Adam (strokeyadam) wrote,


In October 2008 we went to Blackpool for the illuminations. The hotel we stayed in was nice, but the room - with an under-size bed and views of a shed through a small, bird poo-covered window - was terrible. So I wrote them a letter of complaint and was offered a free two night stay in one of the upgraded rooms at the hotel.
We returned to Blackpool over the February half term period. The room was much nicer – with a spa bath – but that’s not really important for the story.

In February Blackpool can be very, very cold. And windy. And a bit rainy.

And during half term 2009 Blackpool was indeed very, very cold. And windy. And a bit rainy.

We wanted shelter from the weather so went into the arcade at the bottom top part of the pier attached to the land. We played on the Donkey Derby, rolling our balls into little holes to make our donkeys move. I won the first race (it was a cold day in February, there wasn’t much competition) and was awarded a cheap, slightly odd-looking teddy bear.
Emma won the second race and was awarded a cheap, slightly odd-looking teddy bear. Emma won the third race and was awarded a cheap, slightly odd-looking teddy bear.

Then, the man running the stall – I like to think of him as The Donkey Master - asked if we wanted to swap our three cheap, slightly odd-looking teddy bears for a Remy from the Ratatouille film.

This was the first time we had been away since owning a digital camera. So Emma was taking a picture of the Tower. I held Remy up in front of the camera so that Remy would appear, unexpectedly in the picture. I believe that the kids these days call that ‘photo-bombing’.

That was a significant moment. The next place we sought shelter from the weather was in a pub. The longer we stayed in the pub the more we thought it was a good idea to take pictures of Remy. So we took a lot.

Then Remy started coming everywhere with us. And he appeared in all of our photos. At first this was a bit embarrassing, especially in what are considered child friendly places. I was worried about being thought of as ‘the strange man in the zoo with a teddy bear’ so we tried to be discreet.

As we took more and more photos, though, it became normal.

I created a facebook group for Remy to upload his photos to. But then Facebook changed the was groups work so I had to set him up with his own account.

I made a video with a lot of Remy’s early pictures on.

When we went to San Francisco we were the only people taking pictures of a stuffed rat with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background (We were the only people full stop taking pictures of the Oakland Bay Bridge that we confused with Golden Gate).

Ahead of a trip to Dublin we got to Prestatyn and thought we had left him in Daventry. We considered rushing back to get him before our ferry, and thought about ways of photo-shopping pictures when we got home. But then he turned up in a bag.

In Tenerife we got so drunk one night we couldn’t remember how we had got back to the hotel from the bar we were in. We traced our steps the next morning by following the landmarks in Remy’s pictures on the camera.

Remy was in most of our wedding pictures and was at the births of both of our children, but didn’t see any of the yucky bits. 

That’s when things started to change for poor Remy. We went to fewer different places once we had a child. That meant fewer photo opportunities for Remy. So I’ve been thinking of some new things for him to do. The first of these is re-making some of the great works of liteRATure, such as “The Curious Incident of the Rat in the Nightime” and  “The Lion The Rat and The Wardrobe”.

The pictures taken whilst Remy was on a tour of the libra(t)ry are here.
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