What is it about penguins?
When I was a child, McVities urged us to P-pick up a Penguin! A P-p-p-penguin!
Later I remember my mother coming home with Sirdar yarns to make us cardigans, jumpers, hats and gloves in beautiful colours, but for speciality yarns, it was Pingouin. (Both syllables rhyme with the French pain, producing a sort of placid quacking sound.) Mind you, she absolutely detests knitting with the hair of the Mo, so our jumpers were usually Sirdar double knit, and the more exotic yarns were reserved as texture detail in her luscious wool tapestries.
When Habibibaba was a toddler, the picture that made our one chick feel cosy was of an Emperor Penguin family. Hardly surprising, really. And in his duffel coat, he had the proportions of a penguin chick!
Then along came Pingu. Given half a chance, we would all watch Pingu!
When we moved to Dubai, my mother, realising we might need an antidote to all this sand, started sending us cards from Paper House's Eric the Penguin range. Here's one that she missed, just for Habibi!
Then last year, out came:
which I still haven't seen, but I'll get to it sometime soon (anything involving Morgan Freeman - ooh!).
And today, Habibi and I took my birthday cinema ticket vouchers and went to the IMAX to see
Great fun. If you haven't seen it yet, I shan't spoil it for you. My thoughts are on the comments page!
After we came out, Habibi disappeared into a shop to do something secret (No, not shoplifting! Huh!) and I found a seat in Costa's from which I could watch the world go by, and ordered an espresso. I am so glad I did.
A little Chinese boy, aged about four, must have just been to see Happy Feet, because he started dancing, quite oblivious to the rest of us. He had all the movements too: arms out to the side like penguin wings, skittering feet, turns, travelling sideways and back again, all with a private smile of pleasure on his face; he was a natural, and it was just gorgeous to watch him so wrapped up in the moves, and the music in his head. After a while, his father appeared with a half-filled shopping trolley and indicated that his son should climb up into the seat. Up he got quite happily and away they went. They were out of sight by the time Habibi got back. Shame!