Visiting a zoo can’t be on everyone’s Monday agenda, so I thought it might make a pleasant change to visit our local Zoo Environment Park as it is now named. I posted about this some weeks ago when we decided to buy ourselves a season ticket. We worked out we only had to visit three times and after that our visits would be ‘free’. Not only that, the ticket permits entry to Living Coasts, the Zoo’s coastal park in Torquay.
This morning we thought, for a change, we’d visit the Reptile & Tropical House and the Desert House. Unfortunately, most of the animals in the Reptile House do like to hide themselves away or perhaps they are so well camouflaged we just think this is what they are doing! However, the little chap above was showing off his lovely green coat and, while munching on some lettuce, decided a more pastel shade looked better (see photo on right.) We saw several more animals, such as a boa constrictor (he was huge, you wouldn’t want to ‘tangle’ with him! He was submerged in a deep water tank with just his little nose above the water, as if in a hot tub!) and a flat leaf gecko (well, I think that is what it was, I didn’t make any notes.)
The place was really tropical, with lots of tall plants and waterfalls, really impressive. From there we emerged directly into the Desert House which, as the name implies, is very desert-like, with sand, cacti, and succulents. Here there were birds flying around and as the building is quite long at least they could really stretch their wings.
We only stayed there about an hour, the idea was to have a walk away from traffic and as the Zoo is only a mile or so from our house it’s the easiest place to visit for a walk.
The next thing in this Monday Miscellany is this …
The contents of my bag. I’m always fascinated by what we women carry in our bags. Here, there are no sweets, no chocolate bars, no roll of Polo mints, no chewing gum, no makeup apart from a compact and lipstick and a small phial of perfume, nothing that I do not actually need while I’m out and about. I did have a small umbrella with me this morning, but that isn’t something I normally stow away in my bag. I want my bag to be as light as possible and so here is the list:
At the top you will see a black zipper bag. This was actually a freebie makeup bag which came with a magazine many years ago. It is ideal for my things, as I tend to put all the items that go into my bag into this, with the exception of my wallet and my camera (I was taking the photo with my camera, but it goes in that little black container on the left.) By putting all the things into the black zipper bag, I can simply remove this from my bag when I change bags over and pop it into another one.
The other items are: sunglasses, distance glasses (I’m wearing my reading glasses which would go in as well), the little pouch to put them in; wallet; lipstick, compact, perfume; handkerchief (usually for drying my hands when I wash them in public loos); a small hairbrush; spare front door key; anti-bac wipes; Kleenex tissues; notepad and pen; mobile; car keys. My mobile is ancient, I’m almost too embarrassed to show it! A smart phone it is not.
I wonder what’s in your bag right now?
And to complete my Monday Miscellany …
The All-in-one fruit cake I’ve mentioned on previous occasions. I thought you might like the recipe …
4oz of margarine (or butter);
4oz caster sugar;
1/4pt milk (less two tablespoons);
12oz mixed fruit (I use sultanas, raisins and glace cherries which I have rinse to remove the sugar and then halved);
8oz self-raising flour
1 level teaspoon mixes spice (I use cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg);
Walnut halves to decorate the cake.
Place all ingredients except the walnut halved in a mixing bowl. Beat with a wooden spoon until well mixed. Place in a greased and lined 2lb loaf tin (or use a round tin as I have done here). Decorate with the walnut pieces. Bake in the oven at 325F or around 160C for approximately 1 hour. Test with a skewer to make sure it’s cooked – if not, return to oven for a few more minutes.
This cake is best left to cool completely before removing from the tin, and then best left until the following day before you cut into it, if you can wait that long. We rarely can!
(I have been using this recipe for the past 46 years since I cut it out of a magazine in 1971!)
Until next time.