I was a dusty youth. A very unattractive teen with unkempt hair, a long dusty uniform, a crocked smile when I smiled seeing as I spent the most of my time frowning. At the time, the very crucial teen years, I had my grades to worry about and my mother was away for a good year and a half. Sadly, I had developed a crush on one of my good friends. A scrawny skinny boy with a great sense of humour and an even bigger crush on this other girl who did not like him really.

I hated that period of my life, not because I was an unpopular youth; I liked living in the shadow. But because I was knee deep in feelings for a dear friend I had no intentions of pursuing a relationship with. Enter my 17th birthday.

Peddington Bear from Peru

I had mad love for this one character, a cartoon bear bearing a hat and suitcase from Peru by the name of Paddington. Sent to the UK by his aunt (I never knew why though). This stern creature with a serious hard stare and a love for marmalade, a coat and hat was my favourite TV pass-time.

So how do the two link? Well when I was deepest in my crush state. The point of no return, doom and gloom from never seeing this man, pain from the distance between us (he went to a whole other school). I needed an escape. So, on my 17th birthday, my youngest siblings gave me my very own Paddington Brown teddy and just like that, as I held him in my arms… I was cured.