Every bear needs a holiday. Apparently.
I'm not a soft toy man. I wasn't even much of a soft toy child. I do own a Paddington Bear, but Paddington Bear is cool and beyond criticism.
I'm rather fond of my Paddington Bear, not at a deep emotional level, but nonetheless it is comforting to see his slightly grumpy expression peering out at me from underneath his battered hat. He's also the only man I know that has ever made a blue duffle coat look cool, so full props to him for that.
That said, my fondness for Paddington doesn't extend to travel privileges. When I travel, PB stays behind, perched on a bookcase in my room. Now I accept that my relationship with Paddington might not be the most affectionate, nor the most representative amongst bear owners. Although it might be a little strange, I know that some people choose to travel with their bears. Admittedly these people are often 6 and wear superhero pyjamas to bed, but I'm sure there are the guilty few who cannot bear to leave "Mr Snuggles" behind, and so take their furry friend on holiday.
For those too busy, or to embarrassed to take their soft toys on holiday, a new service exists to answer all your troubles. Furry Toy Tours will, for €100, take your beloved stuffed companion on a tour of Paris, and capture their trip with a series of photographs. Various "bolt-on" packages are available for the more cultured or demanding toy, at an extra €50 a pop.
I was going to mock this idea, but I have a grim feeling that this will be phenomenally successful, and somebody somewhere is going to enjoy a lot of subsidised day trips to Paris.
I hope Paddington brings me back some Brie.
UPDATE: I've just been informed that a similar idea started last year, offering soft toy trips to Prague. The cuddly toy travel industry is obviously a lot more developed than I gave it credit.