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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

The Mighty Thor and More

Who wouldn't want to be rescued by this god?

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I was surprised the other day to discover that my neighbours have put out a bird feeder. Just the one. No competition for my multiple and various feeders. But interestingly they have attracted an exotic non-native, the ring-neck parakeet.

As one of my foxes trotted towards me the other day, I decided to take a photo. He stopped in his tracks as he spotted me. This is not a still photo, it is a photo of a still fox.

I retreated for a minute, and when I returned he was outside the door waiting for supper.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

18 Wheels with cats

I think Vincent has just done another show at Joe's Pub. Just remembering George Geronimo Gerkie...

Now that I only have two cats, I am ever more indulgent. They are both getting on. Twiglet is over 18 and  is beginning to show her age.

Mackie is 14 and is a glossy mini panther.

There's another mini panther on the block. She's called Maya, and she was rejected by her mother at a wild animal park. She was transferred to a big cat sanctuary where she is being raised. I challenge you to find anything cuter in the world.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Guy Fawkes, Tigers and Mini Murmurations with Parakeets

Till Halloween encroached on British culture from the US, autumn had its own fun-filled ritual in the UK. Parents would build bonfires in their gardens and buy boxes of fireworks. Children would stuff newspaper into dad's old clothes, make a head out of one of mum's old stockings, and buy a pressed cardboard mask of Guy Fawkes to put on it. They would then wheel it in an old push chair (buggy) to a corner near the local shops and ask for a "penny for the Guy". This would go towards the firework fund.

Our house was the site of a bonfire party for friends and family. Year after year safe fun was had, with my father in charge of fireworks, which were kept in the outside toilet, away from potential accidents. The bonfire was built on a brick paved area and Guy was put on top to be incinerated. All this to commemorate the attempt by Guy Fawkes and his buddies in a Catholic plot to blow up the protestant king during the opening of Parliament by King James I in 1605. One of the conspirators sent a letter warning a relation to keep away for the Opening, and in gratitude the suspicious recipient turned him in. Fawkes was found in the cellar of the Houses of Parliament with barrels of explosive, and he and his mates were tortured and executed. Fawkes was burnt at the stake. Of course the Houses of Parliament were not in the building we know today, which was built in the 19th century after a fire destroyed the old one. The event was captured by the world's greatest artist, J M W Turner. You can see the towers of Westminster Abbey in the background of this particular rendering (he did several).


Meanwhile another zoo visit gave me the chance to take a few more pictures of tigers. Melati was in the little shelter, with her son in front of her and her daughter in front of him. Difficult to tell the difference these days, they are so well grown.

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Achilles is such a handsome boy.

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When he got bored, he went over to the gate where he sometimes gets given treats by the keepers, then when none appeared he climbed on to the wall next to the gate to await any change in the situation.

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Finally his sister Karis decided she couldn't resist joining him on the off chance.

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Achilles was interested in the activity on the netted roof of the enclosure where a large number of noisy starlings came close to forming a murmuration. They were joined by some even louder parakeets, escapees whose ancestors come from India. The long-tailed bird to the left of the central pole is one of them.

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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Household Saints with Animals

I could say that my continued absences are down to health issues, and it would be partly true. But I live on my iPad these days and don't yet know how to post pictures from Photobucket on to Blogger. I can't load up photos from my camera either, so unless I took a picture on the iPad I can't use it on there. My camera has outstanding zoom, so using it is a no-brainer. There should be a way of emailing pictures from it to somewhere or other but I've never found out how!

Latest hospital treatment has been camera up, camera down. All because my GP wanted to check out possible causes for my anaemia. Which seems to have been caused by the simple fact of having had surgery! Good thing health care is free in the UK. So far, anyway.

Meanwhile I'm going to post out of sequence because Vincent's co-star in Household Saints, UK comedian Tracey Ullman, has a new TV series in which she mimics people in the public eye. Angela Merkel and Theresa May are regular victims, as is Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. She's surpassed herself this time though with an impression of Labour leader and leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn.

Here she is with Vincent in the film:

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So talented. I can't actually find my copy of the film, but luckily I have plenty of stills!

 I've also managed to make a couple of zoo visits, to London and to Howlett's in Kent.

Achilles was trying so hard to tempt his sister to play, we all thought he'd end up falling off the climbing frame!

Karis wasn't having any.

Dad JaeJae was having 40 winks, several times over.

The lionesses were also enjoying a snooze.

At Howlett's the young female Siberian tiger Amina was hoping for a snack. She has bone problems and walks with a limp. Raised by humans, the presence of people doesn't worry her at all.

This baby langur was tormenting its parents.

One of the lemurs in the walk-through garden was feeling very friendly.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Thumbsucker with Otters

Not his best film, not his worst.

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Meanwhile, under a railway arch near you (if you live in Lewisham) some murals have appeared depicting otters (unrealisitically painted) and bees (realistic but large).

Brightens up a dull walk through a dark arch.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Winners and Losers

Been gone a long time. My poor broken arm was in a brace from 28th March to 3rd July, when the break was repaired by the installation of a huge amount of metalwork and a bone graft.

The next week, a tiny twist tore a piece of bone off my hip close to where the graft was taken from, and I was back in hospital for another 6 days. Meanwhile the overuse of the other arm has made it need a replacement even more, but has set back the timetable by months. Most of my computing is on my iPad which doesn't seem suitable for posting on here with pictures.

 I was up to The Winner for my next Vincent post. He gives lots of people virtual hugs on Twitter, but never me, sadly. Perhaps he's afraid of hurting my arm...

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Nearly forgot to mention I had to replace my car, as the old one was on a three-year lease, which was up. It was a race as to whether I would be able to drive in time. Over here we have new registration numbers every six months, and I got my new car, a VW Polo, on the first day of the 67 reg, September 1st. This is a similar car:

Monday, May 01, 2017

Been Away From The Whole Wide World

Sorry folks. Managed to smash my right arm in two close to the replacement shoulder, in a fall on the eve of my birthday. I'm living life one-handed, in a brace, which makes computing hard, especially as the left arm isnt great either.

Here's a V-pic to keep you going.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Mind The Drop!

Cats may be well known for being able to land on their feet, but it all depends on the height they fall from. Too close to the ground and they can't right themselves; too hign up and the impact may shatter their limbs.

So a group of stunned visitors watched aghast as three out of our four tigers were dicing with either death, or a spectacular act of gymnastics. Mum Melati was on their high platform. Dad JaeJae decided to join her, having a good sniff around her rear end. They'd already had a go at mating. Well, he had. She was not happy or receptive. Then son Achilles decided to join them, having watched with curiosity about what was going on.

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Meanwhile Karis was making her way on firm ground towards the other side of the enclosure.

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There she did something I have never seen her do before. She went up to the glass and stared through it at a woman crouching down and putting her hand on the glass at the cub's level. They stayed transfixed by one another for ages.

The woman was a visitor from mum Melati's home zoo in Perth, Australia, where she used to connect with Melati in the same way. Who could have guessed that the little daughter would respond to the same person in the same way?

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Tug O' War

On Wednesday I was due for my latest nipple tattoo session at St Thomas', one of the country's most eminent hositals, home of the Florence Nightingale Museum.

Sadly, they don't seem able to put surgical tattooist appointments on to their system. I was not the only person there who had experience of making a long journey in vain.

 So I decided to take myself off to see the cubs. I knew I had four days of building work coming up, starting today, so my opportunities were slight if I didn't take this chance.

To begin with, they were a bit subdued, positioning themselves in a place where they thought there might be food coming up soon.

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Mum Melati was also rather lethargic. Rumour is that she and JaeJae have been mating, and she might have become rather prematurely pregnant. Cubs are usually nearer two years than eight months when mum mates again.

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The kind keepers had given the youngsters a length of sacking to play with. They seemed to find it the best toy ever, and there was a mighty battle for possession.

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