Meeting an old friend

November 18th, 2014, 11am

It was 12°C with clouds and visibility OK. The wind was light.

Yes, I know it’s another charity jumping on the bandwagon (and perhaps even worse, exploiting a commercial tie-in with the launch of a new film), but I’m rather pleased to see this familiar figure from my childhood making an appearance on the streets of London.

Although I grew up surrounded by books, many were of the reference variety and I had little interest in the novels, poetry and other items that were hidden among the more serious tomes. I could read, but didn’t find it to be a particularly enjoyable experience. Even now, although I read much more than I used to, I think I would have to be honest and say that I prefer the medium of film.

But one series of books that I did read as a child and that always had me laughing out loud (much to the annoyance of other family members, I seem to recall) were the Paddington Bear books by Michael Bond. Not exactly high-brow literature, but then I just couldn’t get on with the novels of Jane Austen or the Brontës or other so-called classics. Why read something so deadly dull and boring when you could read something hilarious and easy-going?!

Yes, I loved Paddington, and all his ridiculous antics. Michael Bond’s writing style is so easy and believable (once you accept the premise of a talking bear, obviously) and the unfortunate way in which most things he did ended in some kind of disaster or other just made him all the more endearing.

Sadly none of the Paddington Bear trails come near my work, with the outlier at the British Museum being the only statue I can get to comfortably in my lunch break (shown in the photo above). There are 50 statues altogether, each bearing a different design (created by various famous people), but I think I’ll have to content myself with looking at most of them via the website

I’m sure I shall go and watch the new film, while at the same time muttering that “it’s not as good as the books were”. And perhaps I’ll load a few of those books from my childhood onto my Kindle and embarrass myself on the train as I laugh out loud all over again!

Shu and Christine said thanks.

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Adrian Tribe

A follower of Jesus Christ, a husband and father, a Kentish Man (not a Man of Kent), a commuter to London

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