ADOPT!

Hey guys just a quick blog today about pets.
Over the years I’ve worked at quite a few veterinary practices, animal hospitals and animal shelters, and I’m currently working at an animal shelter for the Summer twice a week.
Something that I’ve learned whilst working at these places is that life’s not fair for animals. There are hundreds of animals stuck in shelters and kennels that have (obviously) done absolutely nothing long, but so many of them will stay there for months and even years, even dying there eventually. Unfortunately some shelters are forced to put down healthy older animals to make room for more – in fact in the UK 20 dogs a day are put down, and 126,000 dogs were abandoned last year. And that’s just dogs, the numbers for all domestic animals are much higher.
When people buy new pets they usually go to pet stores and breeders for new baby animals which depending on where you get them from can be encourage puppy farming etc. Not always, don’t get me wrong, but if you want to read up more on this and why it’s dangerous to get baby animals from pet stores nowadays, I recommend either Google or using this site to learn more.
Regardless of this, I know a lot of people are hesitant to get pets from shelters because they can be older, and they’re worried that the temperament of the animal may not be too great. However there is such a mix of animals at all shelters you can usually find what you’re looking for.
Most shelters charge a lot less for adopting an animal and they are usually fully up to date with vet checks and have been spayed or neutered. If you don’t have the time to raise and train a small puppy or kitten, getting a slightly older animal is definitely beneficial as they will be a lot calmer and probably house trained, a lot of shelter dogs also know basic commands.
Finally, think of the good you’re doing for a shelter pet. They’ve been sat on their own in a small space, looking at the same walls all day, maybe getting walked once (if they’re lucky) a day for maybe years on end. Taking an animal home with you will definitely improve its quality of life and you can give a shelter pet the life it truly deserves.
Just consider adopting the next time you’re thinking of getting a new pet.
Thanks for reading!

Favourite Walks: Dunham Massey

My family and I are big fans of going out for long walks with the dogs all year round, usually we go out on Sundays because that’s when everyone’s off.
If we don’t feel like driving far (especially with the dogs) we usually end up at a place called Dunham Massey in Cheshire. It’s a National Trust property which is great for us because as members we get free parking and entry. They have an old home here and also gardens which you’re free to explore but usually my family just use the large grounds for walking.
If you stay within the Dunham Massey grounds there’s so many places to see and they have a lot of fallow deer living here which are generally very tame so you can get really close, and get some really  nice pictures of them.
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Those are just a couple of pictures I took quickly on my iPhone yesterday however I have been many times with my bridge camera and taken hundreds of gorgeous photos.
Although we do walk through the park itself, usually we keep going out of the park and walk along the nearby canal until we reach a pub called The Axe and Cleaver in Dunham for a well deserved drink. Walking along the canal is really nice, though there is always a risk of one of our daft dogs trying to jump in which did happen a few months ago even though she was on the lead!
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After the pub we usually make our way back a different way, through the little town and its country roads until we get back to the park on the opposite side. You also walk past a couple of farms which is always nice.
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Lots of calves!

Lots of calves!

Walking from the car park at Dunham Massey to the pub by the canal takes about 35-40 minutes and walking back through the town only about 20-25. It’s a flat, easy walk, there’s just a few steps to get to and from the canal but no hills or anything so it’s a really relaxing walk to do on a hot, sunny day which is what yesterday was!

Thanks for reading!

20th Birthday Weekend

Just over a week ago on the 4th July, it was my 20th birthday. I’d have much rather have been in the US and pretending it wasn’t my birthday, but unfortunately I was stuck here and had to face the fact I’m getting older and that I have to live with that.
To help with that, my boyfriend came back up to Manchester for a few days and had to meet my parents… Scary, scary. It all went well though and I had a really lovely Italian meal for my birthday.
The next day I went for a night out with a few friends and had a really nice (drunk) night. You know it’s bad when you’re drunk before you get to pre-drinks.. It’s my birthday, don’t judge!
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A few days after this my boyfriend and I took a little day trip to Blackpool – mainly because he’s never been and I wanted him to see how tacky it was! Really though, growing up I visited Blackpool and St Anne’s an awful lot and I do love it. 
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Whilst there we visited SeaLife which is a place I’ve never been to even though there’s one about 20 minutes away from where I live in Manchester. It’s a really nice place and having spent the last few weeks looking at marine biology in Scotland and back home it was super interesting as well. The only annoying thing was there was way too many school groups in there. We also paid extra for a behind the scenes tour which was 2 rooms and lasted about 10 minutes.. Oh. Would definitely visit again though!
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Unfortunately all good things must come to an end and my birthday is now long gone but I had a really good few days with some wonderful people. My birthday last year was the worst one I’ve ever had for various reasons and I’m glad I got some better memories this year :)
Thanks for reading! 

 

Millport, Isle of Cumbrae

We’re gonna pretend that I’ve been doing 2 blogs a week all this time and that I haven’t taken a 2 month+ break from blogging, because I don’t have valid excuses!
As most of you know, I study zoology at university and as part of my course, we had to go on a 9 day field course to the Isle of Cumbrae in Scotland, at the end of June. We focused on marine invertebrates and their biodiversity there and it was actually a lot more interesting than any of us had thought it would be!
First of all, the Isle of Cumbrae itself is beautiful. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve been in the UK and the weather definitely helped! It was above 20 degrees with no cloud basically all week and that’s amazing for Scotland in June.. If it had been raining, the course would’ve definitely not have been as fun, especially as we had to ride bikes to get to everywhere on the island! Riding up to 10 miles a day in the rain? No thank you!

Ferry to Cumbrae

Ferry to Cumbrae

We spent most days collecting samples from beaches and then taking them back to the lab to identify unknown ones. One day we went on a boat and caught lots of cool stuff, but specifically squat lobsters which some people ate that night.. We also had to learn all of the Latin names of the animals we found for a test later in the week, which was pretty challenging but it is cool to be able to go to the beach and say all the Latin names of everything there! Well, I think it’s cool, anyway.

White Bay

White Bay

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Kames Bay

Kames Bay

We also had to do research projects on a particular species in small groups; ours was about the dog whelk (or Nucella Lapillus if we’re getting technical ;)..) and by the end of the week we were sick of dog whelks! Also we collected dead ones to do an experiment on their shells and they absolutely stank… Not fun.
Still, the week was so much more fun than I thought it would be, if not tiring (getting up at 7am then not stopping work until 8 or 9pm for 9 days in the heat takes it out of you) and I got a nice tan to show for it too! Also, my friend and I were feeling a little down halfway through the week so stopped off at the pub to get some good food.

I do love sirloin

I do love sirloin

But the best bit was getting to see the really cool animals that live on the UK’s coast! You never really think about it but the wildlife you find is so diverse and it’s so nice to see.

Starfish

Starfish

(angry) velvet swimming crab

(angry) velvet swimming crab

Sea urchin

Sea urchin

We stayed at the FSC centre in Millport, and if you’re ever in Scotland, you should definitely take a trip over to Cumbrae. It has breathtaking views, and you can hire a bike for the day fairly cheaply and cycle around the island in just a couple of hours. Nice way to start the summer!

 

Thanks for reading :)

Bad Neighbours

Last night I went to see the film Bad Neighbours with my friend (not sure why it has slightly different names in different countries, but that’s what it’s called here!).
I love going to the cinema but I don’t really go that often, mainly because it’s so expensive! I don’t think I’d been to the cinema since January to see Catching Fire. I mean the ticket itself is expensive enough and then you have to buy popcorn and stuff (duh) which more than doubles the price. If I’m honest one of the main things I go to the cinema for is popcorn. English popcorn that you get from the shops isn’t that thrilling and cinema popcorn is as close as I can get to Disney popcorn without actually going to Florida (if only…).
Anyway, the film was really funny. Usually, comedies have a few laugh out loud moments and then the rest of it isn’t really hilarious or anything, but honestly every joke I was laughing at. Also, Zac Efron isn’t bad to look at either… :P Plus, how cute was that baby?! Like, if I ever have a baby girl I want her to be like that one. Adorable!
The other good thing about the cinema is watching the trailers, but this time there wasn’t that many for films I wanted to see. There doesn’t seem to have been very many films out recently that have caught my eye anyway. The only one I’ll be going to see is Maleficent and I know I probably won’t like it (sorry) but you have to compare, right?!
Anyway, I would definitely recommend seeing this film, if you haven’t already!

It’s been a while

Hey guys, how’s it going? Hoping some of you are still around but I’d completely understand if you weren’t.
I’ve been slacking in most areas of my life lately, not just blogging – revision, eating properly, doing exercise. I also got tonsillitis last Thursday/Friday which by the way is a lot worse than anybody ever tells you. I always thought it was just a bad sore throat but oh god no, after 24 hours you will be hoping for death it will hurt so much. I had no idea but now I understand and I just hope I don’t have to go through this again! I am (touch wood) getting better thanks to antibiotics.
My exams start in a week, and I keep going between feeling 100% prepared and 0% prepared. I’ve done more work than I did for my January exams so hopefully we should be ok. I hope. Oh god, I’m scared.
Usually the first year of a degree in the UK isn’t that important – technically it’s only 10% of my whole degree so it doesn’t matter, except because I’m doing a placement year I have to get a certain % in order to be able to do the placement. Which is a bit of pressure because I need to do a placement – it’s really good for employability and I love the idea of being able to work in a ‘real’ job doing my own research project for a year. I’m not sure whether working under pressure is helpful for me, or not though. I mean, I still procrastinate just as much as usual but I just panic more, so maybe the pressure isn’t completely helpful. Oh well, it is what it is, and I’m sure exams will go fine. Positive attitude and all.
Besides all that, nothing much has really been going on with my life that’s particularly interesting. I haven’t left the house properly since last Wednesday because I’ve been feeling really bad, so I’m excited to finally go somewhere today. Mm, fresh air. Can’t wait.
Hope your week’s all go well! And if you have exams… Good luck!

Pizza, zoo and Game of Thrones! [spoilers ahead?]

The past few days have been wonderful. My boyfriend has been at home for the Easter holidays meaning I don’t get to see him at all, but he came back up to Manchester for a few days to see me which was super nice.
This basically consisted of us eating too much pizza, but we also went to the zoo on Monday which was so good! The weather was really sunny for a change, and even though the zoo is full of kids at the minute because the schools are on holiday, we still had a really good time. I have a bit of an obsession with zoos and I get way too excited about going because I just really enjoy getting to see the animals up close. I do get a bit conflicted when you see everyone pressed up to the glass with their cameras up in the animals faces because no way can that be too pleasant, but to be fair, Chester Zoo does a really good job of making the enclosures natural, and giving the animals space to chill out if they need it. I’ve been going to Chester Zoo for longer than I can remember and I will always love it. I took my Coolpix camera with us which is a nice little bridge camera, and managed to get some decent shots. ImageImageImageImageImageImage

Also watched the new Game of Thrones which is the one we’ve ALL BEEN WAITING FOR (book readers, anyway…). So glad that the little shit is finally out of the picture though, even if this is where stuff starts getting even more dramatic! I did miss my Daenerys fix this episode though.. They’d better compensate by having loads of scenes with her in ep 3!
Hope you guys have been having a good week so far! Speak to you soon :)

Hard work pays off… Apparently!

I’ve spent the majority of this week making revision notes from all my lectures, and finally I’ve caught up with them all, and I’m done! For now. I still have to revise them all again before exams but hopefully that won’t be too bad. I’ve definitely put more work in that last semester so I’m just hoping it’ll all work out great.
As for the paying off part, I’m being rewarded with going to work tomorrow! Great! To be fair though, after that I’m going to spend a few days with my boyfriend and we’re going to the zoo (which as a zoologist and animal lover is basically my ideal day out) so I’m super excited for that.
I also bought a few DVDs this week which weren’t supposed to come until Monday though I was happily surprised because they came today instead :) Small things, eh. Bit sad that my DVDs coming 3 days early is the highlight of my week but it is what it is! Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to watch them til late next week as my dad wants to watch them with me.
I got Saving Mr Banks, which I’ve already seen at the cinema but it one of my favourite Disney films already. Pretty impressive that it’s moved up the list so quickly. smb I’ve always loved Mary Poppins but this film definitely gave me a greater appreciation of what everything means and who everyone represents in P. L Travers’ life. Still tear up at the start though when the narration starts, and still cry whenever Let’s Go Fly A Kite plays!
I also got Frozen which I still haven’t seen! I know the whole plot and all the words to the songs though, so I don’t know if that means it’s ruined for me but I’m still excited to finally see it especially after the great reviews it’s had.
frozen I’m sure it won’t live up to expectations (sorry) but I bet it’ll be a cute film and I do love the songs so I’m looking forward to it. These two films also means I have enough Disney Movie Rewards points to get a free film so I’m looking forward to that too ;)
Finally, we borrowed The Hobbit from my cousin which my dad and I still haven’t seen either. We have to watch it together though, because we saw the Lord of the Rings films together and now it’s a tradition. Super excited because I love the cast and also Legolas (even if that is a bit of a stray from the true story.. It’s Orlando Bloom who cares).
Anyway, that’s my week in a nutshell really, I’ll definitely do a blog post about the zoo next week when I get home! I hope you’re all having a wonderful Friday and that your weekend is fabulous too! :)

Little blog update

Hey guys!
Things have been pretty hectic around here recently for various reasons but I’ve decided to make a little change in my posting routine and habits etc.
So I used to do a Disney post every Tuesday and a ‘Life’ post every Sunday however i’m struggling to stick to that currently so I’ve decided to come off schedule. Just posting when I get the time/inclination – that usually works better for me than trying to stick to deadlines I’ve set myself.
I’ll still be trying to post at least (if not more) once a week though.
Also decided to throw zoology into the mix – it’s what I’m studying at university and I enjoy writing about animals so I figure why not? It’ll give me a lot more to work with that’s for sure!
Anyway, I’ll be starting this new direction from next week ie. tomorrow :)
Hope everything’s good with you and sorry for lack of posts this week – family problems have been taking their toll.
Speak to you very soon!!!

Mother’s Day

Hey guys!
Not much has been happening this week; I spent a lot of last week trying to catch up on uni work and then I had to work this weekend so it’s been pretty uneventful. A lot of my friends from uni have gone home for the weekend as well so there hasn’t been much going on.
In the UK though, today is Mother’s Day (hence why everyone’s gone home!).
I had bought my mum a couple of things online including flowers. When they arrived on Thursday however, they were fake ones! Nowhere on the website does it say that.. I checked three times, and have sent them back to get my money back because mum hates fake flowers. That put me in a bit of trouble though because now I had no flowers. This meant on Saturday after work I had to rush to Marks and Spencer’s and pick up some flowers for my mum. Luckily, they hadn’t run out and I picked up a lovely bouquet which my mum loved. I told her about the flower fiasco and luckily she was sympathetic! Bad advertising, I tell you.
IMG_4320[1]Lilies are my mum’s favourite flower and I managed to find some that were really fresh and nice. After this, we then had to rush to a different shop to pick up some perfume from my dad! It’s strange because we’re usually so organised with stuff like this but this year, not at all. It’s also so hard to buy for Mother’s Day for my mum because her birthday is only a couple of weeks before it!
Anyway, we drove to the next shop which happened to be the same chain of shop where I work; so I was wearing the uniform. This meant I got stopped 3 times by people asking where things were! After politely telling them I didn’t work there, i’d just come from a different store, I got really dirty looks shot my way… People are just really rude. Sorry I don’t work where you want me to?!
As well as the perfume and flowers I’d ordered something else for my mum online which actually turned out ok. My mum loves mushrooms so I bought her a kit to grow her own! More of a quirky side present really but it went down well and we’ve ‘planted’ them and they should be ready (and delicious) in a few weeks :)
We also went to visit my grandma today because obviously she’s a mother too. We had planned to go out to eat but we figured that everywhere would be mad busy and it wasn’t worth trying to get in anywhere without booking so we’re going next weekend instead.
Overall, a pretty successful Mother’s Day, I’d say :)
In the UK, the clocks went forward last night so we all lost an hour of sleep meaning the day has gone by too fast and Monday is just around the corner way too soon…
Speaking of which, I should probably go and sort out all my uni stuff for tomorrow :(
Thanks for reading!