Hello there everyone: just proving I'm still around, and giving Cy Bear a break from posting!
As our title implies, we had a definite change in routine this week. It's been a while since we had a Patient in the Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic (Etsy Listing: 79124185). The therapy required - and provided - was not a major drain on resources (nor my time!) and it all began last Monday morning as I was returning home from getting my daily newspaper.
Just before reaching the front gate at The Hospital of St. John - my home for another 8 days - I heard my name being called and saw MrsNW - to whom erstwhile patients The Wagstaff Bears belong** - coming out of her front door on the Village Main Street with a large - very large - Dinosaur in her arms. Now a week or so ago, she'd told me that she would be bringing him around for a quick consultation, but time had gone by and frankly I'd forgotten about him. (I also thought he was a normal-sized Dinosaur!) However, she had espied me walking along on the other side of the road and asked me to give Dino an investigation. His head was drooping and he very evidently needed some extra stuffing. (**The Treatment of the Wagstaff Bears - there were three of them - were described in our posts dated 19/12, 28/12 and 31/12/2012 should anyone like to visit them on the blog.)
So, having handed him over - at the same time expressing concern that I might be worried who would see me carrying a very large Dinosaur along the village street! - we parted company with my promising her that his treatment would not take long.
You can see what I mean by Dino being a Big Chap! My circular dining table is a 3ft 6 ins one (108cms) and his nose and tail dropped off the edge on both sides. Apparently he had been acquired by one of her sons, BW, as a Fairground prize, and his neck had become somewhat floppy since his arrival in their home.
Homewards I went, hoping like made that I WOULD meet folks with such an unusual patient in my arms - and guess what, there wasn't a soul around for me to "advertise" the Clinic's services! Typical - because on a normal day, there are at least a couple of people who are prepared to pass the time of day with one.
Here you can see his problem. While it's OK to have a slightly floppy tail - which Dino did not have incidentally - it's another thing for a Dinosaur to be unable to hold his head up high!. So, it was out with the "Quic-unpic" and a speedy disection of the first available neck seam - without necessarily undoing the whole toy. Sometimes, the stitching is such that it can prove a real problem to cut the thread half way along a seam - but on this occasion that was not the case. The interlocking stitching used by industrial sewing machines may be good for keeping seams together, but are not meant to be cut in the middle!
Dino's existing stuffing was a mixture of polystyrene pellets - and you know just how much I loathe them - and polyester fibre - so making sure that not too many of the pellets took flight, I began to put some more polyester fibre into his neck. (Ideally, I'd like to have taken out his insides and re-stuffed him, but size alone decreed that this was not the time nor place). While doing so, it became obvious that the problem had begun because not enough stuffing had been provided around his shoulders, so a lot more stuffing was needed than had been evident to begin with. His front legs were very floppy as well - and certainly not capable of withstanding Dino's weight when still, let alone had he been required to walk, run or whatever gait his particular species might normally move with.
After about three-quarters of an hour's work, Dino was able to hold his head up high. A speedy telephone call resulted in MrsNW and son BW, together with an un-named friend, all coming round to collect him. After payment for services rendered, Dino was returned to BW's arms and off he went home with his young friends.
Here Dino is, proving that he can hold his head high once more - and that he has rather a nice, happy expression on his face as well. I did think of stuffing his feet too, but it quickly became apparent that the pattern did not call for that. His front limbs were obviously more wings than legs, so the limbs were left floppy!
Before leaving the Clinic, though, he was introduced to Cy Bear - who looks rather a small Bear in comparison.
Cy Bear's normal position is sitting down with a pillow behind him for comfort: but by leaning him against Dino and perching him on his feet, you can see how big the patient was! And the bed on which both are perched is a double one as well!
Relocation Update: there are now twelve cartons fully loaded with a mixture of books and household linen taking up the space in our living room, where the table you see in this post was previously located.
(When we purchased it nearly ten years' ago, Peter had it specially designed so that it could be folded and placed against a wall easily - which is what happened earlier in the week. I'm now pic-nicing, having my meals on a lap-tray!)
There are another two and a half shelves of books to pack (a further 16 cartons were delivered this morning) and by this time next week, I hope to have all the unbreakable items, including all the books, securely packed in them. (The daily timetable is that early each day, the boxes are made up and between 3-4 boxes at a time are packed - I'm not seeking to break any records. Then I get on with my normal daily routine, which now requires a lot more dusting of cupboards etc!!).
With the second armchair, a side table, a book case and a Persian rug all now safely ensconced with Philippa in High Wycombe, not only do I have somewhere comfortable to sit when I go to say with her - scheduled for the last week-end of this month! - but she will be able to use it when I'm not there too! It also means I've moved my chair over and given myself more working space for carton-packing.
(When working in a limited space, strategic decisions are required in order to achieve the final objective!! )
The filing cabinet is now empty - and I've shredded enough material to fill three large bin bags. The contents are destined as nesting material for my next-door neighbour's chickens. Two bags have already been delivered and the third will accompany me when I go round for a quick bite to eat at lunchtime on Tuesday (after my last Zumba session down here). Some of the files related to events as far back as 1992!
(I attended a Zumba class in Kirkby-in-Ashfield last year while staying with Clare for five weeks to celebrate her 40th birthday, and other family occasions, so expect I shall continue my weekly sessions once I've got my bearings in the new place.)
Another, last post from Heytesbury is planned before we all leave on August 11 - however, one never knows what may happen in the intervening 7 days. I plan to take photographs of the Cuddlies being prepared for their travels northwards, and maybe that could form the basis of the next installment.
Until then, or until the next time, Good night and Good Bye from both Cy Bear and myself. Isobel