Mar 27

Sometimes only a few days at the health spa will do!

Hello everybody. It’s me again – Marigold.

Right now I am feeling the teensiest bit guilty, but I’m sure you will sympathise when I tell you how I come to be standing with suitcase in paw, waiting for the taxi that is going to whisk me away for several days of pampering at our local health spa!

Montgomery and MarigoldLet me take you back to the same time last year. Easter was only days away, the sun was shining, the daffodils were blooming and life was totally idyllic.  I have such fond memories of that day, when Montgomery and I spent several hours, simply relaxing on the garden bench, basking in the warmth of the glorious Spring sunshine… (contented sigh…)

However, since last July’s unexpected arrival of Baby Maisie (such a shock! I was so certain that my expanding waistline was merely a reflection of eating rather too many bananas!), life has, of course, become much busier for all of us. Just in case you have any doubt about this, I have raided the family album for a few photos of Maisie “at work”!

Lots of naughty monkeys

I am also honest enough to admit that I may have neglected my beauty routine just the tiniest bit, since Maisie arrived… But I’m sure you will all agree that a busy parent, of a very active young monkey, has precious little time to think about being fashionable!

And there is certainly no time for visits to a beauty salon for fur-reviving banana facials or paw-dicures!

Cheeky comments

Which is why Montgomery’s comments, as we sat in the sunshine a few days ago, picnicking happily, were quite uncalled for!

And what, I hear you ask, did my “dearest” Montgomery say as we sat by the lakeside???!!  I quote him directly… “I don’t mean to be insensitive, my darling Marigold…. but I am just wondering if it might soon be time to put away those lumpy, winter, thermal vests? “

Me?! Lumpy??!! I was positively speechless! And even more irate a few hours later when I opened an email from my sister-in-law Magnolia which contained this beautiful photo of the peaceful picnic that she and her husband, Morgan, had enjoyed on the same day that I was being so unkindly insulted about my fashion sense!

Magnolia and MorganThere is only so much that a monkey can take…

“Montgomery, darling. Can you come here, please? I just wanted to let you know that cousin Mimosa and I have decided to spend a few days at the spa. No, No, don’t you worry, Montgomery, I’ve left a long list of instructions to help you run the household for the next few days” “There is plenty of banana casserole in the freezer, and I’m sure that Baby Maisie will cause you no trouble at all…”

Tee Hee – from a deliciously happy Marigold!

Jan 18

The Banana Famine

Banana Bunch Blog 5 Banana famineHello again, all you lovely Bunchers! My goodness, what an up and down time it has been since I last wrote to you.

We had a positively brilliant Christmas, but then came the shock of the post-Christmas banana famine (we’ve been rationed to just one banana per monkey, per day for weeks now – just awful!). I can, so clearly, remember the look of disbelief on the faces of all the family when Montgomery and I returned from the greengrocer’s shop with empty bags. Montgomery’s stomach started to rumble at that moment, and it has not stopped since! I have to use earplugs to get some sleep!

Next the dreadful weather started. Living in Treetop Cottage means that we are very lucky, and our paws are dry; but my goodness we are so sad and worried for all our friends whose homes are full of water. Just as soon as we have some spare bananas we will be out and about, delivering to our friends to try to cheer them up a bit.

Banana Bunch Blog 5 Banana famine 2 300And on top of this we’ve just heard the news that our American cousin Monroe broke a paw while trying to deliver emergency bananas to his local hospital. One quick trip, slip and slide and he was head-first down a large rabbit hole! His darling Marietta has been at his hospital bedside for days. Poor Marietta!  Apparently Monroe (who is extremely fond of his food) has been very unhappy about not being allowed to eat before and after his anaesthesia!

All of which is making me very worried indeed as it has just been decided that Monroe (who is still confined to bed) will be coming to Treetop Cottage for several weeks, to convalesce, while Marietta goes to Europe to urgently buy some emergency bananas for us all.

Oh Dear, Oh Dear. It is very brave and generous of Marietta to go off on a banana hunt, but I do so wish it was me who was going instead! Treetop Cottage is already full, and now I have to work out how to feed a guest who is going to be very unhappy that there are so few bananas to go round.

But never fear. I, Marigold Montague, am a very resourceful monkey. If professional chefs can be given awards for food which is made of one thing, but looks and tastes like another, we monkeys can do it too!

Right now I’m experimenting with a mixture of mashed parsnip, curry powder, brown sugar and yellow food colouring. Phase one of the experiment is working brilliantly and the result looks remarkably like a real banana. It is just tedious that the family are so impolite about the flavour….But never mind, A Monkey Never Gives Up, and I WILL create the perfect artificial banana, even if it takes all year!

Banana Bunch Blog 5 Banana famine 3 300

On a much happier note, we had the most marvellous Christmas? The banana famine hadn’t yet started and we enjoyed a positively sumptuous Christmas Day dinner of baked bananas with chocolate-spinach dumplings, banana-celery fritters, and a huge banana and pickled onion casserole, followed by large dollops of banana-caramel trifle – all washed down with Granny’s best banana lemonade. Bliss!!
And what fun we had when, just after Christmas dinner, Santa Monkey arrived with wonderful presents for all the family.


Banana Bunch Blog 5 Banana famine 4 280

In fact we were all so mellow and relaxed that we didn’t even mind Baby Maisie climbing the Christmas tree. Though it was rather a shame that she landed on top of the remaining trifle when the tree fell over. Such a waste of a good trifle!

Ah well, that’s all for now, my lovely Buncher friends. Monroe is due to arrive this evening, and we are determined to make him feel totally welcome. At the same time, if any of you see Marietta while you are travelling in Europe, please encourage her to come back very soon!


Biggest hugs from your friend, Marigold Montague monkey XXX


Dec 10

Granny Millicent and Grandpa Merlin

Hello everybody!

Oh my golly goodness! It has been so long since I’ve had time to put paws to keyboard to write to you all. I do apologise, but perhaps the picture below will give you a clue as to what has been keeping us so busy….

Ooooh! We do wish that Granny Millicent and Grandpa Merlin could be here to help us with Baby Maisie!

Banana Bunch Blog split ketchup 300


Unfortunately for us, Granny and Grandpa are very busy at the moment, but never mind. Now that their names have been mentioned this is a good opportunity to tell you a little bit more about these two very special members of The Banana Bunch family.

Granny Millicent and Grandpa Merlin

Granny Millicent and Grandpa Merlin are two of the most generous, helpful and wise monkeys that one could hope to know. They also have a fascinating and secretive past.  Read on, and I’ll tell you more – just as soon as I have explained why they are away from home at the moment.

Granny and Grandpa are currently frantically busy, stock-piling dozens of crates of extra-specially delicious, organic, bananas. No, No! They’re not for us. They are for all the poor people who will be in hospital this Christmas, of course!

Did you know that, in recent years, some poor hospital patients have been offered nothing more than a hard-boiled egg and a few slices of cold bread as their Christmas lunch? It is positively scandalous! We couldn’t possibly enjoy our Christmas Day banana/parsnip casserole knowing that others are suffering. The moment that we heard about this dreadful situation we set to work.

And, who better to organise such a massive banana delivery project than Granny and Grandpa?

Those of you who are a little bit older will remember that there have been times when, because silly people were arguing about who owned which bit of land, everybody had to suffer. And during those times it was very difficult to import food – especially bananas.

Naturally, something just had to be done about this and, many years ago, at the height of the bad times, a group of daring and courageous monkeys (founder members of the now famous Special Banana Executive) regularly risked their fur to smuggle emergency bananas across the world.

Nowadays, of course, we can talk about such things quite freely, but back then it was highly dangerous and very secret work. We are so very proud of the few old, faded, photos of Granny and Grandpa that have survived since then. My fur stands up on end when I think of the risks that those heroic monkeys took.

I will say zees only once

Oh Gosh! We are so proud of Granny and Grandpa.

I am, though obliged (as you know, I am a very honest monkey) to confess to having one tiny little qualm about their past exploits, which left Granny with a very disturbing enthusiasm for high speed and risk-taking.  So…. I have some very serious advice for all you lovely Bunchers.

If Granny every offers to drive you anywhere firstly say a very firm “NO”!.  And if you do succumb to her insistence (and most of us do – Sigh…) please make sure that your seat belt is very securely fastened. And unless you have a very strong stomach please, please take some travel-sickness tablets before you set off.

You don’t believe me? Just look at the grin on Granny’s face! One moment we were sitting up, enjoying the sunshine, the next she had put her foot down on the accelerator and we were flat as pancakes…..! Oooh. I don’t like to think back to the 5 minutes that followed….

Banana Bunch Blog 4 riding out 300


Lots of hugs from a Marigold who is very relieved to be sitting in a safe, and stationary, armchair! XXX

Nov 28

The trouble with boxes…..perfect plans and roofs!

Hello Bunchers! It’s Marigold here. And what a week it has been!

Last Friday, Montgomery and I were peeling bananas for our lunchtime banana and spinach omelette, when the doorbell rang. “Hurrah”, we thought. That’s the latest consignment of Banana Bunch books being delivered. BUT… “Oh dear. Oh dear! Oh dear!”

monkeys and boxes


For those of you who have only just met us, we need to explain that we sign our Banana Bunch books with our very own paws, and then we sell them to raise money for two brilliant charities for children. And we had been doing so well that we had ordered some more books so that we could write some lovely big cheques for the children before Christmas.

Great Galloping Bananas! What a mess! Boxes with holes punched into their sides. Boxes ripped open. Boxes squashed and lots of our beautiful books squished and dirty. We were very sad monkeys indeed for a few days.

Fortunately, some very distracting news arrived yesterday from our Banana Bunch family in Wales, to help us forget about the poor, damaged books.

And what genius the Welsh branch of The Banana Bunch revealed when they came up with the plan of hijacking a satellite dish so that they could broadcast news of the Banana Bunch’s work all round the world. It was a perfect plan, and it really should have worked. After all, Morgan,  (unlike my darling Montgomery) is such a practical monkey…

tool kit

..And it did work for a few seconds, during which it was so exciting to suddenly see Morgan’s furry face appear on our television screen. Just such a teensy shame that he only managed to broadcast “Hello, I’m Morgan Montague monkeeeeeeeeeeeee!” before he slid off the roof!

on the roof

Ah well, never mind. And I’m sure Morgan’s twisted ankle will be better in no time.

Lots of love, Marigold


P.S I know I was supposed to be telling you about Granny Millicent this week, but the other news got in the way.  Tune in next week and I promise to tell you about the day that Granny accidentally broke all the kitchen windows, while using the kitchen lights for trapeze practice… Or maybe I’ll tell you about… Snigger! XX



Nov 19

Oops, I’m in so much trouble! Montgomery is not pleased

Yoo Hoo everybody! It’s me, Marigold, again! And I have to tell you that I am in SO much trouble! Not only was my darling Montgomery (who almost never gets cross about anything) very huffy about the comments in my last blog– I’ve also had lots of grumpy letters from the rest of my family!

Oh dear, Oh dear! I didn’t mean to be unkind. And I would never intentionally hurt Montgomery’s feelings. I was just telling the truth, but perhaps not in the wisest way. I feel so bad!

On the other hand… before you all decide that I am a totally horrid monkey perhaps I should tell you a little more about my wonderful husband, Montgomery…

Montgomery Montague

Montgomery Montague is the kindest monkey you could ever hope to meet. When I met him, all those years ago, I couldn’t believe that such a handsome and clever monkey would want to spend time with me. But he did, and we have been blissfully happy ever since.

Except… Oh botheration..  That’s not entirely true.  I was brought up to be a very honest monkey, so I’ll  have to confess that there may have been a few moments when the bliss has wobbled a bit!

montgomery at keyboard

Looking at the positives, my darling Montgomery comes from a long line of hugely brainy monkeys so, of course, he is an utterly brilliant scientist and author. His first book, “Quantum Banana Theory” took the world by storm. “Are There Bananas On Other Planets?” sold out on the first day of publication, and “Can Bananas Cure Hiccups?” became an international best-seller overnight. Such talent!

On top of all of this, Montgomery is an incredibly kind and caring father, a marvellous teacher to all our young monkeys, and he almost never gets cross. In fact I can’t praise him enough when it comes to matters of intelligence, genius and good-nature.

At the same time… if I am going to remain a totally honest monkey, I am going to have to tell you that there may be one or two aspects of Montgomery’s personality that are just the teensiest bit infuriating!

When, for example, it comes to practical matters, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!…  And, as for his habit of not listening to a word that I say… Maddening! After all, it is not as if I talk too much!

montgomery out and about

Oh how I remember the day when we feared that our Welsh monkey relatives had become lost in the mountains, and we set out to rescue them. Montgomery had done some marvellous advance planning. He had checked the maps and had arranged for loads of bags of emergency bananas and we had enough fuel for 8 hours of flying. The trouble was that Montgomery left the maps at home…

And it still might have turned out okay if Montgomery had just listened to me. “Aim for the mountains” I said. “Wales is that way” I said…. But did he pay any attention…. ? No! Sigh.

montgomery in digger

Hours of aimless flying later, we ended up stranded near the Dorset border, out of aircraft fuel, and with nowhere to shelter except in the bucket of a large mechanical digger. I hope you may be starting to agree with me (dear readers) that I may sometimes bejustified in becoming just the teensiest bit impatient with Montgomery!

Hey Ho! We Banana Bunch monkeys always try to see the best in every situation. So, while my darling Montgomery may drive me dotty from time to time, I wouldn’t change him for all the bananas in the Caribbean!

Lots of love to all you lovely Bunchers, Marigold XXX

P.S. Tune in again soon and I’ll tell you all about Granny Millicent!


Nov 14

Our new Banana Bunch Blog!

Hello everybody!  Marigold Montague monkey here!

This is so exciting! I’m going to be writing our new blog about the adventures of all my friends and family in The Banana Bunch!

Banana Bunch Family Photo

I’m dreadfully sorry that there are so few of us in this photo.  It is just that everyone else is out and about this afternoon, doing our essential Banana Bunch work of delivering emergency bananas. I’ll introduce you to them just as soon as they come home.

MarigoldAs I said, I’m Marigold (that’s me on the far left of the photo in the orange and blue stripey cardigan) and the incredibly handsome monkey by my side, wearing the yellow sweater, is my wonderful husband Montgomery. And then there is Granny Millicent, Grandpa Merlin, cousins Mimosa and Milford (who live in America), our children, some of their French cousins who are visiting at the moment….

Hmmm. Is this a tiny bit difficult to follow?  Might it be easier if I introduced us all one at a time?  Yes? In that case, I’ll start with me.

Marigold Montague

Marigold Montague monkey is my name and I am very proud to be one of the founder members of The Banana Bunch, a monkey society which is dedicated to the delivery of delicious bananas to anyone who is unwell, in hospital, and who hates their hospital food. It all started back in 2007, when one of our human friends was in hospital, and we have been delivering bananas ever since. And that, I have to tell you, is a lot of bananas!

Not that it has been an easy task. For reasons that make no sense at all, monkeys are not allowed into hospitals. So foolish! We are awfully nice monkeys – but rules are rules. Besides which, we have had loads of fun thinking up plans for sneaking bananas to the patients. Tee hee!

I like to think that I am particularly good at thinking up banana delivery plans. And, while I don’t wish to sound boastful, our banana delivery success rate might be very different if I were not so good at practical tasks…

If we had to leave things to my darling Montgomery (who I totally adore, and who is a brilliantly brainy, and incredibly kind monkey, in a rather forgetful and clumsy way) we would be in a fine mess – as you can see from these pictures!


Banana Bunch puncture


Banana Bunch puncture 2


Oh gosh! There is so much more to tell you, but this is probably enough for one day.

Big hugs everybody and lots of love from your new friend Marigold XX