Just a quick post about ancient monkeys.
This is Cliveden, a Victorian mansion built to replace a Restoration one, which was commissioned by George Villiers 2nd Duke of Buckingham in 1666 and burnt to the ground in 1785 and again in 1849.
The house is now a hotel for the very well-heeled, but happily for those of us with scruffier shoes the National Trust owns the grounds, and it is there that we found these two splendid chaps.
The pair are more than two thousand years old, probably taken from Egypt by Roman armies before being bought by William Waldorf Astor in 1898. They are thought to represent Thoth, ancient Egyptian god of wisdom and inventor of hieroglyphics (my apologies to him, therefore, for my attempt at writing his name). I love the light, crisp granite and their sombre, clever faces.
The baboons watch over the Long Garden, where thousands of yellow tulips have been planted, though as you can see we were there a little early for them to have flowered. Perhaps they will remind the baboons of the yellow desert and the green Nile of their home.