A family arrive at the zoo car park, audibly excited.
Child A, eager and impatient: "Where are the animals?"
Adult, hot and harassed from their journey: "We have to get inside first."
Child A: "I want to see giraffes. They're my FAVOURITE!"
Child B: "Giraffes are stupid."
Young girl, transfixed by the sleeping tiger below us, herself in a state of reverie: "I'M A TORTOISE!"
We are watching the flamingos when another bird, a Southern Screamer, approaches. The Screamer is clearly on the look out for food from passing visitors, prowling the reinforced fence for morsels fed through the mesh. The Screamer has grey feathers, is short, dumpy and has a tiny beak, the polar opposite of the flamingos it shares its life with, but it is curious, intelligent, and an animal faithful to the very end, mating for life with its one true love. We make friends; we connect.
Passing Adult: "Blimey, you're not much of a looker are you?"
The Southern Screamer walks away, dejected.
Presenter: "Now does anybody know where we might find the European Brown Bear living today?"
Presenter: "Not in India, no. Much closer to home. Remember, this is a European Brown Bear."
Adult: "Hey look! It's a sea lion! A Sea. Lion. Sea... sea... l i o n. Can you say Lion?"
The toddler, held aloft by her father, points at the sea lion, which is gracefully zooming round its pool, often bursting forth from the water and sliding along the enclosure floor to the door in the knowledge that fish lie beyond.
Toddler: "BIG ONE!"
Monday, 1 July 2013
I started following Lisicki after the 2011 AEGON Classic, where I watched four players - 3 giants and Lisicki, the unknown wildcard - of whom Lisicki was hands down the best, most refreshing, happiest player. I chose her because she smiled.
I had no idea that she would become a notorious giant killer: Marion Bartoli, Na Li, Maria Sharapova and, as of today, Serena Williams. Superb stuff.