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Blue Monday

Blue Monday

There is a particular day in the year that is considered here in the UK as the saddest time of the year.  That day has been aptly called the Blue Monday.

After careful studies and consideration, it was reckoned that the third Monday of January is Blue Monday.

Factors used to determine this particular day were the following:

  • The weather, it is dank, cold and dark.
  • The euphoria of Christmas and New Year are definitely over.  Only memory left was extra weight in your belly and hips and cheeks.
  • Time for all the credit card bills to come in and the ability to pay the bills or incur debts.
  • Natural motivational level after the holiday season.

This year Blue Monday falls on 15 January.

 

 

Schadenfreude 2017

Schadenfreude 2017

It is 2018

To look back at 2017, I think I would forgive Donald Trump if he ended 2017 with a good belly laugh and a bit of sniggering.

Let’s face it, Hollywood award ceremonies from January onwards ended up being about Donald Trump, how barely human he was and why he was such an abomination to American mankind and to a lesser extent, the world.

All kinds of insults were thrown at him.  Barely anyone in Hollywood, were left standing without a bad and negative word or two against The Donald.

The great Meryl Streep was at it, Whoopi Goldberg was at it (I think she even mentioned about leaving USA for good if The Donald wins the presidency).  Ashton Kutcher was at it, even Kerry Washington was at it. The vociferous Ashley Judd also had a say.  They all had a say.  They ridiculed him, they dehumanised him, etc.

And then come October 2017,  the most shocking thing slowly unfolded right in the very middle, the very heart within Hollywood.  Their stalwart, most influential man, Harvey Weinstein, the Geppetto of Hollywood was reported as an alleged serial rapist and habitually engaged in sexually harassing young actresses; the growing list included Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Ashley Judd came out and confessed how she was also a victim from the heinous and most disgusting sexual predator that is Harvey Weinstein but she loves him and understand that he was sick and he has to get treatment. Huh?!!!

Anyway, Harvey Weinstein proclivities with young actresses started in the early 90s. Apparently it was an open secret in Hollywood.  Casting Couch is alive and well.

And yet no one came out to warn anyone about Weinstein before it blew over in October.   It is an open secret but everyone secretly pretending they know nothing, including Ben Affleck and George Clooney.  Meryl Streep is practically mute in crucifying Weinstein, compared to the speeches she gave against The Donald.  Hollywood certainly look after itself.

There are more than 50 victims who have now come forward.

Hollywood seemed to have turned a new leaf against The Donald.  They don’t create as much noise now.

Let’s wait for the coming Oscar later in March.  Will they say anything against the Donald or will they castigate Harvey? We shall see.  I have never looked forward to the Oscar as much as Oscar 2018, which by the way will be the 90th year anniversary.

Hollywood you clean your backyard.

 

 

Postulant Cook’s Guide to Choosing Cheeses

 

Cheese for afters, photo by JMorton

Postulant Cook

Postulant Cook’s Guide to Choosing Cheeses

Now that Christmas is almost upon us, we have to start thinking what cheese or cheeses will grace our dining table.

Of course cheese is popular all year round but there is something special about nibbling on a selection of cheeses, wash down with a glass or few of red wine during the Christmas holidays.  (Please note though that we do not promote drinking and driving!!!)

Below is my favourite cheeses, which I hope will help in making your own selection.

Blue Cheese

Brie

Cheddar Cheese

Goat Cheese

Emmental

Feta

 

Happy Halloween 2017

Happy Halloween 2017

Tis the night — the night
Of the grave’s delight,
And the warlocks are at their play;
Ye think that without
The wild winds shout,
But no, it is they — it is they.

~Arthur Cleveland Coxe

Happy Halloween 2017 to our visitors. Here  in London we enjoy Halloween. On 31 October, millions around the world celebrate a festival that has evolved from nature rituals of ancient times.
Halloween, or it’s proper name Hallowe’en (Hallows evening)contracted from the Christian ‘All Hallows Evening’ or ‘Eve’,  is thought to have pagan roots and from a festival name of ‘Samhain’.
Halloween is supposed to be the time when the earthly and spirit worlds meet allowing spirits of those departed and fairies to dwell for one night on earth and commune with us mere mortals. It is an important date for pagans, witches etc. The festival predates Christianity by thousands of years.

Wiccans  hold one of their seasonal Sabbats (festivals) every 31 October. Witchcraft & witches are derived from the old English words,  wiccecræft & wicce.

To try and suppress such pagan non-Christian beliefs, the Church hierarchy then later added All Saints Day (to commemorate all Christian Saints) on the 1st November, followed by All Souls Day on 2nd November, when the deceased family, relatives, friends etc., are remembered and commemorated with Church services.

Halloween is thought to mainly originate from ancient Celtic festivals in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and northern Europe. These Celtic festivals and rituals marked the end of summer and the coming of winter after autumn and the unwelcome arrival of longer darker & colder nights. Bonfires were lit to keep the dark at bay and rituals performed to banish ghosts, evil spirits, fairies from coming with the winter darkness. Candle lit turnip lanterns carved with scary faces were made which later evolved into the pumpkin lanterns we see now.

Halloween spread to North America in the 1800s with the arrival of Irish & celtic immigrants. It quickly became a big festival which, evolved over the years into what takes place today. Children dressing up as ghosts, witches etc., touring around the neighbourhod with patient parents on Halloween, trick or treating. Halloween themed parties are de riguer .
Before pumpkins became the favourite of Halloween lantern makers (they are easier to carve), turnips and swedes were and still are used. Some of these carved pumpkins are minor works of art.
The Irish settlers arriving in America found no turnips so used the native grown pumpkins as lanterns as are used to this day.

When I was a child on Halloween, my mother and I would carve two lanterns out of smaller root vegetable swedes (Swedish turnip), as pumpkins were rare here then. The swedes are harder to carve, but worth the effort to an imaginative young mind. We would put a lantern in our living or bedroom window
We would keep the lantern swedes until Guy Fawkes Night on each 5th November. We would re use them if they were still fresh as lanterns then burn them on the bonfire we had in our garden as we set off fireworks, so much fun and happy memories ?

This early evening, like the last few Halloweens’, we will take our 8 -year-old grandson and baby brother around the local roads. We meet other families too and exchange laughs. A lot of neighbours get into the spirit (pardon the pun!) and have pumpkin lanterns like us by their front garden gates. Some open their doors dressed up in scary costumes, a good fun evening.

 

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