Friday, 21 December 2012

merry christmas to you all

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

If Christmas Day doth fall upon a Tuesday a cold winter and much snow, the summer wet but good peace shall be among Kings and Princes.

Monday, 17 December 2012

deck the halls

Yes it's that time again, to deck the house with holly and ivy but apparently not 
before Christmas Eve as it unlucky to bring into the house before. 
Holly is the most popular, the berries symbolizing Christs blood and it's prickles 
his crown of thorns. I t was also used in pagan times as protection against 
witchcraft and against lightening.
Ivy is useful to have in the house at Christmas as drinking wine with a handful 
of bruised leaves in it is a cure for a hangover!
Mistletoe is another plant that must not be brought in before Christmas Eve, 
most powerful against evil it is also a aphrodisiac  and a plant of fertility! 
hence the kissing under the mistletoe.
After each kiss a berry is picked off and when all the berries have gone the kissing stops!

Saturday, 15 December 2012

16th Dec called O Sapeinta ( O Wisdom)

This is traditionally the start of mince pie season, and you are supposed to eat as 
many pies  from different cooks as possible, for every cook's pie you will have a
 lucky month in the coming year. 
yum yum!

The mince pie was originally rectangular in shape and said to represent Christ's 
manger, these original pies were abominated by the Puritans as popish superstitions.

Idolatry in crust! Babylons whore
Defiled with superstitions, like the gentiles
Of old, that worshipped onions, roots and lentils

Thankfully we got rid of Cromwell and his puritan ways and now the mince pie is 
a staple part of Christmas!

Of course if you don't like mince pies eat chocolate! according to 
William Coles- Adam in Eden 1657
'The confection made of cacao called chocolate or chocoletto is of wonderful 
efficacy for the procreation of children: for it not only vehemently incites to 
Venus but causeth conception in women... and besides that it preserves health, 
for it makes such as it take it often to become fat and corpulent, fair and amiable.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Feast of St Nicholas

The Feast of St Nicholas takes place on the 6th Dec

 St Nicholas was a fourth century bishop of Myra in Asia Minor, who was so pious 
even as a baby that he would only suckle on fast days. 
He is said to have saved three maidens from prostitution by covertly throwing three 
golden balls for their dowries through their windows by night, and to have
 miraculously revived three murdered boys pickled in a brine tub. 
So he is the special patron saint of children as well as pawnbrokers who use the 
three golden balls as a sign. 
His nocturnal kindness is perpetuated in the gifts left by 'Sinte Klass' the Dutch 
American version of his name.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Two farmworkers were on their way to work one day when they saw a mermaid rising from a local pool. She told them of the treasure that had lain at the bottom of the pool for many years and that they could take as much of it as they wished. The two men could not believe their luck so when the mermaid dived back under the water they waded into the muddy water to follow her.
She re -emerged suddenly carrying a huge lump of gold that was as big as the mens heads . They were so astonished that one man swore that 'by God he had never had such luck in his life'. Hearing the oath the mermaid screamed and dived back into the water taking the gold with her. And that was the last they ever saw of the mermaid and the treasure.

a few faerie thingymebobs!

available from

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Faerie Hills

There are many hills that are inhabited by faeries and they can be dangerous places to  set foot upon. But there are a few intrepid souls who venture on to them either in hope of being transported to faerieland  or would be musicians who hope to be endowed with the gift of faerie magic if they spend the night sleeping on the mound.
There is a hill called Pipers Grave at Ednam in the Scottish borders, it is only half a mile from the village where a piper from a local band lived. One night he crept inside the hill so that he could learn  some of the faeries tunes. He was never seen again but sometimes he can be heard playing from deep inside the faerie hill.
But even if he had been released time is different in faerieland and as soon as he stepped foot back in the mortal world the piper would have probably crumbled away to nothing. Which is what happened to two fiddlers who had been hired by the Faerie Queen to play for her guests one night. When they were released and stumbled back onto the hillside after playing all night they crumbled to dust for they had been playing for 200 years.

The hill of Ile in the west highlands is another faerie dwelling where the Faerie Queen lives. Here she hands out from a golden goblet wisdom to all the women of the world.
'Still on the hill when the wisdom was handed out' is the local saying for anybody less than bright! 
 Faeries and Folklore of the British Isles

Friday, 7 December 2012

just a bit of Somerset humour!

Oral tradition has always been  very important in the west country, here is a popular short story that has been told for many years!

One Sunday morning a young man went to visit Mary a maid at the vicarage. He said 'Cor Mary, something smells good in here, what's the vicar got for dinner?'
She replied 'Sheep's head and five dumplings.'
He suggested a game of hide and seek, so she went off to hide and he took one of the dumplings out of the pot. He did this four times, so there was only one dumpling left. He said 'I'd better go now, the vicar will be back soon.'
But before he went he gave the sheep's head and dumplings  in the pot a good stir with a ladle. 
The vicar came in and said 'What's for dinner Mary?'
  She said ' Sheep's head and dumplings,' and she took off the lid to show him and said 'Quick Vicar, the sheep's head has eaten four dumplings and is chasing the other one round the pot like mad!'

Wednesday, 5 December 2012


Faeries will not hesitate to steal un-baptized children, they are especially partial to blondes, replacing them with changelings.
These may be either an old wrinkled elf who wants an easier life or a replica made of wood which under a faerie spell will appear to be alive. This replica often appear to sicken and die, the grieving parents will then bury the wooden changeling.
It is said that faerie births are getting rare and new stock is needed to replenish the blood line but in Scotland there is a more sinister motive as the babies are used to pay the Devils tithes which come due every seven years.
In earlier years many babies that were born ugly or deformed were believed to be a changeling which had horrific consequences. It was believed that one way to get the real mortal child back was to mistreat the changeling until its faeries family exchanged it again.
Placing the substitute on a red hot poker or putting it on the fire or whipping it on the top of a faerie hill was believed to make the changeling reveal itself. The changeling would then disappear and the  real child left in its place.
Men and women were also taken, in 1894 in Clanmel, County Tipperary Bridget Cleary fell under suspicion of being a changeling by her husband Michael. According to him she appeared more refined than usual and had grown an extra two inches. Although she protested her innocence he tortured and burned her to death ' to make the witch confess'. 
Michael Cleary buried the remains of his wife but they were later discovered and he was charged with manslaughter and was sentenced to twenty years hard labour.
In 1843 A Penzance newspaper reported the case of a man who had been charged with ill treating his young child. The child had suffered continous beating from the man and his family  since birth and from the age of 16 months had been made to live outside in the outbuildings. The man's excuse was that he believed the child was a changeling and that his real child had been taken by the faeries and amazingly enough the case was dismissed against him!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Faeries and Folkore

Faeries and Folklore of the British Isles
Available from Amazon and my website
A great pressie for the little faeries in your life!!

Great introduction to the host of strange sightings of supernatural beings who inhabit the British Isles
Many of these folk tales can be traced back to Celtic times and have been passed on orally, from old wives tales to the spellbinding faerie stories we were told as children.

Holly is a sacred tree

The holly is a lucky tree and sacred to the Druids as it symbolises life and immortality.
Faeries revere the holly and will take revenge on anybody damaging the tree. The only time it is permissible to cut the holly is on Christmas Eve as it is an important addition to the Christmas wreath. It was a Celtic custom to gather holly and ivy for decorating the home during the winter symbolising that life and growth would return.
The faeries and elves would also come in with the greenery for shelter during the cold months, in return for shelter they would cause no mischief.
Every berry and sprig of holly must be removed from the house by 31st January, Imbolc Eve otherwise the more mischievous kinds of faeries like goblins will be encouraged to stay.

'Down with the rosemary and so
Down with the baeis and mistletoe
Down with the holly, ivie and all
Wherewith ye drest the Christmas hall
That so the superstition find
Not one least branch there left behind
For look how many leaves there be
Neglected there maids trust to me
So many goblins you shall see!

Robert Hemick

Saturday, 1 December 2012

O dirty December

O Dirty December
Yet Christmas remember

On the 1st December 1750 for a wager seven men were buttoned without straining into the waistcoat of Mr Edward Bright of Maldon Essex; who lately deceased at the age of twenty nine and who was esteemed to be the fattest man that ever lived in Britain. He weighed about fifty one and a half stone and stood above five feet nine inches tall; his frame was of astonishing bulk and his legs were as thick as a middling man's body, yet he was surprisingly active.
Hone Everyday Book 1829