One of my fondest memories is a trip to Toowoomba, way back when I was a little girl, and I remember it so fondly because I was the one who chose the location. We would go on…oh, about four holidays a year? Four big ones, anyway, and this year Mummy and Daddy let me choose. I chose Toowoomba because I thought it sounded funny, but we ended up having a wonderful time regardless.

That may have been where my love of animals truly solidified. We had to go to a mechanic garage open in Toowoomba because Daddy’s car was making a gurgle of some kind, and I remember we had to visit several mechanics because a) it was a European model, so we needed people with the right tools and parts and b) there was a massive animal parade happening in the middle of town on that day, and a lot of the mechanics were out making sure that the floats had auto air conditioning, doing tyre services to make sure the wheels of the giant elephant didn’t come off, and related…things. It was apparently a big yearly thing, but to my young mind, this was destiny. I’d chosen to come here, and they were putting on a giant animal parade, just for me! All these 4×4 mechanics were lining the street, just for me! They were selling buttery popcorn by the side of the road, for my enjoyment!

Yes, I was a very self-centred child, but my parents did basically nothing to dissuade that notion. I actually mentioned to them how amazing it was that all of Toowoomba came together to do this terribly nice thing for me, and I don’t think they corrected me. 

It was a lovely parade, though. Daddy left halfway through because he got a call from the mechanic about a diesel tuning issue. I think he switched to BMWs after that and never looked back…and I discovered a deep love of the animal kingdom.

Except for frogs. I don’t hate them, but they do make me a little bit nervous.