Thursday, January 26, 2017


It is hard to translate the term enabler into my mother tongue. Let alone the term for an enabler of an enabler. I think we would refer to those people by saying " that person knows a person and that person knows a person who collects, in my case, hippos". This is an amazing story about how sometimes, things and people come together.

In October of 2015, a friend of my mother in law (hence the name of this post) visited a Quilting Exhibition in Maastricht, the Netherlands. where she found an embroidered hippo (black inside part), handmade in Africa. Apparently, by somebody called Grec R. Knowing that my mother in law is always on the lookout for hippos, she got it right away. Then my parents in law went to a fabric store called: De Naaidoos (the Sewing Kit) in a little village: Nieuw Buinen. This village is not far from where they grew up. My mother in law found the pieces of cloth for the frame, and my father in law discovered that the owner of the store is actually a distant cousin.     

The result of all of this is a beautiful piece of art, with a quilted frame, arriving by mail as a present, on time for my birthday. A wonderful example of how hippos are bringing family and friends together. A true enabler and enabler of an enabler's project, I am very proud to own.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Power of Plush

Too many times I have mentioned in my posts, that I am no longer collecting plush hippos. I think I have to stop that, because equally as many times, I have found excuses to bring them home with me anyway. This sweet little thing made me surrender :-). I tried fooling myself, that I would only use her as a prop for photo shoots or as practice material, or.... forget about it. When it is a hippo, wearing a tutu and looks irresistibly cute... plush or no plush... It comes home with me!

Hippo Tree

A few years ago, I had to find a safe place for my growing collection of Hippo-Christmas-Ornaments. Cat-safe, that is. Luckily, our two cats are not that interested in the "re-decorating" of our Christmas trees. However, one of them has done the "Can-you-reach-the-top-in-one-jump-challenge" once. The large and lazy one is banging on the low-hanging decorations, once in a while. The higher ones take too much energy to reach, and the lower ones are being pounced... not because it is that much fun, but sometimes they are just hanging is his way. 

So just as a temporary solution, I put a few on our "Art Tree" made of metal. It was an anniversary gift from me to my husband a few years ago. Seeing it, it actually looked pretty good. When my husband saw it, he started to complain, about "his tree, being full of clutter". But then agreed... Christmas ONLY :-). So since then, once a year our metal art tree becomes the "Hippo-Xmas-Tree". By the looks of is starting to run out of space....

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Pretty in Pink

Often times, I describe my affection for hippos as a disease. Very serious and incurable (until now). Just recently, I started wondering how long it would take, before I would hear about a therapy/support group, for partners/children of hippo-lovers. Maybe it would be a relief for partners to be into contact with people who understand the stress, of having to bring back a hippo from business trips. The threat of finding the door locked, when coming home without a hippo, is still a joke, but for how long? Or children who understand the embarrassment when a parent buys, wears or drives something hippo in public. What is the best strategy? Sabotage and rebellion, or ignoring and trying to perfect the "become-invisible-act"? Until that day comes, I will treasure these very special occasions like the one I will share with you now. Coming back from my latest hippo-lovers-reunion, my youngest daughter presented me with her surprise, made from air-drying modelling clay. My eldest added the finishing touches, in the form of a bow and mumbled comment: "I like drawing.. not so much this 3D clay stuff".

Of course, sometimes I see their "I don't see this and I don't know her" looks exchange, but as long as I am still spoiled with sweet hippo gifts, I am the happiest hippo-lover-disease sufferer on the planet!