Penguin en vacances

Animals, Poetry

Chester Zoo via Blackpool beach, August 2018

#Penguin

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Paying a visit to his relatives upshore

eager young penguin travelled round the coast

navigating the north wales coast and Irish Sea, he

got to the sands of Blackpool, where

under cover , while holiday makers and zoo keepers slept

into the frosty enclosure he got – a

new face for his smaller cousins to see

At the zoo

Animals, Memories, Poetry, Zoo

Zoo

A poem , written on a visit to Edinburgh zoo, with my nephews and the rest of the family

I went to the zoo today,

Saw a small elephant play.

A Tiger with stripes and great big paws

and a Lion with Mane and great big claws!

but that wasn’t everything i saw

Today

Went to the Zoo today,

Saw a spotted leopard sleeping in a bush

as a black panther hid among the brush

and cubs with their mums in such a rush

Today

I went to the zoo today,

and saw the chimps and monkeys at play

Gorillas on trees, swatting off fleas

and Marmosets hanging off branches by their knees!

Today

I Went to the zoo today,

saw buzzards and other birds of prey

‘gainst grand scottish hills

enjoying their scraps and swoops and spills

as i ate my lunch from a restuaurant grill

today

I went to the zoo today,

and saw other animals play.

Saw a Golden Bear, swinging from a tree,

and Monkeys and Gibbons eating their tea,

(Loads of cheeky Chimpanzees!)

and Penguins underwater – like in the sea

swimming past windows – and looking at me

Today

Eleven days in the summer sun

Destinations, Holidays, Sea, Seaside, Travel, Warm, Weather, writing

Sao Rafael, Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

25th September 2017

It’s been a really early morning for me.

I’ve been sat on a Jet 2 Boeing – 737, travelling through the sky blue from Manchester Airport to Portugal’s Faro Airport.  A Four o clock start meant i had a few cat naps throughout the journey, spaced out by munches of chicken sandwiches along the way.

Arriving at Faro airport, we were transferred to the airport via coach which stopped at various different hotels along the way.   Mum was really happy with her choice of hotel.

We have a lovely view with lots of tall pine trees surrounding the pools on the site.  There’s lots of cool breezes coming off the sea.  We have a balcony view, and its lovely watching the palm trees lining the swimming pools.

Sao Rafael, Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

26th September 2017

a trip around the bay

This morning, i went with Mum and dad down to the beach by the hotel.  The weather was perfect, and after a short(ish) walk, the view was wonderful with some lovely little coves.  The pathway was a little steep, but the sand on the beach below was really soft, although i didnt sink my toes in it.

Instead, i went beachcombing and used my trusty little camera to record what i found.  The final few shots reminded me of my time in Oludeniz in Turkey, The difference? the shape of the sea in the cove.

Upon returning to the San rafael, i enjoyed a plate of pork and fish before returning to the hotel room and enjoyed the view, the birds flying past the window on a regular occurance.  They flew tween palm and pool, and the chirping appears to have stopped for the night, as has the dive bombing – which is most entertaining coming from our feathered friends.

Food hasn’t been bad so far, though i had to have the hot dishes pointed out to me (DOH!).  Plenty of healthy salads, mediterranean favourites, meats, fish and the squarest chips you’ve ever seen (i had mistook them for croutons!)

Definate italian theme here – the chips go nice with the spaghetti sauce!

Sun down – drinks at the hotel bar and a spot of entertainment (not provided by those who provided it at lunch!!!)

Sao Rafael, Albufeira, Portugal

27th September 2017

A late night under the stars, led to a late morning today.  Didn’t miss breakfast though (Hee Hee!)…which seeing as we’re in Portugal was very tropical.   Pinapple juice, a fresh fruit combo of Pineapple and Mango and a place of portugese sausage and egg.

As i write, preparations are underway for a trip into Albufeira (other plans permitting).  Its all down to the weather behaving, and its been a bit deceptive at present.  There’s no apparent changes from yesterday, the portugese weatherman concurs with her english counterpart on BBC world news, and the resident birds are twittering and chirping quite happily.  There is however one solitary palm swaying away in an apparent breeze.  It hasn’t stopped the birds creating ripples in the hotel pools

Algarve – An acrostic

written at the Nau Hotel, Sao Rafael, Albufeira, Portugal

As the sun comes up, the sky is

Lovely and Blue

Green palms rise high from the grass below

And white waves

Rise majestic from the blue of the atlantic

Very few fail to dismiss the view of glorious shorelines

Expect a sandcastle or two being built.

We took a mini bus into the main town of albufeira, hoping to catch the fishing boats in the harbour.  It appeared they were out of town, but there was still one in the centre.

A lasting memory of the buildings by the beach at Albufeira ? A rainbow of colours.

Guia, Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

28th September 2017

A trip to the zoo!

I’ve been to the zoo today.

Took an excursion away from the beach and the hotel pool with mum and dad to the Zoomarine centre at Guia , just outside of Albufeira.

We took in four parts of the park, and enjoyed seeing the sealions, the dolphins and the birds of prey.

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The tropical birds section was a favourite, and i enjoyed watching the colourful macaws as they flew around their new home and performed tricks on their keepers

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Dolphins in the Pool

The dolphins were a delight – they did lots of tricks in their pool with the assistance of their trainers and we could see them swimming beyond the performance in a special part of their pool.

In the Aquarium , seahorses danced around angelfish whilst sharks and rays passed along by.

Favourite part of the day ? seeing the Owls and Macaws.  Took lots of pics of the day.

Returned to the San Rafael to a reception committee – The local wildlife must have missed us – They’re flying over the hotel as i write 🙂

San Rafael, Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

29th September 2017

Off on Assignment

Another Sunny day today

I woke up with a start, awoken by the resident cockerel to find the resident birds doing circuits around the palm tree sat outside the apartment.

Whilst mum and dad were sleeping away, i looked through the images i took on our day in Guia, and the trip to Zoomarine.  I really like the pic i took of the Red Macaw.

Keeping my eyes open for some watery shots for BASICs Photography Class so i might just take a shot on the beach.

Breakfast for me consisted of an omelette and series of pastries, filled with fruit and chocolate (though not at the same time!).  I have to be honest – i didnt fancy anything fried today (with the exception to the omelette)

Took another walk down to the beach – armed with my notebook , pen and camera

with the sun high in the sky, and the sand soft enough to sink your toes in – it gave me a glorious opportunity to take another watery pic of the sea.

Grilled Fish and a fresh salad for lunch – massive tomatoes cucumber and lettuce.

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There are lots of palm trees in view of our room in the hotel

Ripples

by Brian F Kirkham

Round concentric circles

In the hotel

Pool, starting small but

Proppelling fast outwards, growing

Little circles into big ones across the water

Expanding their circumference across the mass used for

Swimming

Now somebody somewhere booked me, mum and dad into A la carte for the next few days (Don’t ask me!) so in the delightful surroundings of the a la carte restaurant we had a three course meal prepared by the chef – I had a carrot soup, pork and an orange pudding for mine.

San Rafael, Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

30th September 2017

Late mornings and early evenings

An early morning lie in for me meant i missed breakfast.  Probably a good thing, after the excesses of the night before.  I decided to walk off the a la carte with a good walk around the hotel grounds.  Fortunately for me, at the back of the grounds there was a little mini gym – a bit like the one at my local park.  I gave my legs a run out on one of the mini cycles, before joining mum and dad by the pool.

I dont tan well – though it didnt stop some young female holiday makers giving me the eye as i turned a lovely shade of brown trout – thats pink with patches of brown.  It must have been the inspiration for lunch as i enjoyed some Portugese fish stew for lunch.  I returned to my sunlounger by the pool armed with my paperback by Tony Hawks (the UK Comedian, not the US Snowboarder) and my ipad.  It must have done something – my pink bits had turned brown…..

In a change to my usual attack of the hotel restaurant, i had a plate of steak and chips for tea tonight Sans oignons and avec tomates.  It set me up nicely for the proceedings in the hotel bar later on – an Elvis Tribute act….Cue the silent screams of horror, and a tactical retreat.

San Rafael, Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

1st October 2017

Recovering from the night before

The elvis tribute act went on a bit last night.  My ears are still stinging from the noise.

Nevertheless, waking up to the sound of the resident cockerel was enough to get me out of bed.  It might sound repetitive but We’ve been really lucky with the weather. More blue skies.  the cure for my ringing ears was instantaneous – two shots of hot chocolate from the hotel’s coffee machine.  Mum and dad joined me for breakfast – a full english sans the onions and mushrooms but avec chorizo and hash browns – the tater seemed to lessen the spice in the portueguese sausage.

An all yellow fresh fruit combo of Banana, Pineapple and Mango aided the digestion

With all that food consumed , i decided to attack it by taking my camera down the road to San Rafael Beach and do a spot of Virtual Beachcombing.  The Atlantic waters heading into the cove must have heard my thoughts, churning up some lovely coral pink shells and stones.  I dont know what they were but they were a wonderful decoration for an impromptu sandcastle.

The sea said hello on a number of occasions, inviting me to sink my feet below the waterline.  And Lo and behold – there are FISH! (yes, real fish) swimming in the waters around San Rafael.  The fish in question were moving quite fast, before moving round in a figure of eight around my legs.   I think they were more frightened of me than i was of them …. or it could have been the seagulls

Pork in a Hoisin style glaze wi veg for Lunch, followed by a piece of flan.  Worked that off back at the beach.  Didn’t want to be late for the latest episode of the A la carte adventure so we returned to the apartment to watch a film.  Italian night, was delicious – the Lasagna was lovely.

San Rafael, Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

2nd October 2017

Another day relaxing in the portuguese sunshine.

Really enjoying the impromptu birdwatching from apartment balcony.  Mum has announced we’re off on another trip tomorrow, so today is being spent by the pool or the balcony armed with my book, notebook and pen…the brown trout pink is spreading

Silves and Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

3rd October 2017

An early start and breakfast today as we boarded a coach, visiting the delights of Historic algarve today.  Joining guests from other hotels, we were introduced to all the historical sites the area had to offer.  This included the end of the world (i’m not kidding!) and the old sea fort by the marina – complete with its guns

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Old met new as mariners yachts met up with the old fort on land.

Standing by the coast edge you could see the deep blue colour of the Ocean in front of you.  The algarve had been entitled “the end of the world” because according to the tale the africas and beyond hadn’t been discovered when it had been given that title, and thats why its still known as “the end of the world” today

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The church at Silves was adorned in grandiose decoration.  Because its still considered a church / place of worship i decided to stick to the exterior of the building for taking photographs.  Nevertheless i enjoyed my visit here.

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Silves church (from Outside)

Sweet and sour Pork for Tea tonight from the restaurant (with fried rice).  Most enjoyable went back for seconds.

Entertainment is getting better, but i’d much read a book.

San Rafael, Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

4th October 2017

Woke up with the cockerel again…Mum and dad are sound asleep as i write this.  I’m flicking through the images on my camera, reflecting on my time in the harbour while they are dozing away.  I dont think we’ve had any bad weather this holiday, cool breeze a change from the previous mornings hot temperatures.  I can’t call the wisps in the air “Clouds”, there isn’t a true cloud in the sky.  Saw the first bees in the garden yesterday

I headed for breakfast and enjoyed an omelette and a couple of apple pastries with a glass of orange juice.   I would describe the omelette as “Deep and crispy”as it could have been mistaken for a pizza without the tomato sauce, but the flavours of Ham and roasted pepper shone throughout – so i managed to eat most of it.  The apple pastries have been manna from heaven – pleasant escape from the bacon grill at breakfast. I happily returned for “seconds” to have with my Hot Chocolate

Apple pastries ? Hot Chocolate ? Heaven help me, i think i’m turning continental.

Some of the characters i’ve seen and met during these past few days have really made me re-evaluate the whole point of a holiday.  I will admit…there is the attraction of sitting with a bucket of balls and a five iron for about an hour as you whack it as far as you possibly can.  Obsess about this though – and you have a problem…and it isn’t the sport that’s the problem – its the people playing it

Then you have the entourage of these individuals – if its not the golf wives trying to ease the strains of their husbands game at dinner time – its their antics by the pool or in the hotel..with their kiddies press-ganged into the pool / tennis because they’re aiming for their little starlet in being the next rebecca adlington , joanna konta, or (god help us) leona lewis.

Im grateful Simon Cowell is entranched in the states and not the algarve right now as there are some who would be mimicking the wildlife just to get an audience.

I was reading my travelog by tony hawks as the look at me crowd continued their latest performance.

Returned to the apartment to find the local birdlife were also doing their best to impress – a team from SKY TV are no doubt on their way to document the behaviour of the nesting locals – with some new found starlet poached from BBCs Wildlife department doing their best to out do Sir David Attenborough, flogging their wares from Anchorage to Auckland.

Pasta and Fish for Lunch, followed by those fruit pastries.  Nose back in book as my Tan / Sunburn develops.  It’s not Sunburn – but neither is it a Tan (Yet)

Stretched my legs out on the outside gym at the back of the hotel.  Only problem with those sunloungers – they do a wonderful job for your tan – but you’re as stiff as a board getting off the things.  a turn of the peddles eased the stiffness.

San Rafael, Albufiera, Algarve Portugal

5th October 2017

Last Morning of the holiday, and an early morning start, as the coach that had dropped us off at the San Rafael arrived to take those all going back home off to Faro Airport.

As we got up early, we all managed to catch a glimpse of the morning sunrise – before a last holiday breakfast and boarding the coach

Going back the same way to Faro, i got to see the landscapes in the dawn as our fellow travellers were picked up.  The changing sky made me happy, and sad at the same time as it went from Night blue to Red and then that light blue that had been there all through the holiday

Didnt have to worry about lunch – all that had been arranged at the start of the holiday.  Pre booked by Mum.  Pasta Bolognaise, Chocolate Sponge and a drink.

And as the portugese skies faded into the distance, i enjoyed a different view as the plane ascended above the clouds.  The sky was as clear as anything.

Manchester here we come.

Cees Fun Photo Challenge – E

Animals, Photography, Travel, Treats

elephant

#CFFC

This week, the challenge was to find pictures with words with two Es in them. So, to start off – here’s an artwork, created by me from a stock photo from google.  It’s an African Elephant – and its recognisable by its two big ears!  I chose this to begin as they reminded me of my first visit to Chester zoo…i still have the mug!

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Living in Salford, meant my first trip to the Zoo to see the Elephants was by coach down the A roads and motorways to get there.  Later on, i travelled by car with mum , dad and my little sister, it was an FSO – built like a Jeep , so this model is perfect as a replica!

I enjoyed walking around the enclosures , and seeing the big cats and the chimpanzees

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And here’s one of some Cheetahs , some of the big cats at Chester Zoo, alongside the Lions and Tigers and Leopards, (there was even a panther there!)

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Horoscope Zoo

Animals, Astronomy, Space

Another Piece from my archive at allpoetry.com – taking the characters of the Zodiac and placing them around the zoo…but where’s Pisces???

Horoscope Zoo

By Brian F Kirkham

The twins were bored,
they had nothing to do
so off with their mum
they went to the zoo.

They went to the Farm section
and fed the sheep and the goats
The twins liked Capricorn
who had a bell round his throat.

Over in another pen,
were the cows and the bull
Taurus, was his name
and was eating till he was full

Taurus was real large,
and had horns really big,
one twin noted
“He eats like a Pig!!!”

They visited Leo
in his grand lions hall
Lying on his rock
the primmest cat of all

And over by Leo,
the waters flowed by
where Crabs they scuttle
and silver fish fly

“Who’s That?” said the Twins to Mum
Pointing over to a man by the sea
“Why that’s Aquarius , Children,
he’s catching Leo’s Tea!!!”

Life Imitates Art ?

Animals, Art, Zoo

Now, this is another Arty post.

Consider this pic if you will

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Its a silverfoil of a Panda, eating Bamboo – I produced this a couple of years back when I was just getting my hand of this artform…I reckon it came out very well.

Then again consider this photograph – taken at Edinburgh Zoo recently

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A Panda happily chomping away at their favourite foodstuff.

No wonder they call Pandas the “Bamboo Bear”!

Life Imitating Art ? I’ll let you decide.

 

The Dragon’s Egg

Animals, Character, Dragons, Fiction, Humour, Poetry

Another tale from the pages of allpoetry.com written by me – Enjoy the read

Some workers were digging
up pipes underground,
when a very large coloured egg
in the sand it was found.

Now, the foreman of th’ site
didn’t know what to do,
so he called up some keepers
from th’ local zoo.

The egg.. it was green,
and blue, brown and red,
and was lain in the ground
deep down in a bed.

A bed of red sand,
of twigs and of clays –
it looked as if th’egg
had been there for days.

Said the worker to foreman –
“where’d it come from?” ,  Said the Foreman – “Dunno!?!”
And just then the egg
it began to glow.

So the keepers arrived,
with their boss from the zoo,
with a team to see if
there was summat they could do.

“it could be a snake” – the zoo boss replied.
Some big builders turned – and ran off to hide!
As builders they gathered to mend their pride,
the keepers could hear a noise from inside…

The head keeper thought –
there was summat amiss,
as the egg it both glowed
and started to hiss.

The little creature inside,
was feeling awfully glum
as all that it wanted was its
Dad and its Mum

“No need for alarm!”, the zoo boss he said
“we need to give th’egg, some sort of bed
nothing to0 great and nothing so grand..”
so the builders brought over some big bags of sand.

So th’egg it was rested
in its warm sandy bed
just as two shadows
loomed overhead.

“Oh Heavens!” cried a builder
“Begorrah! Begad!
I think i’ve just seen
Th’ eggs Mum and Dad!”

Two big scaly dragons, one green and one blue,
over the heads of the people they flew.
The Head Keeper called for everyone’s calm –
he knew that the dragons, didn’t mean any harm.

And little egg it glowed brighter
as little dragon did peck
and Mum and Dad Dragon
landed on th’ deck

And Mummy Dragon landed,
as Dad flew over sky
as dragons egg it opened
and the contents it said “Hi!”

And Dragons’ smiled kindly
nodding thank you to the team.
They named their little lad “Burnie” –
who was their little red dream

They then made their Zoo friends happy,
as they watched three dragons at night
as Mum and Dad took little Burnie
Off on his first little flight.

And then, politely nodding
they said their thanks and goodbye.
As the dragon’s family headed
to their home up high in the sky!

At the Zoo (Edinburgh)

Animals, Birds, Cats, Holidays, Memories, Outdoors, Zoo

Looking through my notebooks, I found a poem I wrote after visiting Edinburgh Zoo.  I had been attending the wedding of a family friend, and visited the zoo with the rest of the family after the wedding.

Hope you like it.

Edinburgh, 30th April 2013

At the Zoo – by Brian F Kirkham

 

I went to the Zoo today

and saw a tigger with stripey paws

and a lion with great big claws

but that isn’t everything I saw

Today

 

I went to the Zoo today

and saw the monkeys and chimps at play

Gorillas on trees, swatting off fleas

and Marmosets hanging off branches by knees

Today

 

I went to the Zoo today

saw a golden bear swinging off a tree

Orang-utans and Gibbons enjoying their tea

and penguins underwater – like they swim in the sea

Today

 

panda 2

I went to the zoo today

and saw the pandas out at play

with lots of toys they had lots to do

but most they enjoyed was – eating bamboo

Today

 

I went to the zoo today

saw a leopard hiding in a bush

and a black panther in the brush

while their cubs dashed around the grass in a rush

Today

 

I went to the zoo today

and watched Eagles and birds of prey

against grand Scottish hills

I saw buzzards and bills

enjoying the scraps and their swoops and their spills

as I ate up a hotdog from a restaurant grill

Today

Off to the Zoo…

Animals, Childhood, Fun, Growing up, Holidays, Memories, Outdoors, Parks, Zoo

In response to the prompt Life’s a Candy Store

Now, here’s a challenge

Twenty four hours as a six year old kid….

It has to be a trip to the Zoo with my Mum, Dad, and Little Sister.

We’re off we’re off we’re off in a Motor Car…

Which Zoo ?  Three come to mind.  The welsh mountain zoo, near Prestatyn, Blackpool Zoo and Chester Zoo.  The nearest from me would be Chester Zoo.  It was my favourite as a child – as it was my first experience of wild animals.  Like all Zoo’s it isn’t actually in the city or town – but a short distance away, and a short distance by car.

Mum and Dad pack a picnic, thermos, First aid kit and a Some Blankets in the Car.  We all wrap up warm – its sunny but it’s still windy

What animals will we see ?

Lions, Tigers and Bears…Oh My!

I enjoyed all of these (including the panda’s) but my favourite animal of all must have been the Elephants.  Chester Zoo hosts Elephants today, but they’re Indian Elephants (part of the Endangered Wildlife Program) when I was little, the elephants were African Elephants…and the way I could tell, said Dad, would be the size of their ears!

You see, the Elephants today are indian elephants – and they’ve got smaller ears than their African cousins!

It was fun watching the elephants as the keepers gave them a feed and then a good wash, as the elephants sprayed the keepers with water.

Lunchtime approaches – and that means a picnic lunch in the Zoo…before visiting the rhinos and the hippopotamuses playing in their pens.

And then, we see the flamingos before being entertained by the Penguins being fed by the Zookeepers. Before a little treat from the Zoo shop and the Trip back home.

And two little people start dreaming of Heffalumps….