Please Look After This Bear

3 01 2015

I’ve been trying to be more creative this holiday. Trying – and I may add: occasionally succeeding – to write each day as part of my Creative Writing commitment. Taking photos too. I post on Flickr and in perusing a friend’s photos I came across another commenter. You know how these things work. The interwebs I mean. A click here, a click there… and suddenly you’re down the rabbit-hole.

This particular poster had themselves posted a series of photos from London. Though no longer on display, there had been a series of 50 statues of Paddington Bear. Each had been uniquely decorated and they are being auctioned off to support the UK’s NSPCC (a particularly worthy children’s charity). I urge you to check out her photo series here.

There was actually a guided trail to make sure you could visit all 50 statues. You can see them all here. There was even a Chief Scout one… by Bear Grylls (UK’s Chief Scout. Really).

Chief Scout Paddington

The bears were to help market the up-coming Paddington Bear film, starring Hugh Bonneville. I was somewhat wary of this, given the travesty that was made of The Magic Roundabout – a firm childhood favourite, despite being French in origin. Eric (Emma’s dad) Thompson was a master with the original.

If you weren’t familiar with the original Michael Bond books as a child, then you couldn’t have missed the Michael Hordern animations, surely?

The new film seems to have some “odd” additions (like Nicole Kidman’s taxidermist), but thankfully seems to also include classic themes such as Paddington getting his name, making a mess in the railway café… and discovering bathroom etiquette. “Dogs must be carried on the escallator” is also a classic Paddington-esque double entendre. Due to some of his “unsafe” escapades such as being stuck in a fridge and skateboarding whilst being pulled by a bus, the film was given a PG rating – much to Mr. Bond’s personal surprise. Here’s a piece from CNN regarding the rating.

Having seen the full two and half minute trailer though, I have to admit to being quite interested in seeing it. I think it could very well hold enough of the original quintessential Peruvian bear to merit paying the extortionate cinema fee!

Seen In Vancouver #374: The City’s Coolest Roundabout is at St. George & 10th Avenue : Scout Magazine

18 06 2012


Seen In Vancouver #374: The City’s Coolest Roundabout is at St. George & 10th Avenue : Scout Magazine.

Seen In Vancouver #374: The City’s Coolest Roundabout is at St. George & 10th Avenue : Scout Magazine

So cool, so cool! I love the quirky nature of Vancouver and its environs. I have a soft spot for roundabouts too, having lived 15 years or so in Milton Keynes – where they’re bred competitively. But, the king of all roundabouts has to be in Hemel Hempstead. Not to be outdone by Danot, they have their own special Magic Roundabout. A roundabout surrounded by roundabouts. Not for the faint-hearted… or tourists!

Wikipedia: The Magic Roundabout


Don’t stand on ceremony

29 01 2012

So, Florence + the Machine have a newish album out: Ceremonials. My daughter loves it, but I’m still in the “meh” stage. It’s yet to grow on me. But, like fungus, and if I’m lucky enough a mixed coloured, quite uncategorisable hydrangea – I’m sure it eventually will.

Wikipedia: Ceremonials

Wikipedia: Ceremonials

Dougal and the Blue Cat (Buxton, the more learned amongst you will already know) is on my list for future potential postings, but let me just say that this is not the same Florence. No, that Florence is the one much maligned by Jasper Carrot’s parody of Magic Roundabout.

Florence + the Crew

Florence + the Crew

And I have to say I think that Noddy has much to regret in that whole sorry affair.

Now hang on while I have a sip of tea. I need a second to just try and remember where the hell I was going with all this….


… ah yes! Got it. Nearly there. Keep your legs crossed, the bus will stop soon enough.

So this Florence, one Ms Welch, is from London (not Ontario), and fronts the band. “The Machine” is a group of musicians who back her. The appeal her music has to me is that it’s very hard to categorise. All the best things are, in my view (the only one, let’s face it, that I actually care about). One of the hardest things I’ve ever tried to do was to describe a peacock’s tail feather to a blind lady. She eventually took pity on me, and we got drunk instead. It was a simpler concept. So anyway, earlier on in her career, Florence wrote a boppy little number called Kiss with a fist. She rerecorded it with The Machine and put it on their first album Lungs.

Despite the apparently violent lyrics, Florence (according to Wikipedia at least) claims it is metaphorical, and actually about a couple who express their love through tension and violent fantasy, a “destructive force”.

I quote:

Florence explained the song’s meaning on her MySpace:

“Kiss with a Fist” is NOT a song about domestic violence. It is about two people pushing each other to psychological extremes because they are fighting but they still love each other. The song is not about one person being attacked, or any actual physical violence, there are no victims in this song. Sometimes the love two people have for each other is a destructive force. But they can’t have it any other way, because it’s what holds them together, they enjoy the drama and pushing each other’s buttons. The only way to express these extreme emotions is with extreme imagery, all of which is fantasism and nothing in the song is based on reality. 

So – take it how you will, but without further ado, I give you, ladies, gentlemen, and anyone else feeling left out by those labels, Florence, her Machine and Kiss with a Fist:


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