I live in Spain. Here is Teddy Bear culture, unfortunately, not developed at all. You can find some in the toy shops, of course, but even there, they are rather rare. In the meanwhile, due to the increasing number of English tourists and residents, you can see sometimes Teddy Bears appearing in charity shops.
And yet: in the town where I am right now, Benidorm, I have seen the most beautiful Teddy Bear setting ever! To compensate the economic effects and the sadness of Covid, the town hall has organised a context among shops, bars, hotels, etc, for the best Valentine decoration, under the motto “Benidorm Te Espera” (Benidorm is waiting for you). Even closed businesses can participate… what most of them are these days!
Each participant receives 500 euros, and the first 3 winners will win a nice amount too. 3000 businesses have subscribed, with the result that thousands and thousands of red hearts and love words are beating all around Benidorm. I have to say: you like Valentines or not, this is beautifully uplifting the mood.
I could not believe my eyes as I saw that cafe – Cafeteria Uliana, Avda Mediterraneo- decoration. At the 4 coloured tables by the window are sitting big Teddy bears, little ones too, all having coffee, tea, cava even, with all kind of yummy pastries, all served in beautiful dishes. It really looks like a cafe exclusively fir Teddy Bears, and the bears seem to have such fun and enjoying it so much!
I always paint with deep enthusiasm the Teddy Bears which our 2 reporters from “Go Teddy!”, Ann La Mar et Kev Le Chat, meet during their missions. Unfortunately I often forget that my Truffle McFurry and me always go on bear photo safari when we are visiting my parents in Benidorm, on the Costa Blanca in Spain. And it is not fair: Benidorm Teddies also want to be loved and protected, and the best way I can help doing that, is to paint them and making the whole world aware of their existence by showing them on the internet…
Last time I was on a bear photo safari in Benidorm, 2 weeks ago, I could not find any. I guess they were all hiding in the caves of the surrounding mountains as it was very hot.
But the time before, I did meet some beautiful and special ones. I adored the motif of that big bear girl with her own little Teddy, sitting in the middle of baby dolls. That motif was weird, somehow, almost spooky. The baby dolls looked like an army of little soldiers wanted to take over the stage again, having been superseded by the Teddies… The funny thing was that they all had these giant white dummies in their mouths, and it made them look like as if they had a snout like Teddy Bears! A typical case of genetic mutation due to forced adaptation to the environment … or of mimicry! 🙂
On the way to the Cabo de Gata (Andalucia, Spain), in January this year, we stopped in Nijar, a little beautiful town with nice ceramics. Miki wanted to make some sketches and buy mugs there. But we were not 5 minutes in the town when I got so incredibly scared by something I saw: one big Teddy bear, slit open, was sitting under a tree, tied to a long wooden post and a bit further away, another one, a tiny little one, was hanging in the air from a post! There were other sad creatures too, also tied to posts, dolls and a green mini-cow.
You might think it was a nice place to live for them, among the orange trees and the blossoming almond trees, but it was so creepy, poor things! So creepy that “I took my legs to my neck” (this is how the French say it!) and ran away as fast as I could and hid under the Boomobile!
Later Miki explained to me that they were all used as scarecrows by the finca owner to protect his fruits. I am sorry, but I have no pity for his fruit. It took Miki hours to calm me down and convince me to go on with the trip.
Well, we cannot forget what we have seen there, and Miki and I have decided to found “Go Teddy!”, a league for the love, protection and support of all the Teddy Bears around the world.