Has anyone elses’ world ended yet? Mayan hasn’t! BOOM!!!!!
We could learn a lot from Ozala the Gorilla at Twycross Zoo in Warwickshire. Her latest baby was born on 2nd January as a result of a successful primate breeding programme but so far keepers have been unable to determine the sex of the newborn since the 16-stone Mum won’t let anyone near her precious infant.
This is the 4th baby for 18-year old Ozala, and it may well be that she is over-protective since her 1st offspring, Matadi, born in 2003, was taken away from her and is now being cared for at Paignton Zoo in Devon. Her 2nd, a female called Ndoki sadly died aged 3 months in 2007 and her 3rd, a male called Okanda was born in April last year. Okanda survived after some initial health problems and is now being cared for in Stuttgart Zoo in Germany.
I do hope she is allowed to keep this new addition. It seems extremely cruel to me that she should be parted from her babies when she so clearly has extremely strong maternal instincts. I accept that Gorillas are a critically endangered species, but come on! How could you separate these two?
I always thought that the reason I preferred to buy new-build properties was because I rather liked the idea of no-one having used any of the facilities before me. A blank canvas which I can then make my own with colours and textures and creative thinking. It looks as though I was wrong! I must have decided on this course of action to prevent previous occupants turning up, uninvited and unannounced, wanting to look round my humble abode and then making a cheeky offer to buy the property back from me!
Yes folks, this has actually happened and the culprit, none other than Hollywood actor, Sir Anthony Hopkins! The star arrived at the semi-detached home in Port Talbot (his childhood home) in a chauffeur-driven car with his wife and two bodyguards, and asked if he could look around. The bemused couple invited the actor and his group inside and he stayed for 30 minutes, posing for pictures before asking if the home was for sale.
The owners apparently admitted to being a little starstruck but pleased he’d had the opportunity to revisit the place he was born. I’m not sure I’d have been so amenable had I opened the door to find Hannibal Lecter standing on my doorstep – some fava beans and a nice Chianti anyone?????
So now that the Christmas period is over and we’re all gradually returning to work, the thing we normally look forward to is the next holiday. If you’re thinking of looking for a good online deal, remember – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is! Take a look at this video and you’ll know exactly what I mean if you’ve ever booked to fly with one of the budget airlines!
A word of warning though, some readers may find some of the language offensive!
Has anyone elses’ world ended yet? Mayan hasn’t! BOOM!!!!!
There used to be a pub in Twickenham called the Pope’s Grotto. About 100 yards from where I lived, it played a huge part in my life since the age of 17 until I moved to Glasgow in 1996. I met my ex-husband there (probably best to skip over that!) and it is somewhere I will always find someone I know, even to this day!
In recent years it has been transformed from a friendly local pub to a modern hotel, now called the Alexander Pope, with a reputation for good food and a family friendly atmosphere. It just isn’t the same but this picture, taken c.1981, is just how I remember it! One main memory that stands out for me is that it was THE place to be during the power cuts in the 1970’s. Instead of sitting at home in the dark, people flocked to the pub in their droves where candles provided the lighting and there was a “blitz type” spirit and atmosphere that seemed somehow magical. I also remember it was a meeting place for many on Christmas lunchtime – the chance to catch up with friends before heading home for the obligatory turkey dinner!
Happy memories indeed. I hardly recognise the place these days but one of my customer’s has asked me to write a piece on their blog about a job they’ve just done there which made me very nostalgic for those simpler, happier times!
My favourite news story of the day …
Two elephants have been saved from the deadly Siberian cold by drinking vodka, Russian officials are reported as saying. Apparently the animals (which belonged to a Polish circus that had been touring the region) had to be taken out into the bitter cold after the wooden trailer they were travelling in caught fire in the Novosibirsk region. The elephants, aged 45 and 48, suffered frostbite to the tips of their ears amid temperatures of minus 40C, but they were warmed up by two cases of vodka mixed with warm water. The animals continued their recovery in a heated garage of a local college where they were brought by a truck under police escort.
Like with humans, alcohol can make animals feel warmer but it actually lowers their core body temperature, scientists say. But Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper quoted Novosibirsk zoo director Rostislav Shilo as saying that the elephants were not harmed or intoxicated by the vodka, and that without it they would have died of hypothermia or pneumonia.
So you’ll have to excuse me while I nip across to Tesco to buy myself a bottle of Smirnoff to ward off the freezing temperatures here in Glasgow, though I’ll be taking mine with tonic instead of water – purely medicinal of course!!!
A second tranche of figures has just been released from the 2011 census and all the important details have been teased out and widely published. But what about the more obscure facts?
Well the main one that leapt out for me was the fact that more people in London’s Kensington and Chelsea describe themselves as working in mining and quarrying than in Gateshead, although the figures – 207 and 151 individuals respectively – are not exactly large.
The decline of the coal industry in England and Wales has been well documented and about 2,000 people now work in coal mines, according to the National Union of Mineworkers, compared with more than a million at the industry’s height in the early 1900s. The mining and quarrying industry as a whole employs 46,478, according to the 2011 Census, down 12,913 on 2001.
These people may of course work in management or for large international mining conglomerates such as Rio Tinto, which has its headquarters in London – unless some of the Kent miners have won the lottery and moved to the Big Smoke or there’s something going on underneath the High Street that no-one has told us about!