Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Rupert Bear

When I was a young boy one of the first presents I always looked for on Christmas morning was a Rupert Bear annual. I can still remember the excitement of taking it out of its wrapping paper, the colourful cover seemed magical, promising exciting adventures within the pages. I can see now the characters who accompanied Rupert on his escapades, they were called his 'chums', Edward Trunk, Bill Badger, Podgy Pig, Tiger Liley, and as I turned the pages they became my chums too, as I lived every adventure with them. Writing this article about Rupert and his chums brings back into vivid focus those happy hours spent in Nutwood, as I was transported out of the real world and into a young boys world of fantasy. Here is a brief history of Rupert Bear, one of the best loved characters in children's literature.

Rupert Bear was created by the English artist Mary Tourtel and first appeared in the daily Express newspaper on 8 November 1920. In 1935, Alfred Bestall, previously an illustrator for Punch, became the Rupert artist and storyteller, and worked on Rupert artwork and stories into his 90s.
The first Rupert annual was released in 1936 and are still published today, often featuring fantastic and magical adventures in faraway lands.
Rupert is a bear who lives with his parents in a house in Nutwood. He always wears a red jumper and bright yellow checked trousers. He usually sets out on an errand for his mother or to visit his friends, but always ends up in a fantastic adventure.
It was Bestall who developed the classic Rupert story format, where the illustration had below it both a two-lined verse and and running prose. Bestall drew Rupert until he retired in 1973. His successor was Alex Cubie who created annual artwork between 1974 and 1977. Cubie's work is recognizable by the use of more vibrant colours and a thicker black outline around the characters.
Between 1978-2007 his new adventures were illustrated by John Harrold, from this point on they were taken over by Stuart Trotter.
Even during World War II, when there was a paper shortage, the annual continued to be released.
Rupert went on to have his own television series, and also appeared in Paul McCartney's music video entitled 'We All Stand Together'. The Rupert Bear Museum, part of the Museum of Canterbury, has collections that cover much of the history of Rupert and his friends, including Tourtel and other illustrators.

Facts About Having Kids

Birth order of Children

1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your doctor confirms your pregnancy.
2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.

Preparing for the Birth

1st baby: You practice your breathing regularly.
2nd baby: You don't bother because you remember that last time breathing didn't do a thing.
3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your eighth month.

The Layette

1st baby: You pre-wash newborns clothes, colour co-ordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby's little bureau.
2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with darkest stains.
3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can't they?


1st baby: At the first sign of distress--a whimper--a frown--you pick up the baby.
2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.
3rs baby: You teach your three-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.


1st baby: If the dummy falls on the floor, you put it away until you can go home and wash and boil it.
2nd baby: When the dummy falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the baby's bottle.
3rd baby: You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in.


1st baby: You change your baby's nappy every hour, whether they need it or not.
2nd baby: You change your their nappy every two or three hours, if needed.
3rd baby: You try to change their nappy before others start to complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees.


1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.
2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.
3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and dry cleaner.

Going Out

1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home five times.
2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.
3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.

At Home

1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.
2nd baby: You spend a bit of every day watching to be sure your older child isn't squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.
3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.

Swallowing Coins

1st child: When first child swallows a coin, you rush the child to the hospital and demand x-rays.
2nd child: When second child swallows a coin, you carefully watch for the coin to pass.
3rd child: When third child swallows a coin, you deduct it from his pocket money.


Someone who is usually me-deep in conversation.

Emergency Numbers
Police Station, Fire Department and Chinese take-away.

A sign to make others believe that you know more than you actually do.

Last two minutes of a football game, when your team is winning 1-0

Wildlife Pictures No.19

I've seen more comfortable restaurants!
The latest picture from our
Wildlife Pictures series.


Today's brainteaser is a real puzzle. Can any of you Journal readers crack the code?

After some relaxing, the Seekers of Knowledge received a gift from an anonymous person. The gift was a magic scroll case that had 12 gemstones on it. The Seekers were a bit shocked as they knew it was very expensive.
There was a catch with it. They had no idea how to open it. As they looked over the scroll case with amazement, suddenly they heard a voice saying, "The code to open this scroll case is hidden within the stones; you must press each stone in the correct order to open it." The magic faded out.
The stones are in this order on the scroll case: Turquoise, Diamond, Opal, Aquamarine, Topaz, Emerald, Moonstone, Garnet, Sapphire, Amethyst, Ruby, Peridot.

So, what order should the stones be pressed in to open the case?
This is actually not as difficult as it looks, not that is, once the penny drops!

Thought For Today

You will find when you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.
Henry Drummond

Maxine's World