A Poem for the end of Winter

A Poem for the end of Winter


February is on its way

The end of winter, I suppose

Still lots of days completely grey.

Crocuses will burst through

The early morning dew

Hyacinths and snowdrops too.

March winds will soon blow

Daffodils may sway

Huddled together

Avoiding the last of the snow.


A Royal Warrant of Appointment is granted to recognise people or companies who have supplied services or goods to HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Prince of Wales.

The Queen decides who may grant Royal Warrants. Approximately 800 companies hold a Royal Warrant.

Here are some holders:

Cornelia James – supplies The Queen with gloves

Floris – for perfume

Fortnum and Mason – The Queen’s Grocer and the Prince of Wales’ tea supplier

Here are some photos I took in Fortnums in 2018

Bentley – for luxury cars

Swaine Adeney Brigg – umbrella maker

Barbour – for raincoats

The Goring – a luxury hotel in Belgravia

Tanquerey and Gordon’s – for gin

Heinz – for ketchup and baked beans

William & Son – gold and silversmithing

Hunter – footwear, much favoured by the Queen and Prince Phillip. They both enjoy the outdoors, shooting, hunting or fishing.

Laphroag – Malt whiskey produced on the Isle of Islay since 1815.

Did you know?

When Icelandic women staged an equal pay protest by refusing to cook, all the supermarkets ran out of sausages.

The Isle of Man in the U.K. was the first place in the world to give the vote to women.

William Moulton Marston, invented the first lie detector as well as Wonder Woman.

woman wearing wonder woman costume
Photo by Roy Reyna on Pexels.com

Rui katsu (tear seeking) was set up by Hiroki Terai in 2013 in Tokyo, Japan. It is a Japanese therapy where people pay to have a good cry, to relieve stress.

Sushiya No Nohachi in Taito, Tokyo makes the smallest sushi in the world. It is made with a single grain of rice. It is traditionally made to celebrate the birth of a baby. Apparently, a European woman was so overcome with emotion on seeing the sushi, she cried for an hour and a half.

Harry and Meghan. What’s next

They seem to be acting unpredictably. If they want to avoid the press, why allow the coverage of their thank you meeting at the Canadian Embassy? Why use Instagram at all? What will happen next? Will they keep Frogmore House and the staff available all year round? Will they choose Los Angeles or Canada, or both, involving much travel by jet. I am not really bothered but ordinary people seem to be encouraged to give up flying, or indeed anything enjoyable, to save the planet. All of a sudden cattle are adding to climate change.

I need a private jet to a sunbed somewhere without veganuary, or dry January etc.

Miserable January? Thinking UK

Why do people make resolutions at the start of the year. Imagine giving up meat, eggs, fish, wine and trying to do more exercise when eating a lettuce leaf with a bit of avocado?

January is a time to fly to the sunshine. So forget the full English breakfast, the pancakes or omelette at the buffet breakfast. Lunch by the sea? No prawns, oysters or lobster. Lazing on the sunbed? What about a nice glass of water or fruit juice? In the evening, no queues at the show grill? Just get a nice bowl of salad. Watching the live entertainment? A nice glass of water or lemonade? What a relaxing holiday.

Do you have the strength?

More eggy breakfasts for light eaters

Boil a free range egg in a pan of boiling water for about 4 minutes. Plunge into cold water so you can remove the shell. Simply put in a cup, chop with a spoon and season with salt and pepper. If it happens to be hard boiled, then a knob of butter could be added or a cholesterol lowering spread if you have high cholesterol (advice needed from a medical professional).

Comfort food when you have a bad cold

Is there such a thing as a good cold?

Chicken noodle soup with loads of lemon juice and a bit of chicken on the bone to enrich the stock.
Faggots with mashed potatoes.
Steak and kidney pudding.
Baxters French onion soup and Heinz tomato.
I sometimes resort to a pot noodle!



Is it time to give up the bears?

I have quite a collection of bears.  Most are in a box in storage, given names I have long since forgotten.  I am wondering if we are ever too old to be an arctophile.  Would I be better to put them on an auction site and use the money for a treat?


Do you collect anything?  Are they on display?


In Switzerland and France the proof of bear worship can still be found. In Berne (meaning Bear), the capital of Switzerland, there are still bear pits where you can feed carrots to the bears. Many bones and skulls of cave bears have been found at a site in Drachenloch in Switzerland. Why Neanderthal man began hunting the Cave Bear is not certain. It was a formidable animal, standing more than eight feet tall when reared in anger, and must have been a dangerous foe.

Teddy bear collectors are known as arctophiles from the Greek words ‘arcto’ (bear) and ‘philos’ (lover).

Theodore Roosevelt, the American President, was responsible for the first “teddy bear”. On one of his Mississippi hunting trips it is believed that his assistants cornered a black bear after a long chase and tied it to a willow tree. Roosevelt refused to shoot it saying the immortal words, “Spare the bear!  I will not shoot a tethered animal.” Clifford Berryman of the Washington Post drew a cartoon of the scene and eventually the cartoon bear became smaller and cuter. In 1903, a new stuffed toy was developed by Morris and Rose Michtom, owners of a store in Brooklyn and when they put it in their shop window they used a sign saying “Teddy’s bear” and it became a great success. Almost simultaneously in Germany Margarete Steiff, a disabled seamstress, was making stuffed teddies and selling them to the USA. The Steiff company went on to sell millions of teddies before the First World War in Germany, as well as the UK and USA.

A family business called Merrythought in the World Heritage Site of Ironbridge in Shropshire, England, have been making teddies since 1930.  In the 1980’s they made showpiece teddies, some 6ft. tall for Hamleys and Harrods.  In 1992 they won the TOBY (Teddy Bear of the Year Award) for Master Mischief designed by Jacqueline Revitt.  In 2013 they produced a special edition bear to mark the arrival of Prince George of Cambridge.