Written by Various Artists


Bear hugs

Tomorrow is Hug a Bear Day. Yes, that is a thing. We’d bloody love a real bear, but there are loads of reasons that’s not viable or fair. Instead take the chance to celebrate the comfort that comes from cuddling a teddy – as our ace contributors are doing.

Dotty and RufusDotty Winters and Rufus

In the photo of me as a baby, Rufus is on the left. I’m not sure what happened to the rest of those bears. Bears are solitary creatures, I assume Rufus picked them off one by one to prove his dominance.

When I was little I broke my wrist and Rufus wore a cast too, although his was on his leg, which is the kind of dickish oneupmanship you get with bears.

Dotty and Rufus todayThe other photo is Rufus now, a bit less fluffy but still awesome. These days he wears a tie; I assume he got a promotion.


Sooz Kempner and Teddy

My Uncle Jo bought me Teddy on the day I was born. I used to wind the red ribbon he wore round my fingers and suck my thumb. But enough about me at university. Oh lol, you guys.

Teddy went absolutely everywhere with me until I started school, where we had to be separated during the day (I’m sure there were tears).

TeddyHe was so well loved that he now resembles something from a horror movie but he still takes pride of place atop my wardrobe, terrifying people who walk into my bedroom.

I think he looks fantastic for 30.


Tim Ted and HannahHannah Dolan and Tim Ted

Dad got Tim Ted for me the day before I was born and he used to go on all our holidays; he even has his own little holiday photo album somewhere.

timted4He’s a good bear. He now sits on top of a speaker in my front room.


Jen Offord and Marathon

Meet Marathon: I’ve had her since I was a baby, and she is so named because she could run the London Marathon.

Jen and MarathonAnd in 2009 she did (she didn’t; I did, but my mum brought her along and made her a tin foil cape to wear at the end).


Daisy Leverington and Margaret

This is Margaret. She’s 33. She’s a cowgirl rabbit, named after a beloved nursery teacher.

MargaretI tried to ceremoniously give her to my daughter, who just looked at me like I’d given her a gift-wrapped turd. So I took her back.


Juliette Burton and Nutsy

I’ve had Nutsy since I was eight years old. He has never had eyes, always had a big bottom, always had a tartan bow tie. He has moved with me to Cambridge, London, Scotland, been to every pre-teen sleepover, every term at boarding school every term, every clinic and hospital admittance and even came on tour in Australia with me.

Juliette and Nutsy 2He still gives better cuddles than any boyfriend and dries my tears better than any shoulder. I only named him Nutsy because my sister, five years older, named hers Mutsy (pun intended) and I hero-worshipped her enough to want to be just like her (but different enough that she’d not be angry). Mutsy is no more. But Nutsy is my love that will endure.


Suze Kundu and Mr Plisker Whiskers

Technically not a teddy, this bundle of fur and sparkles is a unicorn. He came into my life on Valentine’s Day 2015, along with some Nasa Lego (boy did good). I immediately declared that I loved him (the unicorn), to which Karl responded, “Him? This sparkly pink unicorn with almost as much big-eye action going on as you is a he?” Well of course he’s a he. He’s just a little camp, and a lot fabulous.

Suze and Mr Plisker WhiskersChoosing a name for our first-‘born’ was easy, mostly because Karl has long stated his preferred name for a human first-born, and quite frankly I couldn’t wait to whack that atrocity onto something else so that it was off the table for potential baby names.

And so Plisken Zardoz came to be. Being in a long-distance relationship can be quite tough at times, so little things mean a lot. Whenever I miss Karl, I squish Mister Plisker Whiskers and I immediately feel close to him. And thankfully he’s proved the perfect outlet for that, um, rather unique name.


Lucy Trodd and Bruerne and Claire

I can’t remember who gave Bruerne to me. In memory he’s always been there: the cute, quiet guy in the rainbow-knit dungarees. He’s thinner than Claire and a bit threadbare; I’m not sure if that’s because he got more cuddles or if he was always smaller. I remember when Claire was given to me by my nan, I didn’t really take to her and Nan chose her name and knitted several outfits in yellow and lavender.

Lucy, Bruerne and ClaireNowadays she stands as a reminder that I should be more kind and accepting of people. As a 6’1” woman, I also love that’s she’s larger than her partner. I mean, I presume that Claire and Bruerne are going out with each other – I must ask them. My nan died in January this year, but a few years before this she told me that she’d lost a child named Claire. So that’s a bit something.


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Written by Various Artists

Some of Standard Issue's brilliant women's carefully crafted words for your reading pleasure.