My beautiful friend Vanessa @goldenlikealbus is having a bad day today, so I thought I’d write her a little gift to try and cheer her up ❤ Based on a conversation we had this morning about Scorpius and Albus bringing home one of those life sized plush toys, like the ones in IKEA. Except this one is shaped like Totoro, because we’re wholly convinced Scorbus would love Ghibli ❤
It was unusual for Albus and his boyfriend’s uni schedules to align. And it was even more unusual for them to both finish early so, after Scorpius had left work at his placement job and Albus had finished rehearsals one cloudy Tuesday afternoon, they met up in the city at their favourite cafe.
They found a table by the large windows that overlooked the street below and sat and talked for hours and hours. It was late Autumn, but it was still warm outside, so they decided to go for a walk through the laneways and arcades - taking the long way to the station before heading home together.
They ducked in and out of stores, laughing at the novelty iron on patches in a small hole-in-the-wall shop and gasping with delight at a cat shaped mug in the window of an artisan store. They paused to take photos of the street art and listen to a busker playing La Valse d’Amelie on the accordion.
They watched crepes being made in an old converted news stand and pointed out dogs to each other as they walked through the city streets. They stopped to collect postcards and flyers from a booth outside one of the theatres, Scorpius proudly showing off the one he had found for Albus’s uni production to the confused but delighted ticket salesperson.
Their last stop before the train station was something of a tradition. There was a bookstore, tucked away in one of the arcades, that Scorpius had fallen in love with years ago. Whenever they were in the city together, they always stopped there to browse the shelves - leaving hours later with bags full of new additions to their growing home library.
Albus wasn’t a ferocious reader like Scorpius, but he loved flicking through the art books and brushing his fingertips across the spines as he wandered through the shelves. And it helped that his favourite cafe - the one with the chairs hanging from the ceiling - was just next door.
While Scorpius went inside “just for a quick browse”, Albus ordered a flat white and aimlessly flicked through the brochure for one of the local theatre companies. But the afternoon was dragging on, the skies were growing darker with the promise of rain, and it had been almost half an hour since Scorpius disappeared into the bookstore.
He peered through the shop window, trying to spot a boy with silver hair and a stack of books in his arms, but only caught the eye of a small child in a pink pinafore who blinked back at him with curiousity. He gave them an awkward wave, before turning around and staring out into the street again.
Suddenly, someone emerged from the store with a giant Totoro plush obscuring their face. Albus watched them stumble on the footpath and almost run into a pole, before he instinctively reached out and pulled them back by the arm.
“Sorry, you just - oh.”
Scorpius peered over the plush toy’s enormous shoulder and grinned at him. “Isn’t he great? I didn’t even know they sold stuff like this, but they had a whole Ghibli shelf set up today!”
“I thought you were looking for books?” He asked, running a hand over the Totoro’s belly. It was even softer than it looked.
“Well, I was, but - then I saw this and I blacked out and now I’m here.”
“That checks out,” Albus replied, with a laugh. “Never thought I’d see you walk out of a bookstore without any books, though.”
“I did find some books, thank you very much,” Scorpius huffed. “I just couldn’t carry both, so I left them.”
“Totoro over books? Scandalous.”
“Hmm,” He hummed, before glancing sadly back at the bookstore.
“Do you want me to hold that so you can go back and get them?” He asked, playfully tugging at the little feet of the Totoro while Scorpius watched on with amusement.
“...Yes, please,” he replied, before carefully handing him over to Albus and heading back into the store.
If it was awkward for him to carry, he hid it well, because Albus struggled with the awkward shape of the thing. His arms just weren’t long enough to wrap around its middle and, after a while of wrestling with it while passersby looked on in amusement, he settled on putting him down on the footpath with an exasperated sigh.
He’d introduced Scorpius to Ghibli’s films a few years prior, one Summer during the end of their school years. His sister had grown up watching Ponyo, which came out the year she was born and quickly became a staple of her childhood. She loved the colours and she loved copying Ponyo as she ran around the house with a towel wrapped around her shoulders.
Kiki’s Delivery Service and My Neighbour Totoro followed not long after that, and they watched Arrietty together at the cinema. But while James and eventually Lily grew out of the films, Albus kept returning to them whenever he was sad or he missed home.
When he first started dating Scorpius, it was on a trip to the country side during their Summer holidays. They brought their bicycles and went riding through the hills and stopping at the village market to buy local honey and sprigs of lavender. They were staying in a cabin with no reception and a television that couldn’t even pick up the local stations, but Albus had come prepared with a couple of Ghibli films on a USB - hoping to finally introduce Scorpius to them.
They watched film after film, while devouring pastries and sweets they’d bought at the market. Although it was getting late and they had a tour booked first thing in the morning, Scorpius insisted that they keep going - he was so enamoured with each and every movie they watched. Deep down, Albus had always known that he would love Studio Ghibli. There was a sense of wonder and hope in every scene, that he saw reflected in Scorpius’s eyes and in the way he talked about the things and the people that he loved.
They were always finding new traditions with each other, over the years and as they went through secondary school and then university together. The table by the window at their favourite cafe, the bookstore in the arcade, the funny cat photos whenever one of them was sad - and now they had Ghibli, too.
He should have felt embarrassed, running through the city with a giant Totoro carried between them as they tried to beat the imminent rainfall that was so frequent in their little, beloved city.
But as Scorpius confidently placed the giant plush toy on a seat on the train, before sitting down next to it and beaming at Albus, he couldn’t possibly feel anything but warmth and joy. So he leaned across from his seat, and he kissed him.
As he pulled away, Scorpius blinked at him and smiled. “What was that for?”
“Nothing,” he replied. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
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News: 24th October 2000
Where is the Tribe??
The Tribe is having one last weekend off TV3, and will be returning from October 28th onwards for the rest of the year until the end of Series I.
We would all like to wish Norm Hewitt (Captain) and the Wellington Lions all the very best for the Rugby Finals in the NPC (National Provincial Championship) against Canterbury on Saturday.
TRIBE III to TV Screens
The countdown is on for the UK viewers of Tribe III. Episode Tapes have been sent from the Cloud 9 office to Channel 5Š.so it’s all raring to go!!!
There is less than two months left of filming for Series III and the cast and crew have been working very hard to ensure that this keeps to schedule.
This week though is a downtime week so they can all refresh and remotivate themselves for the last few months. The only ones left in the Cloud 9 office are the ‘elite’ few!!! (some admin/accounts/publicity people!)
Channel 5 Winners coming to NZ
This Saturday the Channel 5 winners are coming to NZ and the Cloud 9 Studios. I bet they’ll have some stories to tell of their adventures and meeting up with their favorite characters. They even get to stay a few nights in the cast house!!!!! Imagine that??!
Power & Chaos
The book has been selling well in the NZ shops. If you can’t get to a book store and still would like to purchase a copy of Power and Chaos email the Tribe Fanclub for details on ordering the book at this address, Tribebook@entercloud9.com (don’t wait till after XmasŠthey would make fantastic pressies)
It has been getting great reviews too, QUOTE “Childrens’ Book of the Year winner Paula Booch has hit the jackpot with Power & Chaos!” (The Sunday News, October 15th 2000)
The booksigning at Dymocks bookstore was a huge success with Zoot, Jack, Ellie, Alice, Ebony and Paula Booch being present. There was lots of interest in the recent ‘Splash’ page of the booksigning photo.
Cloud 9 Women’s Golf
Cloud 9 are currently involved with the richest sporting event New Zealand has even seen. If you would like to find out more about this women’s golf event you can listen in to the Golf Infoline on (64) (4) 577 1918.