Day Trip – Woburn Safari park

Writing

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!

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Which was a surprise as I expected this hench guy  to have a go instead:

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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:

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Elephants make an appearance ofcourse on the safari (is the front one male ;p):

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And a few Zebra minding their own business make themselves familiar too:

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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!

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First up the wolves and the Black Bears, both in the same enclosure I may add:

 

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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:

 

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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:

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Look at the little baby on her back! Aw happy families, how adorable!

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Such a poignant moment caught on camera, in some way it symbolises the intrusive behaviour us humans have had towards the planet’s wildlife.

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They were protecting their baby.

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Black and white ruffed lemurs and ring tailed lemurs were next:

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Next a horny goat:

 

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Leave her alone! She’s too young for kids!

This one was cute though:

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Now for the mini dinosaurs aka the birds:

First we have a tiny owl I forgot which breed sorry, look how small it is:

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Next we have two cocks having a stand off, nothing new here:

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Now a rather nimble little creature, quite prehistoric in it’s movements I must say:

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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:

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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

Why I Wish I Was Multilingual

Writing

As an avid fan of Reggaeton I find myself desperately attempting to sing along to the lyrics of ‘Con Altura’ by Rosalia, J Balvin and El Guincho. Singing words in your own head, away from the judgmental eyes of the general public is one thing, but anytime I pluck up the courage to sing along to Spanish songs out loud I become a dribbling, mumbling mess. As a result, I resort to humming or worse, miming. My tail is well and truly between my legs. 😦

 

Not asking for the sympathy vote here but it is a bit embarrassing to say the least. And somewhat frustrating, the beat is good but I don’t have a clue about what they’re talking about! Which I guess is fine with upbeat songs, but can I really get emotional over a slow song if I don’t understand the words? I guess, if the music is good enough then yes, but do you see my point?

 

The annoying thing is, I feel like I keep tiptoeing on the line between committing time to truly learning a second language and having reluctance due to thinking will it really serve me any purpose? I guess with any tough decision I face, I try and weigh up the pros and cons.

 

Am I too old? Will it make me smarter? Do I have the time? Will I be more employable? Should I do it purely because I want to or do I need a  justifiable reason? I have so many questions, too many questions probably.

 

Like Nike says, I should just do it. Sure, 10 hours a week, £400 a month sounds like I should ‘just do it’ if I didn’t have bills to pay or a life to live. Or am I just trying to find excuses to avoid trying to learn a  language incase I’m not good at it?

 

I need to stop overthinking, have you ever wanted to learn another language? Maybe you already speak more than one and was this by choice? Either way, I wish I was you!

Why We Should All Be Bi-lingual (Atleast)

Writing

 

Since the year of dot I have struggled to pronounce my own name never mind ‘el gato, le chat or die Katze’. Yet, despite my struggles, my interest in languages outside of my mother-tongue has never wavered.  From fable attempts at school to self-taught trials through online resources, my ambition to pass conversation in another language has always been a dream.

I think as a native English speaker it can be wrongly assumed that there is no need to speak another language as English is so universal now. But to me, this would be an absolute mistake. To speak another language doesn’t simply mean you have a different word for the same object, but instead, you have another door opened into a world of new cultures, new people, new entertainment and learning.

I’m a fan of many languages, especially foul,  but one that’s had a special place in my corazon is Spanish, with approximately 437 million people speaking it you can see the appeal. But it’s not solely the popularity of the western romance language which gets me all romantic about it. I think a big part to play is my love for the music genre – Reggaeton.  Artists which I’m particularly a fan of are J Balvin, Bad Bunny and Anuel AA to name but a few.

The language is sensual, rhythmical and flamboyant. What’s not to love? Whether Spanish is your desired language of choice or maybe you have another, here are some reasons why you should maybe want to start getting those language lessons in:

  1. Alzheimer’s Disease Delayed

Studies have shown that multi-lingual people may be able to delay the onset of degenerative diseases of the mind by approximately 5 years. Based upon the theory that being a lifelong mutli-lingual could increase our ‘cognitive Reserve’. Cognitive reserve being the brain’s ability to improvise if need be to complete a task.

  1. Your Native Language Skills Improve

Who doesn’t love reciting grammar repeatedly till their blue in the face? A benefit to this rather monotonous task is that you’ll actually improve further in your native language. Because in a way you are re-practicing the grammar structure of your first language and using that to learn the second.

  1. Improves Your Memory

You lower your risk of developing memory problems as outlined by this study. I quote the study ” Researchers discovered that those people who spoke four or more languages were five times less likely to develop cognitive problems compared to those people who only spoke two languages.

People who spoke three languages were three times less likely to have cognitive problems compared to bilinguals.”

Eventhough learning a language requires time and dedication. If the above details don’t make you want to become fluent in one then I don’t know what will. It’s highly attractive too! How many more positives do I need to list!
los idiomas son fantasticos!

 

How Important Is Your Health?

Writing

The answers is yes, if you don’t have a screw loose, but if this is the answer then why do so many of us struggle to keep the gym routine in check, or even have one to begin with?

How often should you really go to the gym?

It’s  a shame to say it but yes, I skip leg day! And every other day that involves strenuous exercise! Although the truth must be told, when I’m in the mood to willingly work up a sweat I do ask myself the same questions -‘ how often do I need to go’ and ‘at what time of the day is best?’

Let’s have science pull their weight on this one:

How often do I need to go?

The obvious response here would be to say ‘how fit do you want to be?’ But there’s more to it than that, studies have shown that it takes approximately 2 weeks of inactivity to start to lose your cardio fitness and 3 weeks to start losing muscle strength.

So with all this inactivity making your Summer body fade in a heartbeat, what really is the minimum amount of exercise us lazy sods can get away with to still maintain that body of a Greek God? Well, the general consensus seems to be at approx 2 – 3 days a week. With 41 per cent of Britons aged 40-60 failing to walk for even ten minutes a month according to the independent even this seems like a stretch! The report also states that training 3 times a week is a good aim to have when your goal is to stay fit and healthy, and not necessarily to become Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

What time of the day is best to workout?

There’s this idea that working out in the morning on an empty stomach will boost energy levels and promote weight loss, others believe an evening session will be more beneficial at it gives time for your body to naturally warm up throughout the day and so be ready for the routine come evening.

Once I heard about these two theories it made me even more torn on which is best to choose. This video below gives alot of great variables and actually mentions how muscle growth is slightly increased on a consistent evening workout as oppose to that during  the morning.

But I think the best answer is the following – “the best time to work out is the time you’re most likely to work out.” The words of Chris Jordan, an exercise physiologist who created the Johnson & Johnson 7 minute workout

And to add to that – doing any sort of activity being low, moderate or high is still better than doing none, if not for physical health then mental health in my opinion.

Career change - best books to read 2018 wordpress blog

Career Change?: 7 Books You Need To Read

Writing

The 7 best books to inspire and guide you through career change

Making the decision to change career paths is no walk in the park. I myself have found structure and strategy  in making career decisions through a range of literary sources. Below are 7 books I would best recommend to anyone who, like myself at a stage, may be confused, cautious or just curious the bringing the steps to a career change  into fruition.

  1. How To Find The Work You Love – Laurence G. Boldt

It is estimated that the average person will rack up 90,000 hours  of their life in a job so is it really that wrong to like what you do? No. Infact, I believe you should love what you do. Boldt addresses the need for courage to start the search for a new career, and offers strategic advice on how to tap into our own resources to figure out what we are good at and what we would really like to do. This is an incredibly important point as I feel so many of us just rush life and get lost in the hustle of the day, the demands of the world around us and don’t really take the time that’s necessary to think of what’s best for us as individuals. Surely we owe it to ourselves to put research into something which takes up approx. 1/3 of our lives?

  1. Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway – Susan Jeffers

Perhaps you  already know what career you would like to pursue, step 1 in the list is ticked off, but even with a passion for a role you may be still tentative to make the change. Will you enjoy the new role? Will your friends and family approve? What if the new role isn’t actually right for you, will you be trapped? Susan Jeffers perfectly uncovers the inner workings of our minds and why making decisions especially life changing ones such as a change in career can prove so challenging. She then flips this mindset on its head by offering  a ‘no-lose’ model to make the process of decision making a win-win regardless of whichever choice you make. Sounds too good to be true? Give it a read.  Jeffers shares additional food for thought on fear across a range of areas in our lives.  She touches on the destigmatization of positive thinking, how it isn’t as unrealistic as society would have us belief. How simply changing a few words in your self-talk can transform you from victim to a place of power. And so it can be agreed that this  book is not only relevant to our working life but every aspect of life which requires us to face fear.

  1. Black Box Thinking: The surprising Truth About Success – Matthew Syed

Although this book is not career based at its core, the extremely effective method of intertwining real life examples of when humans have screwed up  with core principles of psychology make for a book I just couldn’t put down. So how does failure link to a career change? It’s exactly that, will I fail at even finding a job, will I fail at the job itself? These questions are daunting and Syed couldn’t explain any better in his book on why failure is essential in life. Even if it means you get fired, this is still a poignant moment for you to learn and persevere.  His go to reference throughout the book is the  comparison between the attitude of the aviation industry vs that of the health care industry in facing failure. With the former facing it head on and with honesty resulting in one of the lowest mortality rates of any industry, the latter in contrast, focuses on hierarchy – a surgeon’s pride compromising honesty when operations go wrong, nurses feeling inadequate to speak  up against doctors. Syed’s core take home message is that in order to learn and grow we must fail. And that by trying to avoid failure you are infact worse off than if failing in the first place. This book can be applied to how you may feel when facing rejection letters, fear of interviews and fear of disappointing those around you. It definitely changed my attitude towards failure. Infact I look forward to failing (ok maybe I’m a bit carried away).

  1. Elon Musk – Ashlee Vance

A man of the moment, SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk knows a thing or two about changing career paths. A ‘.com’ businessman during his entrepreneurial infancy, which in the tech company’s  selling could’ve left Musk with a fat cheque and enough snorkelling holidays to leave him permanently pruned.  But oh no, for he’s the ultimate risk taker. Investing millions and pushing it into fields he wasn’t initially experienced in – aerospace, renewable energy and car industries. Through Vance’s eyes, Musk’s ballsy go hard or go home approach in pursuing passions and making change on scales much bigger than himself makes for an interesting read to say the least. Surely sending off your application on Indeed.com takes a little less effort then trying to get humankind colonizing the red planet, no?

  1. Man’s Search For Meaning – Viktor E. Frankl

Everything can be taken away from us except the ability to choose our attitude in any given circumstance. This is the core message Frankl emphasizes in this truly thought-provoking read – a Viennese psychiatrist who was held captive in both Dachau and Auschwitz concentration camps. The relation I make between his book and in changing a career is that so many times we base decisions off of the opinions of others or rely too heavily on external situations. Will my family approve, will they fire me? If your family don’t approve but from your perspective you love the job then that should just be accepted. If you get fired from the job you will learn skills on how to find another route into the career of your choosing. One’s own perspective on a situation can leave them feeling the victim or the power holder. And in no truer a situation than in the one of pursuing your career can this mindset be incorporated to bring the outcome of most optimal success.

  1. Get a Life, Not a Job: Do What You Love and Let Your Talents Work For You – Paula Caligiuri

With the message that ‘ employers no longer show any loyalty to their employees, it’s up to you to take control of your own destiny’, Caligiuri provides a very hands on and intensive approach to gaining the career of your desires. Practical steps including exercises and questionnaires in the book help dismantle the stigmatized airy fairy idea of ‘following your dreams’ and instead cements dream chasing as it as an achievable goal so long as effort is put in. For anyone who doesn’t want to be just a passive listener, this book should kick start you into action.

  1. Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type – Paul D Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger

Built around the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator (MBPI), this book plays matchmaker between personality type and job fit. So chances are if you’re of a nervous disposition then maybe bounty hunting isn’t for you, in contrast if you like using tax payers money to buy new sinks plugs and paperweights at the cost of a small family car  then perhaps take up politics. Either way the authors aim to take it to a personal level so you can show the world your true talents in your ideal role.

 

So there you have it, 7 and not 8 books which will get you in that dream job by Christmas (potentially). As you’ve came to the end of the article you may be thinking that several of the books chosen here aren’t strictly career focussed and that I’m taking you on some monk-like journey of self-discovery. To me, I see a career  as such a big part of my life that the intertwinement of self-discovery and career cannot be divided. So if you don’t like my cushy self-help books then stay in your miserable job!!!!! (joke(not)). In all seriousness, I know job-hunting isn’t easy, I got fired from my very first job at 21, so I can empathize. So I wish you all the best in your career endeavours, you can do it.