My friend Oliver sometimes feels left out. He hasn't featured in my blog before because he's rather shy about speaking to strangers. When I told him the photos of his adventures could go on my blog without him having to say a word, he go quite excited about seeing himself on-line.
He got his name because he is a smiley bear and long ago, when she was a teacher at St Jude's School in Southwark, Mammy was very fond of a little boy called Oliver Smiley, so she named our Ollie after him. We hope that the human Oliver Smiley won't mind having a namesake. Our Oliver was very happy to receive a full name.
A few weeks ago, Ollie went on a trip to Shrewsbury with Mammy. We thought it was his turn to be special.
Mammy took a photo of Ollie waiting for the bus at the car park in Rhayader. The children from the local school painted their own designs, depicting the little town. Aren't they cheerful? So much nicer than plain concrete. Ollie pretended that he lived in the clock tower and was standing by his front door.
The bus was late, so Ollie played at being a fierce bear at the zoo. The bars are actually to divide the bus shelter in two but they made good pretend cage bars and Ollie even managed to squeak out a couple of quite bear growls.
Next he tried walking along the edge of the seat without wobbling or falling off. The red kite picture above him is beginning to fade, poor thing. Ollie fell off three times and then decided to sit quietly, so he wouldn't get really dirty and feel ashamed when he met new people.
The bus came at last, but not before Ollie had seen a beautiful rainbow. It stopped Ollie wishing that the weather had been dry and sunny. Now he loves rainy days and hopes to have wellington boots and a raincoat soon, so he can play in the rain and hunt for rainbows. The bus looked huge!
The driver was very kind. He gave Oliver a ticket for the cost of two chocolate buttons and then let him ride with him at the front of the bus. Ollie loved pressing the buttons on the ticket machine.
Mammy had to go to the hospital so, when they arrived in Shrewsbury, Ollie snuggled down in her bag and slept for a couple of hours.
When he woke up, they walked through town and saw some very old buildings. The ones with wooden beams and decoration filled in with white stuff are Tudor buildings, but the all-stone one is even older and was the original town market hall. Mammy says part of our house is from the same time - no wonder so many spider families live here! When Ollie showed us these photos we got very interested in houses and I'll show you some books about old houses another time.
Ollie had some money to spend, so he went into the toy shop.
Here he is, chosing toys and art supplies to share with us all.
Mammy wanted some bear-suitable fabric to make some new pyjamas. Usually Honey Podge, the house keeping bear helps choose things like that, but Ollie was thrilled to be the one trusted to do it this time.
They went to Mammy's favourite shop in all the world. It is in a street called The Mardol and is another Tudor building. Ollie said the floors were uneven and sloped up and down. He could imagine the rich humans who might have lived there when it was a house, though it might have been two houses originally.
There was so much fabric and a huge display of things called notions, which Ollie thought were lovely, they are all to do with sewing, though I don't quite understand what?! I shall have to go and look, one day.
Here is Ollie looking for suitable fabrics. He chose fat quarters of pretty fabrics for girl bears' dresses and night gowns and then some beary boys stuff for our pjs.He said the staff at the fabric shop are lovely people, they even let him climb on the big rolls of fleece and velvet to feel how soft it was. Even though a notice said not to let children climb for safety reasons, the man said it was OK for bears, because bears are able to look after their own safety. What a special person he must be to know about the superior self-preservation skills of bears!
After all that shopping, Ollie was very, very thirsty. He used almost the last of his money to buy a fruit smoothy and, because the cafe was full, took it outside to drink. It was such an enormous cup that he had to stand up to drink from it. It was so cold that he got a headache if he sucked up too much at once!
He sat on the window sill of a charity shop. Mammy told him that she thought the charity shops in Shrewsbury were the best she'd ever seen and, when he turned round and saw the window display behind him, Ollie agreed whole-heartedly. Oh! How he fell in love with that dolls' house! It even matched the colour of his trousers and his smoothy! It was too big to carry home on the bus and, anyway, even before he had spent his money, it was too expensive. But a bear can dream ....
After paying his last few pennies to the bus driver for his trip home, Ollie did just that. He sat on the comfortable blue seat half way down the length of the bus, dreaming of a dolls' house of his own to play with.
Every so often, he glanced out of the window to look at the beautiful scenery.
Half way back to Rhayader, Ollie saw another rainbow! Rainbows are symbols of promises and Ollie knew that, as he had everything he had ever needed, the only thing he could be being promised was a dolls' house of his own! He fell asleep and a jumbled dream of dolls' hosues, Tudor buildings, fabric, toys and smoothies floated through his head.