Giraffes, Lego and the Big Five-0 for The Bloke

The West Midland Safari Park Giraffe Experience

Last year The Bloke didn’t really have much of a birthday celebration – we were getting married a few days afterwards and still dealing with flowers and centrepieces and general wedding nonsense, so this year I made a promise to myself that I would make a huge effort. 

Today he turned 50. The big Five-0. He’s not a fan of birthdays and let’s just say that he is far from pleased about reaching this particular milestone, so I did what I usually do… I completely ignored his bah humbug birthday attitude and have spent several weeks planning an epic ‘The-Bloke-is-50-and-not-happy-about-it’ celebration with the help of my sister-in-law.  Continue reading

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My Cat is a Jerk

One of his more ‘special’ expressions…

It’s International Cat Day and normally I would be joining in with the thousands of people sharing adorable pictures of their little furry companions across social media today along…

However, my cat is not particularly adorable this week. In fact, he’s a bit of a jerk.

I’ve had Poppy for over twelve years. He (yes, I know it’s a girl’s name – I thought he was a girl until he suddenly sprouted boy bits a few months after I rescued him, and by that point the name had stuck) came to me in a bag along with his sister after a horrible start in his little life. They were five weeks old, far too young to be away from their mother and in a mess – fleas, ear mites, stomach problems – I still can’t believe that they survived the first few months. He was so small that he still had blue eyes and could fit in the palm of my hand. Continue reading

The Kindness of Neighbours and Arnold, the Pot-Head Rescue Tortoise

I was too busy telling Arnold how handsome he is to take a picture, but stick a pair of shades on this one and you get the idea…

I live in a street of terraced houses on both sides. The residents are a mixture of home-owners and renters, mainly comprising of young families, professionals and retirees. Generally (aside from my next-door neighbours who appear to be in training to become the next big DJ’s) it’s pretty quiet. We say hello, put the bins out for each other, take in each other’s packages, but aside from that we all pretty much keep ourselves to ourselves.

Today, The Bloke and I heard shouting outside. A man was pacing back and forth and banging on the doors and windows in front of a house across the road, getting more and more agitated when nobody would let him in and eventually he lost his temper. He kicked down a piece of the front wall down and launched it at the door with such force that it flew open, and then he ran away. Continue reading

The Online Power of a Squirrel…

The Bloke is an avid photographer. He particularly likes wildlife, architectural and landscape photography and his pictures are utterly fantastic – we can be in the same place at the same time, photographing the same thing and he always manages to create something beautiful and artistic with seemingly very little effort. I’m so proud of him, and extremely jealous of his skills.

However, there’s one particular thing that he has an affinity for…

Squirrels.

Living in Birmingham, UK, we have an abundance of them and very little else. I’m enormously envious whenever I go on Instagram and see images of incredible wildlife in people’s back yards – I saw a racoon in Central Park a few months ago when we were on our honeymoon and that was honestly the first time I’ve ever seen one in real life… Perhaps I shouldn’t have stood there and yelled “oh my god it’s a raccoon!” at the top of my voice while pointing at the poor thing like a maniac, but it was a bigger deal to me than most. Continue reading

Rescued Animals at Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary

Those who know The Bloke in his personal life will be aware of his passion for photography, in particular of his love of landscapes and British wildlife.

I’ve been wanting to do something as a surprise for him for a while, so when I discovered Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary I was delighted!

There’s quite an inspirational story behind the sanctuary and it’s owner, Geoff. Continue reading

A Lost Little Cat and a Ruined Birthday Surprise

imageI’m tired today.

I feel a little raw and bruised, mainly because of the trauma of yesterday. The atmosphere of the house is different, almost empty. Daisy’s brother, Poppy (yes, I know it’s a girl’s name – long story) settled down well last night until 4.00am, at which point I think he realised that she wasn’t there, and took it upon himself to investigate every room downstairs, crying as he went. It was quite heartbreaking to listen to – this was only the second night in eleven years that he had spent without her and he was clearly feeling lost.

He’s spent most of today being extremely quiet, fast asleep on my lap. It’s odd – normally he has a mad half-an-hour of running around, playing and making lots of noise after he’s been fed, but today he’s just… sad. Continue reading

Goodbye Daisy

imageI lost another little friend today… The only bad thing about having a pet is when they leave you, and it never gets any easier.

I’ve had Daisy and her brother since they were 5 weeks old. Normally, that would have been far too young and I hadn’t intended on getting two more cats at the time, but the state that they were both in meant that if I didn’t take them in they would have almost certainly died. She was so small that she could fit in the palm of my hand and I used to laugh at her enormous ears, particularly as she looked like the love child of Yoda and Gizmo the Mogwai. Continue reading

A Wedding… at the Zoo!

imageI’ve seen a number of wonderful and unusual things in my thirty-four years, but a bride and groom, dressed in their full wedding outfits while feeding fish to a group of excitable penguins is certainly a first.

The Bloke and I attended the wedding of Mary and Sven yesterday – Mary is our friend and former colleague, and over the years we’ve managed to keep in touch. Their story is truly a modern day romance – Mary is from the UK, Sven is from Belgium and they met online playing ‘World of Warcraft.’ Awesome.

I suppose the title of the post is slightly misleading – the actual ceremony took place at a little church near the zoo, but after the ‘I Do’s’ had been said and the hymns had been sung, we took ourselves off to the reception area of the zoo, where we became a little tourist attraction in our own right as we posed for photographs in the glorious sunshine, right across from the orangutan enclosure. There was a little bit of time before the meal and speeches started, so we were given wristbands and told that we could go and spend some time in the main zoo area. I decided to wear trousers and changed into flat shoes after the main ceremony – it had rained heavily that morning and the ground was still rather soggy, but I wasn’t envious of lots of the ladies were in their dresses and heels.

So, off we went – the wedding party and guests all wandered round in their finest, prompting some rather amused glances from the general public as we attempted to negotiate our way through the mud while trying to remain as clean as possible. Continue reading

A Nice Mother’s Day

I’m already back on the train so I can get down to Birmingham before it gets dark. Today seems to have gone really quickly – I cooked us a Sunday roast type lunch and we’ll spent a large amount of time fussing over Dougal, which he thoroughly enjoyed. He’s certainly grown since the last time I saw him! Continue reading