Monday, 15 March 2010

Just who is Harvey!

I just had to answer this question for those of you who have not had the pleasure. Harvey Bear (from Hervey Bay)started life as Richard's bear and his hockey mascot. When we were living miles apart Harvey was left with me in Brisbane to keep me company during the week! When we all finally moved in together Harvey became our travelling bear and has joined us on our various journeys both around Asutralia and overseas. He usually goes to the state and international hockey matches, with one exception: he never went to Hong Kong with Richard last year (the Hockey boys try to steal him and I was not there to protect him!)

He has been on holiday to the UK, France, Thailand, Singapore, New Zealand, Italy and of course his latest adventure Morocco. Harvey has even managed to have his photo taken with his Aunty Tam's companions Pandy and Ralph in several places including Venice and Rome! (He likes meeting those guys when we go on our adventures!) He had his photo taken with the Tasmanian Hockey team's mascot last year (Richard was an honourary Taswegian for a tournament) and before we left Australia he also had a photo shoot with his Aunty Jane's bear, Farmer.

OK enough about Harvey. Life here is very busy. We went to visit Richard's Mum and Dad yesterday for the UK celebration of Mother's Day. It was lovely to see them both again and I think Pat enjoyed the company of her son for the first time in many, many years on a Mother's Day. The weather here was very mild yesterday....we even got into double figures with a temperature of about 12 degrees! It was a beautiful sunny day so the drive up and back was very pleasant.

The weekend before we went down to the New Forest. It is really beautiful down there. The forest has many ponies, horses and donkeys (I thought I had seen the last of them in Marrakech) roaming free. They are apparently not wild, but some ancient agreement allows people to leave them in the forest to graze. In some little villages the horses wander through the middle of town. We had to stop for three donkeys wandering down the middle of the road in one village. The weather again was stunning. Beautiful blue skies, hardly a cloud in the sky, but that weekend it was freezing! We went for a walk in the forest on Sunday morning and once again stomped in ice puddles!

I guess the thing that surprised me most on our walk in the forest was watching horses feasting on gorse. When I worked in Melbourne on the grasslands, gorse was the bane of our life. It was an incredible weed problem and in case you don't know, is impossibly spikey. We watched the horses break off sections about 10 cm long, manouever them in their mouths so the spikes were pointing in the right direction and then swallow the piece whole all while very, very carefully keeping their lips out of the way. There was quite an art to the whole process. Obviously it was a skill that these animals have had to master, as there was very little else in sight that had anything green on it. It seems it is gorse or starve and these hardy and resourceful animals have learnt how to just get on with it.

I want to get this posted and it is getting late, so some photos will follow another time. Love to you all. XXX

1 comment:

Coralie said...

I saw a program on the tv about the New Forest.... just fascinating. I was intrigued by the laws and the fact the horses just wandered about as if they owned the place... and heaven forbid anyone who hurt one of them. It was absolutely fascinating. It is on my wish list... AND they showed them eating "carefully"... I bet it was gorse!
12 degrees... a nice day in Portland in winter. bbbbbbrrrrrrrr!
Still very wet out west, not much rain, but rivers still up. The flow is now affecting NSW now. Lake Eyre has water, not much, but looks good from the air they say. Melbourne had HUGE hailstorm... BIG.
For us its all calmed down again. Humidity lowering a little. Cyclone off coast up north will give us a bit of wind. School is school!
love reading your bits and pieces.... loveya