Category Archives: Happiness

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!

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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!!!

The mystery is solved!

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Croc had been searching high and low for Bertie’s missing ribbon. He had been to the top of the Christmas tree and to the bottom of it, braved looking in dark and scary Christmas stockings and felt like he had left no stone un-turned. He was beginning to feel a little down hearten and could feel his positivity waning. His determination still remained strong and he began to try to approach the situation logically by retracing Bertie’s steps over the past few days.

Bertie, on the other hand, was feeling completely defeated. He had given up on ever seeing his red ribbon again and as they reached the top of the stairs, after a long climb, tears began to roll silently down the fur of his cheeks.

As Croc made his way into the bedroom, he realised that Bertie was no longer following him. He turned to see Bertie stood still looking at him with tears falling down his face. He rushed to his friends side and grabbed his paw gently in his tooth filled mouth and dragged him into the bedroom. He sat Bertie down on his favorite seat in the window and they watched the sun come up. They were both exhausted.

As the sunlight began to chase away the darkness in the room, Croc could hear Bertie’s little sobs. In one final attempt to cheer his beloved friend up he picked up the tall, top hats they had been wearing for the wedding. It had made Bertie laugh so much when he had seen Croc dressed up that Croc decided this was a good way to get Bertie to smile.

As he attempted to flip the hat onto his head it missed completely and rolled off landing at Bertie’s feet. As the hat rolled round and round Bertie sat staring at it. He had stopped sobbing. Croc watched as Bertie lend down and pulled at the red lining of the hat! Although, it wasn’t red lining………it was Bertie’s red ribbon, safety stashed in the top of his hat!!!

Bertie leapt up and began doing a happy little dance and then he jumped on his best friend and threw his short, bear arms around him as far as they would go. Croc, not sure what to make of all the noise, excitement and physical contact, froze in shock. They both looked at the red ribbon. Then Bertie realised he had a new dilemma, who would put it back on?

Bertie and Croc’s big day

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Between them, Bertie and Croc have been on several big adventures. They have travelled the world, stayed in tents and 5 star hotels, and experienced things which would have blown the stuffing out of most small bears. This weekend they experienced something completely new…..

Sitting on a bed which is big enough for all the Croc’s in the Northern Territory, in a hotel room which gave Croc the shivers. He wasn’t feeling cold, he was sure he had seen a ghost! Bertie and Croc watched the large room fill with different people. There was a hustle and bustle feel to the day and they were glad they were out of it. When the lid of a bag was accidentally tipped and covered them both, they peeped out of the side and watched the events unfold.

Before they knew it they were scooped up into the light and pulled around, both not sure what was happening, they began to panic before they were placed down carefully on the wide, cushioned windowsill. Croc started to laugh. Bertie blushed as he looked down at himself. He was wearing a suit!? A little top hat had been attached to his head. He pointed at Croc who had been too busy giggling at Bertie to notice that he was also wearing a top hat. Croc soon stopped laughing and started doing death rolls in an attempt to get the hat off. He nearly fell right off the wide windowsill!

Bertie and Croc froze as they were lifted carefully into a bag and carried out of the room. They heard several things in the bag but neither were strong enough to lift the heavy lid to peek out. Bertie suspected that the bag had a clasp which was holding the lid firmly down. They heard the sound of music being played, voices, interspersed with moments of silence.

When they were eventually taken out of the bag they were placed on a VERY fancy table. Looking around at everyone, Bertie felt a little less self conscious. Everyone was dressed up in suits and smart dresses. Bertie grabbed Croc, stopping him from doing anther death roll in an attempt to remove the hat, and whispered that they were at a wedding. Not only were they at the wedding, but they were sat on the Top Table at the wedding, as guests of honour! A strange feeling of pride came over Bertie and he puffed himself up to his full 4 inches and smiled at the photographer.

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……

 

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!