This week, Alex talks about Laura Brown’s feature on teddy bears in our March 26 issue – on sale now!
I loved Laura’s feature this week. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that time with a teddy improves your mental wellbeing.
When I was quite young, I collected a few stuffed toys. A hedgehog named Henry. A knitted version of SuperTed made by my Grandma. We also had a couple of Winnie the Poohs in the house, though we preferred it when they made them more like E.H. Shepard’s illustrations than the Disney version.
However, my favourite was a duffed-up chap called Edward Bonkins. I don’t know where he got the name from! I didn’t have him from new, so I never felt the obligation to keep him spick and span. Thus he was always to go-to bear to play with, when others would be left on the shelf, to stay clean and fluffy.
My wife had an enormous panda that was big enough for her to sleep on as a tot. Panda’s stuffing started to compress around the joints, and he started to get a bit floppy. He went for a repair to her parents – a la the Teddy Bear Ladies from the Repair Shop.
Bless him, but when he came back, he was a bit overstuffed. In order to future-proof him from sagging during the hard years of our son’s youth, they’d padded him well. He looked like a balloon fit to pop.
Anyway, both Panda and Edward Bonkins are still with us today. My mum held on to him and brought him up just before our son was born.
It’s Getting Otter
I was curious to know whether anyone else still had a teddy bear or two lying around. It’s clear a few of you do, from the Facebook post we put up this morning!
Our son has an otter that keeps him company. He likes to stroke his feet as he drifts off to sleep. What he doesn’t know is that there are actually two identical twins. When one ends up in the mud or covered in food, they’re swapped (out of sight).
I can’t imagine the trauma if he realised there were two! But I’m glad he’s developed an attachment to his own toy. I’m not sure Edward Bonkins or Panda could stand up to another childhood.
If you’ve got a special wee friend from childhood, we’d love to hear from you! Either tell us on our Facebook page, or write to our email, email@example.com.