Friday, 18 January 2019

It might be a Christmas Present..................

..........or I could keep it.

 This was on the shelf in the charity shop when I went in to do my stint last week.  I picked it up, dusted underneath and then decided not to put it back on the shelf and it came home with me. With volunteers 20% discount it was 80p so didn't break the bank.
I was thinking that with some cheese or biscuits it could make a present but maybe I'll keep it. I was very good and moved two rarely used items from the dining room cupboard into the car-boot box under the in and two out is supposed to be my plan this year.

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Thursday, 17 January 2019

Old Twelfth Night

It's Old Twelfth Night..................Old Twelfth Night?
All due to the change of calendar in 1752..
I read quite a lot about calendars in a book that I found at the Giant charity book sale in Colchester last October. I shelved the book and forgot I had it until last week.

This is my Very Short History of calendars..............

Around 4,000BC the Egyptians were the first to calculate the solar year of 365 days dividing it into 12 months of 30 days each plus 5 days. Later they calculated it should be 365¼ days
The Romans had originally used a 10 month lunar year of about 304 days but around 700BC they added 2 more months making a year 355 days. By Julius Caeser's time the calendar was way out and in 45BC he introduced the Julian Calendar, based on a 365 day year with an extra day every 4 years. The only thing they didn't work out back then was 7 day weeks, instead they reckoned the days before and after set points.  Things should have been OK from then onward except that  sometime before AD 377 Emperor Constantine introduced the 7 day week but put the organising of the calendar back in the hands of religious groups who wanted the calendar to link to the moon for their major festival of Easter.
After the collapse of the Roman Empire the Christian church was the only organisation able to control the calendar and because they regarded any scientific enquiry into dates as heresy things got very confusing.
The errors became obvious and annoying and in 1582 Pope Gregory   announced changes to correct the faults including the problem with the ¼ day over. (The Gregorian Calendar) Easter was still being calculated by the moon. BUT newly Protestant countries such as Britain thought the whole thing a Popish plot and refused to change, so for more than a century half of Europe was 10 days ahead of the other half.
(So disagreeing with Europe isn't a new thing!)
But it all got sorted in  1752.

Didn't do the wassailing of my Apple trees on the 6th as I had no cider or apple juice in the house so I'm out there tonight with my cider soaked toast....... and have a bottle in store for using with Rosemary for that cold cure. Just in case.

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Wednesday, 16 January 2019

The Light in the Dark by Horatio Clare


 I was looking forward to reading this as I'd previously read his biography of childhood " Heading for the Hills".

This is the Amazon description........ Winter...............
It is a time of introspection, of looking inwards. Seasonal sadness; winter blues; depression – such feelings are widespread in the darker months. But by looking outwards, by being in and observing nature, we can appreciate its rhythms. Mountains make sense in any weather. The voices of a wood always speak consolation. A brush of frost; subtle colours; days as bright as a magpie’s cackle. We can learn to see and celebrate winter in all its shadows and lights.

In this moving and lyrical evocation of a British winter and the feelings it inspires, Horatio Clare raises a torch against the darkness, illuminating the blackest corners of the season, and delving into memory and myth to explore the powerful hold that winter has on us. By learning to see, we can find the magic, the light that burns bright at the heart of winter: spring will come again.

Well, that's what they said but I found it disappointing. It's a short book written as a diary of the winter of 2017/18 by someone who suffers with seasonal depression.
This is the way he gets through the weather and work and I think could have been written by anybody slightly depressed and living in the North of England through last winter!

An interesting short read  but it didn't cheer me up, just made me thankful for libraries so that I hadn't had to spend £12.99 to read it!

This is the 4th book read this month, the rest were all crime fiction so it was good to have a change. The library van is round again later this week and I still have 8 books unread.
Notes about books read have been entered on the new 2019 page.

Thanks for all the comments yesterday and hello to 3 new followers, hope you enjoy reading.

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