Happy New Year 2018

rambling ratz

Happy New Year, Gott Nyttar, с новым годом, Prosit Neujahr, Bonne Annee, Feliz Ano Nuevo, Gelukkige Nuwe Jaar, Blwyddyn Newydd Dda, Khushi Nayam Varsa, Xin Nian Kuaile, Nav Varsh Ki Subhkamna, Aremahite Omedieto Gozaimasu. I wish you all the very best in 2018.Drawing of Rambling Ratz with Mistletoe

In the UK it is traditional to kiss under the mistletoe at Christmas. Mistletoe is a symbolic kissing plant due to the Norse legend of Baldur.  Baldur the son of Odin and Frigg was killed by a spear of mistletoe, but then resurrected. Henceforth, a grateful Frigg vowed to kiss anybody she caught strolling under the repentant mistletoe. However, in another interpretation of this legend Frigg declares that mistletoe be a symbol of peace and good luck. During WWI it was common for silk cards embroidered with mistletoe to be given as good luck tokens, and it was the custom in France to give mistletoe at…

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The Stress-Plan Diet

Brilliant :p

The Arty Plantsman

Everyone seems to sell diet plans after Christmas so here is mine. This is based on something I wrote as a leaving gift to my colleague and friend Jane ten years ago. The stress levels have not changed in a decade it seems!

Disclaimer: There are expletives and sexual references in this. Jane has a somewhat robust sense of humour so the content was tailored with her in mind. Views do not necessarily reflect those of the author…..however, I have personally experienced many of the management techniques listed…

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By Anon.

(But I’ll be really bloody hurt if you can’t work out who wrote it)

For Jane. Friend,  Black Belt in Wai-ki Wai-ki, the ancient art of the early morning phone call.

The Stress-Plan Diet

Work in Partnership with your bosses to lose those excess pounds! The Author lost a third of his body weight in a year following this diet!

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Blogmas 2017 tag.

The Arty Plantsman

poinsettiaLavender and Levity has kindly tagged me for this. You can find the full story of the tag by visiting her blog.

The Questions

What is your favourite Christmas movie?

Die Hard. Yes, seriously.

Do you like to stay in Pyjamas or Dress up for Christmas day?

I dress as normal (scruffy) as I am usually on cooking duty.

If you could only buy one person a present this year who would it be and why?

I am excluding wife and family from this. There is one particular person I met this year who has become a close friend and has encouraged me every step of my journey over the last few months.

Do you open your present Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning?

Christmas morning but usually leave a few for boxing day

Have you ever built a ginger bread house?

Nope! My niece did try to fill the house…

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Fifty Friday Facts For Fifty Followers

Amazing 🙂

The Arty Plantsman

Actually, I wrote this a few weeks ago when I first hit 50 followers so it is getting rapidly out of date (now past 70 followers 🙂 ). When my friend Kylee hit 50 followers she made a list of 50 facts about herself. With her kind permission I have borrowed the idea. I am a little worried it leaves me nothing to say in future!

In the intervening time I have removed some things I decided I was not comfortable sharing, and added some new stuff. It should give you a good idea of what I am like and I have tried to infuse it with my warped sense of humour…

  1. I am a lifelong vegetarian.
  2. I didn’t go to my own 18th birthday party.
  3. Bullying of any kind makes my blood boil. I detest bullies. Ignorance and upbringing is not an excuse.
  4. I work as an analytical…

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Blackfriars Cross

rambling ratz

In addition to the Whitefriars Cross mentioned in my previous post, The Cross at Whitecross, Hereford also has a Blackfriars Cross.Photo of Blackfriars Preaching Cross

This is to be found closer to the centre of Hereford City in the ruins of the Dominican Blackfriars Monastery. The friary was established in 1322, with the preaching cross in the cemetery. The preacher would stand inside the structure and proselytize to whoever gathered to listen. The nearby Coningsby Hospital was originally built in 1200 by the Knights’ Hospitallers, the crusading knights of the Order of St John.Photo of Blackfriars monastery

The preaching cross is a very rare example, I have read that it is the only surviving example. The cross was pretty much just a ruin when the famous artist Turner painted it. As with the Whitefriars Cross, the Victorians restored the preaching cross in 1864. They seemed to be fond of using their new found industrial skills to…

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The Cross at Whitecross

rambling ratz

There is an area of Hereford known as Whitecross, named after the cross standing in the middle of the roundabout where two main routes into the city converge. I passed the cross during my stroll during the blizzard mentioned in a previous post; Snow! In Hereford!Photo of Whitecross

Originally known as the Whitefriars Cross, after the religious order, it was erected in the 14th Century. The hexagonal base is still the original, made of local sandstone, whereas the cross itself was restored in 1864. It required further repairs in 2005 after a car crashed into it.Photo of Whitecross

The base consists of eight steps, one of which is below ground level, a pedestal and socket stone. The pedestal has six recessed panels which were decorated and include the coats of arms of the Charleton family. It is topped by a foliated Latin cross. Lewis de Charleton was the Bishop of Hereford 1361-9 and it…

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Merry Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas my dear friend ❤

rambling ratz

I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas; Frohe Weihnachten; Joyeux Noel; Kreesmasko Shubhkaamnaa; ‘S Rozhdestvom Khristovym; God Jul; Feliz Navidad; Meri Kurisumasu; Sheng dan Kuai Le; Shubh Krismas; Geseende Kersfees.Photo of baubel in tinsel

Christmas is a time for family, friends and merriment. However, for some it is also a poignant time of year when bereavement and losses are felt keenly. My thoughts are with those who are feeling sad and lonely at this time of year.Photo of rose in tinsel

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Depression – little stuff that helped

Brilliant article thank you 🙂

The Arty Plantsman

I am hopefully on the road to recovery from a long depressive episode. I have been thinking about the little things that helped give me strength to keep going. Some of them are things others did for me, which you might be able to use if you know someone who is struggling, or even think they might be. You might not be a close friend, or it might not be appropriate to talk in depth about their feelings, but you can still do little things to help. They are also nice things to do anyway and we should all make an effort to be nicer to each other.

At the end are some things you could do for yourself, which helped me, but Kylee over at selfcaremadeeasy has lots of good ideas which might suit you better.

Helping others:

  • Just knowing someone is thinking of you even when you are…

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Wildcrafted Winter Solstice Decorations with Conifers, Holly, Ivy, Bittersweet, and More

Wahouuu it’s amazing, so beautiful and lot of good ideas 🙂

The Druid's Garden

Decorated mantle with greenery, ribbon, and a nice candelabra Decorated mantle with greenery, ribbon, and a nice candelabra

Part of the fun of the holiday season is « decking the halls » and decorating for the season. By bringing the symbols of the season into our homes, for festivity and communion, we are able to deeply align with the living earth and her turning seasons. And the symbols of this particular season, at the winter solstice, span back millennia: deep red berries and dark green conifers, trails of ivy, mistletoe, and other evergreens. Adding to this, the symbols of the season are also reflected in mythology, such as the battle between the Oak and Holly king and the Goddess Frigga’s wheel of the year.  These symbols have been with us for centuries in one form or another, and weaving in and out of whatever dominant tradition that is present.  And so, in this post, I will explore how we might…

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Catsmas Gift Guide

The Purrfect Job

It’s hard to believe Catsmas is just around the corner but here we are…

I don’t care for Christmas very much myself. Especially since I started working as a cat sitter, Christmas is always a stressful time for me. Holiday season usually means 16 hours day for those of us in the pet sitting industry.

Having said that, for a bit of fun, I have complied a list of gift list for you all – both for cat lovers and cats! Enjoy!

For Cats

1. Cat house by Mau Katz

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Look at this amazing cat house by Mau Katz! I discovered this website recently where they are lots of amazing stylish ‘cat stuff’! Who said cat stuff can’t be stylish? Check it out.

2. Cat Dancer

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Cat dancer is the best selling, affordable and durable cat toy. Made in USA. Amazing!

3. Da Bird

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Da Bird is a…

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