A Toy Story

No matter how old you are there is always a small part of you that never grows up. Some inner child that refuses to be tamed and see’s the fun and delight in everything no matter how small. For many this is something they never let out whilst in others that childlike quality sets forth, breaking free at every chance it gets. 

I am for the most part a lady and proud to be so but my inner child refuses to be squashed and i take great delight in being spontaneous and having fun. Match this with someone with all the qualities of a woodland imp and you have my boyfriend and i. So, a recent trip to London whilst beginning sedately was never likely to stay that way given the nature of the pair of us. Of course there is only one place in London to take your inner child and that is Hamleys, biggest toystore in the city. Now i have never been to Hamleys although my partner has and knew what to expect as we descended upon its colourful doorways….

Arriving in a cloud of soap bubbles my eyes did not know where to look and thus did not see the impending attack from a London Souvenir teddy bear. Those things have teeth you know and more than once i had to fight for my life and defend my as yet unbitten neck as it staged an all out assault upon my person. Aided and abetted by the dastardly vampire (aka boyfriend) i was most definitely under attack from all directions and seeking refuge amongst the Steiff bears. A cunning plan here since Steiff toys are far too costly to be involved in any rebellion and as a slow meander through their ranks ensued a cease fire was forced upon him. 

Breaking cover and dashing for the awaiting soft toy army this time the fight was on and team Panda fought back bravely, spurred on by pink fluffy teddy and big white curly teddy. Sensing a lowering of guard a joint assault from white curly teddy and General Panda, sent the afore mentioned sailing through the air to land squarely upon the king vampires nose. Direct hit!!! A most comical look of surprise and round one to team panda with vampire in hot pursuit as teddy bear armies sailed across the shop floor discreetly ignored by passing shop assistants yet not by small children staring open mouthed at the grown up warfare. 

Cameo performance by extortionately priced small bat preceded nostalgic wander through a colourful array of fluffy animals at this time heeding the temporary truce. Definite crossing of legs at this point as team Panda hurtled for the toilets hurling a brief ”i will find you” over a departing shoulder. Ah those immortal lines from Last of the Mohicans that saw a desperate Daniel Day Lewis hunting the wilderness for his kidnapped lady love.

Skidding only briefly to a halt to coo over a veritable Wonkafest of colourfully arranged confectionery team Panda speeded through a brief pit stop before negotiating the stairs and the previous whereabouts of team vampire. Despite the assistance of badly synced navigation equipment and triple circumnavigation of the arena the whereabouts of the mysterious vampire remained a mystery, definitely not a Mohican in the making then. All efforts exhausted in true childlike style Team Panda observed the golden rule reinforced on a regular basis throughout childhood..if you get lost stay where you are and we will find you. So as the desperately lost Team Panda languished in a magical doorway between worlds, Team Vampire was far far away hypnotised by an evil demon and his magical flying saucer. Time passed so slowly as Team Panda desperately waited for the vampire to escape the supernatural forces that compelled him and come to her rescue. Magical sorcerers appeared from the gloom hoping to tempt team Panda into submitting with offers of assistance but the Panda held firm and waited for her twilight hero to find her.

Saved only by a mysterious communication device the vampire had smuggled with him he came swiftly to the rescue and amid a cloud of rainbow bubbles they made good their escape into the outside world. Leaving behind an army of no small proportions they plot and plan for the next ensuing battle between teams P:anda and Vampire. Out in the grown up world a happy truce reigns but Team Panda will be forever on their guard for one never knows when vampires might attack.


Do you feel better now??

Today i bumped into an old friend as i was happily skipping my way back from the gym to a very catchy upbeat song and i have to admit i was in an awfully good mood. Seeing she looked tired i asked how she was and enquired after her baby which i knew was a big mistake given past history. This particular friend is never happy and when i say never i really do mean NEVER. She is very self pitying and has more than a little tendency to make self derisory comments because she loves the attention and the fussing she gets from people who rush to console her. 

For a very long time i was a major one of these people and would daily drop everything and go rushing over as each crisis presented itself and spend hours dispensing positivity and praise in her direction to make her feel better about herself. Like any good friend i helped with self esteem and advised on diet when she complained she was fat (which was daily) yet never did she heed any of it and seemed to thrive on running herself down for attention. I wanted to help for i genuinely believed she had poor self image but over time i could not fail to notice she was often incredibly mean in reference to other people. 

Many a time in some public setting she would loudly and gleefully pass criticism on some poor unfortunate passer by , fully aware that the people could often hear her. My horrified reprimands would be ignored and she would laugh uproariously, finding the whole situation incredibly amusing. No amount of reasoning would make her stop and i began to come to the conclusion that she was either genuinely nasty or simply did so to make herself feel better. This aside i found it was not a situation i was at all happy with and eventually we parted as friends for i am not a person who is at all comfortable with causing distress and upset to others. 

Time passed and never did she change. Those traits so displayed in my company continued and grew upon a social networking site and i shook my head as others replaced me to pander to her needs. Perhaps this behaviour was so ingrained that she has no hope of ever changing, i do not know but still the part of me that was her friend cannot help but wish that she had accepted genuine help rather than settling for just attention. We passed in the street and i am nothing if not polite, always a hello and a smile would be offered in her direction yet i was not so keen to renew the acquaintance.

Lately i confess we have talked more and recently i rolled my eyes in resignation as she leered over a photograph of my boyfriend and the typical crude comments came forth. As usual i did not comment, i have found it better to stay silent and make a hasty exit these days. So encountering her again today i enquired as to how she was and stifled a sigh as she began the oh so familiar self pity and self annihilation  and wondered briefly whether to offer sympathy since she seems to need it so. As she focused her self hatred upon her weight i consoled and offered help but swiftly wished i hadn’t as she snapped at me

”Its alright for you, you skinny cow, You look okay YOURE not fat and ugly”

To say i was speechless was a bit of an understatement for she knows full well how overweight i was and how hard i have worked to get to where i am now. Years ago we had even started the gym/ diet journey together but she chose not to carry on where i doggedly persisted. I guess some people you really just cannot help and i shook my head and made my excuses to leave. I had nothing to say and no sympathy to pour upon her wounds and for once my kindly nature had totally run dry.

Musing some time later i realised she is far from the only person i know who behaves this way. Some not so self loathing but still with the propensity to mock others and render critical opinions where often they should keep quiet. I have always believed if you cannot say anything nice, do not say anything at all and i firmly adhere to this principle. The world is harsh enough at many a time, do we really need to be making it worse. Perhaps a little think before you speak would be something we could all use a bit of. 

So, do you feel better now?