Friday, 27 July 2012

Thila Filla Philly - The CIty of Brotherly Love

When you're a Small Bear, being taken to a city that has an unspellable, unpronounceable name is cruel, but that's just what the hired help did. Wheech, off we went early on the Monday morning.  First we went on a bus, and then we went on the Underground and the we went on the Heafrow Express to the Nairyport to catch our Nairyplane.  It tools AGES and we hadn't even taken off!

Eventually, whoosh, off we went and some hours later we arrived in Fillerrdelfier (It's Philadelphia) Don't be silly, how can PH be F? (Trust me it just is.) Is that you saying, "Because I say so?" ("Yes.") Meanie, typical grown up, when you can't explain something you just say, "Because I say so." (Guilty as charged Mr Bear, but I can't change it. Philadelphia is pronounced Filadelfia, and there's nothing we can do about it.") Well that's not fair, not, not, not.  (Do I hear the drumming of little heels on the desk?) Yes, don't care. So there. (Sorry folks, he's now got a petted lip and he's sitting with his arms folded in a huff.) Am not. (Well, come on bear, we want to get on with the story don't we? You can't disappoint your public.)  I aspose. (That's much better - even a wee smile?) Nope, that's too much to ask.

Oh yes, Philadelphia. It's HUGE, but not as huge as Londing. If you think I have problems spelling the name, LT, when she was little, couldn't say "F," so for a wee while Alan, Ann and LT lived in Thiladelthia. Isn't that cute? Don't practice saying that Sebastian (or any other bear) until you've swallowed all your cookie crumbs, 'cos otherwise you'll spray them everywhere.  (Back to the story please.) Oh, alright then but it is a nice side story isn't it? (Yes it certainly is, though we'll have to see how Jack responds to this post.)

We were there for boring office meetings, but I did get out to see people.  There's a nice lady called Finona (Fiona) That's what I said, do stop interrupting.   There's a nice lady called FIONA in the office and she has done a clever painting of Machali one of the tigers we saw in India, and I went over and had a look at it.  Everyone in the office thought I'd be scared, but I wasn't - I've been much closer to the real tiger and she's just a big pussy cat really.  (Well, you were pretty close, but we made sure you didn't get too close or you'd have ended up as a tiger snack.)

ANYWAY,   I was so relaxed I sat down with my back to her and I didn't look over my should more than once or twice.  Don't you like Fiona's painting?  I think it's pure dead brilliant myself.

After a couple of boring days in the office, talking about having visions and missions we went out for the evening to Longwood Gardens.  He's been there before but it was before I was even a bit of fluff in my maker's eye, whatever that means.

Longwood is great big botanic gardens south of Philly (as the locals call it - see I did learn something.) and we had a great time.  Once we were inside I saw a couple of Chinese Lions and they were very fierce looking, but I wasn't scared at all.  I just sat on the knee of the first one and waved nonchalantly (That's a big word for a small bear!) at the world. The lion grumbled a bit and did look to see who was there but he didn't eat me.

Then I went over to see his friend and I sat on his HEAD and waved insouciantly at the passing crowd. (Cor, bear even more wonderful language.) I'm a writer, I DO language don't you realise that? (Of course, sorry.)

Next he sat me down on a bush.  I thought it would be all prickly, but it wasn't.  It was in the topiary garding and he got quite tocited about that, because in the winter when he's been there that part is closed.  It's just grass and bits of bushes, but, if that amusing him, who am I to complain?  I sat there patiently and made sure my best profile was on display.

It was very warm (Hot I'd say, but who's asking me?). Exactly, who is?  Well, maybe it was quite hot, so we wandered on and came to a lovely founting with water splashing into it.  I perched on the rim for my picture, and I nearly fell in, that's me waving, not drowning. (Coo, literary allusions too. I must go and read my Stevie Smith again.)

Then we went to the lake near the bell tower, with its nice reflections and its waterfall.  We got quite close to the waterfall and it was a bit cooler there, and again I practised waving, but nobody waved back.

Alan got very excited when he saw that the water lily pond was open to visitors. It's in a place that's closed in winter so it was new to him. He got his telephoto lens out and took lots of pictures.

There was a funny man standing in the pool talking to everyone about the plants and showing them the prickly underside of the lily pads and everything.  He was so happy to talk about his plants and his enthusiasm was quite infectious.  He must have been an old man because his trousers were up to his armpits. (No bear, he wasn't an old man, though wasn't young either.  He was wearing waders so that he could walk around in the water without getting wet.) Oh, that is clever.  Anyway, we got to smell one water lily that is white and beautiful and smells of pineapple one day and is pink not so lovely and not smelly the next.  On the first day it traps beetles and then the next day they get out again, and somehow that way the plant gets fertilised.  It was too much for my bounce fill brain I think.  (On the first day the beetles bring pollen with them from another flower and then they get trapped and fed on nectar. While they are trapped the pollen they bring get rubbed on the female parts of the plant.  Then next day when they manage to escape, they have to pass the stamens and get covered in more pollen that they take to the next plant. Clever but complicated isn't it?) Isn't nature interesting?  This picture isn't that lily it's a normal  one

After we had a hot dog and (cold) fries it started to get dark,
so off we went into the gloom because he said there were interesting things to see, and for once in his life he was right.

One of the things we saw was this fire hydrant.  It is nice and shiny and I wanted to turn it on, but spoilsport Alan said we'd get thrown out if we did, so I just sat on it instead.  While he was framing me for posteriority someone said, "Oh look someone's left a bear behind." How insulting can you get?  My behind is covered in fur, it's not bare at all. Anyway how could they see, 'cos I was sitting on it?  (No, they thought you'd been mislaid by someone, but I put them right and said you were a well travelled bear and not a lost one.)  That's alright then, it was kind of them to notice.

Not far away was the house in the trees and it was all lit up.  I was worried it might hold a wicked witch, but it didn't, it just had some nice big lights and some occasional twinkly lights in the air.  I wondered what they were because we saw a lot of them.  Alan explained that they were fireflies, and they were very pretty as they blinked on and off. We walked into the woods and there were lots  and lots of lights there that changed colour all the time and we walked around looking at them with lots of other people - but not many bears.  There were a few but most of the poor things seemed to be tied down to baby carriages.  There were  a few being carried by the people they owned, and I waved and said hello to them.

The last two pictures are very pretty. The first one is by one of the lakes and the lights on the far bank were changing colour all the time. A nice man let Alan use his tripod to get a photo, and Alan took some video too and that's very pretty but he hasn't had time to process it for here - lazy boy.

In this last photo we went into one of the lovely greenhouses and saw these lovely lights that also changed colour.  Can you see the deflections (That's reflections bear) Whatever, reflections, deflections I can't know everything at my age.  Anyway the lights were shining off the ceiling and that was pretty too.

All the best for now. He went to Ipswich in the week and I didn't go, but next week it's the Bearlympics and I'll get to see Jack again as we cheer on the rowers.

Back soon,




  1. Hi Jock,

    We had a mouth full of cookies, sitting next to Dad at breakfast this morning - Mom was reading your post to us and - Thiladelthia made us laugh - get the picture? Poor Dad. Giggle.

    Hugs ♥
    LuLu & Flora

  2. LT was little once? Nah, we don't believe it, we think she's always been a big lump...

    Pretty pixtures, the staff still haven't processed the London ones, perhaps she'll bother her backside after therelympics but we're not holding our breath!



  3. Hello Jock,

    You do get around don't you? We went to Philly last year. So much to see and of course, we didn't see it all. We wanted to see the Liberty Bell but the line was so long, that I was afraid I'm miss my dinner and my midnight snack too. You're very photogenic and courageous too.

    Enjoy your recovery!



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