When I overheard my three year old son bellow “WAKE UP YOU FILTHY MONKEY” to our languid cat this morning, it became patently clear.
We’ve been watching too much Madagascar.
I’m not at all surprised to find though Madagascar was released nearly a decade ago, it continues to make money hand over fist. Since there are 130 million children turning three each year the market is continuously flooded with eager eyes and parents eager to please. Madagascar’s creator’s DreamWorks (AKA CashWorks) say the film has grossed USD$500 million and fortunately for company shareholders, the film’s profit making potential shows no signs of abating.
There are also a further two Madagascar films (not as good as the original of course) as well as Madagascar 4 in development. The spin off Penguins of Madagascar will be released in November 2014. So there will be five mega money making Madagascar movies and must have promotional toys relieving me of my money by the year’s end.
You know where I’ll be in November.
So I’m bravely taking my head out of the sand to accept we have been watching excessive Madagascar. Now I need to take some sort of action. Obviously I could turn the TV off indefinitely (but I’m not known for masochism) or I could encourage him to watch something more cerebral like Discovery Channel or heuristic like Cebeebies.
The child in me however thinks we should fully embrace his obsession for the African island itself and find a weekend home there.
Live it and watch it.
I usually pride myself on my Geographical prowess but I confess Madagascar – the country – is a bit of a mystery to me. I loosely thought it was a small island located in the southern Indian Ocean, just over a narrow strait from Mozambique.
To my surprise Madagascar is actually an eye watering 1600 kilometres from mainland Africa. More than three times the width of the English Channel. It follows there are no ferries from Mozambique to the island, so we will have to fly in and out. Luckily there are 11 airlines connecting Madagascar to 23 cities, 160 times per week.
As for being a small island, Madagascar is shockingly vast. Almost as big as mainland France. Since it takes ten hours to drive from Calais to Marseille, then Madagascar must be very large indeed.
Needless to say Madagascar has unparalleled natural diversity. It is also a WTO Least Developed Country so as visitors we will be sure to tread ever-so-lightly to minimise both our environmental and cultural footprints.
I guess that means we won’t be roasting freshly hunted wildlife on a spit while we sit on a beach drinking Bourbon and Redbull. (Not that I would do that. Really)
This little cottage in central Madagascar instantly appeals. It is easy to see its French colonial influence and it wouldn’t look out of place in Languedoc-Roussillon. Perhaps with the addition of cornflower blue shutters.
Once again utilising my ‘school girl’ French, this house has two bedrooms, panoramic views from the terrace and balcony and a separate garage. The kitchen is in need of an update (it’s currently mint green and pink) but nothing a DIY’er couldn’t handle.
Its location is stellar. Fort Veyron is within sea-water-spitting distance from Antananarivo Airport and a few kilometres from the town’s University. Rental potential in the off season is assured.
But the really special feature of this cottage is its quirky and endlessly humorous fireplace.
The ‘Melmen the Giraffe’ fireplace totally sold it for me and I know my son would go completely Foosa for it.
I’d like to take it, I really would.