a beautiful sunny day in Belfast and we’ve headed up Cavehill to Belfast Castle. You can see the castle from the M2 as you whizz through Belfast and it was the first thing I noticed as we … Continue reading

Funky Puddle Suits for kids!

Dear Mummy, now is the perfect time to invest in wet weather gear for children. We’re big fans of all-in-one puddle suits for kids! They are practical, can be folded away easily and great for families on the move. Presently … Continue reading

My Autumn Mandala

Autumn Mandala

Last week I wasn’t very well, we decided to stay local and near the house as I was feeling under the weather. (I later find out that I have a bout of tonsillitis – ouchie!) However, after being confined to … Continue reading

A spring trip to Exbury Gardens

Exbury-Gardens-4

Dear mummy, this time last year we visited Exbury Gardens. We had such a great time we decided to visit again and see all the beautiful flowers. Easter has come around early this year by a couple of weeks, so … Continue reading

Monkeying around with the Apes of The Rock

Dear mummy, we’ve recently returned from our trip to Gibraltar to see my grandparents. We had a fantastic time on ‘The Rock’ and have seen some wonderful things on our adventures. A week ago we shared our story on the caves of St Michael’s, but there is so much more to tell you about.

Barbary MacaquesOne highlight of our trip was seeing the world famous Monkeys, or ‘Rock Apes’ as they are known locally.

They are a tailless species of Barbary Macaque (Macaca Sylvanus) Monkeys and Gibraltar’s Rock (mountain area) homes the only population of these animals in Europe!

300 monkeys live on the Upper Rock area of the Gibraltar Nature Reserve. However some Monkeys do pop down into the town occasionally to scavenge (or go shopping at Casemates). Only that morning, before we headed on our Rock Tour up the mountain, did we see one in the tree opposite our apartment.

The Rock if GibraltarWe got up close and personal with the group (troop) at Queen’s Gate near the sumit of The Rock. They are used to human interaction and came up to us and were very interested to see what was in our bags!

Nevertheless, they are still wild animals and will bite if frightened or annoyed. So we kept our distance just incase. They liked posing for photographs, as you can see!! We spotted a mummy carrying her baby in her arms which was super cute.

View from The Rock

Gibraltar’s Rock Apes used to be under the care of the British Army who controlled the population. An officer would be appointed to supervise their welfare, feed them and document them. Each new arrival was named after governors and high-ranking officers.

The Rock of Gibraltar

They received the same treatment as would an enlisted service man at the Royal Naval Hospital Gibraltar if they were sick. Since the withdrawal of the British garrison, the Government of Gibraltar now look after them.
Local legend has it that as long as the Monkeys exist on Gibraltar, the territory will remain under British rule. We can see why the tourists and locals love them so! They are beautiful animals and act like they own the place on The Rock.

Rock Ape with baby

As we were leaving, one Monkey decided to hitch a lift further down the slope, holding onto the wing mirror and then gracefully disembarking to the taxi drivers dismay. My mummy and daddy laughed at this!

A truly amazing sight and well worth a visit if you ever stay in Gibraltar.

Bella x

Packing my Suitcase

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Mottisfont comes up smelling of Roses again!

Mottisfont comes up smelling of Roses again!

Every year Mottisfont host an internationally renowned heritage collection of 19th century roses which draws crowds in from far and wide. They flower just once a year in June so I made sure mummy booked some time in the calendar for us to see this unrivalled show.

Acclaimed horticulturist Graham Stuart Thomas designed and planted the rose garden and brought his unique collection of shrub roses to Mottisfont in 1972. The walled garden is one of only 6 in the world to be in the Rose Garden Hall of Fame. Woweee mummy I feel privileged to see it!

Mottisfont Rose GardenThis is the second time we’ve visited the walled garden at Mottisfont when the roses have been at full bloom. My mummy took me last year when I was 4 months old, but I was really too young to see them in their full glory, I did enjoy smelling them though. Last year we posed by the glorious Kathleen Harrop roses in the Frameyard, where she grows on wall.Mottisfont Rose

So this year we return to the National Trust’s Mottisfont Estate, just outside Romsey in Hampshire. We’ve timed it just right, as Mottisfont’s collection of old-fashioned roses fill the Walled Garden with a beautiful color and scent. Our favourites are the ‘Yellow Pilgrims’ which greet you in the entrance to the gardens and the deep crimson ‘Ards Rover’ blooms.

Antique photos at MottisfontI can walk now so I follow my mummy around smelling the roses and lightly touching them, their soft velvet petals in my tiny hands. They look spectacular against the bright blue sky and the garden is full of different colours. We pick up a roses trail book which lists the top ten old-fashioned roses which Mottisfont grow.

‘Mme Alfred Carriere’ roses climb over the walls and the arches and are a beautiful pale pink rose, they were a Victorian favourite. We see them everywhere in the walled garden at Mottisfont. Roses aren’t the only blooms showing off in the gardens, there are also beautiful irises and shrubs which act as a backdrop to the display. We meet a friendly gardener who stops and chats to us for a little while. It’s very relaxed in the gardens and there is a gentle hum of people chatting, just like the humming of bees which collect pollen from the flowers. The roses will be in bloom until the end of this month and Mottisfont have extended their opening hours on some of the evenings, so make sure you visit after work or at the weekend to take in this stunning display.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont

Mottisfont Walled GardenWe took a picnic blanket and chilled with one of Mottisfont’s yummy ice creams and took in the scenery. This is the highlight of gardening year for us and we haven’t been disappointed.

Thanks Mottisfont! From your youngest fan. Bella x

Smelling the roses at Mottisfont

 

Rise of the Dinosaurs at Marwell Zoo

The dinosaur show

Dear mummy, we’re so excited about this review as we’ve never been to Marwell Wildlife before. I’m at an age (15 months) where I will really enjoy seeing all the animals….and most importantly the Dinosaurs! We’ve seen on The Book … Continue reading