Safe Inside Old Bear: A Humm

You guard them as they laugh and grow,
Till, big and strong and brave,
They dash off to excitements,
Without a backward wave.

They plan, they build, they fill their world,
Till one hard night they yearn,
Quite suddenly, to be safe Home.
And softly they return.

They find a place long left behind,
And through a portal peer,
But now it’s strange and different.
What they need’s no longer there.

Did someone take it all away,
When off they went to roam?
How could they go and lose it –
Their certainty of Home?

But –
That place where all is simple,
Where all is true and dear,
That space they knew so long ago,
Is safe –
Inside Old Bear.

Bomund Spare room

A Humm by Mark, Mawson Bear’s Guardian.

You are at Baffled Bear Books, the blog by Mark O’Dwyer, guardian of
Mawson, Writer Bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In. 

Daphne du Maurier and the General

Daphne du Maurier

The tale of how Major Frederick Browning met and courted Daphne du Maurier would seem to belong to one of the novelist’s less likely plots.

The Major had read Du Maurier’s first novel, The Loving Spirit.  Inspired by her description of the coastline of Cornwall, and also dreaming of possibly being able to meet the novelist herself, he visited the county to go sailing.

He did indeed met her; and she liked what she saw.  But as the months passed they both baulked for one reason or another at marrying. In the end it was she who proposed to him. The church they wed in was the very church where an important fictional marriage had taken place as part of the story told in The Loving Spirit.   That fictional marriage in the book had been based on a real one. So a real marriage had inspired the fictional one in the novel, which in turn brought Major Browning to Cornwall, where he met and married the writer .. in that same church. It is like one of the loops of intertwined fates which occur in several of her stories.

The Bridge Too Far

As with all career soldiers, Browning’s army postings took him away from home often.  As WWII advanced, he rose in rank to be a General. He believed in air power and he formed the First Airborne Division. This division served in Tunisia, Sicily, Italy and Normandy. By 1944, he commanded the First Allied Airborne Army at Arnhem. The battle turned into a ghastly British defeat.

Browning’s  decisions during the Battle of Arnhem are still debated among enthusiasts of military history. Some claim much of the defeat was his fault. Yet, it was he who had given the famous warning to General Montgomery, to no avail, that Operation Market Garden was reaching for “a bridge too far”.

The General and his fuzzy travelling companions

The General ended his all hastily scribbled letters home to his wife, son and daughters with “kisses from the Boys”.  The “Boys” were his childhood bears who travelled everywhere with him, packed in a briefcase.

This material is from my reading of Daphne du Maurier, A Daughter’s Memoir by Flavia Leng. I stumbled on this memoir in my local library. Aren’t libraries wonderful!

AbeBooks. Thousands of booksellers - millions of books.

You are at Baffled Bear Books, the blog of Mark, guardian,chocolate-fetcher and blundering typist for Mawson Bear, Ponderer of Baffling Things and one of this bright world’s few published bears. Mawson is writer bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In.

B52s of Bird-dom: A Pelican Song

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There were flurries of elation,
For the squawk had gone around
That the fish near Old Egret
Were there to take.

Pelican formation

So the pelicans were plashing,
The gulls joined in the fray,
And all the others followed
In their wake.

Pelican ferry

They paddled in formation,
They made their presence known,
They owned every ripple
of the Quay ..

Pelican cowed

They shooed away the ferries,
Sailed proudly by the berths,
A flotilla in command
of all their sea.

Pelican b52


B52s of bird-dom,
Our heroes lurched aloft,
Low- flying over
pelican domains . 

And Old Egret?
Like a statue he held himself aloof.
From pelican- ish preening
he abstains.

A happy pelican morning one day at Elizabeth Quay, Perth. This pelican flottila that I ca\hanced to see really did look like it had taken full command of the area.

Mark is guardian and photographer for Mawson Bear, one of this bright world’s very few Writer-Bears. Mawson wrote It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In .

Star Child the age of Akra, by Vacen Taylor, a review (@odysseybooks)

Mawson and the bunch and the whole household loved this series.

And here to read afterwards is a review of the books we did ourselves.

And here now is the review by Yesmoreblogs. 

Mai is a remarkable child that has been sent on a quest by her elders to the Valley of a thousand thoughts. To hone her skills as a thought banker. So she can master the thought of others.

Mai is joined by her over protective brother who will be her chaperone and protector throughout her quest. Also with her little stowaway her little lizard Barka (who is an amazing little character to be involved in the book)

Mai is one tough courageous and feisty little lady. She takes control of any situation even though she is the youngest character in the book. Every situation they seem to face themselves in you know that Mai has got in control and will do everything in her power to get through it.

Now enough about Mai even though I could talk about her for ages. We should really talk about the star child…

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The Girl Who Reads On the Metro, by Christine Feret-Fleury

‘For some time, she’d had the feeling that life was passing her by, eluding her, thousands of grains of sand running through an almost invisible crack, taking with them thousands of images, smells, colours, scratches and caresses’. Ch.10

This is a book to read about books and about readers falling within the worlds of books.

The Girl Who Reads on the Metro is so lightened on every page by prose poetry that I marvelled it did not flutter away from me down the aisles as I read it … on the train.

Each book is a portrait and it has at least two faces.’ Ch 8.

This book I wanted to pass on to another reader as soon as I had recovered a little from the sorrow of finishing it – which meant, of course, I could never again relish it for the first time. But as this copy was a library book, I decided to speak of it instead, this being my own way of acting as Passeur.

So many words. So many stories, characters, landscapes, tears, decisions, hopes and fears. But for whom?Ch.7.

A book to make me forever intrigued by the possibilities of page two hundred and forty seven. Even if the book I happen to choose to read does not even go up to page 247.

A book for people who read books. Here, it’s for you.

Where to find The Girl Who Reads On the Metro (Translated by Ros Schwartz)


From Bookshop Org (supporting local bookshops) from Book Depository(with free shipping worldwide) from Waterstones. And of course from many more.

But really, for hold in your hands this book about the love of books, why not visit your friendly local bookstore to seek it out. And while you look for it – take your time – bathe in the presence of all the other books. (For more about the joys of Book Bathing, take a look at this little post.)

The books above pictured with The Girl Who Reads On The Metro are a portion of my own Yellow Submarine. What Yellow Submarine are you talking about, you ask. The one mentioned in the book!

Mark, your reviewer here, is guardian and blundering typist for Mawson, one of this bright world’s few published bears.

Climbing — Hello, I am a bear

Hello, I am a bear. Here is a visual representation of how I approach climbing: I am a bear. If you are a human in need of things to cover the top half of your furless body, consider these bear-themed alternatives. If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of […]

Climbing — Hello, I am a bear

Mawson’s Guardian and the bear hug here have been following I Am A Bear for ages. We bears stick together! We hope you will follow too. Mawson and his Furry Friends are hopelessly baffled by most things. Bear, however, is wise about many things. He is also very good a climbing, as you can see. Please click the link above to see more ponders from I Am A Bear.

You are at Mark’s blog called Baffled Bear Books. Mark is a dark coffee tragic, bibliophile and Guardian of Mawson Bear one of this bright world’s few published Writer-Bears.

Over The Rainbow Bridge, A Weekend Story by Trishikh

Hatchu opened his eyes and found himself in a mesmerising meadow of greens. The constant pain in his hind limbs was no more there. Neither was there the nagging agony in his kidneys. He slowly lifted his right leg just a little bit to mark his territory. He was scared, that like every time, there […]

Over The Rainbow Bridge — Weekend Stories by Trishikh

Fellow Baffled Ones, Anipals, and Doggy People: This little story by Trishikh Dasgupta got me teary, but in a good way, and I encourage you to click through to Trishikh’s Website to read and enjoy the whole of it. Lovely illustration too.

Your host, Mark, is Mawson Bear’s Guardian, photographer, editor, blundering typist, chocolates fetcher and cushions re-arranger.
Baffled Bear Books ABN: 4787910119.

Office Ratty 2021: A plush rat Odyssey

Fellow baffled ones. May I introduce to you … dum dum dum .. dum dum DUM … Da da dahhh DUMMMMMM ..

.. Office Ratty, heroic plodder through daily life, office work and dreary commuting.

Office Ratty, our hero, rising to the challenge of a new day.

By night, he is a meek and mild Ratty, keeping himself snug and comfortable in Mawson Bear’s House. By day he goes out into the Wide World. Oh yes, he then becomes just one the thousands of office-rattys the world over. He starts well enough with just a tiny sip, or perhaps seventy or eighty sips of caffeine and affirms to himself that he will make this day a Good Day.

Just a sip or perhaps seventy six sips of double shot caffeine to get started.

Despite his best intentions, however, the day seems to drag on and on, and the work seems to pile up no matter how much he gets done, and our hero gets grumpier by the minute.

The long office work day drags on and Office ratty gets grumpy

From time to time we will bring you observations and tales of our Office Ratty’s life. Stay tuned!

You are at Mark’s blog called Baffled Bear Books. Mark is a dark coffee tragic, bibliophile and Guardian of Mawson Bear one of this bright world’s few published Writer-Bears.

Court of the Grandchildren by Greg Finlayson and Michael Muntisov

A thoughtful review of a novel about the biggest challenge of our time.

Cosmic Latte

‘The sweep of time took me away. I saw myself in a distant place. In a cavernous room. My face was wrinkled, my breath rapid, my muscles tense. I sat waiting … waiting for the assembled to come to order … waiting as the vaguely familiar faces prepared to speak … waiting for the judgment from my own grandchildren.’

I was holding my breath till the last second! A truly gripping, enthralling, and powerful novel…

The court of the grandchildren Is set in the futuristic world of 2059, one in which chaos and damage caused by climate change are rampant. But while the story might concern the future It is actually a poignant critique of the present. The story begins when Lily gets a call from her great uncle David, whom she has never met before. Interestingly both our main characters are brought together by David’s wish…

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Stories to Read by Candlelight, by Jean Lorrain, translated from French by Patricia Worth

She was a marvellous story teller because she fascinated her listeners; she believed in what she was telling and that is the secret.’‘ ( Page 9.)

These eight stories by Jean Lorrain were published in France 150 years ago. He loosely based them on tales he had heard forty years before that. Now they’re brought into the candle-light again by translator Patricia Worth, and Odyssey Books.

Just think, from out of the nineteenth century France it is now available to you anywhere in the world with the click of a button. Isn’t the modern world wonderful! And why would you click this button? Because doubtless you love stories; and this little book contains superbly told stories by a skilled storyteller.

Even the introduction has the feel of a ‘once-upon-a- time’ fairy tale about it.

One fine morning the lover grew tired of waiting, and Norine grew old alone in her little cottage with the memory of her old parents who had died .. and regret for the lover who had left. ‘ ( Page 3.)

With her candle at the ready and night cap on her head, Little Jewell gets ready to read fine stories.

Stories to Read by Candlelight with illustrations by Erin-Claire Barrow is published by Ensorcella, an imprint of Odyssey Books. It is available from Bookshop Org (supporting local bookshops), from Waterstones, and through Book Depository with free delivery). Of course you can get it on digital versions: Amazon on Kindle and Barnes and Noble on Nook. But I recommend the little soft cover version. It’s the size of your phone – or of your smallest bear- and perfect for carrying about in your pockets – along with a handy candle .

Mark, your host here at Baffled Bear Books, is also guardian and blundering typist for Mawson, one of this bright world’s few published bears. Mawson is the writer-bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In and She Ran Away From Love.