The one where I see baby penguins…

It’s been a crazy month. And I haven’t been able to talk about it much. If you know me and have been around my blogs and social media a while, you’ll know already that I’m an over-sharer. So many nights in the last week I’ve gone on my laptop wanting to write and I’ve had to just shut it again. I’ve also had a lot of friends checking in with me and it’s been difficult to reply as so much at the moment is up in the air. And then my heart has been hurt with some upsetting news from South Africa followed by the horrific news from Manchester (home to several friends, and it turned out my friend’s daughter & grandaughter were at the Ariana Grande concert – they are thankfully fine and physically unharmed. But many were not so lucky. Several Scottish girls who travelled down to the concert are still missing). So instead of talking about all that is going on in my brain right now, I’m going to share about new baby penguins.

On Saturday, I finished work earlier than usual. It was a miserable day, with bucketing rain but I wanted to stop by Edinburgh Zoo before I went home, camera in tow. Because BABY PENGUINS people…BABY PENGUINS. Yes, this happens every year. And no, it doesn’t get old.IMG_2249

I mentioned on my last blog that for the first time in many years, a baby Rockhopper penguin has been born at the zoo. Another regular visitor hiding from the rain gazing at the gentoo nests pointed me in the direction of the Rockhopper nests. The nest is located in a bit where you can’t get very close to it – there’s a garden area on the other side of the fence of their enclosure. It’s maybe a good thing though for the little chick to get some peace and quiet. With some difficulty and the help of my long lens, I did manage to get this pic…


I really hope this little one survives and thrives. I love the rockhoppers, and they are always the ones that come right up to the fence and pose for my phone and say hi! Case in point: Exhibit A below…


Quite a few of the penguins are looking a little scruffy and uncomfortable at the moment because they are moulting. Usually the King Penguins are all very tall and sleek, and felt very sorry for this poor dude. It’s really strange to see a King Penguin looking so cuddly, fluffy and rotund!


I hope the photos make you smile, and please know that if you are reading from Cottonlands or been affected by what happened last night in Manchester…I am thinking of you.

Much love,

BK x

The one where a brother visits…

mark and me zoo

So clearly, a big massive blogging fail this week! APOLOGIES! But I have some good excuses and one is pictured here. That is the rare sighting of a sibling people. A sibling in the same place as I am. I came home from work on Sunday evening to find out that Brother 2 was coming down. Yes, I already had a huge list of things planned for my two days off this week (like choosing and purchasing new glasses, getting organised for International Women’s Day, writing blog posts etc) but suffice to say that when I returned home from a meeting and Monday’s errands to find my brother on the sofa the rest of my to-do list got benched.

Especially when Brother 2 asked if we could go to the Zoo today. People…you know I love the Zoo. You know I love opportunities to keep learning how to use the fancy camera. How could I say no? And I’m so glad we went, because for the first time in YEARS I managed to get some photos of the otters. Genuinely, I got so excited my Mum gave me the eyeroll. She doesn’t understand the frustration of the otters hiding from your every visit for years on end.

So here we are, it’s 10 p.m. the night before I start my work week (and tomorrow is also International Women’s Day) and I’ve still to put together my inspiring woman story to share, I’ve not blogged at The Girlguiding Life or done a quote of the week, I’ve not purchased any glasses and I’ve not looked at stuff for Surf Camp.

I do however have some aching legs and a memory card full of photos to upload and edit.

I also can’t wait to share what the meeting was about. I’ve been in talks for months with a friend of a friend who I connected with through twitter (yay for Twitter!) and the time has come to put an idea I’ve held onto for years and actually attempt to make it a reality. I’m nervous, because the fear of failure is strong – too often it paralyses me into inaction. If you are in East Central Scotland, I really, really hope you’re going to like what it is and get behind it to share it with your pals.

 I feel like I’m missing so many friends this week, so please leave a comment and tell me how your week has been. Is there anything I can pop into my jar of gratitude, or be praying for? Let me know, I love hearing from you Koala Tree followers. 🙂

The one where I went to the zoo…

Ok. Since 20th January, things have gotten very bad in the western world. Justin Trudeau and Angela Merkel may be our greatest hope! 🙂 I literally haven’t really slept since Obama left the White House, and been working lots (my only day off last week was spent at the dentist and then doing youth work in the evening). And last week was week 6 since last getting paid. So on Saturday after work, armed with a Christmas gift in the form of a cinema voucher I headed for some happy escape with a few of my work friends. We saw La la Land. I loved it (though, I’ll be honest some of the sound editing seemed very poor – don’t know if that was the film or the cinema). One friend loved it, the other was very unhappy about the ending!

Monday was pay day! HURRAH! This meant a supermarket grocery delivery (i.e. proper meals again) and I decided to renew my membership to Edinburgh Zoo. One of my supervising managers hadn’t been since she was a kid and has been wanting to go for ages and it is rare that we have a day off on the same day. Monday was one of those rare days and so we made plans. We were blessed with a dry sunny-ish day, though very frosty, and ended up spending the whole day there. The zoo was quiet due to kids being in school and cold weather. It felt very peaceful. We both had our fancy cameras, but struggled to get good photos due to fences and glass. But here are a few pics that I hope you can enjoy! 🙂 We actually got to see both Yang Guang (the male panda) and Alinga (female koala) awake. Seeing pandas and koalas awake at the zoo is rare, so felt very privileged!

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The Little Robin…

At the moment I like Fridays. It’s an early 5.30 a.m. start so I’m always sleepy a few hours into my shift. My managers seem to have accepted my ‘Monica’ quirks and allow me to do my little methodical organising thing as we get our deliveries in for the week. Because I start early and I’m really only in for the delivery, I finish really early too. I try to stay in the city centre to do some uni work after because I know that sleep deprivation is ebbing away, and the minute I get home at sit on a bed or sofa…I’ll be in the land of napping.

However, this week we have had friends from the USA staying with us, and I was having to register with a new General Practitioner. Every three months I have to visit a nurse to get an injection. So I’d stayed at work, had lunch while doing some uni work and then headed to the new nurse (who was lovely! Hurrah!). I was very very sleepy by the time it was all done, and when I reached the  bus top, I saw there weren’t any buses for a while. So I decided to walk in the sunshine to the next stop. And then I saw this little robin.

He/She was sitting on the pavement next to the busy road just looking up at me. As I approached, it didn’t flinch or try to fly away. When I snapped this picture, and it still hadn’t moved, I began to think “hmm…this is strange“. Maybe it’s just me, but in my experience robins tend to fly away when they see that you’ve seen them! A passer by smiled at me in that “aww what a weird woman talking to a bird” kind of way as he walked past me at this point sitting on the pavement next to the little bird. At that point I realised the robin’s wing was jutting out slightly every time a car/bus/truck drove past us. It still wasn’t moving. And on closer look it had a big ball of fluff and feathers underneath.

Another passer by stopped as I was trying to google “what to do with an injured bird” on my phone. He felt sorry for the little robin too, and suggested taking it along to the zoo which was a couple of bus stops away and wished me luck. Thinking that the bus wouldn’t appreciate me taking a bird on board to get it home, and that I had no way of doing what the RSPB suggested of putting it in a box without being at home. I scooped it up in my hands per RSPB guidance and starting walking to Edinburgh Zoo.

The poor little robin didn’t make any movement as I did so, didn’t try to escape and as we got to the zoo it began to close it’s eyes. I was actually scared that it had died in my hands.

A very nice zookeeper who looks after the birds at the zoo came down to reception. He agreed with me that it had likely been hit by a passing car. Luckily it seemed like the robin hadn’t been badly injured, just concussed – hence the very sleepy state it was in. And so the zookeeper told me he would take the robin, give it some mealworms and pop it in a box to see how it did.

I hope it was ok.

Slightly more awake after this unexpected turn of events to the day, I decided to go visit the lemurs and the penguins before I went home. The Gentoo penguins are in nesting season, and a few baby penguins have already hatched. See if you can spot 3 baby penguins in the picture below!


And instead of napping, I ended up heading to West Lothian to hunt for a grave with our new American friends who had spent the day researching their family history. We ended up at a beautiful old church in Torphicen.


So I missed my usual Friday afternoon nap, but I’d say it was worth it to help the little robin and go on a family history adventure with our friends! 🙂