This site was set up to provide an Internet presence for us and our friends, now that I have stopped work and Domestic Zoo Limited is no longer trading the focus has drifted back to the personal web site that were its origin. However, the reminders of the company and my work will exist for a long time.

A little bit of administration before we go any further.

The site name was chosen by my daughter may years ago. Some of the original page designs were based on images also selected by my children and represent a classic example of opening ones mouth and having to accept the consequences; I was foolish enough to claim most decent images could be used to theme a web site and my daughter chose the image of a bee and daises! However, I have to say it was bright and cheerful and somehow appropriate.

I have kept examples of the old designs so you can see them and try css layout or design switching.

We have something to do with all the sites to which these pages are linked. Most are just friends who we have helped or are helping. However, in a few cases they are causes we feel are important and need support.

On a more personal level we are very passionate about and were actively involved in the Chernobyl Child Lifeline charity for a number of years.  Each year they bring children affected by the radiation to the UK for a few weeks. It's wonderful to see a child arrive quiet, tired and more than a little frightened, blossom and become full of life. Some of them are quite ill, others are just weak, they all come from the area where the radiation is below the evacuation level but well above the acceptable level.

Life is hard for them without the radiation; if for instance they go to the dentist at home they get no aesthetic even for extractions. One of our girls had thirteen teeth out under a general and the first thing she said when she woke up was thank you; it still brings tears to my eyes. Believe it or not because of changes in the National Health Service it is now almost impossible to provide the service that fixed the teeth of so many of the children!

In many of the villages the only warm place in the winter is the laundry where they can wash a few clothes each week. This is with outside temperatures below zero for weeks on end.

We have all now seen pictures from inside the exclusion zone and from Fukushima but the misery and illness does not understand the boundary!

As a Christmas present, a few years ago, I was bought a weekend course at Zantium Studios to try Kiln Formed Glass with Barbara Coulam. I had a wonderful time and met a lovely group of people, read about what we did and the processes involved. This is becoming an ongoing adventure so have a look at the Glass pages under My Art on the menu.

In 2008 we went to Jersey and when we got back I wrote this short paragraph that still stands.

“Back from a great holiday, very relaxed and very poor. We are lucky we are relatively well off but I have to say that Jersey is not the cheapest place for a holiday. However, if you can afford it, it's great. Pick of the week Durrell Zoo or more correctly Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. I should really say Pick of the Year; on a few occasions in a lifetime you feel you have come across something really good, this is one of those! Occasionally, I just want to shake the hand of someone and say thank-you for being who you are (were), Gerald Durrell is one of those people.”

The Herbert Strutt School has been transferred to a charity called “The Guardians of Strutts” which holds it in trust for the people of Belper. This is great news having giving us a self financing Community Center to read more go to the site for the Centre where the day to day activities of the volunteers, etc can be followed. I am very glad to say that the centre has gone from strength to strength and our biggest problem is persuading enough people to volunteer to help but even that has gotten a little easier.

Tracey writes stories, all sorts of stories, some are for children and some for adults, most are short but they are getting longer. In all cases they are well written and many of them are funny and/or thought provoking. Here is the first of hopefully many to be published here and by others, this is a simple story for children inspired by one child and illustrated by another. "The Thing" is just simple magical; children love it, particularly if you use their name.

We have both been interested in Speedway for a long time, Tracey is the real fan but I can claim to have seen it first as I was taken to what I believe was the Brummies as a child. My dad was a big fan and would have been as happy to see the Brummies return as he would have been sad to see the Cradley Heathens temporary demise, followed by their partial rebirth. We had both been going to Wolverhampton for a number of years on an intermittent basis (It is nearly sixty miles away.) but Tracey now goes to Birmingham on a weekly basis complete with an assortment of 'adult' children, most of whom come back convinced it's great.

Corfu Sunshine is a web site I have set up to help promote the small Greek village of San Stefanos on the north-west corner of Corfu. It is such a great place for a quiet restful holiday with the family, sun, sand and good food. Over the years we have become friends with many of the locals and it is now more like spending a couple of weeks holiday at a friends house than going on a foreign holiday. If you want to give it a go visit San Stefano Travel who you might guess are based in the town and are very helpful with everything from flights to accommodation.

Belper Art Group is where I go to throw paint at paper every Thursday night. A great way to pass a couple of hours relaxing and meeting people. I used to be incapable and now I am just incompetent, so I have made some progress.


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© T&F Smith 2004-16