Connect with us

Home & Garden

New Years Eve 2020 – an occasion of mixed emotions



New Year’s Eve is an occasion of mixed emotions, the celebration of the year ahead mingled with nostalgia for the years past.  The singing of Auld Lang Syne brings tears to the eyes of many, especially if there has been liberal imbibing of alcohol in the hours before midnight!  The Scots are renowned for the celebration of Hogmanay and some of my earliest memories of New Year’s Eve in the nineteen sixties ( yes, I can remember that far back) are of Andy Stewart appearing on a black and white television set, singing “Come in, come in its nice to see you. How’s yourself you’re looking grand. Man, you’re welcome here’s my hand.”  Andy would entertain the home and studio audience until midnight with Scottish dancing and singing, when no doubt the test card appeared as the BBC shut down. 

My New Year’s Eve celebrations have on the whole taken place with the television on in the background. This included the celebration of the Millennium. London was promised a spectacular firework display, with the Thames being turned into a river of fire. Unfortunately, it turned out to be literally a damp squib, as the chain failed to ignite after the first explosion. The Sidney fireworks were of course magnificent, and I have always been particularly fond of seeing the Eiffel Tower display. In 1999, I scored over my neighbour, who went to spend the evening with friends and missed the display entirely. There was no rewind, as there is today, just a brief catch up on the news.  I do remember that the air was thick with smoke on New Year’s Day, as my immediate neighbours seem to have been doing their best to rival London!

I know that New Year’s Eve is almost the last chance I shall have to enjoy my Christmas Decorations, which were put up so cheerfully and will soon be consigned to their boxes again until December 2021. Since 2020 has been an” annus horribilis,” going well beyond the partial burning down of Windsor Castle, its passing will be met with relief and a real hope for a better 2021. The pandemic has caused families to mourn their dead, while others may be left to carry on with a prolonged illness, known as “Long Covid” The fourth of January sees the start of the roll out of vaccines, brilliantly discovered by virologists, to combat the disease of Covid19 and (fingers crossed) its mutations.  The start of 2021 hopefully marks the end of the beginning, until later in the year, we hope to see the beginning of the end, of the spread of the virus. 
I imagine that the start of the years 1919 and 1946 must have been celebrated in a similar spirit of relief and hopeful renewal. The end of the first and second World Wars in 1918 and 1945 saw the rebuilding of countries, often physically from rubble and the regeneration of economies, that were scarred by national debt. Unlike those times, there can be no public celebrations this year, due to the invisible enemy that requires us to keep our distance. Once again, I shall be sitting  in front of  screen on New Year’s Eve watching a pre-recorded display of lights from the London Eye. At midnight, once again, it will be time to wish friends, & neighbours “Happy New Year” , although I guess it can wait until morning. 

In the nineteen sixties I worked in London stores. Worked as an Insurance Clerk in the City of London during the nineteen seventies. Divorced in the nineteen nineties. Now I am a retired Civil Servant, managing home and garden and escaping onto social media whenever possible.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Home & Garden

Dressing for Comfort



Since the advent of Covid, it is not news that people have been spending a lot more time at home. Social isolation and lockdowns have kept people indoors, some shielding, some on furlough and others working from home. This has inevitably had an effect on the choice of clothing for day wear, track suits replacing smart casual and suits for office workers. The recent heatwave endured in houses without aircon has had an added effect, with as many garments as possible, probably being discarded!
The actor Colin Firth recounted on a chat show (VIDEO HERE), an incident that had happened to him.  He said that he was wearing only “non presentation underpants” and fluffy pink slippers, when he had an accident. trapping his fingers in a sash window that slammed down on them,  when he was trying to open it. He tried calling for help to no avail, eventually breaking the glass and screaming for attention! A neighbour then came over the fence and finally rescued Colin, finding time to say how much he and his wife enjoyed his films. Other neighbours then turned up to view the scene! I am sure that many of us have suffered, hopefully, lesser embarrassment, when forced to answer the front door wearing clothes meant for our eyes only. 
I have a friend who always wants to look her best, even when alone in the house. This makes me uneasy skyping with her, as I have become aware of my own shortcomings.  I now feel obliged to powder my nose and change my T shirt, before viewing her from across the miles. 
In very cold weather, people experiencing fuel poverty may be forced to wear outdoor clothes in the house, in an effort to keep warm.  They dress for comfort as far as they are able, or at least to mitigate their harsh surroundings.  Extremes of weather can literally be a matter of life or death, affecting blood circulation when cold or causing dehydration during heat. 
On a less serious note, some people find comfort in old clothes and don’t mind wearing cardigans with holes in them or baggy trousers!
There are of course fashionable garments sold with holes in them and ripped. One is seen as a sign of poverty and the other of wealth.
Dressing for Comfort is essentially choosing clothes that facilitate concentration on work and enable relaxation. 

Continue Reading

Home & Garden

Can we agree that people hate losing things?



At least I’ve never met anyone who says “I don’t mind if I lose something” in effect “Am I bothered?  However, It doesn’t seem to bother some people that much, as they keep on losing everyday items.  In the case of keys, these need to be found before leaving the house.
For some people, though, even the temporary loss of an item is a big deal and they may come close to “losing it” themselves. Apart from the irritation at being without the item, the loss undermines self-belief in competence and control over life.
Recently, I lost a full-length waist slip. This bothered me greatly. “How could such a large garment go missing?” I asked myself reprovingly. I retraced my steps to the last time I had seen it,  draped over a chair in the bedroom and later on a chair in the sitting room.  In hot weather, I had been wearing it around the house. (What people choose to wear when alone in the house, may be the subject of another story) Its loss bothered me throughout the Euro Cup semi-final and while Harry Kane, only had to score a penalty, I had to find my waist slip!
After the match, I scrabbled about for it under the sofa. No luck, it was nowhere to be found. I convinced myself that in a fit of enthusiasm about tidying up, I had thrown it away without thinking.  Yes, that was it. At some point, it is necessary to draw a line on searching and move on.
Of course, if the item has great sentimental value, such as a wedding ring, the loss will be especially hard to take, for reasons of grief as well as self-annoyance. Stories of rings turning up years later when gardening, sometimes make a news item. “There is the diamond, gleaming among the cabbages” reads the headline, ending years of hurt. 
I am happy to report a good result in the case of the slip that gave me the slip. Irritated with seeing it lying around, I had put it in with the items for handwashing. It was with deep joy that once identified, I lifted its dripping length out of the washbasin. I am glad to say that I had not totally lost it!

Continue Reading


Here where you can find the best pizzas in the world



50 Top Pizza , the most important sector guide has decided to confer an ad hoc prize to the chains of artisanal pizzerias , the Top World Artisan Pizza Chains 2021 – Latteria Sorrentina Award . 20 the brands present in the first edition of this special ranking with at least 5 locations.

The winner is the brand Da Michele , historic Neapolitan sign that counts well 19 sites
around the world, 8 in Italy and the remaining located in Britain, Spain, Germany, USA, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Japan. In second position another high-sounding name of the Neapolitan school, that of Sorbillo , which includes several stores throughout the peninsula, in addition to those in New York, Miami and Tokyo . Third, which arouses a great surprise, is the French Big Mamma Group , with numerous restaurants in France, in London and Madrid.

Pizzeria Da Michele

So far it has two sites in Britain and both are in London (Soho and Baker Street) that were opened a few years ago and have been well received. 

Immortalized in the film Eat, pray, love , with  Julia Roberts, the pizzeria Da Michele is a must-see if you go to Naples. Michele opened his first pizzeria in 1906 in the current headquarters of the Ascalesi Hospital, whose construction forced the pizzeria to move. In 1930 the pizzeria is moved to its current location in Via Cesare Sersale, often described by experts and journalists as “the sacred temple of pizza”.

Here is the best ten pizzeria chains in the world:

Top World Artisan Pizza Chains 2021 – Latteria Sorrentina Award :

1 Da Michele – Italy, Britain, Spain, Germany, USA, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Japan

2 Sorbillo – Italy and World

3 Big Mamma Group – France and UK

4 Berberè – Italy and Europe

5 Pizza Pilgrims – UK

6 Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana – USA

7 Bráz – Brazil

8 400 Degrees – Australia – USA

9 Peppina – Asia

10 Grosso Napoletano – Spain

Continue Reading

Recent Posts



%d bloggers like this: