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Bottles or Buddhas?

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It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Collectors have obviously found this to be true in their chosen obsession.
There are several collections in this household. My husband is an avid collector of old things, bottles being one of them. Now I ask you , what is beautiful about a bottle? I have obviously asked this question and believe me the answer is very long and drawn out haha!
 
My own collection started because of my daughters’ interest in Buddhism and other religions. I discovered that the many statues and ornaments of Buddha to be found were really quite lovely. 
 
I knew very little about Buddhism but these images drew me and I found the simplest way of accounting for Buddha himself was a beautiful story. The historical Buddha was Shakyamuni and he had been born a Crown Prince who was to be groomed to become King. However, upon realising the suffering the outside world was enduring he gave up his privileged lifestyle to go out into the world and help. He found enlightenment at a place called Badh Gaya in India when he was a young man and went on to teach this enlightenment to others.
Buddha means “one who is awakened” and in Buddhist tradition there are countless deities. There are healing Buddhas ,Dhyani Buddhas, compassionate Buddhas, longevity Buddhas and wealth Buddhas but the historical Shakyamuni is the image typically used for statues and ornaments.
 
I have quite a collection now, some old bought at antique fairs and auctions but some just as lovely modern ones. My favourite was bought from the Swarovski shop and is crystal so I keep it under a glass dome. It is strange, but without even knowing very much about Buddhism they bring a sense of peace.
 
So, bottles are tolerated because my husband finds them fascinating but my Buddhas are loved because they are beautiful and radiate a sense of calm. 
 
Collecting can be fun as long as your chosen obsession can fit in your living space comfortably. Thankfully my husbands’ bottles live quite happily in his man cave where he can dust them himself.

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Food

The best Fish & Chips shops in the UK

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Many tourists would like to try real fish & chips when they come to the UK. Unfortunately, in central London and other tourist spots, decent fish & chips are not easy to find According to the ‘Fry Magazine’ these are the 50 best fish & chips in the UK.

As you can see there is only one in London and it is in Harrow, not exactly in the centre of town. But on the list ( not by ranking) there are some shops in fairly touristy places like Alnwick, Norwich, Dorchester, Weymouth, Kendal and Penzance.

Finn’s Traditional Fish and Chips, Reading, Berkshire

Fintans Fish & Chip Co, Llanishen, Cardiff

Fish ‘n’ Fritz, Weymouth, Dorset

Fisherman’s Bay, Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear

Fochabers Fish Bar, Fochabers, Moray

Fraser’s Fish and Chips, Penzance, Cornwall

Frydays of Kendal, Kendal, Cumbria

George’s Fish And Chips, Hanham, Bristol

Harlees Fish & Chips, Westbury, Wiltshire

Henley’s of Wivenhoe, Wivenhoe, Essex

Hiks, Brynhyfryd, Swansea, Glamorgan

Hooked On The Heath, Knutsford, Cheshire

Jason’s Fish And Chips, Rackheath , Norwich, Norfolk

Land & Sea, Sowerby, York, North Yorkshire

Linfords Traditional Fish and Chip Shop, Market Deeping, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

Market Hill Fisheries, Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire

McLeod’s Fish and Chips, Inverness 

Auckley Friery, Auckley, South Yorkshire

Callaways Fish & Chips, Dorchester, Dorset

Carlo’s, Alnwick, Northumberland

Castiglio’s Fried Fish & Chips, Ammanford, Carmarthenshire

Chippy Chippy, Holyhead, Anglesey

Chips @ No. 8, Prestwich, Manchester Chish & Fips, Norwich, Norfolk

Cox’s At The Lighthouse, St Neots, Cambridgeshire

Croft Street Fisheries, Farsley, Leeds

Davenport’s Fish & Chips, Louth, Lincolnshire

David’s Fish And Chips, Brixham, Devon

Dhillons Fish Inn, Throckley, Newcastle

Dunkeld Fish Bar, Dunkeld,  Musselburgh, East Lothian

My Plaice Fish and Chips, Gorleston-on- Sea, Norfolk

Newington Fish Bar, Ramsgate, Kent

Priory Plaice Fish and Chips, Ulverston, Cumbria

Sea Salt Sole, Dyce, Aberdeen

Seasmiths Fish Chips, Porthtowan, Truro, Cornwall

Shap Chippy, Penrith, Cumbria

Shaw’s Fish And Chips, Dodworth, Barnsley, South Yorkshire

Smith’s Chippy, South Shields, Tyne & Wear

Sykes, Pendlebury, Salford, Greater Manchester

The Cafe Royal, Annan, Dumfriesshire

The Cottage by Haddocks, Rawtenstall, Rossendale, Lancashire

The Crescent Fish & Chip Shop, Flint, Flintshire

The Esk Cafe, Carlisle, Cumbria 

The Fish At Goose Green, Wigan, Lancashire

The Fish Bar, Crewe, Cheshire The Fish Works, Largs, North Ayrshire

The Friary, Carrickfergus, County Antrim

The Golden Fry, Benllech, Isle of Anglesey

The Horseshoe Fish Bar, Pontnewynydd, Torfaen

The Little Chippy Tyldesley, Manchester The Plaice to Be, Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire

The Shire Fryer, Shrewsbury, Shropshire Tony’s, Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire

Towngate Fisheries, Idle, Bradford , West Yorkshire

Valerio’s Fish And Chips, Lanark, South Lanarkshire

Yan’s Fish Bar, Cardiff Every Fish Bar, Harrow, London

Farnhams Fish And Chips, Boverton, Llantwit

Major Fiddlers Elbow Fish and Chips, Leintwardine, Herefordshire 

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Home & Garden

What is Patience?

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Can we agree that Patience is a good trait of character to possess, variously described by different faiths and philosophers as a virtue?
 The first known recording in English of this expression is in Piers Plowman a narrative poem believed to have been written by William Langland between 1360 and 1387. One line in the poem states that “patience is a fair virtue.” 
 
 It is similar to the Latin expression, “maxima enim, patientia virtus” written by Cato the Elder, stating that Patience is the Greatest Virtue.  A virtue is a standard of behaviour a society or individual believes to be right, determined by conscience. Conscience is a self-awareness that a moral standard has been breached. There are numerous synonyms to describe the state of being patient, unexcited, coolheaded, laid back, level-headed, cool as cucumber, unimpressed, unexcitable, to name but a few.
 
Whatever the etymology of the word or concept, without some degree of patience, life would be very difficult if not impossible. There is the immediate problem of coping with daily hassles and annoyances. Triggers will vary according to the individual. An occurrence that annoys one person may be met by another, with equanimity. Fortunately, with the practise of patience, annoyance can be defused. In daily life, this will lead to better mental health and may lower blood pressure, which rises when constantly on edge. 
Another example of patience that is helpful, is the calm manner of waiting to reach a long-term goal, such as studying for an examination. Also, when dealing with a period of financial hardship or a long-term health problem, waiting it out can reduce stress. 
Then there is the patience needed when interacting with other people. In 1 Corinthians 13.48 it is said that “Love is patient, Love is kind” Some people require a great deal of patience, but forbearance is usually beneficial to all parties. Indeed, there are probably times when we all need people to be patient with us! 
 
 
Of course, there is a negative side to patience, if taken to an extreme. It is possible to have too much of a good thing. Patience and kindness should not mean becoming a doormat and allowing people to disrespect you. Sometimes you need to be proactive to make progress, either at home or at work. Chasing up a hospital appointment, which is on a long waiting list will reduce anxiety and ensure you are not overlooked by the system.  Each situation must be judged on its merits before deciding that “Enough is Enough”.

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Home & Garden

UK 2020 – A year of Waiting

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Since March 2020, we have entered a period of waiting, caused by the pandemic. Belatedly the UK entered the first of three lockdowns, which resulted in only essential shops and services staying open and everyone who could do so, was told to work from home.  We formed alliances called “Bubbles” Apart from this contact, we were told to literally stay away from each other, as being the only way to “Stay Safe”
 
The Queen broadcast a rallying call to the Nation, reminding us of the bravery of the generation who fought in WW11, and assured us that “we will meet again” Sadly not everyone will, as the death toll from covid 19 has now exceeded 150,000.
 
The summer passed, marked by low key celebrations of VE Day.  Neighbours practised social distancing by having afternoon tea in their front gardens, in lieu of street parties.  We showed appreciation to the NHS by applauding the staff from our doorsteps on one evening a week.  Apart from these displays of solidarity, the passing of the year was unmarked by the usual national events, such as the Glastonbury festival or the Wimbledon lawn tennis championship. 
We waited like this to try to ensure that the hospitals were not overwhelmed with sick and dying people. We waited to visit distant relatives and elderly residents of care homes, many of whom didn’t understand why family members, no longer visited. We waited in a sort of limbo, clutching hand sanitiser and wearing face masks to go food shopping, if we were able to go out and not “shielding”. On no account must we touch the mask for fear of contamination and breathing in of viral particles!
 
Finally, there was a light at the end of the tunnel, when news reports started to come in, that vaccines were being developed. The vaccines will prevent the severity of the disease and lessen hospital admissions, freeing up the NHS to further treat non covid patients.  Such admissions are largely comprised of elderly people, BAME people and people with underlying conditions.  
 
One in three people may carry the virus asymptomatically, with no sign of illness, but can pass it on to others. Others, while not needing hospital admission may be ill at home and one in ten develop “long covid” with persistent symptoms. 
 
 
We waited for the vaccines and by now half the UK population has had the first jab of either the Astra Zeneca or Pfizer vaccine.  The older age groups are waiting for the second jab, to gain full protection. I may then feel confident to visit the Optician and have the boiler serviced, two of the necessary appointments and jobs waiting to be done.
 
We are waiting for everyone to be vaccinated in the hope that families will be able to meet up again properly, although social distancing and the wearing of masks is likely to continue in public places for some time. There is even talk of vaccine passports, documents to be shown before gaining entry to pubs and places of entertainment. 
 
We are waiting to see if there is a further outbreak near Christmas and a further lockdown.  We are waiting to see if further jabs will be needed then, to cope with new variants of covid 19. It is almost certain that in future annual jabs will be required to keep up immunity from the virus. 
 
In the meantime, there is a large Notice displayed on the side of our local theatre, which advises us to “act as if you’ve got it and stay at home”. This only appeared recently and replaced an even more scary public warning, in the shape of a video showing people wearing oxygen masks in hospital, which I referred to as the Screen of Doom!
 
Despite this, we are waiting for the new normal, which we are hoping in time will become more and more like the old normal.  Take comfort in sayings such as   “All things come to those who wait.”  and “This too shall pass.”   Waiting …. Waiting….

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