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Boadicea, photo by PH Morton
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
– Edmund Burke (1729 – 97)
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Peter and I bought these Loving Couple in Divisoria in the Philippines because they looked so cute. We just couldn’t resist.
By the way, Feng Shui object d’art is big business in the Philippines.
Apparently, these figurines are of a newly married couple.
Aside from Mandarin ducks figurines, which I think is a slightly more popular choice, the Loving Couple is also presented to a newly married couple a symbol of true love.
Traditionally the Chinese believe that if put these wedding couple in a room where you are mostly with your other half, in the bedroom, sitting room, kitchen or even in the dining room, your personal relationship luck will be activated and be a longlasting love.
I recently watched a drama called The Story of Ming Lan, where the second male lead gave the female figurine to Ming Lan to keep, while he kept the male one for himself.
Well probably because he separated them, he did not get to keep Ming Lan in the end.
As I mentioned in my earlier blog (O (Old) Christmas Tree) about Christmas decorations and how we get them from storage in our loft/attics etc at the beginning of each Christmas season. We check the plugs and fuses of our old Christmas lights and see how many bulbs still work. I think the oldest lights I have are over 40 years old and we drape them around our 45-year-old Christmas tree I had when growing up.
Last Christmas when we were in the Philippines visiting our family, we saw amazing Christmas decorations and lights almost everywhere. We bought back from halfway around the globe, one particular Christmas decoration which is popular in the Philippines. It is called a paról.
A paról is a star-shaped or star patterned lantern, the shape representing the Star of Bethlehem that guided The Three Kings to the birthplace and manger of Jesus. A paról can come in various sizes and designs/patterns as long as it is a five-pointed star shape and can be illuminated. They are traditionally made out bamboo and paper. Nowadays they can be constructed from materials such as plastic, glass, thick strong polythene & light metal strips They are illuminated by candles or electric light bulbs. paróls are traditional to Filipinos at Christmas as the Christmas tree is to us. Modern electric/battery powered paróls can produce colourful complex patterns like some of our home Christmas lights.
A Christmas Pudding, sometimes cream or custard etc are added as a topping.
Stir-up Sunday is the last Sunday before Advent. The custom comes from when families & relatives gathered together and stir the ingredients of a traditional British Christmas pudding before the first Sunday in Advent as observed by Anglican churches.
There is a Collect (prayer)
‘Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.’
Also, It allows time for the pudding to mature properly for the month before the Christmas Day meal. By tradition, each member of a family or participant is encouraged to make a wish as they stir.
The pudding mixture is stirred from East to West in honour and remembrance of the three wise men who visited the baby Jesus with their gifts.
In some households, silver coins are added to the pudding mix. It is believed that finding a coin brings good luck.
I remember as a child in the 1960s, my mother would traditionally put & stir ‘silver’ sixpence coins known colloquially as a tanner into the mixture. Later when the UK went decimal ‘other’ silver coins were added.
It is believed that like Christmas trees and Christmas decorations, Christmas puddings were introduced to the UK in the 1800s, by Prince Albert, who was the husband and consort to Queen Victoria.
There can be some variations of ingredients, traditional puddings mainly contain dried fruits, raisins etc. The mixture and cake are held together by egg and suet & sometimes moistened by treacle or molasses. It is flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and or other spices. Measured alcohol is added, mainly brandy but dark beers or stout can be used.
Before the pudding is served during the Christmas meal, some households set light to the pudding as the alcohol content allows it to burn briefly as part of the serving tradition.
The pudding is usually aged for a month or more,[or even a year until the following Christmas Day; the high alcohol content of the pudding prevents it from spoiling during this time.
Place of Work: Old Royal Navy College – Greenwich, South London, UK
We met Fury and his handler recently whilst on a visit at the Old Royal Navy College to attend a tour of a once in a lifetime opportunity to be up close with the hall and ceiling murals, which is the most extensive work in the UK and can rival Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel at the Vatican.
Anyway, Fury and his handler were promenading outside the building, alert to any uninvited guests.
Hawk is 9 years old and he regularly patrols the building and its surrounding areas for any marauding pigeons, rats, and other pests, who can create so much deposit of poos and upheavals to wherever they congregate.
Hawks are often used as guardians and mascots of large public building and areas as they are known for their keen eyesight and intelligence.
Fury at just 9, is still a ‘spring chicken’ Hawks in captivity usually live until 20 years of age.