First footing

So, perhaps, you have heard of the old tradition of   “First Footing at New Year’s, but have you heard of ‘First Mailing’. It’s unlikely that you have since I just invented it, in the excitement of receiving my first mail of 2014. It was hand-delivered to my door at 10.30 a.m. by our  postie on his eco-friendly bicycle . He doesn’t usually deliver mail to my door, unless the post needs a special signature and this mail did need my autograph…..because…..  it was a VIP package all the way from BERLIN and the wonderful Nath of  BEAUTYCALYPSE.

Nath had her first ever ‘ethical’ giveaway last year and I was the winner. 🙂  🙂  🙂  Nath tried her best to get the prize to me by Christmas but, obviously, the postal services thought it better for me to have it for New Year, and I don’t mind a bit.

First post from Berlin, first prize, first mailing

First parcel  from Berlin, first prize, first mailing

I am not going to show you what is in the parcel today, ( that will be another post ), but, if you are eager and curious to know, you can have a  search on Nath’s blog  for the giveaway post 🙂  Have fun! I always do, and I learn something interesting every time I visit her blog.

Yesterday, for example, I learned that we are both Tuesday’s children;  remember the old nursery rhyme ~~~~

Monday’s child is fair of face,

Tuesday’s child is full of grace,

Wednesday’s child is full of woe,

Thursday’s child has far to go,

Friday’s child is loving and giving,

Saturday’s child works hard for a living,

But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day

Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

This was one of my favourite rhymes when I was very young. I loved to think I was full of grace because surely this  meant I would eventually dance across  the stage as a beautiful, elegant ballerina….along the lines of my idol  Margot Fonteyn.  Not even being cast as the boy, Hansel, in our little ballet school’s production of  Hansel and Gretel,

The only male role and it's mine :(

The only male role and it’s mine 😦

or being cast as clumsy Badger in The  Wind in the Willows,

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could permanently deflate my belief in my essential physical grace-full-ness. It didn’t occur to me, as a child, that ‘full of grace” could have any other meaning than graceful ballet or walking or swimming (and I did swim very gracefully 🙂 ).

As an adult, getting creakier in the body with each passing year, I have come to understand other concepts of grace. I would love my life to be full of those other, *spiritual* concepts, as, I am sure, does Nath. She is already on her way to “grace- full- ness” in her choice to live beautifully and ethically.

In her  manifesto, Nath says, “I believe that you can only make better choices by being aware and having access to knowledge. I believe that there’s no beauty without kindness, intelligence, freedom or community.

Nath’s feet are set firmly on the path of ‘grace-full’, and, because of her choices, a  parcel of goodness has made its way from one Tuesday’s child to another; makes me want to dance with joy 🙂 and maybe a little imagined grace as well. Thank You Nath.

© silkannthreades

103 thoughts on “First footing

  1. jaggh53163

    Your post intrigued me and I just had to find out what “day” I am. Well, I’m Friday’s child… I like to think it is basically right. Thanks for sparking the interest.

  2. Tracy Rhynas

    Margot Fonteyn was also my idol – there was a series on the BBC many years ago called World of Dance (I think) hosted by Margot, and I used to watch it avidly. I went to ballet classes for years as a little girl and had great visions of becoming a ballerina! Although I am also a Tuesday child, I am not sure I had the necessary grace…..

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Well, another Tuesday’s Child! This is wonderful (and I am wondering, as I do, if there is any information that suggests more births occur on a certain day of the week than any other????)
      I don’t know that programme but I would have watched it, too, I am sure, if I had known about it! Isn’t it interesting how we all seem to have a natural attraction to dance from a very young age?

      1. Tracy Rhynas

        I think that there is something about dance that resonates from our core, it is just ‘there’ within us. I am now reminded that there was a book that accompanied World of Dance, which I received as a Christmas present at the time – full of beautiful pictures and life stories of the most famous dancers in history. I think it is packed away with my other books at my parents house in England – I am going to ask my mum to see if she can find it and bring it over with her when she, hopefully, comes to visit at Easter. A long forgotten treasure brought to the surface – wonderful!!

        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Yes, I do think it is just there….says she who was happily dancing round the kitchen yesterday instead of cooking!……! How wonderful if you can see that book again. I wouldn’t be surprised if the dancers are wearing beautiful jewellery and beads 😉

        2. Tracy Rhynas

          I distinctly remember a picture of the risqué Josephine Baker wearing heaps of fabulous pearls (and not much else mind!). And as s they stay on Strictly Come Dancing – keep dancing!!

        3. Tracy Rhynas

          Precisely! She looked so…decadent, for want of a better word! I am sure she felt gorgeous every day. She was known as the “Black Pearl”, with good reason I think.

  3. leapingtracks

    What a great post as usual. We did not do any first footing this year, so it was lovely to think of your idea of ‘first mailing’.

    I am a Wednesday’s child, so usually try not to think too much about this rhyme. But I think you look wonderfully graceful in your drama photos – showing plenty of early promise! And your grace shines through in the beauty of and thoughtfulness of all your posts.

      1. leapingtracks

        Why not indeed – that’s a great idea! In fact, the word, and the name ‘Joy’ are very important to me, because my Grandmother used it for the name of a girl character in a story she once wrote for me. So a perfect suggestion, thank you. 🙂 🙂

  4. Pingback: The Box from Berlin | silkannthreades

  5. Clanmother

    There is something special about getting a parcel in the mail. It is like Christmas or a birthday all over again. How wonderful that you received it after Christmas because it extended the celebrations. Congratulations!

    As you know, I was celebrating J.R.R. Tolkien last night. Here is a quote that fits into what you received…

    “For we put the thought of all that we love into all that we make.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

  6. Marylin Warner

    I love all of this post, the First Footing and First Mailing, but I especially connected to the roles of boys you were assigned.
    My family’s favorite story is when I was 8 and we were at a lodge in the Ozarks, coming out of the restaurant. A dignified older woman smiled at me, patted my head and said, “Oh, but what a pretty girl you would have made.” Her daughter said, “Why, mother, that is a girl,” and the woman squinted and said, “What a handsome boy you would have made.”

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Well, I am sure we would have been wonderful children whatever our sex 🙂 but when everyone else gets to wear the gorgeous tutu and you have to wear shorts (which you hate anyway) it’s rather deflating. I did make a great Hansel! ….. but….. Yet, we have survived to smile about it. We handled it well probably with encouragement from our mothers 🙂

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yay for another Tuesday’s child but one with no grace? Not even when you are running 😉 ? Impossible. I bet you knit in a graceful fashion and your beading is graceful and elegant 🙂 🙂 🙂

  7. tiny lessons blog

    What a wonderful start of the new year! Parcel mail is always exciting, and even more so when it travels from continent to continent! I think I’ll go and see Nath’s blog, and might – just might – look for the give away post 😉

  8. Just Add Attitude

    Although I have never been first footing I had heard of the tradition. I like, a lot, your invention of first mailing and how lovely to receive a prize on New Year’s Day morning. It may be (hopefully) a good omen for the rest of the year. 😉

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I haven’t done any ‘real’ first footing though we have a family tradition of first footing our own house ie we send someone out before midnight and then invite them back in immediately after midnight. Sometimes a whisky is involved 🙂 and a piece of cake. And, yes, let’s hope the prize is a good omen!

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Well….I am starting to think that there should be a law against receiving a bill for a first mailing. So unfriendly 😉 However, long ago, one of the quarter days fell on Christmas Day and on that date rents were due. There is a certain sense to quarter days in not allowing debts and rents to accumulate but it must have left very little with which to celebrate Christmas

  9. April

    The best thing about blogging is learning new things every day. I had never heard of First Footing. My parents are from the Southern United States. The tradition is to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. They swell when cooked which symbolize prosperity for the new year. Can’t wait for the pictures!

  10. lensandpensbysally

    Wonderful insights and bits of pieces of yourself revealed. Since I studies ballet for years, I can relate to some of your comments. I had the great pleasure of seeing Margot Fonteyn perform with The Royal Ballet. You’ve brought back fond memories. Thanks.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      How wonderful that you saw Margot Fonteyn perform…was that when the Ballet toured in the US or did you see her in England? Not that it makes much difference. It would have been a fabulous performance anywhere 🙂

      1. lensandpensbysally

        I saw her in the USA. I was a ballet student from six years old until my early twenties. Ballet was a large part of my adolescence. I saw many live performances, but there also were films that circulated with performances.

        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Oh how lovely that you were in ballet for so long. Do you ever think about going back to it , in a gentle way? I think I saw a ballet film of Fonteyn when I was young; I definitely saw a ballet film but who the stars were, I am no longer sure.

        2. lensandpensbysally

          Yes, a few years ago a close friend started taking classes in her 50s, and I was tempted. Did you ever see “Red Shoes?” As a child and teenager, it was a favorite film. Even though it was dark, it grabbed me. The dancing was fantastic. The acting was overly dramatic, but it was done in the late 40s. About ten years ago I got a copy, and it brought back memories of my youth: good ones.

        3. Gallivanta Post author

          Yes, I think I have seen Red Shoes, but not recently. Billy Elliot was a more recent ballet film for me. One of my favourite books as a child was Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield. That was made in to a film in 2007 and was a TV series in 1975. Have your grandchildren expressed interest in learning ballet?

  11. KerryCan

    I learned a lot here! I didn’t know about “first footing” and I didn’t know what day I was born on (Saturday). I did know the rhyme–maybe I was afraid to learn the day I was born, in case it was Wednesday or Thursday!

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, Wednesday and Thursday do seem harsh. Not sure why “woe” had to have a look in; seems rather unfair. So, how do you feel about being Saturday’s child? You were working very hard, making candy and chocolate just before Christmas 🙂

  12. coulda shoulda woulda

    Ah what a lovely way to start 2014! I knew of the tradition but didn’t know they had the name for it in the Isles as well! I thought it was just an Asian thing. Like learning tidbits like that. Love all your old hollywood screen shots – more please! I used to think being born on Sundays meant i was a bit boring like Sundays so I am loving this rhyme!

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Hollywood screen shots…..I wish. 😀 I did love acting back then but I would be terrified of getting up on a stage now. I used to think Sunday’s child was the cream of the crop; the child everyone would be if they could choose.

  13. Pingback: A Merry, Merry Season Start: International Giveaway *closed* | BEAUTYCALYPSE >>> This is not a drill

  14. Ralph

    Hi Gallivanta 😀 *pacing up and down* What’s in the parcel ? Hurry up and open it !! Amazingly I received my first letter of 2014 and I shall not open it until you open yours …….BTW it’s an electric bill 😉 Ralph xox 😀

      1. Ralph

        No rush. It’s automatically stolen from my bank account 😉 I’ve opened it as I can’t wait. I get so excited when I get a letter, even a bill 😉 Yay !! It’s a small amount !! 😀


    oh, I love the silk you have spun here. am going to include this to my page “guest appearances”, as this is the most beautiful way to actually close the giveaway. thank you dear!!!
    and hope very much you like your ethical gifts ❤ ❤ ❤

  16. YellowCable

    I just love Nath’s manifesto of “there is no beauty without kindness, intelligence and freedom or community”. That is the real glace, I believe. I am looking forward to know about parcel 🙂

        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Mmmmmmm……just watching M&M ads and wondering about the lives led by M&Ms and wondering about the minds that dream up the ads.

        1. Gallivanta Post author

          And not many start out as purposefully as you did, for example. Also I was terribly excited to get a parcel from Berlin. I have been there (did you see the photo of me (barely visible) at a formal function in Berlin?). I had ONE souvenir from that trip in 1979; a small porcelain dish. It was one of the very few things of mine that was damaged in the earthquake. I still have most of the pieces so it could be put together again, almost.


          no, no I haven’t noticed that you’ve been here! that’s exciting. wow, 79, quite a time to be in berlin.

          souvenirs these days are multi-coloured, vapid mini bears and pieces of the wall, still highly successfull with tourists. I wish people would get small souvenirs from local small brands, there’s a lot to discover.

        3. Gallivanta Post author

 I think you have seen this photo but perhaps not realised that it was in Berlin (West, at the time). The porcelain is KPM,_Berlin with a cobalt blue sceptre.


          kpm, yes 🙂 back then, souvenirs were a tad more meaningful – trying to represent the best of a place, you know.

          stupid me, now I remember the post m)


          I know that Kahla porcelain has enviromental standards (I wrote a post about them a while ago), but know nothing ‘green’ about KMP…

        6. Gallivanta Post author

          I had a quick look at their website and couldn’t see anything about their environmental policy but I expect, such a company, would have one.

        7. Gallivanta Post author

          LOL! Have you seen my post about the opening of my prize parcel? Just asking because some bloggers are reporting more WordPress glitches and failure to receive posts.


          failure to receive posts? no, I just saw your post in my reader, all’s fine. (I was offline before)

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