Ah, Winnie-the-Pooh! A Sussex bear, a bear of very little brain - and proudly so - and a bear adored by millions whose appeal spans generations. You might be tempted to see the biopic 'Goodbye Christopher Robin', but please go in with your eyes open.
You see, strange as it may seem to you and me, Christoper Robin spent most of his life trying to shake off that bear, and this film is rather sad. I recall being horrified when the rights to Pooh were sold to Disney - sold out, as many people saw it - but perhaps it was Christopher's revenge for his Dad immortalising him in childhood. AA Milne, too, had his problems: a shell-shocked soldier who when Pooh made his mark on the world was already an accomplished poet and playwright - which is obvious, when you stop and hear his simple, evocative language, his perfect rhymes and the rhythm of his words. But Pooh overshadowed everything else he'd done.
'Goodbye Christopher Robin' might transport you back to your childhood, or to holiday visits to the Hundred Acre Wood and the Poohsticks Bridge on the Ashdown Forest in Sussex (pictured above). Or it might blow the gaff on the whole lot - I don't know, and I haven't yet decided whether to see the film. But That Bear and his friends are still gorgeous. There isn't a birthday goes by in our house without Eeyore being mentioned, and surely no one can take a vitamin without recalling Baby Roo and his extract of malt, while Tigger's escapades cover just about every situation. Having learnt to read with the poems as well, stalls in Sussex market towns make me think of Jonathan Jo, with his mouth like an 'O' and a wheelbarrow full of surprises; and when they're Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace... oh dear, I'm off! Must be time for a holiday.....