Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 19/04/2011

Got the hump? Me?


I didn’t think I would have a better day thank yesterday so soon but I’m currently sitting in Reading Climbing Centre having watched my son climb ascend to the top of one of the walls, as if he were going for a walk in the park, well, one that you have to crawl along to get anwhere.

The last time we came here, his first visit, he was very apprehensive, and tentatively progressed to the top, with apparent trepidation. Today couldn’t haven’t been more different. To say I’m proud of him anyway is an understatement, but words fail me when he overcomes such hurdles and then undertake them with such gusto, you’d never know there had been any problem at all.

I’ve just looked over; the group have moved over to a much taller wall with an overhang. This could be quite testing for him… and me!

As we’ve experienced before, the staff at the centre are brilliant and are able to give great pep talks, not talking down to them (though they do talk them down:-) ) but not getting all technical on them. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, you can have all the facilites in the world, the rarest animals, the most exotic birds, but at the end of the day, for me the experience is always enhanced by the human or humane experience.

Actually that neatly segways me on to my day at the zoo yesterday; as I briefly mentioned yesterday I, all the gods (of sun, light, photography etc) were with me and I’d had a good day but I had a couple of chats with other people either interested in the creatures or in photography which all added to the bonne homme atmosphere around the site. I did spend a pleasant stint at the leopards, who by later afternoon were more than active (ie. not stopping still for me to photograph), talking to one of the heads of sections at the zoo discussing photography, wildlife as well as some of the more annoying aspects of the photography crowd (the snobbishness that seems to go with any hobby/job – you know the type I mean I’m sure).

I still have to sort through the photos I took yesterday – certainly on the 3″ screen on the back of my camera, a number of the photos look quite promising.. let’s hope the reality lives up to expectation.. I want to take a better photo, if that’s possible, than the one of Sita the Cheetah taken at Dartmoor Zoo.

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