Tag Archives: animals

Will We, Will We Not? The Search for African Animals

Part of me wondered if we’d see animals up close. We had four days in the Greater Kruger National Park but these were wild animals and the park is more than 20 000 square kilometres. It seemed theoretically possible for all animals to be distant from our vehicles. (Mathematicians, what say you?) When wandering around our lodge, Tremisana, in Balule (one of the private game parks adjoining Kruger without fences), the BB found photos taken by visitors. One showed lions next to the road 50 metres inside the front gate. ‘If only,’ I thought.

bird Continue reading


I had a toy hippo. Its body was a very hard plastic shell and it stood about 6cm high. It marched stiffly down slopes on wide flat feet, heel toe heel toe, mouth agape, stumpy teeth gleaming. It was one of the marvels of my tiny life.

IMG_3524crop2 Continue reading

Rocky Animals

The BB and I ascended from Denver airport past tattered mountain goats whose scars belied their reputation for nimble-footedness, past drifts of snow still hanging on in cool pockets, to the Rockies.

Colorado, Rocky Mountains, mountain goats

Our accommodation was at the YMCA just out of Granby. I think I expected dirt floors in a log cabin – yes, a couple of hundred years out of date, I know. Continue reading

This Little Pig Went to Market But the Cow is Stationary

This little pig went to market.

And this little pig stayed home.

These little pigs look like content.

But this little pig is virtually unrecognisable:

I admit to a penchant for proscuitto, however, seeing the raw material puts me off just a teensy bit.

Yes, that is mould…

but, cin cin, a bit of red wine and Roberto’s your uncle. One surely cancels the other somehow.

We stood around the table under a tree, the horses on which we had just trekked through the nearby hills munching in their stables, a friendly white pony tethered to a tree next to us. Vino all round.

Home-made red wine in industrial quantities.

Laughter. A sharp knife slicing samples of the wares. Bargaining. Language translations. Deal sealed – a nice chunk to be collected down the valley. (It was mouldy yet proved delicious. The pick-up was accompanied by a celebratory wine, hard cheese and homemade pastries.)

The little white pony was ridden out to bring the cows in.

Home-made hobbles meant this one was not jumping over anything, let alone the moon.

Those graceful, defined veins make her a sculpture…or a body-builder.

This is not how Celia at The Kitchen’s Garden does it.

Sloosh, sloosh of milk into a plastic bucket.

It would almost be worth shaving one’s head for the sensation. Try it now. Place your head against a cow’s flank. Feel the warmth seep into your crown. If you’re bald or shaven, I expect you’ll love the rub of short hair against your pate. Perhaps you’ll feel the blood pumping through her body. I wonder what you’ll hear.

Yet here her head appears to be made of felt stretched over plasticine.

As if she were just a puppet character in a nursery rhyme show. Or a blog post.

Ride ‘Em, Porridge

Mayor Porridge finds the docile bovine as appealing as the next cereal but, sometimes, one needs a little thrill.

Despite being of excitable nature (as you  know), the mayor is of gentle disposition and thus eschews the violence of the rodeo. Continue reading

Help. Punchline Needed.

Why did the kitten cross the road?

In the Swiss alps on a single lane bitumen road.

Continue reading

Intact Horses and the Time-Space Continuum

After the recent unsettling business at the Kunsthaus I thought I’d treat myself to a live horse.

My nose lead the way from the train to the Wildnispark. The pleasing earthy smell of manure and large animal had crept down the hill and sneaked under the boundary fence. If you have a cold when you visit, follow the signs. Continue reading