About Fluff Bear.
People always ask me about Fluff Bear, whether it be on the Blog, Instagram or they meet him on a plane. Fluff Bear is, at time of writing, 22 years old. I wondered what was the best way to do this, so I thought I’d interview him so you can get the answers straight from the bear’s mouth as it were.
Me: How you doing Mr Bear?
Fluff Bear (FB): I’m good thanks, and please, call me Fluff.
Me: Certainly Fluff. May I say you’re looking smart!
FB: You may. Although I have been repaired, or ‘been to hospital’ as I call it, a number of times.
Me: Oh! Anything serious? Or was it just cosmetic?
FB: Well, you know Dad, you were there!
Me: Yes, I know that but I’m doing this like an interview! We are sort of pretending, I’ll ask the questions and you give your most urbane and interesting answer!
FB: Yeah, I know too, I was just messing with you for comic effect….
Me: Hmmmm, not helpful….
FB: Ok, I’ll be good. To answer the ‘hospital’ question, Some cosmetic and some serious. My bowtie got very tatty so I have had that replaced. And on a more serious note, my paws got worn out so they were replaced. But I’m fighting fit now and ready for the next challenge.
Me: Next challenge?
FB: I’m off to Prague for a few days next week, It’s a city and indeed a country I love! I used to live there many years ago in the Beskyd mountains near the Slovak border and I used to have some small skill with the language but, like all languages, if you don’t use it you lose it. I’m sure once I get back there, it’ll all be good. A few hours to get my ear back in and away we go.
Me: So when was the last time you were there?
FB: April 2010. I went for a couple of days, just to revisit some sights and get some food I miss, you know, Řízek and Bramboráky and the like. However, that volcano in Iceland, the one I can’t say, let alone spell, grounded all flights and we ended up staying 2 weeks!
Me: So you know Prague pretty well?
Fluff: Yeah, the city of a thousand spires. The architecture is lovely. Because the buildings hardly suffered at all during WWII all the old architecture is still there.
Me: So what are your thoughts on the new architecture there?
Fluff: Some I really like! I’m a big fan of Frank Gehry and enjoy the Dancing House in Prague. I’ve also seen the Guggenheim Bilbao and the Marques de Riscal hotel in Elciego.
Me: So you are a postmodernist expert?
FB: Hardly! The best line I ever heard was on the Simpsons when Moe was explaining to Homer about postmodernism.
‘It’s weird for the sake of weird’
That kind of sums it up for me although there are plenty who would disagree.
Me: You seem smarter than the average bear!
FB: Now you are getting me confused with someone else. I don’t steal picnic baskets…
Me: Ok, moving on quickly, you have your own passport?
FB: Yes, it’s looking a bit ‘foxed’ as they say in book terminology, but it’s serviceable. You humans, you don’t realise how lucky you are getting a new one every ten years or so. I get stamps in it now and again.
Me: So whats your favourite stamp?
FB: Probably my New Zealand working visa. I got it straight away! Your Czech girlfriend at the time had more trouble than I did!
Me: Yeah, I remember that! Irena was not happy!
FB: Of course, that was in the days before digital nomading, where you could travel and work online. It was old school, Apple and Kiwi picking was the order of the day. Although I remember leaving that up to you. I had more of a supervisory role! I’m decorative, not functional!
Me: Now, I understand you have a new log book?
FB: Yes, in April ’16, I was flying to Bergen in Norway and a member of the crew on the BA flight I was on presented me with a ‘Skyflyers’ log book. It’s a book that, every time you fly, you get the pilot to fill in your details and count your mileage. It’s a fun thing to keep me amused between glasses of champagne on flights.
Me: So how many miles and where?
FB: Are you sure? It’s quite a long list. So far in the last 18 months it’s been Bergen, Funchal, Copenhagen, Turin, Bordeaux, Zagreb, Malta, Fuerteventura, Munich, Bordeaux again, Arricefe, Venice, Luxembourg, Berlin , Doha, Auckland, Bilbao, La Rioja, Bordeaux again, Genoa, Bordeaux yet again, Ibiza, Amsterdam , Doha and Phuket! That’s a total of 69,326 miles.
Me: That’s a lot and quite a few trips to Bordeaux?
FB: Yeah, some of it is seeing family and some are seeing the vineyards and drinking wine.
Me: You enjoy a drink?
FB: Yes, but I’d like to point out the difference of enjoying a glass of wine and being a drinker! I have been lucky enough to see some fabulous vineyards and try some excellent wines like Pape Clement, Haut-Brion, Marques de Riscal and R. Lopez de Heredia to name but a few.
Me: You seem to get pampered by the crew when flying.
FB: Sometimes I do. Sometimes I really get looked after. Sometimes not. It depends. Occasionally the crew don’t know what to make of me but some really get it. On a recent Qatar flight, I got my own tea and also a free pen! Others look at me, then you, and think “a grown man travelling with a bear?” It could be you are cramping my style!
Me: More than likely! Anyhow, you also seem to have quite a wardrobe judging by your pictures.
FB: Well, I have to live up to my reputation of being an International Bear of Mystery! Think if James Bond was a bear…..
Me: I’m having a teensy bit of trouble visualising that….
FB: Well, I have the Dinner Jacket/ Tuxedo. I must maintain standards, dear boy!
Me: Well Fluff, thanks for your time
FB: My pleasure! If you have any more questions later, please ask. *drops mic* exits stage left…