We were at Bristol Zoo today. It's been decades since I've been able to get Clare to even contemplate such a visit given her memories of large savanna animals cooped up in tiny concrete cages. In fact given limited space, Bristol has carefully chosen animals to fit with its trim but ecologically-valid enclosures. The lion below, a lazy creature, nevertheless has plenty of room behind it.
It is a feature of my more mature years that the first thing I did was walk carefully around the enclosure, looking in detail for any weak points in the wire. Perhaps I've seen too many dinosaur movies.
As the autumn term has now started, there were few kids of school-age to be seen as we walked around. This ecological space has been colonised by middle-class young mothers with strollers, who lounged in the sun on the grass with their toddlers or consumed lattes at the fancy restaurant. As a flock wheels at sunset, they all vanished in the early afternoon as school-out time approached.
The zoo is at the edge of Clifton in Bristol, the smartest and most up-market 'village' in town. As you can get annual membership of the zoo for a relatively small fee, it seems the ideal hang-out on a sunny day.
As is so often the case, the people are even more interesting than the other animals.