Friday, January 24, 2014

Hippos, puppies and rain

It's been quite interesting this trip.  For the past umpteen years, whenever we have gone anywhere interesting, we have taken the Travelling Hippoberries with us.  It started when I had to go to Warsaw on my own and Freyja sent them with me because hippos are big, strong animals and don't stand for any nonsense.  As it happens, the good people of Warsaw were charm personified and I didn't need protectors.  But I got into the habit of travelling with them.

This trip, however, they weren't available.  They've gone to the Dominican University of California in San Rafael near San Francisco for a semester studying Journalism and Creative things with Freyja.  However, I enjoy travelling with animals. You take different sorts of photos and put up different sorts of Facebook statuses.  So I brought my dog, Farley (I didn't think that Marlo would enjoy the experience, particularly. Plus, he doesn't have a pet passport and probably wouldn't have got a visa for Australia.)  Because there are two hippos, they usually travel about in a backpack and not all that many people notice them. There s only one Farley, and he does travel in a backpack, but equally, quite often I just carry him, out loose.

Farley, enjoying life in Singapore
It is surprising how many adults think, at first glance, that he is a real dog (although I probably wouldn't ordinarily carry a real dog upside down!).  When they realise that he is a toy they stop and talk to him and pat him, in a way that they don't as much with the hippos.  I guess people are more used to talking to puppies, rather than to hippos.  One bloke stopped his ute at Melbourne Airport, while we were loading the car, rolled down his window, and beckoned me over precisely so that he could pat him!!

Children are under no such illusion.  They know perfectly well that he is a toy.  They want to play with him.  And take him away :-S

Carrying a toy dog means that complete strangers stop and talk to you (or to the dog) - even the ones that think a nearly 60 year old woman who is carrying a toy dog around the world with her can't be completely in possession of all her faculties :-D

So.  We are in Ballarat.  Lindsey left early this morning to go to work in Melbourne.  Emily, The Builder and I will go down later today, mostly so that we can go to the birthday party that we have come for, but also so that we can play with people and places and things.  Excitingly, we have brought rain with us.  We are Good Beings :-)  Victoria needs a drop or two of rain. It also needs some warm but not hot weather.  The temperature today is due to be about 24d.  I am even wearing a long sleeved t-shirt (I may take that off later, but don't be alarmed; I have a summer shirt underneath it.  I am not proposing to wander about clad on the top only in my bra.

My hurty finger is still hurting.  Now I also have a hurty, swollen ankle (where my summer sandals rubbed against it when we were walking around at the Singapore Zoo, and along the Singapore River).  I have caved in and am taking antibiotics for all the hurty-ness.  I really and truly can't remember the last time I took any antibiotics.

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