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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel

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In public news...

It was a reasonable night with Amélie, as she slept through from 7pm until 5:30am. Now if only her parents could get to bed at a decent hour.

Ed contacted me on Facebook chat around 9:30am to say they were feeling "lazy" and weren't sure they were going to make it. We left around 10am, and made it to the wildlife park bang on 11am. Mum and Dad had just arrived, so it was good timing. Ana then called Lu to say they definitely weren't going to make it because it was too far for them.

The park wasn't quite as I remembered it, or more so it had changed a bit. The butterfly house was a bit empty. The otters weren't as playful. The wallaby area was missing all its wallabies. Also it just felt smaller than I remembered, and because we had Amélie we couldn't race around to catch all the feeding times. The latter meant that we missed some animals completely e.g. the lynx only appears when it's fed, and then vanishes into the undergrowth within its pen. The otters were still cute though, and the area with wandering deer was still there. They've added some grey wolves which are probably lovely, but again they were all hiding at the far end of their pen.

Photography didn't feel great today either. I was using the Tamron zoom lens, and felt that the pictures it was taking weren't great. Again I should have known not to rely on the camera screen as having looked at them subsequently they are fine. Because of that I switched to the 50mm prime which is much less flexible, but takes stunning photos when circumstances permit. I'd love to have a 200mm prime, or just a really good zoom lens (probably up to 200mm). Some chance of that. I also need some sort of camera bag which gives me much easier access to the camera, lens down. It also needs sufficient space to take another couple of lenses, and a few other bits 'n' bobs. Not sure whether a camera bag with lens bags would be better, and more flexible. Again, fat chance of that for the moment.

Amélie was hard work for most of the day. She didn't want to stay in her pram, so we let her walk. Except some of the time she wouldn't walk where we wanted her to go i.e. the route around the park. Also she mostly refused to hold anyone's hand, she's just so damn independent (which in my very limited experience of toddler girls is pretty much what they're all like). She would stop randomly to pick up stones and gravel. If we tried to put her back in the pram or pick her up she would mostly scream bloody murder and kick and thrash. There was essentially no way to win. Even so we made the best of it, and had a fun time. When she was walking where we all wanted to go, she was a delight. Because we missed most of the feeding times, and because parts were so empty, we got through it in around 4 hours. Hence we left around 3pm, and were back by 4pm.

We played with Amélie until around 5:30pm. I was running through an animals game with her on the iPad, and again she was imitating words that I was saying to her e.g. mouse, horse. She has never said these words before, despite trying, but this evening she was saying them. Bizarre. Amusingly she kept saying "mouse" over and over (albeit it sounded more like "m-ow"). Along with this she also said "nao" and "tchau" (Portuguese for "no" and "goodbye"). She was clearly very tired so we tried to give her an early dinner. Initially she resisted, but after a while she relented. After 6pm I went off to get fish and chips (just a single shared portion again for Lu and I, aren't we good). Lu gave Amélie a bath while I was out, and they both came down a few minutes after I got back.

Amélie started to get progressively more and more silly though, and had a tantrum where she purposefully banged her head on the floor, twice, then promptly burst into tears. Lu and I looked on in horror when she did it. Shortly after this she wanted me to hold her hands, and walk her down the stairs backwards, while she bent over backwards as well (almost doubled), laughing like a lunatic. I took this as a sign it was time for bed, so took her up to her cot (Lu had already been unable to get her to sleep with a feed). She cried for a few seconds when I put her in the cot, then the thumb went in and she lay down. I waited there a couple of minutes and left, at which point she cried for a couple of minutes. After 10-15 minutes of kicking the cot bars and the mattress, without crying, she fell asleep.

Lu and I are exhausted, but I forgot to buy milk earlier so have to go on a milk run. We've also nearly run out of nectarines, and as I'm addicted I'll have to go by some of those as well. If only I could convert this exhaustion into contented relaxed sleep.

Five photos from today ...





Amélie & Deer

^Hello deer.

Amélie Grin

^Cheeky grin.

Amélie & I

^I think this is one of the best photos Lu has ever taken of Amélie and I. Somehow I don't even look that fat.

All 38 photos are here at Flickr.

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I love the otters photo!

It's not often that chicken wire helps a photo, but this time it worked :-)

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