Horsing Around

This weekend I enjoyed a throughly excellent time away in the country.

As well as exploring my new environment and familiarising myself with the local amphibians, I added a new activity to my repertoire – horse riding!

The feeling is really elating; the wind rushing past ones ‘ears’, the power of the horse below you and the speed at which you travel when the horse isn’t held back.

I must however admit to initially being rather intimidated by the size difference, but once we had introduced ourselves and taken a few turns around the practice area we were fast friends.

We have already arranged for my next sojourn which I am looking forward to immensely!

Riding in the country this weekend

Puzzling

Hello, Ty here, I’ve managed to sneak onto Uncle George’s blog while he is busy!

I just wanted to show you this great puzzle I helped with over Christmas as I don’t think the humans could have done it without my sharp night vision spotting matching bits as we worked into the cold, dark evenings.

This is us while it was a work in progress (the morning after a long session!)img_5544

And here’s me with it all finished!img_5557

Christmas Giving

Yesterday Ty and I got thoroughly involved with the Christmas celebrations of our hosts.

Tradition for them is that one person is designated as the official present distributor, with each person in attendance receiving a present per round and then they take it in turns to open their presents and view what the others have received.

I fully immersed myself in the role this year and even got the appropriate attire for the duty.

Find out more about the history of Santa Claus.

Waterlily Wonders

For my birthday this year I had a new experience – an outing to the National Gallery.

The specific objective of the visit was to view the art works of a chap I was told was quite a leader in his field as a key member of a group known as the Impressionists.

I throughly enjoyed the whole exhibition, it was very pleasurable seeing his take on some key London landmarks I have come to greatly appreciate since my move here.

However the highlight for me had to be this water based image which reminded me of my younger days.

I am now very keen to visit the property in France that inspired Monet to produce it.

Australia Adventures pt 5: New Friends and Connections

Our final big outing before returning to the UK was to a very extensive nature park in the hills above Adelaide known as Cleland Wildlife Reserve. img_3870.jpg

I was delighted to acquaint myself with so many new species. These marvellous animals, many of which belong to the marsupial family, were quite timid at first as they have had a very negative history with amphibians* brought in from abroad. However we soon fell into a rhythm of communication and I am so glad to have broadened my knowledge and understanding of this continents indigenous communities.

img_3854.jpg

In fact, I got on so well with one little fellow that the Runner arranged for him to come on a visit – a bit like a cultural exchange programme I believe British young people sometimes do with counterparts in Europe.

Overall my Australian Adventures have been an excellent experience and I would encourage anyone who has not yet ventured that far afield to do so. Tye and the rest of the gang are really quite envious and I have to be a bit careful of how much I wax lyrical about the whole thing!

*Find out about the introduction of cane toads to Australia

Australia Adventures pt 3: Magical McKenzie Falls

On reaching the end of the Great Ocean Road we turned inland and headed to the Grampian mountain range. The weather had turned unseasonably cold and wet as we set off our road trip, which the others mentioned negatively on frequent occasions but I was rather appreciative of. However, even I have to admit the further drop in temperature on this leg of the journey was quite a shock to the system.

The mountains themselves though, did not disappoint. Whilst it was rather fresh, it was lovely to take a dip in wild fresh water again at McKenzie Falls after only seeing salt water for days.

I was also very interested to learn at little about the Aboriginal culture while we were there. Their interpretation of the seasons seems far more appropriate for the climate there than the arbitrary winter, spring, summer, autumn that humans usually focus on.