Wednesday, December 27, 2006


So that's almost it for 2006, we've had a nice time over the Xmas period. On Xmas Eve over recent years we've spent my birthday visiting some of the newer attractions in Bristol, this year was looking a little tricky as many places closed due to the fact that it was falling on a Sunday. Eventually Orynthia had a stroke of genius and realised that one of the older attractions would be open, so for the first time in years, we took the walk across The Downs to visit Bristol Zoo.

As luck would have it several friends were having a knockabout game of football on The Downs, so we could pause briefly to watching exerting themselves before continuing our journey. Many things have changed since we were last in The Zoo, the majority of the large animals have gone, so no more Elephants, Polar Bears, Camels, Giraffes and the like. Luckily they still have lots of entertaining creatures with plenty of Monkey choices to keep us amused.

The last time (and only previous joint visit) we went to the Zoo has stayed in our memory, thanks to a fantastic lack of customer service from the old cafeteria. I can't remember the exact scenario but it went something like this. The menu had the usual array of food that was available in 1980's Bristol, very much in the "chips with everything mould" So you could have sausage, egg and chips or bacon, egg and chips amongst other splendid choices. However, I asked if I could have sausage, egg and bacon. They obviously had all these ingredients just a case of working a cost I assumed. So it was rather odd to be told that I could not have that as it was not a choice on the menu card. It was a classic example of the English approach to food and service.

Things have moved on a little since then, but to remind myself of the good old days, we went for fish and chips with the obvious choice of drink - mulled wine, all very nice too. As darkness started to fall, we continued our journey and I particularly enjoyed watching the Seals playing around, the Red Panda and some amazing birds.After that we took a lovely walk through Clifton in order catch up with some friends, before heading home at around 10pm.

Christmas day was spent with various family and friends in several houses, before returning home with Orynthia's mother and brother who were both spending the night with us. I obviously slept well, as it 11:15 on Boxing Day morning before I awoke from my slumbers. Then Orynthia dropped me down to the Nova Scotia, so I could catch up the Ashton Gate faithful before our 2-2 draw. Following the game a few old friends and associated children came over to our place for tea, cakes and cheese, some how several bottles of wine were consumed as well. Because many of our friends have moved around it was the first time that some of them had seen each other in years, it was nice to be a catalyst and watch some (very) old friendships being renewed.

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