Saturday, 30 January 2010

A Zoo Day and Second Hand Books

I guess that a lot of families, "make plans for the weekend". Not us! We never much seem to plan what we're doing, just wander through the weekend, taking it as we find it.

Yesterday found us at the zoo. We are very fortunate to live a mile from Edinburgh Zoo, home to many endangered species. Edinburgh Zoo is on a hill in the middle of the city. In the penguin picture you can see how close the houses in the background are - just a stone wall separates their gardens from the zoo. It would be nice to live there, so close to the penguins, and be able to see them from your bedroom window, maybe with binoculars, or night vision binoculars even, lol.

The penguins are always a favourite at the zoo. They have a large enclosure, with a long, deep pond. At one end there is a viewing hut packed full of info on penguins - if you crouch down in front of the window, you are at penguin level. In the middle there is a pedestrian walkway over the pond, so that you can look down and see them swimming, swooping and diving from one end of the pool to the other. Sometimes a group of penguins dive into the water together and swim up and down the pond, very fast, together, swooping and diving. At the other end, you can walk down the hill and there are viewing windows, into the pond like the ones you get in some competition swimming pools, so that you can see the penguins flying underwater.

Edinburgh participates in breeding programmes, to help out species like the Koala Bear, now sadly threatened in its homeland. Edinburgh is fortunate to have two koalas in residence at the moment - "Teddy! Teddy" shouted the toddler.

I drive my husband crazy with my book-mania. Many a midnight has seen me wailing about not having anything to read, like an alcoholic needing a drink - I've got NOTHING to read - I shout. Fairly unlikely I think in a house with literally thousands of books, but there you go, and the long suffering lives-with-a-bookaholic husband goes with me to the late night supermarket to get me a book or two. So, just-in-case I need a book or two, I say, and ever mindful that I'm not allowed to buy anything unless it is thrifted, as they say in the US, or second-hand as we say here, I popped into my favourite bookshop. Shelter is a UK charity which helps the homeless and their local bookshop is excellent. Ten minutes, and five pounds later, and I'm out, clutching an F.Scott Fitzgerald, and a V.S.Naipaul, and a Spike Milligan for my dad.


  1. we live near to a zoo too and take the weekends as they come, we normally end up somewhere!!!
    i love your granny on your bed its so pretty, i made my blanket you mentioned with half trebles I copied the colour way from a book ive got as I really liked the look of it! fliss xx

  2. I love the Koala, he obviously doesn't mind a little cooler climate! I wondered over Foyles today and having to leave empty handed was tough, so am off tomorrow to a Oxfam book shop. Your Shelter book shop sounds great.

  3. Hi Primrose, there are lots of other ways you can get your hands on books! Your local Freecycle group for a start...I`m always giving my books away on there...or you could try your local Book Group - there are loads in Edinburgh ....just go to `` and put your postcode in and any groups in your area will come up. Then there`s `` which allows you to pass your book on by leaving it in a public place like a bus shelter or on the bus or train where someone else will hopefully pick it up and read it! You have to register online and your book will get a unique ref number. This allows you to track your book and find out where it ends up! Oxfam in Stockbridge also have a great bookshop.
    You can buy and sell books on `` - maximum price is £3.00 per book plus postage and packing - a great way to earn extra dosh to be able to buy more books!And of course there`s always good old Ebay or your local library. Good Luck.