Category Archives: Creativity

The Bideford Half

Bertie and Croc's Half Marathon effort

Challenge is a word Bertie and Croc are quite use to experiencing. I mean, let’s face it, when your legs are as small as theirs, even climbing into a camera bag can be a challenge!

Just recently Bertie and Croc embarked on one of their biggest challenges since returning to the UK. At first they thought they were on another, ordinary adventure. They were sat comfortably in the back of the car watching the trees and landscape roll past. They were on their way to somewhere called Bideford. Bertie was, as usual, quite excited as he had never been to Bideford. Croc, as usual, was quite pensive as he hated going somewhere new and didn’t understand why this would excite anyone?

When the warm sun finally began to light up their faces, they realised they had arrived. They could hear the voices of several people, and knew that something interesting and exciting was going to happen. As they made their way closer and closer to the excited chatter they were surprised to see more people that they ever imagined, all in active wear, walking, jogging or standing around.

“What on earth is happening?” Queried Bertie. Croc shrugged and nestled deeper into the pocket he had been hiding in. Crowds, yuk, they made him shiver down his spine and feel slightly queasy.

A loud voice came over the crowd, announcing there were 1,400 people running today! Bertie looked around in shock, then down at his own small legs, “Running!?!?”

The starter went off and so did Bertie and Croc, being carried in a pocket each, bouncing around. They heard the strangest sound. It was music, Bertie was sure of it. He braved a peak out of the pocket. There were bagpipes, he heard someone say! “How odd?” Bertie shouted over to Croc. Croc pretended not to hear him over the noise. He was definitely not going to stick his head out when he was being bounced around like this. In fact, he was beginning to feel slightly sick.

Eventually, the bounciness calmed down and they began to get use to the motion. Croc, curiosity getting the better of him, braved a peek out of the pocket and saw Bertie, wind in his fur, waving manically at him! They were in a race and the landscape was amazing! They were running along the side of a river, under a canopy of trees, with an amazing view.

They watched the mile markers go by…..how much further, thought Bertie?  Suddenly they began to slow. Bertie, wondering whether the race was over, peered even more from the pocket. He jumped, as a small jelly bear fell into the pocket with him! He poked it. It didn’t move and his paw got all powdery. The familiar bouncing motion began again. They had had a jelly baby pit stop!

After what seemed like forever, Bertie began to feel them speeding up. He looked over at Croc, who had also felt the increase in the bounces and sank safely to the deep depths of the pocket. Bertie was getting into this now. As the wind blew at his fur, he felt liberated and began to cheer. They crossed the finish line in just over 2 hours.

Something else joined Bertie and Croc’s pocket on the way home….a big shiny medal. Bertie and Croc had just run their first half marathon. Bertie was super excited and chatted away all the way home. Croc silently stared at his medal. It was huge, and a strange feeling came over him. He felt proud!

Happy Birthday Bertie the Travelling Bear

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Sit back and enjoy the ride

Bertie, Croc and me have been super busy the past few weeks. We have lots of ideas for blog posts but don’t seem to be able to find the time to actually sit down and compose one.

3 years ago my mum gave me a little bear to carry with me when I was travelling. She knew I usually travelled with my dog and would take photographs of her posing where ever we went. So, because I was not taking my dog on this journey, Bertie became my new travelling companion and what a journey it has been. I have decided that as I do not know Bertie’s exact birthday that this would be a good day to make his birthday. The day his journey really began.

This is the FIRST ever Bertie blog post I wrote. Three years on we are still writing, photographing and travelling. I promise to add some more blog content soon, but in the meantime I hope you enjoy this blast from the past…….. Meet Bertie the Bear

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Bertie the Bear!!!

Bertie’s tour of Wells…..

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Croc woke with a sudden jerk. This was because Bertie had poked him with his paw. For a teddy bear, with soft stuffing and fur, Bertie had quite a solid paw when he wanted Croc’s attention!

Blurry eyed Croc dragged himself out of the bottom of the camera bag and peeped into the bright sunshine. He let his eyes adjust so he could see where his travelling buddy had disappeared to now. Bertie was sat proudly on a stone wall. Croc was beginning to get use to the fact that everything in the UK felt slightly cold to touch. He was use to the heat of the Australian sun warming everything until you would get serious burn marks if you dared to plant your bottom on it!

Croc was impressed with the sharp blue skies in this country. There was something about the crispness of an early morning that he liked.

Wearily Croc gingerly stepped onto the cold wall and made his way quickly to his travelling companion. Bertie pointed at the huge, gothic building in front of them and explained it was a Cathedral, called Wells Cathedral. It was built between 1175 and 1490. Croc thought that was a really long time to build something!

Croc had never seen a Cathedral before. They didn’t have structures as grand as this in Darwin and he began to wonder how a building this ornate and detailed would stand up to a cyclone or an earth quake.

The more Croc looked the more he could see. There were statues of Kings and Bishops nestled in their own crevices in the buildings architecture. Croc giggled as he noticed some of the  statues were now faceless after years of weathering, and they looked a little weird and slightly intimidating. Bertie explained that the statues alternated to show the historical relationship which the church and the rulers of the country had. Croc was too busy wondering why the building needed so many windows!? He kept loosing count of them all? How many can you count?

Missing ribbons and Christmas baubles

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Bertie and Croc have been chilling out after their celebrity filled weekend last week! Bertie was so tired last weekend that he couldn’t be bothered to take the jacket and trousers off that he had worn for the wedding.

Croc, on the other hand, wouldn’t stop rolling around and complaining until the small, top hat which was placed on his head had been removed. He settled down quickly afterwards to recover from the trauma of being touched and picked up by strangers.

It was dark and warm when Croc woke up to the oddest sound…..He listened carefully and sank deeper into the darkness of the book which was lent against the radiator and had become his den. Feeling brave he slowly peeked out. He could see Bertie in the corner of the room, huddled in a ball, he was wobbling. Then he heard the noise again, a long sniff followed by several small huffs. Croc stared in the direction of the noise but the only thing he could see was Bertie. Then he realised, the noise was coming from Bertie!!! Bertie was in tears!!!

Shocked, Croc silently made his way across the obstacle course of the room to get to his best friend. “What’s wrong?” whispered Croc in concern. Bertie took some time to compose himself. He pointed to his neck and sobbed “my ribbon, I’ve (sniff) lost (sniff) my ribbon!”

Croc looked in horror at Bertie’s bare neck. The fur there was cleaner and flatter where Bertie’s red ribbon had once been. He didn’t know what to do or say so, being a very practical kind of Croc, he set out on a mission to find it with Bertie stumbling along behind him sobbing.

Bertie and Croc searched high and low. In the cupboard, in Bertie’s wedding suit, in a suitcase, at the top of the stairs and at the bottom. They snuck into the living room and, as the door creaked open quietly, Croc stopped in amazement. There in front of him was the Christmas tree, all lit up, with tinsel and baubles glinting in the moonlight. Maybe it is in there? Thought Croc. Slowly he made his way up the branches with Bertie following closely. They stopped to admire baubles on the way and ask other bears on the tree if they had seen the missing red ribbon.

Croc began to notice that Bertie no longer made the sobbing sounds, but was happily distracted looking at the Christmas baubles.

I wonder whether they will find Bertie’s red ribbon???

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. 

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!