We’re going potty about otters here in Farnham

Years ago there was a bit of a mad craze for cities full of painted cows. I distinctly remember seeing quite a few slowly taking over Brussels when we were there yonks ago. I rather enjoyed the one with cartoons all over it. And how could I possibly forget the painted cows of Salzburg as we returned from Oberammergau so long ago.

Well, due to some sort of budget restrictions or maybe because of Brexit, we are now reduced in this country to painted otters. And, here in Farnham, we are going to have a load of them dotted around town. They will start appearing soon and keep appearing until summer has been and gone.

There’ll even be an aptly named Otter Trail where they can be easily spotted, cavorting and doing whatever it is that otters do after being painted.

Actually, I’m being facetious. The whole thing is to celebrate the return of otters to the River Wey in Farnham so it has to be not just a good thing but also cause for celebration, painted or not. (I do wonder whether they’ll be auctioned off afterwards and if we could get one for the garden…)

Now, you might wonder why I’m typing about painted otters. The reason is simple. Today I had a Talking Newspaper and for the second edition in a row, there has been a story about the otters. I have to figure that there’s going to be a few more before the summer is out. Though, presumably not in the Alton edition like today.

Actually there were quite a few Farnham stories in the Alton edition this week. I guess there just wasn’t enough Alton news to fill the paper. Not that that was a problem. We had more than enough to fill the time.

And boy did we have fun! Roy was our engineer and Mo, Mike and Jackie were the readers. Mo is always fun, Mike has an amazing capacity to be drily funny without realising he’s doing it and Jackie is as chaotic as me when she gets the chance.

I found out today that Jackie’s daughter now lives in Brisbane (obviously I commiserated with her) and she was visiting her in November. I suggested the next time she visits her daughter it might be better during the Queensland winter. She told me it wasn’t that bad when they were over because it was unseasonably cold last year. Really? I don’t remember mum suggesting it was ever anything but hot.

She then explained that while she thought it was quite warm, most of the locals were wearing cardigans.

It was nice to have a bit of a chat about Australia with someone who’s recently been.

Then Mike asked what relationship Tasmania had to Australia. I stared at him then said that it’s a state of Australia. He looked quizzical. I told him it was off the Victorian coast but was still a state of Australia. He said he knew where it was but that when he visited a few years ago he was told by a local that Mainlanders had to have special passports with stamped visas to visit.

That had me in fits for quite a while.

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