Happy Birthday to us! Here I am with Yvonne - she and I are 60 today.
You can see from the inset pic, taken just before our third birthday,
that Time has exacted its toll. I've got through relatively unscathed,
but poor Yvonne has been far less fortunate with her health over the
last 60 years than I have. Some of that is just inherited genes - her
pelt, for example, is more permeable to vomit than mine happens to be.
Less robust than perhaps I expected her to be, she has endured
periodic bouts of intensive care and major surgery. In earlier days
for reasons of economy (no NHS for bears, even during the heady
optimism of the 1950s) my mother was her chief medical practitioner
and, though a qualified nurse, was hampered by lack of appropriate
materials and had to resort to my school socks for skin grafts. As I
bear (sorry) heavy responsibility for Yvonne's condition, I have made
sure she has had the highest standard of care in later years. Her
present life is one of asceticism and contemplation so she, unlike me,
still has the figure of her cubhood. We won't be making a big fuss of
the birthday - another working day for me (with cake) and more quiet
contemplation for Yvonne, but drink will, no doubt, be taken and we'll
try not to vomit on our pelts.