Date A

Frazer came home from work and said “Oh, today someone gave me a great idea and I think we should do it”.
I thought ‘Well, this is going to be something totally ludicrous’.
He said “It’s called the Alphabet Date game and it’s where we have to take it in turns planning something that begins with the next letter of the alphabet”.
And I thought ‘What a great game’.
And thus it began.

Frazer was quick to snap up the letter A and I knew why: his favourite place to visit begins with the letter A.

He did a lot of throwing me off the scent by saying it wasn’t really something he enjoyed, and telling me I needed my ID. And on Saturday we left just after lunch to go up to London with me feeling as excited as a 6 year old at 2am on Christmas Day (which is a lot like how I feel at 2am on Christmas Day).

And then we rounded the corner to London’s Sealife Aquarium and Frazer’s face lit up like it does when he gets to see a fish in any environment other than on a plate.

It was busy. Which wouldn’t have bugged me if it wasn’t for the fact that it was busy with parents who had no control over their children, fully grown adults with no control over their selfie sticks, and Yummy Mummies who were actually prying their children away from looking at the animals so that they could get a good family photograph for Facebook.

Apart from that slight grumble from me, the afternoon was absolutely lovely. We saw some really nice fish and some jellyfish, and I even got to stroke a starfish! Plus we heard a very interesting talk about terrapins and a pig-nosed turtle (yes this is a real animal).

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This is a shark.

There was also lots of information around the aquarium about conservation and the work that Sealife actually do to help protect our oceans and their wildlife. We spoke to a member of staff who had a turtle shell to show us that had been confiscated at an airport in the UK because someone had flown it back to use it as a fruit bowl. They had a turtle killed so they could take his beautiful shell and then turn it upside down and fill it with fruit – one of the most ridiculous things I have heard in a long time.

We also learnt that shark fin is actually completely tasteless and of absolutely no nutritional value, and so shark fin soup is actually flavoured with chicken and pork. So there is no reason for people to be chopping shark’s fins off other than the fact the people like to say they have eaten it. Plus, it’s still legal to bring shark fin meat back into the country before customs. So I have signed a petition to put limits on shark fishing (as there are currently none for several species) and you can too here.

Overall we had a really nice time and it was a great start to the alphabet of dates.

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These are Amazonian fish ready for a night out in Essex.
Best bit: I really love sharks so seeing those were great but the jellyfish were also beautiful. And the trip provided Frazer some inspiration for our next tank.
Worst bit: Adults who bang on the glass of the tanks (very Darla from Finding Nemo).

A is for Aquarium.

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