7 March 2010

Quite a day!

Today is my fiancee Ian's 30th birthday. Due to work commitments we've decided to celebrate fully with a holiday next month, but we still managed to take the day off work today and have a wonderful time.

One of Ian's presents was an adoption of the European otter Imogen at the Buckfast otters and owls center so we decided to go see her and the other otters this morning. Imogen is naturally nocturnal and was asleep in the 'otter cottage', but the other otters were all out and about.

This is their oldest otter: Ontario, a 22 year-old female:

These are Toronto and his sons Winni and Peg:

Winni, Peg and Rocky - one of Ontario's sons are due to be released in a wildlife refuge in Canada later this year.

We decided to stop at Trago Mills leisure park for lunch - a place we've passed a hundred times on the A38, but had never been to. It wasn't really what either of us expected. We thought that it would be a shopping center with leisure facilities such as a swimming pool and possibly a cinema. Instead it turned out to be one massive store - I can't describe how big it was. This discouraged us from actually buying anything because there were only a few exits with checkouts and very long queues. Nor could we find where everyone ate until we'd been the length and breadth of the store. All the food outlets turned out to be outside the main shop next to a small lake. Luckily we managed to find a table at one of the only two indoor eateries as it was a very cold day today. The 'leisure' facilities were also located outside and consisted of a small model railway and some rides for very young children. What did impress us was the scale of the place and the buildings themselves. The shopping area is one large structure that looks like a fairy-tale castle from the outside.

This year Ian and I are trying to alter our diets to be more healthy and so for once we skipped the birthday cake. It has been a tradition for Ian to have a caterpillar-shaped cake so instead we made a caterpillar shaped main course for dinner. We bought 4 different coloured peppers and stuffed them with rice, cheese and vegetables. Yummy!

Ian making the face:

This evening we went to the cinema to watch the film Invictus with Morgan Freeman playing Nelson Mandela. I had no idea that the film was partly about sport (rugby), but I would highly recommend it to even those like myself who normally avoid films containing a lot of sport.

All in all, a brilliant day!