To Welcome in the New Year…

New Year 2021

Well here we are….. the end of a year that I think we would all like to forget, its been difficult to say the least.

The New Year must still bring with it some anxiety and worry for many of us.  We can but hope that some form of ‘normal’ life will return at some point during 2021.

Till then I lift a Glass and Raise a Toast…..

Peace and Best Wishes to all, and my hope that the New Year will also be Healthy for You and Yours.

” Slangevar “

and throughout 2021 remain vigilant and…

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

31st December

(C) David Oakes 2020

A Cold….but Sunny finish to 2020

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The last day of 2020, gave us a little flourish of sunshine as its farewell.  It was though rather cold.  So far we have missed what snow there has been. No snow, but we have made up for it with freezing temperatures and frosts. With no wind overnight the waters of the Lake were still and froze.

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It was not a complete ‘ice over’, some areas remained ice free and as the sun rose the melt soon started at a pace.

Interesting behavior from a pair of Mute Swans.  They found a small area of ice free water, then set about maneuvering their bulky bodies against the edges of the ice…. and a small pool became bigger in a very short space of time. Feathered Ice Breakers

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The Black Headed Gulls are always a law unto themselves…. they obviously must find it warmer to stand on the ice, rather that float on the water.  They do though, hop from one leg to the other quite often!

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Yep, not a bad finish to the year.  I just hope that 2021 will eventually prove to be better for all of us.

Please Remember to….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

31st December

(C) David Oakes 2020

Hogmanay…..

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Come on in….Be the First to Cross The Threshold

New Years Eve….  or, as my Scottish ancestors name this last day of the year  “Hogmanay”.

At the end what has been a strange and difficult year for all, it would be very appropriate to embrace the Hogmanay tradition of First Footing.  

Once again 2020 has conspired against even this tradition being celebrated.  As UK Lockdown has been strengthened again, such activities are not permitted. 

So what is First Footing ?

I don’t think anyone knows for sure when this tradition started.  Some say its a mix of Gaelic and Norse traditions.  Whilst associated with Scotland and those of Scottish heritage, it has been practiced in parts of Northern England and some Scandinavian Countries.

The act of First Footing itself requires that the first person to cross the threshold, after midnight has struck, on Hogmanay, can if carrying the right gift, bring good luck to the House and those within. 

The gifts are defined by tradition as being….. A Coin, A Piece of Bread, A Pinch of Salt, A Lump of Coal and a Dram of Whisky.    The gifts represent….. Prosperity, Food, Flavour, Warmth and Good Cheer.

But rules of this Scottish  tradition don’t end there.  The person bringing the Gifts must not be in the House when midnight strikes….  (now this is where we get sexist and selective)….  The First Footer, as he is known must be a Man.  He must have dark hair.  If someone with light Hair, Redheaded or Female should cross the threshold first, after midnight, they bring with them bad luck.  Likewise a Doctor or a Minister are not welcomed as First Footers for their association with Illness, Bad News and Death.

So as 2020 moves into 2021, a year when we could all do with a visit from a First Footer and the luck they bring, CV19 conspires against us….. a great shame. 

But we can all play our part in making the future better for all if we all…..

Remember to….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

31st December

(C) David Oakes 2020