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StrangeSights: Stay in Shrek’s swamp; a new dog-watching record; and, messages in bottles…

Airbnb Shrek

DAVID ADAMS provides a round-up of some stories on the odder side of life…

Airbnb Shrek

Ever fancied a stay at Shrek’s swamp house? A new listing on Airbnb allows you to do just that – well, in a pretty good facsimile of it anyway. Located deep in the forests of the Scottish Highlands, the property is described as “a stumpy, secluded haven fit for a solitude-seeking ogre”. The post is written by Shrek’s ever-annoying companion Donkey who says he’s “swamp-sitting while Shrek’s away this Halloween”. Suggested activities during the stay include relaxing in the “ambiance of ‘earwax candlelight, kicking your feet up with a parfait – “everybody likes a parfait!” – and swapping stories around the fire. Booking opens on 13th October at 6pm BST for one, two-night stay for up to three guests between 27th and 29th October.

More than 200 dogs of all shapes and sizes gathered in Los Angeles’ Griffin Park last weekend to set a new record for the most dogs attending a film screening. And the film? Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie (what else?). Some 219 dogs were present at the event as was Michael Empric, an official adjucator from Guinness World Records. He presented organisers with an official certificate recognising the record which overtook the previous one set in October, 2022, with 199 dogs. The event was hosted by Paramount Pictures along with the Best Friends Animal Society in Los Angeles. Brittany Thorne, executive director of the group said she hoped people reading about the milestone would be inspired to adopt a dog.

Beachcombers on the Great Lakes – keep your eyes peeled. The caretakers of the White Shoal Lighthouse in the US state of Michigan are offering a number of free stays at the property for the finders of four “messages in a bottle” they dropped into the Mackinac Straits between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. The messages, which were written by descendants of longtime lightkeeper George Keller, offer free stays for one, two or up to five people. The contest is part of celebrations marking the 113th anniversary of the light and reportedly echo another moment from its history when Keller and a fellow keeper – stranded in the lighthouse with no heat during a deadly Armistice Day blizzard in November, 1940 – wrote a note about their predicament and put it in a bottle which they tossed into the water in case they didn’t survive (they did and the message was discovered by fishermen a few weeks later). There’s no expiry date on finding the bottles.

 Still in the US and this time it’s an unusual calendar that’s grabbed our attention. Captain Andrew Grossman, owner of Rip Tide Bait and Tackle in Brigantine, New Jersey, regularly takes photos of vehicles which became stuck in the sand and a couple of years ago started posting them to the store’s Facebook page. Following a suggestion, he published his first calendar featuring the shots in 2021 – the ‘Beached Cars of Brigantine’ – and is now looking to publish his fourth, for 2024. Grossman said a portion of proceeds will be donated to local families in need.



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