Tag Archive | animals

Rant About Lambs

I am not vegetarian. But I refuse to eat lambs.

Lamb

Photo Credit: Nevit Dilmen / Wikimedia Commons

I used to love lamb. But I swore I would never touch lamb again after having babies. Remember that lambs are BABIES! They’re innocent little baby things that the only thing they have ever tasted in their lives is their mother’s milk. And the only thing they have ever known is a mother’s love.

And the lamb you are eating never had the chance to run around in a field and enjoy life. And it was taken away from its mother, who like all mothers probably misses it a lot.

If we all chose to never eat lamb again, people who slaughter lambs for food would have to stop doing it.

Now, I realize that a beef cow or a chicken is also an animal, who used to run around. But I dunno, grown cows and chickens don’t really speak to me as lambs do, I guess. I don’t like beef at all, but it’s because I really hate the taste and feel of the meat, not because I really care anything about the cow, hehe.

End of rant.

Advertisements

Bye Bye Birds!

Every morning as I take the kids to school I see all the birds lining up in the sky and taking off to their homes in the north. Hundreds and hundreds of migratory birds that all head northward in perfect “V” formation. I feel so sad to say good-bye to them, they were so happy here playing, eating, enjoying the great weather. I also want to tell them how lucky they are, to be able to spend every winter jumping around in the sun while their human counterparts are trembling to death in the snow in northern Europe!

I think how perfect their natural instinct is, that just tells them so naturally and wordlessly when exactly is the right moment for them to line up and return home. How do they know it will soon be spring? And how do they know how to line up so perfectly? How does each bird recognize where is its precise place in the “V” formation, and none of the birds loses the rhythm as they fly?

They have such a long ways to go now. I estimate maybe by the end of March they will be digging up worms in the parks of Amsterdam, Copenhagen and London, and enjoying the first green buds over there. They have to cross the entire Iberian peninsula from south to north, then wing out over the whole European continent before they reach their homes. They travel all that distance using the power of their own wings, no airplanes, trains or cars for them!

And I also think how we’ve lost touch with our own natural nature. The natural thing to do is to head south in the wintertime, where food continues to be plentiful and you can go to bed without waking up transformed into an ice cube. It’s we humans, in our advanced human civilization, who are going counter-nature by persisting in remaining in arctic lands and heating ourselves using artificial (and non-renewable) sources of energy.

Once upon a time we used to do what birds do. We used to be nomadic, and we followed the food supplies and the warm rays of the sun all around the globe. Oh well, but times have changed.

Local birds here, on the other hand, really know how to live it up, and these days they are busy building nests. The other day my son and I enjoyed the spectacle of a neon green parrot busily hawing away at a tree branch. It picked and pecked and wouldn’t give up until it succeeded in breaking off the thin branch. It then proceeded to take off with the enooorrrrmous branch dragging about in its beak until it arrived at its own tree nearby, where we could observe how it added the tree branch to its nest.

If I could ever take the time out during out daily morning marathon to snap a photo, I’ll add a pic here of birds flying north for the spring another day.

Green Buds

But in the meantime, here is a pic of some green buds. Although on the other hand, green buds here don’t necessarily mean spring, either, because here we have blossoms all year round!

Red Flowers

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

Sierra Nevada Revisited

Kings’ Day Parades

Callejeando

CBBH Photo Challenge: Reflection

Last Chance to Leave Me a Little Cuddly Hug

The Expat Blog Awards are coming up! As I mentioned in previous posts, I’m so chuffed to have received a nomination for the Top Expats Blog Award. This is your last chance to leave a little bit of love for this blog (and for me!).

So if you like this blog, and you’d like to help me, please click on the badge below and leave me a comment (a NICE, sweet and cuddly one, please) and a rating. That would be so sweet of you and I’ll be so tickled if you do!

Living in Spain

And a big, humungous thank you and a sweet little kissie-kiss for all those who vote for me!

Lizard

Okay, so I wanted to leave you all with a photo of some sweet, cuddly, furry little animal, but I haven’t got any. I seem to be drawn more to creepy-crawlie things, right? Like crocodiles, and Barbary macaques and drooling birds, don’t you think? Well, at least this guy’s cute!

Happy Giant Cockroach Hunting!

Here in deep southern Spain we’ve got some humungous gigantic cockroaches. Now, I’m not talking about the cute, adorable little garden variety type, you know, the kind that freaks out restaurant owners and sanitation control authorities.

No, I mean we’ve got ENORMOUS, TREMENDOUS, HUMUNGOUS cockroaches. The kind that only lives in hot places. The kind that even flies, in some lands (fortunately not in Spain!).

And it also just so happens that I’ve got MAJOR GIANT COCKROACH PHOBIA too.

And how major is major?

Well, let’s just say that I will NOT EVER go to see a therapist for this, because I’ve heard that the way they make you get over your phobias is by making you FACE them, little by little.

And there’s NO WAY that I will EVER face a giant cockroach. Not even in photos! (Which is why I will not be including a photograph of a giant cockroach with this post. Sorry, guys, you’ll just have to imagine what one might look like.) (You can take a photo of the most terrifying movie monster that you can think of, and perhaps that will give you an idea.)

So, you might be wondering, what do I do when one of these ogres manages to squeeze into our humble, normally giant-cockroach-free, one-bedroom-with-a-walk-in-closet-as-the-second-bedroom apartment in da inna big city?

Well, I do NOT go chasing it around with a shoe. Or with a spray can of cockroach killer (which doesn’t work anyways). I will not go chasing it around anywhere. Chances are, I will just disappear from the room where it happens to be.

Which doesn’t do much to get rid of it, however.

Usually, I send my son to go spying on it, and demand that he report the gigantic cockroach’s activities to me every five seconds or so, so that, you know, let’s say it gets it into its enormous head that it wants to, say, live in my shoe. Well, then I will know to avoid that shoe for the next month or so, in case it’s still there.

The other night there was a giant cockroach in our kitchen. My son described its wanderings as it meandered happily about the high windows of our tall kitchen, the ones that are right underneath the ceiling and, fortunately, far away from me!

Now, it just so happens that we have a hole in our kitchen wall, a small hole. I don’t know why it’s there, it was there when we got the apartment and I never filled it up, seeing as I need a handyman’s manual just to change a lightbulb, well, let’s just say that filling up holes in walls has never been my forte.

So, we have a hole in the wall. Perhaps the former owners thought it made a great chimney when they were cooking or something. At any rate, I never found much use for it, except maybe to catch a glimpse of the sky and therefore figure out what kind of weather we were having, since the windows themselves are glazed, so I can’t see out of them (and the neighbours can’t see in, either!).

Well, the other night, we were very, very fortunate, because the giant cockroach decided to waltz through the hole in the wall.

However, the relief didn’t last long, like maybe all of two seconds. Because apparently this specimen suffered from vertigo. It got one look of what was on the other side of the hole, and jumped back into our apartment.

I then therefore took up a pole, a very handy pole that I just happen to have lying around specifically for the purpose of pushing giant cockroaches out of windows with, and I pushed the giant cockroach out through the hole again.

However, that mean son of a…… (I won’t say the word here), I mean, that bugger, is sure one mean survivor. I actually saw him CLINGING ON to the edge of the hole as if his life depended on it (or perhaps it was a she, who knows, they all look the same to me), with gritted teeth and that determined look on its face that said to me: I’m going to survive no matter what and I MEAN BUSINESS!

Well, fortunately for me, I’m equally determined to live without giant cockroaches. Even if only to save my sanity. So, my son let out this bloodcurdling shriek which told me that the giant cockroach was COMING BACK IN! And I really pushed and rammed and shoved at it big time, like it was a mac truck or something. And the creepy little…… I mean gigantic…… bugger finally took a nose dive off of the hole and down to the pavement below.

I’m sure it survived its free fall, however, and probably just scuttled off underneath a car. These things could probably fall off of the Empire State Building and still come out looking as fresh as if they had just walked off of a merry-go-round.

But at least once again we can enjoy a giant-cockroach-free home.

And for anyone else out there who might possibly be unfortunate enough to be living in a land rife with giant cockroaches, and who also suffers from giant cockroach phobia like me, I do have this tip for you, which sometimes actually works for me:

In order to kill giant cockroaches effectively, painlessly (painlessly for YOU, that is, probably not so much for the cockroach), without ever having to get your hands dirty or come within more than five metres of that horrifying being, you can use…… ta-da: SPLASH COLOGNE.

Just get a very large, cheap bottle, the no-name kind will do nicely. The only thing that matters is that it contain alcohol, be squeezable (so no glass bottles there) and that you have a large quantity of it. I just aim the bottle at the cockroach and douse it with cologne. And THAT’S IT!

This, however, only works when the roach happens to be someplace that you don’t mind if it gets covered with cologne. So if it happens to be sniffing on your favourite books, for example, or lounging away on that pile of notes that are absolutely essential for you to pass your exams, it won’t work.

However, the corner of the room (as long as you don’t have a rug) is a perfectly good location to spritz that entity with cologne. After it has agonized itself to death, you can just sweep it up and dump it into the toilet. Your hands never have to even come near that thing that looks just as ghastly and horrifying to me in death as it does in life.

Yes, I won’t even come near a dead giant cockroach lying on the sidewalk. Something about it coming back to life and wanting vengeance, maybe?

Drooling bird

Well, just thought this animal was a bit more visually pleasing than a giant cockroach.

If you liked this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

Blog About Blogs and Blogging

What I Do On Week-ends

Sierra Nevada Revisited

Blog about Blogs and Blogging

The other day I was reading a few blogs. All the bloggers put up a new post every 2 or 3 days complete with photos. I don’t know how they do it. And in addition they all have time to put up links and comments about other blogs that they have read as well. How in the world do they ever have time to write so many posts, make so many photos and read so many blogs? In addition to working and taking care of families?

I wish I were able to post every 2 or 3 days. But to do that I’d have to dedicate every free minute to blogging. I don’t know how they do it! My congrats go out to them!

Maybe I just don’t have a very exciting life to go on about. For example, this could be a post about if I go out:

Today I went shopping with a friend. I went shopping with her because I wanted to spend some time with my friend, I mean, after all we are friends and people like being with their friends, right? But she spent the whole afternoon shopping. Now that is all fine and great but I hate shopping. Where is the fun in stalking from store to store the whole day long just looking at clothes? If you HAD to stalk from one thing to another the whole day long wouldn’t you prefer to go and look at cute and furry little animals or something instead?

Something like this, for example:

Hungry Crocodiles

Ooops, wrong pic!

Lemur

End of blog post.

So you can see not a very exciting blog post. And this is when I actually DO something and actually have something to say! A typical day, when I DON’T have anything to say, would probably go something like this:

Today I had to run to catch the bus in order not to arrive late at work. But then again, EVERY DAY I have to run to catch the bus in order not to arrive late at work. I worked the shift I was supposed to do, then I went home. When I got home my always hungry son started pestering me for food as usual so I had to whip something into the oven. Then since I was so tired I went to bed.

End of blog post.

I was reading some posts by people who comment a lot on the things that they buy. Boy they sure do buy a lot of things! I thought people who bought so many things were just an urban legend.

Well here is my blog post review of our latest acquisitions in our household:

Well a few weeks ago I went to the hyper-market (something similar here in Europe to a Wal-Mart in the States) and I bought some new pillow covers and bedsheets, because the old ones were full of holes.

Now bedsheets and pillowcases are not the most essential items in the world, but I guess they’re pretty important, because who wants to sleep with holes underneath their feet when they can sleep on new sheets?

So now I will proceed to review these sheets. I got them in some pretty exciting and vibrant colours, blue and fuchsia. I must admit, I am quite crazy about my new fuchsia-tinted pillow cover. It does actually kind of make me feel rather regal to be sleeping on a neon-coloured pillow and even more so when this pillow no longer has holes in it.

Blue and Fuchsia Pillowcases

I’m afraid this item can’t really compare to a face cream, an eyeshadow palette with 120 shadows in it, some hair serums or something (anything) from Shiseido or Givenchy, however. Sigh!

Well I think in future posts I may start a series reviewing music and books that I like instead.

The latest book that I bought: Dans un Gant de Fer (or In An Iron Glove, if you prefer to read a translation into English, which I think is available on Amazon) by Claire Martin.

Use an iron fist within a soft velvet glove to raise your children. Harsh and cruel life of children in rural Québec a century ago, when the driving (sorry have to interrupt this interesting item with a quick and important news flash: More than ONE HUNDRED people have read the Privacy Policy! Breaking news!)(Oh, I didn’t even know that there was a Privacy Policy. Well, basically it states that if you write to me I will NOT use your e-mail to send you spam (got better things to do, like cook dinner for always hungry kids, if you’ve got kids you will know what I mean. And now back to the main item) slogan in the hidebound, repressive Catholic environment for child-rearing was: casse-leur les membres pour sauver leurs âmes. Break their limbs and you will save their souls!

Because used to be that it was considered very good practice to beat children at school in Canada.

By the time I went to school they didn’t follow that policy anymore (at least!). But they still believed in toughening Canadian kids up, because I guess they figured, if we were going to have to live in that sub-arctic clime all our lives, they might as well get us inured to it at an early age.

So they made us stand outside all the time. I mean, here in Spain, when it gets just a little chillier than usual, or there is a tiny drizzle with 4 scattered raindrops, they usher the kids urgently into the school.

So that really contrasts with Canada where they made us stay outside all the time (when we weren’t in class, I mean) even if it was 40 below or there was a blizzard! They sent one poor teacher out, always the same one, who always stood at the door and looked like she was about to die, dressed in layers and layers of fur! And she was dying with all that fur on. So what about the kids, who don’t wear fur coats?

(Not that I believe in fur coats, of course. I am as always

Against Animal Testing

and

Against Fur Coats

(All right, so the effect might have been a little bit more dramatic if I had used a pic of a cute and fluffy little baby animal, I guess, but I don’t happen to have any such photos. Unless you count the photos of my babies, that is. They’re sorta cute. And when they had baby hair, I guess you could say they were fluffy too.)

However the only thing that did for me was make me flee for warmer climes, like Spain. Because the thought of spending a whole lifetime in Siberia was just too depressing!

I also got The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende, but I already read it before, just that I left the book in Canada. It doesn’t matter if you read it in English or Spanish, the English translation is magnificent and superb and you are not missing any of the Spanish original if you read it in English. However it’s very long so if you have already read it before (like me) you might not make it through a second read. Especially if you have a job, always hungry and always sick kids, 2 blogs and a website.

What more can I blog about? Well I don’t have an eyeshadow palette with 120 colours, but I did get the original 88-colour palette that they sell at Coastal Scents, except in the Spanish version.

So I suppose one day I might take out that 88-colour palette and make a review of it. If I ever use it.

Because after I got the palette I got the job, and at this job I don’t wear make-up. The reason is because I don’t work with real people at the job, I work with virtual people on a webcam. And webcams really make you look weird.

The day I wore make-up I looked like a porcelain mannequin on the webcam. I looked like, when I started to talk, if you were looking at me on the webcam, you probably would’ve jumped out of your skin, because you probably thought I was a store mannequin. That is how I looked on the webcam the day I wore make-up. When I don’t wear make-up I look like a person. So I don’t wear make-up.

I can’t explain it. Webcams just make you look weird. They give you strange stains on the skin that you don’t really have in real life. They make everything look black and white and grey, no colours. They make me look like I am wearing very bright lipstick and I don’t wear lipstick. I don’t know, they just change everything from the way they look in real life, the colours, the shapes and sizes.

See you soooon!!……

Selwo

Hello everyone! Well I thought I’d take a little break from Barcelona and report a bit about some neat places to visit and some fun things to do right here in good old Malaga.

But if anyone out there happens to be eager to learn more about Barcelona or see more sights from that city, don’t worry. I’ll be getting back to Barcelona and its mysterious bush (you can check out a pic of Barcelona’s mysterious palm bush in the following post, if you haven’t already done so) again in the near future!

Today I felt like talking about wildlife safari parks. There’s an on-going heated debate about how ethical zoos are. Well, I personally don’t feel that safari parks belong in the same category as zoos, because most animals are roaming (relatively) free in a safari park, as opposed to zoos where they are in cages.

Also, I find that safari parks tend to be quite dedicated to the task of taking care of endangered species and bringing up orphaned babies that would otherwise have died.

You can see an example of some cute little animals that Selwo safari park, right here in our own Estepona near Malaga, has rescued here in these photos:
In case the text is not too clear here, the sign says that these are the Barbary Macaques – small, tailless monkeys from North Africa that are famous for living wild on the Rock of Gibraltar – that were rescued from private individuals who had smuggled them into Spain from North Africa, where they live wild, and were keeping them as pets. They are an endangered species and as such should be taken special care of.


This is one of the Barbary macaques living at Selwo safari park.

At Selwo you can take a jeep, similar to the ones used in real safaris in Africa, that will carry you on a tour of the entire park. It’s not only strongly recommended that you take the jeep rides, the park is so large that it would cost you a great deal of effort to cover it all on foot, and take several hours.

Another reason for riding on the jeeps is because there are areas which can only be entered by jeep. The animals that inhabit these zones are living there quite peacefully and happily, and the continuous presence of a bunch of confused tourists gaping and meandering about would be most upsetting!


We go to the safari park every year. We like to ride on the jeeps all around the park to the furthest corner, and then walk back to the entrance.

If you don’t feel up to the hike, which takes around perhaps 3 hours, depending on how long you like to stop to admire the animals, you can always ride the jeeps back to the entrance too.

But walking back is a lot more fun!

Part of the path on the return trip involves crossing over 3 fairly extensive hanging bridges, similar to the ones you can see in Indiana Jones movies.


They might look a bit creaky, and I know they do freak some people out. A guy who went with us on the jeep, a strong, young, hip, macho type, nonetheless refused to get onto the bridge and turned around and hitched a ride back to the entrance on another jeep.

But if you do that you will miss out on so much.

My oldest son likes to ride on the camel every year. The irascible guy that trains the camels is always kicking on the poor dromedaries to get them to rise while they are deeply absorbed in a much-deserved rest.

I tell him he should be nice to the camels and caress them, but he just snorts at me. I feel sad for these camels. Personally, I think that the park should get rid of the camel rides, or at least get a nicer fellow to take care of them.

But I guess that wouldn’t make any money for the park.


We come to Selwo every summer for our annual safari pilgrimage. This was the newborn baby elephant last year.


This is the baby elephant this year. As you can see he’s bigger now, older, and he isn’t babied, coddled or cooed over as much by his elders anymore.

Baby elephants are very precious, because mother elephants can only have one baby at a time, and she lives her private communing with her baby during her pregnancy for 22 months.

Selwo safari park holds Europe’s largest wild aviary housing hundreds of birds of every species you can imagine. Here are a few of its inhabitants:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although it might seem like a simple, easy task to photograph these plumed friends, especially considering how large some of them are, really, it isn’t. It depends on their mood and your luck. Mostly they prefer to hide way out in the trees or bush.

This big guy was literally drooling over my son’s food.Drooling bird

Hungry bird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this one actually succeeded in snatching part of his meal right out of his poor little hand.


Not the first time birds steal his food, however. He reports to me that sometimes while he is eating breakfast at school in the yard, the local seagulls will swoop down lovingly to accompany him, bearing away his sandwich in the process.