Monday, June 29, 2015

Glastonbury 2015

I had an awesome time at Glastonbury this year and don't want it to be over.
I was working rather than visiting this year so was there for 9 days doing 12hour night shifts, 8pm-8am. 
Even so, we managed to catch a few acts in the daytime and could just about hear the Pyramid stage from our shop.

It was Danny's 21st birthday so we had a BBQ and cake then headed to Arcadia bar for a few drinks.

We went for a walk up to the top of the hill overlooking Pyramid and it was crazy seeing the field so empty, no punters or tents and pretty quiet...
A week later on Sunday afternoon in a similar spot, the whole place was completely different 

Highlights have to be Jessie Ware, Lionel Richie and Alt J, we managed to catch the first showing of the new Amy Winehouse film which was really good... Overall concensis was that Kayne was a massive disappointment, his Bohemian Rhapsody was awful ��

We had a little bit of rain but nothing compared to last year and we didn't reeally need wellies this year.

Oxfam were there with their campaign, 'Get lippy. End poverty' so Nat and I had to join in...

Overall we had an awesome week and I can't wait for next year!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Friends visiting Vet School

Jasmine's photos from the week my friends and I visited Košice and Tatranska Lomnica.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Ski Weekend in Tatranska Lomnica

I've had the best weekend skiing with friends in Tatranska Lomnica, a resort in the Slovak part of the High Tatras mountains.

Four friends from home flew into Košice on Friday, we went for lunch in Napoli and then got the train to the Tatras with six other friends from vet school.
As I'm a student under 26 I get free train travel in Slovakia, the others only had to pay €5 for the ticket, a 120km journey via Poprad.

We booked an apartment called Wili Tatry which was a couple minutes walk from the train station and supermarket, with the ski lift less than a kilometres walk away.

Cable car up to Lomnicky štít

There are 9 lifts and 12 slopes which meet in similar places at the bottom of the mountain meaning people can choose which runs they want to ski and meet the group at the bottom.
I stuck to blue and red trails 1,751m high but Niall and Lena went for the 2,190m high black slope!

Après Ski on the slopes

We went out for food and drinks every night and on Saturday went to Humno Tatry, a club who's main selling point was that they had Madonna's Cadillac suspended from the roof, which ended up being a really good night.
We read online that the locals dubbed it, 'Club Tropicana' 'cos drinks are almost free.
We stayed out until 5am so the planned up and on the slopes by 8:30am became more like 11:30 after I cooked us all scrambled eggs on toast. We still had a good few hours skiing, though Mika and Jasmine only made it down the slopes once on a hangover.

I had a great time and was really nice to have 5 days with friends from home, can't wait for them to visit again and we'll definitely be back skiing next year!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Finches Settling In

The finches are settling in well, constantly beeping and chatting away!

They're in a Hagen Vision cage with a couple of nests and seem to like it so far...

Monday, January 12, 2015

Zebra Finches

We've had the Diamond Doves since 2009 but lost one recently so just have a single female.

I went to Birmingham Reptiles & Pets where we got Hughie the tortoise, just for a look, and came back with these...
A trio of Zebra Finches.

They've settled in with the dove already and make really cute beeping noises.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Matriculation Ball

This weekend we had our Matriculation Ball which I guess it's the equivalent to a Freshers Ball in the UK.
There was a ceremony where all the Freshers stood on stage and put their head through the butt of a fabric cow and did a shot, then we were knighted with a Femur (thighbone) before putting an ink print of our fingerprints on a certificate.

The wierdness of it all kind of sums up this place but it was all organised for us by Slovaks in the older years and they did a really good job!
There was a sit down buffet style meal with free alcohol all night.
They leave bottles of wine, spirits and mixers on the tables for you to help yourselves and as soon as they see one of the bottles was nearly empty, it would be replaced with more wierd and wonderful Slovak Vodka or Tatransky Caj.

Friday, November 21, 2014

PCGB National Poultry Show 2014

Had a great weekend at Telford International Conference centre for the Poultry Club of Great Britain's National Poultry Show.

I flew into Luton on Saturday where I met a friend and travelled up to the show.

Supreme Show Champion was a Rosecomb (Mr Taylor) and Reserve Show Champion a Yellow Dutch (Mr S Yorks):

We went to the Saturday Evening Social which was to be honest a bit disappointing.
We've been for the last 3 years and they usually have a really good auction followed by a live band or disco.
In previous years the auction prizes have been art commissions, expensive metal chicken statues, rare antique books, poultry cigarette cards, egg skelters, coop covers, peck a blocks etc; this year they had 5 pairs of shoes, a new book and a couple of feeders.
In the past we've been out on tables and mingled with 'strangers' but this year people stayed in their groups and didn't chat.
We did have a speech from the Championship Judge Andrew Sheppy which was interesting, if a little long!
He did leave us with this, which I might start living my life by... "If you have a nice one, get it out and show it, I might like it."

It was really nice to catch up with friends that I've known for years and to finally meet new people I've been speaking to over the year on Facebook and Twitter.

Of course I had to get a photo with my old friends Chip from EasiChick and the legend that is Mr Simon Pickles!

I love this prototype clear MS Broedmachines Incubator 

...but as amazing as the Heka Incubators are, I still don't think they will hatch this rare breed Kinder egg:
They had little hatching trays with different types of dividers so separate eggs by colour, parents or breed etc which was clever; I've seen people make their own but not seen them manufactured to fit the incubator trays before.

Chris Jones the artist was there again so spent 10 minutes admiring some of his oil portraits. The detail is stunning and every time you look at them you spot another little details.
Will be a few years saving before I can afford one of his originals, but I bought another of his calendars ready for next year.

Think the Barnevelders had the best rosettes...
Some breed clubs has tried to go modern with just the paper circle and a ribbon coming down, no 'Rose' bit around the outside but they just looked cheap to me.

Also these birds are the grand-chicks of the Serama boy my Flatmate brought down from Scotland to Aberystwyth for a friend of mine!

Sat on the tube in London on Monday and the last next to me was reading The Guardian and I spotted this!

There has been a lot of bickering and political unrest in the club over the last few months with new members getting onto council and some members being stuck in their ways rather than moving with the times, but everyone came together and put on a fantastic show.
The Poultry Club, it's committee and all the volunteers clearly worked so hard to get to where the show is today, a massive improvement on the cattle sheds at Stoneleigh a few years ago; let's hope 2015 is even bigger and better.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

International Falconry Meet

Today we went to an International Falconry Meet near Košice and had an amazing time.

We met at Uni at 7am and got a coach with the rest of Falconry club from vet school to a hotel in Dargov about 40 minutes away from Kosice.
There the Falconers lined up with their birds and had an opening ceremony. We didn't understand what was said but the birds looked amazing; Golden Eagles, Harris Hawks, Peregrine Falcons and even a little Kestrel!

From there they separate into groups and go off hunting. We didn't have cars and the bus couldn't take us so we tried our best to speak to people and jump in cars and get a lift with them.

I went off with the Eagles with Sian, Lucy and Niamh while others spent the day with Hawks or Falcons.
We had nine Golden Eagles with us from all over Europe - Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary - so it was really interesting seeing the falconers speak to one another, mostly in German and English as their common languages, though they all knew a few words of each language.

We spread out along the boundary of one field in a straight line 10 metres apart from each other with two people between every Eagle, the idea being that we flush the field as we walk across it in a line and the eagle closest to the prey or quarry is flown.

Being November everyone layered up expecting winter weather but we had glorious sunshine all day and walking all day everyone was roasting! We stopped at midday to give the birds and everyone else a rest. The birds all sat there good as gold, some of them not even hooded without stressing or trying to bait off the glove so they really were a credit to their trainers.

After lunch we carried on as as the weather cooled down a bit the birds were flying better and had a lot more successful catches.
We saw pheasants, hare and deer but only caught hares - Eagles don't go after pheasants and the deer were a bit too far away for the falconer to run after them and get there should there be a problem.

After the hunt we returned to the hotel for drinks and to talk to people then everyone sat down for a four course meal of soup, chicken with roasties, goulash (which everyone went mad for) and then cake!

I'm so glad we went and it was an incredible experience.