Sunday, 17 July 2011

Amoose Bouche

A most pleasant day spent in the company of my dear friend, Ted. I've known him for over 20 years. We've played in orchestras and string quartets together since before our voices broke. He's now a journalist and a top bloke.

We went to Whipsnade Zoo. Our car, of course, remains incarcerated on Southwood Lane, so we decided to go there by train. Sadly/frustratingly/typically, all the trains to Luton had been replaced by buses, which took forever, so we ended up taking a train to Bishop's Stortford, where we were met by my father, who lent us his car. The irony was that the car journey to the zoo took us within ten miles of Highgate, but when you live in a broken society, needs must.

We had a marvellous time at the zoo. It was one of those typical July days; strong winds and a mixture of sunshine and heavy showers, which fortunately kept the crowds away and meant we almost had the place to ourselves.

The highlight of the day was almost certainly our ride on the little steam train that goes around the perimeter of the site. The guide was very informative, and we saw all sorts of animals, including an elephant, standing right beside the tracks. I'm a secret sucker for a good steam train. More than anything else, I just love the smell which seems to transport me into a previous life.

Both of us fell in love with the otters, were amused by the giraffes and enjoyed coming face to face with the bizarre maras (giant guinea pigs) that freely roam around the grounds. My favourite animal, however, was almost certainly the unloved moose, who was hiding in the corner of a quiet field, constantly over-looked or ignored by visitors who wanted more glamourous or cutesy creatures for their entry fee. We spent some time chatting to Mr Moose, and in return were shown some cool moosey moves!

There's a moose loose
We went home via Thaxted, where my mother had prepared a delicious semi-cold collation, which we ate whilst watching footage of various people resigning and being arrested over this phone-hacking scandal. It's very interesting viewing, and begs a question; will the odious David Cameron survive?

In the absence of Pepys, I'll leave you with a few photographs from the previous week

Raily, Iain, Wils, Jeanie and Nathan
Nathan and Wils
Balloon taken from the window of a car in Sussex
My Mum in her lovely garden

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