Culture Articles

Seed catalogues

 

In the UK, at this time of year, almost every time the postman drops something through the letter box, he brings a seed catalogue. One even arrived on Christmas Eve and my husband’s reaction was, “Your Christmas present has come early”.  My older daughter’s reaction was, “Oh no. She’s going to buy even more seeds!”  She then pulled open the salad drawer of our fridge which is crammed so full that it is hard to open, and contains various opened seed packets from previous years.

 

Keep Calm and Carry On was a propaganda poster produced by the British government in 1939 during the beginning of the Second World War, intended to raise the morale of the British public in the event of a Nazi invasion of Great Britain. It had only limited distribution with no public display, and thus was little known. The poster was rediscovered in 2000 and has been re-issued by a number of private companies and used as the decorative theme for a range of products, and an amazing number of funny posts shared on social networking sites.

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!

 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.


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.