They always freaked me out if I'm being honest, I'm not sure why. It's hard to believe looking at me now, at just shy of 6"3 but I was a really small kid growing up and they always seemed massive.
When I started the final year of high school in 1995 I was 5"4, when I finished I was 5"11. That helped me out quite a bit in all honesty because my brother is really tall.
I couldn't have dealt with being loads shorter than my big brother. I mean he'll always be taller than me, that's a given but still, not by much these days.
There were all manner of animals around our house growing up from cats to fish and even a tortoise, who my dad drilled a tiny hole in the back of his shell and attached a red ribbon so he wouldn't get lost in the grass.
I had a cat later on in life when I lived on my own, not through my design, and I ended up giving her to a lovely old lady who'd recently lost her cat when I moved back to my mum's house. I knew I'd be moving to a new house and that I probably wouldn't be able to accommodate a pet. I was sad initially but I knew that Mookie had gone to a nice house so I didn't give it too much thought.
A few years back I was helping my brother clear out his late mother in law's house and managed to inherit a budgie who didn't have anywhere to go. He'd been on his own a bit because of hospital visits and you could tell the situation had stressed him a bit. I'd try and minimise the amount I'd spend apart from him wherever possible and always left him the radio on if we had to go out.
He got used to the situation pretty quickly, he even escaped at one point and shat on my brand new TV but that's another story for another day.
My wife, impulsive as a young Cyndi Lauper, bought another budgie as a present I believe initially but we ended up keeping her. Harper was her name and she was loads bigger than Bobby and a lot more tame and confident.
The two still tweet away like they've know each other forever. It's so heartening to see them chattering away hour after hour. It kind of reminds you that we all need people; like minded souls to share the day and to enjoy experiences with.
The central drive to my wife's strategy regarding pets however, was clear from day one.
She wanted a dog.
We'd talk about it for hours and weighed up various options but it became obvious, to me at least, that I couldn't stand being the person that made the person I cared about the most, unhappy for whatever reason.
I knew that at some point it'd happen but it became more about the timing than anything else and also, because I'm such an idiot sometimes, about me squashing my own ridiculous sense of stubbornness.
Everyone I spoke to though asked me about him, loved him, fussed him massively however, but somehow I never quite seemed to get it. He was adorable, quite comical and at the same time and a little bit curious but in my head I wondered if that was as far as this relationship would go.
Fast forward to this past weekend, a glorious sprawling Easter Bank Holiday spectacular, which involved hanging out and eating like an absolute cretin, and something changed.
Yesterday I was sitting on the floor with my hoodie on and Larry wandered over to see what I was doing and climbed up on my chest as I watched television. This was nothing new really, he'd been doing this for a while but this time I noticed that he seemed a little cold so I wrapped him up in the warmness of my hoodie without even thinking too much about it.
I'd never really done anything that impulsive before with him and, looking back at it, I guess it was a big step.
He took one look at me, snorted a little and then settled down for a nap. As he lay there on my chest I could see that he was still struggling to get comfortable though, so I zipped up my top over him while I watched the TV.
I never even noticed that he fell asleep until I looked at him.
He looked so peaceful that I didn't even want to breathe properly in case I woke him up. I could feel myself getting a little drowsy because, as he got warmer and more relaxed, his breathing was quite hypnotic and he almost became like a hot water bottle.
I took one last glance at him before I shut my eyes and it all made sense at that point.
I get it now. I completely get it.
I'm back at work today, but I'm already wondering about what the future with Larry and Vanille will hold. We're not designed to do this on our own, others make up the most important parts of what we do why we do.
Until next time my friends.