Things are more normal here, thanks to a bit of firmness on our part with Hattie, a quick Google of "hamster limping" and lots of reassuring cuddles with Lucy. The hamster has probably sprained his leg; he isn't putting any weight on it, but he's eating a lot, seems quite normal, so I'm trying not to stress about it too much. Poor little mite spends most of the time in his nest sleeping, so I think he will be OK. He wolfed down a small square of bread and milk, which is apparently the thing to give them for sprains, so I'm happier now. Simon thinks I'm being overly sensitive about him, but I don't care. He's my lovely little pet.
We went up to Whipsnade today to see a baby pygmy hippo, which is the size of a cat. He spent most of his time submerged, but I did take a couple of pictures. This is the best one, I've cropped it a bit, and shouted ENHANCE at the screen, but it didn't magically look like a real hippo. Hopefully he'll be confident enough to come out of the water soon, as he is terribly cute. At one point in our visit his mum started snorting about something, prompting a massive, angry snort from the hippo in the pool next door. She was normal hippo size - terrifyingly enormous.
Sweet little thing. He looks a bit, well, simple in this picture, but I'm sure he doesn't have Special Hippo Needs.
The elephants at Whipsnade go for a walk around the park once a day; we saw them set off when we were in the inevitable soft play area, and we thought we'd see them back in their paddock later. Not a bit of it; on our way around to see the hippo, we drove past the little wood on the ridge, and there they all were, including and especially a six month old baby.
He's balancing on a log with his mum in the background! We stood there for ages watching the elephants and chatting with the keepers. Sam Elephant weighed 140 kg at birth and now weighs 400. He's grown really well, which is wonderful. Apparently, boy elephants are a bit unpredictable, and so when he grows up, he'll have to go and live somewhere else; which is not a euphemism, I checked.
Such a great day out. We worked out that to take two adults, two children and a car to Whipsnade would cost £90; far too much. You can get it a bit cheaper by using Tesco vouchers, but the best thing to do is to be a member. Then you get London Zoo as well; we go there at least four times a year. I'm not a massive fan of zoos; but then I see baby Indian elephants choosing to balance on logs, and they seem less bad. The children absolutely love going too, which makes it feel far more worthwhile. Plus it does fund conservation work around the world - the tiger project in Amur has found that two presumed extinct species of deer are not actually extinct after all, which is good news all round.
Plus it gives me a chance to have a good old play with the new camera. I need a tripod and a remote now. And some better lighting in the kitchen. And a new hairdo.