Holidays Category

Pancake Day

I often think Pancake Day is well placed and enjoyed; if not least, because it falls six or so; weeks after New Year’s resolutions start. Many resolutions would have been well-being and health-related. So, for many, Pancake Day provides the perfect excuse to break some rules after weeks of being ‘good’!


Pancake Day is, of course; Shrove Tuesday – which precedes Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of lent, 40 days of fasting in the run-up to Easter. The date varies each year, and in 2023 it will be on Tuesday 21st of February.

Why pancakes

Shrove Tuesday was a chance to use up eggs, fats and other products that could not be eaten or nowadays would be too tempting to have around in a fasting period.


Festivals are Back!


There is no doubt that for many, the pinnacle of music festivals is Glastonbury. However, it is expensive and very difficult to get tickets.

Many events have been cancelled in the last two years, due to Covid.

So, if you would like to know what is on offer in the UK during July – then read on:

24th June – 10th July – BST – Hyde Park

Who can you see: Adele (sold out), Duran Duran, Eagles, Elton John, Pearl Jam and the Rolling Stones to name a few.

8th – 10th July – ALSO – Warwick

There is something for everyone – from talks, comedy, woodlands, food trucks galore and London Afrobeat Collective, Nuha Ruby Ra and Pynch.


St Patrick’s Day

St Patrick's Day

St Patrick’s Day falls on the 17th March each year. Originally it was a ‘feast day’ and religious festival for the patron saint of Ireland. But now both the Irish and those that are just Irish-at-heart celebrate with food, dancing, parades and turning things green, across the globe.

For many of us the day is synonymous with lucky charms and ‘the luck of the Irish’… So we take a look at some of these charms. To see just what good fortune they can bring you on St Patrick’s Day and beyond.


Shamrock is named for ‘seamrog’ that actually means little clover. A three leaf clover was used by St Patrick as part of his teachings on the Holy Trinity; those being taught would carry a shamrock for good luck. To this day it is a highly visible symbol and many will wear shamrock on St Patrick’s Day by way of remembrance.


March: Celebrate everything about this Spring month!


1st – St David’s Day

This day in March is celebrated in Wales of course, as he is the Patron Saint of the country, but also in the UK, USA and Canada. David lived until he was 100 years old, but it was 500 years later before he was memorialised in texts of the time. His story may be a mix of fact and legend, but many believe that he founded churches and a monastery and rose through the church to be an archbishop, and eventually he was canonised.


Christmas Tree & Mistletoe

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree Origins

In the 8th Century, St Boniface felled an oak (at the same time as felling Paganism), and a fir tree grew from under, dedicated to Christ.

The festival of Yule among Norse people focused on the endurance of Fir, Holly and Pine Trees and other evergreens. Today, it is still Fir, Pine and Spruce trees that are commonly taken into our homes to become Christmas trees with shimmer decorations that encourage the light.

Pine is associated with life and rebirth; many trees grow from a single pine cone. The Christmas tree of Yggdrasil (Norse World Tree) link heaven and earth. Odin was the father of the Norse Gods, his name gives us the origins of Yule, and in Norse, he was called Jolnir. As Christianity spread into Europe, Yule became assimilated with Christmas. Although today, Yule is more often associated with the Pagan celebration – Winter Solstice.


Folklore considers mistletoe to be a magical plant. One use was to add mistletoe nutrients to cattle’s drinking water to encourage fertility. It was considered an aphrodisiac and protection against poison.


Bonfire Night

Exploding Fireworkds

Bonfire Night: “Remember, remember, the fifth of November. Gunpowder treason and plot. We see no reason, why gunpowder treason, should ever be forgot.”

Guy Fawkes related bonfires actually began the same year as the failed coup in the night between 4th & 5th of November 1605. Londoners, who knew little more than their King had been saved, joyfully lit bonfires.

In time celebrations became more elaborate with people making a dummy of Guy Fawkes generally called a “Guy”. Children would walk the streets shouting “penny for the Guy”, the money collected would be spent on fireworks for the evening’s festivities. On the night itself the Guy would be placed on top of the bonfire and set alight.


Holiday: Safe & Happy Travels…


Many holiday operators have seen a sudden surge in interest, with lots of people desperate to book a last-minute escape. Of course, many will have booked long in advance and if that was for late July or August it’s quite likely it will be going ahead as planned.

If you are in the latter position, you may well have a mix of excitement, but also trepidation about venturing on holiday, particularly abroad. So we look at how to ensure you have safe & happy travels!




In Christian countries Easter is a celebration related to Christ’s sacrifice, but in other countries and faiths traditions are about rejoicing the return of spring.

Spring Equinox

Easter is not on a fixed date; it falls on or after Spring Equinox – the first Sunday following the Full Moon. The date of Easter for Orthodox Christians is determined by the date of Passover, the last supper shared by Jesus and his disciples.


Books for the Festive Season

Photo coutesy of publishers: Seven Dials

For those that love to cook

One Pot Wonders – The Hairy Bikers

Even cooks that like to be in the kitchen want an easy meal to get on the table every now and again. This book provides plenty of inspiration, but with the added bonus of less prep/washing up – as all can be cooked in one pot!

For the vegetarian in your life

VEG – Jamie Oliver

This book is not just for vegetarians, but will certainly help them and vegans make interesting meals. But also, for those looking for ways of boosting their 5-a day habit.

For the one who loves a good romance

A Wedding in December – Sarah Morgan

With an Aspen setting, and wedding day looming – is all well in the world, or does it seem that everyone is hiding a secret? Maybe it’s time to get everything out in the open…


Christmas Movie Night!

Christmas Movie Night

I don’t know about you, but I always enjoy a trip to the movies during the festive season. In the United States Christmas Day is the busiest day of the year for cinemas. Unfortunately, you are unlikely to find a movie theatre open here! However, we make up for it on Boxing Day, when many flock to the cinema to see the latest blockbusters. Here’s a few films you might enjoy for your Christmas Movie Night.

Two Christmas Movies

Cats – 20th Dec

It’s the time of year, when the cats gather, as the Jellicle Ball approaches! The big decision – who will ascend to the Heaviside Layer, coming back to a new life in the process!


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