Blending in

So you take a slow walk up the gentle hill that is Rue D’Aubagne,

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take a right turn that looks even less salubrious, into Rue Estelle. Then leave the road, hop up the steps to the bridge,
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and there she is, blending in so well, you might not even notice.

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Parent Craft in the Ape world

There are some very cute ape families at Paignton Zoo. Like all of us primate families, they have their trials and tribulations, so the mums like to get together for a chat, it’s what keeps them sane.

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Experienced mums share tips with the first timers, on breastfeeding and how to cope with a lack of sleep .
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Dad? well he’s looking out for the toddlers, making sure they play nicely.

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But they get a bit boisterous, and he’s out of his depth.

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‘I’ll count to ten and when I turn around . . .’

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‘Oh for goodness sake, wait until your mum gets home!’

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‘She started it dad.’

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‘He’s asleep, quick Toby, let’s push her over the wall before they notice.’

‘Good idea, more lunch for us then.’

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‘Clive, CLI-IVE, what are those kids up to? I hope you’ve been watching them, I don’t have eyes in the back of my head you know.’

I had my hands full at the zoo yesterday, helping my daughter with Scarlett and Layla, two of my grandmonkies, so I left the photography to their dad, who’s a professional photographer. Thanks for letting me use your photos Steve!

Overcoming a Fear . . .

. . . Even if it may seem crazy to most of you!

I don’t have many phobias, heights are fine, even snakes, as long as they aren’t venomous, do not bother me. Spiders, well strangely if they are outdoors in the garden they’re okay, as long as I know where they are and they don’t run towards me, they’re okay. Mice are cute, sharks are scary but I’m not likely to encounter one.

Rats however are a different kettle of . . . well rats really. And they terrify me, always have. I’ve had a recurring dream for decades about rats climbing up the drain into the toilet, I won’t keep you awake with the details.

So, earlier in the year when I walked into a tent at an agricultural show and came face to face with a whole load of them, my heart started beating way too fast. Just as I was beginning to feel sick and turned to get out a smiling girl approached me with a rat in each hand asking would I like to hold one.

‘Uh, no thanks I’m actually feeling rather anxious just being here, I think I’d better go’ did I actually look daft enough to hold a rat???

‘Well’ she said, ‘you’re managing to look at Jeremiah, well done, now isn’t he cute?’

I tried to slow my breathing and talk sense to myself while she muttered something about them being gentle, loving pets who like nothing better than snuggling up on their persons shoulder.

‘Perhaps you would like to stroke him? his fur is so soft.’

She continued to talk to me about Jeremiah and his siblings, breeding, feeding and winning prizes in the show. I started to feel a tiny bit calmer and my inner voice told me that I would never have a better chance to overcome my fear, than right then with such an understanding lady encouraging me.

Suddenly I heard myself say ‘Will it turn its mouth towards me f I stroke its back?’

‘No, it’ll be fine go for it.’

I did it. I may not do it again, I’ll never be a fan and I have no idea why anyone would choose one as a pet, but I’ve felt a big less phobic since that day and a real sense of achievement. Crazy eh?

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So here he is!
If you have a picture that shows achievement, most likely more sensible than mine visit http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/achievement/ to join in.