12 December 2014

Murray - School Champion and Highly Commended in the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Christmas Decoration Art Competition .....


Murray was absolutely thrilled when he won his School's recent art competition - for the best recycled Christmas Tree decoration.  The competition was part of an initiative run by Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council for schools in the borough to find the best recycled Christmas Tree Decorations.

Murray & Clive went along with his Mom, teacher and fellow classmates to the award ceremony this morning.  First of all, Murray was thrilled to see his 'winning entry' hanging on the huge Christmas Tree in the foyer of the Town Hall.


Clive & himself were delighted to pose for photos ....


As each student received their prize and certificate they had to take their decoration off the Christmas Tree and parade it around the Hall to show everyone there.  Murray was thrilled to show off his decoration ....


His Christmas Tree was made from old jig-saw pieces and buttons ....


RTE were there to film the event and Murray was even more excited to see his decoration featured on their children's news programme News2Day this afternoon.

Murray loves art and was really delighted with himself this morning.  He was also particularly happy that his teacher and classmates came along to support him and join in the fun.

It was a great morning - well done to Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council for hosting such a fun and creative competition.



- Clive & Co


05 December 2014

Murray meeting his 'Hero' again .....


A few days ago Murray was back in Dublin Zoo again to say 'hello' to all his favourite animals.


He always starts with the elephants,  He has been very excited about visiting because over the past few months Dublin Zoo has had three new baby elephants.  Murray spent ages watching the elephants and finally we persuaded him to move on ....

Lucky we did because who did he bump into ....

Head Keeper Gerry Creighton with fellow Zoo-keeper Ciaran ....

Murray was SO happy to meet Gerry and Ciaran again.  He had a great chat with the lads and we were so grateful for the time that Gerry and Ciaran gave to Murray.  He was thrilled to hear that there will be a 'Zoo Special' on Christmas morning on RTE1 at 10am!!!

He can't wait!!!  He's nearly as excited about that as he is about Santa arriving!!!


Murray reminded Gerry that he wants to be a 'Zoo-keeper' before we left the lads.  Not just any Zoo-keeper but a Keeper looking after the giraffes!  So we had to spend a long time with the giraffes, needless to say!


Murray could stand watching them for hours ....


Murray would go to Dublin Zoo every week if his Mom & Dad would bring him.  He gets huge pleasure from going around looking at all the animals and telling his Mom & Dad all the amazing animal facts that he knows.

There is no better way to spend a few hours than in the company Murray at the Zoo!

- Clive & Co


27 November 2014

Searching for some 'animal' artwork and finding something else ....


The boys love going to art fairs and looking for artwork especially when it's paintings of animals and in particular of dogs!

Clive & Murray were at the RDS Art Source Fair two weeks ago in Dublin and they had a great time looking at all the wonderful art work.

They found a Debbie Chapman painting!

They really love Debbie Chapman's art but this wonderful dog was not 'Clive' so Murray didn't press his parents TOO much to buy it!  Debbie painted a wonderful picture of Clive many years ago which has pride of place in the house.



As the boys were walking around the Fair they were thrilled to meet up with an friend from Brussels!  Fiona O'Farrell was exhibiting at the Fair and Murray last met her a long time ago when he lived with his family in Brussels.  Fiona is also a neighbour of Murray's 'auntie Maire' in Brussels.  It's a small world!

Fiona's paintings were fantastic - they have a real art deco 1930's feel to them.  Fiona paints with the Green Wall Art Collective - a group of five Irish artists based in Belgium and Ireland. Fiona had no animal paintings for Murray but Murray's Mom & Dad loved her work so much they purchased two paintings!  Thanks Fiona for the art bag too and the paintings made it all the way to Spain last weekend as well.  From Brussels to Dublin to Spain - you're artwork is now hanging in our house in Marbella.  Continued success with your painting!



The boys spent lots of time admiring all the paintings ....


They were very impressed with this 'London Bridge' painting as well - Murray had only been on the bridge the weekend before so he really wanted this painting as well but it was a little big and a little too expensive!!  Murray tends to overlook the prices!



The Art Source Fair had a fantastic collection of artwork - lots of paintings that really appealed to Murray - he would have bought every 'animal' painting there!!

We were delighted though to purchase a 'non-animal' painting for once and we wish Fiona and her fellow artists at the Green Wall Art Collective every continued success in Belgium and Ireland.


- Clive & Co

14 November 2014

More of Murray in London .....


After Murray's visit to the Museum of Natural History, there were a few other places he insisted on visiting ....

Harrods - to get a 'Harrods' rubber duck!!!

The crowds that were there on a Saturday afternoon but Murray and Kermit would not be put off - Murray wanted a 'Harrods' rubber duck to add to his collection!



After Harrods, there was lots of travelling around on a tour bus to catch as many of the sights as possible ....

Murray knew exactly where he wanted to visit ....


The most 'awesome' sight as Murray would say was certainly the poppies at the Tower of London.  It was an incredibly moving sight and we explained to Murray to each of those 888,246 poppies represented someone who had died in World War One.  As Murray knows his great-grand uncle Simon was one of those man, he was very good at standing amongst the huge crowds and pausing for a moment to remember and reflect on all of those who had died in that terrible war.


It was truly humbling to be there ....


Our Murray understood in his own special way and that was good enough for us!


 Later we took Murray to Piccadilly Circus and to do a little more sight-seeing and shopping ...



 We want to thank the lovely lady we met on one of our many trips on the DLR who told us to make sure we were outside M&M's store at 12 noon on Sunday as they opened their doors ....


They make a huge fuss on the first customers in through the doors and Murray loved it!


He won't eat an M&M mind you but that doesn't stop him enjoying the shop!


Even Kermie enjoyed the store!


Murray had another venue to visit firmly on his list as well ....

The Rainforest Cafe!  He loves this restaurant from his visits to Disneyland Paris so we had to stop by for lunch ....


Kermie was right at home ....


Later on Regent's Street - Murray was absolutely thrilled with the Christmas decorations - all themed around Night at the Museum 3!


We had to walk up and down that street several times and it's a very long street!!


However, we were allowed a break at Hamleys!! Only because Murray was on another mission - to find some new jig-saws!  There were so many jig-saws in Hamley's - it was a virtually treasure trove!


Murray is always a very happy young man when experiencing what interests him and when getting to experience those places that he can relate to through all the films he watches.

He loved London!  It was all he wanted and more!!  He, of course, wants to go back as soon as possible because it's a big big city and there was only so much we could do in four days!

Huge thanks again to all the great people we met along the way who made our journey all the more special!

- Clive & Co (inc Kermit)

12 November 2014

What Murray did in London (without Clive!)


Murray is mad about museums, particularly Museums of Natural History and particularly those that feature in the Night at the Museum films.  He has been on a special tour of the Museum of Natural History in New York (where Night at the Museum 1 was filmed) and ever since our fabulous guide there last October told Murray that Night at the Museum 3 was based at the Museum of Natural History in London, Murray has been on a mission to get to London.

We have had a very busy year so it took until last weekend to get to London ....

Murray has been so excited for weeks ,.,.

Clive didn't come though because a weekend in London with lots of tube changes would not have been fair on him.  It took three changes on the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) to get just from London City Airport to our apartment.

We stayed with Staycity Deptford - which are fantastic serviced apartments and great value!  But all weekend, we were constantly on the DLR, the London underground and on a tour bus around the sights.

Public transport systems have so many escalators (and not so many elevators or stairs) that it would have been very hard on Clive!  So we compensated, if Clive couldn't come along with us, Kermit would accompany Murray.



Murray very much needs to have Kermit with him when Clive isn't there and if it seemed strange to people to see a tall 16 year old young man walking around the place with a green frog, well you know, they never showed any surprise, only interest and delight at Murray and Kermit!

Murray showed Kermit off to everyone he met (just like he would do with Clive!) and people reacted with very much the same understanding and kindness that they do when we are out and about with Clive.

Murray talks to Kermit all the time (just like he does with Clive!)

Murray shows Kermit everything (just like he does with Clive!)


Murray will very happily pose with photos with Kermit (just like he does with Clive!)

He was so excited at the Museum of Natural History - he couldn't quite believe he was actually finally there.  Knowing that he was where Night of the Museum 3 was filmed (and due out on 19th December) and being in the place where David Attenborough's film ALIVE was filmed (which Murray absolutely adores) he was one happy young man!


We made sure to be at the Museum just as they opened at 10am on Saturday morning (we had rung ahead to ask about busy times and crowds) and although we were told to make ourselves known to any of the staff if there were big queues - we didn't have to approach any staff for special assistance as we were always just ahead of the big queues.  It does get very busy at the museum though so it's well worth being there as they open the doors!


Murray, Kermit & Dad enjoying the dinosaurs ....


Murray loved showing Kermie the Blue Whale ....


 So many animals to admire ....


Night of the Museum - Secret of the Tomb will be out in only a few weeks time ....

Murray can hardly wait ,..,.

Now, he's been to the museum - he's even more excited!


Look at that for a happy face!  Both Murray and Kermit!!


It's not easy being away without Clive ....

It's not easy taking on new adventures in great big cities with lots of people .....

But having a 'green' focus if we couldn't have a 'canine' focus really helps Murray!

Thanks to all the wonderful people we met in London over the weekend who embraced Murray and Kermit on their adventure!

No-one was in the least surprised to see a green frog accompanying Murray everywhere!


- Clive & Co (inc Kermit)

07 November 2014

After the lemurs, the butterflies delighted - Mariposario de Benalmadena

After enjoying the lemurs so much in Selwo Safari the other day

Murray's Mom & Dad took him to Mariposario de Benalmadena - the Butterfly Park near Benalmadena a few days later....

Because .....

Murray adores Butterflies too!

All living creatures rate highly with our Murray!



We had no Clive with us again but Kermit came along for the ride ....

Murray loved looking at all the butterflies and finding out where in the world they came from ....


He could tell his Mom & Dad so much about butterflies (thanks mostly to Auntie Mabel from the BBC's Come Outside programme) - but it was fantastic to hear him explain all about the life-span of butterflies ....


He spent ages looking at all the wonderful specimens on display ....





and Kermie enjoyed himself too!


Although he was getting a little tired at the end of it all ...


Murray really enjoyed spending a few hours at Mariposario de Benalmadena and very nice that they offer a 20% discount for guests visiting with a disability.

- Clive & Co