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Archive for the ‘Arts and Culture’ Category

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Saint Lucy, by Francesco del Ferrarese Cossa,1473/1474. Tempera on poplar panel, 77.2 x 56 cm (30 3/8 x 22 1/16 in.) Samuel H. Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art (Washington).

It’s only since I started working on this post that I realised I didn’t do a blogging project in December last year; it’s lovely not having to be hunting for a new flat in cold weather like I was doing this time last year. I first started December blogging projects in 2014, the theme being Light, followed by 2015’s theme of Christmas Literature. December 13 is the feast day of Saint Lucy, and she was a perfect fit for both themes – you can read the 2014 entry here, and the 2015 entry here. Happily, she is am equally perfect fit this year, as my reading today has produced recipes and rituals galore. (more…)

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While out today at the annual local Reindeer Day festival, I walked past a woman saying

The best way to spread Christmas cheer…

Instinctively, I joined in on the rest of the truly splendid sentence:

… is singing loud for all to hear!

Thus, how could today’s feast not be one inspired by the perfect Christmas film Elf? If you haven’t seen it yet, please go and watch it immediately. Go, now. Go. Are the cotton-headed ninnymuggins gone? Excellent; then I’ll continue! (more…)

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Yesterday’s post (now with English translation!) looked at the surroundings in which a feast is set, in a medieval setting. Today, I move considerably closer in time and in space to home.
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A true feast must look beautiful as well as taste beautiful. It must take place in rich surroundings, and those attending should wear their finest raiment. While yesterday’s post focused on the hard work of kitchen staff creating the feast, today’s is all about the setting of the stage.
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Despite my continuing to wrack the old brains, I still have not identified the floral feast from an also as yet unremembered childhood tale. Today’s post is nonetheless still redolent of flowers, albeit flowers put to a deadly purpose. May I present Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema‘s The Roses of Heliogabalus? (more…)

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I’m one of the officers for the Glasgow branch of Geek Girl Brunch – tagline: Geeking out where mimosas are involved. The theme of our Christmas brunch this year is Christmas films, so I got down to a spot of – ahem – research yesterday by watching A Miracle on 34th Street (1994). This wonderful remake of the 1947 original has been one of my essential Christmas films since I saw it during my first year at university. Not only is it a great story, but it’s beautiful to look at. I would even now happily wear all of young Susan’s wardrobe. More immediately relevant is the fact that it gave me today’s blog post focus.
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I seem to have started every blog post in recent years – yes, years; that’s how bad it has been! – with an apology for not having written in so long. Despite all my good intentions, I have not been able to turn things around to start writing more regularly. Life and work are equally busy, and there was no sign that was going to change, until … (more…)

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