Here is a little poem!

8 March, 2013 § Leave a comment

Dear unknown and possibly unreal Creator,
Have you seen what we’re doing to your beloved Mother Nature?
You’d think you’d be angry or upset or something,
Instead of just sitting there all smug, doing nothing.
I mean we’ve poisoned the earth, the land, sea and sky,
Chopped down the trees which keep us alive,
Used up the coal and the gas and the oil,
Ripped up the goodness from each grain of soil,
We’ve made millions of species extinct or endangered,
Made members of our own race feel like strangers,
We hunt living creatures solely for sport,
Take babes from their mothers so they can be bought
and kept in a house like some sort of pet,
Murder innocent animals who pose us no threat,
We tear down the jungles and forests aware
that we’re making animals homeless and starving and scared.

I mean how many faceless companies profit,
From this barbaric cruelty, this endless deposit
of death and destruction and the rape of the land?
All simply for money, or power or thirst to expand.

So why won’t you help us or stop us, god please?
We can’t do it without you, we are down on our knees,
Begging you help us, save us from ourselves,
’cause this beautiful planet is going to hell.

No answer? Nothing. No response to our prayers?
I’m beginning to think that you’re not even there.
Maybe I need to stop asking you why,
Look for answers down here instead of on high,
If I care so much about this planet’s survival,
I should do something myself and stop being idle.
Hoping and wishing can’t fix what’s been done,
You can’t win a race if you’re too frightened to run.
But what can I do when I am so small?
Surely my efforts will achieve nothing at all?
That’s just an excuse, it’s not even true,
I know plenty of people who do what they do,
And it does make a difference, even if small,
It’s much better than doing nothing at all.

So God, whether you’re there or whether you’re not,
I’m going to learn to use what I’ve got, And try to make this world a bit better,
One day at a time, just a tiny bit better.

And to anyone reading this, why not do the same?
You can’t save the world but you can make a change.
So let’s stop waiting and wishing for someone to save us,
Let’s do it ourselves, let’s get courageous.
So the next time you feel like you are too little,
Remember one pebble, can make one hell of a ripple.

Bonobo Conservation Initiative and Teshta the Monkey

22 January, 2013 § Leave a comment

On Saturday I went into London to meet with Tallulah from BCI-UK. We had a great meeting where we talked about everything from conservation, the education system, sexual education, inhibited religious upbringings, homosexuality and marriage. It was productive and we will definitely will be working together soon. We are both crazily busy though since we both have jobs and academic pursuits beyond the charity we are running. We decided to look at it after May when I am going to Morocco with Teshta (the Moroccan version of Muna the Monkey) so I am really excited about that in a couple of months.

I am also feeling inspired to find a new way to do Teshta. I am hoping to find a more portable in a country that doesn’t have such easy transport way of doing it. I think I have an idea but I am not sure how it will work yet. We also need to find a cast for it in Morocco which is not going to be an easy but I am ready for the challenge. Oh well, I better get on with the script if I am going to ever get there!

Monkey Hugs

Beale Park 2013

18 January, 2013 § Leave a comment

Yesterday I went to a meeting at Beale Park about what we will be doing there this year and I have some dates for the diaries. Firstly the 27th and 28th of July and the 31st August and 1st of September in which we will be doing two of three possible options the double bill of plays or Monkey Athletics or Monkey Biscuits. Then in October half term – 31st of October and 1st of November – we will be launching Spooky Monkeys a new set of activities teaching about nocturnal primates. More details of all to come. Hope to see some people there

Monkey hugs

Why I don’t watch the news

13 January, 2013 § Leave a comment

Last night Aoife and I sat at home with our bowls of cup-pie (with a very small amount of ice-cream each) and watched the film The Pianist I have been told it is a must watch film and I hate the unmatched pointer it generates in my head when I haven’t watched one. We gave up about 25mins in, after the man in the wheelchair was thrown out of the window and the starving man sucked some kind of soup off the muddy ground. I am sure it is a work of brilliance and that plenty of people will think we should have finished it but I really do not see any need to crush myself that much. I know that it is important that we remember the things that happened during the Second World War but for the same reason that I don’t watch nature documentaries or the news – I know.

I know that horrible things have happened and are happening, I am aware that there are countries where there are armies of orphaned children killing their families, that there are species that are becoming or are ecologically extinct, I know that people all over the world are starving and desperate. I don’t need to see it everyday. I think it most days. MASC is about promoting positive conservation and for a reason. I find the knowledge of the state of the world crippling at times and what can I do to both save the planet and the people and somewhere in there fulfill my personal goals. Yes my personal goals are a mockery of those people whose goals are to eat today but my feeling guilty about it or even joining them is not going to improve their lot. My only hope is education. By educating the general Western public about the impacts their actions have then maybe we can as a whole change behaviours and habits and improve the lives of humans and other animals all over the world. A lot of the damage done on behalf of those in the West is hidden from them, I don’t think most people are heartless and many people would be heart-broken to know that their actions are causing destruction.

That said some people will change if they are informed, other people are bogged down in their own problems and that’s OK too. If someone can just take a few minutes a week to make a few ethical decisions in what they are doing then that is a step forward and no one should feel that because they are making a small impact that it is not worthwhile. Every ethical action is.

I hope it is thought-provoking and ultimately positive rather than depressing.
Have a lovely Sunday and feel good for everything that you do that helps the planet or another person.

Monkey hugs

2013 off to a flying start

12 January, 2013 § Leave a comment

Aoife and I are having a lovely palm oil-free year so far (with an accidental slip up on some pitta – see the other blog for details) and are feeling great. I have so much MASC stuff to get organised next week (not much work around so should be able to manage it). I am hoping to have the Teshta the Monkey (Moroccan version of Muna) script finished by the end of this month. I had a meeting with Kyle (our new web volunteer) and we are making progress on the new developments. I am hoping these will include a Facebook page (in addition to our group), a new palm oil wiki, a new face for the website and more blogs, tweets and Facebook updates all round. A big meeting is planned for the beginning of February to get us really going for the year and then there will be no stopping us.

I hope that everyone else is having a similarly positive 2013 so far.

Monkey hugs

New Years Revolution!

7 January, 2013 § Leave a comment

Hello monkeys,

I am just blogging to say that I have started a linked but separate blog for my attempt to have a healthier and cheaper year by being greener. It is called palmoilfree2013 or Is it easy being green? If you want to have a look and give me feedback I would like that.

Monkey hugs


Edinburgh Zoo

5 November, 2012 § 2 Comments

Aoife and I had a holiday at the end of September when we went to Scotland. We stayed in a beautiful spot near Linlithgow. This is the stunning view from the balcony:Image

We spent a lot of time hanging out at the house and recovering from the trip to Cornwall with Muna (more 


on that later) but we did a few day trips. One was to Deep Sea World where we saw sharks and lovely RAYS!! One was to the Scottish Deer Centre which had a lovely selection of deer species and native Scottish animals. We went to several talks and displays and learnt about deer population management techniques avoiding culling. We saw a fox, lynx, Scottish wild cats and wolves but didn’t see the red squirrels.

This stag was rolling around in the soil, the felt was coming off his antlers. If I remember correctly this is a white-lipped deer. We bought three bags of food and then saw no deer for ages, we had nearly a Imagewhole bag left when we got to the end and fed it all to the group of deer who were going mad for it. Here is Aoife modelling her MASC hoodie. This stag was really gentle, one of the stags who didn’t seem to be old enough to have antlers (or possibly is a beta-male and is not able to grow antlers) was bullying everyone out of the way of the food. 

Despite severe weather warnings, the weather was mild enough for the whole trip except a deluge before going into Deep Sea World (which seemed appropriate).

ImageOn the last day as a spur of the moment thing we decided to stay for an extra night in a B and B in Edinburgh and go to the zoo. What a brilliant day! We didn’t see the pandas but we were walking down one side of the monkey house when suddenly we saw….This is a Diana monkey a close relation of the Roloway monkey. I had never seen either in the flesh before and it was very exciting to see them using all the aspects of their enclosure. After standing and watching them for quite a while we decided to head on. Then just round the corner was….Not just was it the species we had just finished looking at with ImageMuna but they support BMCRif, our collaborators. What an exciting day for MASC! We also went on to see geladas (Aoife’s favourite) and tapirs (my favourite) and many other lovely enclosures and animals.


A lovely, much-needed break was had by all

Monkey hugs

Don’t tar me with that brush

30 July, 2012 § Leave a comment

I am a conservationist, I am an animal lover and a vegetarian. These three things mean that people who aren’t often take an aggressive tack with me and I always make an effort to remain calm and positive. Then from time to time I meet/see/hear of people who ‘share’ my ideals but are very different in their approach to others who do not.

I don’t eat meat but have no problem with the fact that other people do, particularly if they make sure their meat comes from ethical sources. I am emotionally resilient enough to cope with the fact that animals that I find beautiful and charming in life are someone’s food source.

Everyone has to live by their own feeling of what is right. I have no right to judge anyone else’s decision of what constitutes right or wrong. I would rather vintage fur was worn to get the most use out of it than thrown away or have red paint poured on it.

What’s more I think that most people who fall into any of the three labels that I mentioned at the beginning do not judge those who do not. There are those who shout louder than the rest of us who hold beliefs that are just as abhorrent as they find the lack of respect for animals. These are the people that flash into a stranger’s mind when I say I am vegetarian. People worry what they can say to me and whether I mind if they eat meat or wear leather. I am realistic – I am white, middle class, leftie and female. It is a luxury to chose to buy products that are ethical. One that I couldn’t afford in a different situation.

So basically I am very lucky to be able to be thinking about what makes me comfortable ethically when other people are wondering what is going to feed their families whether that is bush-meat or taking a wild animal and selling it to someone as a pet.

Thoughtful monkey hugs

And the winner is……..

27 July, 2012 § Leave a comment

Everyone did so well! We were really impressed by everyone and even if they didn’t do the best in their group everyone left an impression on us.

For the Red Group (5-7)
1st – Angelika Beeden
2nd – Madison Mannell
3rd – Amani Bhangal

For the Blue Group (8-10)
1st – Katie Curran
2nd – Sofia Walker
3rd – Nathan Kenshole

For the Green Group (11-13)
1st – Holly Curran
2nd – Rohan Lewis
3rd – Isobel Cobb

Well done to all of our winners and to those who won our Special Monkey Awards. We have really enjoyed this week.

The final day!

27 July, 2012 § Leave a comment

Firstly apologies to people who checked last night for the blog. We got home just in time to rush out for a family celebration and we decided to have a well deserved evening off!I have counted the money from the event and we made £127.85 including collection boxes so thank you so much for the generous donations! We will be putting that money into Muna the Monkey starting at the end of August.

Yesterday we had a really great last day. Some highlights that were not directly related to Monkelympics were in the morning when I had a baby bat knocked onto my shoulder (they are one of my favourite animals) and seeing William and Emily with their finished T-shirts which was great I felt so proud.

We had lots of people yesterday including some people in the green age group (11-13). We had records smashed all day and went out on a real high with Stan who was only 4 and managed to do better than some of our 5-7 year olds! The next blog post will be who has won the prizes and everyone will be emailed to say thank you.

Monkey Hugs

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