Meeting long lost relatives Fagin & Ted in Waddington

Something rather wonderful happened today. We had a message from Fagin & Ted who live a few miles away from Lower Buck Cottage where we are staying at the moment. A meet-up was arranged and they arrived with home made scones, cream, jam and fruit. All good for bears

We posed for a special re-union photograph on the bench outside the cottage.

After a short walk another photo; this time on the bridge in Waddington memorial garden.

I noticed some stepping stones that looked as though us bears could cross them. So off we went….

Fagin ended up just watching from the bank. He is a well loved bear and could not risk falling in as his fur is quite fragile.

It was soon time for Fagin and Ted to go home. We crowded together for a selfie before saying our goodbyes.

As you can see we all look similar but also have differences. This is because we were all hand made and every Alresford honey Bear is slightly different.

A very special day.

Horace the Alresford Bear 16/9/19

Dunsop Bridge; the centre of the UK.

Dunsop Bridge is more or less at the centre of the UK .

The telephone box states on the outside that it is the 100,000th public payphone, Dunsop Bridge, Centre of Great Britain.

We went inside for a commemorative photo.

Then phoned home and spoke to Growler.

Next we had to find a tea shop. Fortunately we didn’t have to look far.

At Puddleducks tea room I enjoyed Lancashire parkin while Nye opted for coffee & walnut cake. Yum yum yum…

Before leaving we spent a while watching the sheep; and they watched us too!

Horace the Alresford Bear 15/9/19

NT Biddulph Grange Garden, including China

My little brother Nye came along with me to Biddulph Gardens. We were both on a mission to find China; but first we had lunch.

On our way to China we passed many dahlias.

Nye stopped for a while to watch a butterfly.

Here we are in front of ‘The Shelter House’ at the end of the dahlia walk.

Things started to get more interesting when we discovered The Stumpery; an excellent place for bears.

Fungi was growing in some of the nooks and crannies.

Finally we found the way to China…

On the way to China we had a rest on a big boulder next to a glade. A lady stopped to take a photo of us; she thought we were part of the garden’s exhibits!

It was a big surprise to suddenly come across a very large gold bull looking down at us. We had found China!

There were big red dragons in the grass below the golden bull…

Here we are in the heart of China.

There was quite a climb up to the little bear sized house up on the hill…

We both made it to the top…

There were some lovely blue flowers growing amongst the ferns.

After leaving China we had to cross a bridge over a ravine. Nye had some problems with his feet sticking in the gaps.

Here I am with a small tree fern.

Nye wanted to be in a tree fern photo too as it was first time he had seen one.

We had to walk through a tunnel to move on to the next part of the garden.

Biddulph Grange House overlooks the lake.

I kept a close eye on Nye as he studied the fish. He has a history of falling in (remember when he fell in with pigs

We sat for a while enjoying the view and saw many humans taking ‘selfies’.

Some trees are just way too tall for bears to climb up.

Nye managed to get up into the monkey puzzle tree though!

Years ago the big house uses to be a hospital. Nurses used to wheel patients out into the gardens in their beds.

The house behind me had a sinister looking Buddha inside which was lit up in red. We thought the Buddha looked a bit creepy so didn’t hang around to take a photo.

All the exploring made us both very hungry so before leaving we enjoyed a cream tea.

Biddulph Grange garden is really lovely and we especially enjoyed China.

Horace the Alresford Bear 14/9/19

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Back at Tyntesfield again…

I was one if the first visitors to Tyntesfield on August bank holiday Monday. Headed straight to the woods where there is a tree house built especially for bears.

It took a little while for me to climb up to the platform.

Then on up the bear pole…

It felt good to be up with the trees.

Eventually I climbed right to the top. This alarmed my humans slightly.

Afterwards I made my way to the pumpkin patch to see how well they were growing.

This one was nearly as tall as me…

Here I am in the walled garden. A very special place where produce is grown for use in the cafe and sale on the produce table.

The celeriac was growing very well.

At the produce table I bought a large courgette and a freshly picked punnet of raspberries.

In the pavillion café I bought a piece of courgette and lemon cake to try. It was surprisingly yummy.

There is a lovely view across the fields from the picnic area behind the Pavillion cafe.

Before walking back to the car park I took a selfie of myself (of course) in front of the house.

I always enjoy visiting Tyntesfield and will be back again soon.

Horace the Alresford Bear 26/8/19

Previous blogs about Tyntesfield:

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The entrance to the footpath to Glastonbury Tor is not designed for bears that like cake.

I just about managed to squeeze through.

Glastonbury Tor is a special place that many people visit for all sorts of reasons.

The climb up to the top can be quite challenging for some; it certainly is for bears with short legs.

There were lots of people sat all around the top looking at the splendid view.

Here I am in front of the tower which is all that is left of a church that was built here in the 14th Century (St Michaels Church).

There are some stone seats inside the tower. It is OK to shelter from the wind, but the tower doesn’t have a roof, so not so good if raining.

Here I am emerging from the back of the tower.

In the distance I could see the big stage in the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey, where the Extravaganza music festival was on later.

It seemed like a good place to eat my sausage roll that didn’t have any sausage in.

As we walked back down the other side of the Tor there were a group of people with a very tall fox holding some signs for a photograph. They were campaigning to stop foxes getting hunted on National Trust land. I am glad I am not a fox.

Outside The Abbey grounds there was a big sign stating that all the tickets were sold out for the Extravaganza. I hoped that my humans had remembered to get a ticket for me.

While walking down through the High Street I found a shop selling lots of hats and couldn’t resist trying them on…

At the entrance to The Abbey we joined the queue. The humans did indeed have a ticket for me.

There were quite a few people queuing in front of us but they had all ‘made themselves at home’ and were sat on chairs drinking and eating.

Time to eat the Eccles cake bought in the High Street earlier….

All of a sudden everyone started to pack up their chairs; the gates were open and it was time to go into The Abbey grounds. I had quite a good ride on the trolley!

We settled ourselves down just in front of the sound engineer’s tent where there was a good view of the stage.

I was jolly pleased to meet Michael Eavis, who is the organiser of Glastonbury Extravaganza, and also has been hosting the very popular Glastonbury festival at his nearby farm at Pilton since 1971.

I managed to get right to the front to see The Lighthouse Family. They were very good but the base notes from the drum were a little harsh for my small ears, so retreated a bit further away from the big speakers after a few minutes at the front.

There was time for a healthy snack before the next act.

I didn’t get so close to the stage for The Specials. I enjoyed seeing myself on the big screen when the camera scanned the crowd!

Lots of humans were taking selfies of themselves with the band behind. Here is one of me…

The Specials played until it got dark, then minutes after they had finished playing their encore the firework display started. It was a fantastic display but I did find some of the bangs a bit loud.

After all the fireworks had finished it was time to go home. I nearly dozed off on the trolley but was pleased the humans woke me up to see the flood lit abbey ruins.

Glastonbury is an interesting place to visit, and if you like music, the Extravaganza that takes place annually in the abbey grounds is well worth attending. I certainly had a lovely day out.

Horace the Alresford Bear 5/8/19

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Mascot duties with Ancient Men Morris dancers in Cornwall

As soon as I arrived in Flushing I put on my baldricks

I borrowed a Morris dance hat while my favourite dancer called in to visit us. She is a woman which is a tad confusing as the group call themselves The Ancient Men.

Outside The Seven Stars I was pleased to meet up with the full-time mascot Lobby (a friendly lobster).

In order to get to Trellisick (where the dancers were performing later) it was necessary to first board a ferry to Falmouth.

The Flushing to Falmouth ferry is called Miranda and there was plenty of room for a small bear.

I waved to a few Ancient Men on the quayside. They had chartered a special boat just for them that was arriving later.

Most of the boats in the river Fal were not going anywhere.

It was a tad windy on the quayside at Falmouth with a risk of getting blown into the sea so I climbed into the bear carrier while we waited for the next boat to take us to Trellisick.

In the distance on the hill is Trellisick house and gardens that used to be owed by some very wealthy people. In 1955 they gave it all to The National Trust so now everyone can enjoy it.

We set about exploring the gardens while waiting for the Morris dancers to arrive.

The hydrangeas were very different to those in the garden at home. Huge blue blooms nearly as big as me.

On the grass a bear-sized hurdling course had been set up. I had a go but wasn’t very quick. Being a little clumsy I nearly knocked one hurdle over.

Many stately homes owned by the National Trust have special small houses for bears. It was a delight to find one at Trelissick.

From the front of the house there is an amazing view of the Fal estuary.

The sack race had been set up for young humans. I decided to have a go…

Phew; made it to the finish. A shame my human didn’t film me!

Fortunately there are deck chairs for people and bears who have just raced in sacks to chill out in…

The cafe was serving some jolly good food. Yum yum yum…

The sound of jingling bells meant that The Ancient Men had arrived. I found them next to the big house and found a good spot next to Lobby to support them

Some of The Ancient Men are women and they aren’t ancient. They first toured Cornwall 90 years ago and back then they were all men. All of the Ancient Men (and young women) attended Oxford university and every year they meet up for a tour.

At the end of the dancing it was time for a cream tea. Unfortunately wasps also like cream teas.

I ate my cream tea indoors as had no intention of sharing it with wasps.

Time flies when you are having fun. It was soon time to walk back down to the shore to catch the boat back to Falmouth. I paused for a photo with a tree fern. They grow well in the gardens along the Fal estuary.

While waiting for the boat to arrive I watched the big blue boat go back and fro across the river. The King Harry is held by chains and transports cars across the river.

Once on board The Enterprise 3 the skipper asked me if I would like to steer the boat for a while. It was quite hard work for a small bear.

On arriving back in Flushing the regatta carnival was taking place.

The Ancient Men(and young women) were in the procession and danced their way along the road.

Later I joined the Ancient Men for a drink. I am hoping to acquire a tankard for the next time I meet up with them!

Horace the Alresford Bear 29/7/19

For more information about Trelissick

Fingle Woods

I was recently given the opportunity to take part in a special tour of Fingle Woods with The Woodland Trust. After parking the car we made our way to the start point at The Fingle Bridge Inn. I got myself a nice mug of tea and a flapjack and went and sat by the river Teign while waiting for the other guests to arrive.Once everyone had arrived we all walked across Fingle Bridge towards the minibuses that were waiting to take us around the woods. I paused for a while on the wall to look back at the view of Inn.I had a quick look at the map; the woods cover quite a large area (335 hectares).Once on the minibus I fastened my seatbelt. The bus travelled up a track past lots of conifers.We finally reached a clearing where the buses parked. Everyone walked a little way to the remains of Wooston Hill Fort that was built 3000 years ago. We were given a talk about it and about Fingle Woods. Apparently the last owners of the woodland kept 60,000 pheasants on the land which was not good for all the creepy crawlies (invertebrates) that lived there as the pheasants ate far too many of them. The view is spectacular. The guide pointed out two other hill forts in the distance.After getting back in the minibus and driving further through the woods everyone got out again to walk to an ancient charcoal burning platform.Before the conifers were planted oak trees were grown here and coppiced in order for charcoal to be produced.Conifers have been growing here for at least fifty years, but there are still some remains of charcoal to be found around the platforms where it was made.On the way back to the bus I came across a huge mound. On inspection I discovered that it was full of ants and was in fact a giant ant hill. I didn’t hang around!After another short bus journey going downhill we arrived at the bottom of the valley.  There are 13 little streams that run down through the woods into the river Teign.The next stop was at a clearing where 3 years ago a strip of the conifers at the edge of the path had been felled in order to start regenerating the natural woodland.  The ground plants usually present in a broadleaf woodland were all starting to return.  The ecologists explained that although the area under the conifers looks dead, the soil contains many dormant seeds (the ‘seedbank’). When conditions become favourable, the seeds germinate and everything becomes green again.  Eventually, over a period of many many years, they are hoping to restore the whole of Fingle Wood to a broad leaf forest.There were nesting boxes for birds, and dormice.  I did see a few birds but I think the dormice were all asleep.It is a relaxing experience just to sit and listen to the gurgling and bubbling of water.On returning to The Fingle Bridge Inn it was time for lunch.  There was a buffet provided for all the people (and bears) on the tour which was very yummy.After eating I had a look at the butterfly chart and spotted a butterfly that I had seen fluttering around earlier; I think it was called a pearl bordered fritillary.I also got to look at a couple a dormouse nests. The day finished with a chocolate brownie.

Fingle Wood is owned by a partnership of The Woodland Trust and The National Trust.  It is a really lovely place to visit.  The Fingle Inn is also a great place to have some refreshments in a beautiful setting.

For more information see the following:

Horace the Alresford Bear 6/7/19



Adventure in Sardinia

The first place I stayed in was on the west coast of Sardinia; Porto Alabe.I have never seen such big prickly pear cacti; not even at botanical gardens. This one was in flower too.The beach was fairly quiet with just a sprinkling of sun umbrellas.I found the first day rather hot and wanted to cool off. I was very tempted to use the outdoor shower, then remember what happens to me when I get wet!I climbed into the olive tree to shelter from the sun for a while.The lounger was even better, a place to relax in comfort. I nodded off for a while.Meal time I decided to cook some spaghetti in a tomato sauce.Yum yum yum (even if I didn’t cook the spaghetti for quite long enough!)The flowers on the coast were all in bloom and very pretty.I wanted to climb up to the Nuragic monument but my little legs were too tired so I just sat on a rock and looked at it instead. There are lots of them in Sardinia; built over 3000 years ago.On returning to the apartment I found a special bear-sized bath but didn’t stay for long in case someone turned on the tap.A good thing to eat when in Sardinia is pizza. This one the first of many. Yum yum yum..

Bosa is a very interesting town with very old houses painted different colours on a hillside next to the river.

The Streets are very narrow.

There are also many cafes selling very tasty gelato. I am not good at holding cones so had mine in a little dish.

Here I am at another beach further along the coast; Maimoni. I thought about using the snorkelling mask but decided against it.This is the best place for a bear…There were beautiful sunsets at Porto Alabe due to facing west.After a drive along the coast along through the mountains we reached Alghero. Alghero old town has lots of interesting narrow streets, and restaurants serving delicious food, such as this paella.Boats go from Alghero port to visit caves inside cliffs, so I jumped in one for a ride as I have never been inside a cave with stalactites.There was lots to see from the boat.An enormous cruise liner was moored up in the bay.The boats pull up at a jetty at the entrance to the cave, Neptune’s Grotto.I purchased my ticket..Inside the cave was quite amazing. After staying a week on the west of the island it was time to move to the south, which involved a drive across the island, though a tunnel and down a very long winding road to Cala Gonone.There was a wonderful view of the sea from the balcony of Casa Anna.

The back garden was very pretty with an enormous pizza oven.

I cooked indoors as we only needed a small amount of food.

Supper on the balcony. Yum yum yum.

The sea at Cala Gonone was crystal clear and very calm. I could even see a few fish swimming about.

Too hot for a vintage bear though. I have to look after my fur so chilled under the parasol.

One morning I woke up early so went out onto the balcony to see the sun rise.

I do enjoy gardening so tended the back garden while we were there.

There are ‘Giant’s tombs’ in several places in Sardinia. Finding one involved first driving the car to a place in the countryside.

I could see the Giant’s tomb in the distance in the ‘maccia’. Maccia is the collective name for all the wild plants that grow on the uncultivated land.

After quite a long hot walk we arrived at the tomb. I was very careful not to fall in.

All the tombs have the same shapes of stone at the front. This is over 4000 years old.

Back at Casa Anna I posed for a selfie with the bougainvillia.

All adventures come to an end. I tried on some caps at the airport hoping one might fit but I do have an odd shaped head. This one with the Sardinian flag on looks good from the front!

Glad I remembered my passport for going home!

I enjoyed Sardinia but it was rather a warm place for a small bear covered in fur.

Horace the Alresford Bear 24/6/19

(All these photos were also posted live on my Facebook page)

The River Avon Trail

A lovely sunny day so decided to go on a local adventure and walk along the River Avon.

I was jolly pleased to get to Beeses Riverside Bar as was feeling a tad hungry. The ferry boat was very busy taking visitors to and fro.

I clambered in and sat near the life ring just in case….

When we reached the other side there were lots of people waiting to cross back again…

Beeses was very busy with lots of happy people sitting in the sunshine.

I managed to find a quiet spot right next to the river to enjoy my cream tea…

A boat went past and I gave the occupants a little wave…

On the way back I made friends with a young labrador who was also using the ferry…

Just after getting off the ferry I noticed an interesting sign. It inspired me to walk further along the trail…

Legs were a tad tired when I arrived at Hanhan Lock so was jolly pleased to find The Chequers Inn to stop at for more refreshments.

When I finally arrived back home after walking nearly 7 miles I was ver tired but had enjoyed a lovely afternoon out.

Morris Dancing on my own….

On May Day this year I was unable to get to Oxford to join the celebrations so did a little dance on my own.  Here I am:-

Three years ago I had great fun at Oxford dancing with Oxford Morris.

I also met up with them in the Wye Valley during their ‘Ancient Men’ tour:

I do hope to go to Oxford May morning again one year but my humans are not keen on the very early start.

Horace the Alresford Bear 9/5/2019