"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

An Anglophile At Heart



I am an Anglophile in my heart.  Don't know of any near kin from Great Britain, but I feel a bond.  I love so many things about it; too many to list here.

I buy different magazines from GB.  The latest edition of COUNTRY LIVING British Edition is about the holidays and how they are celebrated.  Very interesting article about past winters and holidays from the 1800's to the forties.  Hadn't known about the wartime traditions.  The people back then were made of stern stuff  (unlike the younger generations of today.)  

An article about mistletoe caught my eye.  Had no clue about the traditions with mistletoe.  Early druids used it in rituals and much Celtic lore surrounds it.  It was an interesting article.  Oklahoma's state flower is the mistletoe, selected in the late 1800's before statehood.  I am going out this beautiful day and harvest a large ball of it to hang in the alcove above my doorway at the city house.  Tied up with a ribbon, it will be the only outside decoration this Christmas.

30 comments:

  1. Yes, you'll be kissing everything that walks beneath that said Mistletoe :)
    I miss the Christmas traditions in England, they are engrained in my very soul.
    I read the English version of Country Living when I was home last month, full of nostalgia and beauty.
    ~Jo

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    1. As long as I don't get pregnant Jo. I love everything about the magazines; the different words, foods and decor is fantastic. We have so much in common with GB but very different too. I get my copies at Barnes and Noble.

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    2. I need to look into that, and treat myself monthly :)
      ~Jo

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  2. Donna I'm so glad you have found the British edition of COUNTRY LIVING - I've thrilled to every issue for the many, many years I've subscribed. When each one appears in my mailbox I know I'm going to have a perfect day - make a cuppa, snuggle into my loveseat in the bay window, and then set for hours of delightful reading, oohing, aahing over the photos, recipes, crafts etc. This is truly the best magazine out there - and is the reason I don't mind quitting all the others and putting my money where my heart is. . . . . . which I guess never really left England 53 years ago!

    I love what you said about people in wartime Britain being made of stern stuff. Although I was just baby then and recall little - even when bombs fell close by in our town a few times - my parents told me much about those days being "the worse of days yet the best of days" when it came to camaraderie between neighbors, friends and family.

    I do believe today's generation have very little idea of what their ancestors, even recent ones, truly experienced when it comes to hardship, need, want, living meagerly, few material things etc. Don't know many teenagers these days who have one pair of shoes and have to walk everywhere - even a mile or more to use a bright red telephone box!

    Oh how I could go on here - but for now I'll just say I'm off to find poinsettias and a mistletoe kissing ball!
    Happy day dear friend.
    Mary -

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    1. Love your words Mary. You are an expat like Jo and the holidays must send you back home. Happy holidays.

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  3. I love so much about the Great Britain too.
    Especially from reading all the history, fairy tales and murder mysteries in small English towns.
    I am such a tourist at heart.
    But I despise mistletoe. Interesting traditions aside.
    Ours is not at all pretty like the above photo. Balls of huge stringy witches hair.
    That have eaten up so many beautiful trees. I have to have my gardeners walk the property twice a year to cut it out.
    Awful invasive stuff.
    But you are so right even the mistletoe is pretty in Great Britain. (And the cakes !)

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. So funny you say that Parsnip. The article went on to show how to propagate it. That would be like selling ice cubes to the Eskimos. It is reviled here and no one would dream of grafting or sowing its seeds. They were showing how to cut just part of it out of the tree so not to kill the mistletoe or host tree. Seems some want to grow it for sale. It was an good article though and I found my bunch to cut out in an elm tree, one of the trees they said it grows in.

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  4. I love my English sister in law who sends and brings me wonderful British sweets and makes wonderful British foods. The mistletoe at your door is so perfect for Christmas.

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    1. Yes, I went looking and found my bunch in an elm tree where the article said it would grow.

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  5. When I was a child we had mistletoe growing on our old apple tree. If you pass through Herefordshire at this time of the year you will see it festooned on apple trees and being harvested for the Christmas market. I always fix a sprig over our kitchen doot (in the hopes that all the men entering will give me a Christmas kiss!)

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    1. You naughty girl Pat. It said apple trees have lots of it. The issue of the magazine also said Herefordshire was the most beautiful area in all the land. Is that true? If so, it'll be on my list of places to go. I told my sister I wish we could buy a little cottage there to stay in some of the year and rent out the rest of the year. But, then again, it's just a dream.

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  6. I have subscribed to Country Living for years - trouble is I love it so much I have difficulty getting rid of the old copies - so now I pull out all the pictures and articles that I like before I discard the magazine. In all of my nearly seven decades I have never seen mistletoe growing in the wild!!!

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    1. I started doing the same thing years ago as I was saving piles of magazines and never remembered why. So now I have folders of tear sheets instead.

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  7. I must tell you that when Nancy lived here ..she thought of remodeling her kicthen...she bought a couple of British Country Livings..I loved them and thought..I should make an effort and pick some up from time to time..I have been remiss..must remedy that.
    I have French/Irish blood in moi.

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    1. They have the best fabrics and decor. My favorite dining room set was in last month's issue. I tore it out, but I can't imagine getting them to ship it to the US or the cost of it. I love the articles too. Very eco conscious and love the land and animals. Though I must say, their editor's phone must have rung off the hook over their retelling the Celt ritual of killing a wren the day after Christmas since it was said the wren gave a saint's hiding place away. Old times were cruel times too.

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  8. My mother was English, and I grew up hearing the stories, and following some of the traditions. For which I am grateful.
    Mistletoe is beautiful isn't it? And must be very hard to see against a snowy sky...

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    1. Lucky you Child. What wonderful tales you must have heard. The mistletoe itself stays green year round. Must have anti-freeze in its leaves.

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  9. Each Mistletoe berry has the value of one kiss and after each kiss you pluck a berry off. So depending upon your popularity you might have to buy more before the 25th do you think ? :)

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    1. I found a large bunch that is loaded with berries. Won't need another one this Christmas. Just wish they were edible. I will be looking for a bottle of sloe gin for Christmas. I've heard the sloe berries grow in the hedgerows in the UK.

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  10. Correct, Blackthorn trees (their fruit is the Sloe berry) are very numerous in Ireland too we have several of them in the backyard.

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  11. Donna I feel the same. I subscribe to WOI, British vogue, British H&G, and Tatler, much prefer them. My other life after this decade finds me somewhere in Devon! Tally Ho... pgt

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    1. Can't wait to hear about it Gaye. Love the juxtaposition of antique and modern decorating and well, just everything about the UK.

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  12. Donna, when I visited London and the surrounding countryside some years ago I felt as if I had lived there in the past.
    I love all thing British and of course now I am even an India Hicks Style Ambassador. Mistletoe always makes me nostalgic!!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena
    Books for the Holidays!

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  13. Karena, I read your post about India Hicks. A big congratulations. All those coffee table books made me want to go have a look at Barnes and Noble. I feel that same feeling about the UK. Hope I can spend a month traveling around the kingdom one day. I'll keep looking for your posts.

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  14. Me too, Anglophile all the way, deep roots in Britain. I often wonder what the Brits make of it. I am pretty sure they just laugh about it, and doubt very much if they are Americaphiles. So many of us have a connection through our ancestors to England, I guess that is why many feel a kinship with our British cousins. You are so right about this up and coming generation, no "stern stuff" here, just a bunch of delicate snowflakes. I shudder when I think about it.

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    1. I know they think our gun laws are crazy. It is such an old, beautiful land. I must have lived there in another time. I do worry about my children and grands should a disaster occur.

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  15. Donna, I'm guessing that you might already have realized that I'm a fellow Anglophile. Might have started way back when with Winnie the Pooh and Alice's Adventures Underground. My first London visit mid 1970s confirmed the love.

    Mistletoe is still a rare botanical in my real life life, although I've admired it's design and attributes for a long, long time. Around this time last year, I was in London, and had the chance to attend the CL Christmas Fair. Not all the exhibitors were all that interesting but I did manage to bring home a custom rubber stamp bearing a mistletoe branch design.

    This year's local demands kept my passport unstamped, but I'm greatly looking forward to crossing the Atlantic next year. Things seem to get odder and odder on this side of the ocean.

    xo

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    1. Coincidence Frances. They say there are no coincidences. Would have loved that fair. In London, nothing much was going on when I was there, but The British Museum blew me away. Oh, and Harrod's. Next time, I'm traveling the UK and getting out of the city. Believe it or not, one of the best times there was riding the red tourist bus around. The lady guide was so funny, we laughed and laughed. My daughter went recently and her favorite thing was mucking the Thames when the tide went out. She found lots of interesting things.

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  16. Dear Donna I too love reading the English magazines. I am partial to the English Garden. Mistletoe does not grow here or at least I have never seen it. Hope hubby is getting better. Hugs!

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    1. Yes, Debbie, he is getting better though he has been gone hunting to his cabin for a total of 20 days. Mistletoe isn't popular around here as it spreads in the trees prolifically and it can kill the tree.

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