Wednesday, January 18, 2012

“When late morning rolls around and you're feeling a bit out of sorts, don't worry; you're probably just a little eleven o'clockish.”

It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" - Winnie the Pooh

Alan Alexander Milne was born on the 18th of January 1882 in Hampstead, London. In 1924, after the success of  the poem entitled, 'Vespers',  Milne published a book of children's poems entitled 'When We Were Very Young', with drawings by illustrator, Ernest Shepard. This book includes a poem about a Teddy Bear who "however hard he tries grows tubby without exercise". This was Pooh's first unofficial appearance in A.A. Milne's writing. It was not until 1925 that Pooh officially came into being. Milne's contribution for the Christmas Eve issue of the Evening News was a bedtime story that he had made up for his son (named Christopher Robin) about adventures he had with his Teddy Bear who was known as Winnie the Pooh. It was also at this time that the Milne family moved to the cottage at Cotchford Farm in Sussex which later provided the setting for the Pooh books.

Interestingly, Milne didn't write the Pooh stories and poems for children but instead intended them for the child within us.

Until he went to boarding school(where he got teased a lot about Vespers), Christopher Robin Milne (in his own words) "quite liked being Christopher Robin and being famous."

Vespers by AA Milne

Little Boy kneels at the foot of the bed,
Droops on the little hands little gold head.
Hush! Hush! Whisper who dares!
Christopher Robin is saying his prayers.

God bless Mummy. I know that's right.
Wasn't it fun in the bath to-night?
The cold's so cold, and the hot's so hot.
Oh! God bless Daddy - I quite forgot.

If I open my fingers a little bit more,
I can see Nanny's dressing-gown on the door.
It's a beautiful blue, but it hasn't a hood.
Oh! God bless Nanny and make her good.

Mine has a hood, and I lie in bed,
And pull the hood right over my head,
And I shut my eyes, and I curl up small,
And nobody knows that I'm there at all.

Oh! Thank you, God, for a lovely day.
And what was the other I had to say?
I said "Bless Daddy," so what can it be?
Oh! Now I remember it. God bless Me.

Little Boy kneels at the foot of the bed,
Droops on the little hands little gold head.
Hush! Hush! Whisper who dares!
Christopher Robin is saying his prayers.

There are many ways to celebrate today. You can start by pulling out any and all Pooh stuffed animals you have and setting them around the house. I have a small collection of Pooh themed items that I have collected over the years, including a small stuffed Winnie the Pooh. He takes pride of place today.

If you have children (and even if you don't!), read any of the stories from the 100 Aker Wood.

Make Winnie the Pooh cakepops. I'm new to the cakepop making, so haven't made any just yet. Today, however, might be the day I try my hand at it!

Make a Pooh inspired dish. I have the original 1969 Pooh cookbook. I really want to get my hands on the new one, though, to compare them.

Watch a Pooh movie or try to catch the episodes that came on tv. I still use Pooh's phrase, "Oh, bother!" when something doesn't go as planned.

This is a day that can be filled with sweetness and fun, so go and be a kid again. Isn't that what Milne wanted?

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