Monday, 31 December 2007

Fireworks and feathers!

Happy New Bluebell
Add Glitter to Pictures

Lots to write about but not much time and it is difficult to type in feather plumes and a showgirl costume.

So I am just going to wish you a wonderful 2008! May your feather plumes stay fluffy!

Friday, 21 December 2007

In the deep midwinter

Hello. In darkest Fife. Nearly time for the Winter Solstice and we've just had a wee bit of snow. A glittery of snow on top of a sparkly of frost. Pretty to look at. When you're wrapped up in hats and scarves and gloves and many, many layers and you know a nice warm cottage is at the end of the path.

Here's something for the longest night - The Sunshine Makers - as seen on BoingBoing.



Big warm solstice hug from Bear and Madame


Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Mulled bear

Deck the house with bits of muffin
Tralala la lalala
Wrap the bear in lots of tinsel
Dededede dede de

It's fun! fun! fun! Until you get caught doing it and have to spend the rest of the evening in the naughty corner while someone else hoovers up the bits of shredded tinsel and crumbled muffin.

Ok. So I got a bit overexcited at the weekend. But I had fun.

We struggled through the wind and sleet to attend Mr Flynn's birthday party. I say "we struggled". Obviously I was wrapped up safely and warmly in a nice bag. Madame and Nomi did the struggling and got all soppy wet.

They got dried out and ate sausage rolls and stuff on sticks while I got on with the important business. I played Hide Behind The Cushion and Run Up And Down and Roll About On The Floor. Mr Flynn's younger brother Mr Theo expressed a polite interest in my nose and buttons.

Mr Flynn received some very lovely presents including a pair of froggy wellingtons and an wol owl hat. But my favourite was the big yellow dumper truck. I would love a big yellow truck. You know. If someone would like to buy me one.


And then on Sunday evening we did Decorating The Tree. Yay! And to make it even more special we listened to The Cinnamon Bear. It was the first time I'd heard of Paddy O'Cinnamon. It was some good old time fun! An every day tale of naughty pirates, evil witches, crazy quilt dragons and things that throw mud. What more could you want? Oh. Really! I suppose ...

Must go. Busy week for Madame. And next week - aaaaaarrrrrgggghhhh - preparing to visit The Cats.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

The bah humbug traitor


I had decided to hold out against all the Christmas jollification and stuff after all. Too much fuss. Don't like fuss. Bah humbug to fuss. I grrred and growled and told her ladyship that there would be none of that nonsense here. We would do a bit of low key solstice celebrating - maybe hug a small fir tree when no one was looking - but bah humbug to tinsel and glittery things and fairy lights and getting all jolly and jingly.


And then. Shhhhhh. Promise me that you won't tell anyone I said this. Ok. Oh, the shame ...

Yesterday Madame received her parcel full of Wainwright does Judy Garland and she was listening to it last night. Over and over again obviously. I naturally attempted to hide and to block my ears with cushions. But. Half way through The Trolley Song - yes, The Trolley Song - I started to feel all - I think it's called happy. I danced. Bear does Rufus does Judy. Don't you make that face at me. I know. I know. And it could happen to you.

And I woke up this morning with a great need for Crimbo nonsense. I want snowmens and reindeers and fake snow and - no, not santas - Madame is santaphobic - holly and mistletoe and - do I want egg nog? what is egg nog? - maybe egg nog.

But first I'm going to Mr Flynn's birthday party. He's 2 today. Hurrah for Mr Flynn! He does lots of running about and making noise and he's brill!



Sunday, 2 December 2007

Rise up. Be a nation. Go back to bed.




So we've had St Andrew's Day and have started to burn down the numbers on our advent candle. Time to look forward to all the glitter and tinsel and stuff that helps us through gloomy midwinter.

Well, I'm looking forward to that - in my own Bah Humbug Don't Make Me Wear A Stupid Santa Hat way. Madame can't see past next week. Oh, when will her copy of Rufus!Rufus!Rufus! does Judy!Judy!Judy! arrive? Gosh! You mean you didn't have the release date marked in big red letters in your diary? We must not mock. I certainly won't be mocking. I don't want to be destuffed and used as an oven glove.

And she's not been well. Yawn. Operation Get Madame Back To Work is about to enter its 2nd week. Hum. Why do I keep thinking of Raise The Titanic? Never mind.

Have a good week. And remember when you are dusting off those decorations - tinsel is never as tasty as it looks.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Let's call him Mr Splashy Pants!



Hurrah! Some happy Name that animal news!

Round of applause for Greenpeace.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Mass Observation

Madame has been reading Our Hidden Lives. The book follows five diaries, collected by the Mass Observation Archive, through the years straight after World War Two. Madame had originally bought it with the idea of giving it away as a Christmas present but has enjoyed it so much that I think it's going to stay. And she'll be hunting for other copies to give away.

She has been a bit gloomy recently but the book has been giving her lots of things to think about. Very different times in some respects but a lot of familiar situations.

How would we deal with rationing, fuel shortages and make-do-and-mend? Hum. Luckily for me, Madame can manage a bit of making do and mending - repairing my fur is fine but darning socks and turning sheets?!

I've been busy stomping about and being angry. Do I need to say about what? Let's just say that yesterday I was thinking about changing my name. I was going to call myself Buddha Ganesh Jehovah Thor Modron Great Mother of the Lineage of Avallach Ra Flying Spaghetti Monster McMuffin Bear. But Madame has vetoed this. Says she's not in any condition to deal with fatwas and legal action. Although there might be the chance of a free meal if the Pastafarians turned up to throw meatballs. She might buy a net on a stick just in case.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Cutest of them all

Having a nice quiet day. Freezing cold and rain demands that we go back to bed with a hot water bottle and a good book. Listening to Biscuit. Madame got me Saucy Haulage Ballads as a thank you for all the extra trauma sponging I've been doing recently.

A good day. But the Guardian has to spoil it. A certain Sam Delany person claims, in an article in today's Guide, that "not content with being the poster bears of environmentalism, our polar friends are taking over TV and cinema screens too." The creamy furred iceberg botherers are apparently taking over from penguins as the Cute Animal Du Jour.

Humph. And humph again. I don't think the seals are going to like this. Never mind the penguins. Never diss a penguin. They can be right nippy when they want to be. If you ever wake up with a sardine head on the pillow next to you ... oh, that's a whole lot of Witness Protection Scheme you'll be needing. Unless you have a cat. In which case, just be glad you've woken up with your head still attached.

But I digress. Oh, yes. Having a hissy fit about polar bears in the Guardian. "But Bear," you are probably saying, "aren't you just being jealous and mean?" Yes. And what of it? If it had been pandas - fine, who doesn't love pandas (oh, this is odd news) and koalas - ok, they look a bit grumpy and they are all riddled with various unpleasant diseases - but they have the cutest fluffly ears. And, ladies and gentlemen, I give you *drum roll* - The Sea Otter ...


Where's your cute old polar bear now, Mr/Ms Guardian Person? Eh! Well! Ok, maybe I have been sitting too close to the hot water bottle. Off to sit in the fridge for a while. See if proximity to the ice cubes boosts my cuteness levels.

More sea otter fun here.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

The Bear Identity - a secret life in pictures

Oh, little blog! I am a bad and unfaithful bear. I have been off having wild and dangerous adventures without you.

I have hung out with rock stars.


There have been mysterious blondes

and glamorous raven haired femme fatales.

Wild parties,

private jets,
and knitting.

All that and trying to stick Madame back together again.

It has been tiring. Occassionally fun. Often frustrating. Worrying. Confusing.

And not nearly enough of this


Friday, 9 November 2007

Extremely Tired Toy



Bear is having a nice long lie down in a darkened room.

Back soon.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Beware the tattie bogle!





Hello! Want any guisers? None of that "Trick or treat?" stuff here. We're having a hardcore traditional Scottish Halloween.

I did suggest having a scary film fest but Madame burst into tears when I suggested the first title. I know she's had nightmares about it and a lot of people do think it is the most horrifying film ever made but we couldn't have a scary film fest without "Love, Actually". It would be like a walnut whip without the walnut.

Instead we'll huddle round the turnip lantern and tell ghost stories. Madame is threatening to play "Twinkle, twinkle, little star" on her recorder - she claims that party piece used to go down a storm when she was 5.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Mr Sharp presents ...





I hope that Mr Sharp doesn't mind us including his excellent Youtube presentation here, but even Madame, who would usually rather lick Marmite off John Prescott than have anything to do with the Beautiful Game, was impressed by the gentle mix of visuals and music.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Sunday of the Bewildered Beast


Suddenly it's Sunday again and I am bewildered. Humph. Autumn. Fine on crisp, bright days but on gloomy, grey days a small bear can become lethargic. Mooching around in jammies and grumping.

Things I have learned this week -

1. Do NOT mock Mr R. Wainwright in Madame's presence. She saw both of his Glasgow shows. Wonderful. Very wonderful. Singing. Dancing. Lederhosen. Played "Poses" so beautifully that it fair broke her flinty little heart. Energy and humour and confidence. She wanted to come home, pack a bag, and run away to Paris.

I wouldn't have minded that part. Unfortunately we only have enough money between us to get to Cumbernauld. And we're not doing that again.

2. Bear favourite to win Turner Prize. Woo hoo! Did get a bit over excited when I first read this. Finally recognised for my Art! I work mostly in crayon and used envelopes. But, no, it's an artist called Mark Wallinger - dressed as a bear and videoed wandering round a Berlin art gallery. Sounds like Big Serious Art to me. None of that messing about with paint malarky.

3. The Time Bandits map made real! I want one. I can't have one. Humpf.

4. Kylie Minogue is a tiny, little person. Have to take Madame's word on this one. She pottered along to Kelvingrove Museum for a nice, quiet afternoon. Kylie exhibition is on. Wanted to see the pretty costumes. Maybe have a nice sit down, cup of tea and a bit of cake with all the other old folk. Oops. Paws up who knew it was the school holidays? Doh. She did manage to wade through a sea of screaming spogs to see the Australian pixie's hot pants and was impressed by the feathers and glitter of the Showgirl costumes.

5. Eddie Izzard looks pretty in a fairy costume and it's fun to play with his fridge when you're bored. Or have things to do but can't be bothered.

I'm sure there were other things but it's Sunday evening and it's all rather hazy. New week ahead.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Cosy crime travel to Wainwright while dangerous blondes lurk


A quiet day. Madame has Wainwright tonight. She has been curled up reading some Evelyn Waugh. A selection of his travel writing.

I'm not that keen on travel books. I would rather be out and doing for myself. But Madame is fond of the quirkier, chattier books. One bloke's trip around the shipping forecast. That kind of thing.

She is also on a cosy crime spree. Working her way through a pile of pretty green and white Penguins. Full of frustrated maiden aunts poisioning curates and housemaids with arsenic filled muffins.

I prefer my crime hardboiled. Chandler. Hammett. Noir. Flickering neon. Neat bourbon. Dangerous blondes.

Bears know all about dangerous blondes.

It's true. No bowl of porridge, no shuggly chair, no freshly made bed is safe while blondes roam free.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Happy Birthday. Snuggly fruit. Gardening in the dark.

It could be argued that it doesn't take much to distract me from my sulky strop. But this is marvelous. Wondrous. I am going to authorise the use of a "squeeeeeeee!" here. This is also completely silly, frivolous, and probably totally unnecessary. I could be wrong. There are possibly good reasons for keeping your apples and pears all snuggly and warm and wrapped up in pretty colours. Ta da! Woolly jumpers for fruit!

Another fine recommendation from Fabulist!

Hope this makes up for the earlier gloom. Madame says I can play with her new black feather fan while she learns more about In The Night Garden. Hum. All aboard the Ninky Nonk. Quite.

Oh, and ... Unkle S ...

Big boy bully. Fizzy knees. Sulky bear.


It serves her right. She says she feels like she has been mugged by effalumps. Ha! She got to play with the nice toy cars yesterday and I didn't. There was the big car and the little truck and the tricycle - all just the right size for a small bear but Nasty Jack wouldn't let me play with any of them. It's not fair and I was very upset. He might be only 1 but I've got feelings too. And now Madame has fizzy knees and I don't care. *stomps paw and pouts*

Sorry. Silly, grumpy, ranty bear. Going to sit in a my shoebox and pretend it's a 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Supersport sports car. Brum brum. Beep beep!

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Bell, book, and tealight


I'm not totally convinced by this Fatigue stuff. It would explain the tired and achy. But? A sudden desire to knit socks while listening to The Navy Lark. It's either a cry for help or she's possessed. Possessed by an 85 year old woman. That's my guess.

I'm keeping a close eye. I've put all my own work to one side. The first hint of a spam fritter or an interest in Arthur Askey and I'll spring into action.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Puir wee lamb


She's a sad sight. She had a ticket to see Ed Harcourt at Oran Mor tonight but the poor little sad sack is too knackered for stand up, crowded, noisy fun.

And.

Insult to injury. Vashti Bunyan is on Radcliffe & Maconie. She - Ms. Bunyan - sounds like a lovely woman - but the look on Madame's wan wee face would crack a granite heart. Good job that I'm heartless. She's trying to get me to join her in a game of Mousetrap.

It's board games or knitting. She's been having a look at some of her craft books today and is thinking about attempting some Big Knitting. Something smallish and simple on biggish needles. By coincidence Althea Merback's beautiful wee pieces of miniature knitting got a mention on BoingBoing today. Lovely stuff.

Ah. She's just perked up a bit. The Scaremongers are making her happy. Yes, it is that Simon Armitage.

Just time for some Coulter's Candy before bed. Remember and brush your teeth after! Night night.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Candie is my darling


So, I'm going to have Madame mooching about for the next couple of weeks. Apparently she may be suffering from something called Post Viral Fatigue.

I don't know. She is a lazy sausage. I will be supervising her rehabilitation.

Any trouble and I'm going to replace her with Candie Payne. I like Candie Payne. I like Candie Payne a lot. Possibly even more than Regina Spektor. I'm going to have to go and think about this. Madame is getting a bit old and tatty. Might be time to trade her in for a new model. And a shiny red sports car.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Bear on a bridge. Bear in a cave. Horse on drugs. Socialist squirrels.


I'm not buying this bear on a bridge story. He panicked. Humph. I think we all know that this was an Extreme Ironing stunt that went wrong. Just out of shot in that first photo there's a polar bear legging it with a can of spray starch and a pile of freshly pressed pillow cases.

Elsewhere on the Interknit I've learned that drugs is bad.

And why Mummy Mommy Squirrel is a democrat.

I haven't thought about it too much but I'd say that the squirrels about here looked more like Socialist Workers. I'll try humming The Red Flag next time one lands in the window box.

Had a bit of old fashioned fun last weekend thanks to a challenge from top bear Jasper - pillow fort building.

I built me a Cushion Cave. Snuggly. A certain person was rather sniffy.

"Stop messing up the bed. Why are you building a Neolithic burial chamber out of cushions?"

Just jealous. And there weren't enough pillows for a Great Pyramid.

Friday, 28 September 2007

Wandering mind


It's been a bit of a week. Tired out. A lot of trauma sponging done. Am awash with angst and tears.

Toy bears - the forgotten emergency service. Because Raj Persaud won't always be there.

I did have some help. A big shout out to Mr Devandra Bernhart. We take back everything we said about you.

*cough - scary folk muppet - cough*

We take it all back. We bow down before you. First there was that photograph. And we've heard a couple of songs from the new album and they're ok. Quite good actually. No one's going to be injured in the stampede to turn the radio off if they get played.

(J'accuse Vashti Bunyan - my paw hasn't been right since the Great Turn-That-Off-Now! Disaster of 2006 - I don't care if you do have star children in your hair - keep it to yourself in future. Yours, a small crushed bear)

Sorry, where was I? Oh, yes. Drum roll, please! Ta da! Dress Up Devendra!

Is it just us? Are we just easily amused? Well, yes, but ...

More fun than the dress-up dolls in Twinkle .

Actually I quite liked "Twinkle". It was Madame who had spoil things and tell the lovely Grandma that She was a big, grown up girl now and "Twinkle" was for babies and big, grown up girls read "Smash Hits". Not "Bunty". "Bunty" was for stupid girly girls who played with, yuk, dolls.

Oooooooo. That's odd. I started out with a bloke in a spangly bra and here I am having a Proustian tea and cake moment.

I'm sorry. I am going to have to retire to my cork lined shoe box now. To contemplate my past.





Sunday, 23 September 2007

Balloons and elephants!

Happy Birthday, Nomi!






Wavy paw from Madame and Bear. Hope you're having a good time!

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Hornpipe ban

Be alert. Be vigilant. If you go out on the wild and lawless high seas of the Interknit today, you may come across hideous scenes involving blood curdling torture (of the Queen's English) and reckless bandana wearing.

I, however, am preparing to hold firm and maintain a dignified and proper course of naval discipline. I will be celebrating the memory of Lieutenant Robert Maynard - best known for defeating the dastardly Blackbeard - by keelhauling one of the smaller toys.

If you would all like to stand to attention and salute the flag. Ladies and gentlemen, the National Anthem ...



Monday, 17 September 2007

Adding insult to injury, or, I'm ready for my close-up.

Maybe I'm just grumpy. I did have to dig my way out of a landslide of ironing to get here. And I didn't get to go to any of the Doors Open stuff on Saturday or Sunday. And guess who was left at home when Madame went to see Richard Hawley last night?

And now this - Paddington : the movie. I suppose it could be interesting. Hum. What are the chances? Are we talking "Frida" or "Miss Potter"? Are we going to get a deep and searching portrait of a Bear for Our Times or some lightweight family froth? I'm wanting to see the truth behind the duffle coat. What lurks beneath the hat?

"The production will combine live-action and computer generated imagery in the manner of family features like Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little" - not sounding good. Paws up who saw "Garfield". Surely they could find a talented young bear to step into those wellies? A young, handsome, and supremely talented young bear who has been a fan of Big Paddie since cubhood.

"It is understood the story will be based on an original screenplay inspired by the various characters and episodes in Paddington's life as told through Bond's books" - based on. Another phrase guaranteed to raise a shudder. Are we going to see the reality of Darkest Peru? The misery of his life as an illegal immigrant on the streets of London?

Or will the whole thing be transferred to Des Moine? Paddington the chirpy all-American chipmunk in his trademark Nike trainers and Gap hoodie?

Wow. I really am grumpy. Ok. At least they can tell us if they are finally going to be giving him a Peruvian accent? Just in case I a young, handsome, and supremely talented young bear needs to practice.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

The shame


Marmite.

Yuk.

Do I need to say more? First Zippy and now this.

That is all.

Sob.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Tig! You're it!

A couple of weeks ago we were feeling a bit stir crazy. Too many gloomy days. Not enough fresh air. Faffing about on the computer. Usually this leads to more madness. Crazed eBay bids. Myspace pages.

But this time we were lucky. We found Puddock's Two And A Half Acres - a wonderful blog to find when you are stuck in the middle of a city with no garden and the last bit of wildlife you spotted was a bin-raking squirrel or a couple of shifty looking pigeons.

Puddock also has the exsistential View From The Pond and has issued the following challenge from there -

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. List eight (8) random facts about yourself.
3. Tag eight people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them). 4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

I can do random. No problem with random. All about random here.

But I'm feeling rather shy. It has been a long time since I played Tig. And Madame was always rubbish at playground games.

We would like to play. In our own pathetic way. And a couple of days late. So - 2 for the price of 1 - 8 random facts about Bear and Madame. And if anyone would like to pick up the baton ...

Bear

1. Favourite colour is blue.
2. Winner of "Best loved bear" at the 1977 Lomond Venture Scouts' Teddies' Tea Party.
3. Hates creme eggs.
4. Spent most of the 90s wanting to be Huey Morgan, lead singer of the "Fun Lovin' Criminals".
5. Loves snowy winter days.
6. Doesn't like using his first name.
7. Has a bell in one ear.
8. Worries and wonders.

Madame

1. Favourite "Half Man Half Biscuit" song is "Vatican Broadside".
2. Has never eaten in McDonalds.
3. Loves warm baths and freshly made beds.
4. Wishes she could speak German.
5. Started dyeing her hair when she was 18.
6. She likes spiders.
7. Her favourite actresses are Myrna Loy and Louise Brooks.
8. Please don't ask her to pick her favourite book. How could there be just one?

Ta da.

Must go. Will try and report back later in the week. Tales to tell of Madame's film festival adventure. Licorice pandas. Memories of John Peel. Or maybe other things. We're easily distracted.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Busy with book



Things not to say to someone who's reading The God Delusion -

1. Cool! I just loved the film with Tom Hanks and that French girl.

2. So you won't be wanting a Christmas present this year?

3. Ha ha! NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! (accompanied by attack with cushion)

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Culture

She had Warhol on Thursday and The Bacchae on Saturday. We both watched Haxan. I am making a start on The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.

Get us. By this time next week I expect I'll have produced a slim volume of verse, an existentialist novel on the dark misery of the modern bear, and kippered myself with Gauloises. She will have several disastrous love affairs and end the week in a puddle of absinthe and regret.

She came back from the Warhol exhibition wanting to fill the flat with helium balloons and raving about the pictures he did for a children's art exhibition - bright, lively little paintings of tin toys and their packaging. She hadn't expected the exhibition to be so joyful or funny.

She also went to the Naked Portrait exhibition. Unfortunately that turned out to be pants. Not wearing any and yet still being a big bloomer of a show. I did warn her. I'm a big fan of clothes. She is now a big fan of not leaving bored artists alone in a room with access to a camera because they will try to photograph their bottom and then pass it off as Art. Big Important Art.

When I said I had made a start on The God Delusion ... I've tap danced across it a couple of times and flicked through it to see if there were any pictures I could colour in. I do intend to read it. Just want to wait until I can give it my full attention. Or they bring out a manga version. Or a musical. No. Will read it. Or be squashed flat in the attempt.

I did give Haxan my full attention. Unlike some people who dozed off half way through. No reflection on the film - long day, warm bath, just resting her eyes for a second. Next thing I know I'm sitting in the dark on my own watching strange scenes of devilment and witchcraft.

She's a bit trusting. Who knows what kind of stuff I could have picked up. Using her as a satanic sacrifice. Offering her up to Boo Boo - the god of small bears. I've got some nice feathers and a fetching little robe somewhere. And The God Delusion - it's a good hefty hardback - would make a fine black magic altar.

Cough. Bad bear. Naughty bear. It was, of course, an interesting and curious piece of early cinema. Not a primer to the supernatural and the superstitious - the enemies of all right thinking rational thought. Sigh. I'll just have to wear me feathers and robe while I read Dawkins. He won't mind if I have to stop every now and then to dance about a bit and chant?

Bottoms and magic in The Bacchae. Madame took her mother to see it. They were both curious to see it because they met Alan Cummings many years ago. Ta da. Here is Madame's "I met Alan Cummings" theatrical anecdote. Be prepared. It's like living with Perez Hilton.

Madame remembers that he might have been wearing a stripy jumper. Or someone else was wearing a stripy jumper. The room was kind of dark but it was sunny outside. And she was told off for kicking the table leg because she was so bored. Grown up talk. Yawn. Yawn. Yawn. The 9 year old Madame setting the pattern that continues to this day.

Someday, if you're not careful nice, she'll tell us her Robert Carlyle stories.

The Bacchae was impressive. A relatively straight retelling of the Greek tragedy by Euripides. A fine performance by Cummings and his Bacchae. Simple but spectacular.

So stunning that she left the theatre and, forgetting that she wasn't a Greek god or goddess, she managed to spent £15 on shampoo and conditioner in Lush. For that kind of money I'm expecting dryads and nymphs to pop up the plug hole and help her with her plaits. Will watch with interest.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Put the mouse down and step away from the blog


Deary me. What do we think of the new blog design? Hum. I wouldn't mind but she should be getting on with the ironing. And the hoovering. And paying bills. Any one of several hundred items on her To Do list. Hum.

She's off to Edinburgh on Thursday to see the Warhol exhibition and the Naughty people with no clothes on exhibition. Tsk. It's safe for her to go through now that all that nasty Festival fun has finished.

I'll be staying in bed. I'm enjoying my lazy week. I've been slobbing around in my jammies. Only moving to have the pillow plumped up or to remove a stray Fimble. Still on her way home from NotBearFest.

Only one thing could improve the week. Someone could buy me a copy of Freeze! Armed farm animals! by Gary James. Wouldn't that improve any week?

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Escape from BearFest

I've run away from my own festival. It was mobbed. Crazy. Scary. Not fun.
They all claimed they were "on the guest list". And they all have VIP backstage passes. I don't remember any guest list. And how can they all have a VIP pass. That's just P. Not V. Not I.

Ok. I did miss the week they did loveliness and sharing on Sesame Street. And wasn't Oscar the Grouch the coolest anyway?

But - I was expecting the world's most exciting and exclusive festival.

Instead I found all the usual suspects - dodgy old friends, various exes, that bunch of weird knitted rabbits who run a poker school on the top of the bookcase. Don't be fooled - they might look all cute and woolly but they know the cards.

I did try to have fun but it was impossible.

Impossible to move. Small animals kept getting trodden on. Everyone fell off the stage at some point. And the queues. Queues for everything. Queuing at my own festival.

Impossible to hear anything. I swear that some people were trying to dance to the sound of Madame heating up her lunch in the microwave.

An overexcited penguin kept squawking "Hardcore. Feel the fluff." in my ear. And when I asked him to stop he tried to sell me a little bag of white sparkly powder. He claimed it was the proper Lush stuff but it looked like some cheap puff out of Lidl.

Cough. Not that I know about that kind of thing, officer. Honestly. Ok. So I like a little sniff of bath bomb sometimes - they smell so good. And if you tuck one of the small ones into your hoodie (while the hoodie hood is down obviously) then you smell good too. Ok. Can we just change the subject?

Kids - messing about with talcum powder is wrong and naughty. It might seem like fun to cover yourself in the stuff, especially the posh sparkly sort, and pretend to be a wild, crazy iceberg botherer but it leads to trouble - mess, shouting, hoovering. It's not worth it. The same goes for sherbert fountains, tubes of glitter, and icing sugar.

I'm leaving them to it. Just as I left someone had found some jelly and Larry Lamb was going to do his 2-for-the-price-of-1 tribute act - Shakin' Sufjan Stevens. Jomas was telling a silly young pig that he was really Pete Docherty and "would she like to hear some of his poetry?" And, I'm not positive about this, but I think I saw the small one out the Manics lurking by the Comedy Cushion.

I found a comatosed womble and used him to help me climb up over the security fence. I didn't feel too bad. He had had me pinned up against a wall earlier while he explained, with flip chart, flow diagrams, and a powerpoint presentation, exactly why Arcade Fire are the Best Band Ever. Of All Time. Never To Be Bettered. Ever.

I am running away from it all. I'm going to have a quiet couple of days camping in the Wardrobe. Just enough space for me. Got my snuggle bag. Wind-up torch. Good book - anyone else read Kling Klang Klatch?

Provisions? Well, I've got a bowl of Smarties that I lifted from the festival rider. A Chinese bowl of just the red, orange and yellow Smarties. Classy. Shame they don't do black Smarties. Then I could get rid of the orange ones and have red, yellow and black Partick Thistle Supporter Smarties. But that would be too much excitement.

Madame is going to lend me her 3rd-cheapest-from-Argos-and-a-bit-rubbish-really mp3 player. She tells me that I'd probably like Arctic Monkeys. If I could get over all the hype and stuff. I'll give them a go. And the big question is - are the little buttons going to be too fiddly for me to skip all the Rufus tracks? Snork. Only kidding. I just can't hear Poses too many times. Apparently.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Was that the week? was it?

The week's just flown by. Like a lead elephant in concrete tap shoes.

I'm off to BearFest this weekend. BearFest - the world's most exciting and exclusive music festival. By Bear. For Bear. Have got a thrilling new venue - the Big Cardboard Box Stage - thanks to Madame's new toy.

Go on. Ask her about her new hoover. It's black and silver and shiny and appears to work as a vacuum cleaner should. Her previous bit of kit was popular with dust bunnies. It blew the loose fluff round the flat so that it settled in more artistic patterns and left behind the scent of scorched rubber. An excellent Turner Prize possibility but rubbish for housework.

Hopefully this will keep her occupied so she won't find out that shhh Quentin Tarantino is in town shhhh. She loathes, despises, and deplores Mr QT and his work. Him and "his evil little sockpuppet, Eli Roth". I couldn't possibly comment as I haven't seen examples of either gentleman's oeuvre. I want to be Werner Herzog's bear.

I haven't seen all of his films yet. My favourite so far? No. Not the obvious one. Instead - Stroszek. Top film. German angst. American gloom. And then - bring on the dancing chicken! Pretty much something for everyone there.

Nearly time to set off. Not sure if I'll have time to pop back over the weekend. Might be having too much fun. Or jammed inside a shiny new hoover.

Hang on. Wondermark has been to ComicCon. Looks like fun. Comics. Costumes. Action figures. More comics. Oh, no. Disaster. I want to have BearCon. I don't want to go to a stupid festival. I'll just end up wearing a rotten jingly jester's hat, stuck in mud up to my paw pits, with only a tofu and mung bean smoothie to drink while I'm forced to listen to Arcade Fire.

Passing thought - who'd win in a fight? Arcade Fire vs Arctic Monkeys? Or would they merge to form a frightening hybrid - Arctic Arcade Monkeys on Fire?

Meh. Have a good weekend.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Best Sunday Ever!



Have had the best Sunday. Have been to visit Mr Beaver and Flynn and Theo. I was a bit frightened at first. It's been a while since I was carried around by my ears and drooled on. But. Woo hoo! I feel like a young cub again.

Unfortunately I didn't have my swimming costume so I wasn't able to join young Mr Theo in the bath. But I did enjoy watching the adverts with big brother Flynn. He has a brilliant chair that is just the right size for a small bear.

While I was busy they fed and watered wined Madame.










And. Yes, AND! PRESENT! A "Mister Beaver and Bear are pals - brothers in fluff" mug. Painted by Flynn and Theo's mummy, Kim. It's BRILLIANT!

We had a nice walk home. Not raining (for once). The sun was just going down. Lights going on.

Best Sunday. Happy Bear.

Also kept Madame away from the GFT and the chance to heckle Alex Kapranos - him out of Franz Ferdinand - he was supposed to be there to talk about some film. She's had nothing against Franz Ferdinand - "Better than poking yourself in the ear with a pencil, I suppose. Or Oasis."

But she had been reading his book about food - Sound Bites. She wants more. More books. Less music.

And could they reprint this one on edible paper? Or ice it on to a series of donuts? Drizzle it in olive oil and balsamic vinegar on a fresh baguette?

Please, Mr Kapranos, write more about food. Or she will come after you with a pinch of saffron, a bunch of basil leaves, and a meat tenderizer.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Rain clouds, festive fun, and Belgian bears

Outside - wet and grey and miserable. Brilliant! Perfect weather for staying in bed and doing Thinking. BearFest is set for next weekend and I'm right behind schedule. Too much moping and lethargy last week.

I've checked with Madame and it's all sorted. As long as I don't make a mess and keep the noise down. Because she is planning to spend next weekend "contemplating her emotional and financial fecklessness". Hum. Quite. I think that is code for "reading comics and playing with Last FM when she should be paying bills and checking bank statements". Well. Whatever.

She is off to a film festival in a couple of weeks. Can you call spending a Sunday afternoon on Glasgow Green a film festival? I suppose it might not rain. Anyway, the BBC used the magic work "free" so she'll be there. At the Weird and Wonderful Stage if the weather is good. Otherwise the beer tent is a safe bet.

The reason I bring this up - I'm not just aimlessly wittering here - is the list of terms and conditions for festival goers. The one that interests me - something I just hadn't thought about for BearFest - is rule no. 12.

"In the interest of safety please do not bring glass items, barbecues or flaming torches."

Wow. I could have flaming torches at BearFest. I'll have to do some Big Thinking about this.

Before I go I have to introduce you to Mr Bearsac. Interesting sounding chap.

Originally from Belgium - top place is Belgium - beer, chocolate, and comics ... hum, some of Madame's distant ancestors were probably Flemish. Back to Mr Bearsac.

He now lives in England. He has a rather spiffy web site.

Must go. Madame is off out to dinner tonight. She might have to swim there. Hasn't stopped raining. I'm going to stay in and curl up in a nice, fresh pile of laundry. Ah. The joy of tumbly dried socks ...

Friday, 17 August 2007

Still celebrating



Damn those paparazzi. It's a sad day when a small bear can't dance around his own home with pants on his head. I don't care if they did think I was Lindsay Lohan.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Yay! Do the happy dance!

My little blog has reappeared on BurntWombat QuagmirePlatypus FireFox. If I knew where my pants were I'd be dancing round with them on my head. I have a nice black lacy pair that I like to affect in moments of celebration. Hum. Forget I said that. Any way ...

We think we might have a lovely Blogger person to thank because Madame has been banned from pressing any buttons until she can prove that she can be trusted again.

She hasn't been too sulky because her copy of Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse arrived. And she went to see The Diary of a Lost Girl. Louise Brooks did her thing on the big screen and Mr Neil Brand played the piano. It was a magical experience. Madame already has her ticket for Pandora's Box next week.

I had a moment of revelation. Previously on Bear ...

Tom Waits = the sound of fear and loathing. Making a grown animal cry and tremble in the dark. Probably a lovely man. Kind to kittens and always helping the old folk. And yet. Make it stop. Make the gravelly weirdness stop. Please make it stop. Please. Whimper. *exit sobbing bear*

That was previously. I was sulking away quite happily behind a copy of A Liar's Autobiography Vol. VI by Graham Chapman (him out of Monty Python's Flying Circus) when I heard this noise. It was a beautiful noise. It was this noise.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

World War B : a crayoned history of the Bear War

I've spent the weekend sulking in my corner. She has been reading World War Z : an oral history of the Zombie War. Appropriate since she decided to brainlessly mess with my little blog and has got it all jammed up on HotHen. DampSquirrel? AirHamster? No. FireFox. That's it. FireFox.

No blog in FireFox. Luckily it's still here in Interknit Exploder. Or there would have been extreme unhappiness. Extreme bear-shaped unhappiness. Berserk type unhappiness.

Virtual distress flares have been sent out to see if "we" can get some help to sort it out. No joy so far but "we" have agreed not to mess with things that "we" don't really understand. Until next time.

Oh, well. I've been thinking about Tony Wilson. Another person who made life fun has gone. Too soon. John Peel. Linda Smith. Douglas Adams. All too soon.

I guess we'll have to pull together and make more fun to fill in the gaps. If you haven't seen the film Twenty Four Hour Party People yet - don't waste any time - it's a good place to start. Raise a glass of something nice to Mr Wilson. Listen to good music. Have fun.

I'm going to go and give Idiot Girl a hug.

Saturday, 11 August 2007

A bear called It. And another bear called Pemberthy

Another blogging bear. Yay! Pemberthy. He looks rather charming and civilised. I'm feeling a bit shy about saying "hello".

Civilised. Sigh.

Madame has had the day off work. To "do stuff".

Eating chocolate buttons for breakfast. Sitting around in her jammies, drinking beer, and reading naughty comics. Sticking feathers in her hair and pretending she's a showgirl.

She has finally managed to get us connect up to ... oh, dear ... Godzilla Watervole.

- Would you be meaning Mozilla Firefox?
- 'ullo, little animal. pat. pat. pat. haven't wu got shiny ickle peepers. pat. pat. pat. dance for me!

Let's have some nice, soothing music. Jane by Stephen Duffy. And a little lie down in a darkened room.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

the road to BearFest

The ticket for BearFest sold the minute it was released. To me. Yay me!

Lots to do. Who knew that this festival lark was so complicated?

Just one example. The rider for the main act. I thought that all I had to do was to demand a crate of booze and a big bowl of Smarties with the green ones removed. Or is it the brown ones? Not according to Mr Pop. Hum. That's a whole lot of complicated.

And Big Zip thinks he's spotted one of the Manic Street Preachers lurking outside. Or it could have been the postman. Either way Madame will be unhappy. Apparently that Nicky Wire said something rude about the Divine Rufus. She doesn't care if he does look lovely in a frock and eyeliner. That's fighting talk. And the post office have "lost" several items of her mail recently. When they've not been on strike. She could snap at any moment.

Must go. Have to organise a stall selling jesters' hats, dream catchers and Hopi ear candles.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

BearFest 2007

We're not going through to Edinburgh. No Fringe frolics. Not my decision. Don't live in a democracy.

Not that I care anyway. Pah. Edinburgh. Glastonbury. Their time has passed. Everyone and their mad auntie is putting on a festival. Why not me? Got the rules here - thanks to nice Mr Marshall at Guardian Unlimited.

They must be aimed at a unique audience. - BearFest will be the world's most exclusive festival. By Bear. For Bear.

They must have unique headliners. - Bear. I think I'm quite unique. I've certainly never met another me. And this will be my only festival appearance this year. Probably.

They must involve camping. - Hum. More difficult. The festival site is probably going to be the pillow end of the bed. She tends to discourage me from camping on the grounds that "She's got to sleep in that bed" and tent pegs leave holes in the mattress. I might manage a cushion cover bivouac.

They must allow moshing and crowd-surfing. - Like I need an excuse. I'm moshing right now.

In the spirit of rock 'n' roll, they must be "socialist". - I am an oppressed minority and I was purchased from a branch of the Co-op. I'm more socialist than a working men's club full of Tommy Sheridans.

They cannot have the Manic Street Preachers playing. - What if they try to force their way in?

Result! I'm all tingly and excited. What if I can't get a ticket? Should I take my ukulele? Will I need my wellies?

I don't think I own a ukulele or a pair of wellies. Disaster.

Right. Must go and practice my juggling. And then see if I can hire Big Zippy and Clanger to do the site security. So much to do.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

time for a snooze

I've said sorry. I was a right grump yesterday. Not enough sleep in this house. Not enough hours in the day.

So I've had a quiet day today. She's been busy. Lots of laundry and then off to see the Terence Davies Trilogy. Deary me. It gave her a headache. She doesn't recommend it. Three dull, flat, fuzzy films about repressed misery and stifled lives. See the Bill Douglas Trilogy instead.

I've still got time for a small nap before bedtime. She has to do some messing about with sticky and paper. I usually like to stay out of the way when that kind of thing is happening.

I did sort of offer to help out with my nice new highlighters pens - they were a present from lovely person Angi - but unfortunately they were confiscated following the "Wouldn't Mr Wainwright look better with a pink fluorescent moustache?" incident. And I have agreed that I am jealous of him. Him and his thrilling sideburns.

Ah. Yes. Nap time.

Saturday, 4 August 2007

the sound of madness

Much busy. But clever Bear. I am using the sound of Madness to block out the sound of madness.

Madness are a funny old band. It may be unfair but they have had a strange image. Chirpy songs about baggy trousers. Crazy dances. Wacky videos. A touch of the novelty act? Not "serious" musicians like, bless him, Weller or (small bear runs screaming from the room) Waits ?

She brings home Madness - The heavy heavy hits. It was going cheap in Avalanche Records.

We all know the deal with "Greatest Hits" selections? They're for lazy, indecisive people (so we have a lot of them) who can't deal with that scary downloading lark.

There will be the couple of songs that you buy it for - the Greatest Hits. Maybe four or five if you're lucky. Then the OK/Skippable Hits. Bit of filler - dodgy 12" remix of the Greatest Hit? Then something "special" for the fans - obscure B side or quirky little cover - because they have everything three times over already and need an excuse to shell out more dosh (*cough* Elvis Costello reissues *cough*).

Naughty cynical bear ...

Back to Madness. Twenty three songs. And not a single duff one. A big surprise to be honest. There is the big upbeat noise. But there is also sweetness and light. Darkness and disappointment. Worth revisiting if you only remember nutty boys and the heavy, heavy sound.

Or if you need to block out the sound of a deranged and demented woman.

That Wainwright, in what I can only consider a personal vendetta against me, has announced an extra gig. Here. Not somewhere nice and far away. Here. In this city.

Yes. She is going to both nights. No man or small bear can stop her.

I just happened to make a passing query about the cost of the ticket. Sniffle. Some things should never be said. Even in jest. And "I could sell a much loved old friend on Ebay so that I can afford to see some boyish fop and his stupid floppy hair poncing about for two nights in a row in October" is one of them.

She may have phrased it a little differently but I knew what she was saying. Sniffle.

So I've been singing "It must be love" to myself while she reads out highlights from Uncut's audience with RW.

Hang on.

Oh.

She'll have to repeat that last one - hum - Wainwright reckons that Gordon Brown is considerably more sexy than Tiny Blur. To quote the Rufus person - "I think Gordon Brown's really sexy. I think most most women I know feel the same."

Hum. Indeed. Well, that's a thought ...

That's something that will take a bit of pondering. Unfortunately.

Madness. It's all madness.

Monday, 30 July 2007

Bear with a sore head

In a bad mood. STOMP. STOMP. STOMP. In a really, really bad mood. STOMP.

Look. It's young Flynn and Mr Beaver. They had lunch with Madame at Theo's Cafe yesterday. I wasn't invited. Not bitter. Sniff.
I expect I was busy anyway. Doing stuff. Important stuff. Sniff.

Important stuff? Some interesting things maybe.

Oliver Postgate - one of the men behind Bagpuss and The Clangers - has a website. But it's not what you'd expect if you only have memories of that voice telling stories of Noggin the Nog or Ivor the Engine. He was on Desert Island Discs recently. A fascinating man. And Madame has just finished reading a book by his father. She picked it up in a pile of old Penguin paperbacks. Hadn't realised the connection until she was part of the way through it. A good read.

And listening to Marcus Brigstocke's inspired rant from The Now Show. I'm an atheist and She would probably describe herself as humanist/agnostic if you prod her enough. So he was, um, preaching to the converted.

Have just checked with Madame. We're going with humanist/agnostic. Because the Church of the Divine Rufus only exists in her head. Whatever she thinks.

And Ingmar Bergman. Deary me. I have happy memories of watching Hour of the Wolf. It's one of those experiences that have to happen at the right time. Another day, in another mood ... But for some reason it worked. A twisting tale of strange events. I couldn't tell you what it all meant. Or if it meant anything. But the sight of Max von Sydow in drag ...

Time for bed. Think we have a tough week ahead so have some Half Man Half Biscuit before I go. Good night!

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Billy Pumpkin and the Wet Hen

Spoke too soon. She's still poorly. Moping about like a wet hen.

The things I do to amuse and entertain ...

Apparently. Allegedly. With my ears pinned back. With actual pins. I look like that Billy Corgan out of those Smashing Pumpkins.

Not sure what I am supposed to do with this new found talent. Children's party entertainer? All toy tribute band? The Plushie Pumpkins?

If her boss would like her back then I can arrange to have the door left unlock. Bring a big enough sack and she's all yours.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

back, after this message from our sponsor ...

Madame has been unwell and hanging about the house. I had stuff to do. Work on my moustache. Manic Street Preachers' lyrics to deconstruct. More holiday tales to blog.

Instead. Sit about being supportive and sympathetic.

Oh. The. Joy.

And yet. Old time radio fun! Yay!!

I think I've mentioned before that we are big vintage radio fans. Sometimes we get lucky and there will be something good on BBC Radio 7. Maybe some episodes of Paul Temple. And it's always bona to catch a bit of Round the Horne.

But Madame not well. Big comfy Radio Noir marathon required.

The Saint. Vincent Price as Simon Templar - sounding strangely gothic while blondes and gangsters shoot it out around him. Some of the episodes end with a sweet little lecture from Mr Price on love and peace and tolerance. Jolly decent chap.

Only seem to be a few surviving episodes of Dr Morelle but they are worth listening to for the sheer breathtaking grumpiness. Imagine The Man Who Came To Dinner fighting crime on the mean streets of Kensington and Chelsea. Makes that Morse bloke look like "Rebecca of Sunnybrooke Farm". Wonder as his dippy assistant Miss Frayle refuses to brain him with a paperweight. Gasp as she fails to fill a misogynistic taxi driver full of lead. A classic grouchy afternoon comfort.

We've just made a start on The Falcon ... "brought to you by Gem Blades - the blades that help you avoid five o'clock shadow ... the Falcon ... always ready with a hand for oppressed men and an eye for repressed women!" Quite. Oooooooooo, it's all so butch. Cough. Yeah, dollface. Real manly.

Meh. But she's feeling a bit better. Thinks she'll be back at work tomorrow. So back to the grind for me.

Sigh. So - The Manic Street Preachers. "Autumn Song". Is it their attempt to get in touch with their inner Trinny & Suzanna? Shudder. Are lyrics - which appear to be saying "What have you done to your hair, woman? Look, just stick it in some bunches, slap on some make up, and go out and ... er ... jump in a pile of leaves/play conkers/do something autumnal" - really going to be enjoyed by women up and down the land? Or are the Manics going to be responsible for a rash of door slamming and face slapping? Or is it a very clever comment on the October Revolution and the lessons that can still be learned from a study of Socialist economic theory?

Yup. Back to the grind.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Argyll adventure.

We went to Argyll. On the bus.

It's a nice bus trip. Once you get out of the city, and assuming you are not stuffed at the bottom of a rucksack, there's a lot to see out of the window. Lochs. Hills. Sheep.

There's a stop in Inverary so you can admire the rain. Very pretty in the rain. I imagine I wouldn't want to leave if I saw Inverary in sunshine. There is a coffee shop on a boat. Or is it a ship.



Back to the bus. And on to Lochgilphead.

Lochgilphead isn't, to be honest, the most attractive place on Earth. It's a typical little Scottish town. A few shops. Couple of pubs. Stuff like that.

But it's a good place to stay if you are planning to travel about the area. And you have to stay in the Empire Travel Lodge. It used to be a Glasgow cinema. How brilliant is that? And the owners are the nicest people. They didn't even get annoyed when Madame managed to dye one of their lovely posh white pillow cases pink with her mad hair.

You can go for a walk in the grounds of Kilmory Castle. I did. There were photographs. Which someone accidentally deleted. Fiddling with the camera. In the pub. I'm not bitter. Oh, no.

Or there is Kilmartin Glen. It's just full of ancient piles of rocks. And big old ancient standing up rocks. And other rocks. Ok. That was the day that I stayed in bed and read "Bear". But I'm sure that it was all very moving and spiritual and probably full of echos of ancient pagan rituals and all that stuff. Didn't they worship bears? Maybe I should have gone after all. Doh!

She did have a bear with her. The mysterious Humph.


Humph the Bear. We met him in Lochgilphead. We rescued him from a certain gift shop. He agreed to look after Madame while I relaxed. He doesn't say much. He is never seen without his shiny white mac and his shiny brown boots. He's not that tall - about 5 or 6 cms - but I am rather intimidated.

Back to the travels.

He does look like he has been trained to kill with his bare paws, doesn't he? Sorry. Argyll ...

And the best bit. The Crinan Canal.

Very beautiful and peaceful.


We want a boat. We really want a boat. And a crew who'll see to all the twiddly stuff with ropes and locks and bridges. While we sit in the sunshine. Enjoying champagne and strawberries. And waving regally to passing horse riders and cyclists and that limping girl with the broken rucksack and the funny looking toy bear. Funny looking. Pah.

And we'll maybe stay at the Crinan Hotel. She had a drink there. It looked like it would be a nice place to stay. If we become millionaires.


And then it was time to get back on the bus.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

holiday reading










You need a good book when you're travelling. I'm always up for a interesting read but it's essential when you are on the move. For passing the time when you are stuck in traffic. For pondering in the sun. Sitting in a deck chair on a busy beach or a lazy afternoon of tea and cake with a city buzzing about you.

Hide in a good book when the crazy stranger on the train tries to tell you about his dodgy prostate. Or when an over-excited travelling companion, who really should get out more, starts to squeal "oooooo, look at the pritty ickle baby lambies ..."

Fan yourself on a hot day or shade your sun burnt snout from the midday sun. Not so useful in the rain perhaps. Swat annoying bug things. Fend off the pritty ickle baby lambies when they try to trample you to death and steal your picnic. They are not always as lovely and polite as the delightful Callie and Jerome.

If you're that kind of person, you can squiggle things in the margins and on the blank pages. There are *cough* other things you can use the paper for. Things I wouldn't know about. But I understand that the works of Mr Jeffrey Archer can be soft and absorbent. If not exactly a good read.
"Bear" by Jamie Smart would be a wonderful, twisted read wherever you are. I got the first volume - "Bear : Immortal" for my birthday and took it on our trip up to Argyll. To be honest I didn't do much holiday stuff because "Bear" was so brilliant and the Empire Travel Lodge was so comfy.

While She limped about the countryside, scowling at small children, and failing to attract a yacht owning multimillionaire, I caught up with the comic adventures of the dashing Bear. We have so much in common.

"He fights dastardly sorts! He drives fast cars!! He schmoozes the honeys!!"

Like me, he shares his life with a *cough, loser, cough* human companion. Unlike me, he has to battle the ultimate evil cat - called Looshkin. And when anyone presses his nose - eek - his head puffs up like a scary balloon. That never happens to me. Occasionally certain people will prod my snout and squeak "ding dong". It's not funny. Back to Bear.

Jamie Smart's witty, bobbly drawings can camouflage the dark and disturbing world of these stories. Bear is sent to fight in the First World War, is held captive with Dave Grohl, and forced to appear in - oh, the horror - a Jane Austen style costume drama.

(oh, and today is Jamie Smart's birthday - HAPPY BIRTHDAY!)

For the next part of the holiday - Fife, where the scary tiggers and the crazy people live - I had a copy of "The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse" by Robert Rankin. Hum. Now, Robert Rankin isn't, in my humble opinion, a great writer. He's no James Joyce. He's not even much of a Terry Pratchett. I found his writing style to be clunky and stumbling.

Yes, I know. I'm one to talk. But I've not had much education. Story for another day. Back to the Chocolate Bunnies ...

Or, more importantly, to the hero of the book - Toy City private detective Eddie Bear. The novel is an attempt to blend classic Chandleresque noir with nursery rhymes and fairy tales. Eddie's boss - Bill Winkie (Little Willie Winkie) - has gone missing. Young lad - Jack - comes to town to seek his fortune and drags Eddie into the hunt for a serial killer. Hum.

Eddie Bear is a well written, convincing character. Unfortunately he is the only one and the story drags whenever he is out of action. I'm not just saying this because he is a bear. A toy bear. Eddie's distress at the loss of his "bestest friend" is genuinely touching. He drinks, he has fun (but not with dollies), and struggles with paws. The things you can't do when you don't have thumbs ...

I won't be rushing to read the sequel but I'd have a look if it came my way. The second volume of Bear is on my Must Have book list.

Not said much about the actual holiday yet. Or the mystery bear. That will have to wait for another day.










Before I go. Have just been "approved" by the lovely people at Blog Catalog. So wavy paw to all my new friends and neighbours. Haven't had time to have a proper look about yet but I'll do my best to be a good blog animal. Thank you!

Friday, 20 July 2007

There is a bear, and he never goes out

Ok. Yes. Barton Fink is a film. I knew that. I did. Honest.

Would I lie to you?

So. The holiday. Definitely going to tell you all about the holiday. Except ...

Not really in the mood. It's Friday night. I'm still young. I should be out there. A few drinks. Friends. Laughter. Bit of music. Fun. Frolic. Froth.

Instead. Stuck in with Madame Misery. She's tired. She's got no money. So much housework to do and her life is a wasteland because she doesn't have a solar lighted Eiffel Tower. Or the sunshine to power it.

Try turning that into a musical comedy.

Apparently she is going to put on her serious pyjamas. Big boy pyjamas. Pyjamas that shout "See that tub of ice cream. I'm eating it all. And I'm eating it in bed. Without you." And her fluffy Latvian socks. She might read a bit of her lovely green and white vintage Penguin copy of "The Department of Dead Ends". She might not.

I'm just going to sneak off to my corner and try not to draw attention to myself. Do a bit of thinking. Hang on. Here's an idea. Richard Hawley - Coles Corner. Smooth and soothing. Enjoy.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

no trust. no time

Have lots to do. Busy Bear.

But Madame is spending the evening with some bloke called Barton Fink. Fnark. I've seen a picture and even She could do better. He sounds thoroughly unreliable and hard work.

And She won't leave me alone with the computer. I don't know what she thinks I'll get up to.

Actually I do. She thinks I'll be looking at naughty puppet prawn, getting over excited by Sooty slash and buying stuff on Ebay. Like an elephant.

I really want an elephant. Does anyone have an elephant that they don't want? It would have to be a smallish one because it will probably have to live in the wardrobe. Or maybe the window box.

I am being prodded. The time has come to go. So here's another picture of that other mysterious bear.


Monday, 16 July 2007

where was Bear?



Oh, apparently I got it wrong. She goes back to work tomorrow. Yes. I got it wrong. Not her. Hum. And hum again. But she has started to get some of my holiday stuff sorted.




So. Where has Bear been? And who is the mysterious stranger? Is there a prize? Are tiggers really that dangerous? Can Bear suggest some good holiday reading? Did he climb that tree all by himself? And did he need help to get down again? Questions. Questions.
And it's bedtime ...




Sunday, 15 July 2007

not big and not clever

Today has been the last day of Her holiday and she told me she was going to sort out some of the photos for me. She did not sort out the photos. She faffed about. She faffed about to music. She faffed about and ate chocolate. She did not sort out the photos. Nothing was achieved and now she'll have to get up early tomorrow and go to work and be grumpy and I'll be back trauma sponging.

Wait. I tell a lie. She did transfer one photo. Oh, yes. It just had to be this one. Didn't it?

Friday, 13 July 2007

back again

A quick hello. Home and holiday nearly over. Have been here and there and back again. Have been rained on. Enjoyed the sun on my fur. Hunted wild tiggers. Been hunted by wild tiggers. Have experienced luxury, frivolity, indignity, and insults.

Lots of stories and pictures and other delights and warnings to share. Unfortunately my staff have informed me that it will take a while to get everything sorted out and back to normal. She has bags to unpack, and laundry to do, a ton of chocolate to eat, and then she'll be trailing about the interknit looking for new stuff on yon Rufus until she has a migraine.

So we'll have to be patient. I'm going to use the time to grow a moustache.

And I'll be listening to Gogol Bordello ... yay!

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Birthday bear!

Happy birthday to us.
Happy birthday to us.
Happy birthday to us!
Happy birthday to us.

Yup. It's our birthday. And, finally, proof that She exsists and is not a figment of my imagination. We have changed a bit since the photo was taken. Many centuries ago. On our 1st birthday.

We've been having a pleasantly lazy day. She has been reading naughty manga and playing with her new phone. She has changed the ringtone several times, accidently called several people - including Partick Police Station - and taken many fuzzy photos, in a variety of styles.

I have been admiring my new birthday outfit - more than a red bow - and looking at my birthday present book - yay! - "Bear: Immortal" by Jamie Smart.

Soon it will be time for us to get our bags packed for our wee holiday. So I'll just say -

Thank you for all the lovely cards and presents and stuff!

Love from me and Her

Bear's Birthday Choice -

Her Birthday Choice (oooooo, wonder who it could be ...) -