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My 2018 Review – The Busy Year filled with the Unexpected

By Friends & Family, Gigs & Shows, Happiness & Joy, Health, LifeNo Comments

In January my mum, brother, brother’s fiancee, nephew and I watched Peter Pan’s Musical Adventure in Blackpool. I went to Leeds to spend time with Robert and Neha. Robert & Neha are two of my most dear friends and favourite humans. Here are some photos:


Blackpool Tower


Mum feeding the 2p machines and feeding her habit at the same time.


Left to Right: Me, Robert & Neha.



February started with a spring clean. I thought and wrote about The Cycle of Life. I shared some lessons I’ve learned from life.

In March I wrote about homelessness. I aided Steve, my housemate in his hunt for a cockatiel. Here is a photo of Steve’s cockatiel:


Another photo of the extremely cute and chirpy Chakuro.

April began with my attempt to answer some of the most difficult questions in life. Steve and I visited Beeston Castle in Cheshire. I got creative and made a number of Pumpkin Spice Scented Candles:




The entrance to the main ruin (2). From the bridge was a sheer drop of at least thirty feet.


My batch of handmade Pumpkin Spiced Scented Candles.


One of my Pumpkin Spiced Scented candles. They just need some witchy charms tying to each jar.

For my birthday in May, my good friend Simon and I visited Warkworth Castle & Tynemouth Priory and Castle. See photos below. I published a blog post about how to support someone with mental illness.


The most well preserved.


Remains of Walkworth Castle (1).


Tynemouth Priory and Castle remains (2).


Simon (right) and me (left) in the stone coffins. I couldn’t believe that we both fitted perfectly.

Mum and I visited Harry Potter Studio Tour and London. Mum shared a story about St. James park:

When my mum was a little girl, she lived in London with her mum and dad (my grandma and granddad). Every Sunday, while her mum was making the Sunday dinner, her dad would take her to watch the changing of the Guard and then into St. James Park to feed the ducks.

From My Blog Post: Harry Potter Studio Tour and London with Mum.

In June I was fortunate to unexpectedly see A-Ha with my good friend Jayne. Endless things broke including my boiler, car, new laptop and washer dryer.

July saw Jayne and I visit Chester Zoo. Here are some photos:


Butterfly (2).


A close up of the baby elephant.


My new lover! He’s the strong, wooden, silent type.


This gorgeous beauty came to say hello and flirted with me (by winking with her big eye and long eyelashes) when I said ‘Hello Gorgeous.’ to her as she passed by.

I found myself disappointed. It was unexpected, but I managed to find the positive side to disappointment.

In July I continued working hard to improve my health. This included starting on FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System.

September was particularly busy. A good friend, her son, two of his friends and I got close to wild animals at Blackpool Zoo. Here are some photos:


This photo of a penguin is most probably the best photo I’ve ever taken. The penguin was swimming at great speed, although you wouldn’t have guested. I looked at this photo when I got home and it looks like it was taken by a professional. A total fluke.


Another of the beautiful tiger. Blackpool Zoo have two tigers from what we saw. The tiger is more than slightly moist because of the rain.


This is how close we got to a Lion. Able to look in its eye and see the intelligence, along with the hunter instinct. He appeared to be eyeing us up as a snack. Blackpool Zoo had two male Lions living in the enclosure together from what I saw. They seemed pretty well bonded and one went and groomed the other while we watched.


Quickly becoming my favourite animal, the giraffes. What I love about giraffes is that every time I’ve politely called over to one (in different Zoos I might add), they come over. They look at me with their big black eyes and some times, if I’m really lucky, they let me take a photo before they walk off.

Still in September I was unexpectedly (and lucky enough to be offered) a spare ticket to see the spectacular Shania Twain.

In October I self-published a poem Sometimes High, Sometimes Low:


Click for Full Size Image.

My mum, Kelly, my mum’s friend, her daughter and myself saw Matilda.

In November I went to a wonderful wedding and I watched Fantastic Beats: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

In December I had a great Christmas, shared with loved ones.

Overall 2018 was a busy year filled with the unexpected. Hopefully 2019 will be less busy, but with many good times, shared with friends and family. I’d also like lots more creative output from myself.

Write soon,



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Chester Zoo with Jayne

By Friends & Family, Happiness & Joy, Nature2 Comments

On Monday, my good friend Jayne and I visited to Chester Zoo. The weather was glorious, sunshine, temperatures 30+ °C and not a cloud in the sky. It was so warm that Jayne and I were grateful for Chester Zoo’s unlimited refillable drinks cups for sale at around £10 each.

Jayne hadn’t been to Chester Zoo for years. These days Chester Zoo is massive and I’d recommend that you do visit the zoo over two days to see everything.

Here are photos from the day, click on any photo for full size image:


The elephant family.


A close up of the baby elephant.


The smiley bull elephant.


Exotic squirrels.


An exotic squirrel eating a grape upside down.


My new lover! He’s the strong, wooden, silent type.




Butterfly (1).


Butterfly (2).


An Okapi.


The Giraffes.


This gorgeous beauty came to say hello and flirted with me (by winking with her big eye and long eyelashes) when I said ‘Hello Gorgeous.’ to her as she passed by.


My gorgeous giraffe at a distance.


The pink flamingos.


The penguins (1).


The penguins (2).


A rhino.

Essential Info

  • A massive zoo with a variety of animals.
  • Opening Times: See opening times here.
  • Admission Prices: See admission prices here.
  • Parking: Ample free parking.
  • Facilities: toilets, restaurants, refreshment stalls, gift shops, experience days.

Chester Zoo is a brilliant day out. It was great to see volunteers around the zoo.

However it’s a large zoo with not enough big animals. Jayne and I saw quite a number of empty enclosures for larger animals. They should put better signage up on the Islands Exhibit to direct visitors back to the main part of the zoo.

The zoo is so huge now, that they really should consider transportation methods in the zoo. The monorail is too limited. Perhaps they could look at golf buggies for hire or something similar. This would enable visitors to get around and see the whole zoo in one day.

Write soon,



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The Independent: Save The Elephants Appeal

By Nature, ThinkingNo Comments
Elephant Appeal I recently discovered The Independent: Save The Elephants Appeal. Elephant’s are being hunted to extinction by poachers after their ivory tusks to sell. It seems that the ivory trade is booming, with up to a hundred elephants killed everyday. These wonderful animals are likely to be hunted to extinction in our life time, unless something radical is done.

Elephant’s are incredible animals and I want to share some interesting facts about them you may not know:

Elephants are Altruistic
Generally elephants are altruistic animals, meaning that they will go out of their way not to harm other animals and people. There have been cases of elephants staying with injured humans until they are rescued.

This doesn’t apply if elephants are under attack. When under attack they will do what is necessary to survive and protect their herd. But most of the time they are big softies.

An Elephant Never Forgets
Yes, the saying is true. Elephants had superb memories. This was demonstrated by a test on a herd in Africa. The elephants recognised two distinct tribal colours. One tribe had been aggressive towards the elephants and as such when the elephant saw people dressed in this colour they became frightened and defensive.

The other tribe had been kind towards the elephants. When the elephants saw people dressed in this tribe’s colour they were more relaxed as well as more open to contact with the people.

Female Elephants are the Boss
Elephant herds (families) always have a matriarchal head. This is usually a grandmother or great grandmother elephant who is in charge and the whole herd benefits from her long life experience.

Elephants are Family Focused
Elephant herds usually consist of a grandmother, mother, her sisters, daughters and their calfs (babies). Adolescent male elephants break off from their own herd and create bachelor all-male herds, which have a very loose structure. Adult males join female herds when there are females that are in heat. Once the adult male has mated, he will usually go back to their bachelor all-male herd.

Elephant herds vary in size from three up to twenty five. Herd sizes depend on the availability of food and water, natural predators and inter-social relationships within the herd.

Elephants are very social animals that have strong family bonds. Female herds will share responsibilities, so you may have one mother elephant looking after up to thirty of the herd’s calfs. While she does this, the other herd members will do other tasks such as finding food and water, watching out for predators, etc.

Calfs Have Temper Tantrum
Calfs can be naughty and have terrible temper tantrums like children on that TV programme super nanny. When they do, they will throw themselves on to the ground and flail about in the mud until they have exhausted themselves.

Elephants Protect The Most Vulnerable
When a herd is attacked by a natural predator – usually a lion, the stronger elephants create a circle around the most vulnerable members of the herd to protect them. The most vulnerable are the calfs and the elderly. Elephants will remain in this protective circle for as long as it takes and most of the time the lion will give up, walking away without a meal.

Elephants Grieve
When a member of their herd die the other elephants grieve. When elephants have been murdered, other herd members have even been known to undertake revenge attacks on the perpetrators of the murder.

Some Elephants are Gay
Some male elephants have been known to touch other males with their trunks (elephants see touch as essential for creating and maintaining a deep bond), kiss other males (inserting their trunk into the other elephant’s mouth) and even male on male sex (mounting). Relationships between two male elephants (usually one older and one younger) have been known to last for years.

Elephant Herds Do Breakup
Elephant herds breakup for a number of reasons such as particular elephants not getting on socially, limited availability of food and water in the area that they live or the death of a matriarch.

Chester Zoo Safe Elephants

Chester Zoo: Safe Elephants

I’ve only ever seen these amazing animals in the likes of Chester Zoo. But these animals should be in their natural habitats.

The best way to protect elephants is to have Rangers out in their habitats and to create safe wildlife sanctuaries. The Independent: Save The Elephants Appeal aims to raise much needed funds for Rangers and to help create safe wildlife sanctuaries.

You can Donate online or like I have by text. To make a text donation of £5 text GIANTS to 70007*.

Write soon,


* UK only. You will be charged £5, plus one message at your standard network rate. A minimum of £4.97 depending on your service provider, will be received by Space for Giants, Registered Charity No: 1139771.

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