Saturday, 7 July 2012

Teddybears And Teacups

Source for this image here.

We had such a wonderful day out today!

Papa Bear took me on a bear trail!  Well, of course, being bears it was only natural that we should want to find ourselves among friends ...

Joking aside, we truely did have a lovely day out.  It started with us driving out into the countryside to take part in a village "bear trail".  This is an annual event that the village holds where villagers can choose to join in or not.  Each participant designs their own model teddybear, a bit like a bonfire night "guy" or a scarecrow.  Most are made of straw, but there were some made of other materials too, and all of them were really cleverly created so they still looked like teddybears, even from a distance.  The bears are life sized, and this year there were more than a hundred to find!  You can buy a map which shows you how to find them all, and the money raised from the maps and from yard sales held around the village is used to raise funds for the village church and other charities.  All the bears are designed with comical or topical themes.  There were lots of bears with a royal theme because of it being the Diamond Jubilee this year of our Queen Elizabeth II, and there were also olympic themed bears, tennis bears, football bears and several nautical bears, as we live in a part of England very close to the sea. 

We couldn't find all of them, but we found a Jack-And-The-Beanstalk bear, a homeless bear, a sunbathing bear, an astronaut bear, and a whole fleet of "Royal Navy" bears on a boat!  Some of them were really funny to see - there was one that was "bearly connected", which was a bear with a computer that had very poor internet access (in our part of the world this is a perennial problem we all experience - even with wireless broadband) and another bear that was "Rule Bear-tannia" instead of "Rule Britannia", complete with spear, shield and crown!  We really enjoyed trying to find them all, and we also enjoyed looking around the yard sales that were also set up along the way.  We didn't buy anything, but it was interesting to see what people had for sale - the strangest things on some stalls!  Some people only had a few things, others had lots and lots and were obviously professional "car booters" who knew how to draw the customers in!  Some people had even gone to the trouble of making bear-themed refreshments to sell, and there were stalls selling toys, books, music and films, household goods, babyware and nursery equipment, and just about anything - including a kitchen sink - and even some doors and windows!  As we looked around we talked about what sort of bears we would have created, if we were taking part in the bear trail.  Papa Bear said he would definitely want to have a fishing bear, with a rod and line and a big straw fish, and I said I would have a bear in a tutu and ballet shoes - she would be a BEAR-llerina!  What a pity we don't have anything like this here where we live!  It would be so much fun to join in and get creative.  The sense of community spirit that you could feel among the villagers was so pleasant to experience, and it was lovely to see how everyone - young and old, had joined in so enthusiastically.  We definitely intend to be back next year!

Afterwards, we drove on through the beautiful countryside to visit another couple of villages not far away.  It was lovely to drive along the winding narrow roads, between softly rippling cornfields edged with scarlet poppies, and rolling hills of warm green and gold.  Everywhere there was frilly white "cow parsley" and trees heavy with shining leaves.  Summer is in full bloom!  And although the sky did cloud over for a while and for a time it poured heavily with rain, for the rest of the day the sun shone beautifully.  We wished we had thought to bring a picnic - but we hadn't planned to be out all that long!  Instead, when we reached the second village we realised it was past our lunch time!  We stopped at a pretty cafe and had the most beautiful meal of filled wholegrain rolls and salad.  It was simple, but so delicious and the cafe was lovely - the people who worked there were so friendly and the tables were so prettily decorated with orange and yellow tablecloths and tableware.  We also had cups of tea, served in the same lovely yellow earthenware teacups and with a matching teapot.  I thought it was charming!

We looked at some shops there too and although I was tempted to buy a skirt and top that I saw, I didn't - I really don't need any more clothes just now.  I don't need any more china, either, but Papa Bear bought me two sweet ornaments - a tiny china vase of pink roses and a heart-shaped box, made of china, set with more china roses on the lid and edged with pink china ribbon!  It is gorgeous - I can't understand why anyone would want to give it away, and when he told me how much they had cost (just pence) I was astonished!   To me they are priceless - a beautiful reminder of a wonderful day out, and a precious gift from my most dearly beloved.  Thank you so much sweet Papa Bear xxxxx

What a lovely Saturday!  I don't want it to end!