Views of the Monkeynut

by   Peter R. Lloyd-Davies

Europe 1997 New Hampshire 1998 On Kittens and Cuckoos 2003
Disney 2000 New Hampshire 1999 On the Theater 2004
Europe 2000 New Hampshire 2000 My Uncle Edward 2005
Southwest 2001 Seattle 2000 My War Journal 2006
Cape Cod 2002 New Hampshire 2001 The Current Unpleasantness 2007
Opila reunion 2002 Seattle 2002 More cat thoughts, 2014 2008
Christmas 2002 New Hampshire 2003 2009
Honk! - February 2003 Toni in Alaska, July 2008 2010
Memorial Day 2003 The Geezers ride again, 2009 2011
July 4 2003 Big Bend National Park, April, 2014 2012
Road trip in Europe, 1963 2013
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
Puerto Rico, January 2011
In and around Austin, 2011
Romping with the dinosaurs, 2012
Trip to Southeast Asia, 2012
We belatedly celebrate our arrival in Texas
Off to New Mexico in August, 2013
To see Toni in Cameroon, 1964

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. 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, December, 2013 - Christmas in New York. This year we decided it would be fun to spend Christmas in New York, at least for the three of us remaining on this continent. Madeleine lives in a 4th floor walk-up just south of 125th Street and Amsterdam. The apartment has three bedrooms, all of which are usually occupied, but Madeleine's roomies were all spending Christmas with their families, so we had the place to ourselves. The walk-up bit challenged our ageing bones and Louise took to her bed after lugging the heaviest piece of luggage all that way. For Christmas dinner, we all chipped in. Madeleine cooked a delicious lemon-flavored chicked, Louise made her world-renowned vegetable casserole and Peter cooked a chocoalte torte for dessert. We also rescued a gift basket we sent for Madeleine and her roomies from the clutches of UPS and decided to dig into it since, for the moment, we were her roomies. And a great time was had by all. And God bless us every one.

New from the Monkeynut, October, 2013 - Halloween. On the heels of the big storm that trashed ACL, we had another doozy the night before Halloween. This one dumped about 4 inches on us, but a foot fell to the west, in the hill country. As a result, the rivers rose and we had some spectacular flooding. Here are some pictures pilfered from the internet.

Stevie Ray Vaughn takes a stroll in Town Lake Water over the bridge Barton Creek

New from the Monkeynut, October, 2013 - ACL Fest. This year, ACL expanded from one three-day zoo to two three-day zoos, on two adjacent weekends. The line-ups were roughly the same each weekend, so the idea was to allow more people to attend without further increasing the crowding in the park. After being disappointed by the festival last year, I decided not go; Louise who had a better time than I last year was a little more conflicted, but in the end did not buy a ticket. The first weekend was gorgeous and I know that Louise regretted not being there. The second ... not so much. We had actually decided to go to the symphony Saturday night, without thinking too carefully about the fact that many ACL-goers would be parking in the Long Center lot with us. But we decided to park early, before leaving for dinner at a nearby restaurant, so we were able to get a parking spot, albeit on a more remote floor of the parking garage than usual. BUT, when the concert was over and we headed back to the parking garage, we discovered that it was raining and the streets were thick with fleeing ACL-goers. (Gotta say, though, that they all looked quite happy.) But the traffic was awful and it took us close to an hour to get home. It then continued to rain hard all night, accompanied by amazing flashes and crashes. When we woke up after a troubled night's sleep, we found that a foot of rain had fallen in the vicinity of our house, our roof had sprung a leak, and that the final day of ACL had been cancelled. Here are some pics explaining why.

New from the Monkeynut, September, 2013 - Toni leaves for Africa. The day finally came. We all drove to the airport, said our goodbyes and off she flew to Philly to meet the other 'Roonlingtons. After a couple of days of bonding, they all got in a bus and drove to JFK and flew to Brussels (home of the sprouts) and then took another plane to Yaounde in Cameroon. After a few days in Yaounde, they left again for their training location, which was Bafia for Toni, and where she was assigned to a host family, a local couple with a bunch of kids, some luxuries like TV and a well for water on the property, but you still had to go out into the yard to the well and fill up a bucket and the toilet was a hole in the ground. All in all, pretty much what Toni had expected and she settled in happily for her training period of three months.

She has now completed two of her three months training and has just learned where she is to be posted, which turns out to be a small town call Bafang, in the northwestern (French-speaking) part of Cameroon which I believe was her first choice. You can follow her adventures at:

New from the Monkeynut, August, 2013 - Our trip to New Mexico. Toni spent the summer in Austin with us, working and preparing for her Great Adventure as a Peace Corps volunteer. She quit her job in early August and we planned a week-long trip to New Mexico for the three of us, Madeleine being the only one in the family who is employed and therefore not being able to take time off. We drove out to Carlsbad on August 24, where we spent half the day in the caverns and the other half skipping about in Guadalupe National Park. I was a little concerned about possible claustrophobia in the caverns but they are so huge that I was just fine - there is a restaurant and gift shop 700 feet down with a fine modern restroom.

Down into the hole Last chance to back out In the Great Room

We then drove up to Santa Fe, which turned out to be lovely, although a little touristy. I thought the high point of the trip was our hike at the Tent Rocks National Monument, which featured some extraordinary pyramid-shaped rocks, formed by volcanic rock and ash that is covered by hard cap rocks.

Museum St. Francis Basilica Theater
Tent Rocks Toni leaps over Tent Rocks

Check out our full adventure here.

New from the Monkeynut, July 4, 2013 - Our neighborhood parade.

More pics here.

Home on the range. At Reds with Toni and Sara to do a little shooting, bring down some zombies.


New from the Monkeynut, June 2013 - Goodbyes and hellos. My old friend Bobby (we go back to 1966 - gasp!) has been living in New Orleans for the last year since he and his lady friend split up. He has now moved to Austin - bought himself a house near the university and drove a truck and several cars here at the beginning of June. (How did he do that?!) I am delighted to have him so close and we have got off to a good start going to Monday night blues at Antone's.

Our neighbor and now good friend Debbie, who has been teaching science in Austin for a number of years finally decided to head back to New York. (I now refer to her as "wrong-way" Debbie.) She is going to be a department head at a school in Brooklyn. We assembled all her Austin friends at our house to tell her that it wasn't too late to change her mind, but she filled up a truck, attached a trailer on the back with her car perched on top of it, hopped into the driver's seat of the truck and off she went. She explained that once she set off, she would be unable to return, since she had not mastered the arcane art of backing up a truck with a trailer on it. By the end of the week, she arrived in Albany where she dumped all her stuff in her mother's basement. Big loss for us, but mitigated by the fact that we met all her friends at the send-off and now hope to make them our own.


Since Volt died a little more than a year ago, we have been thinking about kittens. Finally, at Toni's insistence, we contacted a breeder of Siberians who lives in San Antonio and who advertized that she had a couple of new litters looking for a home. From the name, you may reasonably question whether they really belong in Texas. Indeed, they come from Russian ancestors, have fur a foot long and are the size of a small horse; it is said that Ghengis Kahn himself liked to ride a Siberian into battle. We came to San Antonio, we saw the kittens, we were conquered. Another week or so and we'll have two new arrivals, one male and one female. To show you I wasn't joking (much) about their size, check out our pictures here.

And finally, here is a recent picture of Boris and some of his friends.


New from the Monkeynut, May 2013 - Toni graduates. Three cheers for Toni's graduation! Two of those cheers go to Toni, who has slaved under the hot Texas sun for four long years. The other one goes to my bank account, which has been spilling its life force to make tuition payments all that time.

Off to the stage Back with the goods Happy graduate Happy graduate with sister Happy graduate with family Celebrant

So what is next for Toni, I hear you ask? Well, she is living and working in Austin over the summer. Then in September, it's off to Cameroon for two years in the Peace Corps! Three more cheers for her!

New from the Monkeynut, April 2013 - rain. I have noted before that the good people of Austin have a very different attitude towards rain from the one I grew up with in London. The weather since the beginning of the year has been what I am accustomed to calling wonderful - warm, sunny and dry. But Austin is opposite-town and this good fortune for me has been a source of anxiety and pain for the other residents.

Well, the tables have been turned. At the beginning of this month, a mega storm system arrived and has been soaking us for two days straight. Not only that, but gale-force winds, hail and warnings on the radio to stay indoors until it is over. Our local bulletin board has been ecstatic; here is a sampling of some of the posts as the storm progressed.

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