It’s Winnie the Pooh Day today.
It’s a celebration of A.A. Milne’s most famous character and it takes place on the occasion of the author’s birthday. (January 18th 1882)
It’s not a day that ordinarily features in my life but
was trending on Twitter this morning.
At the time I was signed-in to the British Newspaper Archive website so diverted from my researches to look for any references to the famous bear. And there were quite a few, mainly related to stage adaptations of the well-known children’s books.
But in “The Sketch” of March 28th 1928 I found these lovely photos of Christopher Robin (Milne’s son) and the original Pooh bear.
The photos were taken for a party in aid of the Queen Charlotte’s Hospital as explained in the caption:
The British Newspaper Archive is an absolute treasure trove and I rarely visit it without finding something special. I think these photos of Christopher Robin and the accompanying story are lovely.
But apparently Christopher Robin grew to dislike his fictional namesake particularly after going to prep school and being taunted by other pupils over the famous lines:
“Hush! Hush! Whisper who dares! Christopher Robin is saying his prayers.”
In 1974, Christopher Milne published the first of three autobiographical books. “The Enchanted Places” gave an account of his childhood and of the problems he’d encountered because of the Pooh books. Christopher gave the original stuffed animals that inspired the Pooh characters to the books’ editor, who in turn donated them to the New York Public Library.
Here’s a photo:
Looking at all the #winniethepoohday tweets on and off during the day I’ve been struck by how many good A.A. Milne quotes there are.
Here are just a few of them:
“Some people care too much. I think it’s called love.”
“Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”
“People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.”
“How do you spell ‘love’?” – Piglet
“You don’t spell it…you feel it.” – Pooh”
“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
“The things that make me different are the things that make me.”
And I love this one!
“A quotation is a handy thing to have about, saving one the trouble of thinking for oneself, always a laborious business.”
The inspiration for Winnie the Pooh was an amalgam of a live bear known as “Winnipeg” that Milne had seen at London Zoo and the teddy bear he gave to Christopher on his son’s first birthday.
The teddy bear was named Edward and I think it looks a lot like the teddy bear I received from my parents for my first birthday thirty years later. I just called mine “Teddy” and he survived until we moved house in 1966 when he went in the bin!
Thanks for reading my blog today and Happy #winniethepoohday.