Category: Fairy Tales

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

-Albert Einstein

Twelve Days of Christmas

It seems there is precedence to giving and receiving excessive amount of gifts and presents during the Christmas season as defined by my childhood favourite Christmas carol/rhyme, The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Partridges: 1 × 12 = 12

Doves: 2 × 11 = 22

Hens 3 × 10 = 30

Calling birds: 4 × 9 = 36

Golden rings: 5 × 8 = 40

Geese: 6 × 7 = 42

Swans: 7 × 6 = 42

Maids: 8 × 5 = 40

Ladies: 9 × 4 = 36

Lords: 10 × 3 = 30

Pipers: 11 × 2 = 22

Drummers: 12 × 1 = 12

Total = 364

The receiver would be responsible for many geese, swans and has to fork out for cows to keep the maids in employment.

She has to move out of her small flat into a mansion with many rooms, where she can escape when the  cocophony of drums and pipes gets too much as well as the house party she has to throw for the raving ladies.

What can the ‘true love’ be thinking?!!! 🙂

Twelve Days of Christmas, art from www.forbes.com

Twelve Days of Christnas, art from www.forbes.com


Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
A Partridge in a Pear Tree2

On the second day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the third day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the fourth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the fifth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the sixth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the seventh day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the eighth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the ninth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Nine Ladies Dancing
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the tenth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Ten Lords a Leaping
Nine Ladies Dancing
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the eleventh day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Eleven Pipers Piping
Ten Lords a Leaping
Nine Ladies Dancing
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the twelfth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
12 Drummers Drumming
Eleven Pipers Piping
Ten Lords a Leaping
Nine Ladies Dancing
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

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

 

Knick Knack Paddy Whack

How wonderful is this? An old nursery rhyme given the Bob Dylan treatment. Wow!

But then again, this  rhyme, though hard to understand, is so catchy that it also became some sort of theme tune for that brilliant Peter Falk’s Columbo.

 

Knick Knack Paddy Whack

This old man, he played one,
He played knick knack on my thumb.
With a knick knack, paddy whack,
Give a dog a bone.
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played two,
He played knick knack on my shoe.
With a knick knack, paddy whack,
Give a dog a bone.
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played three,
He played knick knack on my knee.
With a knick knack, paddy whack,
Give a dog a bone.
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played four,
He played knick knack on my door.
With a knick knack, paddy whack,
Give a dog a bone.
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played five,
He played knick knack on my hive.
With a knick knack, paddy whack,
Give a dog a bone.
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played six,
He played knick knack on my sticks.
With a knick knack, paddy whack,
Give a dog a bone.
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played seven,
He played knick knack up in heaven.
With a knick knack, paddy whack,
Give a dog a bone.
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played eight,
He played knick knack on my gate.
With a knick knack, paddy whack,
Give a dog a bone.
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played nine.
He played knick knack on my spine.
With a knick knack, paddy whack,
Give a dog a bone.
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played ten.
He played knick knack once again.
With a knick knack, paddy whack,
Give a dog a bone.
This old man came rolling home.

There was a monkey Rhyme

IMG_1008

Elm Tree Photo by PH Morton

There was a monkey

 

THERE was a monkey climb’d up a tree,
When he fell down, then down fell he.

There was a crow sat on a stone,
When he was gone, then there was none.

There was an old wife did eat an apple,
When she had ate two, she had ate a couple.

There was a horse going to the mill,
When he went on, he stood not still.

There was a butcher cut his thumb,
When it did bleed, then blood did come.

There was a lackey ran a race,
When he ran fast, he ran apace.

There was a cobbler clowting shoon,
When they were mended, they were done.

There was a chandler making candle,
When he them strip, he did them handle.

There was a navy went into Spain,
When it return’d, it came again.

Robin Red-Breast in our Garden

Little Robin Redbreast

LITTLE Robin Redbreast sat upon a tree,
Up went Pussy cat, and down went he;
Down came Pussy cat, and away Robin ran;
Says little Robin Redbreast, “Catch me if you can.”
Little Robin Redbreast jump’d upon a wall,
Pussy cat jump’d after him, and almost got a fall,
Little Robin chirp’d and sang, and what did Pussy say?
Pussy cat said “Mew,” and Robin jump’d away.

Robin Red-Breast in our Garden

The songs of the birds and insects wordlessly transmit the law of the universe.
– Hong Zicheng

ALL ABOUT THE ROBIN

One of the first birds to return in the spring—migrates north early in March—sometimes remains during winter—stays north as late as October or November.

Domestic—generally preferring to live near the home of man.

Song—though short and always the same is in tone wonderfully expressive of happiness, love, anger, or fear, as the case may be.

Black head—wings and tail brown—touches of white on throat—entire breast a rusty red.—Female duller and paler in colouring, growing almost as bright as the male in the autumn.

Food—principally insects and worms—does not disdain fruit, berries, cherries, etc., but prefers insect food—a ravenous eater.

Nest—outer layer composed of sticks, coarse grasses, etc., seemingly rather carelessly arranged—on this the rather large round nest is woven with grasses—plastered with mud—lined with softer grasses.

Eggs—greenish blue—four in number—young have black spots on breast—generally two broods reared in a season—sometimes three.

A robin redbreast in a cage

Puts all heaven in a rage

A dovehouse filled with doves and pigeons

Shudders hell through all its regions

A dog starved at his master’s gate

Predicts the ruin of the state

– William Blake

Cooks’ Rhymes to Remember…

A rhyme is so useful, every cook must learn in full.

Rhymes to Remember…

“Always have lobster sauce with salmon,
And put mint sauce your roasted lamb on.
In dressing salad mind this law
With two hard yolks use one raw.
Roast pork, sans apple sauce, past doubt
Is Hamlet with the Prince left out.
Broil lightly your beefsteak—to fry it
Argues contempt of christian diet.
It gives true epicures the vapors
To see boiled mutton minus capers.
Boiled turkey, gourmands know, of course
Is exquisite with celery sauce.
Roasted in paste, a haunch of mutton
Might make ascetics play the glutton.
To roast spring chickens is to spoil them,
Just split them down the back and broil them,
Shad, stuffed and baked is most delicious,
T’would have electrified Apicius.
Roast veal with rich stock gravy serve,
And pickled mushrooms too, observe,
The cook deserves a hearty cuffing
Who serves roast fowl with tasteless stuffing.
But one might rhyme for weeks this way,
And still have lots of things to say;
And so I’ll close, for reader mine,
This is about the hour to dine.”

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Magpies On The Roof

Magpies on the Roof

Peter was inspired. His mojo is back.  He is again taking pictures of everything, inanimate and animate including animals, vegetables and minerals.

I have to admit that Peter does take beautiful photos.

But what gladdened my heart  were the photos of the two magpies nonchalantly pearched on the tv aerial on our roof.

Mind you I am not in any way superstitious but a couple of lovely magpies on the roof was a joy to behold. They made a pretty picture.

The old nursery rhyme came to mind immediately.

One for sorrow

Two for joy

Three for a girl

Four for a boy

Five for silver

Six for gold

Seven for a secret never to be told.

Magpies Superstitious Rhyme

Magpies – Photo by PH Morton

Magpies Superstitious Rhyme

The rhyme below was the original version of the magpie rhyme.  It was first recorded around 1780.

“One is a sign of sorrow;
two are a sign of mirth;
Three are a sign of a wedding;
and four a sign of birth.”
one for sorrow

one for sorrow

Two for joy

Two for joy

Three for a wedding

 

Four a birth

Four for a birth

……………
The one following is the modern version which everyone is more familiar with.

One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
Seven for a secret,
Never to be told.

———-
I think it is this rhyme that is giving beautiful magpies a bad name. I must say, I am not superstitious – well not really, but if I see just one magpie I do search for another. 🙂

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