Close Up, Colleen’s Diary, Part 10

Birthday Celebrations

Hi there, what a week its been, Mcfee had some pretty invasive hospital  tests done on Friday, so booked the weekend off work to recuperate,  plus his normal days off and the weather has been perfect to round of his birthday celebrations. 

New toy

We’ve been out and about trialling his new DSLR camera.

Nikon D3200

new toy

Purchased in honour of his big day, so far it has proved a worthy investment, some of his pictures have been really quite impressive, (to the point of not wanting to read any technical info incase it sucks the joy out of it).


The  Isle of wight Zoo

Really wish we’d had the camera last week when we were on the Isle of Wight

We’d visited the Zoo, located in an old fort in Sandown, hisorically it played a part in the fuel supply for the troops in Europe after the D Day landings  more information about this here .

The lions and tigers were quite playful and active in comparison to earlier visits when they were contentedly snoozing and absorbing the suns rays.

Isle of Wight Zoo is a  40 year old family owned Conservation zoo  part of The Wildheart Trust and committed to providing a “life long, loving home to rescued big cats” and other animals. 


Gift Aid

As the Zoo now has a charitable status, if you are a UK tax payer you can include gift aid when you pay your admission fee, “Mcfee and Me” thought this was worthwhile to do, as we love to visit the place and hear about the work they do, and pay what we can spare. It’s not a compulsory donation, but a big plus is the UK government will also provide a donation along side yours, so the zoo gets more in the long run.

Some of their  rescued animals have been ill-treated in their previous encounters, it is clear to see though, the bond that the keepers have made with them, in their new retirement home.

Isle of Wight Zoo

Up Close

We saw a huge tiger bounding playfully down the grass slopes in his enclosure to greet one of the keepers who proceeded to give him a scratch with a scrubbing-brush!

Being a comparatively small Zoo the friendly keepers and staff are part of the whole experience and very knowledgable about the animals in their care. You can ask them anything, they don’t bite.


Meerkat Encounter


Sleeping Meerkats

We paid a little extra to experience the Meerkat feeding encounter The Meerkats, 5 in total, actually line up waiting for it, they were so cute to see. Even if you don’t want to pay for the encounter you get a pretty great experience just watching, (I watched Mcfee from the sidelines last year and got some great photos) 

You go into a special enclosure and sit on the ground while a keeper puts something live and wriggly (no I didn’t ask) on different parts of your body, the Meerkats scamper all over you,


Isle of Wight Zoo

I was wearing a baseball cap so didn’t mind having the worm things on my head (that may be a lie), the keepers are considerate though and do check your ok with everything that happens.

Meerkat encounter Isle of Wight Zoo

Meerkat feeding

One of the other keepers helpfully took photos of us with our camera phones although the expression on my face is mostly horror at the wriggly worm things, but it was a fantastic experience on the whole, the Meerkats are so inquisitive and funny, they are as  light as a kitten and they didn’t  smell (bonus).

Isle of wight Zoo

Meerkat feeding

Mealtime took around 15 minutes and when the Meerkats were carefully shepherded home we were joined by a fat Robin Cedric, who helpfully cleaned up any leftover wormy things.

If you get the chance to do anything similar, my recommendation would be, long sleeves and trousers, don’t wear your very best clothes (Meerkats have very dusty feet)  and shake your hats and jackets off before going home, unless like us you want to spend the evening picking horrible wriggly worms of the B & B floor. 

Wriggly things

Meerkat Food YUK!!!


Happy days  

So, all in all it’s been a great week!

We’ve both been in bed by 10pm most nights, tired but happy, and met some really nice people,  (and animals).

I do hope your week has been a good one. Bye for now, 



3 thoughts on “Close Up, Colleen’s Diary, Part 10

  1. Thanks for sharing your week. Hope Mcfee has recovered. I love my DSLR camera and am just starting to get more technical with it. The Isle zoo looks fun. We have a small zoo here we should visit and support more often.

    Liked by 1 person

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