Posted in Life and Family, My Cats, Teddy Bears

The Little Witness Has a Bad Night

The trouble with the Little Witness is that everyone believes in him. I know that isn’t a bad thing when it comes to witnesses, but I really meant ‘believe in’ rather than ‘believe’, like you might ‘believe in’ ghosts. You don’t have to believe every word that issues through a ghost’s pale lips, or the Little Witness’s either, though he’s a decent soul who would only tell the kind of lies that spare people’s feelings, such as “Delilah, you look as fresh as a daisy in that face covering.”

The thing is, you can’t help believing there’s really somebody there and he’s not just a fake stuffed pig staring blankly at the ceiling. It’s not just me… everybody talks to him, and not just humans. All our cats hug him or stare into his eyes and, if nervous or in a bad mood, might hiss, fluff up, and give him a slap upside the head. My mother’s ancient cat loves him. She loves teddy bears of all descriptions anyway, including a massive ‘wolf’ we had for a while, but whenever she sees the Little Witness, she smiles and purrs, and jumps up to give him a smeary kiss on his nose.

Most of the time he’s a calming influence to everybody whether human or feline, but tonight he had a traumatic experience with a bluebottle. It came and sat on his head and wouldn’t fly away. I’m not sure I can blame it, but it thoroughly spooked him. Mum came and killed the fly because I wouldn’t, then at bedtime gave him a polar bear she had got from somewhere. She didn’t want to retire to her slumbers thinking he was upset with her.

There are plenty of things in the world to stress over and get upset about but we have made ourselves a little extra one.

Posted in Technology and Software, Teddy Bears

The Treachery of Things

In my last post I talked about being over-connected by tech, so wasn’t surprised to find the following article in the Scottish Daily Mail:

The ‘smart’ clothes left languishing in wardrobes that can text their owner

If these alerts are ignored, the garments will get in touch with a clothing charity and ask to be recycled

In this brave new world that’s to be our future, I can see myself and my clothes falling out *big* time.

If they stalked off to the local charity shop and I had to fetch them home again, they’d be in the dog house for sure. Even worse would be if something I used to own gossiped about me all around town.

It was her over there; I used to be her skirt. She got tired because my label was always digging into her back… like so!… so that was me out on my ear. By the way, she paid £5 less for me than you did. Bwahahahaha.

Doesn’t it just make you want to kick that skanky rag down the stairs?

I found myself wondering if people would be able to buy ‘smart’ teddy bears. They would send you random emails… not too regularly or too frequently… just often enough to keep you guessing.

Dear Delilah

I was just thinking about you yesterday. I know you’re still alive, because I can hear you walking around the house. It’s cosy inside this bin bag and I get on well with the others, but feel somewhat taken for granted.

Ratzo next to me says he’s thinking of emailing Save the Children. He reckons he might be bought by a nice careful eleven year-old girl, someone who carries him around everywhere, but I said if he’s unlucky he will end up as a dog toy. So I wouldn’t do it.

I think I persuaded him, but you should come and talk to him yourself. He really needs to get out of here soon — I fear for his sanity.

Wait a sec, my phone rang… just off to see who it is.

Love and hugs,

Edward xx

It would be bad enough if you only had a few bears, but if you had a collection of over a dozen bears and they all sat around texting and emailing you, it would drive you to distraction.

What would be even more unbearable would be if some of your bears were wearing clothes, and those decided to start texting and emailing as well.

I’ve been on this bear for three years without a break… he doesn’t even take me off at night, which is truly abysmal. Is there a chance of a nice soothing soak in warm water with a gentle eco fabric conditioner? A jasmine-fragranced one would be perfect.

Pure fantasy, I know; it wouldn’t get that bad. But even if you only had one ‘smart bear’, it would become difficult on a whole other level. Normally, when you have a bear, you have your own idea of his character… his likes, dislikes and the kind of conversations he would have with you. It would definitely jar if he was sending emails that sounded nothing like your idea of him.

Take, for instance, the Little Witness.

He and I like all the same things, of course. We appreciate our iPad a little too much. We enjoy the games we play on it — such as Trolls vs Vikings — and are happy when Inspector Montalbano brightens the TV. We have all the time in the world for each other, and our spats and arguments are few.

I wouldn’t be happy if he took to sending emails that clashed with my picture of him.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I was looking on Amazon just now and ordered a 7″ Kindle Fire. It’s a better tablet than that over-priced Apple rubbish you have. Incidentally, we watch too much TV and lie in bed too long — it’s time we started going for some nice long walks in the early morning air. If we haven’t made it to the top of yonder hill by noon tomorrow, I will contact the local gym and book a life membership with your credit card. You don’t need to worry about the expense, as I suspect you don’t have much life left anyway, so the membership will soon expire.

I’m sorry if you don’t like me lecturing you… it’s all for your own good. The boffins at the EU told me to keep an eye on you.


Little Witness

It would be the end of a beautiful friendship.

Posted in Dreams and Nightmares, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Poetry and Verse, Teddy Bears, Writing

The Little Witness


He sits with his chin on the iPad tray, a game of Risk he will sometimes play; protests my paintings are never quite right, while rolling his eyes at the words I type.

Thoughts from my diary swim past his eyes, mistakes in my emails cause him to cry, and when I’m drafting posts for my blog, with a shake of his head he gustily sighs.

When trawling the ‘net I turn up odd sites on the evils of iCloud or nasty tick bites. He forbids me to believe all that I’ve read — opens eyes wide, says “no no no!” But when ignored so that all falls on my head, this little witness… no, he does not go. Sitting up close, he soothes my distress; says “yes, I forgive… now it’s time to rest.”

Drift to a land of shadowsaurs; they’re so big they eat mountains whole; roaring rivers burst their banks and all past your house tsunamis roll. When you rush to stare from the door, it’s deathly quiet — the land is no more. The moonlight is bright and so is the scene but it’s the single worst thing you’ve ever seen. You bound up the stairs, hurting your arm, but no one is left to raise the alarm. With a gasp you wake in the cold light that’s dawning to tell him bad dreams that seem like a warning.

“Listen,” he says, with a disdainful look, “You are far better off with a good fiction book. You should read about people in fantasy worlds as far from the stars as a cold snowball hurled. Dragons and unicorns suffer no ticks, while evil cloud nets are eventually bricked; real life then has no cause to intrude — the chatter of millions you completely exclude.”

Oh, you might think you’re well enough off; when you get in a twist he’s not there to scoff! But with all of your posts that I read every day, he’s a witness to my life and yours also…

Posted in Computer Graphics, Teddy Bears

Gazing at the Constellations…

A portrait of my favourite dragon, Stargazer. 😎

I did it in Photoshop Elements today. I cheated by having the photograph on a bottom layer as a guide, but the actual painting (by mouse) is mine. It’s a bit rough, but it all takes practice.

Stargazer says his dad was as big as the container lorry in The Transporter. I’m not sure what I’ll do with him if he grows that big. 😉

Posted in Fantasy and Science Fiction, Health Issues, Teddy Bears

Stories of Moonshine

StargazerMum’s had a horrible cold for the past week. Yesterday I said “why do you keep clutching your face?”
“My nose is very sore,” she said. She was streaming; constantly blowing her nose and mopping her eyes. I considered myself lucky to have held out without falling prey to it myself. If this was how she reacted to a plain ordinary cold, goodness knows what would happen if she caught something worse.

Last night I was telling another mortal, tangled up herself in the coil of life, that teddy bears are good to have around — they can be counted on not to die of anything, and if you wake them up in the middle of the night to talk to them, they don’t yell at you. Well, not usually.

Only the night before, I had been talking to Stargazer the dragon. I said we could pretend we were on a beautiful ship of our very own. “Moonshine!” he said. Yes, piloted by Captain Stargazer with his cutthroat crew; First Mate Diddums (bucket’s over there) and Second Mate Magical Bear. With a motley crew of cook etc, but no doctors. Not needed.

Of course it would be night, with lots of stars visible overhead. The ship would be rocking gently, and all the crew would go to bed in the same hammock. No one would be on watch because the good ship Moonshine could be trusted to deal with whatever arose. Meanwhile, our great adventure was just to drift together on the waves, far away from the cares of civilization.

Nothing like it for sending one to sleep.

The next night I crawled back into bed, saying “what will we do this time? We could have something a little more exciting, like a hurricane?”
Captain Stargazer said “I dunno… it’s a bit too soon. Would a choppy night do instead?”
“OK, let’s get cracking, then. It was a dark night. Moonshine tossed restlessly and a cold breeze blew…”

First Mate Diddums couldn’t breathe. All she did was lie prone in the hammock, and her nose filled up. She had been perfectly fine right up till then. Cooked supper, washed dishes, made tea, did a jigsaw. And now this.

She couldn’t sleep. She mumbled, turned over, sneezed violently a multitude of times, and used lots of tissues. She even held her nose… it felt full of acid. All dreams of Moonshine and adventures flew out the porthole.

I got up at 5.30 in the morning. Mum said she could wake me early to do photographic mists and things, but outside it looked like noon already. We’re supposed to leave the photographic mists till later in the year. Instead I went and answered someone on the subject of Apophysis.

My stomach keeps being gripped by cramps, but when I asked Mum if she had that, she said ‘nope’. In fact today she’s quite chirpy and is beetling about washing clothes, making tea, and doing the next jigsaw on our list. So it’s just me, then. I expect I’ll be kicked out of the Moonshine’s hammock tonight.

Posted in My Cats, Photographs, Poetry and Verse, Teddy Bears

The Hyacinth Bear and the Water Fountain

There is a Hyacinth Club in our house. I don’t mean one like the one in the book… this one is composed of bears, cats and snails who like to watch green things grow. Elizabeth wrote a charming poem on her poetry blog about the president of our furry Hyacinth Club — who is over the moon about it.

Picture prompt… that’s an interesting idea! Usually we write something and find a picture to suit the words, but why not the other way around?

I’m not feeling inspired tonight, but I have a photo of one of the club members dabbling in the cats’ water fountain. They love it, and it saves us having to turn on the tap for Samson every five minutes. It was getting a bit much; he would hop up and demand for it to be turned on, then stare at us with a raised eyebrow as though to say “did you want something?” Five minutes later he would be back, asking for the tap again. He would leap on the sink just in front of you when you went to fill the kettle. He would streak rapidly into the bathroom if you were headed that way, and demand a long, leisurely lap at the hand basin.

We were relieved when my sister gave me the water fountain! After setting it up, we took Samson to it every time he requested the tap… he soon got the hint, and drank from the fountain instead. So did all the other cats. We had to prop it up on a footstool, as that was one of the conditions of Samson using it… he simply isn’t interested if he can’t tip his head back, open his mouth and have the water splash in.

A few days ago, some furry unknown knocked the fountain off its perch. Water everywhere! I was in a hurry to turn it off, as apparently the motor burns out if it runs dry. Then I left everything to drain while the carpet dried.

There was a big bowl of fresh water, but the bats — sorry, I mean cats — got increasingly upset about the loss of their fountain. Mum found Delilah pummelling the coffee maker in frustration. When I went down to set it all up again, the cats watched every move, and Delilah put her head in the reservoir to peer at the water. Maybe they were making notes so that they could reassemble it themselves if they had to.

Finally the water was flowing again, and Mum said to Samson, “you won’t knock it over again, will you?” He said nothing, but beamed from ear to ear, his tail wrapped tightly round his feet.


Song in my head (apparently from nowhere): He Aint Heavy, He’s My Brother (Neil Diamond).

The road is long with many winding turns
That lead us to who knows where,
Who knows where?
But I’m strong,
Strong enough to carry him.
He ain’t heavy; he’s my brother.

No, just realized it’s not from nowhere. I began a blog post earlier (then deleted it) saying Mum was blaming the mackerel pâté for making her unwell. I had some and was fine… but then I’m younger and stronger, so that doesn’t mean it wasn’t the pâté.

Corny? Nah. I’ve always loved that song.

Posted in Photographs, Teddy Bears, TV and Films

Donkey Kittens

I got bored waiting for my slow USB drive to finish backing up, so I dug out my camera…

A friend said she didn’t like the expression of the strawberry ‘kitten’ and wouldn’t trust it anywhere, and I said you can imagine how Shrek feels with these things around his house all the time.

Posted in Hearing Loss, Political and Social Issues, Teddy Bears

Backing Away from Kissing Spots and Bears

Today in the supermarket, we came inside the front entrance with our shopping trolley, and I was looking at the vegetables. Then I noticed a large bullseye stuck to the floor, with the words ‘Kissing Spot.’

Hur? I took another few paces, thinking about it, then turned round and looked up. Hanging above the kissing spot was a gigantic bunch of artificial mistletoe.

Well, it made me smile. I suppose some people do go to supermarkets to check out the talent… they do! I’ve been asked out of the blue about cooking instructions but I’m sure it was just a ploy.

Supermarkets are the arena where life is played out; they’re the modern market place. Some years ago I was passing our supermarket at a distance, and there was an ambulance with a woman on a stretcher being lifted into it. She had a lot of bandaging on her head. As it was Christmas Eve, I’ve often wondered if she got caught up in a fight over the last frozen turkey.

There was a teddy bear hanging on a hook in the supermarket, and it said on his label “ALFIE SAYS”… Well, I wanted to know what he said, so I looked inside his label, and it said “I want you to kiss me and hug me and love me, and take me to bed… I’ll be your bear!” Or something of the kind. “Uh oh,” I thought, “mistake.” And put him back hurriedly. I’ll let someone else kiss him and hug him and love him and take him to bed… I’ve got tons of bears already to do that with.

Was he a predatory bear, or just searching for love and companionship? I’ll never know.

There’s another thought I had just now, but this is not about supermarkets. I was browsing around, reading other blogs, and came across a site where someone said he wanted to read blogs which were not trying to fix deaf people, but placed them and their lives in a positive light.

That made me stop in my tracks. I don’t think this is that kind of a blog, but at the same time I’m not pushing for miracle cures or whatever. To me, being deaf is not a positive thing, but I’m probably supportive of it in a way that says “this is what I am, and I can’t be the one to do all the changing.”

Often I think that’s my main reason for being so opinionated on the subject of overpopulation, which is a situation that overrides everything else so much, making small problems big and big problems huge. Everything becomes much more impersonal, there’s less space (e.g. the microscopic women’s room I was squeezed into in a coffee shop a few days ago), fewer resources, less patience, less accountability, less time, more competition, more output, more dogs to eat other dogs, and more rats to race against each other….

Can’t say I’m a positive spinner! I didn’t put myself forward as a candidate.

Still, it made me think. Being positive is always good. Humour is good, as is acceptance. And not every bear is a predator.