Letters to a Sister : 51 – London Zoo


Hello, thanks for your letter. You must be looking forward to ‘At University Always broke’ coming home, even with dirty socks. I am missing my boys now they’re back at uni for the last term. I even miss the mess. Did I ever tell you about our trip to London Zoo? We went during the Easter break. (But my photos are not as good as yours. I do not avoid housework by taking photos, I just point the camera and snap and then try to work out afterwards what I was trying to photograph! I avoid housework by having lots of animals – but that’s another story.)

I was a bit nervous about going up to London – the News seemed to be constantly full of the latest terrorist action. Son 2 tried to reassure me. “Mum,” he said, “What is the most likely – you being blown up by a terrorist or you winning the lottery?” Then he added, “Actually, you never buy lottery tickets do you….” Super.

Made it to the zoo unscathed. It was beautiful weather and all the animals were out, so it was a good trip. We wandered round, staring at bored animals, while the boys mainly discussed their own strategies when playing ‘Zoo Tycoon’ and how they had once made a cage of humans. Hopefully none of them will ever own a zoo in real life.

They were quite taken with the South American anteater, and the fact that there was a rat in the monkey cage. They spent a long time trying to take selfies of themselves and various animals. The animals always moved out of shot, so they had lots of selfies in front of various cages. We looked at the Llamas and spotted that some of them were donkeys – perhaps there was a new employee at the zoo who had ordered the wrong animal by mistake – easily done.

IMG_3988 IMG_4007


We spent longer than you might expect in a queue for coffee. The boys then talked for longer than you might expect about the extreme incompetence of the coffee shop workers. Apparently, the best coffee shop in the world is the ‘Pret’ in Canary Wharf. There they have a regular influx of 50 customers all at once from the surrounding offices and they serve everyone in a matter of minutes. The boys tell me that this is because none of the staff are English and they probably all have doctorates in their home country.

We sat and watched the penguins being fed. There did seem to be a strong resemblance between the keeper’s appearance and the animals being cared for. But perhaps this was a coincidence (like dog owners who look like their dogs.) The best part of the penguin feeding was watching all the wild birds appear. There were probably as many herons and sea gulls that appeared at feeding time as there were penguins.

IMG_4029The penguin keeper






There was a short talk, which began with the keeper asking the audience what food they thought penguins like to eat. I am sure the extremely loudly shouted answer of “children” had nothing to do with my boys. The keeper in charge also told us that they throw the fish into the water to simulate the penguin’s natural environment. One keeper was clearly not listening. IMG_4032

We saw a hippo, that was renamed to various friends’ names by my family (I won’t list them, just in case) and hyenas pulling apart a dead rabbit. My personal favourite was the giraffes who were trotting round their cage and then stopping to touch noses. Very sweet.

Walking round zoos is very tiring. We walked back towards Camden Tube station and ate burgers in Hache (camden@hacheburgers.com 020 7485 9100) Nice food, brilliant banoffee pie.

A fun day.

Take care,
Love, Anne x

You can read my sister’s letter at :



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