Winnie the Pooh Day

While I missed Winnie the Pooh Day last year, I made up for it by devoting October to looking at all the grand things about the silly old bear and celebrate his 90th birthday. I covered everything from the books, Milne himself, Shephard’s illustrations, and a range of other wonderful Pooh related things. If you would like to revisit all of these posts you can do so here.

Though this day has often been a recognition of the bear himself, Winnie the Pooh Day is such because it is author A. A. Milne’s birthday. Last year I made a brief post about Milne, his life is one of surprise when you realise just how small a role Winnie the Pooh really played. He wrote so many other wonderful things it’s sad his other works are not more widely recognised.

One of the things he wrote was his autobiography. Published in 1939 by Methuen, it stayed in print for 8 years. Now, 70 years later, it is being republished. The autobiography is called It’s Too Late Now: The Autobiography of a Writer and was republished in September last year by Bello. It covers numerous stages of his life, from his childhood, growing up, and his numerous careers including his time as a freelancer, a soldier, and an author. This of course also ties into the new film about Milne and his son, Goodbye, Christopher Robin which was recently released.

There is a wonderful article in The Guardian about Milne and his autobiography that may interest you, I would also certainly suggest seeing the film, or better yet reading the book Goodbye, Christopher Robin by Ann Thwaite which tells the true story that inspired the film. Ann Thwaite is also the author of an acclaimed biography of Milne titled, A. A. Milne: His Life where much of the story is drawn from.

The story of the two Milne’s is interesting but often sad, neither father nor son seemed joyous about their success and association with Winnie the Pooh, and it is a sad fact to know because of how much joy it brings me personally and millions of others. Of course, the Bear of the books is not the Bear of the Disney films, but there is still an essence of that original idea from Milne about a boy and his bear that is everlasting. It’s wonderful to be reminded each Winnie the Pooh Day how Milne’s work has not been forgotten, even if it has been altered over time. There is still so much joy to be had from those original stories and many lessons which can be learnt.

If you are up for an adventure, one way to celebrate Winnie the Pooh Day if you are in the East Sussex area is head over to Pooh Corner in Hartfield. You can play a game of Pooh Sticks, see the infamous bridge where Christopher Robin and Pooh play, have tea and snacks in Piglet’s tearoom, or go on a grand adventure as you follow the character’s footsteps through the woods. Or, for those of us who are less adventurous, curl up with a good book, may it be a biography, poetry, or story, and discover the wonder of Milne’s words and wisdom, and rediscover the magic of that silly old bear.