Christmas by Candlelight


Bertie and Croc have had a busy few weeks. Both have been settling into their new surroundings in their own little, unique ways. Bertie has spent a lot of time exploring his new home, looking out of the window and watching the world go by. Croc has spend most of his time setting up little dens in nice dark places so he has somewhere to hide when he feels unsafe, which not being very good at adapting to change, is most of the time!

With Christmas coming closer Bertie decided to show Croc how the UK celebrates Christmas. Croc still can’t get over how cold it has been. -7!!! He spent most of this day in a particular warm den which consisted of a pillow leant up against a radiator. If he closed his eyes he could pretend that the radiator was the sun and he was back in Darwin.

Bertie and Croc snuggled into a pocket. Croc found a glove he could use to hide in and stay warmer. There was a lot of bouncing around and gentle, rhythmic swaying which usually meant they were walking somewhere. Croc knew they had arrived as Bertie began to excitedly tug at Croc’s glove.

When they both peeked out they could see the candle lit windows of the houses in the town. Through the windows they could make out tables dressed for Christmas day dinner. Stalls lined the streets, lit up, selling Christmas gifts. Bertie sniffed the air taking in the smell of mulled wine and frost which reminded him of Christmas. Croc watched horrified as every small breath left a trail of steam when he blew out.

Bertie and Croc had been taken to a small, historical town in Somerset called Dunster. Every year the residents of Dunster turn off all their lights and light the street by candle light. All the shops open late, people dress in medieval clothing and there is an atmosphere of Christmas under the shadow of the lit castle towering over the town.

This was a completely new experience for Croc and a sense of coming home for Bertie. There was music being played by an orchestra in a band stand and people singing Christmas songs. It began to dawn on Croc that Bertie had really missed this cold, winter atmosphere at Christmas time when he had lived in Australia. As he looked at his best friends face, lit up excitedly in the lights from the stalls, Croc forgot his coldness for a while and decided to join in with his friend in an effort to embrace the Christmas spirit in a Bertie-like way. Holding Bertie’s paw, Croc grinned into the cold night and sang along quietly to the Christmas songs he knew. He felt a warm feeling coming from his tummy and radiating through his body. Croc was feeling the magic of Christmas!

 

Finding a place called home

It is living not planning that fuels human creativity!
Bertie was beginning to realise that the more he travelled, the more he learnt. The more people he met, the more he understood himself a little bit more. Bertie began to understand that in hiding away for years in the bottom of a basket he was not avoiding other people, but also avoiding himself. He did not want to see himself reflected in the people he would meet. He was scared of what he would see. What would happen if he didn’t like the person looking back at him?

As Bertie sat contemplating on the window sill of his new home, he realised that this was a brand new adventure. He had never had anywhere to call “home” before.

Bertie looked at his reflection in the dusty window and smiled confidently. He was no longer afraid of the bear who looked back at him.

He was Bertie, Bertie the Travelling Bear, and he was on another adventure. Who knows what he would learn, who he would met, or what he would do? That was the magic of it. The unknown. He was excited to discover the answers. 

The Power of Speech

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I have lost my voice.

It isn’t until you really loose something that you realise how much it meant to you, or how much you relied on it! I now know how Bertie the Travelling Bear feels not being able to verbalise his thoughts. His only power of communication is the written word.

Without a voice communication has been difficult. Not impossible, but difficult. I have had to be resourceful. My partner and I had the most fun we have ever had in the supermarket this week because all of our communication was done in sign language. We soon forgot about the confused stares from the other shoppers as we fell around, me laughing silently, at the random gestures we were making up. We still haven’t quite worked out a silent sign for milk, any ideas anyone?

I have learnt how to get my computer to speak what I type, and have had fits of silent giggles, making it say random things to people all week. The receptionist at the doctors couldn’t stop laughing when I used my computer to tell her that I needed a doctors appointment and what was wrong with me. I then pointed to the huge “Its my birthday” badge I was wearing when she asked me my date of birth (it was actually my birthday as well, I haven’t gone completely insane).

The other thing I have noticed is, when I speak very quietly to other people, they actually respond in the same way. I have had no choice but to whisper a few words when I can, but the people I have spoken to have lowered their voices and whispered back. I have found this quite amusing and would highly recommend giving it a try!

When I am silent and I smile at other people they start talking, and they don’t seem to stop. I don’t have much choice but to listen, silently. I have had random strangers chatting away to me when I have whispered “no voice”.

Hopefully, my voice will return to normal next week but I have seen this week as some kind of blessing. I have learnt some lessons in communication which I feel will be very useful to me in the future. In the meantime, I will use my silent moments to work out some more random sign language…..ways to sign chocolate anyone?

Bertie goes viral

Bertie’s exciting publications just keep coming. Check out his latest promotional video here…..

Bertie would love to know your thoughts. He is hoping the video will capture children’s attention and encourage them to read his books.

What do you think?

At last…..

Bertie’s very FIRST book has finally gone live on Amazon!

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I have decided that anyone who tells you writing a book is so easy, it can be done in a few days, is not doing it properly. Bertie’s book has been created from travelling around the world, carrying a small bear and a not small enough back pack! I have hiked up mountains, travelled by boat, plane, car, tuk-tuk, bicycle, motorbike, scooter and foot all to create the content of Bertie’s books.

It takes a lot of effort and determination to place a small bear at the base of Everest and photograph him!

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Then there has been the actual writing bit. The constant editing and re-editing, because I am a complete perfectionist. The most nerve wrecking bit of all was sending the book to my friend to proof read. Being an ex-teacher I knew she would spot every grammatical and spelling error there was! When she gave me her seal of approval I knew I was onto a winner. Who better to review a children’s story than someone who has read stories to children every day for most of their life?

I can’t even begin to recall how many times I uploaded a new proof to the publishing platform because I found a formatting error or I wasn’t happy with the photo size. There was one point where I did want to run out of the room screaming or do something resembling this….

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Bertie’s audio recording…..well what can I say? I thought it would be easy too. I have decided to give up on thinking! My dad was an absolute star helping me with this bit. I had never even heard of a “pop filter” and was very confused when he was waving one around excitedly saying “p” through it!?

In conclusion, travelling the world to get the content of Bertie’s books has been the easy bit. Actually creating them has been harder, but there was something amazing about opening that package and seeing Bertie’s book in print, for the very first time. I do have a video and I am planning on sharing it…..I just might tweak it first (perfectionist?)

Now you have read ALL the way to the bottom of this post, here are the links to Bertie’s book on Amazon, for the US version click here, for UK click here.

I am still waiting for the audio to be approved. As soon as it has been you guys will be the first to know (after the dog of course!) Feel free to share and provide feedback! Thank you for all your support. May you all be blessed with a week full of chocolate and warm hugs! What will I be doing? Learning book marketing techniques of course……

 

An update

It’s been super hard recently to find the time to come and talk to you fabulous people on here. I’ve moved countries, again! And we are trying to set ourselves up in the UK. 
The main focus has been on finding somewhere to live! When you travel and move around a lot you really start to understand what the basic necessities and human needs are. Shelter and somewhere to feel safe is an important one. I woukdnt say we are homeless, more drifters at the moment. Hopefully, we will have something sorted in the next two weeks. So if I go quiet again it’s probably because, for the first time in 3 years, I will be gathering my worldly possessions and positioning them in one place (thank god!) 

I have also been working on Bertie’s book. The proof arrived and I noticed a couple of errors. It’s what proofs are for and I can highly recommend getting one before you go “live” with anything. It really is a good idea. I’m having to practice patience as I just want to put Bertie’s book out there NOW, but it is much better to take the time to get it right first!

While we have been waiting for the second proof to arrive. I’ve been working on Bertie’s audio book. It is very rare you see me in any of the photos on here, as I am usually behind the camera taking them, but I am super proud of my little audio set up and couldn’t resist taking a selfie of it! It’s a typical photo of me, no make up, hair a mess buy super excited because I am doing something I love.

More Bertie and house moving news as I get it. Hopefully, I will be writing my next blog from my very own little space. 

Thanks for your patience. Hope you all have an amazing week!

Bertie’s Biggest Adventure Yet!

 

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Bertie’s book cover!

Bertie and Croc’s updates have been a little sporadic recently. There is a good reason why….Bertie has been on an even bigger adventure and has been producing his own book!

So far he only has a draft version created but it is getting super exciting. Proof readers are providing positive feedback saying they love it!

This weekend Bertie  spent ages in a photoshoot, getting his poses perfect, for his books front cover. He even had his fur brushed!!! (It can get a bit flat when you spend your life in a camera bag travelling the world.)

Bertie wanted to share with you his cover shoot. He will continue to keep you up to date on his book release and hopefully share some of our excitement with you. We are hoping it won’t be too long now before we can share the link to Bertie’s FIRST EVER book on Amazon!

In the meantime, once the excitement has died own a little, Bertie will be able to get back on task and working on more blog posts of his stories around the world.

He hopes you like the book cover and all that fur brushing wasn’t for nothing!

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