We have been before so this was nothing new, although I always get excited at the prospect of seeing animals roaming freely around what is as close to a safe natural habitat as possible for them. We always take lunch with us and make a day of it. The actual drive can take anything from 45 minutes on a weekday to 4 hours on a really busy holiday.
Easter Monday we wanted to do something equally as exciting and decided to head toward the West Midlands and visited another Safari Park, but one that we had never been to before: West Midland Safari Park in Dudley
It was another fantastic day out. The drive there was very long as the amount of traffic was quite horrendous and the actual park itself was really busy. Nonetheless, we had a great day out seeing the White Lions and Tigers, Elephants, Giraffes (my faves), Camels, Wolves, Emus, Wallabys, Hippos etc. We also went to the Sealion Show which was funny. The Sealion didn't feel like performing as he should and was giving his trainer a bit of a headache. All good fun though!
I have to admit that I would have loved to have taken home one of the tiger pups or a wolf :D
I forgot to take my camera so will have to remember it next time but here's what we saw anyway;
I read a lot of "womens" magazines and more often than not, the stories that are featured either have me in fits of giggles or streams of tears.
On a daily basis, I complain about this or that.. how much money I don't have, the fact that there might not be anything worth eating in the fridge, the fact that I'm bored and have nowhere to go. They're not huge complaints, in fact they're stupid - and that's the whole point. Sometimes I have to stop and think about all those people in the world who would give their right arm to be me. The people who would give anything to eat the stale bread in my cupboard, the almost out of date yogurts in my fridge that I won't eat. There are people in places like Ethiopia who have nothing and would be able to live on just £50 for something like 2 years or more. It would feed and clothe those people for that length of time and make their lives 100% better, yet, I worry when I "only" have £50 left in my bank two days before payday. There are also people who are unable to go out. Unable to walk, talk, do anything for themselves. Yet, again, I sit and complain about not having anything to do and nowhere to go, when in fact, I can do whatever I want, whenever I want (within reason of course)
Reading these magazines, I have recently come across some of the most heartwrenching and sickening stories. I sometimes tell myself that I should stop buying these magazines because they just make me depressed but they give such an insight into other people's lives and make me realise how precious my own life is and the lives of those around me.
Other news stories recently have also made me realise how lucky I am and how I should be living my life to the full and making the most of it. Here are a few:
The Tsunami Disaster:
I don't need to tell anyone what this is about. We all know what happened. It's one of the worst natural disasters ever and so many hundreds of thousands of people died, so many families have been destroyed/completely wiped out. So many parents lost their children and so many children have been left orphaned. We as a nation and as a united front worldwide, have helped make such a difference by raising millions and millions of pounds/dollars <insert currency here> for aid in the affected areas, but the fact is, no amount of money will ever bring back those who lost their lives. Yes, it will help rebuild the lives for those who survived but for some of those people, they will be wishing they hadn't survived. With their families gone, I'd imagine they feel they have nothing left to live for. I know I would.
BBC employee who for the past few years has suffered with a brain tumour. He managed to see the birth of his second child, a son, before he passed away a few weeks ago. He documented his life with this terrible tumour in an online diary which I always found hard to read for personal reasons but was also always an inspiring read. I hope that Ivans family and especially his young children will be proud of how brave he was throughout his illness.
Lucica Bunghez - The woman who survived an 11 stone tumour:
Lucica Bunghez is an amazing woman. She was diagnosed with NF1 - Neurofibromatosis, an absolutely horrible disease for some carriers. This lady developed a tiny tumour on her back but the rate at which it started to grow was unbelievable. Within months, it had ballooned and within 6 years, it was 11 stone (154lb) in weight.
She had to undergo a 12 hour operation to save her life as the tumour was literally sucking the life out of her body as it took every single nutrient that went in. A team of 15 surgeons finally travelled to her in Romania and operated and miraculously saved her life. I don't think if it was me that I'd have made it to 6 years with that growing on me. She was and is a very brave woman.
I was going to post more on here but I don't think I will. It's just little things like this and other things I have read recently that really make me feel lucky. I might not have had the best of luck myself but I should be grateful for the life I do have, compared to some of the others I have spoken about.
I've now seen my all time favourite band - Wet Wet Wet in concert 7 times for the first time in 7 years! (1 concert for each year they were split up) ;) It was an absolutely fantastic time and I am really sad that it is all over but I have live CD's of the concerts to listen to and have to admit that listening does make me feel like I am back there watching them :)
Since December 1st, we have been to; Brighton, Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham and Wembley twice. We've literally travelled over 2000 miles around the country in 20 days but God! What a time we have had :)
The concerts were all fantastic and we were even given the opportunity to watch the concert from a special 'podium" at the side of the stage for the final night by the Wets manager. It made everything all the more special and ended the tour on a real high note!
Instead of settling down for our first proper reaxing night home, we decided to do another 360 mile round trip to visit Matts family before Xmas as we won't get the chance for a few weeks. It was a nice visit and well worth the exhaustion :)
I had hoped for a bit of a lay in this morning, but instead, my sister was texting me to advise that she was having contractions and that the baby we have all been waiting months to meet, might finally make an appearance :)
She is currently at the maternity unit being checked and I am currently waiting for a phonecall to see if they will keep her in - you never know... I might have a new niece or nephew by tomorrow morning (or even by bedtime tonight if I'm lucky!!!)
In between all of this going on... I have been running around trying to help my sister out over the past couple of weeks by making sure my nephew gets to and from school ok and ensuring she hsn't been out on her own walking around for too long etc... It's been pretty manic, PLUS Xmas shopping and trying to fit in doing some work LOl ;)
All in all - it has been a brilliant month and sounds like it is about to get better very, very soon! I should be an Auntie again within the next few hours or so. HOW EXCITING!!!
Oh, and I am SO looking forward to Christmas too.
The only thing I really have left to do is bath Barney. He will hate me but will soon forget about it when he has had his dinner.
This week has been a pretty boring one and has left me feeling pretty down and miserable.
Firstly, I hurt my back on Monday, so wasn't really up for doing much at all. Sitting at my desk and trying to work has been hard enough, let alone trying to drive anywhere or walk far. I've been shoving pills down my throat like there is no tomorrow, getting Matt to massage my back, using heat pads and hot water bottles, along with Deep Heat spray which makes me feel like I am on fire and taking almost scalding hot Radox baths to try to ease it. I've never hurt my back before and I never intend to again. God, I really understand now how bad people feel when they have back injuries or strains. Ouch! It's starting to feel a little bit better now, (I think) after a long 4 days but I think I will be taking it easy for a couple more days as I don't want to do myself any more damage :(
The weather has been miserable, and I have to admit, that, although I love winter and much prefer it over summer, when you are stuck in the house all day long, it gets a bit boring. The fact that the su is never out and the days are dull can make you feel quite low. I like weekends though. I like going out and wondering around and seeing family. Mind you, I could do that at any time of the week but I get more time at weekends.
I had my dog at the vets yesterday as he has an ongoing skin complaint. He has a form of dermatitis which causes his skin to flake and he gets very, very itchy. It's hard to sit back and watch him scratching all the time and looking so frustrated. The vet has put him on some steroids to try and stop it and he will need bathing maybe once a week (My back will be sore by the time I am done bathing him! It isn't an easy job at all!) I'm pleased about the steroids though, he had his first 4 last night in his dinner and already today he has scratched much less. Great :)
(Sidenote: I have to admit something... As much as I am sure Barney loves me, I am fairly sure that sometimes hehates me too. I use him for my own amusement and bless him, he always let me (See pic))
My family seem to all be coming down with different illnesses to. There's me and my sore back, Barney and his bad skin, Matt has a cold coming (which I too will end up with no doubt just in time for the concerts beginning), my sisters fiance and my nephew have both had bugs and my sister.... well, she is just pregnant so that says it all really. She just wants to give birth and stop looking like Weebl! (Round) LOL.
Mind you - it's always the same for us. Every year, right before Xmas, someone gets ill with a cold or a stomach bug. It's usually a week before Xmas so maybe we just thought we would all get it out of the way this year. Last year, my Dad hit a patch of black ice on his way to work whilst riding his scooter and did a great job of smashing his arm up. He now has limited movement and plenty of pain that will basically never go away now. (Although, All I could say is "I told you so" as I HATE scooters, motorbikes etc. I think they are so dangerous and we argue a lot about him having one LOL)
Other than all of that though, the week hasn't been *too* bad I guess. Work has calmed down a lot, which is great news. It makes life much less stressful. It's now only 6 days until I see Wet Wet Wet live in Concert in Brighton. The countdown begins :)
Well, it's been quite a long time between todays posts and the last entry here.
Because I just haven't had time.
Its been pretty busy in the ticket centre and I haven't really had much spare time during the day to post here. A lot has been going on since September though, it's been pretty manic.
We've done a few things to our house. My sister is due to have her baby anytime within the next 4 weeks. We had a working trip to America. We have been out and about buying stuff for the new baby and doing our usual "Chicago" trips in London, Oxford etc, to see Marti Pellow perform, and also Wet Wet Wet released their new album/single and DVD.
As far as the baby goes... we don't know what sex it is. I'm quietly hoping it will be a girl this time as the last one was a boy, but I don't mind either way. So long as it's healthy (yes, I know everyone says that, but it is true). My sister is starting to get a bit fed up now and just wants the baby to come. Bless her.
Our trip to America was a pretty short one although it was tiring. The flights were long and boring as usual, although on the way out there, we had 2 seats each to ourselves as the flight was pretty empty so that was lovely. On the way back though, it was full and it was a "through the night" flight too, so by the time we arrived back in the UK, we had more or less lost an entire night. Tiring! I was so glad to get back to my Barney though as I really missed him!
December is going to be a very busy month too as we will be going to 7 Wet Wet Wet gigs. I am really excited about this as it will be the first time they have toured in 7 years as a band. We did get to see them do a small live set in Virgin Megastore on Oxford Street a couple of weeks ago when they were promoting their new single, which was brilliant!
Anyway, must get on! Tickets don't do themselves ;)