Day trip to the Cotswold Wildlife Park

It was a beautiful sunny late September day when we went to the wildlife park.

We started with the walled garden complete with penguin and lemur enclosure. The garden is small but spectacular and still very much in bloom. They had a few angles trumpets we also have at home. You walk around the lemur enclosure and stand just a couple of feet away from the penguins. This is close to the entrance and you have a shop with the usual sorts of gifts and a small windows where you can order a hot dog and a coffee.

Further into the park where the main house is situated, you can find a much larger restaurant. The food is simple and when we visited had been under hot lamps for a while so was not particularly appetising but this is normally the case I find with these sorts of places.

 
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Entry to the park is £16 and you can take dogs into the park although not everywhere. I recommend taking the little train that goes around the park as it gives you a good idea of what there is too see and where it can be found. You cannot drive through the park but its small enough to see everything in half a day. I think my favourite part was the tropical greenhouse where there are a variety of birds, sloths, rat-like creatures running around your feet. It reminded me a little of Kew Gardens and the Eden Project.

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BBQ Summer 2018

The end of another summer holiday from teaching and it was time for the annual gettogether. BBQ in our garden.

It took a while to get ready. New turf as the old grass was ruined. Take down old shed and build new one. Repairs to decking etc etc, clean pond and count fish (60).

We don’t have a huge garden so it was a bit of a squeeze at times. It was great to spend some time with family, friends and work colleagues. Two of them are the leaving the country shortly and so it will be a while before I see them again.

 

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Mindy having a little lie down before the BBQ begins

 

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The quiet before the storm. Setting up the BBQ

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The spirits are delicately balanced on the end of the log flume.IMG_1271IMG_1272

George and Ruth with their Pavlova. Yummy!

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Anita showing her manners -wonder if her parents see these pictures?

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I’m still alive!

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Its been a couple of weeksnow since I’ve done any real activities during the school holidays. Did some Kayaking on Wednesday but nothing else after I injured myself playing squash. Still got some knee, neck and arm pain.

I haven’t been SCUBA diving for quite a few years now and decided this summer was time to get back in the water again or I probably never would. Today was the day. I had some concerns:

Would my recent injuries prevent me from diving? No.

Would they have a wetsuit big enough for me as I’ve put on a lot of weight since my last dive? Yes thankfully and bigger!

Could I still use my own equipment, bought a while ago, but hardly ever used? Yes, but need to get some kit serviced.

Would I bottle it entirely? No, but I nearly turned the car around and went home.

Would I make a complete twat of myself? Not quite although I certainly need lots more practice in the water.

Arrived at Wraysbury Dive Centre at about 9.30 and was met with a couple of younger guys called Andrew and Jimmy who would be my instructors for the morning. Throughout the morning they helped to put me at ease and were very patient with me. They quickly found me a wetsuit that fitted fine. I tried my gear on. The BCD just fits me. Any more weight and it wont! We used a mix of my equipment and theirs. In total, I was there for about 3 hours during which they demonstrated and then tested my ability to practice basic SCUBA skills such as buoyancy control, mask clear, buddy breathing, regulator retrieval, assembly of gear etc. After this they gave me short tour of part of the lake to practice my diving and then back to dry land. Really enjoyed it. Wasn’t particularly graceful in the water and need lots of practice to get comfortable again. Not sure if I’ve got my weights properly sorted/balance yet just for me.

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Dive time was about 32 minutes and it was nice to get a recent entry in my dive log book. The lake is quite murky with visibility of 5-6M. There are some sunken vehicles to explore at various points, fish and American red crayfish everywhere. The instructor tried to get me to hold one of them. I managed to touch its shell but had no intention of getting up close and personal with anything that has more legs than me and pincers to boot.

The guys were very patient with me. I had one to one attention and no else was diving at the time so made me a little less self conscious than I might have been otherwise. Have left my Suunto dive computer with them for a service and booked a new diver package for the 21st for some more practice with a buddy for hire (cost £50).

One of the problems for me to dive is that you need a buddy and all my family and friends cant dive, are not interested in diving and/or cant swim and don’t like water. Hopefully I can find a more permanent buddy at Wraysbury and continue diving through the year. I would also like to take one of my underwater cameras with me and try to get some footage next time perhaps?

The SCUBA review cost £65 and for 3 hours of tuition, equipment and patience, I think this is great value for money. Looking forward to the 21st now and some more practice.

Who said squash wasn’t a dangerous sport?

I’ve been trying different activities each day this week:

Kayaking,cycling,walking,running and today was squash with Christian. It’s the first time in probably a year that we’ve played.

Final score 3-9 to Christian. Somewhere in the 2nd game I must have slipped and ended up falling to the floor and head butting the back wall resulting in a small cut to the head/bump/bruise, neck pain, shoulder pain, arm pain, sore muscle at top of leg and two bruised/scraped knees. I’m literally sore all over.

 

 

 

Christian’s Leaving Do

Christian left the College on Friday 22nd June so we all met down Millionaire’s in Langley for some drinks and food after work.

Thanks to Anita and Christian and some cans of silly string, it soon descended into chaos with people running around the car park trying to avoid being caught.

We went down Bar H afterwards for some more drinks, pool and table football.