Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher

Paddington Bear complicates my life

Actual post-bedtime story dialogue last night:

“Dad, I have a secret for you.”
“What, Nora?”
(Stage whisper:) “You have to take me to England!”

All I can figure is it’s Paddington wot done it. Nora, who is three, sleeps with the Paddington Bear doll I brought her back from England last summer. Given how she’s evangelized her brother Lucas about the virtues of Blighty — where she gets this, I have no idea — it’s starting to look like I’d better start peeking into my airmiles account. So much for Daddy’s Francophilic influence. What’s Madeline, chopped liver foie gras?

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posted April 6, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Awwwwww, lovely!!!! Yes, daddy, you DO have to take her to England! After you visit Paddington Station, LOL, DO take her to the Lakes District and explore that magical place — the world of Beatrix Potter. And don’t forget a proper afternoon tea!
Every imaginative little girl needs to go to England. :>) I didn’t fully understand why the best English writers spent so much time describing the flora and fauna. Until I visited England.

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Grumpy Old Man

posted April 6, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Don’t go down to the end of the town,
Unless you go there with me.

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posted April 6, 2010 at 4:00 pm

the first stuffed toy I bought my daughter was a paddington bear. Poor Pad became very well worn until one day he disappeared at Houston Intercontinental airport. Never could find him. I have my suspicions as to what may have happened. I like to think it was more like the story of the velveteen rabbit. We bought a replacement Paddington Bear that my daughter named Henry. She will soon be 23 and she still has Henry.

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posted April 6, 2010 at 4:28 pm

One of my finest trips to London was with my ten year old daughter. What a glorious time we had! She wanted to do all the “tacky and touristy” stuff and I wouldn’t have changed one item on her itinerary. From the London Eye, to Madame Tussaud’s and the London Dungeon, afternoon tea at Fortnum’s, The Tower, St. Paul’s and Trafalgar Square. We even managed a day trip to Portsmouth for luncheon with family. Now that she’s sixteen, she wants to go to Paris!

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posted April 6, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Yes yes to the Lake District but still – the Knight’s School at the Dukes of Northumberland’s castle – your boys and your little girl will LOVE it.
Brambly Hedge is the quintessential English young child (ok – I will concede young girl’s)story books – so enchanting
Who could resist poor lost Paddington Bear – Pooh was pretty big with my family too – we had to visit his old cage at the London Zoo.

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posted April 6, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Sometimes overlooked in London is a visit to the Royal Mews, which is around the corner from Buckingham Palace. If you like horses, cars, and carriages, you’ll be in for a treat! Heh, I must have spent an hour petting and talking to HM’s Windsor Greys while my son rolled his eyes. (A horse named Merlin was especially soulful.)
But even my son was wowed by the golden carriage, only trotted out on very special occasions, and HM’s state cars. I found the tack rooms impressive, too. But, being a horse fancier, I would, LOL.

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posted April 6, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Oh too bad! We’re relocating to the UK this coming Tuesday and, in a cruel twist of fate, my children love Madeline and have no time at all for dear old PB.

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posted April 6, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Next you know she’ll want to be a stowaway. I always wanted to go to “deepest, darkest Peru” after having his stories read to me. And I struggled to love marmalade, to no avail.

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Lord Karth

posted April 6, 2010 at 11:05 pm

No child’s visit to London would be complete without a stop at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Their “Childhood” collections are among the finest on Earth.
Your servant,
Lord Karth

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posted April 7, 2010 at 3:31 am

My wife’s nickname when she first came to London was Paddington – her colleagues were amused by a Peruvian in London….

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Therese Z

posted April 7, 2010 at 9:47 am

You can visit England at home! Set out a proper tea, play country folk dance music, fly the Union Jack, cook bangers and mash….

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Afternoon Tea Fan

posted April 7, 2010 at 10:46 pm

I know you’ve heard this advice many times before, I know I did, but it seems like I was reading Roald Dahl stories to my daughter a day or two ago. Now she’s twenty. Savor every moment.

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