Category Archives: Inspirational Thoughts

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 Power of Speech


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’s Biggest Adventure Yet!


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!

Grant the Grapefruit…

…..goes live!

It has all been a little quiet on the Bertie front recently. Bertie has moved states within Australia and has just moved countries!!! He couldn’t believe how much he has to fit into his little suitcase. I mean how much stuff can one bear collect???

He has also been helping his friend Grant the Grapefruit to release a book, which is now available on amazon: US version and a UK version

In fact, Bertie has been so inspired by his friend Grant’s book that he has been debating writing his own series…..

Grant's portrait
Happiness is being a travelling grapefruit

The Toy Shop

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When Bertie was just an untravelled bear he was quite introverted and was extremely cautious about other toys. What did they want? Why were they being nice to him? He would often think as a rouge bear would try to start a polite conversation with him. In fact, Bertie had become so introverted that he had buried himself at the bottom of the toy bin in the hope that everyone would just leave him alone.

How different Bertie felt about life now!

Bertie had begun to notice that his friend Croc had similar characteristics to young Bertie. He would often hide in the bottom of the coat pocket and when Bertie first met Croc he was hiding at the back of the bunk bed in the dark. Croc had started to grow more and more confident within his own stuffing and Bertie had begun to feel a sense of pride at being able to help him on his journey to discover the inner Croc. After all, thought Bertie, what good is all this knowledge and experience if it is not shared and used to help others?

Today Bertie took Croc to meet some new friends, just to see how Croc would react. They emerged from the narrow pathway which lead to Barley Hall into the hustle and bustle of the busy streets of York again. There were so many people, thought Croc, unable to get his head around where they had all come from. The streets were so small and the buildings so close together Croc felt if he turned sideways he would cause several people to trip up over him.

Bertie grabbed Croc and dragged him out of the safety of the pocket, much to Croc’s protesting. He settled with Croc on a  windowsill of an old shop. Croc got such a fright when there was a tap on the window behind him. Turning around slowly, half expecting to see a ghost bear, Croc saw a large green Crocodile-like toy much like himself but stood upright waving at him! Croc looked on in shock as his brain processed the expanse of toys in front of him…..there were hundreds, all smiling and waving and there was no where for Croc to hide. He could either throw himself into the crowds of people or stay where he was and socialise.

Taking a deep breath, Croc did a small nod towards the other toys who responded with great joy at the acknowledgement he gave them. Looking over at Bertie Croc could see him grinning widely from underneath his small, blue, winter wooly hat and he felt instantly reassured. He was amongst friends for the first time in his short Crocodile life and it felt great.


Words and photographs copyright of Samantha Key 2016

Do what feels “right” by Sam Key

Truly honoured that my work has been chosen to be published on The Copper Staple! If I get the most likes for this month it gets published in a hard copy….fingers crossed you like it enough to help me out! Thank you, you awesome group of people!

Sunshine Blogger Award – yippee



Bask in the sunshiness of joy and good feelings! I hope it warms your soul and your heart and makes you truly happy. If that doesn’t work, eat cake.

I can’t explain how super excited Bertie and me are at being nominated for a bloggers award, especially when the person nominating me is a fellow blogger, Cezane. HUGE compliment!!! Thank you. Sending lots of good vibes and positivity your way. If fairy dust could travel down internet connections then you would be sparkling right now and be leaving that annoying glitter everywhere you go!

This is the LONGEST blog post I have EVER written so bear with me… are my answers to the questions, Cezane asked me:

If there is one thing you could change about the world, what would it be?

  • Calorie free ice-cream, although I think the calories add to the flavour! Oh and World Peace.

Which post in your blog so far would you say is the best of your offerings according to you?

  • It is hard to choose just one, I have written so many and they all have their own unique content. I think my “story-telling” posts get the most interest and they are the ones which I allow my imagination to run away with me on. They have a personal element of me in them as I am writing what I have experienced, seen and done through Bertie. I also let my humour shine through in them when I am writing.

What motivates you to write?

  • I want to help and inspire others. Most people want to talk to me and they do not always listen to what I have to say so I suppose writing allows me my chance to talk to people and help them. I have been through so much in my own life, seen so much, dealt with so much, I want to inspire others. To give them hope. To lead by example and most of all to make people smile. I get a massive sense of joy inside me when I can see my work has touched someone in a positive way. It’s like a ripple effect when you throw a stone into water. Spreading the joy! Its addictive.

Cats or Dogs?

  • I am a MASSIVE dog person!!!! I have even been likened to a Golden Retriever, with my bubbly personality, happy disposition and loyalty to the people I care about. My little Jack Russell cross Beagle is the most amazing dog I know, she is always happy and positive and a complete comedian. She has been through so much in her little life, two spinal operations and she is now recovering from Canine Caner. She is truly an inspiration and my best friend!

Can Money buy Happiness?

  • No, nothing can BUY happiness, although people do try to every day. Happiness is found inside of yourself and takes time to learn to access. Most people do not want to put in the hard work or are too scared to. There is no quick fix to feeling happy, it takes time, effort and is the reward for your hard work on you. Money can buy you freedom, which in turn can allow you the time to buy happiness but sooner or later you have to face the new challenge of coming back to society and learning to MAINTAIN your happiness whilst living day to day. That is the true challenge.

What is the best memory you have of your life?

  • I have so many! Ironically some of my best memories have come after great efforts or disasters, like the time I got to Annapurna Base Camp whilst also suffering from a nasty bacteria infection attacking my stomach and not being able to eat for 3 days whilst walking for 7 hours a day. I would say my best memories are sitting at the top of the Pennies in Yorkshire with my dog, my Grandad’s gentle hands and him showing me when I was very little how his skin didn’t bounce back like mine did, and my dads strong, safe hugs when my life felt like it was a complete mess and I would never escape the pain I was feeling.

What is your Dream?

  • I want to earn a living by helping other people to find the light within themselves. I want to work in an uninterrupted creative way every single day of my life.

Favourate Dish?

  • Those pretty white porcelain ones with the blue patterns around them and the wavy edges! 😉

What would you say is the drive towards success?

  • An internal, nagging tug which comes from inside my heart and is constantly there every day. I don’t know what it is driving me towards, which is kind of annoying, but I know when I am on the right path because I can “feel” it inside of me like a knowing.

What are your favourate books/movies?

  • I LOVE books……Especially the Famous Five. Those of you old enough to know those books will resonate with me at how awesome they are, those of you not old enough you don’t know what you are missing. At the moment I am reading Roberta Sykes’ 3 novels. If you really want a look into Australia’s history these books are for you!

Three wishes, what are your wishes?

  1. I wish I can be the glowing light for those in darkness.
  2. I wish everyone could look at each other with eyes of love rather than hate.
  3. I wish chocolate had no calories!

I think this is my longest ever post! If you have arrived at the bottom well done. Thank you for staying with me this long.

So my turn: I nominate the following blogs:

Brushes and papers

Indahs: dive, travel & photography

Scifihammy – Mad Cap Dog

 Rachelmankowitz The Cricket Pages

Lemanshots – Fine Pictures and Digital Art

Orlando Espinosa – Keep it Simple!

Ian Timothy – Writing & Thoughts

Espirational: A 10 minute vacation for the soul

The questions I pose to you are:

  1. What/who inspires you?
  2. What is your top blogging tip?
  3. What is your favourite ice-cream flavour?
  4. Black or white?
  5. What is your favourite childhood memory?
  6. Favourite mode of transport?
  7. Choose one: By the ocean, up a mountain, in the forest or in the fields?
  8. What is your favourite thing to do when you are not blogging?