30 May 2019


More photos sorted through and safely backed up.

In 2013 I ticked off another entry on my bucket list when I did a safari

       Flying into Mtemere                                             Arrivals and departures

Selous Riverside safari camp, Tanzania. My tent

complete with en-suite

and a cute lizard on my veranda

It was a very nice camp with good amenities.

This was my first safari and a tiny bit disappointing. The camp was outside the game reserve so by the time we had had breakfast and set off on the 10 min journey to the reserve, waited for about 10 minutes to enter the reserve most of the animals had already finished their morning ablutions and were difficult to find. 

Amazing dung beetles

Monitor Lizard

Only a mother could love this face!

Greater Kudu

Female Waterbuck

Warthog for dinner

Taken at a safe distance with a zoom lens!!

The impressive African Fish Eagle (top right) has structures on its toes called spiricules that allows it to grasp fish and other slippery prey. If it catches a fish over 1.8 kg (4 pounds) it will be too heavy to allow the eagle to get lift, so instead it will drag the fish across the surface of the water until it reaches the shore, or it will drop into the water and paddle to the shore with its wings.

Black Egrets cooling off


Yellow Billed Stork & mate.
The stork searches for food, taking what it wants, then his mate takes anything else

Although I said it was a tiny bit disappointing, looking at these photos, it was a good introduction.
My next one was in Zambia, inside a national park.

After this I spent a few days in Zanzibar. You can read about that here here and here.

Be well ~
Polly x

23 May 2019

Not A Good Read

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

This will be the last 'not a good read'. I have decided to take the advice of some of my commenters and let my instinct guide me, if I'm not gripped by the plot early on, or if I dislike the characters, or, like this one, am repulsed by the content then I will give up. I fall into the category of optimistic readers, the ones who soldier on thinking, 'surely it must get better, this is a good experienced writer, it has to get better', but as I have found out that isn't always the case.

Well I'm saying DO NOT read The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks. I was so pleased to be done with this disturbing, horrible book.

Frank is sixteen years old and severely damaged. He lives with his father near a small village on an island in Scotland. Frank’s father is strange, weak, and pedantic to say the least. Not only does he know the measurements of every wall floor and ceiling in the house he also knows the measurements and capacities of every item of furniture, every vessel, and, well everything. He is the only real influence Frank has known in his life. I can't remember what happened to his mother, probably left them, having had a premonition of the future - sensible woman.

Frank spends his days exploring the island, building dams, blowing things up, and tending his sacrifice poles and his wasp factory. In a bizarre kind of way it’s the kind of life the famous five enjoyed, without the killing of small animals, blowing things up, and of course the murders, three of them. I think the wasp factory was Frank’s way of creating not only a controlled orderly environment, but also one that tells him what to do, so that he can justify his actions. Like the murders he committed, he justifies each one into a tidy acceptable conclusion. Poor little Esmeralda’s nightmare stayed with me for days.

Frank has an older brother Eric who is even more damaged and has escaped from a mental institution. Given the dreadful thing that happened to a very young Frank I would have thought that he would be the cruel sadist torturing dogs, not Eric. I thought the reason given for Eric doing so was weak. 

I have only read one other novel by Iain Banks, “Complicity”, which was very good. The Wasp Factory has been described as a masterpiece, well I’m not an academic or well versed on giving reviews, but masterpiece was not the first word that popped into my mind. Three words came to mind – waste of time. Why finish it then? Well, I had been told it had a good twist at the end, which was shocking, so I ploughed on.  But eventually I was speed reading through the achingly monotonous, repetitive narrative of Frank’s daily jaunts over the dunes.

You know when someone says "Don't do this" it's tempting to do it just to see, but ........ should you decide to read it I accept no responsibility for any distress it may cause.  Just don't read it, it's horrible.

16 May 2019


Sandringham is the much-loved country retreat of Her Majesty The Queen, and has been the private home of four generations of British monarchs since 1862. The house, set in 24 hectares of stunning gardens, is perhaps the most famous stately home in Norfolk and is at the heart of the 8,000-hectare Sandringham Estate, 240 hectares of which make up the woodland and heath of the Country Park.

The weather was mixed on the day of our visit last August,
no rain, some moments of sunshine, but mostly gloomy

Dining Room
I think photography wasn't allowed because I took these photos from displays.
They were all dated from a few years ago, but I suspect the furnishings are still as beautiful and sumptuous.

 Drawing Room

Small Drawing Room


I wonder if Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward drove these around the grounds?

                                     The grown up cars were very impressive
Comfortable cruising
Weekend Shooting Brake                                                 Town Run Around

There were some lovely items in the museum

The gardens are very pretty

 with some interesting sculptures

The church that Her Majesty uses when she's at Sandringham

~Keep warm and well ~
Polly x

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