Oh, bother!

November 19, 2009


I was raised on Winnie-the-Pooh. When I was a little kid, just about everything of mine was somehow associated with Pooh. As late as ninth grade, I had a polo shirt with a pattern of small Pooh bears all over it.

One of my baby pictures shows me on my parents’ bed cozying up to Pooh (I claim to remember this). As a toddler, I had Pooh characters on my bedroom walls. Pooh sheets, Pooh kid’s dishes set, Pooh, Pooh, Pooh. I had a large rubber Pooh that was one of my favorite toys before I discovered ’67 Mustangs. I was devastated when his perfect nose became slightly deformed after melting a bit on a hot radiator. There was also a plush Pooh that was nearly as big as I was.

My mom dressed me in a steady stream of Winnie-the-Pooh clothing, thanks to the Sears catalog. Sears was our official source of Pooh. I remember several mix-and-match items of Pooh-branded clothing in bright colors—multi-colored striped and patterned shirts that went with a variety of solid-colored bottoms. I was stylin’ in my Pooh! And somehow, I proudly wore that Pooh polo when I was 14. Omigosh, I just realized that if you’ve been following this blog, you’ve seen that shirt in Pearly Whites! Yes, that’s it under a sweater for my school photo.

My mom collects teddy bears, and I have no idea if that evolved from all the Winnie-the-Pooh business. (It should be noted that we also had a fairly well-developed interest in Paddington Bear, though not to the same extent.) But it did inform her selection of which group tours to travel with to Europe. In 1998, she took me along on one that canvassed the UK.

I thought that how I fell in love with the UK, and London in particular, on that trip was going to be the subject of tonight’s post. But that’s the fun thing about using a pretty random photo to inspire what I write about. Several times already, the resulting narrative has been completely different than what I had in mind when I fired up the iBook (my writing computer). This is another one.

One of the bear-inspired locales of this particular trip was Hartfield, East Sussex. Given my mom’s and my history with Winnie-the-Pooh, one of the highlights of the trip was playing Poohsticks together on Poohsticks Bridge in nearby Ashdown Forest. My mom got quite emotional about it. One of our fellow travelers snapped a few pictures of this family bonding moment.

2 Responses to “Oh, bother!”

  1. Dan Fone Says:

    Hey, I saw a thing on the New York Times website yesterday about leaves cut into picture shapes. There was one of a ’57 Ford Thunderbird. It was quite fetching. If only it had been a Mustang though. Oh, oops, back to work…

  2. someToast Says:

    Whenever it’s overcast, I can’t help but think "Tut tut, looks like rain!"

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