Are you thinking of buying a real Christmas tree this year? There is something very festive about going out and picking a real tree, spinning it around to check that it has a nice shape, with lots of lovely pine smelling branches!
A Real Tree
You can buy a real tree in a number of ways, cut off to place in a stand at home. Cut and attached to a wooden base, or fresh in a pot. Whichever you choose, you want to ensure you have a fresh tree.
It should look a lovely bright green colour.
If you give it a gentle shake, no excess of pine needles should drop off.
It shouldn’t have a bare trunk or branches.
If it is potted, inspect the root ball – to make sure it is not too dry or compacted. (more…)
If you think about the Christmas period, it is just jam-packed with traditions. Most likely you have incorporated many of the traditions that your parents had in their homes when you were growing up.
But sometimes doing Christmas, or just the season in general the exact same way that you have always done, can be a bit anti-climactic, and for the women it can often be a stressful and exhausting time.
So, why not try shaking up your old traditions:
• Why not try setting out something different for Santa and the reindeers. If you don’t like mince-pies, carrots and sherry – then make it brandy and cookies, or chocolate and gin/tonic!
• If you always open your presents before breakfast, then why not extend the suspense and open them after the Queens speech… (more…)
In current times we have our pick of the ways to keep our lives on track, use a calendar, a diary, our smart phones – you name it. There are any number of ways to keep the wheels of our lives turning and for the whole families’ activities to be combined in a way that we know what each of us is doing!
But we probably take the modern calendar and the days, weeks and months of the year for granted…
Before calendars existed as we know them folk needed a way of establishing the season – to know the weather and to look after livestock and plant crops. In some cases a wise person, such as a priest within the community would have been tasked with tracking stars to find out the position of the sun and to establish what phase of the year they were in. Later on important deaths, births and religious holidays would have been used to track the cycles, such as the equinoxes and solstices. (more…)
Hands up who has ever made a list of New Year resolutions? Me!
Hands up who broke any or all of those resolutions? Me!
We put lots of pressure on ourselves every year to ensure we kick off the New Year with a fresh start with a view to bettering ourselves…So when we fail, are we bad people? No, are we complete failures? No, so why do we do it? (more…)
On a walk in the countryside I came across a couple holidaying, in an old restored red and gold Romany gypsy caravan (a Vardo) complete with the home. It was a colourful sight, which sparked off my imagination…
In my mind’s eye I saw a few of these Vardos, positioned around the campfire – the cauldron bubbling away, the women adding ingredients and stirring the supper pot. I conjured up a picture of the one Vardo, set aside on its own, and inside the Fortune Teller, who behind pretty net curtains awaits her next inquirer.
November the fifth has been and gone for another year. Hopefully, many enjoyed a fun but safe celebration and took full advantage of the opportunity to set fire to unwanted items, and celebrate with Fireworks, parkin and toffee apples. (more…)
In many places around the world, today marks the celebration of Halloween.
From trick or treating to pumpkin carving and fancy dress costumes, Halloween is observed in a surprising variety of different ways. In some countries, huge festivals take place, while in others the celebration is marked through more sedate, religious customs.
We take a look at some of the most interesting traditions worldwide. (more…)
May Day or ‘Beltane’ marks a time for new beginnings.
The ancient Celts believed that the spring equinox was a time for renewal and regrowth as the earth reached its peak for harvest. Traditional celebrations included rituals to protect cattle, crops and people, and to encourage growth around the earth. It is essentially a time of fertility and harvest, the time for reaping the wealth from the seeds that we have sown. (more…)
In many places around the world, today marks the beginning of the Easter weekend.
From chocolate bunnies to egg rolling and street festivals, Easter is observed in a surprising variety of different ways. In some countries, huge processions take place, while in others the religious celebration is marked through more sedate customs.
We take a look at some of the most interesting traditions worldwide.
Easter egg hunts are equally as popular in Germany as they are in the UK, and the custom of boiling and painting eggs actually began in Germany; the bright colours represent the sunlight and growth of the spring. (more…)