What I’ve learnt this week: it’s possible to fall in love with an inanimate object

Or I could have called this: it’s dangerous to listen to your children

Regular visitors to this blog (go on, I know there are a couple of you) will remember that back in the beginning of August my family visited Thailand. While we were there we had a ride on an elephant and started to fall in love with the creatures. How can you not? Those huge wide bodies (trust me, when your legs are splayed across them they feel very, very wide!), the cute eyes, the long flexible trunk, the tufts of hair. This is Coco, who was kind enough to let us on his back.

Coco head

Buoyed up by our adventure, we wanted to take an elephant home with us. Not a real one mind you, we weren’t that love struck, but a wooden one to remember our holiday by. We started off looking at lovely small elephants (and bought the first, below) but then our sons pointed to the larger sized ones. ‘Go big, go bold.’ Like fools, we listened.

Wooden elephant smalllight wood

At the Chatuchak weekend market in Bangkok, we met and fell in love with this fella.

Coco in shop

Could we take him with us on the plane? At 70kg and 80cm x 80 cm x 45 cm wide, the answer was no. Could they ship him to us? In Thailand nothing is too much trouble (especially when they see a big sale) so within minutes a beaming representative from a shipping company was telling us, no problem. That’s when we started handing over money. As much to ship Coco (named after the elephant we met) as it was to buy him, but we still figured he was worth it. It would take 30 days, the man said.

Thirty days came and went, with no word. Would Coco ever make it home? Then an email from the shipping company. They’d calculated that with docking tax, customs tax and probably an elephant tax for all I know (none of which were included in the original quote), it was cheaper to fly Coco to England.  So now it was going to cost us twice as much to get Coco home as it had to buy him. I bet he didn’t even get a window seat.

But yesterday, he arrived! And here he is, happy in his new home (yes, you can see him grinning, if you look hard enough).

Me and Coco kitchen  Coco side

How can you put a price on love?

And how can I stop my family constantly making jokes about the elephant in the room?!