Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Singapore Zoo

Today, we decided to take Lily to Singapore Zoo. She loves it there, the animals, the tram rides, the ice-cream, the awesome kids water park, the little carts you hire to drag the kids around in… everything.

When we arrived, there were about a thousand people queuing for the ticket windows. On the way there, we’d discussed getting a family membership (we have lots of visitors and it’s a great place to take them). As we joined the queue, a zoo employee handed us a map and we asked her about the price of membership – she explained it was $180 and we could skip the queue and go to the “Visitor Services” queue (which had 3 people in it) to sign up and get in. We made the instant decision that it would be a great idea to get the family membership.

Although the queue for Visitor Services wasn’t really a lot quicker (they really, really take their time there) – the membership was worthwhile getting, and we’ve added our nephew James to it, so he’s free next time they visit.

Anyway, on to the Pics. Every time we visit the Zoo, we seem to take the same route – it’s also the same route that every other visitor takes, and as a consequence, it’s really busy. This time, we decided to head off in a different direction. First up were the Proboscis Monkeys:

Hey, Big Nose!

Then the Australian Outback experience. This was particularly important as one of Lily’s favourite shows is “Boogie Beebies” on the CBeebies channel; and the first one she saw was the “Can you do the Kangaroo?” episode, so it has a special place in her heart.

Do you, do you, do you, do you wanna do the Kangaroo

Next up, the White Tigers – this guy just prowls up and down the ridge all day. Every time I’ve seen these Tigers, this is all he does:

On the prowl

Next up, after a quick Chocolate Ice-Cream pit-stop at Ben & Jerry’s, we checked out the Orang-utans. Singapore Zoo is world renowned for it’s Orang-utans, and the story of Ah Meng is both sad and poignant. The first of these guys was just happily lying there, chewing some food, but the second sure looked like a grumpy old bugger:

It's a hard life!   Grumpy bugger

We swung by the “Splash” stage just after a performance. The Seal was rehearsing with his trainers and although the first of these shots is out of focus and blurry, it serves to explain the second, where Tracie and Lily have managed to get a soaking…

Poor shot of the seal splashing Tracie and Lily   The Aftermath

Just outside the “Splash” theatre, there is a statue of some Seals – Lily seemed more taken with those than the real thing:

Pensive   Better than the real thing

Before we got to the Kids area, we swung by the Chimpanzees because whenever I asked Lily what she wanted to see next, the answer was “Monkeys”. This mother and child looked quite sweet:

Mum and Baby

Until you walked a little further and saw dad hanging there with his tackle out:

Tackle Out!

Then we made our way to the Kids water play area. As we entered, Lily spotted a carousel, so she had to have a go on it, of course:

She Loves Carousels

Then it was on with the swimmers, and playtime ahoy:

Fun on the Slide   Dancing in the Water

More fun on the slide

Tracie took Lily up the structure. Although she’s got a little sprayed, she thought that the roof of the structure would protect her from the torrent of water that pours out every few minutes:

Big Splash   Tracie was under this!

She was wrong. As we left, both Tracie and Lily went off to meet the horses before we got the boat back to the entrance. You can see how wet Tracie is in this shot:

Meeting Rosie

Then it was onto the boat for the trip back to the exit. I grabbed a couple of nice “scenery” shots from the boat on the way:

View from the Back of the Boat   View from the Boat

And Lily got to play with a Crocodile Egg

Crocodile Egg
We all had a fantastic time, and will be returning many times in the coming year (if only to get the value from our membership!)
Bye for now.

Many links courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation – operators of Wikipedia.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas

Here's a short clip of our daughter, Lily, wishing all the family back in the UK a Merry Christmas (volume is a little quiet, so you may need to ramp up your speakers a little)

Merry Christmas, originally uploaded by davidwjford.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Santa Visits White Lodge East Coast

Not another photowalk, I know, but this is an easy place to put these things so the other parents at my daughter’s school can see these pics.

Santa visited White Lodge East Coast yesterday (Friday 18th December). It was the last day of term, and thanks to our friend, Joe Paterson, Santa was able to make a quick stop at the School’s Christmas party to meet with the kids and hand out some candy canes.

All the following pics link to their page on Flickr, where they can be downloaded should anyone want a copy for themselves. All my pics are covered by an open Creative Commons license that only requires you credit me as the artist, should you republish the work. More info here: Creative Commons

Anyway, onto the pics. You’ll notice that many of the children are looking down and to Santa’s right (the lower left of these shots). That will make sense when you discover that the bag full of Candy Canes was sitting there next to the chair!

When we arrived, Ms Alyfya (not sure of the spelling, sorry) was reading a story to the assembled school:


Then Santa arrived, and my precocious daughter, Lily, was first onto his lap:


Then came Nicky and Daniel, Nicky was fascinated, whilst Daniel looked decidedly uncertain:


Then followed almost all the other children in the school, but there were a few notable exceptions - Robert Owen adamantly refused to go anywhere near him, so sadly there’s no pic of him; his sister Izzy, on the other hand, looked adoringly at Santa for the entire time she spent with him.





Izzy is in the middle of this next line – note the worshipping look she gives Santa:










Finally, Ms Yany (the departing Principal) got her pic with Santa, as did the two babies, who had been waiting patiently the whole time.