Tag Archives: calendars

Mortals who ring bells…….

From our daily newspaper, The Press, 1st January 2014, Thought for Today

Time has no divisions to mark its passage,  there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols. ~  Thomas Mann (1875-1955)

Being mortal as I am, I spent this morning replacing my old calendars with the lovely new ones I have received. And because our former minister always said it is good to have occasions to look forward to from the beginning of each year, I have started to mark all the birthdays and special days that will come in 2014. (There’s a surprising large number of them 🙂 ) Knowing, and seeing, that there will be good times ahead helps us to handle the not so good times whenever they appear.

So it was ‘goodbye’ 2013

and ‘hello 2014’:

first of all from a calendar made by  The Rudolf Steiner School, in Sydney, where my brother teaches;

A wonderful day for chooks and me

A wonderful day for the chooks  et al

next from a calendar of  New Zealand,  beautifully photographed by friend, David Dobbs ( with apologies for my poor rendition of his superb portrayal of Moeraki Boulders ) ;

Beautiful New Zealand by David Dobbs

Beautiful New Zealand by David Dobbs

and, lastly, a ‘ hello 2014’ from  Sethsnap in Ohio, with his special blogger-chosen calendar, which will remind me of the seasons and holidays  of the US,  where most of my viewers live.

Elsewhere in 2014

Elsewhere in 2014

In other times....

In other times….

Do  you see my first calendar entries for 2014? Yes, there they are…P1030885One birthday and one reminder;  my  nephew’s birthday… and a ‘don’t forget’ to take your Vitamin D.

And thus the counting down of 2014 has begun, with the marvellous and the mundane… and without pistols  🙂

© silkannthreades


Excuse me, what time do you have?

In years gone by, many people, in my part of the world, didn’t have access to a portable timepiece. This meant that, from time to time, one passer-by would ask another, most politely, “Excuse me, what time do you have?” ( As if time were like a bird in a cage that you could hold and tame :).) Usually, the response was polite, too, but, occasionally, it would be a gruff, “Get your own watch!” or “Can’t you read the clock over there in the park?” Which was very rude because, perhaps, the person couldn’t read or tell the time.

But, back to the question; “What time do you have?” As I write it is 11.22am on Saturday, 14 September, 2013, here in Christchurch, New Zealand.  In Los Angeles, it is 4.22pm on Friday 13 September, 2013. In Addis Ababa, it is 2.22 am on 14 September, 2013 or, in local terms, it is 8.22 on the 4th day of the first month of 2006 . In Kathmandu, it is the 29th of Bhadra 2070.  In Israel, the New Year of 5774 has begun.  Come November, it will be 1435 AH in Egypt, yet the Coptic Church in Egypt celebrated their New Year on 11 September, 2013. Confused. We should be, because, in the time it has taken me to write that passage, the times have changed and changed again. It’s hard to keep up.

What time do you have?

What time do you have?

A few weeks back, I finished reading “A Fugue in Time” by Rumer Godden.  Check here  In the US, its title is Take Three Tenses, which it does.  It is the story of a house, a place, and the people who are gathered to the house over  generations. The past, the present and the future are tightly woven through the narrative, in much the same confusing way that we, in our daily lives, will, in one moment, be thinking of what we are eating and, in the next,  be remembering a special Christmas meal 50 years ago. And, at the same time, planning for tonight’s supper or this coming Christmas Day.  Rumer Godden plays with time; how it floats in and out and around us and constantly changes our reality.

One day, this past August, I was confined to my house and realised that, on my dressing table, I had inadvertently created a timepiece, unique to my place and my day.  In a small space, I had a brief hold on the present, the past and the future. And, with the help of my camera, I could rearrange and play with them to my heart’s content.

Spring or summer time?

Spring or summer time?

So, excuse me, what time do you have?

For me, it is lunch time 🙂

© silkannthreades

A Second Helping of Christmas

For many people around the world, today, January 7th, is Christmas Day.  In our home, our main    Christmas celebration is on 25th December but, as my husband comes from a Coptic Church background, we usually have a small acknowledgement of Christmas on January 7th as well.  I find it very handy having a second round of Christmas because it means that, if something didn’t get done in time for the first Christmas,  it can be done in time for the second.  A case in point, is the Christmas Cake which I finally made yesterday. In keeping with our double act, untraditional Christmas season, my Christmas cake isn’t a traditional Christmas Cake either. I use a recipe given to me by my aunt, and it was given to her with the title of Golf Cake! I don’t know its original source but it is a very fine cake and superlatively easy to make.Christmas Round Two

Ingredients for Cake     1kg of mixed fruit (store-bought or home-made), 2 cups of packet/bottled orange juice, 2 cups of self-raising flour, 1 tsp of cinnamon.

Method    Soak fruit in orange juice overnight (don’t worry if you soak it longer);  mix in flour with cinnamon until just combined; bake in a lined 23cm square cake pan  at  180 C deg for about 45 minutes and then reduce temperature to 160 deg and continue baking until cooked. Sometimes that can be another 45 minutes, sometimes less, sometimes more. Occasionally, I need to cover (loosely) the top of the cake with foil to prevent the fruit from scorching. Cool the cake in the tin and when completely cold, remove the cake and store in a container. If you can leave the cake for a few days before cutting, your taste buds will be richly rewarded. The cake freezes well, too.

Sometimes I add some freshly grated lemon or orange peel, some crystalized ginger, some almond or vanilla essence,or a few slivered almonds. Occasionally, I will substitute some of the orange juice with brandy or sherry.  It’s a flexible recipe.

Happy Christmas.Christmas Returns

And, by the way, we get double dips on New Year too. Once in September and again in January. It’s nice to get second helpings.

© silkannthreades