I had a brilliant long weekend sharing Edinburgh with my mum, whose birthday it is today. Happy birthday mum!
On Friday we visited Edinburgh Zoo. It proved to be one of the best zoo visits ever – all of the animals were awake! It was shocking.
The most endearing moment, and the moment we all realised that spring is in the air, was by the lions. It was a bit of a drizzly day interspersed with blue sky and sunshine. Nevertheless, a lot of the animals were indoors. We found the male lion lying in straw, facing a window of humans looking in. He looked at us all disdainfully. A lioness walked up behind him, pawed him and lay down next to him. She proceeded to poke, prod and annoy him until his attention was completely ripped away from us and onto her. They rolled around very cutely and just when we began to feel uncomfortable and pervy as he hooked a back leg over her, she pushed him off, got up and collapsed in the straw a little way away.
That was when the thought struck us; relationships and the way men and women interact is not necessarily unique to humans. Ok, so we have a habit of anthropomorphising animals but c’mon, how else would you interpret that interaction? As one man said to his girlfriend as the lion rather reluctantly rolled over to cuddle his missus, “do you mind? I’m watching football!”
The lions weren’t the only animals getting in on the act. We watched one zebra get a kick from another when it got too amorous. The African Painted Dogs whined and climbed over each other playfully before trotting off to get ready for dinner. And, as some of you might have seen in the news, the pandas were preparing for that rare and special time of year (by sleeping and eating!).
We also enjoyed coming face to face with a beautiful tiger who closely watched a group of school children before deciding that she couldn’t eat them and going back to sleep. The sun bears were also waiting for dinner around that time and while one waited impatiently, the other sat down, picked up a piece of Christmas tree and trashed the ground with it…as you do.
Unfortunately there was no penguin parade, as the penguins are still settling into their new enclosure. However no one has really told the penguins this and at 2.15pm on the dot, the penguins gathered by the gate. Their keeper had to come over and tell them “no, not today”, after which they all waddled away in disgust.
The holiday was packed. I showed my mum where my hubby got down on one knee and proposed and we had a full Saturday of history. Due to computer errors which closed the castle and museum in the morning, we visited Holyrood Palace and I was driven hysterical in a silent palace by the awful audio tour (“this is a painting of King James. I will now hand you over to the curator who can explain how we know this is a painting of King James. This is a grand painting of King James, we know it is him because if you look in the bottom right corner of the painting you will see written ‘King James'”). In true Scottish style, we had blue sky, sunshine, rain and snow (yes, snow!) but always with beautiful views.
I normally enjoy the sexy Scottish accents in Edinburgh but this weekend seemed to be full of Bristolian and Welsh accents. So now that I have returned to Bristol, I’m hoping to be surrounded by Scottish accents…please?