So I'm a bit delayed in typing this up. I've been in the process of moving back to our bungalow and haven't really had my computer set up. It's been a slow process getting set up again. Really our bungalow is a shed. A nice, insulated, carpeted room, with a lovely window and pateo area... but still it's a shed nonetheless. And it's been 30-40ºC outside pretty well all week. Not really weather for getting a shed organised.
But anyway, here will be a week's worth of catching up.
I did in fact finish the hippo. I finished him Saturday morning and I have to say I was quite pleased with the result. I reckon the total amount of time to make him, from start to finish, would have been the equivalent of a weekend (and that's including the time I took to stand around and just stare at the pattern pieces, wondering how I'd ever get it finished). I can say in retrospect it really wasn't worth my worrying. It turned out to be quite a simple project to do. The only hassle was the size and bulk of the project, but I had a big table to work on so it wasn't too bad.