During yesterday's visit I picked up a Sylvanian Families catalogue and had a browse through. I used to be mildly keen on these twee little figures in flocked plastic; I had a cat family, a badger family plus horse-drawn caravan which I won in a competition at the local toy shop, and a random beaver brother who was free with tokens from the backs of the packs and to whom I gave a complicated backstory explaining his arrival and subsequent adoption by the cats.
Anyway, I read the catalogue, and I realised I want to be the person who writes this copy. Because whoever is doing it now is having way too much fun.
Take the Fielding family of field mice, for instance: there's Helen, Bridget, Daniel and Darcy, plus babies Clipperty and Clop who sleep in a clog. The Billabong koala family are all named after prominent Australians: Rolf, Matilda, Clive and Germaine.
More? Try Rossetti, Bronte, T. S. Eliot and Shelley, the Keats cat family. Or their cousins the Macavity cats, the littlest of whom is called Skimble. My favourites, though, are Harley the dog and his son Vespa.
Come to think of it, they've been doing this for a long time; the beaver family, I've just realised, was called Waters, and the one I had was - groan - Roger.
These days there are Sylvanian meerkats in a cynical attempt to exploit