Sunday, 17 January 2016

In the Bag

The other day I had a serious tidy up and clear out in the entrance hall. Inevitably it ends up as a dumping ground and all sorts of random stuff turned up, including this koala.

It is made of kangaroo skin and belongs to Simon. It's a tea cosy from the 1960s. Before I allowed it into the house proper I wanted to be sure it was pest free so I checked it over carefully. There were a couple of clothes moth chrysalides and a little patch of fur came off in my hand revealing bare skin. So into a snaplock bag it went and like that into the freezer. Three weeks in the freezer will kill pupae, eggs and adults of any insect busily munching its way through all that nice organic material (ie skin and fur).

Almost every Australian who was a child in the 1960s would have had a soft toy koala made of kangaroo skin. Mine was small to medium sized and gray. Its name was Dear Dear and I took it everywhere. I was also apparently horrible to it, regularly doing things like throwing it out of the car window as we drove down our long dusty farm driveway, or dunking it in the toilet. Once separated from Dear Dear I was earsplittingly inconsolable and all other family activities stopped until we were reunited. So I'm told anyway. I was way too young to remember any of this. Dear Dear survived well into the 1970s, but eventually succumbed to the ravages of clothes moth and was disposed of.
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Loire Valley Nature: A new entry has been added for the beautiful violet coloured mushroom Bruising Webcap Cortinarius purpurascens.

7 comments:

  1. Looks a bit like Yoda...
    "Be teapot cover I will!"

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  2. Chaque enfance a son animal favori, mais un koala en fourrure de kangourou, c'est vraiment original. Nos nounours étaient en laine!

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    1. I don't think kids get kangaroo skin koalas these days -- not seen as appropriate any more.

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  3. Ha. And I thought I'd figured out the freezer treatment for polypedal creatures all by myself. I use it for sweaters that have to be stored, too.

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    1. I'm sorry to have to tell you Emm, that the freezer treatment has been standard museum practice for about 30 years :-)

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  4. I used to be really cruel to my favourite toy, a panda called Topsy or Topsy Panda Bear for short. As a toddler I used to bury it in the veg patch aka the Mudheap then ask my parents "where Topsy Panda gone?" Its eyes were metal plates covered in celluloid with a disk of plastic inside that slid around; undoubtedly I performed surgery on one of the eyes and removed the celluloid cornea with the inevitable result. All that remained of that eye was the metal plate. I have no memory of the toy having two working eyes. My uncle brought him from Canada and I got him after a bout of whooping cough, age eighteen months. I don't remember that either.

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    1. Good grief! Luckily I didn't take to burying Dear Dear. Kangaroo skin wouldn't recover from something like that, and you can't chuck it in the washing machine. Thinking about it, that's probably why they aren't ubiquitous as children's toys any more...

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