"Tis the season


"holidays are comin'... holidays are comin'..." (to paraphrase a particularly nauseating ad for a trademark beverage)

And not a moment too soon. I'm knackered. Mentally, I'm a soggy brussels sprout hiding under a remnant of parsnip. Physically, I'm not much better, either. As for emotionally? I'm pretty much like those cheap paper confections you rip apart: crackers.

But enough of my moaning. Theo and I were discussing adoption at the weekend. Specifically, we were considering the adoption of a guinea pig (although we wouldn't rule out fostering an actual human child, either... but maybe starting off with something smaller would be sensible.)

I love guinea pigs. I always have. When I was a wee ankle biter, my sister had a guinea pig called Dumbo - he was ginger and very squeaky. In common with others of his kind, he wasn't even slightly bitey and didn't mind a five year old's grubby mitts pawing all over him... much. When I was bit older I had a guinea pig too - although she succumbed to guinea pig flu and I didn't have the heart to get another. I did however read The Tales of Olga da Polga which was some comfort (and if you haven't read them - shame on you! Olga is a fantastic story teller and has a very healthy appetite, too.
Of course, you might want the excuse of buying the book for children, but even if you don't know any children you could always read the books and donate them to a children's library or charity or something.)

I get quite annoyed at how sniffy some people are about children's books. "Oh, I'm a grown up: I don't read them. Harry Potter? Brain rotter!" and all that guff. I'm no fan of JK Rowling's when it comes to writing style - Philip Pullman beats her into a cocked hat when it comes to style, intellectual engagement, plot etc - but when was kids reading ever about style? If the story is good - even if it is derivative - and it engages the mind and imagination, where's the harm? In fact, even an appallingly written children's book can be a good thing. Imagine - hordes of kids reading something, realising they could do better and later growing up to write better books! How terrible! And another point to consider: if grown-ups don't read kids books, how do they know what kids are finding out, thinking about, learning? It's hugely arrogant to think that only reading "hard" literary, serious books is worthwhile. If it amuses you, you learn or laugh, then surely that makes it worth the effort?

But I digress. Guinea pigs. Eventually, we decided that maybe we wouldn't adopt just yet. We'd maybe wait until the bunster has had her "special lady's operation" and when we could dedicate special cavy time without worrying about the health of the queen lagomorph... Instead, I think we are going to support Thistle Cavies - a Scottish guinea pig rescue charity and therefore help several guinea pigs without needing to buy a new hutch... Of course, we still haven't entirely ruled out getting a hairy sausage dog, either. Did I mention we have cream carpets?...

3 comments:

Let's Kill Saturday Night said...

Merry Xmas !

Rebecca Taunton said...

Guinea pigs are so cute and good to keep as indoor pets too.

Our landlord said that we couldn't have cats...so we asked for a rabbit and guinea pig instead - thinking that they would think we'd keep them outside which, of course, we had no intention - but the answer was still no.

When I was younger, we kept a male rabbit with some female guineapigs, apparently not a good combination. We ended up with a "gabbit", which was a funny little guinea pig with long ears. Unfortunately it was eaten by a neighbour's cat.

Guineapigs are actually supposed to taste rather nice, or so they say in Peru. Perhaps my landlord thought we were going to start a farm.

Me, I'm now thinking about buying an A.I. guineapig. It's probably the only thing my landlord would allow.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wish you a happy new year.

Anonymous said...

I swear this is a true story - My aunt phoned me in a panic one morning to say there was something furry on her bedroom windowsill and could I please come and DO SOMETHING WITH IT? I walked into her bedroom, noted her blissfully unaware, or not-at-all-hungry cat reclining on the bed, pulled back the curtain and was stunned to see a fairly huge brown and white long haired guinea pig cowering there! The poor soul was absolutely petrified. Now, as an animal lover, I would have been quite happy to keep it until I was able to find its owner, but I was leaving the country the next day and really had to work pretty quickly to find someone who could take it somewhere safe.

To cut a long story short, the poor beastie had been nicked from a hutch where it lived with its One True Love some distance away from us and had been placed through the open window of my, fortunately, animal-loving aunt during the night as she, and Scooby the cat, slept peacefully. The guinea pig's owner reported it missing to the police and got it back the next day, after which she came by with a lovely bunch of flowers for me.