Views of the Monkeynut

by   Peter R. Lloyd-Davies

Europe 1997 New Hampshire 1998 On Kittens and Cuckoos 2003
Disney 2000 New Hampshire 1999 My Uncle Edward 2004
Europe 2000 New Hampshire 2000 My War Journal 2005
Southwest 2001 Seattle 2000 Amateur vs Professional 2006
Cape Cod 2002 New Hampshire 2001 2007
Opila reunion 2002 Seattle 2002 2008
Christmas 2002 New Hampshire 2003
Honk! - February 2003 Toni in Alaska, July 2008
Memorial Day 2003
July 4 2003
Maine, August 2003
Lake Winnipesauke, 2004
Russell is 90, Sept 2004
Europe, August 2005
A mighty wind, 2006
Turkey, 2007
Xmas 2007 pictures
Mike's graduation, June 2008

Views of the Monkeynut presents a vivid multimedia adventure unfolding the splendor of the Lloyd-Davies and Lynch atomic family, featuring, as the nucleus, Peter and Louise; as the electrons, Madeleine and Toni, along with their perky pets, Volt and Tillie. Discover the agonies and ecstacies of their latest travels, or study the history of their adventures from conception to the present through a vast archive of photographs, scientific facts, questionable rumor, text, graphics and videos.





New from the Monkeynut, summer 2003 - Following a doozy of a winter, with a major blizzards in February and March and even a significant snow storm on April 7th, we endured a record-shatteringly chilly and damp spring. By midsummer's day, New York had recorded its wettest June in recorded history - and with a week to go before the end of the month. Suddenly, without warning, summer arrived, with temperatures in the nineties and heat advisories in effect. Now it seems that every other day is too hot or too dry or too wet or too something. What can be next? Hail the size of footballs? Rains of blood? Plagues of frogs? The parting of Chesapeake Bay? Something biblical is definitely in the air. Recently, I'm sure I heard mention of forty days and forty nights on the news.

Toni now has braces on her teeth. (See pictures on her page.) She actually had about 7 appointments with various dentists within a three week period, starting with a check-up, then adding additional appointments to fill cavities, trips to the orthodontist, returns to the regular dentist for two extractions so that her permanent teeth will have room to come in. All this dental activity has somewhat compromised her ability to consume the vast amount of candy she has gotten as 12th birthday presents, but she has borne it with unfailing good humor. I take off my hat to you, my dear girl!

New from the Monkeynut, fall 2003 - Well, the war in Iraq is no longer a daily source of anxiety, but the final chapter is certainly not written yet. Will a new generation grow up in Iraq seeing the US and Britain as their liberators and the founding fathers of their democratic government? Or as an occupying force, to be loathed and opposed? I still occasionally scribble my thoughts and worries in my war journal, although I no longer do it with quite the level of obsession I achieved in March.

The latest milestones in growing up: the girls march on through the Mamaroneck educational system. Toni is now in 7th grade at Hommocks, complete with braces on her teeth. Madeleine, meanwhile, has graduated both from braces and from middle school and is now attending high school. She is also going to be appearing a school production of The Merry Wives of Windsor in March 2004. Our talented friend Wendy Popp has created a wonderful picture of the girls in pastel which is now proudly hanging over our fireplace. Check it out!

Both girls went off to sleep-away camp this year. To our relief, both enjoyed their stays and are talking about going back again next year. Madeleine then took off for California with her friend Sophia Spector and parents. They attended a comic-book convention in San Diego, then drove up the coast to San Francisco. How cool is that! She postponed celebrating her 14th birthday until her return.

In August 2003, the entire family spent a week in Maine, staying in a hotel in Bar Harbor and enjoying the delights of Mount Desert Island. Our departure was delayed for a day by the Big Blackout that knocked out power to the Northeast all the way over to Michigan and which left us without electricity for 24 hours. We were very fortunate with the weather which was lovely the entire week and spent our time splashing in the hotel pool, buying T-shirts and worthless trinkets in Bar Harbor, climbing and hiking in Acadia National Park or just puttering around the island.

In September 2003, I abandoned my family (as has become customary) and took off for North Conway, New Hampshire, for a week of hiking and climbing, joined by Rick Trepp for a couple of days at the end. I sort-of climbed Moby Grape with Kurt Winkler, a climb on Canon cliff that I have wanted to do for years - I got to the top, but Kurt had to provide some serious assistance. It was a big thrill to reach the top of the climb, no matter how I had to cheat to get there. See my pics.

Columbus Day, 2003 turned out to be an amazingly perfect fall day, so the family hopped in the car and went across the Tappan Zee bridge over the Hudson to Warwick, which is kind of a center of local apple-picking activity. We spent a couple of hours wandering around a pick-it-yourself orchard, filling a rather large plastic bag with a great variety of apples. Apple, anyone? Please!

Holy ice-age, Batman!!! What has happened to the weather? We have just been creamed by a major snowstorm, record-setting for this time of year, and before winter even has officially started! On Friday December 5th, 2003, Louise calls me from the City to say it is snowing hard. I look outside - no, not a flake in sight; must be a freak snow-squall. Besides, I don't recall any dire warnings on the radio and TV. But not long afterwards, I notice that it has started snowing in Larchmont, too. And it snows, and snows. After school, Madeleine calls to see if I can come and pick her up. No problem, I say, but once I start driving, I realize that it is a huge mistake. Going down the very modest slope to Murray Avenue, the car starts sliding and I am powerless to stop it, and it finally comes to an abrupt halt when the driver's side wheel strikes the curb. I manage to get going again, but discover that the driver's side front tire is now rubbing against the wheel well in a very expensive sort of way. I go around the block to try to limp home but can't make it and end up parking on the street and walking the rest of the way. Fortunately, I am able to reach Madeleine by calling the Starbucks near the high school where she is waiting for me and I tell her to go home with whichever of her friends has transportation. Then Toni calls to say that the bus is not running and can I pick her up? I laugh hollowly - take a cab, I advise. She calls the cab company, but they aren't running either, so she ends up having to walk home. And after some rain washed away most of the snow, we then have another serious dump a week later. Is there a four-wheel drive vehicle in our future? This now seems like a distinct possibility.

In December, The Monkeynut celebrated its 110th birthday with the help of its friends on December 13th, 2003. Many thanks to all of those who came to help us make this milestone (millstone?) special for us. We both made brave statements about how 110 wasn't really so old and how we didn't feel a day past 90. Later, on Christmas Eve, I was jogging through the rain to my car and managed to sprain my knee. I am now hobbling around pathetically - I feel OLD!!! But this too shall pass.

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