So what’s the deal with the Old Chooks I hear you ask? Well you know, I ain’t no spring chicken anymore and as someone on the other side of fifty, I thought old chook was a fitting moniker. But the old chooks didn’t start with this blog. No; they have a rich and varied past.
I found them in an op shop (thrift store) in Wollongong. They were originally wine bottle stoppers with corks attached to their bottoms. I fell in love, paid the $2 asking price and brought them home. I did some surgery to remove the corks and Ruby and Esmeralda went into the camera bag.
They were considerably smaller than the garden gnomes you see some people take on holidays and it was my intention to take them on my travels and have them do fun and interesting things. I didn’t matter that they weren’t really chickens; they were close enough.
Their first big outing, “Old Chook’s World Tour Part 1” was to the Australian outback in 2013. They flew with me to Adelaide from Sydney and then came on a road trip through parts of the River Land of Victoria and then up to Broken Hill. Nearly 2000 km all up. They had a great time. Cracking jokes on Facebook and generally amusing my friends. (Maybe they only amused me but I was having fun!)
Unfortunately they languished in the bottom of the camera bag for a while. They came everywhere but they had developed stage fright. When I got a larger camera, there was no room for them and they got put aside.
Ruby and Esmeralda did not make any more appearances until 2016 when they went on a cruise to Kangaroo Island. Once again, they joined in on the fun, had a few too many cocktails and on their first shore tour in Eden, ended up going overboard, literally. (I left the zip of my bag undone….)
I was genuinely upset and searched for a new photo mascot. First, I found Penny, the grey seal in Mornington Peninsula. She had plenty of personality but failed her audition because her supine stance meant she couldn’t pose very elegantly.
Later that same year, I found Spark and Button in Bright, Victoria (think about it!) They have made limited (i.e no) appearances other than their debut performance on Facebook
Chooks, however, have been the inspiration for my souvenir purchases. A few times I have had to deviate from the theme and get other avian species like ducks, canaries, kiwis and once, a polar bear (Yes…. I know, I know but at least it was an animal!) It has also given my family and friends a rich source for gift giving ideas and I have an impressive collection of garden chickens.
Chooks also are a favourite subject to photograph.
From now on, I am going to make a serious effort to take Spark and Button with me on my next journey but if any fishermen down near Eden finds Ruby and Esmeralda; let me know; there is a reward!