Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Apples and pumpkins.... Oh, and don't forget the facial!!


Gemstone: Opal
Flower: Calendula

Visual Warning: This post is brought to you in the colours of Autumn!!

Looking out from my window, there is the most glorious Virginia Creeper, which is at its most glorious best in autumn, turning every shade of russet imaginable. This year, it is looking particularly superb. Autumn is simply my favourite season of them all. There are a few days early in the season, in which we have a glimpse of summer, pleasant warmth in which to bask, which is followed by crisper weather and the chance of hugely enjoyable walks amongst the fallen leaves. Of course it is the trees in their astonishing variety of colour, which are the stars of the show! One day, I plan to travel to New England in the fall, to see the world famous trees there too and to soak up the incredible autumnal views.

October Facts

October was the eighth month in the Roman Calendar, the word octem being the Roman word for eight. The Anglo Saxons called it Wyn Monath, because traditionally it was the month for making wine. October is designated as Black History Month, and as such, is both a month of cultural celebration and contemplation. On 18th October, St. Luke’s Day, it was traditionally a day when girls were supposed to have some insight into their marriage prospects. Us singletons are supposed to put on a face balm made from a mixture of honey, vinegar and spices and to recite the following rhyme:

St. Luke, St. Luke, be kind to me,
In dreams let me my true love see!

Personally, I think any true love would be highly likely to run in the opposite direction if approached by a woman wearing a face mask of vinegar, honey and spices!! But as Saint Luke is the patron saint of doctors, following in the footsteps of that particular tradition may well serve only to attract the timely attentions of the local psychiatrist!!!

Dates for your October Filofax: 

1st October:  The official beginning of English pudding season.  Traditionally made in a pie bowl, filled with leek, steak and mushrooms, and suet crust pastry sides and lid, covered in muslin, tied together with string, and steamed. Of course any filling of choice may be used nowadays, sweet or savoury. So enjoy your steamed puddings this month!!
12th October:  Columbus Day, USA.
21st October: Trafalgar Day and National Apple Day. There are hundreds of apple based events in the UK, literally too many for me to begin to list….so look up your local paper and possibly discover an Apple Day event near you.
24th October: United Nations Day.
25th October:  Punky Night. Hinton St. George, Somerset. This always falls on the last Thursday of October. It dates from the middle ages and is based on a true story. When the men of Hinton St George went off to a local fair and failed to return home, their wives and children carved faces from pumpkins, placed a candle inside and went searching for them by the light of a Jack O’ Lantern. The village still has a large punky procession and competition in which the best pumpkin is chosen. This tradition gets a special mention, as it not only dates right back to the middle ages, but also my dear dad, (pictured here at my Master's graduation,)  lives very near to that very village!!
31st October:   Halloween, (All Hallows’ Eve, ie the eve of All Saints’ Day.)  This is thought to be the one’scary’ night of the year when ghosts witches and fairies are believed to be particularly active. Traditionally, in the UK, it was also known as Mischief Night. The UK has imported the US custom of ‘Trick or Treat’ in which children accompanied by their parents dress up and call on neighbours and friends to collect sweets and treats. It is a night when we carve pumpkin tea light lanterns to display in our windows and is often used as an excuse to hold great fancy dress parties! The Irish story goes that Jack of the Jack o’Lantern fame, was a man who was not allowed into Heaven because he was a miser, and neither was he allowed into Hell, because he had played so many tricks on the devil. So, Jack was forced to walk until Judgement Day, finding a way home, just using his lantern.  

Religious Calendar: 

1st- 7th October:  The Festival of Jewish Tabernacles (Sukkot.)
 4th October:   Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi.
18th October: St. Luke’s Day. Traditionally seen as a day on which we get fine weather, often known as St.Luke’s Little Summer. (Hmm…. Wait and see on that one!!)
28th October: A celebratory Diwali display to be held in Trafalgar Square in London, called Diwali in the Square, celebrating the Hindu Festival of Lights. However Diwali itself is of course in November.
The Feast Day of St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes, hopeless and despairing situations. Often he is prayed to in extreme matters of life and death. It is customary to give thanks when your prayers are answered, by publishing a thank you to St Jude in a newspaper, so that others then know that they can call upon his help too. 

October Dates in History.

1st October 1974:    The first McDonald’s burger chain opened in the UK in London.
3rd October 1906:    SOS officially became the Morse Code distress signal.   
(... _ _ _  Dit dit dit, dah dah dah... and repeat!!)
3rd October 1959:     Post codes were first introduced.
14th October 1066:   The Battle of Hastings took place. There’s such a pretty wee town there in East Sussex called Battle by the way!!

A Bliss Filled Hour…. Just for You!!

Your task for a shining hour this month is in honour of Apple Day on 21st October. You are to have apples somewhere on the menu; as apple sauce with pork, hot , or with cold meats or Stilton Cheese  in a sandwich, an apple pie or crumble, or in the form of an ice cold cider or scrumpy from the fridge. Or indeed both! Just don’t try to drive or do anything much afterwards!! Personally, I enjoy an apple with a ploughman’s lunch, and love to try new varieties. If you don’t like apples, then maybe give an all American pumpkin pie a go………… whatever you choose to do...... keep on shining folks!!

Friday, 31 August 2012

Let's shine in September 2012.


Gemstone: Sapphire

Flower: Aster

Full Moon: 30/09/12

Well, here is my first proper blog post, with dates for your diary for the month of September.
First, a few historical facts about this month. The name September comes from the Latin word Septem, meaning seven, because in the Roman calendar it was the seventh month. The Romans believed that the God Vulcan took care of this month, as he was the God of Fire and Blacksmiths, and the Romans believed that fires, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions were more likely to happen in this month than in any other.The Anglo Saxons called September Gerst Monath, barley month, as September was traditionally the month when barley wine was brewed. If it is anything like the ginger wine our family has at Christmas, then it is sure to be delicious. The Saxons also called it Haefest Monath, or harvest month. In Medieval England, the harvest began on 24th September. However, Lammas Day, 1st August, has traditionally been a day to give thanks for the Harvest and literally means Loaf Mass. Farmers baked loaves of bread from the new crop, to give as a gift to the church. Harvest Festival was first instigated in the time of Henry VIII. Michaelmas Day, September 29th, is traditionally the last day of the harvest. It is named after the Archangel Michael and is his feast day. He is the patron saint of the sea, maritime lands, seafarers and also horses and horsemen.
Dates for your September Filofax:
Harvest Festival, Various dates:  Many schools and churches will be having Harvest Festival food collections for charity, and holding assemblies and services. Remember to diary in your local events and have a 'Harvest Basket' prepared, when and if required.
Saturday 8th September: The Last Night of the Proms. An annual British tradition. The second half contains many traditional British pieces, broadcast on the BBC, from The Royal Albert Hall, in London. This year for the first time, it is to be screened live in Odeon Cinemas, and is to be available in 3d tv format. Expect plenty of Union Jack waving and audience participation. 
Tuesday 11th September: 9/11 Remembrance Day.
Thursday 13th September: Roald Dahl Day.
Wednesday 19th September: International Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Friday 21st September:  United Nations' World Peace Day.
Saturday 22nd September: World Car Free Day.
Sunday 23rd September: Autumnal Equinox. First day of Autumn. The day when the length of day and night are nearly equal in all parts of the world.
Wednesday 26th September: European Day of Languages.
Saturday 15th September: The Great River Race, London. The boating equivalent of The London Marathon. A day of fun and frolics on the water.(Starting canon at 10:40am.)
Religious Calendar:
Harvest Festival: Various dates, according to parish and school calendars.
Monday and Tuesday 17th- 18th September:  Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year.)
Wednesday 19th September: Ganesh Chaturthi (Hindu.) Celebrates the birthday of Ganesh, the elephant deity.
Wednesday 26th September: Yom Kippur (Jewish Day of Atonement.)
Saturday 29th September: Michael and All Angels Day (Christian.)

September dates in History:
1st September 1951:  The first supermarket opens at Earl’s Court in London.
2nd- 6th September 1666:   The Great Fire of London.
22nd September 1955:   ITV began broadcasting.
26th September 1955: The first fish fingers went on sale, manufactured at Clarence Birdseye's Factory, in Great Yarmouth. The product was named'fish fingers' by the factory workers.

A Shining Hour for your Filofax- September.
I discovered that on 18th September 1839, George Cadbury was born. When I taught in Bristol, the famous chocolate factory had a conference centre, at Keynsham, at which we teachers received much of our INSET training. The big plus, apart from the training of course, was the Cadbury’s shop, which sold off the factory's chocolate mis- shapes. Staff coffee breaks on the day following an INSET there, were always suitably 'chocolatey'!
This month’s 'Shining Hour Task' to timetable into your Filofax, in honour of George Cadbury, is to buy a bar of your favourite chocolate confection, brew up your favourite hot drink, serve it in a china cup and saucer and savour fully that moment of indulgence. If chocolate can’t make you shine, then nothing can!
Until next month....... keep on shining!
Jane. xx

Friday, 10 August 2012

What's in a name?

My first blog post on Each Shining Hour. So welcome to all my new readers. A very exciting thought that...... a readership!!

I have had the idea for a long time of setting up my own Filofax related blog spot, being an avid fan of Philofaxy, I wanted to give something back. However, I am very aware that many blogs already exist, so.... I wanted to offer something different and unique. Then, it struck me, that I so often write dates into my Filofax, which are purely to do with me, my workday appointments and my family and I have little awareness of other events world wide, some momentous, such as Bastille Day and American Independence Day on July 4th, others trivial, such as National Doodle Day!! I thought it might be fun to list some of those dates, once a month, for the up and coming month, so that you can add them to your Filofax, as and when you wish and when you choose, and again, if you choose, to celebrate or mark appropriately, maybe via fundraising, by doing crafts with the children, by cooking a themed family meal or holding a celebratory party. Not every month..... but when inspiration strikes.

I will also be adding this month's Busy Bee spot, which will feature  a recipe, a be creative theme, related to the up and coming month, or a Filofax/planner  related idea to try out over the coming month. Hence the idea of a monthly, rather than a weekly or fortnighly blog.

Aha..... so why the name of my new blogspot, I hear you ask?? Well, I came upon this little poem, by Issac Watts. It not only made me smile, but also spurned the  idea for my blog 's title.

' How doth the little busy bee,
Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day,
From every opening flower!'

We are often so busy, yet each one of us shines in our own way, and each hour has the chance of being a shining hour. I liked that thought. Don't let the hour go by without making it a shining one, however you can. I wish you all many shining hours and precious moments, no matter how busy your life, and whatever your circumstances, and hope you enjoy my new up and coming monthly blog. The first diary posts will follow at the end of August.... as dates for your September diary.

So, go on get up and shine.Off to enjoy the hour.............

Jane xxxx