I’ve lived in or around these parts for 20 years now. In that time I must have used one particular road short cut hundreds of times. It keeps you off the dreaded city outer ring road. On the short cut is a little sign for a nature trail. On virtually every pass I would make a mental note to pay the trail a visit one day.
All those years and so many mental notes.
Well the other week on the way to do the weekly shop I did something radical. I stopped. Time to cash in all those mental notes.
And what a little find.
It probably only takes about 10 minutes to walk round the nature reserve.
But it’s so worth it.
You forget that you are on the edge of a city surrounded by farmland and golf courses.
On this wet day I had the reserve to myself.
Teeming with wildlife and wonderful sculptures.
MOORLANDS Nature Reserve, York. And it’s free.
It’s Sunday and it’s time for another dose of Switzerland. With reflection maybe this should have been moved either to Monday or Friday.
When your an Aspergers parent(s) you get used to repetition and routine. Holidays are often no different. When we were fortunate to go to Switzerland we afforded ourselves a couple of days to explore but we had to factor in certain routines.
- Sunday would be a boat trip to Interlaken. Here son would go into a gift shop which sold the full range of Schleich Toy Animals. Son would browse the range while his mum looked at all the amazing Swiss Cuckoo Clocks. Strangely we left with a couple of new animals but sadly no clock.
- Monday would be a train trip to Zurich and a visit to it’s large Zoo
- Friday was the last day of the holiday and we would have a visit to the small local zoo in Bern.
Before we get onto some zoo animals I have had a few people ask me to publish a photo of my Clooney like looks. For the ones who have asked HERE I AM swimming…
The two zoos are so different. The one in Bern is small and always seems very quiet. So so relaxing for someone with Aspergers.
Bern Zoo doesn’t have a huge range of animals but the animals facilities are modern. You get the real impression that the animals are really well looked after here.
Very unusually part of the zoo can be accessed without having to pay. What a brilliant idea.
It also has the most wonderful little adventure park for kids. It’s one of the few which our son was comfortable playing on.
Zurich Zoo is so much larger. It has over 4000 animals.
This zoo seems to focus on trying to give the animals the closest natural habit possible. The animals are being moved from cages to spaces. The elephants have a huge new indoor shelter and a purpose developed habitat outside.
It has a massive indoor tropical rain forest where you can walk about and also climb into the trees. The animals are free to roam in the trees and undergrowth. Maybe it’s coming from Yorkshire but I came out looking like I had just run several marathons.
Zoos can often leave you cold. Feeling sorry for the animals. You don’t get that feeling at these two zoos. This is how zoos should be.
The animals in Switzerland were so good for our son I will certainly revisit this again on this blog.
And finally if one image from all the zoo trips always brings a smile – it’s the one below. First of all I didn’t realise Giant Tortoises could move so quick. It certainly surprised our 6 year old.
Mum what are they doing?
“Ask your Dad”
No idea son. Maybe it’s some form of wrestling….
It’s hot. Yes I’ve said it now. Yes Yorkshire is hot. When I say hot I mean hot for Yorkshire which probably means it’s probably two jumper weather in Arizona.
A grand day for a trip to the zoo.
Clearly the zoo animals had the right idea. Stay in the shade and watch the silly humans walk round in the blazing sun.
Dad can I have a slush.
What a grand idea. Unfortunately the kiosk informed us that they had just switched the slush machine on and if we came back in a couple of hours they should be available. It was a similar story with the ice cream machine. So we purchased from the limited available snack range. Sat in the hot sun with two cider lollies and a bag of just fried hot donuts.
Dad it’s a good job your a professional athlete or you would be getting a Dads Belly.
Clearly a kid with Aspergers don’t have a sense of humour. Come on Hollywood get your facts right.
Dad it’s getting too busy.
And with that we left. But the zoo gave us one last memory. As we were walking out of the main door a delivery driver had arrived and asked a parking supervisor where he was supposed to drop off. He was told “Through those gates. Just unbolt the lock and drive into the compound. Just make sure you lock the gate immediately”. The delivery driver in a slightly alarmed voice asked “Are you sure”.
Visions of Jurassic Park and a driver about to come face to face with a suitably pissed off carnivore came to mind. Clearly the driver had similar thoughts as he made sure he round his van window up before he ventured any further.
Today was a trip to the Zoo. Cold and a bit damp but so worth it. Helps take son’s thoughts away from school. Animals never fail to deliver. Need to make him smile.
We bought a heavily discounted season pass last year. Unbeknown to a certain Dad the pass expired last night. So the trip was significantly more expensive than expected. As we go every couple of months the pass is worth it. Not often can you say that about the stuff you end up forking out for.
Son challenged me to the usual ‘who can spot the Painted Dog first competition’. As ever Dad lost. So what was the forfeit. In the cafe I was to buy a coffee. I could enjoy half the cup THEN….
It was seasoned with pepper. Plenty of pepper.
Strangely the Peppered Coffee was not the worst thing I’ve tasted this year. I can think of a few horrible tasting Jelly Beans which take that particular award. However I suspect Peppered Coffee isn’t going to feature too heavily on the Starbucks menu.
It certainly cleared my blocked nose.
Tonight we had a lovely dog walk. Enjoying an other world type sunset – all with an underlying peppery undertone.
When you need a smile here comes our own member of the Avengers. Captain Chaos.
As we surveyed the second attempt at a fudge cake.
“Well Dad the first one was burnt to a crisp. However the sequel has completely collapsed in the middle and smells of curry….”
This brought on a discussion about sequel (sort of) films.
Son thought the Depp Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was warmer and did not feature Charlie breaking rules. In his opinion Mike TV should have won the first movie.
The first Guardians of the Galaxy beating the sequel. Son believing the second was too sad at times.
The second Paddington movie just edging out the first one. Son thought the first one had a better story but the second was funnier.
The first Home Alone winning over its sequel. Son thought Kevin was just too annoying in the second and that the poor criminals were just unnecessarily tortured.
The second Jumanji edging the first one. Son found the second one just a bit more funny.
Any thoughts. Now onto the third fudge cake attempt.
Completely forgot about our own dogs attempt at looking like Donald Trump.
Maybe I can get away with a couple more animal likenesses. Sorry these are a bit UK based.
Michael Gove – UK politician. A man we can partly thank for the state of our education system and someone (god help us) now in charge of looking after our environment. Maybe a Sloth….
Boris Johnson – allegedly a U.K. politician. Sorry this is a bit unfair to Orangutans.
And again in the spirit of fairness, another one we came up for ME was
If anybody fancies a go, please feel free. We all could do with a smile today.
Let’s be safe and nice out there.
Son was a bit upset today. One of his classes had a surprise test. He didn’t get any reading help, had to try and type the answers using his left hand and didn’t get any extra time. So understandably he didn’t get anywhere near finishing. Angry face. 😡
To try and lift his spirits I thought we would play a little game. Sometimes it’s not a good idea to go with the first thing that pops into your head.
Can we think of which animals famous people look like. Sorry this is not very PC but it was the first thing which crawled into my empty brain. It did immediately catch our son’s imagination. A few minutes later we were both snorting with laughter.
Some of the images we conjured up I won’t share. But a few we probably can get away with.
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May we both agreed on this one.
US Vice President Mike Pence while looking at a video of President Trump our son said that the chap stood next to him who said nothing looked like an African Vulture.
I on the other hand could only see one of those petting zoo Lamas. The ones who stand next to someone quietly and just look blankly into the distance.
US President Donald Trump we argued over this one. Son went for
For some reason I just couldn’t get the image of Sid trying to milk the Male Musk Ox in Ice Age. So I’m going for that Ox as my Mr Trump.
In the spirit of balance it’s only fair that we bring the animal likeness thing a little closer to home.
Me after much debate we have agreed that the Sea Cow is my best fit.
I think it’s now officially time for happy face. 😎