Category: Fairy Tales

If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.

-Albert Einstein

Greatest Love Tandems of All Time

The Kiss, painting by Edvard Munch

There is nothing better than a good love story. The sadder the ending the more iconic the love story seems to turn up.

As a homage to St Valentine’s, we shall make a list of the most romantic love duos of all time.  The list by the way is not in any order.  And if you have any suggestion that you wanted added, do let us know!

Greatest Love Tandems of All Time

The List:

  • Mary & Joseph
  • Adam & Eve

… ‘The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” so the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, He took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
– Genesis 2:19, 21-22

  • Anthony and Cleopatra
  • Romeo & Juliet (Shakesperian classic)
  • Marie & Pierre Curie

– this love duo was made from  science heaven; they were both Nobel prize winners.  Marie Curie: “I have the best husband one could dream of.  I could never have imagined finding one like him…”

  • Sandy Olsson & Danny Zuko (Grease)
  • Rachel Green & Ross Gellar (Friends)
  • Queen Elizabeth II & Prince Phillip
  • Queen Victoria & Prince Albert
  • Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson – Edward gave up his throne in order to marry Wallis Simpson
  • Monica Gellar & Chandler Bing(Friends)
  • Mickey & Minnie Mouse
  • Bonnie & Clyde
  • Popeye & Olive Oyl
  • Robin Hood & Maid Marian
  • King Arthur & Queen Guinevere
  • Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton
  • Isis & Osiris
  • Scarlett O’Hara & Rhett Butler
  • Pocahontas & John Smith
  • Elizabeth Bennet & Mr Darcy ( Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice)
  • Tristan & Isolde
  • David & Victoria (Beckham)
  • Dolce & Gabbana
  • Patric Jane & Teresa Lisbon
  • Heloise & Abelard
  • Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal
  • Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt  (Now to divorce!)
  • Ralph De Bricassart & Meggie Cleary
  • Clark Kent & Lois Lane (Superman)

  • Miss Piggy & Kermit
  • F Scott Fitzgerald & Zelda Fitzgerald
  • Napoleon & Josephine
  • Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund ( Casablanca)
  • Rachel & Jacob (Biblical story)
  • Ronald & Nancy Reagan
  • Robert Browning & Elizabeth Barrett- Browning


He loves me, he loves me not…..

he loves me I remember playing this over and over when I was a little girl.  Everytime I saw a flower, I would proceed in pulling apart the petals one by one whilst intoning the mantra of He loves me… he loves me not… he loves me… he loves me not, until I got to the last petal.

I was always so happy when the last petal indicated that “he” loved me.  The funny thing was that there was no “he” then.  I was just a girl, I did not know what love was!  It was just a game that children play (was that a song?),

Despite that, I love the game and makes me smile now just remembering it.

I did a bit of googling about this game and I was pleasantly surprised that most countries of the world have a version of it.

This game is thought to have originated in France (where else?!!!) and it was called effeuiller la marguerite.  As I said above the object of the game is to determine whether the object of your affection returns your feelings!



True love is humble, thereby is it known;Girded for service, seeking not its own;Vaunts not itself, but speaks in self-dispraise.
—Abraham Coles.

May Day

Today is the 1st of May, spring is supposed to have sprung but not so much in the UK, with record rain falls and colder days.
May Day has spring festivals dating back many centuries in the UK and the bonus of a public (spring) holiday on
Monday 🙂

May Day in also Labour Day and workers left wing, Communists regard as a special day.
May Day Festivals in UK
Celtic (pronounced Keltic) festival ‘Beltane’ and Pagan/Germanic festivals such as ‘Walpurgis Nacht’(Night) are held on 1 May. With Christian festivals such as Christmas and Easter taking over other pagan festivals, so called neopagans etc claimed pre- Christian festival day 1 May as their own festival again.

The Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Virgin Mary in May

Many villages hold May Day celebrations to spring and have a May Queen crowned. Traditional Morris Dancers etc dance around a May Pole.

Originally, the tradition was to decorate a pole with garlands of flowers and leaves. These were known as ribbon-less maypoles and dancers simply circled the maypole in time with the music which was often provided by pipe and tabor, fiddle and whatever other instruments could be found. Later, ribbons were attached to the top of the maypole and dancers wound in different directions around the maypole holding a ribbon each to create a complex pattern of colours. After the ribbons have been wound onto the pole or perhaps plaited on themselves, the practice was to reverse the path of the dance to unwind the ribbons again.Maypole Dancing

Maypole Dancing

A typical maypole can have 10 or often many more dancers


Morris dancers

Morris dancers

The dances were often led by Morris Dancers playing the traditional tunes of the region. Today, the music usually features fiddle, pipe, tabor, accordion and concertina.

Some charming traditions have sadly disappeared since the 20 Century dawned. One such being the giving of “May baskets,” small baskets of sweets and/or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbours’ doorsteps.
Much of this tradition derives from the pagan Anglo-Saxon customs held during “Þrimilci-mōnaþ”] (the Old English name for the month of May meaning Month of Three Milkings)

May Queen

May Queen

May blossom, the flower of the May tree
The May Day bank holiday, on the first Monday in May, was traditionally the only one to affect the state school calendar, although new arrangements in some areas to even out the length of school terms mean that the Good Friday and Easter Monday bank holidays, which vary from year to year, may also fall during term time. The May Day bank holiday was created in 1978. In February 2011, the UK Parliament was reported to be considering scrapping the bank holiday associated with May Day, replacing it with a bank holiday in October, possibly co-inciding with Trafalgar Day (celebrated on 21 October), to create a “United Kingdom Day”.


Queen Guinevere’s Maying

For thus it chanced one morn when all the court,
Green-suited, but with plumes that mocked the may,
Had been, their wont, a-maying and returned,
That Modred still in green, all ear and eye,
Climbed to the high top of the garden-wall
To spy some secret scandal if he might,

Here are some local May Day festivities

In Oxford, it is traditional for May Morning revellers to gather below the Great Tower of Magdalen College at 6:00 am to listen to the college choir sing traditional madrigals as a conclusion to the previous night’s celebrations. It is then thought to be traditional for some people to jump off Magdalen Bridge into the River Cherwell. However this has actually only been fashionable since the 1970s, possibly due to the presence of TV cameras. In recent years, the bridge has been closed on 1 May to prevent people from jumping, as the water under the bridge is only 2 feet (61 cm) deep and jumping from the bridge has resulted in serious injury in the past. There are still people who insist on climbing the barriers and leaping into the water, causing themselves injury.
In Durham, students of the University of Durham gather on Prebend’s Bridge to see the sunrise and enjoy festivities, folk music, dancing, madrigal singing and a barbecue breakfast. This is an emerging Durham tradition, with patchy observance since 2001.
Whitstable, Kent, hosts a good example of more traditional May Day festivities, where the Jack in the Green festival was revived in 1976 and continues to lead an annual procession of morris dancers through the town on the May Bank Holiday. A separate revival occurred in Hastings in 1983 and has become a major event in the town calendar. A traditional Sweeps Festival is performed over the May bank holiday in Rochester, Kent, where the Jack in the Green is woken at dawn on

Morris dancing on May Day in Oxford, England, in 2004.
At 7:15 p.m. on 1 May each year, the Kettle Bridge Clogs[8] Morris dancing side dance across Barming Bridge (otherwise known as the Kettle Bridge), which spans the River Medway near Maidstone, to mark the official start of their Morris dancing season. Also known as Ashtoria Day in Northern parts of rural Cumbria. A celebration of unity and female bonding. Although not very well known, it is often cause for huge celebration.
Padstow in Cornwall holds its annual ‘Obby-Oss’ (Hobby Horse) day of festivities. This is believed to be one of the oldest fertility rites in the UK; revellers dance with the Oss through the streets of the town and even through the private gardens of the citizens, accompanied by accordion players and followers dressed in white with red or blue sashes who sing the traditional ‘May Day’ song. The whole town is decorated with springtime greenery, and every year thousands of onlookers attend. Prior to the 19th century distinctive May day celebrations were widespread throughout West Cornwall, and are being revived in St. Ives and Penzance.
Kingsand, Cawsand and Millbrook in Cornwall celebrate Flower Boat Ritual on the May Day bank holiday. A model of the ship The Black Prince is covered in flowers and is taken in procession from the Quay at Millbrook to the beach at Cawsand where it is cast adrift. The houses in the villages are decorated with flowers and people traditionally wear red and white clothes. There are further celebrations in Cawsand Square with Morris dancing and May pole dancing.
In St Andrews, some of the students gather on the beach late on April 30 and run into the North Sea at sunrise on May Day, occasionally naked. This is accompanied by torchlight processions and much elated celebration.
Both Edinburgh and Glasgow organize Mayday festivals and rallies. In Edinburgh, the Beltane Fire Festival is held on the evening of May eve and into the early hours of May Day on the city’s Calton Hill.


Did you know?

May Dew a Cure for Freckles.

The “Morning Post,” (England,) issued for the 2d day of May, 1791, states that the day before, “being the first of May, according to annual and superstitious custom, a number of persons went into the fields and bathed their faces with the dew on the grass, under the idea that it would render them beautiful.”

The Queer, the Quaint and the Quizzical
       A Cabinet for the Curious

Author: Frank H. Stauffer

Favourite Top Xmas Pop Songs

Referring to the previous blog by the lovely Jean, regarding the best pop Christmas song. My particular favourite is from 1987 called ‘Fairytale of New York’ by Celtic punk band the Pogues featuring the melodious voice of Kirsty McColl as a counterpoint to Shane Macgowan’s harsher voice and lyrics. Kirsty was a great singer and is sadly missed.

My second favourite pop song is by Brit group Slade, and called ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’ lead singer Noddy Holder. It was number one Xmas pop song from Xmas 1973 to Jan 1974 and is played widely in UK and other countries every year since then!

Another favourite from the 1973 was Wizzard’s “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’ lead singer Roy Wood, also played regularly every year.
1973 the glam rock period was was the year for fun festive Xmas pop songs!

“Pinocchio effect”

It seems Pinocchio, a puppet who came alive but has a propensity for lying which makes his nose grows longer might not be just a treasured fairy tale afterall.

Apparently research shows that when someone lies, his nose area heats up. So we can probably now tell whether someone is lying by looking at their nose.

So anyone resembling Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer would most likely be suffering from colds or a downright liar!!! 😉



“Pinocchio effect” means people’s noses heat up when they lie

Temperature scans using a thermal camera show that the area round human noses tends

to heat up when we lie, say University of Granada researchers.

Yahoo! NewsBy Rob Waugh | Yahoo! News – Tue, Dec 4, 2012

Like the story of Pinocchio, real noses give away when we tell lies (Image: Rex)

Enlarge PhotoYahoo! News – Like the story of Pinocchio, real noses give away when we tell lies (Image: Rex)

A thermal image (hot areas are red) shows off how lies affect the face (Image: University of Granada)
A thermal image (hot areas are red) shows off how lies affect the face (Image: University …

In the children’s story, Pinocchio’s nose grows every time he tells a lie – but real noses can also give away when we’re telling fibs.

Temperature scans using a thermal camera show that the area round human noses tends to heat up when we lie.

The effort of concealing our feelings seems to cause the area to grow warmer – and it is very difficult to mask. The finding could have important implications

for lie detection and interrogation of suspects.

A team at the University of Granada are pioneering using a thermograph – the infrared cameras used in night vision cameras – in psychology.

When a person lies they suffer a “Pinocchio effect”, which is an increase in the temperature around the nose and in the orbital muscle in the inner corner of

the eye.

In addition, when we perform a considerable mental effort our face temperature drops and when we have an anxiety attack our face temperature raises.

Thus, sexual excitement and desire can be identified in men and women using thermography, since they induce an increase in chest and genital temperature.

This study demonstrates that –in physiological terms– men and women get excited at the same time, even although women say they are not excited or only

slightly excited.

Thermographic cameras have a wide range of uses such as measuring energy loss in buildings, indicating respiratory diseases in cows or rabies in raccoons.

Thermography was developed in the USA during the II World War to detect the enemy (night vision) – but has rarely been applied to psychology.

Scientists have discovered that when a mental effort is made (performing difficult tasks, being interrogated on a specific event or lying) face temperature changes.

When we lie about our feelings, the temperature around our nose raises and a brain element called “insula” is activated.

The insula is a component of the brain reward system, and it only activates when we experience real feelings – the insula is involved in the detection and

regulation of body temperature.

Therefore, insula activity seems to be ‘inversely’ related to facial temperature change – ie concealing your real thoughts makes your face heat up more.

The more active the insula (the more ‘real’ the feeling) the lower the temperature change, and viceversa, the researchers state.