For the last month in Bristol, Aardman Animations have inspired the production of 70 Shaun The Sheep life sized models that have been beautifully decorated by different artists and they've been scattered all around the city and outskirts.
London had 50 of their own on display earlier this year. They will all eventually be auctioned off individually for large sums of money that will be donated to the children's hospitals.
People have come from other countries especially to join the *Shaun In The City* trail as well as Bristol citizens and visitors from all over Britain. Many have even bought an application for their phones, which brings in more money for the charity.
Because of our depressing situation with Harry during the past few months, my daughter has been coming to see him far more frequently than normal and we've been very grateful for the Shaun Trail to take our minds off things. We've visited parts of Bristol that we didn't know and would probably never have got to know without the Shauns. Wherever we've been, we've had to wait our turn to view and photograph these models because of the scores of visitors that are doing the same thing. Some of them have asked us to take their photo with the Shaun. Adults as well as children of all ages have been following this trail and it's surprising how many conversations we've had when people see us with a map. "Oh, are you looking for the next Shaun? It's just round the corner."
This kind of venture not only brings in money for expensive scanners that the hospitals will be able to buy, but it's good for tourism and brings people together as well as helping us to keep fit by walking the different trails. Some of them are easy but others more challenging.
At the end of the month, the Bristol and the London Shauns will be on display together in a large Bristol venue and I intend to visit them with a friend.
So I for one, am very grateful for this distraction. However, now I've found all 70 Shauns what next?