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I recently attended a wild cat photography day run by "Photographers on Safari" at the Cat Survival Trust near Welwyn (England). It gave great access, with only one layer of fencing between me and the cats (care needed to be taken as smaller cat breeds have no trouble fitting a paw and claws through the fence!). It was particularly lovely to see a Leopard Cat up close - I have a Bengal at home, a breed which has Leopard Cat genes in the mix.

Leopard Cat 20150713-2 by FurLined

I've posted a few of my favourite photos from the day here already, and will likely post more - you can see the full set of my favourite shots here on flickr:…

Like with many of my dA uploads, any of the photos in that set can be used as reference or as non-commercial stock as long as I'm given credit :).
  • Mood: Glad
  • Listening to: Chemical Brothers
  • Reading: The Rhesus Chart
  • Watching: Stuff on t'tele
  • Playing: Tomb Raider
  • Eating: Pistachios
  • Drinking: Water
I'd like to say hello to the new watchers who found me via the DD of Mosi, one of the UKWCT wolves. As you may have seen from my gallery I mostly upload photos of cats, cars and wolves, although I do like variety so try to mix it up a bit with some other stuff (and I try not to over do it on any one subject).

It was a real delight to see that one of my photos of Mosi, got a Daily Deviation - she is beautiful and I'm pleased I managed to do her justice in that shot and that it reached a wider audience (hopefully a few more people have now heard about the UKWCT as a result). It was great to see her, Torak and Duma on my wolf walk this year (my first time seeing Torak up close) and particularly good to see that Duma is still lively and enthusiastic despite now getting on a bit.

The UKWCT have an open day tomorrow, so I'm hoping to pop along (although it looks like their run of luck with the weather may have run out, still fingers crossed there will be some gaps in the rain). Sadly Mai's cubs won't be on show, but I'm hoping to see their most recent adult arrival, Motomo.
  • Mood: Glad
  • Listening to: Krafty Kuts
  • Reading: Spook Country
  • Watching: Stuff on t'tele
  • Playing: Rainbow Six Vegas II
  • Eating: Pistachios
  • Drinking: Water
It's been a year since my last journal entry and a year on I've had a weekend very much like the same one last year!

Glorious sunshine, an open top drive down to Brighton on the saturday, comedy in the evening (Dylan Moran this time) and then more sunshine on Sunday for Brightona 2008 down by the sea front.

It seemed even busier than last year! As far as the eye can see were beautiful street rods and bikes polished within an inch of their life.
  • Mood: Glad
  • Listening to: Krafty Kuts
  • Reading: Spook Country
  • Watching: Stuff on t'tele
  • Playing: Rainbow Six Vegas II
  • Eating: Pistachios
  • Drinking: Water
We've just had a weekend of relative warmth and sunshine and as luck would have it I was down on the south coast for it too!

I had the roof off the elise for the drive down to Brighton on saturday morning and also back on sunday afternoon and although it was mostly motorway driving it was still enjoyable after the slightly manky weather of previous weeks.

A quick trip to Devil's Dyke yielded the photo of Shoreham that I uploaded yesterday - excellent views from there, although the air was a little hazy.

Saturday night involved seeing a "Best of the Fest" show at the Brighton comedy festival, with a lineup of: Russell Howard, Lucy Porter, Adam Hills, Jason Manford and Michael McIntyre

Having seen all of them on panel shows on tele before I was fairly sure that at the very least Russell Howard and Adam Hills would be good, and those two didn't disappoint - Russell Howard in particular was on excellent form (and as the host/compere did his own slot as well as bits in between the others). Michael McIntyre was also rather good, which came as a bit of a pleasant surprise as he never really seemed to shine on the tv panel shows.

A walk down to Brighton beach on sunday afternoon revealed a bazillion motorbikes had snuck on to Mediera Drive (ok, so they were maybe a little loud to sneak). I got photos of a couple of custom hot rod cars and a bike or two and if any of them turned out ok I'll upload them later this week :).

The sunset and sunrise are really starting to squeeze the days and I'm sure we'll be back to drizzle soon, but it was good to have at least one last taste of almost-summer.
  • Mood: Glad
  • Listening to: Mademoiselle K
  • Reading: Freakonomics
  • Watching: Firefly (better late than never)
  • Playing: Lego Star Wars II
  • Eating: GU Chocolate Brownies
  • Drinking: Once in a while (hic)
I don't listen to the radio much these days and when Maximo Park and Bloc Party's first singles and albums came out I didn't hear either. Eventually tho' on a couple of tv shows I saw performances by 'em and rather liked what I heard, so got the albums and they grew on me.

My girlfriend and I contemplated going to a gig for one or the other of the two bands, but there weren't really any convenient locations and dates that still had tickets this year. We'd also been thinking about having a long weekend somewhere in europe. Then the idea struck of combining a weekend break in europe with a gig and, would you believe it, we found that both Maximo Park and Bloc Party were playing at the same event at the Bourges Festival in France this year!

Tickets were bought, transport options weighed up, a lovely hotel booked and then this past weekend off we went.

I'd heard that Maximo Park were excellent live and we weren't disappointed - a fantastic high energy performance of tracks from both their current and previous albums. Bloc Party didn't disappoint either :). At the venue there was a good lively crowd (perhaps a bit too much crowd surfing going on!). We also enjoyed the performances by Mademoiselle K and Cold War Kids which was a nice bonus.

All in all a fantastic weekend - probably haven't got any photos from it that are worth posting on dA (certainly none from the gig - didn't have a chance to fettle my camera phone's settings before hand), but I shall see :).
  • Mood: Joy
  • Listening to: Our Earthly Pleasures - Maximo Park
  • Reading: Quicksilver - Neil Stephenson
  • Playing: Burnout Dominator
  • Eating: Green and Black's milk chocolate (still)
  • Drinking: French wines
As you may have guessed, I quite like cats - I even share my living space with a couple (or share *their* living space, as they would have it).

I also quite like big dogs and wolves, although I don't share my living space with any of those or have any friends with any (and so, unlike the myriad of photos I have of cats, I have none of dogs and wolves!).

When I got home from work this evening I found a large board-backed manila envelope had turned up in the post... Intrigued I hurridly opened it and discovered inside a welcome pack and letter welcoming me as a member of the UK Wolf Conservation Trust, which confused me at first as I'm fairly sure I didn't join it... Then I quickly realised, with a huge delighted grin, that my wonderful girlfriend must have given me the membership as a gift!

As part of the membership I can visit their wolf centre on a weekday, so hopefully later in the year I'll try get some decent snaps of them :)
  • Mood: Joy
  • Listening to: A Weekend In The City - Bloc Party
  • Reading: Pollen - Jeff Noon
  • Playing: Kingdom Hearts
  • Eating: Green and Black's milk chocolate
It's that time of year when Simba needs to have his booster vaccination. As is common with cats he despises trips to the vets.

I now have a routine for getting the cat to the vet without ending up with shredded hands. I've found if I construct the cat carrier the night before he's to be taken to the vets and put it in the bedroom behind the door then they'll get a little spooked when they first see it, but stop worrying come morning time.

The next step is to behave normally in the morning - the cat'll pick up on it otherwise and get nervous if you walk in his direction. I'll then wait until the cat is near the bedroom door (maybe luring him near it with treats) and then go for a quick grab-and-stuff-into-carrier action. What MUST NOT happen on any account is the cat escaping during the grab-and-stuff routine, as a spooked cat is a nightmare to try catch.

Once in the carrier Simba will proceed to wail the entire time, only stopping while he's out on the vet's table (at which point he over-compensates for being nervous by rubbing his face against the vet's hand, my hand, the table, etc and covering us all in fur). Thankfully today there weren't any other animals in the waiting room for him to set off joining in with his noise.

So no shredded hands this time. In 6 months time it'll be Misty's turn for a jab though, and she's much more adept at doing a flailing-razors routine - time to google for kevlar gloves.
  • Mood: Tired
  • Reading: Python unit tests
  • Eating: Tesco's Finest Cranberry & Orange Cookies