It's Sunday morning and as you know, I should be in London at the Winter Bearfest show in Kensington Town Hall, but instead I'm home, feeling a little 'out of the loop' after cancelling my stand. On the plus side, I didn't miss having to wake up at horrible o'clock this morning and certainly haven't missed heaving my stand equipment and bears from the car to the exhibition table against a freezing February wind across the River Thames, but I am missing the excitement of our first major UK show of the year and it is an odd sensation not to be taking part with my latest bears on this occasion.
I may have posted these photos before, but they still make me smile, so I'm sharing them again today. They were taken about twenty years ago at a Hugglets' show and as you can see, my son and I were making the most of our visit back then! We visited the shows as a family of passionate teddy bear collectors and always had a wonderful time choosing special bears to take home. The enormous bear you see us both holding on this occasion, is 'Sir Hugh', made especially for me by one of my oldest bear making friends, the utterly charming Mr. Frank Webster. We took Sir Hugh to MacDonalds for a burger and chips after the show and as you can imagine, he raised quite a few smiles from passers by!
These days of course, I'm on the other side of the table introducing my own range of teddy bears to collectors. I tend to spend the entire day chatting because teddy bear shows are always extremely sociable!
It doesn't matter how many years I've been exhibiting, after setting up my stand in the morning, it's always a nail biting time waiting for the doors to open and a stream of eager collectors to flood into the hall. I've never been the world's most confident sales person, so standing beside my new offerings at opening time is a daunting process until the first visitors have stopped for a chat and a hug with my bears, reassuring me my creations are a welcome addition to the show.
During a show, I can never resist taking a peek at the vintage bears; all those gorgeous old teddies with secret histories ... if only they could talk!
And if I can stop chatting for long enough to wander round the stands myself, mohair suppliers' stands are a tremendous lure; I'm just like a kid in a candy store among all those fabulous new fabrics!
It's far too cold to do much else today, so I shall log in to Facebook from time to time to enjoy my friends' show photographs as they share them. I hope everyone has a fun show in London and as for me, I will just have to be patient and look forward to taking part again when the next teddy bear show comes to town in September!