It’s Stir Up Sunday today (22nd November 2020) and I am making my Christmas puddings. Traditionally the preparation of Christmas puddings began on Stir Up Sunday- a term which comes from the Anglican church for the last Sunday before the season of Advent- 1st – 24th December. The name comes from the beginning of the Collect for the Day in the Book of Common Prayer:
‘Stir up we beseech thee , O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people.’
And in the words of another great book:
“‘Oh what a wonderful pudding!’ Bob Cratchit said and calmly too, that he regarded it as the greatest success achieved by Mrs Cratchit since their marriage.”
I really enjoyed these Bronte dramatisations. I had not read more Bronte than I had read, but couldn’t bring myself to wade through all the others. These radio dramas were perfect to help me know the narratives. Brilliant casts helped me through quite a few car journeys. Even more interesting was the interview with Rachel Joyce (The Making of the Bronte BBC Dramas) at the end. Here they talk about the process of making and recording a dramatisation- the acting and movement involved and also the process of rewriting a book for a drama, what to cut and what to keep/ what works and what doesn’t- especially important in well known and well loved Classics like the Bronte books.
This week I was journeying on the Orient Express with Hercule Poirot. The train got stuck in a snow drift and there was this murder. More or less everyone was a suspect. But who did it? I am loving these crime classics that I am working my through. Poirot and Marple are timeless. Who doesn’t like a good whodunit?
This month the East Sussex Libraries Online Book Club book is Belonging by Umi Sinha. I read this when it was first published as I travelled around North India, which seemed appropriate. Click the link below to watch the library interview with Umi- talking about Belonging, writing and India.
This socially distanced interview was at Newhaven Library in East Sussex.
Remember, remember the Fifth of November The Gunpowder Treason and plot, I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes ’twas his intent To blow up the King and the Parliament, Three score barrels of powder below Poor old England to overthrow.
By God’s providence he was catch’d With a dark lantern and burning match, Holler boys, holler boys, ring bells ring Holler boys, holler boys, God Save the King!
A penny loaf to feed the Pope A farthing o’cheese to choke him, A pint of beer to rinse it down A faggot of sticks to burn him.
Burn him in a tub of tar Burn him like a blazing star, Burn his body from his head Then we’ll say old Pope is dead.
Hip Hip Hoorah! Hip Hip Hoorah! Hip Hip Hoorah!
Lewes Bonfire celebrations, held in the county town of Lewes in East Sussex are probably the largest and most famous Bonfire Night festivities in the UK. Not only do they mark Guy Fawkes Night – the date of the uncovering of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 – but also the memory of the seventeen Protestant Martyrs from the town burned at the stake for their faith in the sixteenth century, as part of the Marian persecutions of Protestants during the reign of Mary I .
The main procession is made up of seven separate societies putting on six separate processions and firework displays throughout Lewes on 5 November. As well as this, 25–30 societies from all around Sussex come to Lewes on the night to march the streets, which potentially can mean up to 5,000 people taking part in the celebrations, and up to 80,000 spectators attending in a county market town with a significantly smaller population.
Sadly this year celebrations will not be taking place due to Covid-19 restrictions and the new Lockdown measures in England- fingers crossed for next year.
Meanwhile take a look at the link below, taken from YouTube for a taste of the evening.
“Trick or Treat! Give me something good to eat. Give me candy. Give me cake. Give me something sweet to take!” “Trick or treat’…
Halloween- also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve, is a celebration observed in many countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day.
The tradition originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts.
Halloween will be different this year with Covid 19 showing no signs of going away. However we can still carve and display our pumpkins, cook our Halloween food and scare ourselves with a horror movie.
Love Sheila Bugler and love Dee Doran. Another crime novel set in my local area of Pevensey and Eastbourne. Had to walk all the areas again- amazing for my fitness levels. As always accessible, gripping and a thrilling read. It’s been a good reading week.
A celebration of brilliant women through the centuries, from the Saxon women who were near equal to men and had influence and freedom of intervention in public affairs, up to the present day. A twenty first century of #MeToo, the public movement against sexual abuse and harassment of women by powerful and prominent men; and #HeForShe the male ally ship for gender equality. Where did it all go wrong for women in between? The equality women had in the Saxons, lost and despite spending centuries fighting for, never quite regained is brilliantly told in this informative social history. Kept me entertained on the journey to and from work for a week.
A delicious tale about Dr Jeckell’s and Mr Hyde’s daughters, Frankenstein and Frankenstein ‘s bride and a whole host of other characters involved in a mystery that is being investigated by Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. Gothic fiction at its very clever best. I loved it!
I love Sheila Bugler’s books. Traveling around London, Kent and Sussex this fast paced psychological thriller had me guessing, as always, up to the last few chapters. Sharp, gritty and fast paced right from the start. Loved it!
Writer, poet and podcaster from London, Derek Owusu won the Desmond Elliott Prize 2020 for his debut book ‘That Reminds Me’. A semi-autobiographical story of a British-Ghanaian boy named K and his difficult childhood in foster homes which leads to a mental breakdown later.