Monday, 14 July 2014

Collaboration Post: Pip and Becky Go to Longleat Part #2

This is part 2 of our collaborative post - Click here for part 1 if you missed it! 

Camelgate Written by Pip
Camels do not know road safety. Or have any spacial awareness. After feeding the deer, we were about to leave this area of the safari when straight ahead were two camels, one of whom’s head was in a car.
“Haha, look,” I said. “Those camels are really close to that car! His head is in it!”

Silly me. As they approached, I noticed a certain look of intent on their faces, so shut the window just in case. We all assumed they would walk past. Two minutes later, we’re surrounded. All we can see is camel. I was frantically beeping my horn while the others laughed (mainly Becky); I don’t want to say I was panicking, but I could not move the vehicle. One of them tried to move his/her leg and kicked the car! Then there was the suspicious sound of a camel taking something off my aerial -  I think you know where I’m going with this. Andy stuck his hand out of the window and took a photo – no more aerial bumblebee. As I drove off, once they’d effectively mugged me (I felt mugged), I’m pretty sure I ran over a camel hoof. Becky reassured me that they tread on each other’s hooves all the time, so my car would do no harm. Thanks Becky.

B: You are most welcome ;) This was literally the FUNNIEST thing. I don't think any of us have been so close to a camel in our whole lives. Let alone three of them...It was unnerving, but I still couldn't stop laughing.

Big Cats Written by Becky
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! (actually, no bears) 

I was really looking forward to the big cats section. Although, to be frank, I didn't think we were going to see much. I was most certainly wrong about that! 

Firstly we came to the tiger enclosure. We were slowly creeping through and we spotted a tiger in the underbrush to our right. As we swung past slowly around a corner, there was another tiger on the side of the road. It decided it was going to have a wander, directly in front of us. We were all quite excited and crazily snapped away as the tiger approached us. I was in awe, the tiger headed straight towards us and walked around the left side of the car. I could have touched it if I had been stupid enough to open my window. Believe me, a big part of me wanted to! The tiger then headed around the back of the car, and peered in at us. Amazing is the only way I can describe this, just amazing. So unbelievably close! 

Next up we had the lions. We were all straining around to spot them, and I managed to see one half hidden in the tall grass to our right. As we followed the track around, we saw more of them, including some super cute cubs! We came around to the exit gate, and noticed a lioness stalking towards the keeper's 4x4. The 4x4 sped up, and the lioness made chase - trying to grab onto the car as it went. I dont think I've ever seen a lion so active before - usually they're asleep when I've seen them at zoos! I can tell you now, they are fast. And magnificent. And maybe a little bit scary. 

There were two lion prides, and another enclosure which looked to have only very young cubs inside with an adult female. The cubs were very cute and playful - we could just catch a glimpse of some of them playing at the back of their enclosure.

Once we had passed the Lions, we entered into cheetah country. Unfortunately, we did not see many cheetahs. We saw one, who was sitting on top of a wooden shack surrounded by tall grass. We tried to get some pics, however the chain link fence was completely in the way...this was a little bit of an anti-climax, but I'm glad we did actually see one! 

Unluckily, the same non-activity held true for the wolves as well. We did see them, they was all grouped together having a snooze near the fence of their enclosure. All we could see was some cream, white and grey lumps of fur half hidden by grass. I felt a bit bad for Andrew at this point as wolves are one of - if not his absolute - favourite animals. We had been so lucky with all of the others until this point! 

The safari drew to a close, and we headed back to park up and have a nose around the huge manor house.

Pip: Your eyesight is better than (name a superhero with excellent eyesight?? Can't think of one) - as soon as we entered the enclosures you said "over there" or "in there". It was impressive just how fast you spotted the wildcats (and wolves). I'm really glad you didn't put your hand out the window... Cleaning up deer food is fine, but I'm not so good with mangled limbs. Going through these enclosures was thrilling, and I think we all thought the tiger was going to climb on the car at one point!

B: Hawkeye. ;) 

Longleat House Wrtten by Pip

Your first glimpse of Longleat House is after driving along a two-mile, tree-lined drive. Once you come out of the trees, there it is, nestled among beautifully landscaped gardens.

Longleat House is not dissimilar to other grand old English houses in that it is enormous, ornately furnished and boasts a lengthy history of richer-than-whichever-deity-you-choose-to-worship owners. However, on entering the hall (bigger than most people’s houses), there is a somewhat more personal feel – the Marquis of Bath does actually live in the upper floors, which probably has something to do with it, but there are traces of him throughout the (many) rooms. Photos of him enjoying the safari, with his face painted, or with his children, are scattered, so that while you admire his ancestral home, he is very much there too. 

Perhaps my favourite thing is that, among the beautifully executed portraits of his forebears, are portraits and photos of him in garish and colourful jumpers! Something I’ve never noticed before were the authentic portraits of Henry VIII, Charles I, Charles II and his wife Isabella. To a history fan, that was pretty cool!
We found out from one extremely knowledgeable guide that there are over 40,000 books in the House – which are cleaned, every year. Having a library was a sign of wealth centuries ago.

I know some people feel that big old houses are a bit boring and the same, but I really feel Longleat House is much more personal. You can wander around in an hour or linger in the fabulously over-the-top dining rooms, smoking room and bedrooms – just don’t miss it out.

B: I can't fathom how huge the place is. I mean, my whole house could fit into the entrance hall. Insane! It was really interesting to look around at the mixture of old and new - granted the old overpowered the new, but who could overlook the modern portraits - some of which were done in a very different style to the old, traditional paintings! I was desperate to see the library, unfortunately it was not to be. I had to be content with the huge volume of books lining the walls in the rooms that were open to the public. I really enjoyed this trip, it was a lot of fun.

The four of us had a really good time at Longleat, I highly recommend going if you get a chance - and don't forget you can get 15% off for booking in advanced online! It is worth every penny.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Collaboration Post: Pip and Becky go to Longleat Part #1

Good evening!

It's finally here! The collaboration post you've been waiting for - BeckyBoops and RoanRider.
Last weekend we met up and trundled down to Longleat Safari Park, and decided it would be the best thing ever to write about it together :)

Adventure Park Written by Becky

Aside from the main draw of Longleat Safari, there is an Adventure Park located just behind Longleat House. The park is the main hub of the attraction, with food vendors, a maze, and several animal attractions. There were attractions for the old and the young alike, and some specifically for the young - which we avoided. Like the plague. Though we did have to drag the boys away from it... We collectively decided to spend a bit of time in the adventure park before heading onto greener pastures. After consulting the site map we had a plan of action, and set off into the Jungle Kingdom.

We headed inside, and instantly noticed Meerkats running around - they were very cute and were nipping around peoples feet who were on the path inside the enclosure. The otters were adorable, I'm pretty sure Pip almost cried. We moved around the area, and there were loads of creatures to ooh and ahhh over.

Some of the more unusual animals were extraordinarily cute - in particular the Binturong (third pic down in the strip below) when they were snuggled up having a snooze! 

Just look at his happy little face!
After drinking our fill of the cuteness, we headed through to the Monkey Temple. Unfortunately, there were not many monkeys around that we could see! We passed through into the bird area-desperately trying to avoid being pooped on-and emerged into the area which houses rabbits, guinea pigs, and other smaller animals. The rabbits were gorgeous, but shy - so we weren't able to get a decent pic of those guys unfortunately.   

We eventually found ourselves inside a room which houses a creature that many people have a big fear of. The dreaded tarantula. She was out and people were able to hold her - under the supervision of the keeper. In this area there was also lizards, tortoise and the inside part of the guinea pigs enclosure - there were loads of those little things!

P.S. Pip is terrified of spiders. She faced her fear and held the tarantula! A big thank you to the keeper for being so calm and understanding.

After the Tarantulas, we headed into the butterfly enclosure. They were beautiful! Loads of different kinds, including one absolutely HUGE one.

After extracting ourselves from the warm butterfly room, we rushed over to the penguins and sting rays. The penguins were playful and seemed happy to wander around poeple's feet who were on the path through the enclosure. The sting rays also seemed to relish the attention of the crowd, and proved it by sticking to the surface and popping their noses out of the water!

After we had our fill with these guys, we headed back to the car to embark on the big game safari!

Pip: I was rather enamored with the otters. One was squeaking at us - it was like he was saying: “Pip, snuggle me”. I definitely did cry a little bit after holding the tarantula. I have never been so scared in my life, but it was a strangely rewarding experience. She was very soft! And yes, the keeper was absolutely great - he knew how to handle the situation by offering to put her half on his hand, half on mine, then put one leg on my hand, then another, then her body, so it wasn't such a shock. And he didn't make me feel silly for being so petrified.

Safari Park Written by Pip
The entrance to the safari has a car park, so you can get out and admire the giraffes and zebras close-up. At the moment, there are a couple of young giraffes, who were giddy and liked to suddenly burst into trot – probably one of the cutest sights in the world. There was one particularly lazy zebra, whose friend was trying to rouse him from his nap, and just as we were starting to worry the resting zebra lifting his head for about two seconds!

Once we were back in the car, we had a peaceful drive past an Oryx and three rhinoceroses. One rhino was so close, we could hear him nibbling away at the grass! However, that was where our uneventful safari ended…

B: It was amazing to see all of these animals up close - especially the rhino! I could have reached out and touched it if I had wanted to...I also loved seeing the awkward gait of the young giraffes trotting, very adorable! 

Feeding the Deer Written by Becky

There were loads of deer around, and as we drove up we could see them gathered around the cars ahead of us. At this point we noticed a hut from which you can buy deer food to feed to them - naturally we HAD to do this and bought 2 cups of deer nuts. 

We. Were. Mobbed.

The deer completely surrounded the car, and were so impatient to see if we had food that they would stick their heads in and snuffle about for it - it was all we could do to keep up with the greedy mouths inside the car! It was fun, slobbery, and messy! I think Pip will be finding the deer nuts in her car for the rest of the year now...
License and Registration please ma'am...
Pip: I would like to say I've cleaned up the car since then... But I haven't. I loved this part of the safari - those deer were not shy! There were heads reaching into the back, heads snuffling me and Becky, and more and more just kept appearing! I could have happily stayed here all day. 

Part 2 of this post will be up soon! 

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Blog Update

As you know from my last post, I am visiting Pippin this weekend. We've been super busy with catching up; day tripping; planning the next visit; and planning  our first collaborative blog post. Oooh exciting!!! So keep an eye out for that!

You may also have noticed that my blog has changed. I had no idea that in changing my URL I would be unable to redirect people to the new URL. (there must be a way to do this on blogger, but for the life of me I could not work it out...) So, the new blog name is BeckyBoop, the content is going to be anecdotes about my interests, life and many many, books. The look of this blog will also be changing at some point - courtesy of an early Christmas present from my BFF!!

I'm totally gutted about not being able to reach out to the followers of the MyWastedWardrobe URL, I'm hoping they'll be able to find their way back over to here...

Anywho, things are changing and I hope you enjoy!

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Friday, 4 July 2014

TGIF! Why I love Fridays...

Ahh Friday. Another week is drawing to a close, and the work day doesn't seem so hard today.

Of course, that's usually because there's the option of leaving at 4.30 instead of 6! Not to mention beer o'clock, and themed playlists (this week's theme is running). There's also lunching with the work girls which is always a nice break! Days like today (Fridays) make me like my job that little bit more after enduring a week of stress. Furthermore, the prospect of the weekend being upon us is always a good thing!

This weekend (actually, directly after work) I am off to Roan-land to see a plethora of wonderful crazies. (I meant to write creatures, but my phone auto corrected to crazies...Oh well, it's fitting!) Mandrew and I are traveling down to see Pip and Maxx, and her furry friends-goosehounds, snufflepods, and Mr Biff. Also, we're heading out to a zoo to see a whole host of other furry-or otherwise-animals. Woooo!

I'm so looking forward to the weekend!

Fridays are always a good day, high spirits all around!  But today is an especially good day.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Life in Reveiw - 2014 6 month life update

Well...I kind of missed the previous 6 months of this year in reviews, but such is life. I'll do a round up from January aaaall the way until now! Aren't you lucky.

I totally dropped the ball on this blog, I have about 4 drafts which sit unfinished and I haven't posted in forever!! I'm sorry world, I don't mean to be such a disappointment.

Well, life updates are in order I suppose.

Career: Still working at Bluw as a Sales Administrator, work is quite stressful at the moment with a huge system switchover and transferring everything. The days feel long, and the commute feels longer-while making my budget fall short. However, the people are good, I get time to read on the train, and being employed is always a bonus so...

Driving: Haven't passed my driving test yet. I did a test in June, but failed on 1 major and 4 minors. Which as you can probably imagine was very annoying at the time...Have re-booked and I'm hoping to bring better news in the next update. 

Blogging: Well as you know I've been really crap with this blog, however over on my health blog haha health, what is that? I've been pretty consistent in posting at least once a week. yaaay. My plan is to be more active on this blog by setting a day where I have. To Post. Not because this blog is a burden, but because I want to, despite my laziness! I also want to update the name of this blog, as I really don't feel that the blog name is relevant anymore, because I haven't been blogging about my wasted clothing! Any suggestions are welcome...I will be brainstorming the brain out of this!

Relationships: Mr Gandyman and I are really good, as always *wink*. Family are all good, and friends also. Though I do not like my bestie being so far away...but hey ho - I'll be seeing miss RoanRider and her handsome MrMan soooon!

Health & Fitness:  I regularly update my BekBek blog on this front, but as it's quite a large part of my life and one of my new years resolutions I figured it was worth a mention! I am not on track to loose 2 stone by July as I set out to in January, however I believe I can reach this by the end of this year (I hope). I recently ran a Race For Life 5k, and am coming up to doing a Pretty Muddy - which I am both terrified and excited for.

Sister Update: I asked Sisterbell to write a guest post on here, but she didn't want to (I think she was too shy...Read: Lazy). As we speak she is putting a mini Christmas tree up my sleeve. She has finished her exams, and is rehearsing for her school summer play - Beauty and the Beast. This evening she has also spent a large amount of time raiding my wardrobe for a dress to wear. She is much smaller than me, so my old dresses are like a second hand shop to her, and to be honest, someone may as well wear them.

Books: I've been reading quite a lot on the commute to work, and recently finished the Divergent Trilogy - which I really enjoyed. Though I was hoping for a different ending...I may post some reviews up here, I hope I will, but who knows in this wacky life what I will actually have time to do!

Life in general: Is good. I feel a little like I'm plodding along waiting for something to happen though...I'm not sure if that's because I'm feeling lethargic, or if I'm dissatisfied with something. Probably my job, or it could be monetary based, but who knows.

Coming Up: Things I'm looking forward to in the remainder of this year. 

  • Passing my driving test
  • Pretty Muddy
  • Eurogamer
  • Hovercraft Driving this month!!
  • Christmas I know it's early...but who cares!
  • Blogging regularly
  • Finally losing some weight - it will happen this year. I can feel it.