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A Festive Shambles

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I will look back on this Christmas and see the funny side… Eventually. O.K I may be exaggerating a little but let’s just say our first Christmas eating out ended with a full refund demanded by my brother. Our table hadn’t been cleaned before we sat down and we were placed in a cold damp room with paint peeling off the walls. The food wasn’t actually that bad despite having to wait for my vegetarian pie whilst already 20 minutes into eating the rest of the trimmings.

The carvery had run out of all meats apart from Turkey so if you hadn’t ordered turkey you were going to get it anyway… And served by a carver who looked like he was going to burst into tears under pressure. All the staff were over worked and looked stressed and miserable, in fact the guy that we had waiting on our table admitted that he didn’t even work at that restaurant and had been roped into helping out.

As I got up to go to the toilet I could hear people complaining left, right and centre and the manager, in turmoil at this time looked like he wanted to run far far away from the place as he could get. By the time we left there were people queuing up for refunds. Very poor organisation was to blame for such a shambolic event. 1) they should have got more staff in, especially kitchen staff and 2) they should have made the carvery a ticketed process where the carver could tell what meat everyone had ordered. I don’t even work in a restaurant and that’s just common sense.

While watching this whole disaster unravel I managed to stay composed and remain positive throughout. It will certainly be a Christmas to remember anyway. On a much happier note, it was lovely to spend the day with my family.

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A Christmas Message

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After a nice short day at work I came home and baked some festive chocolate cupcakes for my family, had a relaxing bath using my Lush bath bomb and enjoyed a glass of Eggnog for the first time with my parents. I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas Eve and are all set for tomorrow. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my followers and anyone else reading this a very merry Christmas. Laugh lots and make some great memories.

More importantly, be good to each other and don’t take anything for granted. I Shall be celebrating with my family and I hope you all have someone special to share the day with. Enjoy yourselves!

‘Blackfish’

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Today I finally got around to watching ‘Blackfish’ which is currently causing a stir in all the right reasons or wrong (whichever way you’d like to look at it), I would personally say for all the right reasons as it’s been raising awareness of such a barbaric business since it’s release. For those that haven’t seen it ‘Blackfish’ is a powerful documentary/film about the Killer Whales at ‘Seaworld’ in Orlando, Florida and how these amazing animals can suddenly turn aggressive, causing serious harm and even death to the trainers that work closely with them. Namely following one particular one called Tilikum.

A lot of stories that came back out of the woodwork were covered up by ‘Seaworld’, obviously to protect their wealth. As you can imagine they must make millions each year by attracting the public to view their displays. Of course it’s a success because we as humans show a desire to be up close to amazing creatures like Killer Whales and many others.

I myself have watched Dolphin shows in Barcelona and swam with Sea Lions in Spain but that in itself could have potentially gone wrong at any moment as Sea Lions can give a nasty bite and their muscley bodies give an indication to how strong they are. All animals are unpredictable and I think people tend to forget that. We don’t know what’s going through their minds.

The emotional torture the Orcas go through is beyond belief. Originally they were captured from the wild and their babies were their main targets because they would be easy to transport and train. They sent boats after them and because the Whales knew what was happening they devised a plan and split up. The males would swim one way to cause a distraction while the females swam in a different direction with their babies staying underwater for as long as possible to avoid being seen. Unfortunately they couldn’t stay underwater forever and when they eventually came up for air they were found by planes that were sent out to direct the boats towards them.

They would be captured by nets in an area with no escape and a baby would be taken from them. As Killer Whales are highly emotional mammals, capable of emotions more complex than humans they were desperately communicating with each other during the ordeal. They build very strong bonds with each other and will suffer grief at the loss of a loved one. One man in the film choked up as he explained that he felt like he was kidnapping a child from its mother. On one occasion they had ended up with 3 dead Orca’s in their nets and were ordered to cut them open and fill them with rocks to sink them.

There are many ridiculous stories but that one will always stick in my mind. ‘Seaworld’ were given the chance to have their say but refused and because the film has made such an impact they have appealed. I know there are two sides to every story but I’m not the slightest bit interested to hear what they have to say. They’re business is despicable and needs to close down along with other similar establishments.

I would like to say well done to all of the former trainers, directors and other staff that came forward to help film the documentary/film, they deserve respect for sharing their stories which must have been hard to talk about. People need to know the truth, ‘Seaworld’ can not carry on treating the Whales like they do and lying and covering up things. Thank you to those who put ‘Blackfish’ together, it has opened the eyes of the naive (through no fault of their own) and confirmed suspicions for those of us that already suspected something dodgy.

What I have written about is just a snippet of what went on in the film so I would recommend that if you care a great deal about animals and don’t like to be kept in the dark to watch this detailed and well researched documentary/film. The whole thing made me angry and heartbroken but I’m glad I watched it. I could go on and on but the only way to gain a true perspective is to watch it for yourselves. Last but not least my condolences go out to the families and friends of the trainers that lost their lives while working with the Killer Whales.

‘Blackfish’ has been broadcasted on T.V but is also available on iTunes, DVD and Blu ray.

Facebook page ‘Blackfish’

Growing and Changing

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I’m like Dr. Who… I tend to regenerate every few years. Last time it happened must have been about six years ago when I decided on a career change and gave up pretty much everything to study animal management full-time. I had time by myself to think and I know at that time in my life I made the right decision even though I didn’t end up pursuing an animal care career. It was great personal development and opened up a whole lot of new opportunities for me. I saw a change in myself during that time, I was more determined and care free and I proved to myself that I could work harder than I had ever worked before. I was happy.

Recently… I would say 3 or 4 months ago, I have been showing signs of growing up. This is something that I had refused point-blank to do in the past, but at the age of 33 I seemed to have given in and accepted that there are some things I need to face. My thoughts have mainly been leaning towards planning for my future, something that I wouldn’t have considered at all earlier on in the year.

I suppose there comes a time when you haven’t got a choice and that then aggravating voice of one of your parents telling you to ‘grow up’ actually starts to make sense. With my new sensible head on my shoulders we shall see what 2014 brings. After all, it’s not very far away now is it!

Online Donating

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Why do people avoid it like the plague? It could be for one of the best and most established charity’s going but people still won’t donate. I myself have had previous experience with this when setting up donation pages such as ‘Just Giving’. You’ve probably thought of a great fund-raising idea which you think will grab people’s attention but still it goes unnoticed. Well not exactly unnoticed, they probably looked at it before turning their noses up and passing it by.

A friend of mine set up a page over a week ago to raise money for the amazing ‘Make a Wish Foundation’ but since then, she has only had 3 donations online, one of them being mine. I don’t know what people are so scared of. Fair enough, times are hard and it is close to Christmas but it’s the same all year through. Maybe they aren’t aware of how donation sites work or whether they are safe to use. At one point I wondered this myself but I found them easy to use and very secure… in fact just as secure as your online shopping sites.

Earlier this year another friend of mine set up a page and his fundraising activity was to create a large mosaic. He began putting a lot of effort in but had hardly any donations. It knocked his confidence hard and he threatened to give up on occasions but I convinced him to keep going. He had a few donations in the end but he deserved so much more.

The charity someone chooses to help is often one of significance and means a lot to them. They are not chosen on a whim. If I think a charity is worth while (and I’m friends with the person who organised it), I will donate. Even a couple of quid goes a long way and makes the person raising the money incredibly happy.

The Need to Read

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You know you spend too much time on your iPad when you attempt to scroll down whilst reading a book. Yes, this really happened to me as I reached the end of a page in my muchly dragged out ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ which I bought nearly 2 years ago and still haven’t finished. But I expected this of myself when I originally bought the book which is explained in a previous post entitled ‘OMG… I Bought a Book!’ . I put it down months ago and didn’t pick it back up until last night. I’m determined to finish it as I also plan to make reading books a regular thing.

After purchasing some books as Christmas presents for others recently, I realised that there are some great titles out there that appeal to me but the thought of getting through another book is draining. But I’ve come to the conclusion that if I read more books, the more my concentration will improve. Before I think about buying another book, I have to finish ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ first. I WILL finish it though and I will also spend LESS time on the internet.