The last huge box of flea market treasures has arrived,
in it safe and sound are more studio assistants.
You've met Donkey - the favourite.
Boris' camp little navy knit jumpsuit
may possibly be ingrained into your psyche.
Amongst the 19th century toile and mangle cloths,
Growler was hidden. His red lips are
puckered for a kiss, and his little toes are
all frayed with love. Lay him down and he still growls.
Boris has a crush on him, but Hanschen is not so sure.
Searching for just the right soft toy to recruit was easy.
They had to be almost loved to death.
Their little necks perhaps showing surgery scars
and one ear may have been sewn back on.
The little sleepy lamb surely must have accompanied
a child to the land of dreams safely for many years.
They must have smelt like love and home,
given silent solace and kept many grave secrets.
They would have served as escorts to independence
and listener to woes.
I've made a discovery.
Others treasure their childhood friends too.
Here is Dirty Wow Wow. Devoted to our first love affairs.
Frayed and grayed objects of transition
into the big world are memorialised here,
along with a tale of their lives
and the special significance to their owner.
Karen Wallace is an art therapist who helps foster children.
She talks about how helpful transitional objects can be for a small one.
They can be powerful symbols,
remembered clearly till adult hood.
Our beloved first toys are always predictable.
Always soft , warm and cuddly.
Though faded, their power to soothe remains strong.
The book, the velveteen rabbit begins with the line,
"there once was a velveteen rabbit,
and in the beginning he was really splendid."
Below are remains of a blankie,
loved to threads.
Images here are all from the book, Dirty Wow Wow,
"a tribute to the threadbare companions of childhood"
And of course how can we forget our other friends?
Here is the sequel to Dirty Wow Wow:
My own white bear, "Deedledein" is long gone, but his memory remains.
Do you remember your first soft friend?
What was it, and do you still have it?