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Another gem!

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maggiewinchester Report 15 Sep 2020 11:42

Just found this. It was in a magazine for English speaking workers in Jeddah, probably from 1982/1983. I have a copy of the magazine - somewhere - but it appears I copied out the bit that was relevant to my dad!

1981 – Jeddah – Sanitation Foreman
1977 – Part of survey team on the Orinoco, Venzuala
1974 - Surveyor of Nigerian coastline and bush. Updating maps.

"Prior to this, (from 1969) he was an instructor for the Royal Saudi Air Force, where he began to acquire his vast knowledge of Saudi customs and ways. In his spare time, he was able to do some travelling in the desert with Bedou and thus learned to speak Arabic.
Denzil enjoys tinkering with engines in his spare time, but perhaps one of his greatest interests is in animals. He grew up in a household where animals were always present – anything from Rhesus monkeys to parakeets .
His mother was very fond of animals. He is, however, interested in animal psychology.
He is an associate of the Royal Zoological Society in London. While living in Riyadh, he was also an advisor for the Royal Zoological Gardens there. He has handled a black bear at close range, and is very much at home with big cats. He has even wrestled with a cheetah. Gordon says it is merely a matter of knowing when a cat feels itself disposed to keeping company with a human".


Sharron Report 15 Sep 2020 11:48

He was a bit diverse wasn't he?
Gave you an interesting life.


maggiewinchester Report 15 Sep 2020 12:08

Definitely diverse! :-D

I'd like to add, the cheetah he wrestled with was probably one he'd known since it was a cub. Dad wasn't an idiot!
This would also be the one he used to walk home, on a collar and lead, after work, at lunchtime ('working' times were something like 5am to 1pm).

When I stayed in Riyadh, he regularly brought her back - with her 2 cubs.
He'd take the harnesses off the cubs, and they wandered around the garden.
The first time they came, I was in the garden reading a book, fairly close to the mother and cubs.
The female cub (who I named Dotty) decide she wanted to play.
As the dog's ball (the dog was locked in the house) was nearby, I threw it for her.
She brought it back. I taught her to 'sit' and give me her paw. <3
When dad came out, I then realised the mother wasn't tied up :-0
I'm so glad I didn't upset Dotty!!
After that, I asked dad to 'secure' the mother.
Having said that, cheetahs are the least likely of the big cats to attack humans - but they will defend their cubs!

Also, just like to say, that dad got savaged by our moggy, Mickie, just as much as everyone else did!!

Dad also spoke Maltese (he had 2 postings out there when he was in the Fleet Air Arm). Maltese is an Arabic, Sicilian, Italian, French and English based language. Dad reckoned that knowing Maltese meant that learning Arabic, for him, wasn't too difficult.