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November 13, 2017
As part of the process of re-igniting my creativity to actually make some art again (and because I’m too bastard tired at the moment) I’m sorting through my photo sets. Here are some nice photos of owls and other birds of prey taken at one of my favourite places: Liberty’s Owl, Raptor and Reptile Centre in the New Forest.
We all have annoying habits, my family as the mental six legged consolidated entity that they are have the habit of having EXACTLY the same holiday every year. It’s nice to do the same thing repeatedly until you are no longer aware you are even doing it. Or from another perspective you can really get to know a place far more deeply and richly than on a single visit. You decide.
As part of our pre-ordained holiday process we visit Liberty’s on the first day of our holiday (followed by lunch with my family who live nearby and a trip to the local farm shop to stock up on food for the week). I like it there, it lacks the sleekness of many modern tourist attractions and gives the impression that it’s real purpose is the wellbeing of the animals rather than the entertainment of the humans, for this I salute them. They have a lovely selection of birds of prey of various sorts (I’m afraid much as I love wildlife I’m terrible at remembering what half of it is called so refer to pretty much everything as “Terry”). There’s also the reptile room, also wonderful, I again lack the mental prowess to remember what’s in there outside of “Lizards”.
TheChild loves it there, mainly because he adores animals. TheWife loves it because they have a “Little Owl” YES that is actually a type of owl. Look it up. The gift shop is not overwhelming and they make a nice cup of tea. It’s pretty much a perfect day out for a small child who likes owls. Although I’ve never been too keen on trying wildlife photography it seems a waste to not take a couple of pictures while a small child excitedly drags you on to look at the next feathered beast. Is it technically wildlife photography if they are in captivity?
Here’s a small selection of photos from Liberty’s taken during our daft Autumn holiday in 2016.
January 10, 2016
It has a funny name, the promise of naval shenanigans, it’s in the New Forest and we were on holiday. What could go wrong? My child. My child could go wrong. Deciding he HATED it from the moment we got to the car park purely because he wanted to go to Lymington to watch the trains and he had to wait until later in the day.
He hated turning up 10 minutes before it was open, he hated it opening, he hated the museum, he freaked out at the harbour (which I’ll let him off because that was more a bit of fear of water than being an arse), he hated that I refused to buy him a toy boat because he had been an arse all day and he hated having to sit in a field with me to calm down for half an hour.
So my opinion of Buckler’s Hard? Don’t take my child there, he will be a shithead and you’ll leave after 20 minutes having paid for three of you to spend the best part of the day there. It all looked very nice and interesting but lacked any facility in which to deposit a five year old who would do nothing other than shout “I want to goooooooooo”. So we eventually went. We might try again next year. I took a handful of photos in between being whinged at.
They have a website and a facebook page should you wish for more info as there’s very little else I can tell you.
December 29, 2015
We went on holiday in October because I need to be away from computers for a while and because we’re weird and prefer to go away in Autumn. We spent a week in the New Forest which is beautiful and nicely lacking in other people at that time of year, or at least the bits we visited were. I didn’t get too much time to take photos as I had a very excitable five year old with me, and I’d rather spend time with him anyway, I failed to draw anything.
Every time we stay in the New Forest we visit Liberty’s Owl Raptor & Reptile Centre, usually on the first day we are there. It’s a lovely place to spend a couple of hours, although I don’t think we’ve ever managed to make the most of it as while Alexander does love the owls he doesn’t have the attention span to spent more than an hour or so there. You could rush round it in 40 minutes or so but conversely you could take your time and really get the most out of it. There’s a fantastic selection of wildlife with a good amount of information should you wish to learn something rather than having a confusing one sided conversation with a couple of owls. The reptile house is excellent.
It’s not a big budget theme park, it’s an independent animal centre run by people who clearly put a lot of love and care into it. I state this as I have witnessed some crass stupidity in online reviews by people who were clearly expecting to find Legoland with Owls. It is not Legoland with Owls, it’s better than that.
BONUS TINY OWL ACTION….
These little fellows were very excited to see us.
January 11, 2015
So we spent the day at Alexander’s spiritual home – Didcot Railway Centre. We had taken him there before but he was a bit freaked out last time, never really worked out why. Much less freaked out this time, in fact utterly over excited about EVERYTHING there.
We didn’t choose the best day as unfortunately the trains were not running, the sheds were closed and the museum was closed for renovations BUT it was lovely and quiet and we had a really pleasant time wandering round in the winter sun peering at trains, rails and signal boxes.
I’ll be honest, I’m not a big fan of TRAINS and if it wasn’t for Alexander’s great love of them it’s not somewhere I would have chosen to come but it’s actually a great environment. It’s calm, it’s intermingled with the countryside, the people are lovely, there’s a great little cafe and I actually learned some things. Regardless of interest in TRAINS it’s a great place to take photos, there’s lots of interesting shapes, colours and textures, especially the textures. Anyone looking to top up their random patterns and textures for photoshop work could spend a happy few hours here, it’s a grunge paradise.
We pottered around, looked at some trains, ate some chips then wandered off home stopping only for tea in a garden centre (although we didn’t get the tea in the end due to queues). The only low point of the day was witnessing a GROWN MAN encouraging his three year old child to bang on the glass of a fish tank in the pet shop while cackling loudly. Evil shit.
Here are some photos. The rest are up on flickr.
August 31, 2010
For my birthday we went for a walk round the assorted attractions/historic monuments of Runnymede. We visited the Air Force Memorial first (after accidentally interrupting doggers in the car park). The memorial is a beautiful work of architecture and incredibly peaceful and moving. We managed to not destroy the peace. Didn’t manage to see the other monuments as got a little caught up with the logistics of the day and failed to get a cream tea as the cafe was packed. Had a look round the gallery opposite the tea rooms which I absolutely love.
Big thanks to those that came along.
I am Bob. This is my blog. It is an outlet and a substitute for real life. It contains my art, photography, illustration and thoughts on mental health (I deal with anxiety on a pretty much constant basis).
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