Culture Articles

Home for the Holidays

What to do Before You Deck the Halls

 

 

The Holidays are here, and most of us are getting ready to deck the halls in one way or another. Before you pull out the tinsel and tree, take a couple of hours to make some quick changes to update your rooms, and provide a great background for your Christmas and holiday trimmings.

Think of decorating for the holidays as making a cake. Before you get to the icing, you need to have a good foundation. Then you add the filling, and lastly comes the decoration on top! Here are ideas for all three!

Read more: Deck The Halls - Culture Article

 Popping poppies

 Edited by Lynne Hand

Many flowers have important symbolic meanings in Western culture, and the practice of assigning meanings to flowers is known as floriography.  For example, red roses are often regarded as a symbol of love, beauty, and passion. Lilies are used in burials as a symbol referring to "resurrection/life". They are also associated with stars or the sun, with the petals blooming or shining.

Red poppies are a symbol of consolation in time of death, they are worn to commemorate soldiers who have died in times of war.  In the UK in November you will see many people wearing artificial poppies on their clothes, they are also worn in New Zealand, Australia and Canada. 

When I was growing up I thought I knew all about poppies – in England they were red and in Wales they were very slightly smaller and bright, egg yolk yellow. Since then I‘ve learnt differently of course. They come in almost every shade including sky blue. They appear all over my garden, especially in the vegetable beds where they pop up among the cabbages and leeks, pushing aside the leaves of lettuces and give shade to the strawberries. They seed so profusely of course that  I’ll never be able to get rid of them, so  I just let them grow and enjoy their fleeting beauty.
Read more: The Poppy - Culture Article


I bought a beautifully illustrated book of poetry at a charity sale today. It has lots of the classics as well as some I’ve never seen before. Coleridge’s ‘Kubla Khan’ for instance , which I remember hearing at school. I wonder if the teacher would have read it to us if he had known that it was composed during a drug induced delirium?  

I loved it for its sounds, even when I did not understand the language, nor did I know where Xanadu was or what a zither sounded like.

Read more: Silliness - Culture Article

Pineapple

When I was growing up I’d never seen a real pineapple. Such fruit came in a tin, and was a favourite in our house as , in those long ago days of sugar rationing , because it was  for some reason  usually available in our area. We kept hens and so my father would barter some spare eggs for the delicious tinned fruit and some ham for salad. The pineapple cubes would be eaten with great enjoyment during Sunday tea, with evaporated milk poured on top.

Read more: Pineapple Cubes and Aniseed Balls - Culture Article