Wednesday, June 28, 2006


In keeping with this year's animal theme, here's the latest addition - a python from Valley of 1000 Hills in Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa. This guy weighed a fair bit, was smooth to the touch and, IMHO, highly judgemental. S/he sat very still, watching, watching, glancing casually from side to side. Didn't contribute to the conversation at all. I felt certain the snake could speak and was just waiting for the right moment.

To strike.

The moment never came. But the rain did. In buckets. Thus my bedraggled look. And the expression which says everything from "how cool is this, I'm holding a python", to "geez don't crush me don't crush me", or even "maybe if I hold this big snake people will think I'm straight".

Minutes after this shot was taken, we (Brooke Langton, pic snapper Greg and I) went outside to meet "Junior" - a 101 year old croc of generous proportion. He was nowhere to be seen, but it didn't stop our intrepid guide from leaning over the fence and using a long stick to splash Jnr's pond. Moments later, a pair of nostrils surfaced, then a massive head and then (after a beat) the whole beast lunged at the stick and fence. Brooke screamed and we all leapt back, laughing and breathing hard. What a thrill.

So that's chimps, crocs and snakes. What does that leave me with?

Oh dear.

I know...


Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I felt very American today. Patriotic. I even detected a smile creeping over my face as I drove across town with a flag flapping proudly from my car window.

So it wasn't a US flag. It was an English banner for the World Cup. And yes- it did look a little like a wounded pigeon struggling to free itself from the clutches of a menacing black Volvo. But still, for a moment I was a part of something. Something bigger than myself. Part of a greater collective, a brotherhood of man. People who would sooner leap from a bridge than let a fellow brother down.

Of course that's just a fantasy. Not the lots of men bit. The belonging bit. Truth is, I don't belong to anything. I'm just another loon belting along Wilshire waving a piece of coloured cloth. And that's plain daft. People have been shot for less.

Which makes me fortunate I suppose. There. I am a fortunate man.

With or without brothers...