Am I a grown up or what? I may be a prof of Eng Lit and of a certain age, but I must own up to a fondness for soft toys. This seems to have crept up on me in the last few years -- softening of the brain, perhaps. I hasten to say that I do not take them to bed, cuddle them, or even give them names. But I rather like having them about. Until very recently they just sat about in my room looking rather cute but a bit purposeless, but then I hit on something for them to do. They are now wearing various earrings, necklaces and hats which were crammed into drawers and boxes. The purple teddy was a Christmas present from a friend a few years ago -- he is wearing a pair of 99p earrings I bought to wear behind the bookstall at the school christmas fair. The tiny teddy and the biggest one were presents from the big teenager when he was neither big nor a teenager. The big teddy is wearing a hat I made to wear at my daughter's wedding -- I call it a hat but it is a tiny item which has to be pinned rather rakishly on the side of the head, and it has a veil, a rose and some feathers on it. He's also got on a nice necklace I bought to wear to a party at the Royal Court Theatre in London, and a bracelet bought in a French market. The little koala came from Australia, another present, and is wearing some stylish earrings that my daughter made from vintage pearl buttons. Finally, on the right, my personal favourite (don't tell the others) and the only one I bought myself, a sheep from Hawkshead in the Lake District. I had fully intended to give this to a grandson but liked it too much to give it away. Sheep is draped in a pretty turquoise necklace bought in south west France.