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i left this last one in so it would feel like a random shot left on a roll of film, or the delight of getting someone else's photo in your snaps back from the chemist

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the came, they saw, they looked funny, then they went away again

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here's kezia with a guinea pig at a petting zoo.

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deer

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deer

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deer

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the sneaky long necked sheepy goat thing sneaked on to the bus and ate the spare food.  i was powerless to stop it because i had a camera in my hand.

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i went to our wellington office on monday and went for a wander at lunchtime

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just by the waters edge was a little blue penguin bobbing about

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he then obliged to haul himself out of the water for a photo

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her was only tiny (about 30cm) but i loved him


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we went to a horse race a few weeks ago

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it was jolly good.

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an actual chicken crossing an actual main road.  a missed opportunity.

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these pictures are worth clicking on to see the cute dead thing in more detail

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we did work out what it was, but then i forgot again.   sorry

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these horses were watching me as i walked back from our local post office down the back lane.  they should  be minding their own business, cheeky monkeys. 

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whilst on the isle of bute i thought i saw a wild cat. but i was just a domestic moggy.  But in the same field was a two headed horse.  but that wasn't either.  oh well.

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don't worry, no actual guinea pigs were worried in the making of this picture.  it's just off a guinea pig food bag,


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this chap just caught an eel as i walked past him yesterday morning

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As a result i've had the mighty boosh's eels in my head all day long (youtube video contains a biological word some might find distasteful, but worth a listen!)

"elements of the past and the future combining to make something not quite as good as either".

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now, i don't know much about animals (although i did put a dead hedgehog in our dustbin last night), however, even i know these aren't horses.

do would you trust the author to tell you how to look after them ?

"your horse is quite short isn't it?"

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esther's guineas went to stay at her granny's house where they were treated to a luxurious stay.  their outdoor run was festooned with a gazebo, an outside windbreak and even some nice little logs for them to sit on and chat about old times.

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poor things are back to slumming it with us again now though (the guineas, not my parents in law)

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live in the NZ rainforest (and a little glass cage in the visitor centre)

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this local cat (or his twin) has taken a rather worrying interest in esther's guinea pigs

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he/she sits there by the bars looking at the guinea pigs just millimetres away.

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a number of interesting things happened on our holiday last summer.  this pig walking by the window was one of them

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who is it that makes wigs for bulls and cows ?  they're not very good.  but then i suppose a bull is unlikely to have much money. perhaps they do it for free. if you're dealing with a bull it's sensible to stipulate they'll be no charge.

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that's it darling, look back over your shoulder to the camera, and swing your tail up high.

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i want to like the one above best, but i think the one below is more appealing.  wadyafink ?
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of course there were animals at the show too

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and i loved how they covered a bull's head with rosettes. 

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because you don't want to upset a bull by sticking things all over its face do you ?  note the slobber

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there was a bird section

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no one likes being called heavy.

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ducks with a nice long necks.  i think they could do with some arms stuck on the sides of their bodies

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this was a bit unfortunate.  it was a cage with something hidden under some sawdust. no one likes a loser

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there were some more serious birds outside

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this little barn owl brought his barn owl caravan
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and he was keeping an eye on me

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here is a sign i can agree with.

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and some of the animals seemed slightly larger than life

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this ones for all those who were at interesting 2008 !

this looked like a heartening scene.  the teeny weeny baby hedgehog had found its mum.

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but sadly it wasn't.  click on the title above to see the full, sad, story.

Continue reading "the tragic story of the teeny weeny baby hedgehog" »

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after the sparrow hawk visit of last weekend, we've now got a teeny baby hedgehog whizzing aimlessly around our garden eating the lawn

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he's only about the size of a hamster.  and seems to have his eyes closed.

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he's very quick, but spent a lot of time going round in circles so i carefully moved him to a safer place in the undergrowth.

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but an hour or so later he was back near where we started.  and a cat was sniffing round the place.  so hopefully he'll make it !

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fly ball at a country fayre

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random highland cows on oxfordshire hillside shocker.

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you see things when you walk in london.

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i don't think these are real sheep which is probably why you shouldn't feed them

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these animals are going to get a complex.

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keep little fingers away from BIG mouths

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some cats from our zoo trip in January

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(must admit to slight editing of this to remove a stray foot and colour boost)

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minnie the horse is moving to a new stable, so the girls won't be seeing her for a while.

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they pursuaded me to join them and take some photos for remembery.

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you can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead.  apparently.

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looks better big (so click on it!)

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lots of interest here. it seems more animals are arriving. except they aren't actually arriving right now, because if they were, that would be interesting and worth stopping to see.

so to make it clear, they've added the word "soon", but that still implies it's wait-able.

but then we see the children's play area and all becomes clear. we are being advised to get our kids to enjoy the play area before it gets too busy, as more unruly kids (ie animals) will be arriving soon.

at least that's how i interpreted it

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you might have to click on this to admire it properly !

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on the one sunny day on our scottish holiday we went on a fantastic boat trip round gairloch harbour, looking for wildlife. we were hoping to see sharks, dolphins, porpoises etc, but they weren't about. instead we saw fantastic views out to Skye and the Outer Hebrides, as well as back in land to mountains.

we saw lots of fancy birds, and some seals (notice one in the classic banana pose)

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and here is a baby seal

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despite not seeing anything with fins, the trip was great. we went with the Gairloch Marine Life Centre

when we got back to shore there was a seal in the harbour doing fancy things for fish
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our friend kate was complaining there wasn't enough real animals on funkypancake. so here are some from last year which you haven't yet seen

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i think part of the problem is that i don't come across animals much in my daily life, other than stuff which whizzes past as i drive to/from work.

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i thought this was a squirrel, but jane thinks a rat. there was a red kite flying above our heads when we found this and i was hoping for some swooping action. but none happened whilst we were there.

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can you help me identify the dead thing to settle this marital score ?

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bother-in-law kev knows all about catching crabs.  first you attach a fish head (or bacon) to a hook

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 then you dangle it off a pier

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 then everyone gathers round and waits

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 until you pull the line up with a crab attached to the fish head

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 when you've got a bucket full (we had 20), display them proudly

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 preferably against a moody sky

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 and finish off with a nice crab race

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here's a nice seal (worth clicking the picture to see in a bit more detail)
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there was a big pile of them on a rock
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and it's always nice to see some oil refinery type thing behind wildlife
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i like the lack of urgency in 'move out of the way'.

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pictures i never got round to publishing from monkey world a while back.

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when jane and i were in vienna last year we saw the lasagne ponies. and they were very good.

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i had a nice game of hide and seek with a cow earlier this week. she was quite easy to spot on this one (curiosity got the better of her)
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but can you spot her in this one ?
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(it wasn't actually the same cow)

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Andrew sent me these penguin related pictures.

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penguins worl (whirl ?)

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who would have thought the underwater viewing would be beneath the platform ?

And we all know the danger of lollipop sticks

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as seen years ago here

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just a few months ago we had a hedgehog under our bed and then we had beasts in our loft (turned out to be nesting birds whizzing around in our loft).

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our latest strange beast is this which we found in our house. to begin with we weren't sure whether it was dead or alive, so we got kezia to poke it gently with a small stick. it didn't move, then we noticed its legs was falling off and it was a bit crusty.
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any ideas what it is ?

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the point of ferret release
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this donk is running a race at our local donkey derby, but after having abonded its rider, it decided to eat some grass. much more fun.

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hippos aren't native to britain. especially not the blue ones.

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here is another fantastic animal sign from Andrew.
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this is a bit of a long post, but hopefully you'll understand why (there's a picture at the end)...

we've been hearing funny sounds downstairs in our house for the last few days which we've assumed were the dishwasher reaching the end of its life.

however, we suspected it wasn't the dishwasher when we started to see green poos in our utility room floor. They were too large for cat poos (we thought) and for a while we thought we'd got a goose in the house. Another popular suggestion was a bat. certainly more popular than a rat. so generally, we thought we were looking at a three lettered animal ending in at. *at if you like.

anyway, we left all our doors and windows open on saturday and hoped whatever the monster was it would leave of its own accord. esther and kezia were slightly excited, but also a bit worried, because we had an unknown monster, but that's all part of the fun of growing up isn't it ?

Sunday night jane and i slept very badly. every bump and squeak was analysed and rationalised as 'the central heatings', or 'kids moving around in their sleep'. it was too creepy to accept that the beast might be moving about the house late at night.

At about 1.30am i was awoken by jane telling me wake up and be quiet ! we lay in silence and listened, and there, in our bedroom, upstairs, in our house, there was a rustling sound coming from near where i was laying

we turned the light on, and there, just a few inches from my face on the floor below me was ...

Continue reading "invasion of the beast" »

so, the scene is set. did the old lady really push her dog in a trolley in to the path of the cycle ?

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i've decided not to allow comments on this picture. but at least it shows spring is on the way.

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last seen (head on) here

kezia and esther had a riding lesson this weekend. thanks to andy for these photos

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we spotted this dead thing on a walk yesterday. any ideas what it is/was ?

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this photo nearly worked.

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is this a leopard or a cheetah ? whatever, it was moving quite quickly up and down its cage and i managed to get one shot with its head vaguely in focus !

can you see the donks ?
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here they are
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it's worth clicking the picture to see the crocs a bit better. they were watching me take this picture.

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my what big teeth you have (click to inspect)

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is there some zebra crossing pun in here somewhere ?

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someone had been waiting their whole life to publish this headline !

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shame about the blob

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i saw this frog on the path near our house. (s)he sat very still whilst i took his/her photo
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any idea what sort of frog/toad it is ?
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i should ask frogwatch (which sells watches for frogs so they can tell the time)

this cow just appeared near my office with a mysterious sign round its neck.

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our friend, who has the sirname fox, sent me this picture of a french dog with a hat on. it's obviously a local celebrity as it's got an arrow pointing to it and people drive by in cars to stare it.

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teeny weeny snail on my finger tip (must have been a sign)


i wasn't sure whether this surgery was for people or ducks. either way, ducks breasts ? i ask you.



this was but a few millimeters long.

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spotting animals is so rare in London that it's always worth telling others about it.

but what if you haven't got a blog ? write it on a piece of paper and stick it in the street.



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perspective is a funny old thing
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close up with shadow


this is a very strange thing. an 8 legged horse. fancy that.

vin sent me this pile of photos of grubs asking if i could help him identify them. he knew i wouldn't have a clue but wondered if you did.

He writes:

I wonder if you'd be kind enough to post these pics of a tiny grub I
found today in the hope that some knowledgeable reader can identify
it. I've had no luck so far on Google.

It was in this kind of discus-shaped sac-thing, just lying in a
flower -bed. It measured a quarter of an inch (6mm) across, and when
the grub wriggled (more like a convulsive jerk), the whole thing
moved. When I first saw the movement in the dirt, I had assumed an
ant was tugging at a leaf disc (as they do), but it wasn't really
going anywhere, just turning around and jerking about. Thanks Vin


i saw this snail on a wall as i walked to get my train at ten to 6 this morning. it was really zooming along and i got a bit freaked out that it was going to climb up the camera lense.

so i took as many shots as i could then ran to get my train. which itself was a quite a slow thing.

i'm quite impressed by the detail on a snail's head. click the pic to inspect the big version.

what IS this meant to be ?



here's a pelican which probably belongs to the queen as it's in the park next to her house.

(the black blob on the picture is the reason i sent my camera to the menders)

i didn't go inside this hutch to see if it contained an actual rabbit or an actual guinea pig. anything left on the streets of london is asking to be eaten !


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another beast shot and stuffed by the royal family.


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the llama is a quietly confident animal. and it's not a bird (as i mistakenly explained to my daughter - oops)



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click for very big (desktop sized)

dead animals wot 'ave been shot by royalty.

makes you proud doesn't it.

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animals look a bit weird don't they.

here is a sheep with a squarish head:

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and here is a goat with mad hair:
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click to experience the giant squirrel even biggerer

smiling spider
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sad squirrel
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here is a lost cat sign:
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and here is a cat looking out of a restaurant window:
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after last week's marathon training in windsor park it was back again yesterday for a family walk and cycle.

i spotted these three horses walking away from the copper horse in the distance and wished i had a proper SLR with a telephoto lense. but you get the idea.

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click for big

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that's not a bird (but that's the point)

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avoid wandering animals. but this pile of wool makes it look like a sheep has exploded.

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i wonder if this is some natural phenomenum (doo do, d'dah dah)
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i love their little flourescent bottom jackets. helps them show up if you view them from above.

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this man completely blocked the pavement with his remote dog on a lead. he was oblivious. as appears to be the chap on his mobile phone.

the dog was on one of those retractable lead things and just as mr mobile was about to trip over, the owner pressed the retract button and the dog went flying across the pavement like a windy tape measure thing.

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eeeeeeel looking a bit dead on a pavement. gor blimey govnor

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a smart dog dressed in mulberry. every dog should have a coat and matching cap.

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this little plastic chap was about 2cms long and was next to our car in a car park. very interesting.

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i walk past this sign every evening, but it's only in the last week or so i've started looking at it.

last night i took a photo for you and here it is.

but i've been wondering - how do they know it's a humped zebra and not a striped camel ?

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it struct me this morning that pigeons survive so well in london becaus they are camouflaged against the grey-ness of the sky, river and buildings.

doesn't stop them being virmin though !

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here's your comedy stuffed animal pictures of the week. it's from flamingo park on the Isle of Wight. They have a small display of statues and fluffy animals in a barn you can look at if it's raining.

For some reason someone had dressed up these two flamingos on the right in sailor's gear. even more disturbing was the dreadlocked saucy-santa wearing a festive fluffy bikini.

esther pointed out that they looked like real flamingos which had been stuffed. which they did.

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i love the way birds fold themselves away when they are sleeping. this flamingo and pelican are both compacting themselves down for a rest.

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but what about this penguin which seemed to have a removable head ? one minute it was standing there with its head on the top of its neck, the next moment it wasn't:

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and kezzy in the crab tank:
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it must be weird enough being a normal siamese twin, but imagine being a siamese where your other half is an animal.

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we've been away this weekend.

we journey'ed to the north of england to a small hamlet called Hull. Here is a birdseye view (what a pea would see).

we stayed with our lovely friends richard, julia, joseph, hannah and bethany. they have a variety of aninmals.

we had a great time and i got loads of photos to show you. but i'll pace myself.

meanwhirl, here are esther and kezia taking bella the dog for a walk.

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i've seen two mouses in the last few days. both on pavements and both very tricky to get nice photos of. i didn't show you the other mouse as it was quite frankly dead. and i wasn't sure if you'd like that.

so here is a living mouse sitting nicely outside paddington station.

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this isn't a horse with a hat on. it's a church with a horse in front of it.

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here the is duck again, this time with people by it so you can see it's size

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walking through the city of ghent heading back to my hotel i saw this lady holding this dog. something wasn't quite right. it was stuffed.

but nice it still got to go on regular walks.

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art outside the hotel reception


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"real live" rather than "pretend dead". i couldn't work what that animal was meant to be in the picture. it looked like a sawn off slug.

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there's still lots of pigeons in trafalgar square. you just need to go at the right time of the day. specifically feeding time.

but you won't find a 'don't feed the pigeon sign' as these have all been removed. apparently.

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our bike journey took us through lots of lovely villages.

in most villages people were playing cricket on the green:
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and then a cricket on my trousers:

i click to inspect the insect suspect

i went on my own little photoshoot this evening to get a picture of a local pub to enter in to a competition on saturday. i got some photos but i don't think they are much cop.

unfortunately i also drank a fair amount of beer in the pub whilst waiting for it to go dark. by the time it had gone dark it had also started raining and all decent photo opportunities evaporated. ho hum.

on the way i went through a field of horses. here is one in the sunlight.


you want big ? you want click

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this horse in a play park must have a few storied to tell. it looks like it may have had as many repaints as it has had riders.

and it's perfectly positioned to watch all these things passing.

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i often see this cat in this doorway, but usually there is a bloke sitting at a table behind the window so i don't take a photo ! but today he wasn't there (as you can (or can't) see)

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i see these horses regularly (about every 12 months). The first picture shows them walking carefully through red lights near Paddington Station.

The second picture shows them on Gloucester Place where they were really cutting lose and sort of half galloping randomly down the street. this one was a bit more taxing for the one rider/3 horses ratio

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i saw two more dead birds this morning. and now this lost cat sign (don't worry, it's about 30 miles away from where i saw the dead cat on monday).

what is the world coming to ?

this poster is quite interesting (if we can get past the sadness). For a start it's wrapped round a lamp post making it really tricky to read without falling off the kerb and swinging your head round.

but more significant are the pictures which look like they were taken with a security camera. you don't really get the effect here, but the three pictures show:

1) cat lying down keeping a lookout
2) cat attacking man in red jumper
3) cat on the prowl

there's more to this cat than meets the eye.

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sign and reality rarely match. the sign promised red deers. we got muntjacs

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county shows are great for random chatter. the announcers feel obliged to talk non-stop for hours on end. this man told us for 10 minutes how he was about to let his bird of prey fly off in to the crowd and added "I haven't got a clue what he'll do as he's not trained".

very reassuring.

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after 10 minutes of talking up the beast he let it free. it flew straight at where i was standing with the girls, narrowly missing kezia who was standing on a hay bale. it then stayed the rest of the afternoon in a tree looking at the man.

the man said "i thought that might happen" and tried to tempt it down by swinging a bit of chicken round on a rope. it didn't work and he said "i didn't think that would work".

classic non-entertainment entertainment.

esther looked at me and said "i came here to see animals and entertainments, not people talking". "fairysnuff" i said.

esther and kezia looking for the bird:
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at the show they got anyone with a dog to enter the ring and race them all in one go. there must have been about 40 i guess. it was quite amazing to watch. here are the front runners.

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a pile of ducks:
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a mussled dog:
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we went to a very strange cat show this afternoon. it was siamese cats i think.

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in this show everyone was a winner and by the time we got there most cats couldn't see out of their cages because of the amount of rosettes and trophies attached:

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The cat-type is breed 32 which sounds like a government feline experiment to me. these strange felines were probably developed during the cold war. the rosettes are won by cats decrypting secret message produced using the most advanced algorithms.

It looks like an innocent cat show but is in fact a spooks convention ...

on our recent holiday we went to Monkey World. It's fab ! Go there. now.

there's mad violent scarey things:
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Free range Lemurs (you can go in to their enclosure with them):
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chimps:
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and of course (!) chickens:
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07 Apr 13