We first noticed it in New Zealand, when he was kipnapped by a group of Chinese tourists and photographed infront of a statue of Captain Cook. He got quite a lot of attention in Singapore and Malaysia, and in Borneo was heard to say “they treat me like a Prince because I’m so cute”. We laughed in mortification and worried about his future marriage prospects.
But it’s in Thailand that Dickon’s celebrity status has reached A list. I don’t know if it’s because he’s got blue eyes and mousy brown hair, which someone actually asked if I’d dyed to make it such a lovely colour. Or if it’s because he’s the littlest in our family, and therefore cute. Though at 21 kilos, he’s about twice the size of most Thai four year olds. Or if it’s because he’s a chatty soul, who happily tells all and sundry about every ice cream he’s eaten in the last six months. Whatever the reason, we can’t escape his fans. It’s impossible to walk down the street without someone shouting “What your name?” and rushing to kiss him. He gets given stuff: chips, bananas, origami birds. In Chiang Mai, where we stayed for a week, we’d pass restaurants, massage shops and tailors’ to cries of “Dickon, come here, hello, how are you?”
He mostly accepts it with good grace, but the novelty is now wearing thin. He often refuses to have his photo taken, like a hormonal Justin Beiber. He says he wishes the ladies, for it’s usually ladies, would leave him alone. He says that, but I think he’s going to miss the free chips.