Oh Chihuahua

“I will not be another flower, picked for my beauty and left to die. I will be wild, difficult to find, and impossible to forget.~ Erin Van Vuren

We all got new coats for Christmas. Santa Julien was very generous as usual. No one gets left out. Somehow I don’t think the kids took a fancy to their new Doggy snow suits with arms and legs.

I thought they looked wonderful and fit great. But once we suited them up; they wouldn’t even budge. You’d think by looking at them they just wanted to die.

Oh little chihuahua’s, it’s  not so difficult is it?

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Winter Solstice

We have approached the winter solstice in our hemisphere; a day which has takes place on December 21. An anniversary to be celebrated.

We are here in Wales. The morning has come beaming down on the Gorsedd stones in Sketty bringing the longest night of the year. It is our ancestors that celebrated this season as the “Yule” before it became known as “Christmas.”

So, this is the winter solstice. It’s the onset of the seasons over the length of a full year; it is the last and the cycle in the season of our winter.

For the next three days, December 22nd, 23rd, and 24th, the Sun will rise and set on the exact same latitude, on the exact same day and the exact time and the same degree for three days.

And in this winter cycle, it is the time it takes for the Earth to orbit the sun in a year or 365.25 days.

We will celebrate our fourth cycle together in this precession of the equinoxes resulting in this day, a difference in the Earth’s orbital on this one day.

We are the measure of these cycles under this fixed background of stars; Taking a solar year for the sun to reappear again; returning to this same position in the sky again.

Could these be the same stars that appeared over 2000 years ago over a little town called Bethlehem…Oh star of wonder.

And they say there are 1,440 within the minutes of a day, and only minutes between the solar years. This is the eve of our winter solstice.

These dates have been recorded for the last 26,000 years by the ancients. Stonehenge is proof of the equinoxes and the solstices shifting and repeating backwards in the calendar.

The winter solstice are the days and nights becoming the winter under this moon and these stars above;

The winter solstice is the reference point for the timing of the celebrations of Christmas and all the times we share together here in Wales

Places in Sketty- Singleton Park

Parc Singleton Sgeti (Welsh)

Near Wynberg House in Sketty Swansea is Vivian Road and Sketty Green.

The village of Sketty is centred on Sketty Cross which are the junction roads to Gower Road, Vivian Road, De-la-Beche and Dillwyn Road is the amazing historic Singleton Park.

When you enter Singleton Park from Gower Road in Sketty; there to the north is a walk that leads down a shallow green valley, it’s open to beautiful flanked trees belted by wide open rolling hills of green spaces.

Those along the east are ancient lime, horse chestnut, sweet chestnut and pine trees. To the west of the walk is the Gorsedd Circle of stones.

The stones are known as the Gorsedd Stone Circle. It was erected in Singleton Park, Swansea in 1925 for the National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Proclamation Ceremony.

To the south of the Gorsedd Circle, set in the bank below the east side of the old kitchens and gardens that once served the Vivian Copper Barons of Swansea. Just below is a semi-sunk, water wheel in a stone pit that brought the water up to the house.

There are orchards of trees on the bank; mainly horse chestnuts, sweet chestnuts and conifers. Their fruits have fallen, some still green into the shade labored underneath its branches.

A small stream bed, with some rocks, runs southwards to a damp area made into a bog garden. A gravel path winds along the slope.

Near the south side of the botanical garden are the footings of a stone wall, probably the remains of the south wall of the original Veranda garden.

A flight of concrete steps in the middle leads down to a path flanked by fastigiate yews and a gravel terrace with seats. On the south boundary is a fence and hedge.

All this was part of the Veranda House was first built in 1799-1800 on land which had been part of Gwerniddiff Farm, on the site of the farmhouse.

The Singleton Estate as it had now become had amalgamated some 12 farms to amass 250 acres. By 1851 the Walled Garden had become the kitchen and flower garden that once served the needs of the Vivian family.

The property where the Botanical Garden is now of 44 acres includes the garden grounds, and former Vivian plantation. The seeds that were planted have sown, taken root in soil lined essays and poetry of the earth; Tended to with great care.

In 1847 John Henry Vivian purchased Veranda House for his son Henry Hussey Vivian and his wife Jessie. Within a year Jessie had died after giving birth to their son.

Henry was distraught and resolved not to live in the house and by 1853 only the estate lodge remained, the principal part of Veranda having been dismantled. St Paul’s Church Sketty, was built as a memorial to Jessie.

The approach is the main and service drives from the north, a branch from the main drive leading to a small, rectangular walled garden to the west.

There are grounds to the north of the house that remain today and a narrow garden area, bounded by a wall, to the south. To the south of there was a rectangular orchard.

  • The old Veranda garden wall was retained, but a bigger area of c. 5 acres was enclosed to its north by a high; a curving wall, most of which remains today with a round tower.
  • The inner (Veranda) walled garden survived until at least 1914. It was situated on the area now occupied by the gardeners of the botanical garden. Its north wall is incorporated into the walled garden.

    The footings of the garden’s south wall have been found in a flowerbed in the botanical garden.

    The modern Swansea botanical garden has been developed on the part where the old Veranda House and Singleton Farm is now thanks to the Vivian Family.

    Singleton park was originally part of the Vivian family Estate, which was purchased by Swansea County Borough Council in 1919 for use as a public park.

    This is where I walk almost everyday. It is so beautiful I had to find out how it all became this and wanted to share the wonders of this place.

    The brilliant legacy of Singleton will never fade. A fragile memory still lingers here in the colors of the trees and in the People who once call it home.

    References;

    http://orapweb.rcahms.gov.uk/coflein//C/CPG252.pdf

    http://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/19964/details/singleton-farm

    For the Love of Julien

    On his birthday.

    Give Me a Rosebud

    Give Me A Rosebud

    by Aurora Vane

    March 1883

    “Ere summer, on unsandaled feet,

    Goes, with her wealth of roses sweet,

    Oh, darling one, please give to me

    A rosebud, sweet and fair to see.

    A lovely rose of creamy-white,

    Oft kissed by shining rays of light,

    And oft refreshed by gentle dew

    And summer rain. Oh, dear one true,

    Please let this lovely rosebud be

    A token of thy love to me.

    Oh, give me, dear, a rosebud fair,

    That thou hast watched with tender care.

    Perfect its beauty; for I know

    Its loveliness would rarer grow

    Beneath the gleamings of thine eyes,

    Bright as the blue of sapphire skies,

    A sacred treasure it wall be,

    A token of thy love to me.

    Available at:

    http://stores.ebay.co.uk/littlebitoftexasinswansea/

    Merry Vintage Christmas

    With a few ideas about get to started on how to begin celebrating the season; here it is. It is all about gathering family and friends, staying at home and sharing the best Christmas yet!

    I will be featuring a few of my favourite table collections (which I think you’ll love too) that encourages you to create a relaxed food sharing experience this party season.

    Under the Christmas tree, place thoughtful gifts for loved ones to open on Christmas morning – from popular and meaningful Vintage collectibles for gifting like a piece of Bone China, a Victorian tea sets and lots of blue and white and coffee mugs. Place candy and sweets in a cup, a candle, Ceylon Tea, or even a gift card.

    It adds to the classic gift. Use a vintage; mix and match. You never know when someone’s vintage might be the gift that makes a difference in someone’s Christmas this year!

    Pictured Above

    One of a kind Vintage tea set by Baker Bros Meir bone China. A Victorian Floral Gilded 10 piece Tea Cup trio’s with extra Tea Side Plates. Made in England from the 1920’s. Back stamped.

    http://stores.ebay.co.uk/littlebitoftexasinswansea/

    Dainty by Shelley

    Up in Staffordshire, England at the Foley’s it was a place where they first made the Dainty. It is a teacup pattern by Shelley. One of the most beautiful and amazing pieces of pottery I have ever seen.

    This is just one pattern incredible beauty was earlier known as Wileman & Co; a name they had been originally known as. Then they became the Foley Potteries originally before they were acquired by Shelley.

    The first Shelley to join the company was Joseph Ball Shelley in 1862 and in 1896 his son Percy Shelley became the sole proprietor.

    In the late Victorian period the Art Nouveau, The Foley potteries began making this style of pottery. Many other potteries were to make this design. It was so extremely popular, that Foley had to Patten the name Shelley.

    Others potters follow this design like Paragon, Queen Anne, Melba and Aynsley. But Shelley is probably best known for this very fine bone china “Art Deco” ware of the inter-war years and post-war fashionable tea ware.

    Rowland Morris was a ceramic designer who actually created the Dainty cup shape for Percy Shelley.

    This shape became the popular, especially in the USA after the 2nd World War, remaining in the Shelley family continuing in production until the takeover in 1966 by Allied English Potteries.

    Over the years Shelley Pottery has been the icon of English Fine Bone China even though the Dainty has not been made since the 1960’s.

    Its china and earthenware products were many and varied with the major output of tea ware.

    The Shelley pieces remains to be quite a collectible as well as sought after with those who want to take their tea with refined discerning Victorian decadence.

    View more;

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Late-Foley-Shelley-Teacup-Trio-Dainty-Teacup-Gilded-Fine-Bone-China-/263346047038?_mwBanner=1&redirect=mobile