Day 04 – What you ate today, in great detail
• Foods you like and dislike, any allergies, can you cook or not?
Hmm so this morning I started with grapes and chopped up apples covered with yogurt and muesli, it’s the perfect breakfast because I didn’t have to really do anything. Because I need to get to work so early, and I need to sleep in, I usually don’t have much time for breakfast but I try to make it healthy and not grab things on the go. For lunch I had the last piece of potato and goat’s cheese frittata that I made last weekend. Definitely not one of those things that gets better with age though, it was much nicer on the weekend. I usually graze during the day so I’m not super hungry when I get home, but Andy and I ordered in Chinese. We get takeout pretty often because we’re both always tired when we get home and we don’t feel like cooking. I can cook, a little, but I just don’t have time, except for on the weekends. I really don’t like bland food – I hate German cuisine, but my mom is a really good cook, so I go back to the hotel every now and then for her amazing French food.
Day 05 – Your childhood, in great detail
• Were you wealthy or lower class, how you spent your days, what you did, what you liked and disliked, how you acted, what you and your family/friends did
My family was moderately wealthy, but I had a bit of a bizarre childhood. Like I’ve said, I don’t know my birth mother, so I have no clue what my first few months were like. But I do remember my life with my adopted parents – my real parents – as always being insane, eccentric, every day was so different. Living in a hotel isn’t a normal life for a child, I came in contact with a lot of strange characters but I also learnt a lot about the world pretty quickly. I was a really awkward child, I didn’t really ever grow out of that phase either... it took me a long time to make friends, because I’ve always been a nerd. I also played with myself a lot – it wasn’t like I lived in the suburbs with kids next door and playgrounds down the road. I think my mother was always a bit worried that I didn’t have many friends my age, but eventually I made some at school. I spent most of my days making up biology experiments and reading about animals. A lot of the time I’d sit with my encyclopaedia in the hotel lobby and educate the guests about different kinds of animals, they always seemed to find it charming.
I think I scared a lot of boys away when I was younger because I was always taller than them, and because I don’t have any natural charm or graces – my first boyfriend was in college. I definitely wasn’t one of the popular kids at school. But I concentrated a lot more on my grades and on doing things I actually enjoyed than trying to fit in, which did make me an outcast, but my parents always told me that it was far better to follow your passions than care about what people thought. And they would know – they spent so much of their lives doing the latter that they weren’t truly happy until they gave it all up. I never got in trouble, because they weren’t strict and I never felt like I needed to rebel against them. So, I was a boring kid, but I was a happy kid.
Day 06 – A typical day, in great detail
• What do you do from sun up to sun down, where do you go, what time do you wake up/go to sleep, who do you see, what are you concerned about on a daily basis
I usually get up between 5-5.30am, drag myself out of bed and have a quick breakfast. I spend very little time getting ready, but I always make sure I look at least decent. In summer, I happily skip out of the house and into my car and enjoy the drive to work; in winter, I sit in the parking lot with the heater blasting in my scarf, beanie, three jackets and ugg boots, warming up the car and probably singing really loudly, dread the drive and the run from the car park to the zoo entrance. As soon as I get to work, I check on my babies immediately (the otters), make sure they’re okay and accounted for, and then I do rounds with the other animals that I help out with (I’m head keeper for the otters and co-keeper for beavers, badgers and weasels). My days always vary – I usually start with cleaning the otter habitat, spend a lot of time feeding them, do some training with them, give presentations to the guests and care for any of their injuries if they have them. Sometimes when things are quiet, I just walk around the zoo and look at all of the other animals and talk to their keepers – all of the people who work there are amazing and friendly and so knowledgeable about their animals.
During the day, I spend a lot of time hanging out with Spencer, my ex and a co-keeper with the otters. They’re like our babies, they all have personalities and little quirks and we love spending time with them. Some days I leave early, because I’m currently writing my master’s thesis on behavioural ecology, which I usually do at home, though sometimes I do it while observing the otters. Most days, though, I leave around 4, so it’s a 10 hour day – Spencer gets in later and he looks after them when I leave. I try to work on my thesis every day, but sometimes that just means editing a sentence or looking up something in a book. I spend more time on the couch, watching bad TV and waiting for Andy to get home. Then we sit on the couch watching bad TV together, so it doesn’t really change. We both have stressful jobs so we need a lot of downtime, and we’re both homebodies. Sometimes we go out, but usually only once a week.