Friday Poetry

Another poem I chose because it made me think of Christmas. This one the star that the three wise men followed to see Jesus. The pictures are from my Christmas decorations.

The Star

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

How I wonder what you are!

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.

 

When the blazing sun is gone,

When he nothing shines upon,

Then you show your little light,

Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

 

Then the traveller in the dark,

Thanks you for your tiny spark,

He could not see which way to go,

If you did not twinkle so.

 

In the dark blue sky you keep,

And often through my curtains peep,

For you never shut your eye,

Till the sun is in the sky.

 

As your bright and tiny spark,

Lights the travellers in the dark-

Though I know not what you are,

Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

 

Jane Taylor

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Lady Book Dragon

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Christmas Reading continued

Greetings readers!

How is everyone’s run up to Christmas going so far?

Well I did promise that I would probably add to the Christmas reading list and I have. I have added three new books.

1. Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

This book was half price at Waterstones and as usual I could not resist.

2. Winnie the Pooh Gloom and Doom for Pessimists by A.A Milne

3. The Snowman: a new story inspired by the original tale by Raymond Briggs by Michael Morpurgo

These last two I bought today whilst out shopping in the supermarket. To be honest we went in to look at the Christmas decorations and I spotted The Snowman and picked it up. The Winnie the Pooh book was quite simply because it had Eeyore on the front and he is and will always be, my favourite Winnie the Pooh character. One day I will show you all just how many Eeyore’s I own.

Anyway that is my updated list! Please let me know your thoughts if you have read any of them.

Oh and we decorated our new Christmas tree today as well.

Happy reading.

Lady Book Dragon.

Friday Poetry

So for this week I’ve gone for a Christmas poem to get into the festive spirit. I hope everyone’s Christmas planning is going well. The picture is from my visit to the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

Christmas

The bells of waiting Advent ring,

The Tortoise stove is lit again

And lamp-oil light across the night

Has caught the streaks of winter rain

In many a stained-glass window sheen

From Crimson Lake to Hooker’s Green.

 

The holly in the windy hedge

And round the Manor House the yew

Will soon be stripped to deck the ledge,

The altar, font and arch and pew,

So that the villagers can say

‘The church looks nice’ on Christmas Day.

 

Provincial public houses blaze

And Coporation tramcars clang,

On lighted tenements I gaze

Where paper decorations hang,

And bunting in the red Town Hall

Says ‘Merry Christmas to you all’.

 

And London shops on Christmas Eve

Are strung with silver bells and flowers

As hurrying clerks the City leave

To pigeon-haunted classic towers,

And marbled clouds go scudding by

The many-steepled London sky.

 

And girls in slacks remember Dad,

And oafish louts remember Mum,

And sleepless children’s hearts are glad,

And Christmas-morning bells say ‘Come!’

Even to shining ones who dwell

Safe in the Dorchester Hotel.

 

And is it true? And is it true,

This most tremendous tale of all,

Seen in a stained-glass window’s hue,

A Baby in an ox’s stall?

The Maker of the stars and sea

Become a Child on earth for me?

 

And is it true? For if it is,

No loving fingers tying strings

Around those tissued fripperies,

The sweet and silly Christmas things,

Bath salts and inexpensive scent

And hideous tie to kindly meant,

 

No love that in a family dwells,

No carolling in frosty air,

Nor all the steeple-shaking bells

Can with this single Truth compare-

That God was Man in Palestine

And lives to-day in Bread and Wine.

 

John Betjeman

 

Lady Book Dragon

Christmas Reading List

Happy Advent! Today is the first day of Advent and so the Christmas reading has begun.

And here it is! My Christmas reading list.

I am very excited and I can not wait for tomorrow. I will see how my reading goes as I might add to the list as December goes on. The Christmas reading list runs from 1st December to 6th January when the Christmas decorations come down.

Christmas at the Beach Hut by Veronica Henry

I chose this one because I read a short story by Venronica Henry recently and really enjoyed it, so I thought I would try one of her Christmas books.

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Letters from Father Christmas by J. R. R. Tolkien

My best friend bought me this book for my birthday present and I have been saving it for my Christmas read. I am really excited about this as I absolutely adore Tolkien.

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Five at the Office Christmas Party by Bruno Vincent (based on the characters created by Enid Blyton)

These books are my guilty pleasure, I think I have read them all apart from this one, as again I have been saving it for Christmas.

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Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers

Not really a Christmas book I know but I could not resist. This book is so beautiful and special I just thought it was ideal for Christmas reading. Also the new Mary Poppins film Mary Poppins Returns is out soon and one of my saxophone students plays one of the children in the film, so I thought I had better read the book.

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Coming Home by Michael Morpurgo

I am a bit of a Morpurgo fan and when I saw this book I had to have it. I do love children’s books they always make me smile and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I found this book by complete accident as I was looking online for another book called Coming Home and this came up in the search. Hopefully it will be a lucky find.

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Mog’s Christmas by Judith Kerr

This was chosen quite simply because I have very fond memories of reading Mog stories to my neice and nephews. I have missed Mog so much I decided to buy this as a little treat to myself.

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The Nutcracker by E. T. A. Hoffmann

Here is the big finale! As I have mentioned in a previous post I always read a new version of The Nutchracker on the run up to Christmas and here is my new copy. Another pretty book, I do love pretty books.

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I would love to hear if anybody else has a Christmas reading list. Please feel free to post a link to your blog in the comments.

Happy Advent and Happy Reading.

Lady Book Dragon

 

Christmas Planning

It has begun! My Christmas reading list has started to be developed and planned. On the 1st December I start to read Christmas related books, to get me into the festive spirit.

I have one main tradition that I started a few years ago and that is to read The Nutcracker by E. T. A. Hoffmann but a different copy each year. I have ordered a new copy and I’m impatiently waiting for it to arrive. I am hoping it will be as pretty as it looks on the website.

I have also ordered some Christmas related books which I will post on here as soon as they arrive. I will also be taking a trip to Waterstones at some point for Christmas present shopping and I am sure I will buy some extra Christmas books then.

Here is the beginning of my Christmas list so far:-

Letters from Father Christmas by J. R. R. Tolkien

Five at the Office Christmas Party by Bruno Vincent.

Does anybody else have a Christmas reading tradition? I would love to hear your traditions or Christmas books you plan on reading. Please drop me a comment.

Lady Book Dragon

Remembrance Sunday

This Sunday when we think of all those people who made the ultimate sacrifice and we wear our poppies with pride, I will read the poems written by Wilfred Owen and reflect. Here is one for us all to share.

Dolce et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,

Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,

Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs

And towards our distant rest began to trudge.

Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots

But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;

Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots

Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

 

 

Gas! GAS! Quick boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,

Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;

But someone still was yelling out and stumbling

And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime…

Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,

As under green sea, I saw him drowning.

 

 

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,

He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

 

 

If some smothering dreams you too could pace

Behind the wagon that we flung him in,

And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,

His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood

Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,

Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud

Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,-

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest

To children ardent for some desperate glory,

The old Lie: Dulce et decorum best

Pro patria mori.

Wilfred Owen

 

We will remember them.

Lady Book Dragon.

Remember, remember…

Good morning my fellow bloggers.

Has anyone been to a bonfire this weekend? My family always do a big bonfire for family and friends with a few fireworks. It is always a nice way to all be together and eat good food, have a few drinks, have a good chat and let off some fireworks and sparklers. This years bonfire we got on to the subject of burning the Guy, something we have not done for a few years. Then we started to chat about how the true meaning of Guy Fawkes night or Bonfire night has started to disappear and it is all about the big firework displays and bonfire. Most children do not even know who Guy Fawkes is anymore, let alone why we have Bonfire Night.

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A brief history

On the 5th November 1605 Guy Fawkes a member of Gunpowder plotters was arrested guarding the explosives under the House of Lords. The people of London celebrated that the plot to kill King Charles I had been foiled by lighting bonfires all over London.  A few months later an act called Observance of 5th November Act was enforced that meant every year a day of public thanksgiving that the King had survived was to be observed and celebrated and so Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire night was born.

Below is the full poem about the events, however, nowadays we only generally remember the first two lines.

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder treason and plot.
We see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!

Guy Fawkes, guy, t’was his intent
To blow up king and parliament.
Three score barrels were laid below
To prove old England’s overthrow.

By god’s mercy he was catch’d
With a darkened lantern and burning match.
So, holler boys, holler boys, Let the bells ring.
Holler boys, holler boys, God save the king.

And what shall we do with him?
Burn him!

Next year I fully intend on making a Guy again with a balloon head and everything and throwing it on the fire. It is time to remember and bring back our traditions and history.

Happy Guy Fawkes Night!

Lady Book Dragon