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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’


In about me, kids, music on December 10, 2009 at 07:50

Again I am feeling the pressure of the modern day commercialized Christmas – all the emails from my online shops saying “don’t miss Black Friday, don’t miss Cyber Monday, hurry up, promote yourself (which I actually hate to do anyway)”, etc. The high street shops shouting their seasonally loud mantra of “spend, spend, spend”. Plus the worries about presents, running out of money, business unfinished before holidays, a Christmas tree to buy and carry home and so on. Plus the sun is low, the weather is often gloomy…

I really have to tell myself “STOP!” Why not just enjoy the season? Yesterday we spent the evening with my daughter creating a new playlist. She almost always goes to sleep listening to the music, usually Ancient Egyptian, Tudor, ABBA, violin or piano. This time its mostly Christmas carols & songs:


(we still are working on it).

Merry Christmas

In photography, traditions on January 6, 2009 at 17:34

For everybody celebrating it tomorrow!

Rude mothers

In kids, legal issues, moral issues, music, winter, xenophobia on January 6, 2009 at 16:43

In Newtown I sometime see mothers taking kids to the Primary school swearing loudly among other parents and kids. I guess its supposed to be OK. Maybe its something wrong with me, but when I hear a person swearing I just feel like they cover themselves in horrible dirt and also are trying to spread it on others around them. I’ve heard in some places of the world you could be fined for swearing in public. Lucky them!

Today me, my kids and their friend were walking back from school when a couple of 11-13 year old boys started swearing at my kids’ friend who walked first and then at all of us. Its third time on the same spot! (awesome view of the valley BTW) The kids from our hill of the High School age must be from those families where they start teaching kids “manners” at Nursery! Curiously, every time this verbal harassment had happened I was caring my kids guitar or violin. Maybe the local children just are feeling jealous because they parents didn’t bother with they music lessons busy drinking & spending on themselves (sorry for harsh words)?

Anyway, that’s not very important. It Russian Orthodox Christmas Eve! And we had snow in Newtown these holidays, hurray! Its only a centimeter but its been here for a couple of days (!) and the landscape looks really great, wintry, although its so slippery to go up and down the steep hills! And the snow sounds so great crunching under the feet – just like I remember it from my childhood.

Christmas Eve

In my artworks, religion, shopping on December 24, 2008 at 09:02

Here is a mixed media artwork of mine I did (and sold) a couple of years ago filling opposed to commercialization and secularization of Christmas.

Merry Christmas

In crafts, kids, my artworks, photography, traditions on December 24, 2008 at 08:45

for everybody who celebrates it tomorrow!


In photography, religion, traditions on December 22, 2008 at 09:42

One of the angels my mother gave to us (photo from few years ago)

Santa Run in Newtown

In kids, politics, winter on December 15, 2008 at 10:44

On Sunday my daughter took part in this annual event.
She did very well although because of bad organization and confusion we can’t really say how well. Our Mayor and local MP Lembit Öpik were engaging in boring personal show off. But we still had good fun and are very proud of our little girl. Photos, videos and more story (hopefully) to follow.

Sticking cloves into oranges…

In cooking, crafts, kids, music, traditions on December 10, 2008 at 11:19

That’s what my kids are busy doing now. Not just oranges, of course, but any citrus fruit I could find in town. I think its called “making pomanders”. Smells really great. Some of them actually dry for ever like this.

Also on the picture: crepe paper garlands similar to ones my mother taught me to make back in Russia: cut two long stripes of differently colored crepe papers, put slightly narrower one on top and sew them together (better using sewing machine). Then cut the edges carefully with scissors every centimeter or so making sure you won’t cut the thread. Fluff it a bit and its ready to be hang across the room. We used to do them from four corners to the lamp shade (making sure they won’t get too hot to catch fire) and I had a real jungle for the New Year celebration.
There also some last year’s paper chains kids made and the charity shop tinsel.

A great way to recycle numerous kids drawings (I do photographs of the good ones first) is to make paper snowflakes out of them and stick with blue tack on the windows. Its a double recycling, as the kids draw on the paper my husband used at work for printing on one side…

We bought a nice tall Noble Fir Christmas Tree form a local grower who kindly delivered it to our door. This kind of tree doesn’t drop needles EVER.

Speaking of citrus fruit, almost every time I peel one, I put the peel in a potpourri bowl. Also you can try putting some of it in the hot oven or working microwave oven just for few minutes (make sure it won’t burn) to release the aroma.
Another seasonal fun my kids found is listening to all kind of Christmas music on Last.fm and from my Russian, Ukrainian, European medieval, English, French, African and Philippine collection.

Christmas Turkey

In computers, cooking, healthy life, organic, shopping, writing on December 5, 2008 at 11:36

Mrs Sad and Angry 🙂 is back: I wanted to buy a turkey in the Iceland shop. But found out they all are “ready basted” with E numbers. Thank you very much, eat your E-E-E yourself! Why can’t they have JUST TURKEY? They never have.

Also my browsers go mad when I’m trying to read other people’s blogs in Google Reader – I guess its because I’ve subscribed to so many of them. I do enjoy reading you, people out there!

I’m into publishing my old poetry on a Russian poetry site at the moment and surprisingly, there are some people who even like it! Amazing

Last weekend

In art, car-free living, kids, photography, space on December 2, 2008 at 14:18

On Friday Christmas lights have been switched on in Newtown. Its one of the biggest events in the town but as usual you only can find out about it if you you talk to people: there wasn’t any announcements on streets (no, sorry, there was one – outside the town, for car drivers). The official town’s website

haven’t been updated since September the first (NEWS! its even worse for local school websites) and so on. Well we asked some men installing merry-go-round and ended up coming 2 hours yearly on freezing-cold night. BUT we managed to see the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle passing above as two very bright stars (soon after they separated).

Traditional light-switching speech by our mayor http://www.newtown.org.uk/index.htm (her “unique selling position” is being a single mom) was aimed against people trying to save electricity (she called them Scrooge). Well I think we have to have Christmas lights. But on Christmas EVE. The joy of Christmas is really spoiled by such an early start. There also is lot of controversy about switching 2/3 of street light in the Powys county. Some people think it will help criminals (not that there are many of them here, thank goodness for that!). I think its more difficult for thieves to use torches than for local residents as they (criminals) don’t really want to be spotted.

Anyway we had a nice firework display and kids got two more lightsabers (I know I complained of too many toys at home, but it so difficult for me to say NO to kids).
On Saturday we visited Ten Drawings by Leonardo da Vinci and Mapping the Welsh Group at 60 exhibitions. For my daughter, who likes art generally, famous Leonardo’s works didn’t mean nearly as much as some of symbolist contemporary works from the second exhibition. I literally couldn’t pull her away from them when we had to go.

We also seen wonderful mirage (distant mountains on the other side of the huge bay looked much closer, hovering over the sea) and sunset with myriads of starlings flying around the pier in Aberystwyth.

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