The Second Day of Christmastide…


Christmas Roses

A Christmas Posey of Hellebore’s*

Today, the 26th December is also know as Boxing Day and also Saint Stephens Day.  Saint Stephen is remembered as the Saint that was stoned to death in 36ad.  But Boxing Day is a tradition that by comparison is much more recent.

So what is Boxing Day.  Well its is a Christian tradition.  This is the day that Gifts were given to the poor.  Boxes of gifts were distributed to those less well off.  It is also said that it referred to a box that was passed round in Church and elsewhere for dotation’s of Money that was later distributed to others.

I find it rather sad, that now a days, Boxing Day has been hijacked into a Shopping Holiday, Retail Therapy.

As for me, well Boxing Day is a day to relax, a good walk if the weather is favourable.

But Boxing Day 2020 is very different for all of us.  The family “Get Togethers” are via zoom, but only if we are connected via the ether.  A wave to the neighbours as they pass by.  Certainly no Parties.  No doubt those relaxing thoughts will drift to concerns about the future and our families welfare.

It has been inspiring to see and hear of the many good deed’s that ordinary people, often strangers have done for others during these troubles times.

I also hope and trust that our concerns for those that are less fortunate can continue well into the future.

Tough times but more important than ever to…..

Please Remember ….

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

  • The Hellebore’s were collected, from our garden, last January.  They are commonly known as Christmas Roses, though we have never had them in flower at Christmas…..  in fact January was rather early for us.  This years the buds are already swollen, so again looks like a January flowering

26th December

(C) David Oakes 2020

A Day that started well…. but the weather had other plans


Christmas Eve Walk on Stanton Moor, Derbyshire

It started off so well.  Clear blue skies and sunshine.  The forecast was favourable for the whole day.  Cold, in comparison to recent days, 2c.  A strong wind did add an extra chill to the day, but that sun was actually easing the feel of the morning. 

But before mid morning the skies had darkened and that wind started to cut through.  Not complaining, still invigorating to be out and about, enjoying moorland views and broader views across Derbyshire.  

There are several well weathered Gritstone outcrops on the edge of the moors. One in particular, well weathered and hiding away among some gnarled old tree,   now much inscribed with initial,  hearts and dates, is known as  the Cat Stone.  There must be a legend as to why it so named.  Whilst it is an interesting shape, I  see no resemblance to a feline animal….. maybe you can?


Those darkening skies that appeared from nowhere, driven along by the high wind, brought us our first Snow of the winter.  Yep…SNOW!  For about 40 minutes we had thick flurries of snow, visibility  reduce, but it was not for sticking.  The ground was too wet, not surprising  after all the recent rains and no doubt still retaining some warmth. 


The first snow (or attempt at snow) is always rather exciting, exciting that is before after a while the novelty wears off.

The mini snowstorm past, but we could still see various squalls passing by over the surrounding valleys.


The clear blue skies never did return but for the rest of the day it did make some spirited attempts  to return….


Not the weather we were expecting…… but still a great day to be out, real fresh air and a Christmas Eve treat.

Christmas Day tomorrow, a day to relax and reflect….Enjoy but also….

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

24th December

(C) David Oakes 2020

A Victorian Christmas Verse


One of my favourite Victorian Christmas Cards.  As was the early style, this is a flat card.  Published by Raphael Tuck & Sons circa 1890’s.- 1900.

The last line of the verse is always pertinent….

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

24th December

(C) David Oakes 2020

Youth Employment Initiative…..


Santa Claus has been taking the UK Governments advice, as a responsible employer,  to provide Youth Employment Opportunities.  He has started 3 Apprentice’s and employed a Security Guard.

Please Remember ….

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

11th December

(C) David Oakes 2020