Way way back at the beginning of the year The Person appeared to me with a gleam in his eye and said...
"Do you know there's a thing at Earl's Court in London called the London Pet Show in May?"
He didn't really need to say anything else. Train tickets and show tickets were booked and it was then a case of waiting for the weeks and months to tick by until the time came for us to get a daftly early train to London to get our Pet on.
Obviously we were attracted by the section called "Small Furries" given our beloved gerbils, so you can imagine how absolutely massively gutted we were to discover that there wasn't even a gerbil stall at Earl's Court. No gerbils in sight. Rats? Yes. Chinchillas? Yes. Rabbits? Yes. Guinea Pigs? Yes. Stupid Hamsters? Yes.
No gerbils = sad faces from us.
Good bloody job I love all the animals then isn't it?
The day basically consisted of me rushing about like a complete lunatic trying to touch and stroke as many animals as possible. It's hard for me to really explain what the point of the show is - I guess you could say it is an opportunity to learn about lots of animals before maybe deciding to bring one in to your home as a pet. However I would say that is an opportunity to touch as many breeds of cats and dogs as is possible.
And don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that's a bad thing.
I saw big cats and small cats and cats with big ears and small ears. I saw cats with lots of fur and cats with no fur at all (sidenote: Sphinx cats win the award for being the most affectionate breed of cat we saw that day). And I saw big dogs and held small dogs and saw wiry haired dogs and dogs with soft coats and dogs with no coats.
This guy was only 10 months old and has more growing to do. MASSIVE cat.
And I held a rat and I stroked a chinchilla.
But going mad and stroking all the animals wasn't even the best part.
The best part is contained in this photo here:
Please note my absolutely ecstatic face and Chris Packham's pretty worried face. This is the photo that a very young me has been waiting for for a very long time.
I have a terrible memory when it comes to my childhood. I don't know why, but where some people can remember what they did for their 4th birthdays, or that time they went to the beach, or this, that and the other, I just don't remember that stuff at all.
But let's not pull at that thread.
One thing I do remember though is watching The Really Wild Show on the BBC and being mesmerized by a boy with peroxide blonde hair and very wacky shirts. Probably my first ever crush.
And now I am 31 and instead of watching him on The Really Wild Show I'm listening to him on Desert Island Discs and behaving like a terribly uncool person right in his face.
Hurray for being a grown up.