To inform entertain and excite my kids, Jamie, Patrick, Aaron & Sarah Middleburgh, our family and friends.about me
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I was there for the rabbits. It was Easter after all and a Year of the Rabbit: dad wanted to introduce me to the lions. (we haven't got lions in Hong Kong Park - but we have bunnies stapled to our front door!!). The weather, according to dad, was ideal Zoo Weather ... cold and overcast, threatening to rain. Mum was pleased because I could wear my winter clothes which she had brought from HK.(She hadn't anticipated that it would be the warmest Easter in London for 100 years , hotter even than HK)
We took the tube from Wanstead to Camden Town - it just like the MTR without the chinese faces .. and dirtier. We changed at Livepool Street and Moorgate to avoid the renovations at Bank and Tottenham Court Road which meant we rode in 3 different types of carriage. Two didn't align with the platform heights. I am convinced this is a deliberate strategy to discourage "oldies" and travellers with pushchair or luggage by making it difficult to step up into carriage or down onto platform. Fortunately I have trained on stairs in HK tower blocks and assault courses which pass for kiddies playgrounds in HK. No whimpy push chairs for me. In fact I relished the challenge ..and the wind tunnels between platforms. They were a blast !!
At camden we yomped past the pubs and clubs, past the floating chinese restaurant on the canal (London's Jumbo ??) and were passed into the zoo where the first order of business was a pee!! I sometimes think that I may have been a dog in an earlier life.... or perhaps a wolf !!. It was fitting therefore that dad took me staight to the "bearded pigs". I am sure that there was some significance in the beards but for the life of me I don't know what. Suffice it to say that after introductions to "breakfast", "lunch" and "dinner" (I always thought these were dogs names!!) we nipped round the corner to see the 2 'umped camels. No I didn't ask them why they'd got the 'ump but I have it on good authority that they disapprove of the Gaddafi regime and hope he will do the honorable thing and go take a walk in the libyan desert (preferably in a WWII mine field). I also took the opportunity of placing my order for a camel hair coat
At mums request we detoured into the Kid's Zoo in search a "wabbit" We found 2 .....and some Goats, Sheep, and the odd Llama and Alpacca
I asked both rabbits for the poop on the easter bunny; Neither would say a word: I suspect that a super injunction has been imposed!! (they seem to be the rage in the UK at the moment!).
The Llammas and Alpaccas were penned up together. I asked dad if they were political dissidents (seemed a reasonable question to me considering) .He said no they came from South America (l found this very confusing - I thought Lammas came from Tibet! - I wonder if the Party knows!)
as to the sheep and goats - I insisted on petting them whilst standing directly behind and in kicking distance. The old mans blood pressure got a boost!! After a quick wash and sanitize I went off to play with the chickens (don't talk to me about H5N1 - I saw a German toddler walked out by his parents from the goats petting area straight past the decontamination area eating a rice cake !!)
My beloved parents then stopped for a coffee next to the meerkats leaving me to negotiate (unsuccessfully) a time share on the kiddie jeep with a gwaimui (little western girl, probably fom Islington,possibly endowed with a trust fund, definately armed with a spade. We moved on to see the lions, getting side tracked in a bird house and with the penguins who are resting between movie gigs.
I confessed to dad that I was a little afraid that the lion would eat me but but was reassured when he said that Leo had had his lunch.In fact he was lying on his back paws in the air (not unlike the pandas at Ocean park!!) so we walked over to see Tigger .. but he was also stretched out asleep. As we walked back Leo stood up on his wooen platform and stretched looking majestic like Mufasa in the Lion King on top of his rock. This galvanised all the "men" in the immediate vicinity (including dad); There was a flurry of activity as they struggled to to get cameras out and focussed. Leo slumped down out of sight and the men looked from one to another to see if any had successfully taken the shot - None had - someone swore . Wasn't Leo a tease !!!) Dad took a consolation snap of Mrs Leo and we went for our lunch
Now the magical thing about London zoo is that its very kid friendly. Just outside the cafeteria (which does and excellent fish and chips) are some rides. I had to negotiate with mum for a second ride (in the bus) as opposed to sitting on a horse (I mean - me horse boy?)