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Friday, December 13, 2019

A Possible White Christmas?

Like Dick Whittington and his cat, in a few days’ time, Scotto and I are off to London to make our fortune. Unlike Dick Whittington we are not taking our cat. 

(Frankly, it doesn’t deserve an overseas holiday since it recently cost me $800 at the vet after getting a bacterial infection from eating a gecko. It annoyed me a lot because cats are supposed to have nine lives and I probably should have let it take its chances.)

Also, unlike Dick Whittington, we will not be ‘making’ our fortune but rather ‘spending’ a fortune. And most of that fortune will be spent before we even leave Terra Australis.

Celine, Pablo and Polly have been booked into a luxury boutique pet chateau called, ‘The Bark Royal’, where they will enjoy airconditioned comfort, a television, a terraced garden and two allocated play dates a day with bonus treats.

The boarding expenses cost me twice the return airfare to London.

Not only that, because of Celine’s pernickety dietary requirements and penchant for displaying symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome, I’m supplying all the food.

My two older dogs, Willy (17) and Borat (14) are staying at home and my parents are moving in to look after them as well as cater to the whims of Dick Whittington’s cat (who isn’t allowed to go to London). 

I’ve spent the first week of my school holidays ferrying boot loads of dog food, biscuits, dog treats, cat food and kitty litter back from the shops. I could have tried to do one big shopping expedition, but I don’t think my car would have made it back up the mountain.

We are off to London, not to see the Queen, but to see my daughter, Lulu, who has been teaching in the motherland for almost a year. 

We’ve booked Christmas lunch at a place in Tooting. I’ve ordered the full-on turkey dinner and proper English pudding for dessert… so there might be more than the usual tooting in Tooting on Christmas Day.

I told Scotto I want to visit Jane Austen’s museum in Chawton and the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Yorkshire. 

My mother told me I’m being cruel to force Scotto to go to places like that, but I’ve agreed to go to see Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in London with him to make up for it.

We both want to visit Notting Hill to see Hugh Grant’s bookshop, Diagon Alley and also the Beatles Museum in Liverpool. We’ll be spending New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh and Scotto might eat haggis for dinner to get into the Hogmanay spirit. I'll tell him what it is after he eats it.

Scotto is keen to buy a scarf in his McFarlane family tartan. My great grannie was a Wallace so I could buy some tartan too. Perhaps we’ll run into Jamie from Outlander. (Don’t tell Scotto I said that. He gets a bit funny every time Jamie takes off his shirt on screen. Probably because of my whooping loudly at the telly, idk.)

We have three days in Paris before we fly home and Scotto desperately wants to see the Champs Elysees. He doesn’t know what the Champs Elysees is, but he still wants to see it.

“Is it the Yoplait tubs?” he asked me last night.

That’s how Scotto absorbs his knowledge of Gallic ‘culture’. No pun intended. 

Everyone has warned me about how cold it’s going to be there, so I bought a knee length coat from Kathmandu (guaranteed to withstand a small avalanche in Nepal and made from Red Pandas) and some thermal underwear. Only one pair of thermal underwear, but I probably won’t take them off for the whole three weeks. 

I’ll end up smelling like Dick Whittington’s cat towards the end of the holiday, I suppose, which is good because I'll be missing my animals and it might comfort me.

Anyway, I wish you all a merry and safe Christmas and hope to post some tasteful and well-composed photographs during my trip. xxx