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My Pandas

Phone: 07769151171
email:  pethpeth@aol.com

Bears in the Window 1

Click HERE for more information on and pictures of The Bears in the Windows.

I can’t really remember when I started putting bears in the windows. At first, I simply used a random selection from my huge collection to brighten up the windows without any particular theme. Then, I had the idea of using bears to celebrate special times of the year like Burns Night, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, Father’s Day, Hallowe’en and, of course, Christmas. Major sporting events like the Olympics, Wimbledon, the Open and the Ryder Cup were another source of inspiration as were topical events like the launch of a new Harry Potter book and days that changed the world like 7/7 and 9/11.

After a while, I began to notice that other people seemed to be getting pleasure from my windows and it was wonderful to see passers-by of all ages, often weighed down by their worries, stop, look, pass a comment to their companions and then go on their way with a smile on their faces. Even after all these years, I never fail to be amazed at the number of people, young and old, male and female and from all walks of life who, when I say where I live, smile and tell me that they always stop to see what The Bears in the Windows are getting up to.

One evening recently, when my husband returned home after taking our dog for a walk, he noticed some people admiring the windows and passed the time of day with them. They told him that they came regularly to see the bears and always made a point of bringing any visitors to see them. Thus, it seemed that my bears have become local celebearties! The bears have adopted a tiny panda and an equally minuscule hippo whose owners thought they would have more fun living in Dalbear Road! And so began a correspondence with two people I have yet to meet.

One Valentine’s Day several years ago, The Bears in the Windows received a card from a secret admirer! It transpired that it was from Billy Bear who lives locally with a lady called Anne. I’ve never met her but, over the years, she has created lots of wonderful cards for Billy to send to The Bears in the Windows. He has even sent them postcards when he’s been on holiday! Every time a card arrives, addressed to ‘The Bears in the Windows, Dalbear Road, Ayr’, it definitely makes their day and mine, too! One day, the bears received a good-bye card from a lady who lived close by. In it she wrote that she was moving away and wanted to let them and me know how much pleasure the bears had given her over the years and said that she would miss her weekly ursine ‘fix’.

Several years ago, I nearly stopped putting bears in the windows when, on Boxing Day morning, someone smashed one of the windows, deeply traumatising the bears and, of course, my husband and me. However, just like Pollyanna, I managed to find something to be glad about as friends and complete strangers alike were really sympathetic about such mindless vandalism and urged me to keep going, which I have done with increased enthusiasm.

While, at one time, I was satisfied with just putting some appropriate bears in the windows, I now add some extra little touches to my ursine tableaux, using boxes and other everyday objects to create a whole host of things. (It must have been years of watching Blue Peter that has given me the ability to do this!) I’m constantly on the lookout for bear sized props and often miniaturise programmes and adverts or make my own so that the windows look more realistic.

Bears in the Window 2