Since then we have a new addition to the family, the gorgeous Meg. She arrived in June and is adored by all.
Today we went to Whipsnade Zoo, one of our treasured places to go. It was a real autumnal day - blustery down in town, so blowing a gale on top of the hill where the zoo is.
We took the car in for the first time since last winter and were glad we did! It was so windy we had our picnic at in the car at Lookout Point (in true English fashion).
We saw a kazillion animals today. The ring tailed lemurs were very close to the perspex barrier, piled up on top of each other keeping warm. The zebras were grazing close to the fence. One of them looks heavily pregnant so we're looking forward to seeing a zebra foal sometime soon.
While I was changing and feeding Meg in the car the others saw one of the cheetahs lying on the grass by the rock.
Freddie loves the meercats and spent ages pretending he was an eagle. The meercat lookout wasn't fooled, despite Fred's best efforts.
The lions were magnificent. One lioness was gnawing a massive ball. The male lion was on top of the mound, and luckily for us another lioness was very close to the viewing room.
Next to the lion enclosure is a model of an African-type market stall, piled high with red peppers and chillies. Freddie and I played there for a while. He was the stall holder and I was various customers, namely friendly lady, in a hurry lady and a bit on a hurry lady. I bought 7 peppers and 3 chillies, and 4 peppers and 6 chillies etc. Fred counted them up and charged me the right money.
We drove further round the zoo through the Asian Plains bit, with loads of deer, camels and yaks. We went searching for the tigers, with Daddy and Betsy leading the way.
Freddie raided his money box and bought an enormous nile crocodile. He loves it. It got buried and 'discovered' in the woodchips at the zoo playground. It got taken to see every animal, and it rounded its day off with a bath before going to bed. I hope it doesn't nibble him in the night!
We left after the heavens opened. Freddie rushed straight round to Jarvis's to show him his croc, while Betsy did some gluing. Freddie fancied doing some cutting so we got the scissors out. he helped me sharpen the scissors by cutting through some pads of kitchen foil.
They both played with the playdough and some board games and cards. A lovely day.
After reading through some blogs and online articles yesterday I decided I need to take control of the dining table. I realise that sounds a bit batty, but I'm sick and tired of the table being a dumping ground for all our junk. With this in mind I put a table cloth on, picked some rosemary and a couple of flowers from the garden and put them in a jug and added a tealight.
I also dug out a wooden dish with the plan to fill it with seasonal finds on our walks. I don't have room for a nature table so this is a miniature version.
We collected some acorns, conkers and twigs for the dish today, and I'm so happy with the result. I just have to keep it tidy now...