Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Quaint English Customs ...............

Today is Shrove Tuesday which to Christians is the beginning of Lent. To the uninitiated it is also known as 'Pancake Day' in England and celebrated in various other parts of the world as 'Mardi Gras' in France, Fastnacht in Germany and it is the final day of the carnival in Brazil known as Terca-feira gorda! Now that the lesson is over I must share my first experience of this celebration in England. 
I had heard of 'Pancake Day' but never given it much thought but on the way to work this morning saw banners in Huntingdon with 'beginning of pancake race' etc. Heard someone mention that it started at 11 a.m. and as the pesky boss was away in Court today decided to see what it was all about. There were quite a few people there to watch the event but mostly the elderly and mothers with children as it is half term at the moment. A dear old man informed me very seriously that last year the mayor took a tumble and hit his head on the ground! Well it might have livened up the event if something of that sort had happened this year. The first contestants were members of the town council all dressed up with their gold chains etc who trotted along very carefully with their pancakes in frying pans, all arriving at the end of the race at the same time followed some minutes later by a larger lady with a sign on her back saying 'someone has to be last'. Watched the wheelchair contestants then headed back to work, I think that most people just regard it as 'pancake day', the religious significance long lost!
Can't believe that it is just over one year since the big move as so much has happened to us in the past twelve months. 
Bears are going quite well but rather slow and I have the usual panic attacks that nothing is good enough! We are planning to drive to London on the Saturday and stay overnight, would like to do some shopping in London and perhaps meet up with Austin and his wife for a family dinner in the evening. We can then arrive at Kensington in a sane and reasonable frame of mind. I find the drive to London quite hectic so it will at least give me chance to gather my scattered wits before the show.
Went to collect Sasha's ashes from the vet today. We were offered several options one of which was to bring him home and bury him in the garden. Well firstly it is not our garden and we will not be here for much longer and secondly and most importantly the ground is frosty and rock hard. On a light note, having heard of someone keeping their deceased pet gerbil in the deep freeze until the thaw made me smile but well a kitty is a little large. We decided to have him cremated so when we do finally have a home of our own again we can scatter his ashes in the garden and plant something special. The other kitties are still in mourning, I had not realised how much it would affect them particularly Mischka, he spends a lot of time looking for his older brother.
Well it is now back to work before I fall into bed in the wee early hours. Have been watching 'Supernatural' whilst doing my stitching, remind me never to drive on isolated roads in America at night!!
Take care and enjoy the rest of the week...........

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.  ~Anthony J. D'Angelo, The College Blue Book

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