Current Events, Special Days and Historic Anniversaries Brought to Life by Teddy Bears, Pandas and Other Cuddly Creatures
Monthly Archives: August 2015


by Elspeth

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As we near the end of this year’s Edinburgh Festival, The Bears in the Windows would like to share some of their favourite moments.  All aspects of the Festival are here – the Tattoo, the Book Festival, the Fringe and, of course, the various street artists from musicians to living statues.  As you’ll see, one of the bears has discovered ‘the selfie’ and is photographing himself, and his dog, with a golden statue, having first given him a present of a panda tartan scarf!  Also, if you look very carefully, you may spot Sir Chris Hoy cycling past his golden post box!  You never know who you’re going to see next at the Edinburgh Festival!

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by Elspeth

20140626_14August is a very busy month for pandas on either side of the pond.  In Edinburgh, Yang Guang and Tian Tian celebrated their twelfth birthdays and Bao Bao, Washington’s much loved panda cub, was two.  She very nearly had a very special birthday present this year as, on 22nd August, (the day before her birthday), her mother, Mei Xiang gave birth to twins.  Sadly, the euphoria was shortlived as, only four days later, despite the best efforts of everyone at the National Zoo, the smaller of the cubs died.  To date, the other cub, who’s a boy, is doing well and panda lovers across the world are hoping for a fairytale ending to the latest chapter of the panda story.  Naturally, The Bears in the Windows celebrated  the happy event, though you might have trouble spotting all the pandas!

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by Elspeth

20150813_198 - Copy70 years ago today, the Japanese unconditionally surrendered to the Allies, marking the end of the Second World War.  The following day, my father was in Delhi to witness the VJ Day parade led by the last Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten.  He had been in India for four long years by this time and it would be another nine months before he would finally return to the UK.


by Elspeth

For 55 years, Ayr Flower Show has been keenly anticipated by horticulturalists from all over the country and by those who, like me, just like to wonder at the beautiful blooms, the larger-than-life vegetables, the mouth-watering baking and the creative handiwork.

The show’s home is the stunning Rozelle Park and it would be hard to find a more appropriate setting especially, this year, when the sun shone, the sky was blue and the trees almost seemed to shimmer in the unusually warm summer afternoon.

More than ten years ago, Ian Sloan, a Director and Vice Chairman of the Ayr Flower Show, asked The Bears in the Windows if they would like to promote the show.  They were thrilled and have been bringing the show to Dalblair Road every year since, apart from last year, when they didn’t have the heart for it after my darling dog, Holly died suddenly a few weeks before the show. 

Now, here are some of my favourite moments from this year’s show.

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by Elspeth

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A few weeks ago, The Bears in the Windows and I were thrilled when we discovered we’d been mentioned in a letter in the Ayrshire Post.  

A very nice gentelman wrote, I‘m sure many people walking along Dalblair Road will walk straight past number 49 without noticing the brilliant window displays.

I never cease to be impressed with the care and attention taken with these extremely original arrangements.  They always put a smile on my face and on those of my grandkids.  The themes seem to change with topics from the news or special events.  

The main parts are taken by small bears and other animals.  It is definitely worth a short detour to see what I consider to be one of Ayr’s little gems and I would like to congratulate the lady on her efforts.  Well done.’  


by Elspeth

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On 31st July last year, my darling dog, Holly, died suddenly after a short illness.  The day the incredibly cute, floppy-eared, black Labrador puppy, came bouncing into my life, the last thing I thought about was just how short a time I’d have her for.  It seems incredibly unfair that the canine equivalent of our three score years and ten is, on average, a mere seventh of that number.  Dogs shower us with love and affection, are wonderful companions, show us unwavering loyalty, cheer us when we’re sad, defend us against danger, make us laugh with their comical ways and, when they pass away, leave colossal canine-shaped chasms which can never be filled.  A dog’s love is unconditional and that love is there right to the end.

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Some dogs die young before they’ve had the chance to experience that great big doggy adventure, while others age so gradually that we may not notice until, one day, they look at us with grizzled muzzles and mournful eyes which tell us the time has come for them to go.  Some dogs die slowly, suffering pain and indignity over many months, while others die so suddenly we think it’s all been a bad dream and that, when we waken up, there they’ll be, tail wagging expectantly.

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Having wanted a dog since I was a child, Holly was everything I could have wished for and more and I quickly realised why the Labrador is Britain’s most loved breed.  I’m so lucky to have shared my life with one of these most good-natured of canines, always so eager to please, if only for a few fleeting years.

How I miss everything about Holly – her big beaming smile and distinctive ‘Holly waggle’, the sound of her nametag tinkling like a bell, being wakened each morning with a yawn, a sneeze and a thump of her tail (if that didn’t work, then a wet nose was added to the mix), her eager little face at ‘Zebedee time’ as she waited anxiously for her late night snack, how she’d come through to the bedroom to check we were still there before she went to sleep, the unadulterated joy she had playing with her best friend Tex, how she’d join in our laughter with her constantly wagging tail and a squeak of a toy and cheer me when I was down with a comforting ‘Holly hug’ and, possibly most of all, how she could always make me smile.

A year on, I comfort myself with the knowledge that the huge heartache I still feel is a measure of just how much happiness Holly gave me.  My beloved best friend will be forever in my heart – the light of my life still burning brightly though she’s no longer here.   I’ll never forget you, darling Hollydog – life will never be the same without you.

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by Elspeth

July was a busy month for The Bears in the Windows and for me!  On the 4th of July, the American side of the family celebrated Independence Day with all the usual razzamatazz, on 7th of July, the bears remembered those who were maimed and lost their lives ten years ago during the terrorist attacks on London’s transport system and, on 14th July, les ours Français celebrated Bastille Day, complete with guillotine.  Two sporting events were also marked by the bears.  First of all, there was a repeat of the Battle of Waterloo, when Great Britain triumphed over France in the quarter final of the Davis Cup and then,, at The Open at St Andrews, the bears bade a sad farewell to Tom Watson, the great American golfer, who has been adopted by the British fans and almost feels like one of their own.

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by Elspeth

As well as the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, The Bears in the Windows also celebrated some annual events like Royal Ascot – one of the Queen’s favourite race meetings, Trooping the Colour – Her Majesty’s official birthday, Father’s Day – when some of the bears had a day out in London and  Wimbledon, which didn’t have a fairy tale ending for the Murray brothers when Andy was beaten by his nemesis, Federer, in the Quarter Final of the Men’s Singles and Jamie lost in the Final of the Men’s Doubles. 

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