Emma - lover of history, art and adventure

7 Posts
Wash the dust off your soul and combat Blue Monday

Wash the dust off your soul and combat Blue Monday

Monday 17 Jan 2022, the third Monday in January, is said to be the most depressing day of the year - Blue Monday. So here's a suggestion to combat those blues - visit an Art Gallery. I suspect that idea might provoke a bit of a love-hate reaction in some people. If you’re not in the 'art gallery lover' camp, galleries can feel like large empty rooms with weird daubs on the wall. Or, conversely, small rooms jammed with crazy stuff. There can feel like there is pressure to ‘understand’ and ‘interpret’ the ‘feelings’ or 'emotions' being expressed. It's just…
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Greek Mythology – The Trojan Wars

Greek Mythology – The Trojan Wars

It is often said that the Greeks pretty much invented everything. Whether they actually invented storytelling or not I don’t know. But one thing you cannot deny is the fact they really knew how to tell a tale. They threw everything into it. Love, loss, battles, heroes, heroines, monsters, gods and adventures galore. One of my favourite films as a kid was Jason & the Argonauts (an ancient Greek tale). The skeleton battle was ground-breaking for its time, though it looks positively cartoon-like next to today’s CGI techniques. It’s still a great film, fundamentally because it’s a great story.  https://youtu.be/C-ZQGRM7GW0…
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Christmas Eve Magic

Christmas Eve Magic

I don't know whether it's the memory of childhood excitement, the thought of surprises and fabulous food, or just that everything is sprinkled with glitter and festiveness, but it is magical at this time. I recognise that those with young children have already had a week of them bouncing out of their skins (yes, I know - it's only been a week since they broke up from school!). Many are at utter fever-pitch at this point. So this is a good time to slip into traditions - the relative calm of repetitive activities. I'm sure we all have our Christmas…
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Christmas Decorations

Christmas Decorations

I feel it necessary to warn you; I am definitely more of a ‘Buddy the Elf’ than an ‘Ebenezer Scrooge-(pre ghosts)’ type of person. It’s fair to say I LOVE Christmas decorations; I have five giant boxes full that somehow keep multiplying each year! These decorations range wildly from classic paper robin chains – that wouldn’t look out of place in a Victorian house to a 4ft high sparkly illuminated penguin called Percy. You can spot my house on the street – it’s the one with the animated snow that falls daily from 4 pm till midnight. I appreciate there…
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What is a ‘Traditional Christmas’?

What is a ‘Traditional Christmas’?

Christmas is a time of traditions. So many of us have grown up with our own individual family's traditions - those little things we feel we have to do every year, even if no one remembers why! Even little traditions like when you open your presents. Is it at the crack of dawn or after dinner? Or do you wait till Boxing Day! I have heard that the longer you wait, the posher you are (we open ours at the crack of dawn, so we're obviously not very posh at all.) The Polish tradition of Wigilia In Polish tradition, the…
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When do you ‘deck the halls’?

When do you ‘deck the halls’?

I'll be honest I've been itching to put the decorations up since bonfire night! But, so far, I've resisted the urge - contenting myself with wandering around the beautiful Christmas displays at country houses and garden centres, making notes and stealing ideas as I go. Who can resist the wonder of Narnia at Castle Howard or the beautifully tasteful displays at Burton Agnes Hall - well, clearly I can't! Garden Centres outdo themselves every year, turning into magical wonderlands with festive events galore to tempt us in. From a Festive Farm Event at Eastfield Garden Centre to the spectacular Santa…
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“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

L.M MONTGOMERY - ANNE OF GREEN GABLES I most certainly agree with Lucy Montgomery on this one. I LOVE October! The colours, the crisp, fresh morning sunrises, squelchy muddy walks in wellies, kicking through piles of leaves and cosy fireside evenings. October conjures all these lovely images. Nowadays it is impossible not to forget Halloween.  I say nowadays – if, for those of you like me of a certain age, your childhood didn’t contain dressing up in a scary costume and knocking on doors to receive a ton of sweets from your neighbours. For us, the modern-day Halloween ‘tradition’ does…
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