If you could choose to be any animal in the world, which would you choose to be?
This thought sprung to mind as I watched my sister’s cat lick her wounds in a state of a pure delusion. The 5 year old tabby was shell shocked moments after being bitten in the spine by the obese feline that lives in number 22. It looks like it’s popped out 20 kittens in the last month, and is up the duff yet again with 20 more due late October by the way its stomach scrapes against the concrete as it ambushes our innocent housecat less than half its size atleast twice a day.
Cats are interesting to watch, agile, independent, yet fight more than heavyweight champions, and for that reason I would have to pass on the potential of being a pussy for the day.
What about man’s best friend? I think being a dog would be fun, ofcourse it would depend on what breed you were born as. If I came back to this planet as a pug I’m f*cked, give me a German Shepherd anyday. No offense, but I quite like the idea of breathing and eating my food without the hazard of choking on every bite thanks to a muzzle that looks like it’s been hit with a spade. As tempting as a dog’s life is, do I like the idea of getting spayed or neutered, not really. Do I like the idea of being left at home or in the garden for hours on end, maybe not. Having some other mutt sniff my ass on the routine stroll around the block? Eh, what do you think?
And don’t get me started on the rodents, gerbil dads are known to get peckish and prey on their offspring as a bit of a midnight snack. Well, atleast, this is the case according to an old school friend who by all means woke to hear the sounds of crunching in the gerbil family residence next to her bed. On turning the bedroom light on to her horror the dad gerbil had one of the gerbil babies legs hanging out of its mouth, with the rest of the baby have way through his colon. An image which fails to free itself from my mind’s eye.
An animal group which is a popular choice for reincarnation is the birds of prey. This makes sense, with our unwavering interest in what it must feel like to catch air currents over the Grand Canyon or just to levitate to the shop to pick up the milk. I get this feeling too. But bird babies are kind of gross looking, so if I was a bird parent I’d be throwing the baby out the nest pronto which isn’t great.
I guess I’ll come back as a………
Trapped in the rat race.
A maze made for manipulation.
Man against man, race against race.
Of fresh air at dawn.
As futile as asking the sun to,
Rise at dusk and set in the morn.
A word less chosen.
Only by those of land un-citied.
Cities keep the term unspoken.
Zoos are pretty dichotomous places. Good for their conservation of an endangered breed yet bad by preventing an animal from living in its natural habitat. Many more pros and cons come into play when determining whether there is a need for a zoo or not.
But I’ll keep that discussion in the pipeline, for today let me share with you the positives of the safari park situated just north of the capital in the quaint little English village of Woburn which means ‘crooked or twisted stream’ according to wikipedia, fun fact of the day:
So here we go,
Not soon into the safari park driveway and I capture the moment a Dwarf Forest Buffalo charges at one of the touring Cars! It’s always the cute ones you have to look out for!
Which was a surprise as I expected this hench guy to have a go instead:
Things seemed to settle down as we passed the grazing herbivores, which seem more adept to roaming the great plains of the African Savannah than the cud of England’s countryside but anyhow.
Here’s a giraffe licking a fence behind the blur of my Dad’s cheek:
Elephants make an appearance ofcourse on the safari (is the front one male ;p):
And a few Zebra minding their own business make themselves familiar too:
Once the boring animals, I mean grazing animals were out of the way it was times for the moment we all go to Safari’s for, the predators! Behind this cage awaits some of the world’s most deadliest species!
First up the wolves and the Black Bears, both in the same enclosure I may add:
Then it was the tiger, sorry I’ve no photos of it, it was lying down at the furthest point from the road! I don’t blame it!
The Lions weren’t as shy though:
My heart was pounding out of my chest thinking of the following happening:
(credits – Joshua Sutherland)
And with that I think we’ll end this predatory chapter and open one with our friendly cousins the monkeys and Lemurs:
Look at the little baby on her back! Aw happy families, how adorable!
Such a poignant moment caught on camera, in some way it symbolises the intrusive behaviour us humans have had towards the planet’s wildlife.
They were protecting their baby.
Black and white ruffed lemurs and ring tailed lemurs were next:
Next a horny goat:
Leave her alone! She’s too young for kids!
This one was cute though:
Now for the mini dinosaurs aka the birds:
First we have a tiny owl I forgot which breed sorry, look how small it is:
Next we have two cocks having a stand off, nothing new here:
Now a rather nimble little creature, quite prehistoric in it’s movements I must say:
And finally I captured an owl within it’s enclosure, it makes me feel a bit of a mixture of emotions to be honest, not sure they’re all good:
Overall I feel the park deserves a visit, I think zoos and safari parks are important for conservation and education, do I think we need as many? That’s a different question and ultimately, no.
To check out Woburn Safari Park click here.
(cc) Photos taken by Natasha Moore & Claudia Rose Moore
The ocean hugs the shoreline like a mother does her child.
Waves crash against the coastline as the stars above collide.
A million lightyears away, do planets exist like mine?
Why does it matter anyway? For it’s Earth where I reside.
The sunlit sands so soft to touch, as Mr Sunshine beams his smile,
The scent of salty seaweed, inhaled deeply with passing time.
Do you think that we were made by the world, or was this world made by you and I?
A question left unanswered, do you care to give it a try?
The ocean hugs the shoreline like a mother does her child.
Waves crash against the coastline as the stars above collide.
I watch as animals lose their lives, bodies wash upon the shore tonight.
Pollution- a major cause of their mortality, it’s peculiar how noone sees without light.
*We need to do more to protect our planet. At this moment in time mankind cannot migrate to Mars or another planet. Even if we could, is it really acceptable to leave damage and destruction in our wake?
In preparation for my night of silent discoing this weekend I wanted to keep the theme going and share with you some quirky activities you could try while here in the capital:
- Dans Le Noir
Fancy eating in a restaurant? Hell Yes! In complete darkness? Um…..? If you don’t fancy your date, or still do, but just don’t fancy them seeing steamed spinach sitting pretty on one of your big buck teeth then this is up our street for sure. With the aim of the night being that you devote all of your attention and senses on the food, and not any visual distractions, this should make you enjoy the act of ‘tasting’ much more. Plus it’s quite a fun experience, start a food fight, noone will ever know it was you!
Dans Le Noir, Farringdon, EC1R 0DU
- The Clink Brixton
Would you eat a meal cooked by convicted criminals at a prison restaurant? The suspicious part of me fears they’ll poison my confit duck but obviously noone has been poisoned yet, nor have any of the diners choked to death on an overly large shard of ‘misplaced’ glass, so I guess the prisoners must be doing something right. Infact so good is the system they’re running at the Brixton joint that it’s been reviewed highly on Tripadvisor. Infact the whole ethos behind the restaurants functioning should be credited. The prison restaurant aims to rehabilitate offenders, giving them a responsibility and a goal to work towards their City & Guilds NVQs, with the aim one day for them to assimilate into society a changed person, a better person. Maybe I’ll give it a visit actually (though stick to ordering a coke, kidding).
The Clink Brixton, HM Prison Brixton, SW2 5XF
- House of Dreams Museum
Or shall we say nightmares, yes if you’ve got OCD or a sane bone in your body for that matter this place may leave you scared and scarred. For this guy’s house is like a hoarder on ‘shrooms holy grail. You visit his house and leave with tears of both joy and sadness in your eyes, flabbergasted at the thought that every inch of a house could be covered in everything from dolls heads to clown masks. All I can say is bring your camera and a loved one for some emotional support.
House of Dreams Museum, East Dulwich, SE22 8RG
- Silent Disco Tour
You know I had to throw this one in the mix! Why make a fool of yourself in a closed confined space when you could do it in the centre of one of London’s most bustling tourist hotspots – the West End! Yes, you and a bunch of other fun-lovers will walk in twos on a guided audio tour of theatreland, punctuating the facts and figures about the famous area will be brief yet savoured moments of ‘Simon says’, where you will have to throw some serious shapes as you gallivant past the home of Kinky Boots and Dreamgirls. Move well enough and you may even find yourself on one of their stages (or the asylum).
West End Musical Tour, London’s West End, WC2
5. Be A Member of The Knitting Kittens Club
Knit Jumpers For Kittens at Battersea Cats & Dogs Home. Knit something your granny would be jealous of, like some little mittens for kittens at the adoption centre. Killing two birds with one stone – you get to learn a new skill and secondly you are putting that skill to good use. Plus you may even get to meet the kitten you knitted something for afterwards! Who doesn’t love animals, who doesn’t love little mittens? Only psychopaths. So don’t be one today and instead help a kitten in need. Remember, the best way to feel better about yourself is by helping others. If you’re ever feeling a bit down maybe give this or something similar a go.
The Knitting Kittens Club, Battersea, SW8 4AA
I hope the above gave you some inspiration to try something a little different here in London!
Standing in a field in the blustering weather on a Monday afternoon in Northaw, you’d forgive me for doing a double take at the sight of a bright-eyed, beige- bodied spitting camel come hurtling down the hill, with the jockey in tow gripping onto the camel’s moulting mound for dear life. Yes, cheltenham eat your heart out, for camels are fast becoming the new stallions of the racing world.
Whether you’re a betting man or not, you can’t resist the urge to stick your hand into your pocket to help a good cause, of which today’s was raising funds for the Essex and Hertfordshire Air Ambulances. And I guess there’s no better ways to raise funds than to put on a good race. Boy were we in for a treat, from shetland ponies to hunting hounds, it seemed like every animal in the ark had its chance at being the next Usain Bolt of the animal kingdom. It’s safe to say the day did not disappoint.
Shetland pony racing
Adorable! As you can see tiny children jockeyed the mini horses, put even a toothpicked adult on the little things backs and you’ve damned them to a life of osteoporosis.
Look at their little legs go! Aren’t they adorable!
Letting their natural instincts shine through, barking with excitement, prancing back and forth at the starting line, these rowdy canines put on quite the show for the spectators. With the only bait to the finish line being their overly loud whistle-blowing owner you can see why it was no surprise that all of the mutts enthusiastic activity was for nothing for as soon as the race started 3 of the 6 hunting hounds ran in the opposite direction to the finish line while one stopped to take a wee and two just trotted to the finish line with ease. Poor owner. 😦
**Sorry I didn’t get a picture of the dogs. 😦 I’m a bad person.
Slightly larger than their Shetland cousins but still just as cute, these miniature maestros certainly moved round that track in a motion rivaling any stallion at the Grand National (ok maybe not). But still, to have children riding these little beasts made me think 1) I need to call NSPCC for someone’s parents doesn’t love them, putting the on a horse moving at the speed of light. 2) Give this kid a medal of honor for having the courage to even get on the rambunctious things nevermind race them!
But obviously the two-toed mountains of sandy fluff were all of our favourites. It was a bit of a chaotic start for the camel race in all fairness. One camel ran the opposite way as soon as the starting whistle was sounded. So 3 /4 were the automatically in the race for 1st place, then with a sudden turn of events,a jockey falls off her camel (in green shirt below)! The fall looked bad but gladly the lady was fine. Then the camel set to win the race only goes and does a complete u-turn just before the finishing line after galloping down the track like a pro. And as a result quite literally hands over victory to the other lazy one who I swear stopped to chew grass halfway down the racing track. Sad times! Although I doubt the camels really cared!
(Please bite his finger hehe)
This one looked as if it’d seen some things.
What animals would you love to see race?
When walking the dog just doesn’t cut the mustard why not try:
Pretend to be 5 years old again and you may end up laughing for a lifetime. From personal experience I would definitely recommend even the most hesitant of sceptics to give ‘walking on hot coals’ and talking gibberish to strangers a go atleast once. Studies have shown that laughter boosts the immune system. So perhaps the secret for a happy healthier life isn’t eating your greens it’s smiling even when you think you can’t.
OK, so it’s not exactly in London but at just a stone’s throw away in Kent how could I say no? Look at their little hooves! With proof that animal interactions boost the feel good hormones in the body, it’s a no brainer. Go forth and have a little trot around with Billy the kid.
After seeing a bunch of people throwing rather odd shapes on the streets of Covent Garden a few weeks ago it sparked my curiosity as to what sorcery had bewitched them? Turns out they were on a silent disco escapade through London’s West End. Drowning their headphones were the iconic tracks of Les Misérables, The Lion King and much much more. If you want to get into theatre mode in prep of a show or just have a whale of a time give this a go. I really want to”!
Not that I’m encouraging anyone to snap a quick pic of a pickled foetus anytime soon but if you look long enough at the pruned sheep hearts and brined pig stomachs there are some fascinating feats of biology preserved before your very eyes. Not for the faint hearted or ill-stomached (see what I did there) but for those of an inquisitive disposition. I’d recommend giving the museum a visit once it reopens in 2021 (I think I went in 2017). I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait.
Booking the trip to London then, yeah?
Walking into the ExCel London yesterday afternoon I couldn’t help but think to myself – this place is a canine lover’s paradise and feline lover’s Hell! The event I was attending at the East London event was the annual ‘Discover Dogs’ extravaganza. It certainly got tails wagging all weekend with agility shows, best in show and let’s not forget every dog on the face of the Earth on show, quite literally!
As I made my way through all the drooling, barking and fluff, which took quite some time to be honest (I had to stop and stroke almost every dog breed, except Chihuahua’s ew, sorry)! I noticed an uncanny resemblance between owner and pooch. Turns out not only does this happen in dogs but cats also as I later found out:
Psychology #1 – Matchy Matchy
Keeping it short and sweet, it turns out that there is infact a correlation between physical resemblance of owner and pet. Pinpointing in particular – the eyes! A study conducted by Sadahiko Nakajima, a psychologist from Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan concluded that it’s not about hairstyles (which I personally find surprising), gender or weight but instead it’s the windows to the soul! A similarity between peepers seems to be the underlying reasoning behind the similarity in physical attributes between man and dog.
But what is it about the eyes? It’s been proven that colour doesn’t have an impact so is it their shape? Their twinkling cuteness? This is yet to be determined. Atleast it’s been narrowed down to some part of their being!
And turns out, similarities in owner and animal it doesn’t stop with dogs. Although we may not all be blessed with those stunning cat eyes, studies have shown that cats can actually take on personality traits of their owners. Why? Because they’re users! I mean…. reasons could be that the owner brings out a certain side of their cat – more playtime = a more boisterous cat, who will most likely want to play more often. More cuddling = a more affectionate cat. SO the cat seems similar to the owner because the owner’s personality brings out more of that personality type in the cat. It’s like that one outgoing friend we all have, none of want to go out clubbing and the next minute we’re gyrating our hips on the dancefloor at 2am all because they batted their eyelashes at us. You are ‘that’ friend to your feline. Cats can also adopt sleeping and eating schedules of their owners too! How bizarre and cute!
But enough about cats back onto canines! Below are some of pups of the day:
Psychology #2 – Is there really a ‘cat’ person or a ‘dog’ person?
Perhaps your preference for pooch over puss in boots or vice versa has more to say about you as a person than you first thought out.
Business Insider seems to think so, according to their report:
- Dogs Owners earn a higher salary than cat owners
- Cat owners are 4 x more likely to work in a creative field than dog owners.
- Dog owners are bigger fans of horror and action films than cat owners.
- Cat owners tend to enjoy reading, writing, dogs owners – sports and travel.
Whether you favour a feline or prefer a pup. You can’t deny the appeal of these! Unless ofcourse you’re a cold hearted robot. I’d encourage any animal fan to head to a convention near you. It boosts your mood for sure.
If you thought working 9 to 5 was all about number crunching and pencil pushing think again:
- Certified Seat Filler
Empty seats at some of the biggest events in TV are an absolute no no so random people may actually be paid to make up the numbers. My question is – how the hell can there be gaps in the audience at these events, surely you’d donate a kidney just to be a row away from Sir Elton John, right? Anyhow, if you fancy sitting pretty at an awards show near you perhaps check out some companies online where you can register. (See how I didn’t mention any names – noone pays me on here :p )!
Did you know the Queen exercises her ownership rights on all unmarked swans along parts of the River Thames and its Tributaries. Stocktake of The Crown’s swans is conducted by livery companies – Vintner’s and The Dyers. This practice dates back to the 12th century when swan-meat was deemed a little too precious!
You really can’t make this stuff up, supposedly there are hotels (Holiday Inn to be more exact) who hire people donning hygienic sleep suits to jump into your bed and make it all toasty for your arrival. What happened to a good old fashion water bottle? Or have they not heard of electric blankets?
Cuteness overload! This would melt even the coldest of hearts! Aimed to actually help the little bundles of fur adjust to life minus humans and hence give them a chance to habituate to life in the wilderness, this role plays a vital part in the rehabilitation of Pandas into their natural environment.
So, I thought I’d end on a high note here, obviously. This is infact a paying job. Originating in Egyptian, Mediterranean and Near Eastern cultures, the role is to help comfort and entertain the grieving family. The paid mourner may be asked to deliver a eulogy or lament for the passing of the individual. Thus, their attendance holds a high level of significance for the families and not just as a means to nick the last few remaining cucumber sandwiches at the wake.
Have any of the above made you want to give up the day job then?
1. My quarter life crisis is just around the corner (that’s at 25 for all you fraction phobics).
2. I can no longer sing the lyrics of Wheatus’ – Teenage Dirtbag without shuddering with guilt at the fact that am no longer a teenager.
3. My first silver hair has sprung out of nowhere, hopefully it doesn’t get a neighbour anytime soon.
4. I’m now eligible to start using wrinkle creams (atleast that’s what the drugstore is saying).
5. Getting asked for ID at clubs and pubs is greatly lessening.
6. Drinking does not do a body good.
7. 32 is not the new 23. I may not be a teen but I’m no old crow just yet!
8. Getting giddy about buying new curtains for the bathroom marks the loss of my youthfulness.
9. By this stage in life you’re either fresh back from travelling and stuck in an office job or dead in a ditch (from travelling or having enough of your office job).
10. I now get money and vouchers as birthday presents instead of fun days out and colouring pencils.
11. All my colleagues at work are atleast double my age.
12. Trying to figure out the necessity of a pension is like trying to figure out the necessity of wasps in our lives (they don’t make honey)!
13. My friends are now either engaged, married or popping out their second child (first one being due to an accidental teenage pregnancy).
14. Being single at this age scares my aging parents.
15. I’ve finally came to the realisation that I’m not going to grow any taller.
16. Too young to be taken seriously by men in suits, too old to be taken seriously by youths.
17. Education never prepared me for the conditioning needed to skilfully brew the perfect cuppa for the work colleagues.
18. The parents miss me but not as much as they use to. (Tears of sadness when I left for uni at 18, tears of joy when I leave after visits at 23).
19. If I was a tree I’d have 23 rings!
20. If I was a dog I’d be 〖94〗_2^1 years old!
21. If I was a cat I’d be dead.
22. 23 in French is ‘vingt-trois’ (vahn-twah)!
23. Age is but a number!