‘The Look’

'The Look'

All mothers seem to have this inate ability to give their children ‘The Look!’

This unique skill is past down through the generations and is something which if properly applied; requires absolutely no words or explanation!

I have personally witnessed it’s unfathomable powers and seen it practiced throughout the World; and it always achieving the desired effect.

However, it is not merely reserved for chastising youngsters as depicted in my blog entry today… Oh no!

‘The Look’ can be adapted and applied to a wide range of situations. I have seen grown men physically cower at the sight of ‘The Look’ with some recipients even frozen in fear.

True… some blokes are able to adopt a similar look. But none can equal that demonstrated by the female of the species.

I can personally recall coming home late after enjoying a few extra drinks with the lads or having forgotten an Anniversary; or not having done something really important which I had been asked to do; and then being met by ‘The Look’.

“Do you know what?” “Even now the mere thought of it can still make me shudder!”

So naturally I felt for this little girl who had obviously done something wrong to warrant ‘The look!’

I just loved their individual body language…just classic!

‘Easter Break’

'Easter Break'

I have to admit that I spent a bit of a lazy morning this morning; just drinking cups of tea and reading my latest book.

This seems to have become the norm for me lately; and once awake it’s straight into reading a chapter or two before starting the day.

It’s of course the long weekend for the Easter break and so I had planned to venture down into Southsea and check out what was going on. Maybe snap a couple of shots for my blog?

However, once dressed and ready to leave, I made the fatal mistake of making my wife a cup of coffee and then taking it out into our garden for her to enjoy.

Now once my wife gets herself into planting and organising mode then it’s really ‘game over’ I’m afraid. She had already been out there for a good couple of hours by the time I actually emerged; and so I was on the back foot before I started.

Consequently my best laid plans quickly went straight out the window, and instead; before I had even realised what was happening I was myself being organised putting up new hooks, cleaning our pond filters and packing stuff into boxes from our garage.
(Most of which was mine I hasten to add!)

But whilst cleaning up in there I was re-united with my old mountain bike. It was looking rather sad and forlorn and badly in need of a clean and a service.

A thought then occurred to me a light bulb moment if you like? If I were to get the bike back up together then I could explain that it would be good for me to start maybe going out for the odd ride every other day? Particularly now that the weather was so lovely?

Secretly though my suggestion would not have been entirely honest!

Mainly because I just remembered this photograph I had taken. The one with the guy sound asleep lying out on a shady grass verge in middle of the town centre. His bike leaned up against a tree and a back pack for a pillow.

Not for him the chores of gardening; nor the countless trips across to the local refuse tip.

No… His was a far more personal and altogether tranquil pursuit.

So after Easter I will be taking the bike into the loacl cycle shop and then packing that novel and maybe a sandwich and a flask into my own back pack.

This could be a whole new chapter in my life!

‘First Time Buyers?’

'First Time Buyers?'

Now although I can fully appreciate that house buying fees are steep for those of us trying to get on the property ladder these days. And many are being advised to start saving early?

But surely these two little lads standing outside the local Estate agents here in Lee on the Solent are maybe taking things a little too far?

I liked the image because It looked like the older boy was explaining their options to the younger boy whilst grasping the peak of his cap in sheer disbelief!

The smaller boys posture is one of shock and disbelief; almost exclaiming “How Much Bro?”

Maybe that tree house their Dad had offered to build them wasn’t such a bad idea after all?

Realistically prospective homeowners now need to earn a salary of £40,000 to secure a mortgage. Yet more alamingly though; those on an average salary of £26.500 will struggle to secure finance.

So maybe these two little boys are not thinking too far ahead of themselves after all?

Makes you think does’nt it?

‘Greetings!’

Saw this lady and her Scottie dog strolling out together through the town.

As she was walking him along and there happened to be a pigeon in close proximity; the dog would literally freeze on the spot, flatten his body to the ground beneath him and then pounce building up a head of steam as he did so. His speed, though quite impressive, was unfortunately no match at all for the pigeons!

This process happened once or twice more until he then spotted a Springer Spaniel whom he obviously knew well. From this point on; pigeons were no longer a distraction!

As these dog owners greeted one another and were chatting; so the two dogs were stood bolt upright; their noses pressed firmly together and both their tails were wagging furiously!
Then they commenced their own greeting ritual which consisted of short barks and snorts followed by much jumping and flinging themselves around; both desperate to be released from their owners grip.

I thought then that it’s such a shame that as humans we don’t demonstrate a similar enthusiasm when we meet up with a close friend?

“But then I suppose this was Chichester after all!”

“Standards Dear Boy…Standards!”

“Walk on!”

‘Brand New Football’

We were taking advantage yesterday evening of a voucher which we were given by my daughter Jo entitling us to a three course meal at ‘Amelie and Friends’ Restaurant in Chichester.

As we had an hour to kill we went for a walk through the town and it was relatively quiet due to the fact it was early evening and the shops which had not yet shut for the night were mostly in the process of doing so.

As the sun began setting yesterday the light it cast over the frontage of some of the old buildings and shop premises here looked just amazing. But unfortunately the street leading to the restaurant was in contrast quite shadowy and dull.

It was however, considerably brightened when I saw this little lad who seconds before these shots were taken had retrieved a brand new football from it’s plastic bag and immediately commenced having a kick about there in the street right in front of us!

He was so into what he was doing, and in fairness to him he performed some pretty impressive ball skills almost effortlessly.

Not wishing to let this moment pass un-noticed I raised the camera and fired off these three little images of him with his new football. Now as I am sure you can see; albeit though these shots were taken a bit hurriedly; that his facial expressions depict complete focus on the task in hand?

He is totally absorbed with what he was doing.

Then just as he had finally positioned the ball and it remained there suspended in mid air; just when he could actually hear the throng of the Wembley crowds ringing in his ears; loudly and raucously chanting out his name.
Just as he was about to give it one final hefty boot into the back of the net…So then did his father appear from a shop just alongside him; and gently but firmly used his words to positively discourage him.

Poor lad…I honestly felt his frustration?

I hope that this lad has a future in the game though; and that just maybe I might have inadvertently captured a future Ronaldo; who knows eh?

Whatever the case; there was no doubting he certainly loved his football!

‘Walking With Lions’

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Of the many things I have done in my life this has to be one of the most unforgettable!
For this was the day it was decided that we visit Casela Nature Park and pay to walk with lions. Ferocious unrestrained wild beasts who consume about 45kg of fresh meat a month and are nearest the top of the food chain. They have teeth and claws and we were be with them; inside their enclosure; under their terms and in their territory.

A territory which consists of approximately 800 hectares and it is within this complex that we were to spend about an hour and a half; safe in the knowledge that we had each signed a personal disclaimer stating that should you be attacked or eaten then there is no come back on the Casela Nature Reserve themselves!

Initially then we were introduced to our guide for the walk. One very sociable happy cheerful individual named Steven.
He immediately put us at our ease and then asked us all to form a half circle so that he might explain the rules! As he spoke he handed each of us a wooden stick? This was to be our main line of defence and protection for when we were called out individually to stroke and pet these incredible 120 kilogram beasts.

Steven went on to say that whatever we do we were never to shout or make loud noises. We were not to crouch down in front of the lions; even when using cameras. Oh and we couldn’t wear sunglasses?
But most importantly of all… Should anything un-toward occur; we were never to run!! Lions are fast he explained; very fast. And they would most definitely catch us were we to try and out run them!!

It was at this point that several of the group members immedialtely went in search of an even larger stick than the one we were first issued. Going for a larger somewhat more substantial size!
Then cautiously we were then all led off as a group into the reserve; laughing nervously.

Then within just a few minutes through the shaded clearing up ahead of us came two handlers armed only with a stick! They were accompanied by a reident photographer.

But by far the most incredible sight to me was to see two lions both padding the dusty track with their enormous paws and just strolling in our direction.

The larger of these with his head raised and making deep guttural sounds from his throat as they drew nearer.

Then suddenly they were right there in front of us all; and being patted and hugged and playfully slapped by their obviously devoted trainers.

Then in an instant we followed on behind as these wild lions allowed us to accompany them on their afternoon constitution.

It was really really hot that day; and as we walked a safe distance behind each lion we were told all about the reserve and how the animals are cared for. Apparently the average age from a safety point of view for lions selected to take these special walks was around 3 years of age.

I have to be honest it’s hard to explain just how humbling it felt to be able to be so close up and personal with these two powerful unpredictable and imposing specimens.

Everyone in our group was offered the opportunity to walk alongside each lion and even to stroke and hold their tails. At one stage the younger of the two lions just took himself off and disappeared into some long grass behind the coqueluche trees. We were all asked to stand still.

I can tell you that it was a case of looking around you and above you because he was nowhere to be seen. Then to everyones relief he came out through the long grass bounding back towards the trainer.

The photographs in todays slideshow in no way do justice to this once in a lifetime experience which we all shared, but I just hope that they inspire you to do this for yourself one day?

There are apparently only three places in the world who can offer an experience such as this; though in my personal opinion Mauritius will be the one which myself and my family will treasure for many many years to come!

‘No It’s fine…I can manage!’

'No It's fine...I can manage!'

Havant Railway Station and I was waiting to pick up a friend. There were taxis parked up and generally very little hope of finding a place to leave the vehicle unattended.

I decided that as the train was due in any minute that I would wait and just hope I didn’t encounter any parking wardens? As I was sitting listening to a bit of James Taylor this vehicle in shot, pulled in opposite.
Then out from the back seat steps this young woman and her dog. The poor girl was laden with bags and even then she still had things yet to retrieve from the boot!

Obviously struggling I watched feeling really sorry for her.

Unbelievably the guy who was driving the vehicle just sat there in the drivers seat doing absolutely nothing to help!

Eventually she managed to get all of her belongings together; then placing some of the excess baggage at her feet she slammed the cars boot shut.

As she did so, the car Immediately drove off without it’s driver offering up so much as a wave goodbye.

So the girl her dog and these several items of luggage just stood there looking very forlorn. She then commenced searching her pockets and unzipping bags I think to locate her train ticket?
Luckily she found it quickly and then shuffled off towards the station platform.

I have no idea what was going on with this driver; but it was all over in a matter of minutes. I didn’t even get time to park up properly in order that I might have been able to help.

Poor kid; I just couldn’t understand how somebody could be so inconsiderate?

“Nowt so queer as folk they say though…eh?”