30 Days Wild 2020 – Day Twenty-two.

twt-30-days-wild_countdown_22Day 22: Today’s 30 Days Wild is Close up Monday and we are focusing on the UK’s largest predator, Badgers! In 2019 David and I had the wonderful opportunity of watching wild badgers by partaking in an event at RSPB Haweswater. For as little as £12 pp (if you are a member), you can spend up to 90 minutes with these elusive yet iconic animals.

I am sure you local wildlife trust or RSPB site has a similar event, check out their website for more details.

Badger (Meles meles) Facts:

    • Badgers are mammals and sometimes are called brocks
    • They are common throughout Britain
    • They live in family groups underground called setts, and some setts can be 100 years old, being passed down from generation to generation
    • Badgers are part of the Mustelid family (otters and ferrets)
    • They grow to one metre in length
    • They are crepuscular (active dawn/dusk)
    • Playing and scent marking strengthens social bonding
    • Badgers can live up to 14 years though five to eight years is more optimistic
    • Females can have up to five cubs a litter and most cubs are born mid February, and will emerge above ground after 12 weeks
    • Up to 50,000 badgers are killed each year on UK roads
    • Badgers are omnivores but 60% of their diet are earthworms
    • They are the only predator of the hedgehog

Have you seen a wild badger?

Thanks for reading, and stay wild!

Christine x

Further Reading:

Badger Trust: https://www.badgertrust.org.uk/badgers
RSPB: https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/other-garden-wildlife/mammals/badger/
Wildlife Trusts: https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/mammals/european-badger
The Woodland Trust:https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2019/08/badgers-what-do-they-eat-and-other-facts/

Happy New Year…!

… Let’s hope that 2013 is a much better year!

Here’s the completed video of David and Christine’s 2012! Hope you enjoy!

Istanbul: Day two – sightseeing

Firstly, I went to the wrong mosque! I should have gone to Hagia Sophia and not the Blue Mosque! I really should have done my homework before visiting but I didn’t and so I never got to see the Norse runes!

Today was a Thursday, (20th December) and was a day set aside for sightseeing, though the weather did not play along with this plan as it SNOWED all day and was bitterly cold! The weatherman did not forecast snow!

Istanbul is such a vast city that seeing ‘all’ the sights is not possible in a day. It took a good 20 minute taxi drive from the hotel to the ‘old’ Istanbul to even see the Blue Mosque. I wanted to see the Bosphorus and get my picture with the city skyline saying, ‘Christine in Constantinople,’ but the snow laden cloud masked the river so that we could not see any landmarks!

David and I must look like tourists as a ‘tour guide’ latched onto us as we approached the Blue Mosque. With the slippery snow falling on marble steps, the going was treacherous! The sight of a screaming tourists stepping gingerly from the mosque recalled biblical scenes for me and an image of lepers crawling from the temple flashed in my mind. 😀

We had to take our shoes off to enter the mosque and I, as a woman, had to wear a blue scarf that was given to me. I do not suit scarves, and most definitely not blue scarves! I looked like the Virgin Mary! Inside, the mosque was beautifully ornate. I would have liked someone to have told me what I was looking at though. I just aimed my camera and took pictures.

Afterwards, frozen, we all headed for a cafe where we had toasted sandwiches and nice coffee.

Then, with our cockles warmer we ventured back out into the cold once again and visited the Cistern, an underground reservoir that harkens back to Roman times. I liked this place a lot, more so than the mosque.

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From the Cistern, we visited the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar, though shopping isn’t really my thing.

We got a taxi back to the hotel. One driver wanted to charge us more as we were English! Cheeky so and so! We then got ready for a most welcoming meal at Bilgen’s family home. I really loved the salmon and mash potatoes on offer. Meeting new people always stresses me out but I relaxed more as the week progressed. We were very much made to feel welcome which was nice. 🙂

Istanbul: Day five – homeward bound!

What with the wedding finishing after 12 am and not getting back to the hotel until 1 am. I decided not to go to bed that night but to stay awake until 4.30 am when everyone was getting up and ready to leave for the airport. David had four hours sleep while I emailed Mum and listened to music on YouTube!

We got a taxi to the airport and checked out! I had to laugh as the security scanning my handbag were pointing to the computer screen, probably wondering at all the electrical parts within! By 8 am Turkish time, we were on board the plane and seated waiting for take-off! I would love to learn to fly one day. I love the exhilaration of the take-off, its akin to the shivery excitement of good sex! I think I was the only person excited to be going home!

On the plane, David fell asleep for the majority of the the four hours flight. It was longer due to flying against the Jet Stream! I read from my Kindle and listened to music. I was so happy as I got the window seat! I saw mountains as we flew over Germany and then the flooding in the English countryside! I looked out of the window for most of the fight, listening to Kylie Minogue and looking at the clouds below us!

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I had breakfast on the plane, of omelette and muesli with yoghurt. I really enjoyed both my meals on the planes. It was a novelty for me.

We touched down on English soil at 10.23 am! Manchester was nice and sunny! A taxi took us back to Liverpool via the M6 and M62 and I got home to Mum and Riley at 11.30 am! It was nice to be home! 😀

Istanbul: Day one – arrival

We, all bleary eyed set off for Manchester airport at 7 am. It took us over an hour to get through security. I must say the body scanner is a scary contraption! 😀

Those we travelled with were: David’s mum Jeanette, his Dad Dave, his sister Leanne and David’s aunt and uncle, Janet and Mike. We met Leanne’s boyfriend Ferhat in Istanbul.

The plane we were on, was an Airbus 321 and it didn’t have much leg room. David went to sleep for most of the flight, he had the window seat! I read for most of the three and a half hour flight, thankfully I had brought my Kindle. Indeed my handbag was full of electronics, with Kindle, camera, camcorder, headphones and notebook! The other half of the flight I listened to music on my notebook and tried to write, but found that I couldn’t concentrate.

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We touched down in Istanbul, Turkey around 5 pm! (3 pm UK time) We were picked up by Bilgen’s (David’s brother, Gary’s fiancée) family and driven to the Titanic Port Hotel. We were given a twin room, I couldn’t be bothered changing rooms as it was only for a few days. After we had settled in, Gary and Bilgen took the family out for a meal at a local shopping mall. I had a Mediterranean Pizza which was nice! It had been a long and tiring day so we retired to our room to sleep, though in reality I didn’t have a good nights sleep as I can’t settle in a new bed on the first night.

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Burying One’s Head in the Sand Doesn’t Help Anyone…

… at least not yourself! Whatever you fear to face, will always come whether you try to distract yourself or not. That’s what I think regarding this trip to Turkey. For months I have not been thinking of it, thinking of all sorts to try stop worrying about it. However this imposed social occasion is almost upon me and I can’t do anything about it. I don’t do very well in social situations, hence the procrastination.

It was a friend of mine, who a while back said she was jealous of me for going to Istanbul. So it got me thinking, maybe I should be excited about going and not so evasive?

So I am packing my suitcase with a hope that I will get to see the Norse runes at the Blue Mosque (probably saying, ‘Sven was here’! ) and also to gaze upon the Bosphorus. This Thursday is set for sightseeing so hopefully I will be able to see some sights. David’s brother’s wedding is the Saturday and the day before we are attending a Henna night, should be interesting to witness, another culture in action.

We come home on the 23rd, so I only have Christmas Eve to plan anything. I have no hope that this Christmas will be any good. I’ll probably be too tired after all the travelling and David and I have not moved into our home. I had so hoped we would spend our first Christmas together in our new home.  Also I do not know how my mum will react knowing my father is no longer with us during the festive season. So I am not looking forward to Christmas this year.

House wise, the builder, a neighbour of David’s had knocked the hated shed down, bricked up the back door and put in the new door. Also today, we have had the gas turned on and the boiler checked. Everything at the moment seems all ok!

If the hotel we are staying at in Istanbul, (one of the Titanics’?) doesn’t have internet then let me wish you all the best for Christmas! See you in the New Year!