Cheetahs In My Shoes

living with the imaginary menagerie and all that it entails


You’re Beautiful – Clouds

This is my 19th You’re Beautiful and for the first week I’ve doubted myself.  Doubted that people want to read about positive, beautiful things, doubted that I had much to add.  Doubted that I was doing this for the right reasons.  So I asked that font of all knowledge, Twitter, whether I should do one this week – and 2 people said yes.  So even if you’re the only 2 people reading this (and you’ll know who you are), this is for you, with love, for replying.

I’ve been endeavouring to do a post called “a week in clouds” – the view from my bedroom window at approximately the same time each evening for a week.  I got all enthusiastic and then the rain set in and I am completely and utterly convinced that you don’t want to see more pictures of wall to wall grey – with added rain splatters for good measure.  So I’ve combined some of the photos that I’ve taken for today’s post – because, you see, I think clouds are pretty amazing photography material and they make you look at the world around you – looking up instead of at our feet.

So, what’s your contribution to You’re Beautiful this week?  Do you want me to keep doing them?  Let me know and link up if you can x

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and if you fancy a bit of cloud spotting yourself, here’s the fab guide from the Met Office…

Met Office guide to cloud types and pronunciations


Justin Bieber – You’re Beautiful

*Cues loads of screaming girlies*

Last week I wrote about some pretty amazing bloggers, making a pretty amazing difference to the Blog it for Babies logocampaign.

And you know what?  We did it.  With the help of some gorgeous bloggers, their children, their friends and a whole load of cake, we supported the completely and utterly bonkers Mammasaurus in her tour around the UK raising awareness of the #BuilditforBabies campaign and a whole load of cash to help build health centres in Bangladesh.  The Cheetah Keeper’s Sister made this to explain:

So, we had cake:

Lots and lots of cake.

The recipe for these morsels of loveliness will be available in a Bake It For Babies book very soon!

And some really awesome other bloggers brought some other yummy cakes too – so thank you all very much!

The Cheetah Keeper’s sister loved wearing the Save the Children T-shirt as she thinks helping people have access to healthcare is important.

She also needed to test the cake because there was some serious preparation needed, ready for the arrival of our celebrity guest…


Justin Bieber

Who even wore a badge saying his name was Annie and he’d do anything for money

His choreographer got everyone busting some groovy moves!  If you want to see the video go and have a look at Actually Mummy’s account of the day and you can also see the list of amazing people who’ve given their time, talents and worldly goods to make this happen.

And then…

Are you ready for this….?


Are you sure…?

Justin Bieber peeled his face off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To absolutely everyone who organised, baked, supplied, supported, listened, danced, sang, photographed, videoed, tweeted, facebooked and has blogged about it…

and thank you so much.

And if you’d like to link up with something, someone, a picture, words or anything else wow-worthy, please do so using the magic linky below:

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You’re Beautiful – #Blogitforbabies

There’s some pretty amazing stuff going on at the moment.  The amazing, super-human, wears her pants over her trousers at all times Mammasaurus is supporting the Save The Children campaign to Build it for Babies and is driving the #blogitforbabies initiative.  Loads of other bloggers are offering their time, have written fantastic posts, donated their worldly goods and put their money where their mouth is buying bricks to build clinics that save lives.  All this is detailed over on and it’s trying to make lives better in parts of the world where people are not as fortunate as we are, whatever we think.

Blog it for Babies logo

Those of us in St Albans are planning to do our ‘bit’ on Tuesday 1st May.  Actually Mummy has persuaded the good people at the Noke Thistle Hotel (just off J21A of the M25 and J6 of the M1 – and very close to the A1 too!) to let us have their Marquee for the day.  From 10.45 you, your friends/colleagues/neighbours/random people dragged off the street, are invited to join us, and our very special guest, Mammasaurus,  for a day of making a difference…

At 11am, for a small donation, you’re invited to join in a Rock Choir session led by the inspirational Abigail Smith who’ll be teaching us a song (you’ll know it), complete with harmonies and moves!  Then it’ll be onto lunch, nattering and cake sale.  The ‘official’ #bakeitforbabies cakes will be on sale as will donations from other amazing blogger/bakers who will be creating their favourites for us to purchase.

Children are, of course, welcome all day.  Then from 3.30 there’ll be some dancing a la Justin Bieber for those who are up for it – including any older children who’ve finished school.   Full details, including the link to the Facebook page are here

You’re Beautiful is about finding the ‘wow-worthy’ things in life and celebrating them.  It’s also about supporting The Black Dog Tribe and doing #onepositivething supporting those of us with mental health issues, past or present.  This week I’ve deviated from stones and clouds to talk about a load of people doing what they can to help others, and if that isn’t just a teeny bit ‘wow-worthy’ I’m not quite sure what is.  Why don’t you come and join us on the day?

You’ve been adding a wonderful selection of beautiful things over on the linky each week – and I’m really grateful (and thoroughly enjoy reading them) that you take the time to share the positivity.  What can you add this week?  It doesn’t have to be world changing stuff – just something that, in your eyes, is beautiful.

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Sunday Gallery

The Cheetah Keeper and his Sister both wanted to contribute to the blog today.  They’re seriously chuffed I’ve gone .com and are liking the new look (they’re a picky pair!) and kept asking if I’d done my #SilentSunday yet…

Yesterday they went to Whipsnade Zoo (yes, again!) whilst I was at the Save the Children #blogup2012.  The amazing HPMcQ has written about the event just here far better than I could so please go and have a read (now– go on – it won’t take you long – it’s brilliant) – it makes me even more grateful for what we have here.

So back to our Gallery – inspired (of course) by the zoo…

The Cheetah Keeper’s Sister has been wearing her Hello Kitty stationery kit (it comes with a shoulder strap) and drawing at every opportunity this holiday (including at the dentist!).  This is a new logo for ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.  Note the poo on the top of the rock – it’s where the Cheetah’s relieve themselves in real life – you have to pay attention to the details.

Cheetah on her rock

She is still determined that she wants to be a Sealion Keeper when she grows up – she’s very busy learning the hand signal commands that they use in the demonstrations and is getting better at knowing which sealion is which and who does which tricks!  So here is Dominic the Sealion doing his ball jump trick.  His flippers are flat down at his side – because that’s how he jumps.  Oh and the 4 is because he’s still 4 years old – his birthday’s in about 6 weeks – she may make him a card.

Dominic the Sealion doing his ball jump

The Cheetah Keeper was not to be outdone.  So here is his interpretation of Sealions:

Sealions (of course)

From left to right Bailey, Dominic, Salt (Dominic’s mum) and little Kyra.  Dominic has to go in the middle for the demonstrations at the zoo because if he goes at the end he mucks about (in a Sealion sort of way) – so he’s in the middle of the picture.

Finally, he drew me a Cheetah.   Not one of his Cheetahs because if you draw them they disappear.  So one of the Cheetahs, a very happy one, at Whipsnade.  Of course.



You’re Beautiful – Being Spontaneous

Firstly I apologise in huge quantities to the lovely Kate and equally lovely Lesley for not tweeting out their #yourebeautiful contributions more last week.  With the Cheetah Keeper recovering from his op and me taking to my bed ill (which is a very, very rare occurrence) You’re Beautiful suffered.  So please click on their names to see what they contributed because, believe me, they’re beautiful.

On to this week.  To be honest, the Cheetah Keeper was heading towards being listed on ebay this morning.  His short fuse and general desire to test every boundary possible (having been indulged a tad whilst in Great Ormond Street) has not made him the most endearing of children.  This morning he was all elbows and strops, so, as you do (?!) I texted Mammasaurus to see what she was doing for lunch.  Bearing in mind we live 100 miles away and this was seriously last minute I was expecting them to have an Easter holiday social schedule that would leave us green with envy.  But no – so we threw some stuff in a bag, jumped in the car and went for a picnic.  So, Annie, Queen Scamp and Ozzie (and Papasaurus who makes a stonkingly good cup of tea) You’re Beautiful.

So that’s my beautiful contribution for the week – spontaneity, hospitality, friendship, scenery and happy children.  We also met with Steph from I’m Counting UFOs and her lovely two as well – all in all our ‘wow’ highlight of the holidays.   What’s your moment of beautiful and/or positivity been this week?

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You’re Beautiful – Feeding the Ducks

Knowing that the Cheetah Keeper was having his operation on Monday made us want to spend Sunday together – in the sunshine doing ‘normal’ stuff.  So we walked to the lake to feed the ducks.  They weren’t very hungry but we did gather 5 new Cheetahs and some “Dino-Strikes” (they’re red) along the way.  These are my beautiful children on a beautiful day being very brave about what was to come the following morning.

So that’s my beautiful thing for the week –  What’s yours?

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You’re Beautiful – Blue Skies and Fluffy Clouds

I spent 4 days last week in Germany.  I left the Cheetah Keeper at home, ill.  I went away to work to earn money to support my family, because I am knowledgeable (allegedly) about what I do and because well, I needed to.  It was incredibly hard to muster up any enthusiasm knowing the children were at home and could do with a cuddle.

This series of posts is about finding the beautiful and positive in every day things around us.   OK, it was gloriously sunny (and I did manage to get outside for a lunch break on one day), I got 3 uninterrupted nights sleep and I enjoyed possibly the nicest dinner I’ve ever eaten.  The best thing – coming home.

I had a window seat and my camera.  It was the most gorgeous clear day and I could see the ground from take off to landing – winding rivers through Germany, the French coastline and London at her finest coming into Heathrow.  Blue skies and fluffy clouds

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So that’s my beautiful thing for the week – and I’ve learnt something trying to find out the names of the clouds (I hope I’ve got it right – you can find some info on the Met Office Website).  What’s yours?

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You’re Beautiful – Slugs and Snails

We got out the car on Saturday afternoon to find what looked like a violently green jelly sweet had been left on the wall of our front garden. Please don’t be under any illusions that we have a grand front wall – it’s the original 1950’s construction from when the houses were built and it’s held together with 60 years of mud, moss and not a great deal else.

So, back to the violently green jelly sweet sitting on the wall – it warranted further investigation. So we had a look, and a little prod… and then it moved. Nestled in the moss was a rather large caterpillar. Out came the cameras, and off we went on a bug hunt.

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I appreciate that slugs and snails aren’t everyone’s cup of tea and I haven’t included our pictures of ants, worms and woodlice! However, when I look closely at the swirl of a snail shell, or how green the caterpillar is, the symmetry of the spots on a ladybird or how clever the antennae of a snail are, I can’t help but think they’re beautiful. Mother Nature doing her stuff once again.

So that’s my beautiful thing for the week – nothing mega-inspirational but something that made us all look a bit harder and say ‘wow’. What’s yours?

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I’m also linking this post up to The Gallery this week. The theme is ‘colour’; the intricacies and subtle variations of colour that can be seen in just our front garden, never cease to amaze me.


You’re Beautiful – Marks & Spencer!

Yesterday I happened to *ahem* have to go to a Marks & Spencer Simply Food to buy some lunch.

I collected my 300cal superfood couscous, beetroot & houmous salady thing (delicious & filling) and then, as luck would have it, had to pass the pudding section to get to the till.

And there, before my very eyes, was my most favouritest ever, sorely missing from the shelves for far too long, chilled M&S desert – in the whole wide world.

Don’t look at the calories…

And here is the little beauty, sitting on my desk, waiting to be devoured.  It didn’t last long.

So that’s it.  My Beautiful thing for the week – Marks & Spencer, you have no idea how much I love this being back on the shelves!

So, what’s beautiful in your world this week?  Something you’ve seen, written, made, purchased, cooked?  A miracle of nature or the most awesome pair of shoes?

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