Friday, March 29, 2013

Manu Bear's Holiday adventures.

There are many more photos on the bears holiday link. Check it out and see all the other friends who went with Manu.

At the beginning:
 Hello to the children and teachers of Nayland Kindergarten
Manu and all the toys have had a good weekend – we got them out doing a rain dance at Bear HQ and it must have worked because we finally got rain – hopefully you got some rain where you are – if not perhaps you could try a rain dance too.  The paddocks around Bear HQ have been very dry and the school field was starting to dry out as well so we are happy it has rained.
There are 103 toys on the holiday so Bear HQ is a rather busy place at the moment. We have been giving Manu cuddles because we know how many cuddles they would get from you guys. It is amazing how noisy they can be – lots of the bears have growls and some of the other toys have squeaks so you can imagine what all of them together sound like.
Tomorrow is going to be busy day for all the toys with our first adventure in a very old car – it is a 1922 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost.  Being born in 1922 means that it is going to be 91 years old this year – isn’t that amazing for such an old car to still be running. Do you think the cars made today will still be working in 91 years?

Hi Children and Teachers of Nayland Kindergarten
Just wanted to let you know that Manu has been out and about today, travelling to take a look at a 91 year old Rolls Royce Silver Ghost.  It was an amazing car that has had a very adventurous life. You can find more out about this and see photos on our website <>  ..
We’re been having lots of lovely rain tonight and even some thunder and lightning but don’t worry the toys are all very safe and dry inside Bear HQ – those toys who were a bit worried by the flashes and noise have had a cuddle.
Tomorrow the toys are taking a look at a 1928 Model A Ford Coupe car, six years younger than the Silver Ghost they got to visit today but still 85 years old.


 Hi Children and Teachers of Nayland Kindergarten
Day 2 of the Bear’s Big Holiday
The thunder and lightning last night didn’t last very long but the rain did get heavy and was still with us this morning. Don’t worry, we managed to get outside between showers and take Manu to go in a 1928 Ford Model A car.
We were a bit worried this morning when we opened the door to Bear HQ because things seemed different from last night. It almost looked as if there might have been a bit of a party going on – there were a few apple cores, grubs and chippie packets on the floor.  It could have been them just having a midnight feast as we think the grubs might have been leftovers from the two Morepork (Ruru). No one was saying much and they all seemed a little sleepy so I don’t know if we will ever know.  Do you ever find that at your place with Manu around – funny things that get left on the floor or appear in a different place?
Well onto the events of the day. The Ford Model A is 6 years younger than yesterday’s Silver Ghost, making it a magical 85 years old. 1928 was a special year because it was also the year that Mickey Mouse was first drawn and appeared on the big screen. That makes the Model A and Mickey Mouse the same age.
This Model A was rescued about 30 years ago from a shed in Masterton where it had been left to go all rusty.  It was lovingly restored by its current owners. In the 1990’s it could often be seen driving to the supermarket with the children riding in the back seat and the groceries on the front seat next to the driver.   Surprisingly for a car so old it does have a heater – even though it doesn’t have glass windows on the doors.
Where the Model A lives there is a big pond which has eels and lots of birds. At the moment there are baby swans (cygnets) that are just learning to fly.  We didn’t let the toys near the water though, so none of them got wet.
Bye for now
Mumma Bear


  Dear Children and Teachers of Nayland Kindergarten 
I’ll start with an apology – some of yesterday’s photos did not get uploaded properly so some groups didn’t have their photo showing.  It wasn’t until tonight I realised and have now uploaded the missing ones.
It was a two car visit today so an early start for all the toys. Manu must have been worn out after yesterday because there didn’t seem to be any sign of a ruckus in their room when we went in this morning – just a few pillows strewn on the floor.
First up was a 1990 Ferrari 348TS. It was a sunny day so we were able to have the sun roof off it for most of the photos.
Those of us who are bit older (or ‘really old’ as Baby Bear keeps reminding me) might remember a car just like this from the TV show, set in Hawaii, which ran from 1980-1988 called Magnum PI.
 This particular car is a bit newer than that, having started live in the 1990’s in the USA, it made the journey to New Zealand in 1999.
It is very low to the ground and can only sit two people – Middle sized bear (who’s 14 and has quite long legs) found it a bit tricky to get in and very tricky to get out of.  Photographing the toys was also difficult. We tried Manu on the bonnet but as you can see from the photos it was so shiny they just kept sliding off onto the grass. In the end we got Manu sitting behind the steering wheel with the others.
Second up for the day was another two door car – although this one could sit four people in it.  This lovely 1965 Ford Mustang was built in America. It is still a left hand drive which seems really strange when you sit in it.  A big V8 engine gives it lots of power and it makes a deep purring sound when it goes down the road.
Two cars in one day has made for a nice quite evening at Bear HQ – they toys are all content and sitting quietly. Manu  wondered if you might have been going to the shops today pick up some marmite for when they return.
Manu is off to Koputaroa School for the day tomorrow to spend part of the day with the children in the junior classes.

Mumma Bear


 Dear Children and Teachers of Nayland Kindergarten

It was another sunny day at Bear HQ, although a chilly 4 degrees outside this morning at 7am.  We had to fit in a number of activities today - there was the car, the Kindergarten bears went to school for the day while some of those remaining at Bear HQ had a games night to plan for.

Manu went for a wander outside with the other toys and did look longingly at the swimming pool but we were able to entice them all back inside with fruit, grubs and honey.

In keeping with the theme of fast cars, it was a racing car that they went to see today. This car doesn’t drive on normal roads, it only goes on motor racing tracks.

Car 99 is a Formula First Challenge G10 race car. It can be seen racing around the North Island race tracks during the race season and thankfully it hasn’t had any crashes this season – otherwise we might not have been able to have a go in it.

These cars are subject to strict rules and regulations, and only certain parts of the cars & engines can be modified so the class is a good one for learning racing skills and strategy. They are powered by Volkswagen  1200cc Type 1 air-cooled engines and reach speeds of 200kph.

The toys didn’t get to race around the track unfortunately (it’s very hard to find fire protection suits and helmets that fit all the shapes and sizes of the toys) but they did get to sit in it.  It’s very low to the ground – even lower than yesterday’s Ferrari and the steering wheel has to come off for you to get your legs fully inside.

Manu spent a cool day at Koputaroa School. They decided to have a sleepover at school to surprise the children in the morning. Thankfully there’s a school house so they won't be alone at school

Once again, here’s the website link –

A couple of people have mentioned they haven’t been able to see the photos properly. Please let me know if you are and I can email some directly.

Mumma Bear


 Dear Children and Teachers of Nayland Kindergarten

Some of the bears who stayed at Bear HQ spent time playing games last night
scrabble, connect 4 and dominos, while others read.  It was a different story for some of the Kindergarten Bears who had a sleepover at school – you can see what some of them got up to (by clicking the link for Room 1 Blog <> ).

Today’s vehicle couldn’t really be called a ‘car’, it’s more of a truck. Big Foot is a big truck.

For those of you who like the technical stuff, here’s what owner Murray says about it.

“It’s a 1983 GMC Jimmy. The engine is a 305 small block Chev, with a 3 speed manual transmission and is 4WD. It has an 11 inch lift which comprises of a 4 inch suspension lift, 3 inch body lift and 35 x 12.5 x 15 inch tyres.”

For those of us who are technically challenged when it comes to cars - it has really big wheels, is high off the ground (Mumma Bear needed a step ladder to get into it), its engine has a grunty powerful sound and when it easily climbed the hills shown in the pictures.


Mumma Bear


  Dear Children and Teachers of Nayland Kindergarten

Wow, it’s the weekend already.

Day 6 of the Bears Big Holiday was yet another lovely fine one – great for soft furry toys and us humans but it would nice to see a bit more rain shortly for the four legged animals in the paddock and the grass that needs to grow some more before the cold of winter sets in.

After such a busy week there wasn’t much time for lounging in bed at Bear HQ this morning because Baby Bear had to get up bright and early as she was heading on a three hour trip to Splash Planet in Hastings with one of her friends for a birthday treat.

Patchwork Rabbit is on the holiday and comes from Te Awanga Kindergarten in Hastings so she might have been near there. If any of the children from the Kindergarten were at Splash Planet on Saturday they might notice her – she’s very noisy and has very long hair.

There was a lot of talk about Baby Bear’s trip last night and the toys were all interested to know what Splash Planet was.  When we explained that it had lots of swimming pools and waterslides you can imagine the noisy requests we got from them wanting to tag along.

Needless to say when we did a check of Baby Bear’s bag and found that Manu was in it, trying to wangle a trip to Splash Planet by hiding in her bag.  We did a role call after that to check that no one else was trying anything sneaky….and none were missing.

Today’s road trip took us to a 1950 Riley RMB. This old timer was considered a sports car in its day.  It has a 2.5l 4 cylinder engine and could get up to speeds of 160kph (100mph).  This particular model of car was first produced in the year following WWII so its shape and design may have been influenced by that.

One of the things the toys (and children at school) noticed most  was that the doors didn’t open like normal doors – they opened backwards – well actually front to back which is the complete opposite of how most car doors open now.

Hope you all had a good Saturday – Mumma and Poppa Bear are off to the school barn dance tonight – with lots hay bales and a live band which should be fun.  Don’t worry though; Middle Sized Bear is staying home to look after the toys so it should be a quiet night for them all.


Mumma Bear


  Dear Children and Teachers of Nayland Kindergarten

Happy to report that the barn dance was loads of fun – straw bales and old gates gave it a real authentic feel.

As can only happen in the country, some of the people at the barn dance had to stop on their way home to herd some cattle who had managed to make their escape from a paddock onto the road.  When I first heard about it, it did cross my mind that Manu might have been leading a ‘herd’ (or perhaps they’d be called a ‘troop’) of toys on a late night escapade.  Thankfully it wasn’t and I’m happy to report that Manu and all the other toys were all present and accounted for his morning – with, according to the alarm sensors, no signs of disturbance in the night.

Today it was a short jaunt from Bear HQ to check out a stock car. Car 31P's engine is a Holden v6 248 cubic inch with 300+ horse power. It is 5 years old, having been built by its current owner, Gary. It has been part of the Palmerston North Pumas Team and in 2010 they won the New Zealand Teams Champs. It has done a lot of racing around Stock Car Tracks in New Zealand.

Grandma and Grandpa Bear are here for dinner so they will be doing the toys bedtime story tonight as Baby Bear is very tired from her trip to Splash Planet.

We’re now on the countdown to home time but there are still some exciting activities to come.

Mumma Bear



 Dear Children and Teachers of Nayland Kindergarten
We have been so lucky with the weather for the Bears Big Holiday - yet another fine day today. The toys have taken the opportunity to wander around the garden and Manu came back with ladybirds stuck all over.

Do you have lots of ladybirds where you are?  At school the walls have had masses of them soaking up the sun in the afternoon.  The children have been finding out all sorts of fascinating things about them. From what they’ve found out it seems likely the abundance of ladybirds this year is due to the warm weather creating perfect conditions for aphids, their favourite food, and so more of them have been able to feed up large. Coming into autumn they begin looking for warm places to hibernate for winter and gather together at potential places, so that is why so many of them are together.   Well that’s enough of the science lesson…..onto the day’s proceedings

Last two vehicles for the toys today before the picnic finale tomorrow and bears will start their travels home.

We had two old timers who had been rescued as rusty heaps by their owners and lovingly restored and rebuilt – getting them on the road and preserving them for future generations.

First up was a vehicle that started life as 1928 Ford pickup and is now a very flash Hotrod. It has been lovingly built from scratch by its current owner, Ivan. He started with only the front half of the cab and doors and took 4.5 years to get it on the road. The engine is a 302cui (5000cc) Ford small block, with an Auto gear box. The cab has a four inch roof chop, and the well side is custom made.  (I guess that means something to car enthusiasts but don’t worry if it doesn’t because Mumma Bear doesn’t understand it either).  You’ll notice from the photos that it has very cool stainless steel pipes on the motor and these are all exposed – well they get very hot and we had to wait about 20 minutes for the pipes to cool down before we could position the toys on them for the photos.

Second up was a 1947 Farmall M Tractor. It was rescued in a rusty sorry state 6 years ago from a farm in Te Anau. This International Harvester Farmall M Tractor took 16 months for current owner, Brian, to restore to its former glory. It is fully operational and can sometimes be seen towing an old hay baler.  It has lots of other big machinery to keep it company at Brian’s house as there are tractors, mowers, hay balers and trucks.

Mumma Bear


 Dear Children and Teachers of Nayland Kindergarten
  It was raining on the final day of the Bears Big Holiday, great for the grass but not so good for an outside picnic, so we had an ‘indoor’ picnic at school. Our Room 1 children brought their morning tea to share with all the bears. They had honey sandwiches, tiny teddies and fruit.
The Children in Room 1 are still trying to work out which Kindergarten Bear started the party during the sleepover in their Room on Thursday night last week and seeing all the bears again today sparked a new round of conversation.  We’re sure these children, in their first year of school, will remember this as a magic moment.
All the toys were well behaved at the picnic, we only had to remind Manu a couple of times not to push in or do roly-polys in the middle of the food. Towards the end of the picnic Manu started to realise that this would be the last time that all the toys will be together. They started to plan their next big adventure, wondering if they might be able to come back on the next Bears Big Holiday!
By midday the weather had cleared and it was time for a group photo at the front of Koputaroa School.  The travelling bears said goodbye to the school bears and their owners before starting the journey home.
Detouring on the way into town we took the toys on a quick tour of our lovely Horowhenua Region (all things you might like to do if passing through).  We went past Foxton De Molen Windmill <> , a fully working windmill, where last time the bears got hoisted to the top.
Owlcatraz <>  is always popular if you are looking for a unique experience, seeing Ruru (Morepork) in their native habitat and having them silently fly past you.  Our two Ruru were really keen to go and visit but we said maybe next time.
Then it was past RJs Licorice Shop <> , with its giant ‘allsorts’ on the roof – it is here they make all of the yummy licorice logs and allsorts that they ship around the world.
We showed them our Adventure Park <>  – a great spot for break on a journey with children. It has a fenced under-five play area, with shade sails; tumbling drums, climbing wall, ropes course, giant chess, an indoor eating area and the all-important clean toilets. Last holiday, the toys had a great time here.
Finally it was off to collect their passports and get back into their travelling gear, jump on board the
Truck (We’d like to thank PBT <>  very much for supporting us) and as I write this tonight they will be making their way back to you!
Thanks for supporting this event – we have raised nearly $1900 which will go directly to new iPads for the school.  We hope it has bought you some pleasure; our aim is to make people laugh, smile, make connections with our school and share in the magic we can create with our imagination.
That’s Mumma Bear (and helpers) over and out (and off for a big sleep) for the 2013 Bears Big Holiday. - Website Bears Big Holiday <>


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