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South Lakes Safari Zoo with Steve

By Friends & Family, Happiness & Joy, NatureNo Comments

On a wet and windy Friday, my good friend Steve and I went to visit South Lakes Safari Zoo. Here are some photos of the animals that I took:

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A Zebra.
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A bear.
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A kangaroo.
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Penguins (2).
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Jaguar (1).
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Jaguar (3).
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A parrot.
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An Emu.
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A goose having a go at an emu.
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Penguins (1).
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Flamingos.
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Jaguar (2).
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Arctic wolfs.

Essential Info

  • South Lakes Safari Zoo is a small zoo that takes approximately half a day to walk around. All the usual animals you would expect to see at a Zoo, with the notable exception of elephants.
  • Recommended.
  • Admission fees: click here.
  • Opening times: click here.
  • Parking: Free onsite parking.
  • Toilets available near the zoo entrance.
  • Cheap hand feeding experiences – currently not operational due to Coronavirus.
  • A large gift shop, mostly catering to children.
  • Friendly staff/exceptional customer service.
  • Difficult to read zoo map, charged at £1. Minimum card spend £5.
  • Disgusting food in the onsite Fish & Chip shop, honestly we didn’t realise you could do that to chips to make them taste so vile.

Write soon,

Antony

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A Belated Visit to Blackpool Zoo for My Birthday

By Friends & Family, Happiness & JoyNo Comments

At the weekend, a family that has unofficially adopted me and I went to Blackpool Zoo. We had a great time, with lots of laughter. Here are some photos of the animals:

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This peacock frightened the life out of me as I checked my phone before I’d even entered the zoo.

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I saw my first ever Sea Lion show. The Californian Sea Lions (1).

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The Californian Sea Lions (2).

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The Californian Sea Lions (3).

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Elephant eating.

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The parade of Elephants.

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Stegosaurus.

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Velociraptor

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Wolfs – close up.

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Penguins.

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Gorilla family – complete with baby.

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Orangutan.

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Canadian Goose with gosling.

All photos were taken using my Samsung Galaxy S10+ smartphone.

Write soon,

Antony

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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:

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Blackpool Tower

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

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Left to Right: Me, Robert & Neha.

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Monopoly!

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:

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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:

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Me.

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

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My batch of handmade Pumpkin Spiced Scented Candles.

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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.

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The most well preserved.

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Remains of Walkworth Castle (1).

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Tynemouth Priory and Castle remains (2).

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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:

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Butterfly (2).

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A close up of the baby elephant.

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

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

sometimes-high-sometimes-low-by-Antony-Simpson

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,

Antony

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The Superb Blackpool Zoo – Get CLOSE to the Animals

By Friends & Family, Happiness & Joy, Nature3 Comments

Yesterday a good friend, her son, two of his friends and I went to Blackpool Zoo. It was raining heavily, but we didn’t let the rain dampen our spirits.

Blackpool Zoo is a superb Zoo, I can’t believe I’ve never visited it before. It is the perfect size, allowing you to see everything in a day at a stroll.

Blackpool Zoo has all the animals you’d expect in a Zoo (plus a few more) and you can get really close to them. The animals look happy and well looked after. Here are some photos from the day, along with my comments, click any photo to see the full size:

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The Elephants – Indoors sheltering themselves from the rain.

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The camels didn’t seem to mind the rain or the temperature that was significantly lower than their natural environment.

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Blackpool Zoo has Amazonia an exhibit where you can walk freely in an enclosure with monkeys and other wildlife from South America. It transports you into a rain forest like environment and is where we saw these cheeky little monkeys.

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I saw these gorgeous pink birds and just had to take a photo.

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A white wallaby. I’ve never seen a wallaby in real life, they’re so cute.

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The kangaroos were all taking shelter from the rain. The first time I’ve seen kangaroos. I don’t blame them for taking shelter from the rain, it was bucketing down at that point.

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Sea Lions. The photo was a lucky shot, as they were weaving around and in and out of each other quite quickly. As if they were doing some sort of intricate and improvised dance in the water.

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A giant in the Orangutan world – just look at the size of his face, never mind the rest of him.

I am particularly proud of this awesome photo:

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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.

Here’s even more photos:

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Blackpool Zoo even has an exhibit of Farm Animals. These animals included two Shetland ponies, goats, donkeys, pigs and sheep (photo is of one of the sheep).

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A pair of attention seeking otters. Wonderfully fun, playful and liked to upstage one another. I love the spirit of these animals.

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Look how close we got to this tiger at Blackpool Zoo. In Chester Zoo I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tiger, let alone been able to get close enough to appreciate its stripy beauty.

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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.

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Lion: *yawn*
Me: I totally understand how you feel. I’ve walked around Blackpool Zoo all day.

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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.

Blackpool-Zoo-September-2018-15

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.

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Another photo of the giraffes. I had politely called out to the one in the foreground.

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Essential Info

  • Parking: There is an onsite car park, with overflow parking. It is charged reasonably at £2.50 for the day.
  • Opening Times: Vary throughout the year, click here to see opening times.
  • Admission Prices: Vary throughout the year, but are cheaper if you buy them online.
  • Facilities: Toilets, two gift shops, a cafe, a Starbucks Coffee at the entrance, a small train that takes passengers (for a charge) from one end of the Zoo to the other, an indoor children’s play area (separate to Zoo and doesn’t require Zoo entry), experience days.

Chester Zoo VS Blackpool Zoo
I couldn’t help but compare my many visits to Chester Zoo with my experience in Blackpool Zoo. Chester Zoo could learn a few lessons from Blackpool Zoo including:

  • Have more of the bigger and more popular animals. Chester Zoo’s selection of big and popular animals is pitiful when compared with Blackpool Zoo.
  • Ensure good viewing opportunities for visitors in enclosures. Blackpool Zoo have done this really well. It makes visitors feel that they can get really close to the animals. Chester Zoo hasn’t got this right.
  • Make it realistic to visit everywhere in the Zoo in one day. Currently to see everything in Chester Zoo you need about a day and a half of rushing around.

We had a brilliant time at Blackpool Zoo and I would highly recommend it to you all.

Blog soon,

Antony



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