Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Story Behind This Picture: The Wombat

Apologies to my readers for not blogging for a while, I've been away on a four-night trip to Edinburgh. And, to commemorate my first blog post for a week, I've decided to post about "The Story Behind This Picture" which will explain the interesting details (not made up, unlike "Tales From My Nana's House")  of this unusual thing I took a photo of. And the picture in question is this toy wombat, displayed in the Officers' Mess aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh's port.

Any person who has yet to see it for themselves will probably imagine that the overhead fan in the above mentioned location has no significance at all. However, they are quite wrong. This adorable wombat, now perched on the fan for reasons not specified in the audio-guide, was an essential part of the Royal Family's time in the Mess, if used for less-than-lovable purposes. The wombat was principally the subject of one of the Royal Family's favourite pastimes, the game of "wombat tennis". As the name suggests, this game simply consisted of using the poor wombat as a tennis ball and knocking it around the relatively small room. I feel sorry for the wombat!

In addition, it would be a crime not to mention the wombat's fellow Royal toy animal, the wooden monkey (above). He had a quieter and less painful life than the wombat, his principle game being hide-and-seek. The wooden monkey would be hidden by the Royal Family for others to find, in the not-so-obvious locations in the very open Officers' Mess, and is finally laid to rest in the glass cabinet behind the bar. I suppose both animals have a much more boring life now, unfortunately.

- DP :)
P.S. See the wombat and monkey for yourself at the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh, if this post grabs your interest. They're mentioned on the audio-guide :D

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