Sunday, 30 September 2012

Birthday-ing at Marwell

Marwell Wildlife Park was again the place of choice for the birthday day out, we went the day before her birthday as the weather was glorious that day and it gave her the day of her birthday to enjoy at home.

Another wonderful trip, this year courtesy of a friend of Alex who works at Marwell - exciting for Imogen to "know" a zoo worker, one of those things that often comes up in the "when I'm older, I want to be ..." conversations. I'm not so sure she's that keen on the cleaning up of the poo! An inevitable part of the job.

Imogen had a fun day, we all had a fun day ... we saw all the animals which is no mean feat at such a big park. Even the elusive Red Panda moved a little in his tree and Imogen spotted him first this year as she proclaimed she would; and the normally lazy Coati were more active than we have ever seen them.

Imogen was very taken with the Red Panda this year and a toy one came home with us, named Whiskers.

 Imogen on the tube slide
 I found some cheeky Meerkats!
Imogen loved rolling down the hill

Here are some more images of our day and some of our favourite animals there ...

 Giraffes including 2 babies this year, another on the way
Marwell has a great record in the breeding programme
 Inquisitive Leopard

 Snow Leopard waking from a snooze
 Hey ... cool Lemur!
(captions on a postcard please)
 New Tiger arrival ... he was huge!
(going through his arrival checks ... and eyeing up a big chunk of meat nearby!)
 The Penguins are always popular - we visit at the start and the end of the trip

 Pregnant Mama
 Bat Eared Fox
Another Snow Leopard
They are often difficult to see but not today 
and one of mine, and all of our favourites
the Okapi

Friday, 28 September 2012

Seven ...

Updating the knitted bunting
(an annual activity!)

Our beautiful, fun, loving, creative, imaginative little girl is seven.


Seems suddenly so big, but yet still small, enjoying the simplicity of life, often found with her head in a book, always full of questions. Always drawing or writing; creating stories, her own films, events with such wonderful abundant imagination. Precious.

 One of her gifts - a photobook from birth to Seven
This brought many smiles
 Birthday candles
 Time for a birthday ice cream at the wildlife park

Lovely gifts appreciated with such joy, she only asked for the latest Jacqueline Wilson magazine! And yes she did get that, and various Horrible Histories things, books, science-y things, toys and some Poi. Oh and tickets to see and listen to Jacqueline Wilson at half term, she literally squealed with excitement at this!

Another wonderful year, looking forward to the year to your 8th!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Knitting as art

A few other things to blog about soon, but today I want to share with you the work of a local artist who I have had the pleasure of spending time with in recent months, and the pleasure of contributing to a piece of her artwork that is now on public display for all to see and contribute to.

It was the opening night last week and we all went along and had a lovely evening chatting, knitting with friends, and taking in the wonderful Blue Jumper.
knitting continues whilst Sarah talked about the blue jumper

Take a look at the blog to find out what The Blue Jumper is all about, which has been a "collaborative, community knitting project" added to by over 400 others, and has travelled around the region to many groups.

The exhibition is free to visit, you can and will be encouraged to pick up some yarn and add to the piece, jot a few words down on a card which are on display too. There is also a mesmerising video of contributors hands knitting away. Currently in the Bargate Monument Gallery in Southampton until 14th October, do go along and see it if you can.

Here are some images from the opening night, and some from earlier in the year when The Blue Jumper and Sarah visited the Guild ...

 The Blue Jumper in all it's glory
and spreading it's wings
 The names of all who have contributed are written on the walls
 When The Blue Jumper visited the Guild in July

my contribution on opening night
I was very pleased to finish "blue", maybe add jumper on a visit soon!

All our best wishes go to Sarah for her exhibition, a much talked about piece around these parts; it really inspires community spirit as people sit around to chat and knit, whether friends or strangers, we are all connected through the jumper.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Ugh ...

Has anyone seen my blogging mojo?


Nor me!

I have things I'd like to post so really must try harder.

I'll start tomorrow with a little catch up and then get myself back into the groove of regular posting; there has been spinning and knitting; fun and birthdays (well one) so no excuses.

back soon ...

... or send out the search party!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

End of the holidays ... welcoming Autumn

Whoosh, another school holiday is over and Imogen is back to school today. Year 2! How? When? What happened there? She is super excited to be in the oldest year of the school.

So after all the other exciting times and adventures over the holidays, we ended them with a trip to Kent where Alex was taking part in a course for work to do with thermal imaging in the mammal world. I thought it a great opportunity to go along and spend the day at the Wildlife Park where the course was being held.

So we went among to Wildwood and had a lovely day, Imogen and I explored the whole place together, talked to the keepers and listened to a few animal talks. Very excited to see the Wolves and the Beavers, and many other wonderful mammals. Oh how I would love to see Wolves re-introduced in the wild in the UK, such a beautiful animal, so misunderstood by our ancestors ... maybe one day.

Here are a few of the animals we met ...

 Tortoise, look at those claws!
 Meeting Bison in the Forest

 Red Squirrels - such a rare sight in many areas unfortunately
(and difficult to capture on a camera!)
Playful Polecats

The stars for me, and I think for Imogen too, were the Wolves and the Beavers. The beavers were all asleep on the first walk around but we popped back to check and were treated to them swimming and then eating.

 One of the Wild pack
 Hand reared Wolf - Mishka aged 12

Mishka and her sister Nadja were saved by the keepers after the wolf enclosure flooded and their mother was stressed unable to find the cubs, unfortunately they then had to be hand reared as they had been in contact with humans, but their lives were saved.

 Wonderful swimmers - beavers