Archive | June 2013

Mary’s Visit to Aberdeen University- May 2013

In May, I was invited by Kirsty to experience Student life in Aberdeen University. She is studying English and Anthropology!

I thought I was going to be drinking beer and eating beans, but it was not like that at all! Kirsty is a sensible student, or maybe she was warned not to lead me astray!

First I had to help Kirsty write a religious essay. I have been working so hard my ribbon has come undone and I am ready to drop!

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We went to Bridge of Don Baptist Church, where I made some new friends. I found their welcome magazine very interesting.

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Kirsty said I should join the Role Play Society.
It was fun, but don’t ask me what I was meant to be doing!

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Here we are outside Kings College, in Aberdeen, it is huge!

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I found Joe on the beach. He is a Buddhist Monk! He was so happy to meet me!

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Thank you Kirsty, for a lovely time. I found it very interesting. Bears don’t normally get to go to University! Anytime you need more help with your essays, just call me!

Benji’s May Adventures – 2013

My good friend Ray and his wife Stephanie, asked to take me on an adventure. I was excited as Claire told me that Ray goes to good places and does exciting things!

The first place we went to was the Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow to see the Glasgow Sevens Rugby!

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I saw Scotland win their only match!

The winning South African team looked exhausted.

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People were dressed as Smurfs to bid farewell to spectators and players! (I think that lady was trying to do a John Cleese ‘Silly Walk’)!

My next visit was to Blenheim Palace

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I don’t know what they were looking at, but I was looking at the lovely table, big enough for all my friends!!

I went on to the Chelsea Flower Show

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What a patriotic display!

I managed to get in on the Gold medal winning Floral Display.

The lady from Scotland, who designed it, is one of Ray’s neighbours!

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Bet you can’t see me in here! (That’s because I am not there!I  just thought you would like a better look at the display!)

I stopped for a well earned break in the shade!

Can I text Claire Bear when you are finished please Stephanie?

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There are no flowers to look at here, other than Stephanie!

My biggest thrill of the day, meeting a genuine Chelsea Pensioner, see my big smile!

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This is where I say “Hi Claire”, no, silly me, it’s Highclere or Downton Abbey!

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This is Bourton on the Water, on the village green.

This really is Bourton on the water- very refreshing on a hot day.
It felt as if we were at the seaside!
I didn’t go in though, wet fur does not smell too good!

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Ray and Stephanie took me on a sail on Lake Windermere on the way home. Claire was right, this has been exciting!
Thank you both for another memorable trip, and for the new badge marking the Centenary of the Chelsea Flower Show!
Please can I come with you again?

Claire’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ Canaries Cruise-11th – 24th may 2013

On 11th May, I set sail from Southampton on the MS Azura, for a Canaries, ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ cruise. Craig Revel Horwood, Natalie Lowe and Ian Waite were to be on board. I was so excited!

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The ship was ginormous, but very sleek!

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Of course we had the usual Lifeboat drill before we set sail. When are they going to get one small enough for me? I guess I will have to carry my own one!

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Our first port of call was Madeira. Here I went on the cable car to the top. It was very high!

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I saw a nice church

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Then I came down the hill again in a toboggan!

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These are the two men who were in charge of my toboggan, it was great fun and I wanted to go again!

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I then went to a viewpoint to look out over Funchal.

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I tasted Madeira wine-

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It was delicious but I think I had too much!

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My next port of call was La Palma. Here I took a train ride around the town.
I met Barbara and Gloria, two sisters from Bradford .

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And Ranata, our guide.

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We went up to a castle where I saw the cannons and had a good view over
La Palma.

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Next we went to Gran Canaria where I took a bus tour.

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I saw banana plantations

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And Jacaranda trees with their lovely blue/purple flowers.

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 I met Margaret from Seaforth, near Brighton

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Here I had a lovely view of my ship!

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My next adventure was in Lanzarote where I helped to drive a buggy around the hills and villages of Lanzarote for two hours! It was very dusty and bumpy but great fun, quite exciting!

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First we had to fill up with petrol.

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Then we set off

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I was shown how it works!

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It was so bumpy, they had to hang on to me in case I fell out.

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Back at the centre where we got the buggy, I saw these funny
creatures. I was told they were Camels and people could hire them for a ride! I didn’t fancy that, they looked too uncomfortable to me with their humpy backs!

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Cadiz was our next port. Here I took an open top bus tour.

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It was very interesting.

The best bit was the park, but it was a bit dangerous!

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Help!

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I liked this very old tree.

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And tried to climb it, but didn’t get very far!

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I thought these trees looked funny!

Last port of call was Lisbon where I just went for a walk
about

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It was sunny that day, so when I went back to the ship, I got time for some sunbathing in my bikini!

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I attended a Chocaholics tea party.

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Everything was yummy! I couldn’t decide what to have next. If I keep on like this my bikini won’t fit any more!

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It was time to get ready for the Black and White Ball!

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Craig, Natalie and Ian joined the ship in Lisbon and I had my photo taken with them! Norma told them all about Teddies for Tragedies! Craig told her to keep up the good work. Natalie said she had heard about Teddies for Tragedies!

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Norma and Laurie danced for them in a passengers dance competition, just like on ‘Strictly’ and they were judged. Craig gave his usual type of comments, but it was all in good fun!

I had a ball! It was a Fab-u-lus cruise daarlings!

Scott Bear and the Church Golfing Weekend- May 2013

Well, the bears were asked who would like to go on a Church Golfing Weekend, and I said, as I was the only boy free, (Benji was away playing Rugby!),  it should be me. The girls were not too happy with me for this, but Mary was about to set off to Aberdeen University to experience Student Life, and Claire was packing for her ‘Strictly Come Dancing ‘ cruise, to the Canaries, on P&O Azura, so they let me go!

 

Any self respecting golfer starts the weekend in the proper manner I was told.  I hope these golfers are not going to lead me astray!

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We visited Innerleithen Golf Club

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and Kelso Golf Club

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We also visited courses at Cardrona Hotel and Lilliardsedge.

I got a few pointers on how to play –

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this improved my game no end!

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Later, we all got together to talk about our scores! I was quite pleased with my games and I’m looking forward to the next golfing weekend, if I’m allowed back!

Chernobyl Children Meet the Teddies – May 2013

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26th April 1986, saw the nuclear power plant at Chernobyl in Northern Ukraine explode & subsequently blanket Belarus with radioactive contamination.
FOCC Forth Valley  intends to provide respite care for disadvantaged children from the contaminated areas of Belarus following this nuclear catastrophe.

Friends of Chernobyl’s Children-Forth Valley, is a new group set up in Linlithgow, which already exists in other areas of the UK.

17 children came over from Belarus, one of the worst affected areas, in April, to live with host families in Linlithgow, for four weeks.

All the children have been referred by either a teacher at their school or a social worker, they all live in contaminated areas that have high levels of radiation. They also come from poor families that struggle to provide food and clothing.

They speak no English and Russian is their first language. They left Belarus at 2am on Wednesday 17th April and travelled for 4 hours by car to Minsk airport. They then flew to London and on to Edinburgh, where they arrived at 6pm. You can imagine how they felt in this strange environment, where nobody speaks their language except their new friends and the interpreters.

It seemed appropriate, to give these children one of our ‘Teddies for Tragedies’, when they were first met at the airport. All teddies the same size, so all starting on equal footing, regardless of what toys and gifts their host families will give them later.

One host family said when they went in to check on their charge the first night, she was fast asleep, and regardless of the lovely toys on her bed, provided by this family, she was cuddling into her new knitted teddy!

Sending the teddies back to Belarus will be easy as they will tuck in nicely among the children’s new clothes which take priority over the toys they have received over the time they have spent here in Scotland.

A Month of Love

” The children arrived pale faced, under-nourished, shabbily-dressed and carrying small plastic shopping bags with basic belongings. Some children arrived completely empty handed after the 2 day journey from Belarus.

During the next 4 weeks the children blossomed, gaining strength and vitality before our very eyes. One month later the children returned to Belarus with suitcases filled to bursting with warm clothes, shoes, toiletries, vitamin pills and as much pre-packed and tinned food as we could cram into them. The children returned home having gained weight, with rosy cheeks and happy confidence, knowing that people in the UK care and will continue to provide a valuable lifeline for them “

During their stay in the UK the children live with host families and take part in a huge range of activities developed to meet both their recreational and medical needs.

The host families care for the children, providing a friendly stable environment, nourishing food and lots of loving care. The charity meanwhile organises daily activities, medical checks and plenty of good clean fresh air and fun.

This help however does not end when the children return to Belarus. The Friends of Chernobyl’s Children also provide a twelve month supply of vitamins and any essential medicines, clothes and food for both the children and their families in order to maintain the benefits of their visit throughout the year.

It has been proven that care of this nature substantially boosts the children’s shattered immune systems and enables them to enjoy a healthier, fuller and longer life.

It is the aim of the charity to repeat this treatment for each child every twelve months in order to help them live a life we all take for granted.

You can follow the events on Facebook at Friend’s of Chernobyl’s Children – Forth Valley.