Jann and Polly visited the Angel of the North whilst on holiday this year. It is an impressive structure, it is 20 metres high (65ft) and has a wingspan of 54 metres (almost 175ft). It was commissioned by Gateshead Council to attract tourists to the North and has been seen by 33 million people annually since it’s construction. Makes one feel quite insignificant when you stand at the feet of an angel.
The most wonderful thing about being a Children’s Author is that you have every excuse under the sun to never grow up. Well, that’s my excuse and I am sticking to it.
I recently attended the Edutech Exhibitions at the Sandton Conference Centre with Evadeen Brickwood, a friend and fellow and author. Afterwards, we had spent the morning wandering around the stalls we headed back towards the car, when low and behold, a toyshop jumped right out in front of me.
Now, those who know me well, know I have a weakness for toy shops and bookshops. It was just too much, I had to go in – for research purposes, I explained to Evadeen, who having experienced me on a book tour to the Eastern Cape, knew to just go with the flow, I love how she just does that.
Well, as we wandered around checking out the toys – for research purposes, of course, I spotted a mechanical Polly, actually I think she spotted me because as I passed her she started to chirp, and talk, flap her wings and raise her crest. I WAS IN LOVE! Only one slight problem, a R1700 (£100) price tag – Owch. Never mind, nothing can replace my Polly.
Oh and I think the 50+ was for the suggested appropriate age – JUST RIGHT FOR ME ha, ha, ha. Maybe next time Mechanical Polly…
Sometimes we also need some downtime, so after visiting the Edutech Exhibition and seminars, Evadeen and I walked back through the Sandton Shopping Mall, near Mandela Square. Unfortunately for Evadeen, as we crossed the bridge between the Conference Centre and the Mall, Jann spotted one of the exhibit booths slightly ajar and empty. Well the temptation was just too much and i decided to play at being a mannequin for the day with the following results:
Evadeen you were a great sport taking the pics, and don’t worry we only had our name tags on so that the cameras can identify us ha, ha, ha.
Well my favourite times are when I’m in the bush/jungle/forest. I love safaris and bird watching. Something I grew to love when I was living in Sri Lanka. Rukshan a close family friend would take me with him on trips into the jungle and teach me how to look.
Sounds daft doesn’t it. It’s not as as easy as you think just spotting animals or birds, you need to know where to look. He was very patient and slowly I got the hang of it. I’m glad I did because on Sunday after the Blues in the Park concert I wanted to check out how far away the lion and rhino park was, as I have family coming to visit soon.
So off we went. 400 meters ha,ha,ha. and there it was. As we turned the car the car to head home we spotted giraffe and 2 buffalo by the fence – they call this the POOR MAN’S GAME DRIVE here in South Africa – when you spot game along a road adjacent to a game park. we were driving off when I spotted a lions leg sticking up out of the long grass on the other side of the road.
“STOP, STOP, STOP. THERE ARE LIONS.”
“Are you sure?”
My friend who was driving asked. So we turned around and sure enough there were 3 lions lying together and another 3 a short distance off. I got out of the car – glad that there were 2 electric fences between me and them I just stared. I was literally 2 meters from the nearest male lions. Shortly after another 6 lionesses walked through a gap in the bush and we watched 12 lions frolicking in the late summer sun.
NOW IF YOU REALLY WANT TO PUT A SMILE ON MY FACE – TAKE ME FOR A GAME DRIVE. I was in heaven! 12 lions just there on the other side of the fence. we continued to watch for about 1/2 an hour and then moved on as about 10 cars had pulled up to see what we were looking at and it was starting to get crowded.