Archive for September, 2012

Posted: 30/09/2012 in Uncategorized

and the journey continues

Birding in Zimbabwe

Hi again

It is certainly time I caught up with my posts here as there is so much happening I am in serious danger of falling way behind !

When you were last listening (reading) we had just arrived at the entry gate to Chizarira – the Hidden Gorges in remote north-western Zimbabwe.

First of all lets deal with vehicles.  We are all now quite familiar with the dear old Mazda Bongo that has carried us so far.  In Hwange we met up with CvC and CH in their Toyota Prado……..

This shot also shows one of the two “Basha’s” that provided the lucky few with accommodation.

A rather poor shot of a Mazda BT 250 double cab.  Also the ablution block which was, I suppose, adequate IF it had any water.

It didn’t !

We will get on to the provenance of this vehicle a bit later.   Also…

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I know I know I’m back again already but I realised I was actually a week behind sharing with you even if the pictures were already in the can.

negative space

Not a lot else to say other than I hope you enjoy my interpretation of negative space.

now that I’m back up to date I guess I’d better go out and find you some colour to satisfy next weeks hopefully more upbeat theme

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

yesterday I published a rather depressing shot for my Autumn weekly theme, this one I’m afraid is not much better, but I can also honestly say that it’s one of my favourite photographs of the year, it just captures that depressing mood that autumn brings.

what do you guys think, am I just being depressing?

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

I’m not even going to bother trying to apologise for my levels of crapness this week I’m just going to throw this one out there, but I can assure you that you can be safe in the knowledge that this weeks theme Autumn could not be more appropriate, I thought summer this year was generally pretty awful but goodness gracious me do I always forget how much I hate the cold grey misery of Autumn, funnily enough by the time winter proper comes around I generally have re-acclimatised and cope fine, but these last few weeks as the nights draw in are sheer hell for me.

throw in kids who are teething, kids with inexplicable temperatures, me and Mrs BC with constant coughs and sniffles, a silly work load and I’m frankly amazed at how little I’ve been ranting in these pages, maybe it’s just exhaustion that has made me too lazy to bother.

Still the local council suck for giving me a parking ticket whilst I waited to collect a sniffly miserable Mrs BC from the station, they didn’t even have the guts to give it to me there and then rather they just chucked it in the post to allow me to rant no doubt fruitlessly at their on-line appeals process. I might win, they say I was parked on the walkway, I say I was parked in a driveway, time will tell if they’re going to get their sixty pieces of silver.

I guess this photo kinda show’s where I would rather be on a cold miserable Autumn evening

steamy warm pub

Until the next time, which hopefully will be soon.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

Posted: 19/09/2012 in Uncategorized

the journey continues

Birding in Zimbabwe

Hi all

The last time I left you we were just out of Lupane having visited the Allan Wilson Memorial.  And we were heading North.

Back to Hwange National Park’s Main Camp!    We were to meet up with two other travellers – delightful ladies – CvC and CH.

We had a delightful dinner – thanks GJW – and slept like logs.   Getting up early the next day we all went out to “track down” that special bird from my previous visit to Hwange in July.

And find them we did !!

The two girls are mad keen photographers and had a wonderful time.

After breakfast we packed up and departed but now GJW had a seat in CvC’s Toyota Prado.  Northwards again !  But not very far, to what is locally known as Crossroads, which is the Dete/Kamativi turn off.  Re-fuelled there and turned right going north-east…

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oh what a hopeless host I’ve been, I can only apologise it’s been a hectic couple of weeks on both the home and work fronts.

on a positive note I’ve entered one of the Trip to Brighton pics in a photography competition on the dreaded Facebook and would be hugely honoured if you’d click on the link and vote for it by clicking like on Facebook. I’m not much of a facebooker but please feel free to add me there if you want to.

The theme for week 37 was in the garden and I’ve ummmed and ahhhed over long and hard, my own garden is definitely not for public consumption at the moment and I’ve done dozens of roses at night for you so I thought I’d share this technically terrible but still rather fun shot of the blogs namesake Bunny Chow chasing a fox in a neighbourhood garden (the gardens attached to a block of flats I don’t make a habit of traipsing through people’s back gardens)

Bunny and Master Fox esquire

I apologise for the terrible quality, it was taken with my 50mm and a big arse flash gun

Until next time

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

 

can you believe that my little Bug is one year old already?

In order to celebrate we decided that a tip to the seaside was in order, not so much because he would enjoy it, he’s one, he can be entertained by a cardboard box but we had a craving for Jamie’s Italian and anyway who really needs an excuse to visit the seaside.

Whilst there I was of course armed with my ever present EOS10D.

Hope you’re all having a great week.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

for some reason Tuli and the Shangani Patrol keep coming back to me at the moment with references in novels etc now I find that my father has been on another adventure back to Matabeleland and these remote and unspoiled historical regions largely forgotten by the worlds tourists.

If you’d like to visit Zimbabwe please do check out his blog http://www.birdingzimbabwe.com

Birding in Zimbabwe

Hi All

I’m back…………

Let’s continue on our journey.

We left off last time with a fantastic breakfast of the Nesbitt Castle and me telling you that AJS is not a birder but he is passionate about the history of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe – a passion he has had since a boy.  We filled up with fuel and headed south, past Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage, (whose founder Viv Wilson sadly died this week) through Esigodini and Gwanda.  About six kilometres later we turned right and our direction now became south-west.  After about eighty kilometres the tarred surface abruptly ended and an hour later we passed through the metropolis of Hwali !

We were now in the deep south-west of Zimbabwe and Baobab country. The nests are those of the Red-billed Buffalo Weaver.

It is very dry down there and there were plenty of these spiny beasts.  Anyone out there know what they are ?…

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Here we go again I have worked myself up into teeth spitting fury and frustration, I’m sure that those of you who go to the effort of reading this rant will think by the end that I am a sad, arrogant arse and I wouldn’t blame you for feeling that way because it’s probably true but I cannot help but share this with someone especially as Mrs BC has given up listening to me pontificate my frustrations.

A few of you who have stuck with me for a while now may remember my two-part series from October last year which if you don’t you can read here and here but if understandably you can’t be bothered to go back to my earlier rants I’ll give you a brief background, My kids go to a nursery school which is set within the grounds of a privately run but government-funded high school, their basic tenet is to make profit and take control of a school that was failing under government control. To earn the big government moolah they have to show lots of shiny statistics that include things like reduced exclusions etc. this is very easy for them to do as they basically just ignore every behavioural problem that they can.

The school is run by a slimy young businessman who in these pages I have named Mr Litebeer, I met with him last year to complain about a specific indecent I witnessed and he chose to brush under the carpet. Since then our paths have barely crossed, barring a minor rant from me about the amount of litter around the school which to his only credit in all of my dealings with him did improve for a few days thereafter.

Yesterday though I found myself trying to drop my boys off and all the allocated nursery parking spaces had been occupied by builders skips, delivery vans etc. as I was on my way to work and time was of the essence I chose the first available parking space which I will freely admit is clearly marked Principal.

Ten minutes later I returned to find the following note (only names have been edited otherwise it is as written)

PLEASE DO NOT PARK IN THIS BAY CLEARLY MARKED “PRINCIPAL” 

THERE ARE YELLOW BAYS CLEARLY MARKED “CUTE SHINY NICE KIDS NURSERY” FOR YOU TO MAKE USE OF.

THE PRINCIPAL

of course I being an arrogant arse myself I could not leave this be and drop this so decided to respond to Mr Litebeer thus

Dear Mr Litebeer, 

Thank you for the note you left on my car this morning.  Whilst I appreciate that the bay I was parked in is CLEARLY MARKED “PRINCIPAL”, somehow the yellow bays clearly marked “CUTE SHINY NICE KIDS NURSERY” seemed to be full of delivery vans that were clearly making deliveries to the school. 

If you are unable to ensure that your delivery people park in spaces other than those clearly designated CUTE SHINY NICE KIDS NURSERY, I am afraid that I will be forced to continue to park wherever there is available space. 

However, while writing, I would comment that one of the principal tenets of secondary education is readying young men and women for the real world and that as PRINCIPAL your primary role should be setting an example of how to earn the respect of others.  Your note definitely does not set any such example. 

With this in mind, I also would like to bring to your attention that I have seen no marked changes in student behaviour since we met last year (the incident where one of your male pupils punched a female pupil in the face and you chose not to punish them).  I do realise that since the majority of construction has ended there is less interaction between pupils and Cute Shiny Nice Kids’ parents, yet we are still forced to endure daily lashings of loud and disturbing swearing, tomfoolery and disrespect for their elders – never taking into account the impressionable young ears surrounding them.  

It is ultimately your responsibility for making sure that the pupils are aware of the nursery school children and the public in general and that they conduct themselves appropriately.  It may appear that in today’s society swearing is commonplace, but it is still generally unacceptable in polite society and allowing it to continue on school premises to me shows a lack of control by the school over the pupils. 

Yours sincerely

The concerned parent of the next generation

Mr Bunny Chow

 

this solicited the following response from Mr Litebeer.

Thank you for your observations which I refute.
We do not tolerate swearing on the school premises and deal with it whenever we hear it. I agree that it is not necessary in polite society.
I will ask our site team to remind deliveries not to park in the Cute Shiny Nice Kids Nursery bays. 
If they are occupied, as they sometimes are, as often more Cute Shiny Nice Kids parents arrive at once than there are spaces, please feel free to park on the yellow hatched drop off zones that run along the kerb before the bays you parked in. Many Cute Shiny Nice Kids parents do this currently when they need to.

Smarmy Litebeer

Principal
Scummy failed Government Academy 
I know, I know I should probably have dropped it at this point but couldn’t resist a final dig, below is my final ignored email.
Mr Litebeer, 

Many thanks for your prompt response, I regularly make use of the cross hatched area as you suggested but as I’m sure you noticed when parking this morning that too had a delivery vehicle in it. 

As for swearing and intolerable behaviour may I suggest spending time listening to and acting on the complaints of the public rather than blindly believing that your pupils behave in exactly the same manner as when in your presence.

If you would like to meet with me again to discuss the behaviour of your pupils I’d be more than happy to take the time. 

Regards

Mr Bunny Chow

I know, I am such a boorish arse of a human being and quite rightly the Nursery have put out a general email reminding all parents that we should only be making use of our designated bays and not inconvenience Mr Litebeer into having to park in the bay next his own and walk a whole extra two feet to his office. None of this changes that I cannot contain my wrath that this smarmy, greasy, nasty little administrator has been entrusted to raise hundreds of the next generation of oiks as they transition into adulthood. It leaves me angered that it is only a year since the riots that brought London to its knees yet this total lack of interest in the behaviour of oikish youths by the very people being paid vast sums of money to educate and mould them into acceptable members of society.

I am honestly surprised that we have not had a repeat of the looting and burning of our area if this is the attitude of the system.

I should probably stop now before I break my keyboard by typing too forcefully.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

 

 

harumph, I’m sorry I keep making excuses but work commitments and yet another cold mean that I’ve neglected you all again, I actually posted this weeks Metal shot on Google+ on Sunday yet here we are it’s Friday night and I’m drinking wine in bed trying to avoid the television as Mrs BC watches Celebrity Big Brother remembering that life could be worse I might not have you guys to talk to and actually be forced to concentrate on the background noise around me.

There will be a later post tonight that goes into more details about my week and one of my trademarked rants so I’ll keep this one short and sweet.

Metal

Next weeks theme is “in the Garden”

I’ll be back once I’ve finished my rant.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

P.S. Mrs BC here, Mr Bunny Chow is a bah humbug and Celebrity Big Brother is car crash telly fab.