This is Wee Gus. He's well travelled, he started life in Finland, crossed the Atlantic and North America to an island close to Seattle, moved further north on the Pacific Coast to Port Ludlow, then earlier this month travelled back across the States and the Atlantic to Arnside. His story was told by Sydney in her blip of 15 October 2013.
Sydney bought him as something her late Mother would have liked, and she blipped him on what would have been her Mom's 88th birthday. She didn't notice when she ordered him from a potter in Finland that his facial markings are rather like those of our Gus. Henceforth he came to be known as Wee Gus.
On 26th November this year, I had a message from Sydney to say that Wee Gus was on his way to Arnside. She felt her mother would have thought it "right and fitting that the Wee version (of Gus) reside forever with you". And here he is blipped in Arnside on the last day of 2017. The end of a challenging year for me personally, and a year that has been a politically troubling one here in the UK and in the US, to my eyes at least, upending so much that had for so long been part of the normal background to our lives.
As we move into 2018, my own health has improved hugely following treatment in the Summer. But it looks like here in the UK and the US the turbulent times are set to continue for the foreseeable future. However, Sydney's kindness exemplifies for me everything which is good about Blipfoto. It connects our lives across time and space, and connects them in such a positive and life-enhancing way. Every day there are many hundreds of human stories told here, funny and sad, profound and light-hearted. It's a beacon of light and hope where there is none of the worse side of human nature which is in evidence on the major social media sites on the internet. It demonstrates for me above all that humanity and decency will prevail whatever short term challenges there may be.
Happy New Year! And now, Big Gus is waiting for his evening walk in the woods.