Sunday, 31 October 2010

Happy Samhain and the Winner is...

Well it's here and it has slid in without enough preparation from us. The bug we have had has still got its hold on us and the only positive effect it is having is that it gives such horrible aches and pains that I can save a fortune on any zombie costume whilst having the walk down pat!
Really has been a rotten few weeks sadly so haven't managed to post anything here as just getting ourselves up and about has proved to be a bit too hard at times. But we do need to do the announcement of the Bloggerversary winner. So this morning we have sat here, entered each name the appropriate amount of times into our very special sorting hat and here we are with the winner being (drum roll)..... Kally!
Kally is relatively new in the world of Blogging and is celebrating her first Samhain today with her littleuns. So if you can, do take a wander over to her blog, she has some lovely things to tell you all about.

Create your own banner at!
Hope to be back next week with more of our ramblings, showing you hopefully how we managed to celebrate today. Am now off to make a brain jelly for my mums Hallowe'en party. Good Samhain blessings to you all.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Sniff Snuffle urgh

Not well feeling awful, can't put a clear thought together let alone a post, so on the basis I haven't had much response am re-posting the link for the giveaway and will hopefully be back in a couple of days.

Off to climb back under the duvet....

Friday, 8 October 2010

Samhain/Hallowe’en Visit: Highgate Cemetery

for more photos click here
Well this is the time of year to think about or ancestors. To remember them and where we have come from because of them. But I was thinking, not only should we remember those directly linked to us but how about those who through their existence have directly or indirectly affected us?

I have always been interested in the cemeteries, places of supposed haunting; I find them peaceful and intriguing. Whenever I am in a new area I visited the local cemetery. Not only is it normally a lovely place for a walk, most having beautiful gardens and tree areas, it is also a place where you can learn things.

Highgate cemetery is local to some of my family and one I have visited over the years quite often. They have in the past held “ghost visits” at Hallowe’en to those brave enough to try them.
Highgate cemetery is in London and has lots of “residents” from the inconsequential to the most revered. Open to visitors, although only when a funeral isn’t taking place, you can visit the graves of those who have had a touch of improvement (or maybe otherwise!) on our world. Whether it be the written influences of someone like Douglas Adams (author of Hitchhikers Guide..) or Farzad Bazoft a journalist, executed by Saddam Hussein's regime, or the work leading to the invention of electric dynamo by Michael Faraday, physicist, through to Karl Marx there is someone there who will make you stop and think. To be grateful of whom we are and how we got to be there. Not to mention it is just the most fantastic place of Victorian Gothic to study!
So next time you are passing one, have a look, the messages engraved on the stones should be enough to make you think, if not at least the surroundings are worth a visit.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Samhain/Hallowe’en Marzipan Canapés

So your guests are turning up for your party and you want to have something for them as they come in, just a little something to make them HYPER!!!! Because what’s a party if it hasn’t got a load of kids bouncing of the walls? And these canapés are just the perfect start. Your Littleun can easily make them without much guidance earlier in the day as you get things ready.

You will need:

250g Gold Marzipan (makes approx 18)
200g White marzipan (makes approx 8)
Red or/and Black food paste dye
Orange paste dye
Green paste dye
Wooden spoon
Toothpick/cocktail sticks

Marzipan Skull Method:

Using a knife carefully cut the block of white marzipan into 8 equal sized squares.
Using your fingers shape each piece into a chunky rectangle. Then squeeze the lower part of each one to make a chin making the edges as smooth as you can.
Taking the handle of the spoon press two eye sockets into each skull. Then use a toothpick to press in a nose and mouth
Using the end of your tooth pick dip into the red or black dye pastes and infill carefully the eye, nose and mouth until really dark.

Marzipan pumpkin method:

Unwrap the block of gold marzipan cut of a corner and wrap and put aside. Place the rest onto a clear smooth surface, take the end of a pick and add some of the orange paste to the marzipan then kneed until all mixed in to dark enough colour (don’t forget some paste colours darken after sitting for a while).
Roll a piece of marzipan to make a small ball, flatten slightly on top. Make the rest into small balls of a size you prefer. Put on plate or tray and set aside
Taking the piece of uncoloured marzipan you had set aside at the beginning repeat colour action but this time with the green paste. When done take small bits and roll into stalk shape. Make a hole on the top of the pumpkin part with a stick and add stalk.
Use the end of the toothpick to press two eyes and a row of teeth into each pumpkin.


Wednesday, 6 October 2010

So the B******s Burnt it!

Sorry for the swearing but am so very very mad and saddened by the loss of the pier. Yesterday early morning at least two people decided the pier wasn’t needed anymore and they burnt it. The lovely ballroom is now a shell of twisted metal rising out of the sea. But sadly due to the controversy surrounding the pier I very much doubt that, phoenix style, any restorations will rise as well. It’s just far too much for them to do when they couldn’t even sort out the compulsory purchase order in the first place. So probably its either going to rot for many many years similar to the Brighton one along the coast or someone might actually get around to pulling it all down.

Think this poem I found on You-tube sums up the Towns feelings rather well. It’s by a lad called Christian Watson:
"They Burned it Down"

They burned it,
They burned it down.
One of the best things about this town.
They burned it with inaction and excuses,
Time, lack of money, lack of care.
Don’t it make you feel useless?

If they had given me a hammer and a couple of nails,
If they had given me some glue and a bucket of paint.
If they had given into the peoples demands,
If they had given me permission
If they had given me a hand.

They leave this town rotting,
Observer building, The Ridge;
Moving the Soul of the College into an oversized fridge.
There’s no money in restoring.
It’s all in construction.
In whoring cheap materials cheap labour,
Under the table deals sold of Council favours.
Then give it a few years its up and its “Bye see you later”.

But we have to live here,
While you burn it down.
One building at a time,
Don’t it make you feel proud?

They burned it,
They burned it down.
Two teenagers bored and un-amused
A claim to fame,
Exploding into flames.
And come the morning the gray light smoke fades,
As the soot washes down the drain.

Those boys in a cell they’re just products, two sad little names.
That we can put on the rock that sees this town wither and wane.

Well I’m fed up the uming, the ahing, the handwriting, the handwringing, the sighing.
The filling out forms creating the contracts.
Watch the rats as they feed at the supports.

I’m fed up of waiting.
And when I can see what needs doing.
So grab a hammer, grab a box of nails.
Get some wood from Stamco, get some paint.
And what else?
We just need some people, each with a pair of hands.
Because if we move as one, we can make them give into our demands.

We need to reclaim our seafront, Our beaches, Our castle, Our bricks and mortar.
The town we call home.
Because we knew what needs doing, Where to put the love and care.
It’s time to claim what we own,
Before it’s burnt up and burnt away.
Like the Pier.
That we lost today.

Photo credit Simon Hookey

So what to do, for ages a lot of infighting no doubt. Indifference even maybe? I hope not. I really do. This town is slowly suffering and we need our history to move forward. I hope that it gets rebuilt or a brand new one in its place.
Grr, rant over.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Samhain/Hallowe’en Parties things to do

For the first half of October I am mainly concentrating on the things we will be sorting for the Hallowe’en side of the 31st. And for the second half of October I’ll be posting a bit more about what we will be doing for our personal Samhain celebrations. The two in my mind at least being very different from each other.

As such here is something about one of the props we are going to be using; Wizard/Witches Brew.

It’s very simple for all to do though if very Littleuns are helping watch out for splash back as the vinegar can irritate eyes.
You will need:
A clean glass jar/bottle
Clear (distilled) vinegar
Food dyes
Washing up liquid
Bicarbonate of soda

Half fill the jar/bottle with the clear vinegar. Add several drops of food dye, then sprinkle a little of the glitter over the top of the vinegar.
Add a good squeeze of washing up liquid to the mix. Gently stir with a metal spoon.
Put the jar/bottle onto a tray (which can be disguised as something else) and then add a heaped teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda to the jar. Stand back slightly!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Anniversary Giveaway!!

Ok to celebrate the fact that I have been here for a year and because when you add up the extra few friends I know who read my blog anonymously and the followers who publicly (mad lot of you that you are!) declare an interest there is 150 of you; I am having my second give away. As ever anyone anywhere can enter as long as you follow the usual bits below.

Because when I put 1st anniversary into the Google I got “paper” as the answer, I have gone for a few things that I thought you would find interesting made of paper.

So we have in this giveaway several books, Hallowe’en mobile to make (thought your Littleuns would like it), a diary and calendar with some beautiful faerie artwork and a dream catcher (because my Littleun wanted to add something into the mix and he is fascinated by them!).

There are three books, one on all the things you might ever want to make out of chocolate (got to say the Italian Truffles on page 174 look fantastic), a book on Alternative Therapies covering subjects from aromatherapy to yoga and lastly the 3rd book is called “the Essential Allotment Guide” one I found rather useful this year helping with the basics of starting up an allotment, involving the children in it and the ways to grow things organically.

To Enter the Giveaway:

• Anyone who is a follower of this blog can enter by commenting below! You must be a follower to enter (see sidebar).

• Receive 1 extra entry if have my button on your blog. Please include a link to your blog in your comment entry below.

• Receive another extra entry if you post about this giveaway in your blog and link it back to here. Please include a link to your post in your comment entry below.

You can leave all the links in one comment, no need for individual comments. Closing date is30th October with draw by random magic hat technical system on the 31st October. Good luck to you all!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

The Ceremony of May at The Stables Theatre

^click to enter The Ceremony of May^

Take this chance if you are in the area of popping over to Hastings, Sussex on the 6th October to see The Ceremony of May and Travels Through Time being performed at the Stables Theatre, The Bourne, TN34 3BD. Well worth the visit you’ll be tapping away and grinning before you know it.

Travels Through Time:

Dip into a dramatic exploration of episodes from local life. From Smugglers and witches, entertainers and poets to modern fishing quotas, the company weave a dramatic musical tale adding both verse and quotes from contempory sources.

Ceremony of May

The Ceremony of May was cited a “complete triumph” when premiered at the years Jack in The Green in Hastings and rapturously received at Rochester Sweeps Festival. Rose Blakeley’s expressive poetry on the mystical traditions of spring, adeptly set to music by Sussex violinist Garry Blakeley, becomes a fiery fusion, with Jane Downes’ redolent tones conveying the magic.

Tickets are available for The Stables Box Office on 01424 423221 or you can book online at

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Samhain/Hallowe’en Parties, What do you wear?

Littleun has been invited to a friend’s birthday party and as it is the day before Samhain his friends mum has gone with Hallowe’en as a theme for it. Well looking at his fancy dress box and the fact he seems to have turned into a giant overnight none of it is going to fit him. Unfortunately having a few financial issues at the moment means that I am not capable of buying some of those fantastic outfits you see in the stores so together we are going to make one. And like a few years previous Littleun wants to be a skeleton.

from a couple of years ago

We used:
Some white clothing paint
Old Black long sleeved t-shirt, leggings, socks and gloves

Put clothing on Littleun so that you can mark the elbows and knees with tape and mark the middle of the t-shirt at the bottom vertically.
Take of the clothes and lay flat. Roll up the newspapers and stuff the arms and body of the t-shirt.
Using the paint on bones shapes, don’t worry too much about being symmetrical.
Stuff the leggings and repeat painting.
For the hands paint smaller little bones on each finger of the glove and a bigger filled semi-circle on the area which covers the top of the hand.
With the socks we found it easier to put a small food bag onto his feet first then put the sock on, stopped the foot getting covered in paint.

When all done follow paint instructions for curing the clothing.
Paint up face and have a fun time.

Friday, 1 October 2010

31 Days to go but a whole year has been

Well as we all know its 31 days to go till Samhain and we are looking forward to it so much. We have so much to do this month. Our leaf scatter to make, Pumpkins to carve, the place mats, our gifts and things for the altar. But we also have our self reflection to happen too. For tomorrow we will have been on blogger and “out” for a whole year. So not only will we be remembering our ancestors on Samhain but we will be remembering our journey to this point. The ups and downs since opening up to those around us. The “ding” moments where it suddenly became clear, the path forward no longer as troubling as the path behind. A year of change for both of us indeed. We have been so lucky to have shared it with many kind faces, those we know and those perfect strangers all ready with words of encouragement and guidance and great big smiles.

This year: My life though stressful at times doesn’t get to me so much, having now found a way to channel the calm to over-ride the grumps. We have lost friends, sadly passed away. We have gained those friends at the school gates, the groups, Sabbats and meetings. Battles have been won health-wise, for the while at least. Littleun has started School. I have restarted full time work. We have made time for our laughs. Our cousin’s families have increased with new babies, now and soon. We have our allotment and the joy of sharing the tips and tricks with the neighbours on it, plus the fun of walking through the town, popping in to see people sharing the crops and bounty we have got. Our wealth has increased, not financially as you would think by that but the wealth of knowledge, of importance, of irrelevance, of knowing when it matters and when it doesn’t. And one of the best things I have learned this year is Time, find it, make it, enjoy it so that you can share it, share each other.

So here’s to the next year, may it be as interesting, challenging and fun as this one has been, with many more things to do, with friends and family, old and new.