I was looking through old photos yesterday, and found some of Mabel the sheep. For anyone who doesn’t remember, or wasn’t around back then, Mabel was a porcelain sheep who belonged to a local pub. Every two weeks, they had a pub quiz, and the winning team would be set a ‘Mabel challenge’, which basically involved taking a photo of Mabel in a particular setting.
Me being me, I used to get a bit overexcited with these challenges – so when our task was to get a photo of Mabel in London, I took her on a whole day out. When it was to take a picture of her playing tennis, I dragged her to work with me first (including taking her to our Thursday ladies lunch). And when we had to write a ‘Mabel fable‘, I spent a very enjoyable Sunday afternoon getting creative and taking photos to illustrate my friend’s brilliant story – even though that wasn’t actually part of the challenge.
Unfortunately Mabel’s not around any more; the pub stopped doing the challenges, and we haven’t been down to the quiz for a while anyway. But I miss her a bit – even though she weighed a ton, and I was always terrified of dropping her every time we went anywhere, I used to really enjoy the Mabel challenges. They made me use my imagination, and they forced me to be brave and risk looking a bit mad in public (I used to adopt the highly effective ‘if I don’t look at them, they can’t see me’ approach).
Whilst writing my happiness manifesto yesterday, I added ’embrace your weirdness’. And so, in keeping with that, I’ve decided to revive the Mabel challenge, but with Bill and Barb, who are considerably smaller and lighter than their predecessor. I’ve had Bill and Barb on my shelf for years – so long that I don’t even remember where I got them, although I suspect it might have been a long ago holiday to Wales.
Bill and Barb haven’t had a chance to go on any exciting adventures yet, but they did come with me to Asda this morning. I’ll be honest; I had to wander the aisles for quite a while, trying to find a quiet spot, but we got there in the end.
On Wednesday, Bill and Barb will be coming with me to the ATP World Tour tennis finals at the O2 Arena, and I’m looking forward to taking them on more adventures in the future. If you have any ideas for them, please let me know – we love a good challenge 😉