Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Bear with me....

....for not having posted very much this summer.  Life has been fairly hectic and if you take a look at Butterfly's recent post on Words and Pictures you can see why.  Even before she arrived in the Czech Republic in late September, I was submerged in plans, architect and builder discussions and mega-clearing tasks (thanks Lynda!) which, amongst other things, involved moving hundreds of books to a new home.
View from my Czech living room

And now, like the ospreys, we too have migrated once again. We are back in the UK, reluctantly leaving the golden glories of South Bohemia. 

The ospreys in Small Worlds have also migrated, but only from the window display, to the desk where I hope they will continue to raise a little money for nature conservation.

They have been replaced in the window by very different wildlife, of which more in a moment. 

Whilst Butterfly was in Bavorov, we had the opportunity of taking a table at a small local "pouť", a word which is almost impossible to translate into English since it is a kind of fair, but with a religious background, almost equating to a pilgrimage.  I suppose the closest would be village fete, but that does not really work for the delightfully large St Wenceslas Pouť that we came across by accident on 29th September in the beautiful spa town of Třebon (peat baths anyone?).

A greater contrast than that between Trebon's pouť, and the teeny tiny one held on St Wenceslas's actual day, 28th September, in our teeny tiny neighbouring village of Budyně would be hard to find, but both were equally enjoyable. 

Budyně's pouť is popular for miles around so we attracted attention from not just the locals but from those further afield, and we got rid of a pleasing number of flyers which I hope will bear fruit next season.  
Our favourite "other attraction" was the man-handled roundabout - the attendant actually ran round with it to keep it moving!  And it cost just 2kč as opposed to the usual 60kč (£1=ca 29kč)charged nowadays.

Whilst I am on the subject of contrasts, in the last post you were able to admire some of the massive mushrooms around this year. 

But there are mini-mushrooms too - in a planter right outside my front door!  (Next year I plan a serious attempt to make a moss garden; I love the velvety feel and multitude of different greens to be found in the world of mosses)

So to the new window display. I have long been minded to make use of some of the many teddies in Small Worlds.   Those of you who have been following the blog since its inception back in 2013 may remember a series of posts on the Essex Dolls House Haul - a lucky strike on Ebay when I managed to buy six houses for the princely sum of £33, and collection from Clacton.  

I puzzled for ages over what to do with this house .......

....since it only opens from the top. In the end it turned into a bears' cavern, with rocks and crevices made from washing machine packaging.   Small children love to peer in and count the bears.

But I thought it was time not only to house these cavern-dwellers, here seen en route to better quarters, (car is courtesy of Colin Rosein more comfortable surroundings, but also to use some of the many other bears that I have accumulated over the years, some of them very tiny indeed....

In fact a teenage Butterfly once spent hours producing hundreds of wee bears, some of which have survived the years between, and some of which are sadly now looking rather the worse for wear...

When I leave Bavorov for the UK at the end of October each year, I have to make sure that at least part of the window can be transformed into a Christmas display without causing my kind friends who open up the museum for the Christmas market, too much trouble.  This year it has worked out well I think because at one side I have a display of all things bear, and at the other...well you will see that in the next two posts.

"All things bear" involved my digging out everything I could find that was bear-related. So one side of the window display includes books...... and jigsaws.... 

...and of course, bears. Some of the bears are housed in a Christmas stable, one of the many lucky finds at a giant Prague flea market on what must have been almost the hottest day of a scorching summer. (I think the friend who suggested the trip may have regretted it once he discovered how much there was to schlepp back to his car!) 

Two other bears have been given a home in the middle-size of three house frames bought from a Polish cheapie shop, Pepco, that has now usefully appeared in the Czech Republic. 

The frame required a bit of work (and a two hour hunt for the fireplace that I knew I had somewhere!) to render it cosy and comfortable for its new inhabitants.

I am afraid that those in the stable had to put up with straw as their soft furnishings but they seem happy enough.   

 I think the little bear on the left clutching a heart,is considering which of the two flower-bearing suitors to present it to!

Of particular note is the Teddy Bears Picnic, comprising five of the little ones that have survived over the years, still enjoying their burgers and cucumber sandwiches. 

And here you see two bears made in my likeness - the skirted one represents me in my school uniform, though something went wrong with the skirt colour - we did not wear toothpaste aqua!   And at the front is a bear enjoying the Alexander Technique practice known as semi-supine, or, more familiarly, lying on the floor with books.

And as a final touch, that side of the window contains an audience of giant bears. Well, giant compared to the others anyway!  When we moved five years ago all our bears went to other homes so I had to go on a bearhunt to the bric a brac stall in Vodnany market, which once again produced the goods.   

Four bears, 10kč (33pence) each. 

And when I got home I found that one of them has the coveted "Knopf im Ohr" that should denote a Steiff bear.  Can I really have been so lucky? 

As usual, the photos of the window display itself leave much to be desired, but they should at least give you an idea of the layout....

The big bears are hiding behind the window upright on the left, straddling the two parts of the display.   Watch this space for the reveal of what is on their other side..... 

I look forward to welcoming you to Part One of our Christmas journey very soon.  Thank you for being with me today.


  1. Hmm... many ursine delights, but it's a pity that the bear wearing your school uniform has lost the tip of her nose - she looks like a duck!

  2. what a delightful post as ever, to read!

  3. Muy buena colección de osos y encontraste muchas miniaturas para disfrutar:-)

  4. Lovely post, I've just been looking at antique teddy bears online and think there might be a new collection starting soon. x

  5. Were you that lucky? Lovely collection of bears :-)