I took a half day off for my Birthday, and Stephen and I went to the Lord of the Rings Exhibition at Te Papa. Very cool. Why oh why don’t they publish a book with good photos of all the costumes and props and stuff ? Did you know they not only built costumes and props in different scales (for the shots with hobbits), they actually used fabrics with the *weaves* in different scales. So the herringbone pattern in Frodo’s vest is the proper size, no matter whether it’s Elijah Wood or Kiran Shah in any given scene. Oi.
Naturally, we had to get our photos taken on the forced perspective wagon bench:
Had a *ridiculous* amount of trouble finding a place for lunch. Flying Burrito Brothers isn’t open for lunch, Kopi *closed* (when the heck did that happen ? They had the best roti in town, dammit), Masi (which I had a coupon for) turned out to be a little lunch cafe with a limited menu of boring paninis. Roti Chenai (Tamil/Northern Indian) saved us, and it’s one of my favorite places to eat lunch anyway, so.
In critter news, Jake is afraid of the ceiling fan. We’re wondering if he had a run-in with one of the local hawks while he was out rabbiting.
An interesting little note: If you want to be comforting to an alpaca (or horse, or presumably other herbavore), you’re meant to speak in a low voice, right ? High pitched noises mean agitation or alarm. Dogs, on the other hand, are the other way around — low sounds equate to growls, and you use high pitched noises to express approval. Takes a bit of thinking to get it the right way round. Likewise, I’ve caught myself using “LEAVE IT!!” on the cats, although usually we hiss at them to get them to stop whatever they’re doing.
Jacqui dropped Prince off Friday evening, back from his sojourn at Kylie’s place, and there’s definitely a difference. I think some of it is Prince, and some of it is just that we’ve got a better idea what we’re doing now. Slow Top, interestingly enough, is the bravest of the cats. As long as Prince doesn’t get too close, he’ll just sit there, or will walk around past him. Prince will very carefully ignore him. Quick, surreptitious little glances, and then pointedly looking in another direction. Works outside, too. The others will take a little more work, but it’s a start. Azami seems to be second bravest — I had forgotten until recently that she originally came from a house with a dog.
Got to watch a little switch flip in Prince’s brain. I’d gotten him a rawhide bone (one of the solid ones, not the kind with the knots on the end). We had guessed that at the kennel he was originally from, he might have had to fight for his food to some extent. He’s gotten better about not inhaling his kibble, and he’s never shown any aggression when I mucked with his bowl while he was eating (some of them do), but this is the first time we’d given him a “bone”. He tucked into it immediately, but I didn’t want him chewing at it on the sheepskin, in case he chewed up some of the wool. When I cautiously poked at the bone, he immediately tried to protect it — no aggression, mind you, not even a growl — he just tried to cover it with his head. I nattered at him soothingly, left him to start chewing again for a few seconds, then poked at it again. He tried to cover it again, then suddenly lifted his head and let me take it. I moved it off the sheepskin and gave it to him again. He took it readily enough, but when I got up to leave him alone with it, he dropped it and came over to me for pats instead. I don’t know if he decided he doesn’t actually want it after all, or if he just realized he doesn’t need to protect it from anyone. Either way, it was interesting to see.
In other news, the collars from Irene’s Pet Ware arrived (thanks again, Irene!!). Here Prince models his “royal” purple one, which, being custom made, fits him absolutely perfectly, I must say:
Oh, the audience for this little fashion shoot was a bit dubious about the whole affair:
The alpacas are appropriately wary of Prince. And Prince is appropriately wary of Oak, who has ac ouple of times rushed up, stopped, sniffed, and sprung away.