Category Archives: journeys

A secret squirrel

Secret Squirrel

Bertie was quite relieved when he was moved away from the gushing waterfall and placed safely back in the bag. Honestly! He thought, the things I do!!! And he brushed off a few bits of moss which had decided to attach themselves to his legs. Bertie decided he was out of practice with this adventure stuff and stuck his head out of the bag to see where they were heading next.

It was a beautiful day. The sun warmed his fur and a gentle, spring breeze brushed against him they made their way along a winding pathway. This is how Bertie remembered home. Not raining and dismal but a warm, fresh spring day like today where the birds were singing and everything seemed to come alive.

Suddenly, they stopped. Bertie heard a rustling noise and he knew this was his cue to stay very still. Looking around Bertie could feel he was being watched, but he wasn’t sure by who or by what!

He heard the soft rustle again and looked up. There, in the tree above him, was a squirrel looking back at him with small, black beady eyes. There was something very unusual about this squirrel. It was red in colour and quite small. The oak leaf it carried in its mouth looked as big as its head.

Bertie was face to face with a real, rare red squirrel. These squirrels can only be found in certain parts of the UK and are quite tricky to spot. What a treat!!! Thought Bertie. He was so pleased when he heard the familiar shutter of the camera. He didn’t dare move in case he scared the squirrel off but at least they got a photograph for Croc.

I wonder what Croc would make of a red squirrel? Thought Bertie. He would probably be hiding at the bottom of the camera bag. What do you think?

Waterfall adventure

Bertie by a waterfall

Bertie and Croc had had a long rest after running, well being carried on, a half marathon. Bertie’s legs ached from jumping up and down inside the pocket. Croc’s legs ached from clinging onto the material of the pocket for dear life praying he didn’t fall out.

The weather was beginning to warm up in the UK now. Croc hadn’t experienced the UK when it was warmer and he had found a safe and happy spot on the window sill where he could follow the sunshine all day. As the sun moved across the windowsill, so did Croc, shuffling when no one was watching.

Bertie was itching for another adventure and spent his time pacing backwards and forwards from the sunny windowsill to the camera case. This was how Croc got left behind!!!

You see on glancing into the camera case, and seeing Bertie, and being so use to Croc hiding. Nobody noticed that Croc was missing and so Bertie was whisked away on an adventure without his best friend. This was the first adventure he had been on by himself in a while and Bertie’s stomach began to churn and he felt quite upset! He hoped Croc wouldn’t be annoyed….

Bertie was whisked out into the light and heard mumbling noises, followed by a frantic fumble around in the bottom of the bag. Bertie knew he now wasn’t the only one who realised Croc was missing. “It’s OK, Croc will be at home” Bertie heard a voice say. “We will just have to take even more photographs of Bertie so he can show Croc where he has been!!!” Bertie suddenly felt a sense of purpose and responsibility.

He posed with his best smile, trying not to show how nervous he was, trying to be brave for the photographs for Croc, as he was placed on the cold, damp rocks in front of a loud and gushing waterfall. Bertie knew Croc liked water but he wasn’t sure what his best friend would make of water which was this enthusiastic…..what do you think Croc would think of the waterfall?

 

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!

A Bishops Castle

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Croc had learnt quite a bit about history and religion in his short visit to Wells. He was surprised how the two often went hand in hand. Darwin had a completely different kind of history to this country, and the Northern Territory certainly wasn’t the place for grand Cathedrals and huge, ancient buildings, more rock paintings and lots of red dirt! The cyclones in Darwin would flatten the stone structures he had seen so far and the heat and red dirt would stain the walls, like it did with everything in the desert regions. White was never really white in the Northern Territory!

As they rounded a corner, Bertie and Croc peeped out from the zip in the camera bag eager to see where they were going to next. They heard the birds before they saw them! Now if you have been reading Bertie and Croc’s adventures for some time you may recall Croc had a nasty introduction to swans (click here to read the post)……he wasn’t quite over this. There, in front of him, as they rounded the corner were……SWANS!

Croc tried to drive deeply into the bottom of the camera bag but he got wedged between the lens of the camera and the wall of the bag. Bertie, seeing his friend was in trouble, gave Croc’s tail a tug and pulled him loose. Bertie held Croc’s trembling claw and pointed to what was beyond the swans.

Croc’s eyes widened……it was a castle!!! He suddenly forgot the swans. Bertie explained that while Croc was wedged in the camera bag, they had stopped by a sign which told the story of a swan learning to ring a bell for his tea. The castle wasn’t a castle. It was called the Bishops Palace and the Bishop would often come out and feed the swans when he lived there a long time ago.

Croc was confused. Why would a Bishop need a palace? From what he had learnt from history so far, only Kings had palaces? Bertie explained that the Bishop was VERY powerful and that is why statues of the Bishops were next to those of the King of the Cathedral in Wells. The Bishop was worried that people would try to kill him so he built a palace with a proper portcullis and moat and EVERYTHING.

Croc was relieved when they moved away from where the swans were located. He relaxed and began to enjoy the view. It was a truly beautiful day. He began to wonder what it would be like to live in a palace……..?

Bertie and Croc on Tor

2017-01-bertie-and-croc-on-tor

Bertie and Croc woke up to find themselves in the familiar camera bag. They could feel the motion of a car and looked at each other excitedly….they were going somewhere. It was then our observant friend Croc realised Bertie still wasn’t wearing the red ribbon they had searched high and low for. Croc looked at Bertie’s face, he had a huge grin on it and excited eyes. Being the wise Croc he was he decided now wasn’t the time to point out missing ribbons. Instead he engaged Bertie in a conversation about where they could be going?

When the car finally stopped, the intrepid friends had a little longer to wait until they could peek at where they were. There were voices outside the camera bag, which turned to huffing and puffing and Bertie decided he was glad they were where they were, because outside of the bag sounded like hard work!!!

When they finally stopped, and had played paper, scissors, rock to see who would open the bags’ zip first (which was an interesting game considering neither one of them could make a flat palm for paper), Bertie won and opened the zip slowly to reveal…..

Bright sunshine, but a cold, crisp day. They peeped out together and saw lots of people and a HUGE stone tower. Mesmerised by the tower in front of him, Bertie realised Croc was tapping him and he looked round to see the most spectacular view! Croc had a big grin on his face and sat happily on top of the camera bag admiring the panoramic scenery.

Bertie had heard of this place, it had been mentioned a few times. They were at Glastonbury Tor! Bertie knew this to be a very historical site, where artefacts from the Iron Age and Romans have been found. Bertie explained to Croc that the Tor has lots of myths and legends surrounding it, especially in relation to King Arthur. It is considered a very spiritual place by some people even now. Croc wasn’t sure about spiritual, as he glanced at a funny looking chap dressed in rainbow colours playing the guitar sat at the entrance to the Tor. He was sure that the view was pretty awesome! It wasn’t the same as the Dreamtime stories Croc was use to but he was beginning to like some of these historical sites in England.

Can you spot Bertie and Croc in the photo?

The mystery is solved!

2017-01-06-bertie-and-croc-find-the-ribbon

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?

Missing ribbons and Christmas baubles

2016-12-24-bertie-croc-missing-ribbon-bauble-copy

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???