So this week I swapped watching the Olympics for a walk in Fota Wildlife Park. It wasn’t easy as walking involves actual activity, not just observing the exertions of others but I managed it with a supporting arm from hubs, some sustaining gossip from my sis-in-law and a whole lot of enthusiasm from my nephew. Animals are of course, great for enhancing mood and inspiring ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaahs’ of wonder. They don’t even have to do much, just be visible, furry and a little bit cute. Fota does not disappoint in this area. Although the park is fairly concise in size, there are plenty of critters to look at including some very tall, very friendly giraffes.
The giraffes are obviously used to having their photographs taken as they will happily gather in for a group shot or mosey on down individually for close ups. Their opposite neighbours: the cheetahs looked on in disdain, obviously rating their own feistier personalities much higher. Meanwhile wallabies were laid out in the sun like relaxed holiday-makers. One guy was so chilled he didn’t even move as we passed him on the footpath and took a snapshot. His lakeside location drew our eyes to some sociable trout, leaping clear of the water and lingering at the surface, safe in the knowledge that they could not be caught in this environment.
As we continued to explore the park Capybaras flitted behind trees, leading me to imagine my childhood guinea pig on weights and protein shakes ;). The monkeys proved very popular with my nephew as two of them played a hazardous game of see-saw on a fragile looking branch. Meanwhile, the monkey in the above photo stayed wisely clear of danger, obviously the thinker of the group.
The day out was a great distraction from my new Olympic free life but only served to highlight the loss as I awoke on Tuesday morning, not even bothering to turn on the TV. I knew it had nothing to offer me but breakfast show babble. Gone were the days when I could tune in to an eccentric bout of guy on guy wrestling (yes, that really is an Olympic sport). The afternoon also felt curiously empty as I longed for another of the crazier sports: the bike race led out by an old man on a motorbike.
The Paralympics should cheer me up in a week’s time but until then I am unsure how to fill the void. There is work of course, namely blogging, writing, promoting and arranging a venue for my new creative writing class: ‘Story Wise.’ But still, I miss London 2012 and I live too far away from Fota Wildlife Park to make it a permanent solution. I suppose I will just have to get nature-walking again. That’s if I can cross the flood outside my backdoor.