Karen and her family embarked on an across Australia adventure from Perth to Newcastle during the summer of 2017/18. They travelled west-east by hire car and the return journey was on the Indian Pacific. She travelled with her husband Mark and daughter Tahlia. And they took Ambrose as a peacemaker.
You can see more pictures of Ambrose on Kaz's FB page here. This will help you enter our new Ambrose Competition and earn a spot on our Honour Board.
How he became our new location scout
by Karen Hudson
The biggest challenge was always going to be the first 10 days on the road. Just the three of us confined to a car, room or cabin, morning, noon and night. It’s not that we don’t love each other, it’s just that we’re all fire signs and no-one pushes my buttons more than my dearly beloveds, and I’m sure they’d say the same about me. So, we made a travel pact:
We also needed a fourth (neutral) party to distract us from ourselves so I figured a travel mascot would be just the thing. A few days before we left I spotted a sloth hanging around outside Target with a price on his head. He was staring straight at me as I got off the lift, and although he was cute and cuddly looking there was also a quiet dignity about him as he dangled among other, more brightly coloured versions of himself. As soon as I put his furry grey arms around my neck and squished my face into his soft, fat belly I knew he was coming home with me. The name Ambrose has no familial or sentimental significance; it just seemed to suit.
He doesn’t say much, but his dark, penetrating stare is strangely hypnotic. All the way across Australia, in major cities and remote country towns, he activated the smile reflex in everyone he saw. Ambrose didn’t ask to be popular. He was just hanging around, enjoying new places like any other traveller, but some are born to greatness and others have it thrust upon them, as they say.
After being the star of the show for the better part of two months, attending dinners and events in Newcastle, drinks with the neighbours, overseeing the renovations of Grandma’s house, and acting as my pillow, blanket and comforter, it was time for him to come home to Perth. Ambrose became so entrenched in our daily life that we didn’t see him as odd or different, he was just another weird looking family member. So when he started attracting smiles, stares and comments at Sydney Central, I started to wonder if this is what life was like for Elmo’s mum.
Ambrose’s popularity peaked on the Indian Pacific where the staff even went as far as to set him a place at the dining table. Over four days, if I ever left him in my cabin, all the passengers in the club bar or restaurant would cry, “Where’s Ambrose?” Waiters poured him drinks and wine on the off-train excursions. I was a teeny, weeny bit over Ambrose by the time we arrived home, I think we all were to be honest.
Coming home was a bit of a culture shock to Ambrose who was accustomed to life on the road. As he sat in an unused armchair, he seemed to slowly diminish. His soft grey fur lacked lustre and there grew a sadness in his big black eyes. He even lost weight, his plump little tummy seemed to shrink, creating loose folds in his grey, felt skin.
As I packed for a trip to Denmark where part of the JAK team were to be support crew for Julie’s Corbeau Art Space market stall, a morose looking Ambrose caught my eye. Somebody had sat on him and his plump little tummy was squished flat, so he looked like a cushion with four, long, hairy arms. Overwhelmed with guilt, I realised that we had built him up only to abandon him during his peak. This little sloth wasn’t ready to be thrown in a corner and forgotten. No, his journey has just begun.
“Come on Ambrose, I’m gonna introduce you to some good people. You’re about to become part of a creative crew.”
Ambrose dangled in the breeze at the front of the Corbeau stall, proudly wearing a ‘Sneasels’ sign as smiling people flocked like ants to a treacle pot. The universe was restored, Ambrose was out and about making people happy, which made us happy. There’s just so much happy when Ambrose is around.
The little sloth is so well travelled that we decided to appoint him as JAK’s ambassador and location scout. He is also Corbeau’s official Sneasels ambassador, the endorsements are flooding in…
There are over two hundred photos of Ambrose in places all over Australia. Can you guess where he’ll go next? He also needs a hat to identify his lofty position with JAK Films.
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