About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

P is for PADDINGTON


One of the paramount experiences I had during my holiday in England was to ride the underground trains. Once you get used to the idea of being up to 55.2 meters/181 feet (Hampstead Line) beneath the city in an unescapable tube, it's really not too painful; rather, it can be quite a pleasant journey. I travelled on the Docklands Light Railway (aka the DLR), the Overground, the Underground, and the trains that became either the OG or the UG.

In order to get to Wales, I had to go to Paddington Station, which serves the West country. It is located between Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, and in 1842, Queen Victoria arrived at this station with her husband Prince Albert. It was their first trip and the engineer put the pedal to the metal, getting the train up to an average of 44 mph! Apparently, "Prince Albert wasn’t too happy with the driver’s speed-demonic ways and, after disembarking at Paddington, he scolded the driver with the words; “Not so fast next time, Mr Conductor”!" Eventually, a royal waiting room was built at the station and it was used by the royal family right up until the start of World War II.  Now it is used as a first-class waiting lounge. During the war, railway lines (which were strategically important in carrying troops and vital supplies) were a key target for Nazi bombers. In 1941, Paddington Station was hit by a particularly powerful parachute-deployed bomb.
Upon my arrival at the station, I was very impressed with the architecture and ease of getting on the correct train.  Ticket in hand, we stood with hundreds of other travellers looking intently at the departure board, waiting until our destination was highlighted to indicate which platform we should rush!  At that instant, everyone took off at a rapid pace, passing the First Class cars and hurrying to obtain a good seat.
The first time I went to Wales with my friend Cathy, we were too slow off the mark and ended up with seats separated by the entire length of the car.  However, my second time to Wales with Lorne in hand, I was prepared to rush the line and told him to just keep me in his sight and follow as fast as he could (what with his bad foot and all).  We managed to get in the "Quiet Car" together and I let him have the window seat to see all the lovely scenery as we passed through the plush panoramas.
But I digress.  When we got back to Paddington Station after four perfect days, we noticed a kiosk that sold Paddington bears and all sorts of paraphernelia relating to him.
Also, there was a statue of Paddington Bear near the station cafe.  I wanted to have my photo taken with it, but there were too many people hanging around and sitting right beside it.  So this photo is from Mr. Google. 
When I was preparing this post, I thought I should share a bit of background about this well-known bear.  After all, even I have a Paddington Bear of my own!

According to the story, he comes from Peru, having been sent to England by his Aunt Lucy who went to live in the Home for Retired Bears in Lima.  She taught him to speak English and arranged for him to stow away in a ship's lifeboat.  Upon arrival, he met Mr. and Mrs. Brown and their two children who took him home with them to their home at 32 Windsor Gardens.  Paddington wasn't sure how old he was so the Browns decided to start at one and that he should have two birthdays - June 25 and December 25. That was just the beginning of the adventures of a little bear who has become extremely popular all over the world. The following youtube shows the very first episode of the original 1975 series.

As usual, profound thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt, the creator of ABC Wednesday, and her peppy and personable pack of assistants who keep this meme popping!  Without them, ABCW would quickly pass away into the proverbial void of outer space.

Enjoy the episode, "Please Take Care of This Bear." At less than 4 minutes, it's really quite pleasant.

26 comments:

jill said...

I love Paddington Bear as a child he was my favorite bear.I used to read my books to my children and now to my grandchildren.Hope you are both well.Love Jill xx

Trubes said...

Wonderful Leslie!
Such a brilliant depiction of one of the Nations' favourite characters....
Paddington Bear.
My girls all loved me to read of his escapades.
He enchanted all ages, which, in my case, made bedtime reading very easy!


Love Di..xxx

Carver said...

Great post and shots of Paddington station for P day.

Ann said...

Oh Leslie the architecture is so wonderful. Glad you two scurried to sit together. The Paddington Bear display is so cute, my children always loved his stories too. Great pictures.
Ann

Meryl said...

Oh I loved that bear!!!! Sweet post. Have a great week.

Roger Owen Green said...

Weird. Thought I commented. Anyway, In never heard of Paddington until I was an adult!
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

photowannabe said...

Love Paddington Bear and the statue of him.
Terrific shots of your Perfect holiday.

Reader Wil said...

We have several Paddington books. They have been translated into Dutch, so they are too difficult for my Australian grandchildren. My children loved reading and my grandchildren love it too. Reading is very important.Thank you for sharing your wonderful journey in Great Britain. We always loved to be there !
Wil, ABC Team

ewok1993 said...

Thanks for the tour.

Luna Miranda said...

wonderful P post.:p
the Paddington Station is impressive--reminds me of Harry Potter and his friends.:p

Lmkazmierczak said...

Ordinary Words...Had a vague notion of who Paddington was....glad I watched the vid♫

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Oh so adorable ~ Wonderful post ~ (A Creative Harbor) ^_^

Hildred and Charles said...

Lovely post, - Paddington has such a romantic history, and Paddington Bear just rounds things off nicely.

Wanda said...

Love the bear...our friends had a large fuzzy dog named Paddington..must have been after the bear.

Karen said...

Some great shots Leslie! I love Paddington Bear!

Chubskulit Rose said...

I love your photo of the plain!

Pile of Leaves
Rose, ABC Wednesday Team

Mara said...

I travelled from Paddington once, but I was young and foolish and didn't have eyes for anything but my train. Mind you, I was a bit worried about missing it, which would have meant waiting for over an hour!

HazelCeej said...

Somehow I seem to hear "Paddington" now and then, here and there nowadays. Must be too much watching English films. Watching trees, cows, fields go by is one of the best things about train travel.

EG CameraGirl said...

The station is so attractive and who doesn't love Paddington Bear? :))

Joy said...

I've never travelled to/from Paddington but recognise the scurry for the train. I may have to have a journey there to browse the Paddington stall.

Lisa said...

Subways have always been a bit creepy for me, but this architecture is gorgeous! I love Paddington Bear!!

Lynette Killam said...

I loved this post, being a fan of Paddington myself! I made a point of having my picture taken with them when I was in England a few years ago...:)

ChrisJ said...

Thinking of British train systems always reedminds me of the class system in England, which I think by now has probably all but disappeared. I remember how inconvenient it was to find a third class carriage that wasn't full when all the first class ones were about empty. How guilty I felt when once by mistake I found myself sitting in a first class carriage!

Island Rambles Blog said...

I always wondered about Paddington, now I know more!

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

Calling by from ABC Wednesday,as a Paddington fan myself thought this was a great post. :)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks for the memories - I used to travel between Cardiff and London such a lot.