Red Rose Hatbox

Valentine’s Day

Pippa and Ellie Valentine's Day Leave a Comment

Well it would appear that you have medieval England and Chaucer no less to thank for that expensive bunch of flowers and card that it appears the date February 14th warrants. Although there is a link with an ancient and somewhat permissive Roman feast and certainly St. Valentine himself it seems to be more an invention of courtly love, endorsed by the Duc s’Orleans, imprisoned in the tower, pounced upon by the Victorians and commercialised by Hallmark in America.

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Tree in a Snowy Wood

The Last Day Of This Christmas Time For The Little White Horse

Pippa and Ellie Christmas Leave a Comment

Pulled up short by these most unexpected sights and feelings, he took great breaths of the light and pure air, realising that by some sort of miracle, he was no longer afraid at all, but happy in the light of the moon and he looked up to the glorious stars, snorting in the cold air so his breath formed clouds, he stamped his hooves and arched his little head back high under the heavens…and all around him there glowed a great light….
He began to walk slowly through the forest, revelling in each enchanted snowflake and the filigree of the frost and the way his breath held frozen in the air…celebrating in the divergence of the paths around him, as he picked his way through the forest, confident in his passage as it was lit by tiny fireflies and a curious light that moved with him.
And then suddenly all the nocturnal woodland folk came out to play by the light of the galleon moon, the rabbits, the stoats, the badgers, the bats, the voles, the owls, the deer and most important of all, the great White Stag.

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Woods Gleaming in the Snow

The Night Before Christmas and Not a Leaf Was Stirring…

Pippa and Ellie Christmas Leave a Comment

One day Stumpy stayed with his friends a little too long as they were all excited about Christmas and it was that most magical of nights: Christmas Eve.
The dusk began to entwine around his tired eyes and he began to worry about getting home safely through the dark…Stumpy had never been in the forest after dark and his eyes were not accustomed to the inky cloak of the oncoming night and it all seemed very murky and he could not see clearly at all; then on this cold dank night the fog began to creep in to make things worse and the little horse could not see at all…in fact Christmas Eve was turning out not to be magical at all…

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The Gate To Stumpy's Snowy Field

Of Evergreens, and Roses and Heavenly Beliefs

Pippa and Ellie Christmas Leave a Comment

Tonight, is really a big secret, for it is the REAL start of Christmas, not the 1st of Advent or the Holiday season but that season of suspension between the Winter Solstice, when the Yule Log is begun to be burnt and the Wild Hunt roams the midnight forest, and Christmas Day and its apotheosis – Epiphany and the arrival …

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Fallen Angel by Alison Lingley

One Robin + One Tree + Two Cats = @#??!

Pippa and Ellie Christmas 2 Comments

When I was a little girl and we were still in Bristol, my parents had quite a collection of Christmas ornaments, the traditional glass balls which the cats enjoyed shattering at any given opportunity, the angel, the multi-coloured lights which inevitably fused every single Christmas as lights always did in those days and so on. As was traditional then the Christmas Tree did not go up until just before Christmas Day right towards the end of Advent, and so was an event of huge excitement. My favourite decoration was a little, extremely realistic, Robin which was always placed near the top of the tree, as near to the angel as possible.

Two days before Christmas, just after we had finished decorating the tree, we all dressed up and went to the local Carol Service which was very exciting for we were allowed to stay up late for us and would have hot chocolate on our return home.

Well that was the plan anyway,…

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Sheet Music

There’s No Time Like The Present

Pippa and Ellie Christmas Leave a Comment

“I wrapped my Christmas Presents early this year, but I used the wrong wrapping paper.
See the paper I used said “Happy Birthday”.
I didn’t want to waste it so I just wrote “Jesus” on it.”
Demetri Martin – American Comic

What a great reframe! To say nothing of thrift, accuracy and a wicked sense of humour…and a sprinkling of truth! After all it is actually Jesus’s OFFICIAL birthday that we celebrate on December 25th, albeit wrapped up with the Winter Solstice, Festivals of Light, Egyptian and Roman deities and so on…so whilst we are busy giving each other presents, it only seems fair to give something to Jesus as we don’t know the exact time of his birth.

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Ellie Dreaming of a White Christmas

Little Donkey

Pippa and Ellie Advent, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Tomorrrow is December 1st and as we ease into the last month of the year, we also approach the season of Christmas through Advent.

Advent, is not only the Advert season, as I mentioned in my previous post, but the time for the Carol service and the Nativity play, endless pre-Christmas parties and extra gatherings for family and friends and, of course, the inevitable present-hunting and wrapping, and food shopping and house decoration and tree hunting and holly hiving…..and so on.

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Christmas Rose Advent Wreath

Advent

Pippa and Ellie Advent Leave a Comment

Better known as the ADVERT season by the shops….

And here we are on the eve of so-called “Black Friday”, the day after Thanksgiving, and apparently £8 billion pounds is expected to be spent over the next four days…

Here I confess to feeling just a little bit hypocritical as this is yet another commercial site…but I hope that these flowers will bring joy for many years to come too, rather than, as I often have done, be a throw away, disposable purchase. That they are a symbol of the season…..

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Harvest Festival Fruit Berries and Roses Dakota Hatbox

Thanksgiving

Pippa and Ellie Seasonal, Thanksgiving Leave a Comment

After Remembrance Sunday I find my thoughts start to focus on Christmas, but when I lived in America, of course Thanksgiving was the big feast on the horizon.

There is an interesting relationship between the two Festivals in Canada where the proximity of the Armistice to Thanksgiving on November 6th prompted the Canadians to move Thanksgiving to the 2nd Sunday in October, which is closer to our own Harvest Festivals. Indeed, it appears that the first Thanksgivings in the now United States occurred after the safe arrival of 38 settlers at Berkeley Hundred, Virginia as dictated by the group’s charter from The London Company. (Set up by James I for the specific goal of colonising the Americas.)…..

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Remembrance Poppies

They Shall Not Grow Old, As We Grow Old

Pippa and Ellie Remembrance, Seasonal Leave a Comment

There is a curious irony in that one of the most universal use of “silk” or paper flowers is the famous Poppy worn by millions throughout the world on Remembrance Sunday to honour those fallen in battle and to symbolise hope and peace amongst conflict.

“In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow”
Lt.Colonel John McCrae, Canadian Army.

In 1915 amidst the mud torn and battle scarred fields, the little red poppy (Papaver Rhoeas) flourished even in the middle of the fiercest fighting. When a friend of McCrae’s, Lt.Alex Helmer, was killed at Ypres, he wrote the now world famous poem “In Flanders’ Fields”…..

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