I cannot believe I am trawling London in search of a blue teddy bear. It is my fault. Until we got here it never crossed my mind to ask The Fille what she wanted Santa Claus to bring her. I am of the opinion she will receive what she receives and be happy with it or not. Then I realised everyone else's children have either written to Father Christmas or been to see him and I started beating myself up about depriving The Fille of a little bit of Christmas magic and tradition. I rang around to find out where Santa was in residence and if we could go and see him. It turns out we could have done breakfast with Father Christmas at Hamleys Toy Shop except he was fully booked. We could have gone to his grotto at Harrods, but all the reserved slots were already taken, which would mean queueing for goodness knows how long. John Lewis apparently had one wandering around today but to be honest I could not face the crowds. Other stores and shopping centres I phoned seemed to be giving Father Christmas a miss so I gave up on a personal audience.
I showed The Fille a Christmas card featuring one version of the jolly fat man in a red outfit and explained who he was. Of course I gave her the usual tosh about him, the elves and reindeer and said he would bring presents on Christmas Eve if she was really very, very good. (Now I will have to change all the labels on the presents, throw them out or give in to pre-Christmas tantrums). As she cannot yet write I said: "Tell me what you'd like him to bring you for Christmas and I'll pass it on." She thought for a moment and said: "A gateau chocolate".
"Sorry. I don't think Father Christmas does chocolate cake," I said: "Anything else?"
"A gateau chocolate...and a blue bear."
"A blue bear?"
"Yes. A blue bear called Fred." As I say; where does all this stuff come from?
"OK," I say optimistically. I'll ask Santa Claus."
I have dug myself into a large hole. I have searched high and low and have seen brown bears, white bears, cream bears, black bears and even green bears; bears with blue scarves, blue noses, blue shoes and blue hats; but no bears that are actually blue. In desperation I nearly bought one with a blue T-shirt until the Frenchman said helpfully: "The bear isn't blue. She isn't going to be fooled you know."
Help! Anyone seen a blue bear who will answer to the name of Fred?