Saturday, 23 September 2017

My Teddy Bears and Me

I am not sure when I started to collect teddies.  I collected dolls for a while - the porcelain kind and the older ones but eventually I lost interest in them.  I still have half a dozen or so collectible porcelain ones in their boxes in storage and eventually I will sell them.  They still have their certitifcates and original packaging, so hopefully someone somewhere will want to buy them, either for themself or as a gift for a loved one.  If I can find them and get to grips with ebay, I might try that. If my 12 year old granddaughter can suss out ebay I am sure I can if I put my mind to it.  As for the teddy bears though - I am not sure when I became an arctophile!

My mum had this tradition of always buying a bear for a child's first birthday.  Steve and I have sort of carried that on because we tend to buy all the newborns in our family a Build-a-Bear bear as soon as they arrive.  I have always been quite proud of the fact the bear my mum gave me on my first birthday still has his own eyes.  He is almost completely bald and peers down at me from his display shelf liked a wizened teddy-bear Yoda, but I would not part with him for anything.  At one year younger than me, good old Bert celebrates his 60th next year and I believe he contains more than an essence of every day of my life!  I like to think of him as the patriarch. He takes all incoming bears under his thin bald arm and helps them to settle in.

I had this idea once of writing a poem for each of my bears and I started to compile a collection but I have even bears more now so it is an idea that has reawakened.  I thought I'd take photos of them as illustrations; I'm not a bad photographer so it is definitely an idea I will consider seriously in the not too distant future.  In the meantime here are a couple of the original poems.  I know you don't like to comment but it would be good to get some feedback about this so I shall keep my fingers crossed.  Love you all to bits. Jilly xx

(written 29.08.04)

Bert is looking threadbare,
his fur is falling out,
straw is leaking from his paws,
he has a balding snout,
but one thing I am proud of, 
you may feel some surprise,
for all the fact he's 46,
he still has his own eyes.

Bert was given to me
the year that I turned one.
He's been my best companion,
together we've had fun,
and now this king of teddy bears,
who simply lasts and lasts,
sits proudly in my cabinet, 
protected by the glass.

I sometimes hold him in my hands
and stroke what fur is there,
and thank him for the memories 
that we will always share,
for even though he's little
and shrinking more in size,
I'll always be so proud to know,
he still has his own eyes!
(c) Jilly Henderson-Long 2004

(written on 11.9.04)

Reward looks puzzled and
lost in thought,
as he sits and considers 
(as teddy bears ought);
he's lost in a dream,
so must be a poet
who'll one day be famous
(though he doesn't know it),
I'm sure his mind's busy
although he's so rare,
my beautiful magical
one-off old bear!
(c) Jilly Henderson-Long 2004

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