Friday, 21 December 2018
Thursday, 20 December 2018
Am sure all of you know what "omiages" are though the word is actually Japanese.
Its meaning translates as :-
" a little gift that you are not required to give, as for a special occasion"
You know the thing we say:-
" saw this and thought of you" sort of gift.
My family do this a lot and as we all live far apart these small gifts arrive in the post , usually with out warning and they make our hearts sing.
The above gift, of thirty brand new Sharpies is a gift "over and above".
Each Wednesday I visit and elderly neighbour who only sees her daughter once a week when she is taken shopping.
In order to keep her brain active and to stop her getting bored she structures her day so that she is doing several different activities...these included cross stitching large intricate pictures. Reading numerous long family sagas on her Kindle, and colouring while she listens to the songs from the sixties on her radio. Like myself, watching television doesn't feature very highly on her list of activities.
She does love shopping though, either from clothing catalogues for the "larger lady" and for felt tip pens, of which she has a cupboard full.
When I visit am often called upon to help her sort out her cupboards which contain her craft hoards, this week we were sorting out her colouring books and crayons and felt tips.
This pack of Sharpies was at the back of the cupboard, bought two years ago at half price of £8 and unused. She had bought them because they were on sale..a habit she has....and then did not like them when she got them home and tried them. Would I like them?
As Sharpies are a crafters dream buy; I could not say no, but made her aware of the high price and did offer to buy them from her, but was given a "good talking to" about accepting gifts, "just because" and reminded me that I have often gone to visit her bearing gifts too.
I know that these gifts are "omiages" because I read it yesterady in an article by Joni Erickson Tada ...and then found the reading online here
so that I could share it with you.
.....................now what can I do with these Sharpies?
Am almost too afraid to use them.....oh well, off to consult Pinterest!
Tuesday, 18 December 2018
"Are you willing to forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you; to ignore what the world owes you, and to think what you owe the world; to put your rights in the background and your duties in the middle distance and your chances to do a little more than your duty in the foreground; to see that your fellow men are just as real as you are, and to try to look behind their faces to their hearts hungry for joy?"
"Then you can keep Christmas"
Henry Van Dyke
The photo is of the cat venturing out in the snow of December 2009
Tuesday, 11 December 2018
You know me, a non believer in Christmas... and have previously posted about it...but thought I would just remind you all why we celebrate the Winter Solstice instead
The photographs are reminiscent of Daphne Du Maurier's "The Birds".
We took a walk along the prom. on Saturday and were greeted by this crowd of roosting Starlings in the children's beach amusements.
It was only just after twelve noon but the sky was darkening with storm clouds so am presuming that the darkening sky triggered the roosting instinct.
The Gospels do not mention the date of Jesus' birth.The 'nativity narratives' are historically inaccurate. It was not until the 4th century AD that Pope Julius I set 25th December as the date for Christmas. This was an attempt to Christianise the Pagan celebrations that already took place at this time of year. By 529, 25th December had become a civil holiday and by 567 the twelve days from 25th December to the Epiphany were public holidays.
Christmas is not only a Christian festival. The celebration has roots in the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, the festivals of the ancient Greeks, the beliefs of the Druids and the folk customs of Europe.
Christmas comes just after the middle of winter. The sun is strengthening and the days are beginning to grow longer. For people throughout history this has been a time of feasting and celebration.
Ancient people were hunters and spent most of their time outdoors. The seasons and weather played a very important part in their lives and because of this they had a great reverence for, and even worshipped, the sun. The Norsemen of Northern Europe saw the sun as a wheel that changed the seasons. It was from the word for this wheel, houl, that the word yule (another name for Christmas) is thought to have come. At Winter Solstice the Norsemen lit bonfires, told stories and drank sweet ale.
The Romans also held a festival to mark the Winter Solstice. Saturnalia (from the God Saturn) ran for seven days from 17th December. It was a time when the ordinary rules were turned upside down. Men dressed as women and masters dressed as servants. The festival also involved processions, decorating houses with greenery, lighting candles and giving presents.
Before Christianity came to the British Isles the Winter Solstice was held on the shortest day of the year (21st December). The Druids (Celtic priests) would cut the mistletoe that grew on the oak tree and give it as a blessing. Oaks were seen as sacred and the winter fruit of the mistletoe was a symbol of life in the dark winter months.
Judaism was the main religion of Israel at the time of Jesus' birth. The Jewish midwinter festival of Hanukkah marks an important part of Jewish history. It is eight days long and on each day a candle is lit. It is a time of remembrance, celebration of light, a time to give gifts and have fun.
Wednesday, 21 November 2018
My mother - in- law was 85 on the 10th November...this is how she spent it.
Unconscoius after a collapse and a fall flat on her face breaking her jaw in three places.
Then a sudden deterioration led to a "blues and twos" rapid transfer to another hospital neurology unit after a bleed on her brain was discovered.
Arrival at hospital was swiftly followed by five hours of emergency surgery to locate and stop the bleed...which turned out to be two bleeds and not one.
On Sunday 18th November she was awake again, very confused, with no idea where she was and what had happened. Her speech is not as before, neither her cognition.
Soon she will be discharged, as the surgeon said...what happens now is a long rehab and to assess what brain damage has been done.
The onus of care will be on my husband's elder sister who lives near to her mother..we live an hour away and do not drive.
We wait and see.
She is in God's hands as always.
Happy Birthday Dorothy!
Saturday, 3 November 2018
( My husband never has trouble going to sleep!)
Here in England “Daylight Saving Time” ended on 28th October and all our clocks were put forward an hour. This makes for a much earlier dusk, at the moment it is about 4.30pm. Far too soon for me!
As soon as it gets dark my body tells me that I should be asleep and it can be quite an effort to keep going to a reasonable bed time. In summer I am “bright eyed and bushy tailed” up about 4.30am and still plenty of energy by 10pm....exhausted after a few days!
It is all to do with Circadian Rhythms.......
Circadian Rhythms have been around a very long time and it’s thought the first cells on Earth were damaged by UV light from the Sun and adapted by repairing themselves at night.
It is also thought any life form that derives energy from sunlight has some kind of circadian rhythm, to make the most of light and darkness.
Early experiments showed mimosa leaves still opened and closed in the dark, following their own circadian rhythms rather than the Sun.
Circadian rhythms allow organisms to anticipate events such as night and day, winter and summer and so prepare themselves for those events.
We all have a master clock which sits in the hypothalamus in the brain and, like a conductor, sends regulating signals throughout our body at different times of the day.
We all have peripheral clocks too. These are found in all our organs and body tissues and are synchronised by the master clock in our brain. Isn’t that fascinating?
We have clocks in every cell in our body which have the capacity to generate a 24-hour oscillation
As nights grow longer and sleep lengthens, brains release more melatonin. Many animals, such as deer, respond to this by preparing to mate or hibernate. It’s thought humans produce more antibodies to fight off winter illness.
These are called Circannual rhythms and if we were left in the dark, our body clock would become out of step with the 24-hour clock. There are sensors in our eyes that detect light and send signals to the part of our brain that keeps our body clocks in sync.
From the moment we wake up in the morning, sleep pressure builds up. However, we do not usually fall asleep until our biological clock tells us it is the right time to drop off.
Shift workers and others who have a mismatch between their biological time and social time can experience ‘social jet lag’. This is the difference between the time their body wants to wake up and the time the alarm clock goes off. Studies suggest a correlation between this and an increased risk of depression, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
So now you know!
Monday, 8 October 2018
On Saturday (8th October) husband and I took a wet and windy walk along the Promenade at Cleethorpes.
We had to go and take some bags of "bits" into our local CARE shop
which we often do. But today was rather damp, but being 'out of season', there were no tourists and we had the Prom. to ourselves, not even a dog walker was brave enough to be out in all the rain.
But being suitably dressed we didn't really mind, ideal weather to "blow the cobwebs aways" as my Father used to say on windy days.
My Irish Grandmother used to say on very windy days that the wind was "...lazy,because it goes right through you"....very true on this day.
We finished our walk as always by paying our respect to "Dudley the Donkey"
The Nuttall family have been synonymous with donkey rides on Cleethorpes sea front for generations and "Dudley" was created and made by local artist Donna Peterson in 2012. It was to be a surprise for Gladys Nuttall but sadly she died before it was finished, but her memory lives on.
To warm ourselves up before the journey home we called in at our 'usual' stop.."Suzie's Cup of Joy" which I have mentioned before on the blog. So hot cappuchino and 'Millionaires Shortbread' later we caught the bus home, glad to be in the warm and dry.... it rained all day, which the gardens were much in need of.