Category: LIFESTYLE

Snuff Bottle – Qing Dynasty

Snuff Bottle, V&A Museum, photo by JMorton

Snuff Bottle – Qing Dynasty

The above object caught my attention immediately, not only because it was exquisitely beautiful but I remember I have a similar one at home, which Peter got me as a gift a couple of years ago.

I thought it was a perfume bottle.  It was only during a visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum two days ago that I learnt it was a snuff bottle, which was used during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912).

Smoking a tobacco was prohibited during the Qing Dynasty, therefore nicotine loving Chinese and Mongolian people had resorted to sniffing powdered tobacco contained in snuff bottles.  Inhaling finely ground tobacco was allowed as consumption was deemed medicinal at that time.

The snuff bottles were constructed as tactile as possible as they are carried by hand replacing the snuff boxes favoured by Europeans.  There were really beautiful, work of art, snuff bottles as they were a symbol of your position, how high up you were in society.  Sharing a snuff during the 16th century China was a form of greetings.

Wonderful to learn new things.  I now know that my ‘perfume bottle’ is actually a snuff bottle.  Where is the tobacco?!!! 🙂

Saint Scholastica

Death of St Scholastica by Johann Baptist Wenzel Bergl

Saint Scholastica

Saint Scholastica (Santa Scholastica) is said to be the twin sister of St Benedict, the founder of Western monasticism. She is a saint recognised by the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Churches.

The twins came from a very affluent family of Norcia (Nursia), in the province of Perugia, southwestern of Umbria, Italy.

The twins were quite religious from an early age.  They were inseparable until St Benedict had to leave for Rome for further studies.

Later on after St Benedict founded his first monastery in Monte Cassino, St Scholastica also headed a female version (nuns) of the Benedictine monastery just a few miles from Monte Cassino.

St Scholastica Reliquary, V&A Museum, photo by JMorton

The above is a reliquary, a container of holy relics.  The hand is shown holding a bird, which is reminiscent of how St Benedict saw the soul/spirit of his dead sister as she ascended into heaven in the form of a dove.

The above St Scholastica reliquary was made from silver and originated in Spain and now proudly displayed at the Victroria and Albert Museum.  It is quite spectacular.  The little glass hole was once used to view the relic from St Scholastica’s left arm.

St Scholastica is the patron saint of nuns, convulsive children, schools, tests, books, reading (there are many schools and colleges named after St Scholastica).  She is also the saint to invoke against storms and rain.

There was a mystical  story regarding St Scholastica and St Benedict.  Apparently the twins met up once a year in an inn inbetween their respective monasteries.

St Scholastica begged her brother to stay with her for the evening so they can continue praying and discussing religious matters.  But St Benedict refused; he was adamant, he had a rule of spending the nights in his cell in his monastery.

With clasped hands, St Scholastica prayed in earnest, there was suddenly heavy rain and storm, making it impossible for St Benedict to leave.

St Benedict was not very pleased! Benedict asked, “What have you done?”, to which she replied, “I asked you and you would not listen; so I asked my God and he did listen. So now go off, if you can, leave me and return to your monastery.” Benedict was unable to return to his monastery, and they spent the night in discussion.[

Three days later, St Scholastica passed away; St Benedict saw the dove flying into the heavenly blue yonder instinctively knowing that it was his sister.

St Benedict ordered for his sister’s body to be brought into his monastery for burial in the space he allotted for himself.  In the end they were buried together as St Benedict also passed away not too long after.

Her feast day is 10 February!

Saint David’s Day

Saint David’s Day

 

March 1st  is Saint David’s Day.

Did you remember to celebrate it yesterday?

The first day of March was chosen in remembrance of the death of Saint David as traditionally it is believed that he might have died on that day in 569, 588 or even 589; the date is uncertain.

Stainglass picture of St David of Wales

Stainglass depicting St David of Wales

St David (Dewi Sant) was a Celtic monk, abbot and bishop, who lived in the sixth century.  He spread the word of Christianity across Wales.

St David's own flag flown over Churches and some public buildings on St David's Day

St David’s own flag flown over Churches and some public buildings on St David’s Day

A  famous story about Saint David tells how he was preaching to a huge crowd and the ground is said to have risen up, so that he was standing on a hill and everyone had a better chance of hearing and seeing him.

 He was born towards the end of the 5th century. He was of the royal house of Ceredigion, and founded a Celtic monastic community at Glyn Rhosyn (The Vale of Roses) on the western headland of Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro) where St David’s Cathedral  stands today. David was famous for being a teacher.  His monastery at Glyn Rhosin became an important Christian shrine and important centre in Wales. Before  his death, Saint David is said to have uttered these words: “Brothers be ye constant. The yoke which with single mind ye have taken, bear ye to the end; and whatsoever ye have seen with me and heard, keep and fulfil.”

Welsh ex-pats around the  world celebrate St David’s Day. The  daffodil  & the leek are the national emblem of Wales and badges of which are worn with pride.

Daffodil flower and emblem of Wales

Daffodil flower and emblem of Wales

Why a leek as an emblem?  One theory is that St David advised the Welsh, on the eve of battle with the Saxons, to wear leeks in their caps to distinguish friend from the enemy. Shakespeare mentions in Henry V, that the Welsh archers (fearsome for the power and accuracy of their legendary long bows,)  wore leeks at the battle  with the French at Agincourt in 1415.

The Leek vegetbale an other emblem of Wales

The Leek vegetable an other emblem of Wales

The traditional meal on St David’s Day is cawl. This is a soup that is made of leek and other locally grown produce.

Another symbol of Wales is  the iconic Welsh Dragon  in Welsh- Y Ddraig Goch (“the red dragon”)

Welsh National-Flag

The Welsh National Flag

It  appears on the national flag of Wales. The flag is also called Y Ddraig Goch.

The Historia Brittonum(History of Britons written around 828)  records the first  use of the dragon to  symbolise Wales.

The Dragon was popularly supposed to have been the battle standard of the legendary King Arthur  other ancient Celtic leaders. archaeological  literature, and documentary history suggests that  it evolved from an earlier Romano-British national symbol.  During the reigns of the  Tudor Monarchs, the red dragon was used as a symbol of support  in the English Crown’s coat of arms (one of two supporters, along with the traditional English lion).  The red dragon is often seen as symbolising all things Welsh, and flags are flown  by many public and private institutions in Wales and some in London too.

………………..

1 March 2014

To celebrate St David’s Day Google has this special doodle to commemorate the occasion.

st-davids-day-2014-5651391519391744.2-hp

 

 

Walis Tambo (Whisk Broom)

Walis tambo, photo by JMorton

Walis Tambo (Whisk Broom)

Walis tambo is a cultural icon of the Philippines.  The tambo is more than just a broom.  It is part of everyday life for Filipinos. It makes for shiny and clean floor. 🙂  It is handy and can be used anywhere in the house (but not the bathroom as a mop  or a walis tingting might be more useful).

it is known as walis tambo because the soft bristles are made from the phragmites reed called tambo in the Philippines.  The reeds flower in December and the blooms are gathered together to make the walis tambo, much beloved by Filipinos.

Like most Asian countries, many in the Philippines still sleep on bare floors over a thin covering of mats and blankets, therefore there is a need for clean floors.

The walis tambo, is so portable and noiseless that it is more useful than a  vacuum cleaner to sweep and clean shiny wooden and tile floorings at any given time.

Marilou, my sister bought a couple of walis tambo to take back to Los Angeles, CA. She insisted to buy the broom from Baguio.  Apparently the Baguio made are thicker, thus sweeps better, and last longer.  You learn something everyday.

 

Famous Love Triangles

Sometimes, LOVE is not a smooth sailing love affair.  In fact it can be a source of great stress and distress.

Facts and fictions are not without a love triangle.

A love triangle is a romantic relationship involving three people.

Diana, Charles & Camilla

The 20th century’s  most famous love triangle must have been the Diana (Princess of Wales) Charles and Camilla.love triangle.

When Diana was once asked if Camilla was a factor in the breakdown of her marriage, she famously quoted:

Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.

More Love Triangles:

  • Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie-Pitt
  • Liz Taylor, Eddie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds
  • King Arthur, Queen Guinevere and Lancelot
  • Mr Darcy, Bridget Jones & Daniel Cleaver
  • Rick Blaine, Ilsa Lund & Victor Lazlo (Casablanca)
  • Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton & Monica Lewinsky

 

Valentine’s Day Playlist

Photo by PH Morton

I Pink Roses, photo by JMorton

Valentine’s Day Playlist

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us.  Those who would like to celebrate this auspicious day for lovers, here is a tip for background music for the day and night.

  1.  To Make you Feel My Love – Neil Diamond
  2. Make It With You – Bread
  3. You Belong To Me – Bob Dylan
  4. You’re Still The One – Shaina Twain
  5. One Night – The Corrs
  6. I love You Always Forever – Donna Lewis
  7. Kiss Me – Sixpence None the Richer
  8. L O V E – Joss Stone
  9. The Wonder of You – Elvis Presley
  10. Unchained Melody – Righteous Brothers
  11. Only You – The Platters
  12. When A Man Loves a Woman – Percy Sledge
  13. Suddenly – Billy Ocean
  14. I’m Your Man – Leonard Cohen
  15. What Took You So Long – Emma Bunton
  16. Kiss Kiss – Holly Valance
  17. Whenever, Wherever – Shakira
  18. King & Queen of Hearts – David Pomeranz
  19. Love is All Around – Wet Wet Wet
  20. Midnight Blue – ELO

365 Days Love Quotes

LOVE, Love, LoVe, love, LovE

What the world really needs is love, lots and lots of it.

Love is all we need!

365 Days Love Quotes

Therefore in addition to our standard Thought of the Day, we will also add quotes, songs or other bits and pieces to live by or to inspire, uplift our spirit or to make us happy and probably even make us little sad.

Love is not always sweet, it can be a bitter pill especially if love is not returned, a one sided love, or one has been spurned. 🙁

But it has been said love will see you through.

We will gather love quotes as many as we possibly can.

We will create a scrapbook of love.  We will try to compile and at the same time spread a bit of love to everybody.  GlobalGranary is into spreading peace, love and goodwill to all mankind. 😉  We try anyway.

Please let us know if you have anything to add, your own favourite quotation perhaps, something that you deeply believed in? Of course you can add your comment/s at any time under a particular inspirational quotation or quotations.  You can even leave us a message to add a corresponding song to a particular message.  We will endeavour to add them into the site as best we can.

Love and Peace

GlobalGranary.Org

The Birth of Christ

1622gerard_van_honthorst

Gerard van Honthorst, 1622

The Birth of Christ

There is so much materialism now attached to Christmas that we are overlooking what we should truly celebrate.

Christmas is the birth of Christ, the saviour of all.  It is time to give Him thanks and praise, also remembering him by showing love and kindness to all mankind.

It is lovely to receive presents and giving is its own reward.

As quoted on a board in Islington underground on 23 December 2016, Christmas is not about the presents under the Christmas tree but the people around it.

HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!