Kim Triegaardt, Journalist, Radio and TV personality, on the 
subject of her mother and TEDDY BEARS.
My mother is an arctophile. Thankfully it doesn't require medication, but listening to her talk you could be forgiven for thinking she might be in need of a rest away somewhere quiet. She makes and collects teddy bears and although not a disease, they say gets into your blood. Once you've bought your first hand-made mohair teddy-you're hooked. We are talking genuine, $200.00 a metre German mohair ranging in colour from snowy-white to jet-black and indescribable shades of touch-me honey-gold. New Zealand's own Buzzy Bee Company produced the world's very first green bear after years of research into what makes a happy teddy. Teddy aficionados will tell you however, that you never choose a bear - it chooses you! A costly exercise sometimes - just ask Yoshihiro Sekiguchi, the Japanese businessman who paid US$ 100,000.00 for 'Teddy Girl' at auction. Worldwide demand for teddies is growing rapidly. In 'cyberspace' there are a whopping 284 330 websites dedicated just to teddy bears. It is a hobby that spans generations and social spheres around the world and is persued by people, who, like my mother, are all fervent believers in the power of tradition started 100 years ago - the power of a BEAR HUG.