Tiny, fat, wobbly hedgehogs

Yet another roadtrip today as we headed back across the country from my parents’ house to home. We overtook a helicopter on the M6 motorway…it isn’t everyday you can say you travelled faster than a helicopter in a family saloon car but this one happened to be towed behind a lorry. I looked upwards when my husband said “look, there’s a helicopter” and nearly missed it passing within a few metres of our car…so 10/10 for my observation skills there.

Overtaking a helicopter
Overtaking a helicopter

As we trundled across England we listened to the radio and were surprised to hear a news story about the plight of African Pygmy Hedgehogs. Apparently they have become popular pets but are being abandoned when people realise that they aren’t such a good animal to keep as a pet after all. Aside from the fact that cuddling them entitles you to a free, simultaneous acupuncture session, they can suffer from ‘Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome’ (I am not joking) and they are prone to obesity. So when you have removed your fat, spiky friend from your epidermis the poor thing might wobble and tip over and be unable to right itself…its little legs pointing at the sky, poor thing. I felt pity for the tiny African hedgehogs and wanted to understand their struggles, so my ‘new thing’ for today was to learn about ‘Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome’ (WHS). It turns out that WHS is a degenerative neurological condition (similar to MS in humans)…the symptoms start with a wobble when the hedgehog is standing still, then it progresses to paralysis, starting at the back legs and working forwards. I felt guilty for laughing at my mental image of tiny, fat, wobbly hedgehogs when I read more about WHS and it seemed a bit wrong for a nasty disease to have such a funny name.
New thing: Gained knowledge of Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome
Excitement rating: 2/10
Interest rating: 5/10
Impact-on-my-life rating: 2/10

We stopped at Corby services (leaky toilet, single ply loo roll 2/10) for a snack and toilet break. Catrin declared “I don’t want dinner!” and had a stampy strop, so we returned to the car. As we rejoined the motorway…”I’m hungry!”. We then stopped at Newport Pagnell services (Bethan had full nappy of poo; Catrin ‘not hungry’ again). Then again at Toddington Services (Bethan hungry after filling previous nappy and Catrin “need a weeeeee!”). Eventually, after more confectionary and a bit more whining, we arrived home. I noticed the stupid foxes have been marking their territory all over the lawn again but didn’t have the energy to do poo patrol this evening.

Holding hands
Holding hands

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