Keeper for a day

Firstly I wanted to apologise for the lack of posts last week. Life was busy and I didn’t get round to writing anything. But I’m back today with a post I’m really excited to share with you.

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to take part in the “Keeper for a Day” experience at the zoo. They were filming it for the website and I was one of the ones asked if I’d like to take part in this. My boss was great coving a shift for me meaning that I could become a Keeper for the day.

Our day started with breakfast and a little briefing about what we’d be getting up to during the day, as well as meeting the others who were taking part in the day with us. It was lovely to meet some of the London Zoo team and we all had a great day together.

After breakfast our first stop was the Chimpanzees. We were making up some enrichment for them. Enrichment is basically little activities for the animals to do which keep them busy and active during the day. We made up some plastic containers of fruit and veg, as well as some containers of porridge and jelly. We then went outside to throw these in for the chimps and it was great fun watching them try to find it all.

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After the chimps we headed on around to the Asian Rhinos. Now, I’d already had an encounter with one of the Asian Rhinos as part of my induction when I started working at the zoo. We spent a little bit of time cleaning out the rhinos before getting to meet Behan and give her some food. Asian Rhinos (along with all rhinos) are beautiful animals and I loved getting to feed one of them again.

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After feeding Behan we headed to the bird show. We had the choice of 2 birds to fly and I picked Gizmo our little White Faced Owl. She was so cute but struggled flying in the wind!

Next up was the elephants. Again, I’d already been part of the meet the elephants experience for the zoo but it was great to see them again. We spend a while helping to clear out their enclosure before preparing some enrichment for them. Then we had the chance to go and see them and feed them some food. We had the chance to throw some food in for Sam, Mya and Emmett, as well as learning about them from some of the staff.

From the elephants it was time for lunch. Where we enjoyed some time together chatting and sharing stories about our respective jobs at the zoo.

Then it was time to visit Colombo our sloth bear. Colombo is the cutest animal ever (but you wouldn’t want to get in with him), and we again prepared some enrichment for him before throwing it in for him. It was the cutest and funniest thing watching him grab the piping then rolling on to his back to suck all the treats out.

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The next part was something I was very excited for. We got to go and see the penguins and feed them. When I say feed them, we at Whipsnade don’t hand feed them. We simply throw the food into their pool and they have to go swimming for it.

After we’d fed the penguins it was time to head off to see the lions. We have a group of 6 African Lions at the zoo and we had the chance to feed them. We were quite lucky here in that we had a lot of opportunity to feed them as they were trying to get quite a lot of video footage of this. I was actually quite surprised how lazy all the lions were, but I suppose at the end of the day they are getting old.

The last part of our Keeper for a Day experience was to visit and feed the giraffes. This was so much fun and I loved every second of it. The one thing I was so surprised about was actually how strong they are. Our male giraffe was actually lifting me up as he was stripping the leaves off the branches.

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All in all I had an incredible day making new friends and meeting more of the animals at the zoo. Would I recommend this? Yes, definitely! Especially if you love animals and want a chance to see some of them up close. I’ve linked the two youtube videos below where you can see what I got up to for the day.

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London Zoo

A couple of weeks ago I decided to head up to London Zoo for the day. It had been a while since I’d last visited and since I work for ZSL, just at the Whipsnade rather than London, I decided it was time for a visit.

I had a great day out but unfortunately I wished that I had longer up there. So many people told me that I could get around it in just a few hours, so I decided to arrive at around 1pm. Although I managed to see everything, it was definitely a rush towards the end.

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London Zoo is definitely a fraction of the size of Whipsnade Zoo (in fact our rhino paddock would fit London Zoo in it), but that didn’t stop it from being a great little zoo. I really enjoyed my day there and would definitely love to go again and have longer there. I’d also love to spend longer there having seen they do history tours. I love a bit of history and the history of ZSL fascinates me, so I think maybe one day I’d like to do that.

What I also really loved was that here around 90% of my photos were taken on my little Canon G7X rather than my Canon 40D + 300mm lens. At Whipsnade a lot of the enclosures are still old, with fencing between you and the animals. London makes much more use of moats and glass in their enclosures.

Have you ever been to London Zoo? If so, what did you think? πŸ™‚

If We Were Having Coffee #8 (October, 2018)

I swear this year is disappearing in a blink!! I can’t believe it’s October already. I know I say this every month but how!? The weather has definitely turned (although actually it’s been warm again this week) and I’m enjoying my slippers, winter duvet and winter boots so much!

If we were having coffee, I’d definitely be having hot chocolate! What would you be having today? πŸ™‚

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how I enjoyed my trip to London Zoo last week. One of the perks of my job is free entry to ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos, and I hadn’t yet got around to visiting London Zoo. So I took my grandad up to London for the day and we had a wander around London Zoo. I’ll probably write a whole post about it, but I really enjoyed myself πŸ™‚

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how I’m still absolutely loving my job but I’m absolutely gutted that it’s all coming to an end in 2 weeks time. I also spent some more time with the Tiger Cubs this week and they’re growing up too fast! πŸ˜₯

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how I’m so excited for some things I have coming up. I’m excited for Christmas at London Zoo with the light trail, and I’m also so excited for Take That next year πŸ™‚

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you howΒ I’m so excited for my role in Brownies now. It’s all official, I’m now an assistant leader!

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If we were having coffee... I’d tell you how I finally had a hair cut last week! It had been around a year since I’d last had my hair cut and I really needed it cut. You might notice that I had the absolute minimum cut off though!

If we were having coffee... I’d also tell you how I’m really excited for a little holiday I’ve booked at the end of the month. I’m going back to Newcastle for a few days πŸ™‚ I miss Newcastle really badly and I’ve not actually been back since I left in July 2015. It’s kind of where I grew up as a person and was my first home away from home and I can’t wait to go back πŸ™‚ And also look out for new blog content afterwards πŸ™‚

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how amazing the garage were at fixing my car. When it went for its service and MOT they found an oil leak on the gearbox. Anyway, they agreed to fix it under warranty and at the same time they replaced the clutch for me because it had got oil over it from the leak! So I can’t complain for the Β£1000 ish that would have cost me to fix it all otherwise!

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how I’ve been so busy at work but I’m really looking forward to a rest soon and catching up with the 1000001 things I really need to do.

If we were having coffee…. I’d ask you how you are and if there’s anything you’d like to share? πŸ™‚

September Favourites 2018

Can you believe I’ve not written a favourites post since June?! Anyway, I enjoy writing a favourites post, so today I thought I’d share with you what I’ve been enjoying throughout September and since June really πŸ™‚

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First up is my puzzle book, I actually keep this in my car. I tend to arrive at work on average an hour early (I always give myself loads of time to get around the M25) so I like having something to do when I get there. I tried a generic puzzle book, but I’ve now discovered I prefer the Kriss-Koss ones

The second thing I’ve been enjoying is my work and the baby tigers. I’m still absolutely loving my job and I’m gutted that it is quickly approaching the end of the season, but I absolutely love what I do. Also, I love the baby tigers. I need to try to get some new photos of them but they’re getting so fun. They’re getting bigger, braver and more adventurous and are so funny to watch.

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While I was working all through the summer I kept seeing this sloth in the shop at work. I passed them every day and I loved them. Anyway, I couldn’t justify Β£20 (well Β£16 with staff discount) for it. I took several friends to the zoo over the start of September and my aunt bought it for me as a little thank you.

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I was a bit bad during September in that I bought a few new clothes. I didn’t really need them but I haven’t bought new clothes in so long! I bought a couple of tops and some dungarees from Fat Face as well as this jumper from Next. The jumper is amazing. It is so warm and fluffy πŸ™‚

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I’ve been enjoying learning more about photography too during the last few months. I’ve been enjoying taking photos at the zoo, but also I took my first night sky photos the other day too which I’m in love with πŸ™‚

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I’ve been suffering quite a lot with eczema over the summer and there is one moisturiser which is like a miracle moisturiser for me. Child’s Farm moisturiser is amazing. It smells great and it really clears up any dry skin and eczema.

I’ve also been enjoying a couple of TV shows this month, including Teen Mom UK, Ultimate Beastmaster and Great British Bake Off πŸ™‚

The last thing of my favourites this month is “Ellie and Anna Have Issues” podcast. Ellie and Anna have a show on London Heart Radio on a Sunday night and I always catch it driving home from work. Anyway, they’ve made a podcast of it all, which I’ve been loving πŸ™‚

What have you been enjoying recently? πŸ™‚Β 

If We Were Having Coffee #7 (September, 2018)

It’s September! Ahhh! That means autumn is well and truly on its way! The nights are drawing in, it’s getting cooler and jumper/slipper weather is back! πŸ™‚

Today if we were having coffee I think I’d be having a hot chocolate, it’s a bit rainy and cold today 😦 What would you be having?

If we were having coffee… Firstly I’d moan about how I’ve woken up with such a sore throat. I’ve been having that beginning of a cold feeling in my throat for a while and now it seems to be setting in 😦

If we were having coffee…. I’d tell you how I thought work had calmed down for me but actually now it hasn’t! One of my colleagues has left and I’ve decided to cover pretty much all of her shifts. This is great for me because it means more work! I was only going to be doing my basic 6 shifts in October, but now I’m actually going to be working at least 4 days a week between now and the end of October.

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If we were having coffee…. I’d tell you how I was offered another interview, this time for a job as an Education Officer at Blackpool Zoo. But I turned it down. I didn’t feel excited about it and I don’t think I’d be happy up in Blackpool, and I also now have a bit of a commitment until the end of the year.

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how I’m pretty much taking responsibility for being the main Brownie leader from the start of October until Christmas. The main leader is due her baby any week so she’s going to be having some time off… and I’ll be me every week! :O

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how cooperative the garage were about my car. It went in for its service and MOT on Monday and it passed its MOT but they told me they’d found an oil leak on the gearbox which was going to cost around Β£500 to fix. I was distraught! Anyway, my dad reminded me that actually my car is still under its 12 month warranty from when I bought the car for another 2 weeks. Usually when you bring this kind of thing up the garages almost always find a way to worm out of it, but they agreed to fix it under the warranty without any argument.

If we were having coffee…Β I’d tell you how annoyed I was at my insurance company. Last year with Admiral I paid around Β£670 for my car insurance. They sent me a renewal of Β£730 but I managed to find cheaper insurance for around Β£600. Anyway, I phoned them up yesterday to cancel the renewal for them to price match the other company who I’d just taken a policy out with. I told them thank you but I’m leaving if they can’t give me a reasonable price in the first place.

If we were having coffee…Β I’d tell you how sad I’m feeling right now about my reading progress this year. I’ve literally been so busy working the last 2 months that I’ve had no time to read. I’ve bought loads of new books recently but just not had the time to read.

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how I’m sad that my boss at work is leaving on maternity leave. She is honestly the best boss ever. She’s so friendly and approachable and goes well out of her way to help you. Anyway, she’ll be back next year if I take up the same role again but she’s been such a good boss.

If we were having coffee…. I’d tell you how I have little Roxy the dog sat on the end of my bed right now. She’s been staying with us the last few days and she’s good fun, especially as I’m obviously her friend now!

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If we were having coffee… I’d ask you if you have any news you’d like to share? πŸ™‚

Day in the Isle of Wight

Last Friday I had the day off and decided to join mum on a trip out to the Isle of Wight. I haven’t been to the Isle of Wight for years and it was only a fleeting visit but I definitely think I’d like to go back again one day!

Our trip started with a 5:30am wake up to leave home at 6am to catch the 8am boat from Southampton. We decided to pay the extra Β£10 each to go in the “Signature Lounge” on the crossing which was really relaxing and meant loads of free drinks and some croissants! πŸ™‚

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The crossing from Southampton to East Cowes takes only an hour and before long we had arrived.

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During our day on the Isle of Wight we spent some time driving around the island before heading over to Alum Bay, home to the Needles.

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For those of you who aren’t aware, the Needles is a rock formation on the western part of the island and is probably the most photographed place on the Isle of Wight, as well as being one of the wonders of Southern England.

We parked in the car park down the road and decided to get the bus down to the Needles Battery.

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Once the bus dropped us off, we were treated to beautiful views of the Needles from the top.

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The Needles Old Battery is owned by the National Trust, so since we are both NT members me and mum decided to go on in. From inside you get some learn a little about the uses of the place during the war, as well as getting some fantastic views of the rock formation and the surrounding coastline.

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After we’d finished at the Needles Battery we took the bus back to the car park before continuing our drive along the coastal road πŸ™‚

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We then headed back to the ferry for our return crossing to Southampton, where we were treated to a beautiful sunset on arrival.

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My August Life

Where on earth has August gone?! I’m not gonna lie, I’m glad its come to an end but also it means I’m another month closer to not having a job.

August has been busy for me… Insanely busy! I feel like I’ve been working non-stop and really I have. I’m only contracted for 6 shifts a month but by the time you read this I’m going to have done 26 shifts in August alone, and that doesn’t include my other job. So basically, put it this way. I’ve been working 6 days a week and 12 hour days at a time. I’m pretty pooped to say the least!

August started with me being away on a Christian Kids Summer Camp. I’ve now been volunteering on this kids camp for 8 years and I’m now one of the more experienced leaders there. I love being away, helping out and spending time with what we call the “camp family”.

I then came back and have pretty much worked the whole of August, but this month I’ve really enjoyed spending time at the zoo with my (I mean dad’s) camera. I took some more photos the other day which you can see below πŸ™‚

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Throughout August I’ve also been enjoying reading “The Rivers of London”. I was supposed to be reading it for An Historian’s book club. I was so excited to finally read it, but work has meant that I fell behind massively and haven’t been able to contribute yet as I’m still reading it! 😦

I’ve also been applying for various new jobs throughout the last couple of months as I’m currently going to be job-less in around 8 weeks time. I’ve had a few interviews, but unfortunately haven’t got any further 😦

Last weekend I also went to see the new Mamma Mia film! We finally found time to go and see it together (me, mum and dad)! I really enjoyed it! Loads of people had said it wasn’t very good so I’d set myself up for disappointment, but I loved it. I can’t stop listening to the soundtrack πŸ™‚

I should be able to be around a bit more again now that work is calming down! πŸ™‚ How are you all? What have you all been up to through August? πŸ™‚