A Paddington bear has sat on a neighbour’s windowsill for 22 years.
My brother noticed this bear when he was five years old, and always looked out for him when coming home. He told me about Paddington Bear a few months ago and since then I always glance at him when going past to check he’s still there.
Paddington Bear is facing out of the window, watching the world go by. His view is a large hill and road, surrounded by trees and other houses. Paddington Bear will have watched as I picked conkers with friends, sled down the hill in the snow, and raced around on my bike as a child.
This bear has watched the world go by untouched for such a long time it almost makes you sad. If you compare him to the Toy Story toys, he must be a very lonely bear.
Paddington could be filled with so much wisdom and knowledge from what he’s seen out of the window. He will have watched the seasons change, children grow up, cars zooming past, and people move in and out of the opposite houses.
When I look up at Paddington Bear, just to check he’s still perched on the windowsill, I instantly feel sad. I imagine him staring out of a rainy window dreaming of playing with the children and enjoying life.
Is this what the media and programmes such as Winnie The Pooh do to us? Most probably. I look up at Paddington; his blue coat faded and his red hat full of dust, and feel a pang of emotion.
We watch programmes about a bear full of wisdom and a love for honey, we watch films about a toy who loves his owner; and this sits within us.
Seeing bears like Paddington just brings back this imagination and idea that toys have feelings; and watching Paddington sit there day in day out just makes me feel awful.
I’ve created a personality for this little bear, lonely on the shelf, no friends to look out with, no owners to cuddle. I imagine him to be old now, after watching my friends and I become adults, he’s now a little faded and tired.
As an adult looking back at childhood it’s always sad when you remember how much you used to play, and then suddenly you can’t ‘play’ anymore. Thinking of Paddington Bear and creating an idea of his life just reminds you that there is still something in you that can be magical.
Paddington Bear could be very happy on the windowsill, he may feel that he is watching and making sure everyone is safe; there could be a happy ending to this tale. But for me, watching Paddington just makes me want to knock on the front door and ask to take him home – possibly a little obsessive.
Although it makes me sad, I do love to look up and check Paddington Bear is still there, safe and sound, looking out at the world.
I think the day he’s suddenly no longer there will be even more sad. And maybe this teaches us a lesson; to never take anything or anybody for granted, because you never know when they will be gone.