Teddy Bears’ Picnic

We’re still working our way through boxes of stuff that went from store in Nairn to store in Edinburgh. As we suspected, this has resulted in the off-loading of several boxes and bags full of things for which we have no further need or room (usually both). We’ve been more or less applying our categories for keeping and jettisoning stuff, and taking unwanted items to our current charity of choice, which is – unsurprisingly – Cancer Reseach UK (since they fund my lovely oncologist Charlie’s Research Unit at Edinburgh).

Last week we took some boxes to the shop on Morningside Road and discovered to our amusement that some of the stuff we’d taken there the week before had found its way into the shop window with a quite expensive price tag and the description ‘vintage pyrex’. Well, as Wilf once said, we did have some ‘nice shit’. Yesterday we went back with more stuff, and the vintage pyrex had gone from the window. Instead, to our slight consternation we spied sitting there … Dee’s teddy-bear Cromarty (£25) and my teddy-bear Old Blind Ted (priceless).

I had just about recovered sufficiently from a paroxysm of giggles to think about taking a photo of the bears in all their resplendent shop-window-dressed glory, when they were suddenly whisked away at the behest of a woman who had just entered the shop. There ensued a most intense discussion at the counter, with Cromarty and Ted being held aloft, prodded and poked, arms extended, faults and repairs investigated. Of course I had to go and ear-wig on the conversation, and eventually thought I should introduce myself as Old Blind Ted’s former responsible adult. The lady was a bit of a teddy-bear expert in the process of gathering artefacts for a new museum she is establishing in Edinburgh. Turns out OBT is a bit older than I thought, and probably Polish in origin (!). Cromarty was pronounced to be a ‘lovely bear’ (she hasn’t really got to know the rougher points of his character yet) who had been kissed a lot on his nose and hugged disproportionately on his right side (Dee pleads complete ignorance as to how that might have happened).

The decision to rehome Cromarty and OBT had not been taken lightly. Some may remember that OBT made an unsuccessful application for asylum to the Canadian authorities last autumn. But following the bears’ latest incarceration in Nairn they had had enough of us and asked if they could be found a new home where they would be accorded a bit more love and appreciation. I’m not sure how they will feel about being classed as museum pieces but they will undoubtedly get some attention and at least they will be together (I didn’t tell the museum lady but they have actually been in a civil partnership since 2005).

Apparently the first thing she will do with them is put them in the cooler for a few days, to kill off any moths they may be harbouring. I think I managed to look suitably aloof at this insult to their personal hygiene, and while I don’t think they will take very kindly to this treatment, I’m sure it’s a means to a warm and happy end. And all in a very good cause.

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