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
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.
Bertie’s very FIRST book has finally gone live on Amazon!
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!
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….
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?)
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……
It’s an interesting topic, the topic of birthdays.
If you think back to when you were a child birthdays were so exciting. You got presents and cake and people made a big deal out of you being another year older.
You spend your entire teens waiting for the next birthday, to be one year older and then you can….drive a car, smoke and drink, vote and do all the things adults do!
As we grow past the exciting birthday milestones of our 18th and 21st birthdays become, for most people, a sensitive topic. A downhill journey where each year brings you closer and closer to getting older. Birthdays can become less of a milestone and more of a hurdle. I was once told after I turned 25 years old that “its all downhill from now…”
For me, I decided a long time ago that I wanted to enjoy every moment of my special day. I wanted to view birthdays with the child-like excitement and wonder which I had had when I was little. This revelation came after a particularly depressing and very none eventful birthday where I sulked alone in my own little world. The following year I decided to do something special for me. I would buy myself a gift. Take myself somewhere nice and do all the things I wanted to do on my special day.
I now have a count down to my birthday. I eat cake, ice cream and don’t feel guilty. I always try and do something nice, something special for me. I have been to spa’s, travelled, brought myself a new MacBook just to name a few. I have balloons, birthday songs and tell everyone I meet (whilst proudly presenting my drivers licence with my date of birth on) that its my birthday!
I find most people find this sense of childish excitement quite baffling but uplifting. They join in singing Happy Birthday and they share my cake with me, they begin to smile and laugh at my 8 year old enthusiasm. I think it takes them back to their childhood when birthdays were something to celebrate rather than hide from.
This year I went to Perth and walked on the beach in the warmth. I visited my favourite parks and walked through the blossoming trees. I ate at one of my favourite places to eat and I had an awesome ice-cream smash! In the UK my birthday, being in November, has always been cold, wet, damp and an advocate for indoor activities so it was so very exciting to be outside in the blazing sunshine randomly telling people I was really excited because this was my first birthday in Australia.
I realised that if I change my attitude and belief system about something, then it carries other people along into that positive attitude.
So whenever your birthday is, let’s celebrate it! It is a very special and unique time where you came into this world to impart your special gifts and wonderful unique self onto the imprint of this planet. It was truly a special day! How do you choose to celebrate yours?