We all know the wonderful ad, accompanied by Tom Odells song, “Real Love”.
Here is it anyway.
And this exact photo is why I almost bawled my eyes out whilst watching the advertisement.
I received Paddington (pictured left) off a family friend when I was almost 3 years old. She was doing a clear out of all her stuff, and so a box arrived to our house. Filled with mildly useless things, such as a plane crafting book, it wasn’t anticipated to be interesting. Then I spotted him. And Paddington has been in my life ever since.
He came everywhere with me. He was “my” toy. The toy that a child gets so emotionally attached to. I can’t remember if he came with the name, or if I decided it, but it stuck anyways.
When I was five, my parents took me to America. Now, the states have very hyped up security, for obvious reasons. This security meant that I had to part ways with Paddy as he went through the x ray thing for bags. Do you think 5 year old Eimear was happy with giving her precious teddy bear to a strange tall man? No! Of course not! I was traumatised. According to my parents, there was no way in hell I was handing the bear over. My parents started pleading once we started to cause a line. Eventually, a friendly security man made himself known to me and told me that Paddy was going to be safe and sound. He took me to the screen, where I could watch the x ray of my bear, and I ran as fast as I could when I saw Paddy coming out of the conveyer belt. I think the airport clapped for the reunion of a five year old and her bear!
From teddy bear picnics, to play dates, to foreign holidays, to home, I didn’t go anywhere without this bear. I was too scared that he’d get lonely. The first thing I did when I came home from school was check on him.
One day, when I was about seven, I did my daily routine of checking on Paddington. As I was in my room, a knock came at the door. I looked over to see another little beige bear peeking her head around the door, and my mums voice saying “is there a bear here that I can love?”. I was in about first class at the time, and we were reading a book about a recycling monster or something. I wanted another “P” name to match Paddington, and remembered there was a pigeon named Penny in that book. And basically the rest was history. From then on, it was Paddy and Penny!
I still love these bears. Like so much. My heart swells when I think of them. Almost 15 years later and I’m still as emotionally invested in them as 3 year old me was.
I brought them on my first week of college, but they travelled home with me that first weekend. I needed them originally for the familiarity as I was totally out of my comfort zone, but then I felt alright as I settled in.
Paddy and Penny now guard my bedroom at home, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!