FOLLOWING the success of the Oor Wullie Bucket Trail in Dundee last year – which saw statues of our famous character placed all over the city – there’s going to be a similar event, this time involving my all-time favourite creature.
I’m beyond excited that we are going to see PENGUINS popping up where we least expect them, and all beautifully designed and individually decorated.
It’s a brilliant idea to raise funds for the Maggie’s Centre, which does such important work helping people with cancer – and supporting loved ones, too.
The event was launched on Friday and businesses, organisations and even individuals can sign up as a penguin sponsor and be part of what will be a historic event.
The Wild In Art event will see a Penguin Parade of 100 statues in the Dundee area and I can’t wait. I have always loved these comical creatures.
The most romantic present my husband Steve ever bought me was a five-foot emperor penguin statue that sits in our garden. In the winter, we give him a woolly scarf and hat and, in the summer, he wears giant comedy sunglasses.
Steve tracked down the artist who created the four gorgeous penguin statues outside Discovery Point, the interactive museum in Dundee which gives a real insight into the achievements and struggles of the heroic Antarctic explorers like Scott and Shackleton. I filmed a documentary on penguins in South Africa – they even have their own emergency hospital because of all the hazards they face.
These little jackass penguins have made their home in rocks and on beaches near Cape Town but are often run over by cars or attacked by dogs.
They are sadly under threat, but their bravery is impressive.
Best of all, earlier this year, I managed to fulfil the ambition of a lifetime and visit Antarctica and South Georgia on an expedition that allowed me to get up close to these wonderful creatures.
I spent hours just watching them interact with each other and it was fascinating to observe how they all have such different personalities.
Everyone loves penguins and that’s why I think the Penguin Parade is such a good way of raising funds for a very important cause.
The Maggie’s Centres are a haven for people living with cancer. My friend Ray was a regular and I know how much it helped him to have somewhere he could go for information or some space.
Maggie’s relies on voluntary donations to keep going and to provide a range of services that make life better for cancer patients and their families.
The Penguin Parade, in aid of Maggie’s in Dundee, will be held for 10 weeks next summer. For more information, visit www.maggiespenguinparade.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org