Historical Comfort from ‘Teddy Bears’.


Have been thinking about historical influences in the Teddy Bear.

A few weeks ago I was reading my grandson a story from Rupert the Bear. He was deep sea diving and met King Neptune. Rupert….not my grandson. I asked my grandson if he wanted the poetry or long story version. He was unsure, so I gave him examples of each. ‘The poems have rhymes. They’re nice’. I reflected how, as a child, I always read the poetry version as preference. The rhythmic musical love of quirky words’ constants that lies deep in us I suppose.

It got me thinking of choice. Rupert, Winnie the Pooh or Paddington all read by myself both as child and adult. But, if proffered choice, then Rupert every time. Love the Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff regarding the ideology in that the stories show that ‘not all life is preconceived’ though. 

‘How do you do Nothing?’ asks Pooh.

Christopher Robin says ‘It means just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.’

Benjamin Hoff writes that Chuang-tse the Chinese Philosopher says ‘Nothing is something and Something-at least the sort of thing that many consider to be important-is really nothing at all’. 

Teddy bears have been a favourite for all ages from back in 1902. And I can’t remember ever having one. 

Three years ago, when at the grand old age of nearly 63….I finally managed to meet my very own Teddy Bear friend. Name? ‘BEAR’. BEAR, a jointed Ted, has a secret name and once I’d gained BEAR’s trust I thought BEAR might share it with me. He did. BEAR may have told his secret name to, maybe, one of the grandchildren, my children, my wife or…..well…..anyone really. Thing is. None of them have said that they know his secret name. BEAR tells you that if he gives you his secret name you can’t tell anyone else. Why? Because it wouldn’t be a secret anymore. 

So……this is now friend BEAR. And now I’m the richer for knowing such an amazing individual. And BEAR? Loves travelling from time to time in my old VeeDub camper. I know because BEAR smiles at the local Welsh views from the VeeDub Bus cab window. BEAR has holistic insight to the combinations that a VeeDub gives. Travelling through the countryside to witness the beauty of nature, appreciating my love of vintage ownership in many things. He tells me he wants to future wear a vintage tweed waistcoat, old pleated corduroy trousers, a bowler hat and oxford leather boots. He also enjoys a great alternative of taste in all things hippy too. Especially 1960’s psychedelic music. 

Well. BEAR is obviously still around. Not housed in the VeeDub. Currently and mainly living in the study den looking after a collection of bears from my children’s different acquisitions over the years, which still live here. I am not an arctophile (collector of bears) advocate. Just that your children’s loved bears should always stick around. Simply stay in the picture as a reminder of those days back when. 

One Eye Ted, Flynn Bear, Rainbow, RaRa Wales (a Bunny, of much emotional value to one of my grandchildren, who the other bears adopted. Adopted the Bunny RaRa Wales not the grandchild. Well. The commas are subtle so maybe the true story should be that the Bears adopted the Bunny RaRa Wales AND the grandchild. Bears can apparently do that quite naturally), Cream Coloured Bear of No Name (that’s not his name, he just happens to be cream coloured) and Christmas Stocking Bear who shows up as the star of the show once a year! Yup! On Valentines Day……just joking. Bonfire Night! 

The VeeDub should be back all working afresh in the near future. After the windscreen wipers get fixed. It’s raining here currently, which is much sought after so much sunshine and record temperatures seen. But it isn’t helpful when I don’t own a comfy garage to work in. Working on the wipers means working on the driveway, lying on your back on the floor of the driver’s cab, looking up and getting under the back of a claustrophobic dashboard space whilst hanging your legs out of the two cab doors. So rain doesn’t help in that situation. 

When all eventually looks good with the VeeDub outlook/outcome. Maybe BEAR can go for a spin. He says he’s missing Mucki the Steiff Hedgehog and BoHo the Buddhist Monk. They both sit on the VeeDub dash board recording all the past wonderful journeys in their wonderfully adept memories. I do forget nowadays where I’m going to or even where I’ve been as my brain is increasingly addled. Memory issues are that long term recall is fine and short term isn’t nowadays. So they remind me where we’ve decided to go to and how to get home when I get lost. 

Get a bear friend and you get a true friend. They simply accept you for who you are. 

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