Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year 2018, Hogmanay in Scotland

And a Happy New Year to you! We always take time tonight to pray for God's blessing for the coming year and thank Him for His grace through the ending year.

In England and other areas of the UK, especially in Scotland where Hogmanay is celebrated as the New Year's tradition, First Footing plays an important part. The First Footer refers to the first person who crosses the threshhold after midnight and "seals yer fate" for the coming year. The First Footer should be a tall, dark and handsome man with a "dainty foot". Until the First Footer came in the front door after midnight, no one should enter or leave. The First Footer would knock, be asked to enter and do so with gifts in his pockets which have regional variations. :

The usual in my family's tradition was bread or sometimes salt, coal, coins and matches. In Scotland the bread is shortbread and also included...what else? Whiskey! The First Footer then backs out of the he won't take his good luck with him. Then the door (and the party) is free for all! 

The coal means your hearth won't grow cold, your bread is enough food, the coins insure prosperity and the matches, light.

First Footers who met the criteria, were in great demand and could make good money going from house to house by appointment. 

So who will be first through your door??? I know who will be first in our home, as He will never have left! 

A Happy New Year to you all and may 2012 be a year of health, prosperity, peace and happiness in our home and in yours!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Happy Day After Christmas... Boxing Day!

Happy Boxing Day! For those who aren't familiar with the British term, Boxing Day has no pugilistic connotations but refers to the weekday followingChristmas Day when the alms or "poor" offering boxes were opened and distributed to the needy.

Boxing Day gift giving began in the middle ages but was revived by Queen Victoria. 

 After all the feasting of Christmas, the leftovers were distributed to the poor as well as monetary gifts. It was also a time to give gifts to the employees of the great houses and for the tradesmen that had served through the year. Gifts were given to postmen, delivery people, purveyors and shop keepers as well as any employees in your home or estate.

Boxing Day also includes lots of other opportunities that are more active...from after Christmas sales...

This is Harrod's in London before opening for the big Boxing Day Sale... with staff handing out biscuits and small cups of tea to those early waiting in line...

 to fox hunting, which is a famous activity for Boxing Day.

Speaking of sales...

Time Was Antiques after Christmas sale starts today... 15% OFF everything with code SANTAFORGOT

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and enjoy your boxing Day. 
Here is the Queen's annual Christmas message from Queen Elizabeth II video in case you missed it.
As usual... Brilliant Ma'am!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

July 29th Anniversary of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's Wedding 1981

On July 29th, 1981 Prince Charles and Princess Diana were wed at St. Paul's Cathedral in London.  Their son Prince William married his Catherine on April 29, 2011.

It's amazing to think how long ago and how much has changed since then...
I remember the wedding well...

Their oldest, Prince William, wed Catherine in 2011...

And Prince Harry in May of this year.....

If your are looking for souvenirs of the Royal Weddings... visit

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Happy Birthday Prince George!

Happy 5th birthday today, July 22nd, to Prince George, son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Catherine...

This photo, released by the royal family, was taken at his grandfather, Prince Charles' hom in London, Clarence House following his brother Louis' christening on July 9th...
typical cheeky boy grin...

 It wasn't long ago...last year in fact...that he headed off to school....

And we remember his birth too!

in 2013...
We still have a few commemorative mugs left that were made for Prince George's birth, and a tea towel as well at


Monday, July 16, 2018

Swan Upping Starts Today

Just thought you might enjoy knowing....

Today, July 22nd, is  the start of the five-day ‪ Royal and annual Swan Upping ceremony in the English rivers around the Thames...

The ceremony, led by The Queen's Swan Marker is responsible for an annual count and health evaluation of the Queen's swans....
The historic ceremony dates back to the 12th Century, when the Crown claimed ownership of all mute swans.

In the Swan Upping ceremony, the Swan Markers identify, weigh, and health check cygnets or baby swans before releasing them. The Swan Upper advises organisations throughout the UK on swan welfare, and works with fishing and boating organisations, helping them work with existing wildlife and maintaining the swans' natural habitat.

Children from local schools are invited every year to watch the ceremony so they too can learn how to protect the local swan population.  We were in the area one year during the Swan-upping on one of our annual UK visits, and quite a few folks were present to see it. These photos are from the UK Press Assoc.   For more info, click on the links below:

English traditions are always wonderful, and so interesting, don't you think? 

And adding that July 17th is the 70th birthday  of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, wife of Prince Charles. 

This birthday portrait was released by Clarence House last year, and was done by the favorite Royal family photographer, Mario Testino.

Our daughter's birthday is also July 17th, so will be celebrating that too!

This drawing of swans was presented to The Queen by the Royal Academy of Arts in 1953 as part of a coronation gift, and is now in the Royal Collection Trust.


Saturday, June 30, 2018

Happy Birthday Tower Bridge!

June 30, 1894, Tower Bridge in London was opened...
truly an engineering marvel...

an iconic landmark.  Here are several photos from a couple of visits, including some taken from the Thames from a lunch/sightseeing cruise we did...

One visit we took the Tower Bridge Experience which takes you inside to see how the bridge decks are opened using the gigantic cantilevered bascules.  When the bridge was opened, it was an architectural and engineering marvel...and it still is!

You enter from the Southwark side and if you go, be prepared for lots of stairs, or long elevator waits. But it is fascinating! 

Tower Bridge was designed to blend in architecturally with the MUCH older Tower of London and I think it's a wonderful accompaniment!  

So happy birthday Tower Bridge!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Happy Birthday Prince William

Wishing a happy birthday to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge...

born June 21, 1982... above photo from a few years ago with his beloved grandmother, Queen Elizabeth...

This is one of the many plates that commemorated William's birth to Prince Charles and Princess Diana...

Now married to Catherine and father of 3 children...
amazing how time flies!

I think this antique Happy Birthday postcard says it all! 

Birthday Greetings
With affectionate wishes
for your future

Friday, June 8, 2018

Trooping The Colour For the Queen 2018 On Her Official 92nd Birthday

Saturday, 9 June, the Coldstream Guards will Troop their Colour for The Queen's Birthday Parade, a ceremony that has marked the official birthday of the Sovereign for over 260 years.

Although the Queen actually turned 92 on April 21, 2018, the official celebration is always in June when weather is generally more predictable.

It is always made extra special when the guard of honour on this occasion...the one of the Queen's Brigade Of Guards regiment presenting the Colours for the Trooping in Her Majesty's honour...falls in rota to the Coldstream Guards, as that was my husband's regiment.

Last year, the Queen and the Duke rode in a carriage, as she has done for the last several years....

Until 1982, the Queen always rode herself, until an attempted assasination during the procession down the Mall...

Now it's her kids and grandkids who ride during the procession...

And the climax is always the Buckingham Palace balcony gathering with a military fly over...I assume the new Duchess of Sussex, Meghan, will join Prince Harry! Probably not Prince Louis though...and perhaps Princess Eugenie's fiance? Fun!

Happy (Official) 92nd Birthday
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