For over 400 years on 5th November, the night skies above England have been lit by fireworks and the smell of bonfires has lingered in the air. It’s Guy Fawkes night, aka Bonfire Night or Fireworks Night. Find out the history of the commemoration and how the date is celebrated in the 21st century.
A Shropshire lad, a cycle of 63 poems by A.E.Housman, was published in 1896 and became a bestseller,. Set in a half-imagined pastoral Shropshire, the collection is now a modern classic.This article explores the context in which the poems, by a deeply secretive poet, were written.
Explore Bury St Edmunds, a small market town close to Cambridge, and a jewel in the crown of the rural county of Suffolk. Visitors make their way there to visit the magnificent cathedral, see the beautiful municipal gardens in the grounds of the ruined abbey, go shopping and much more.
Learn what a total knee replacement recovery is like from someone who elected for knee replacement surgery some years ago and the strategies that she later adopted to delay surgery on her second arthritic knee.
A short escorted coach trip to Paris is a relaxing way to get a quick overall impression of what the city has to offer visitors, including wonderful architecture, great food, trips on the Seine, and time to browse boutiques. Join me as I reflect on my most recent visit to the City of Light.
Take a literary tour of the English Lake District—an area long admired for its beautiful landscape. This walkers' paradise is a destination for people with an interest in our literary heritage.
'The Cold Earth Slept Below' is an example of Shelley's interest in both the sublime and in the Gothic tradition in literature. The poem has parallels with a tragic event in his personal life.
Easter is a fun-filled time for children, as well as a Christian festival. Here's how the focus on eggs at Easter started and continues.
An analysis of Max Ehrmann's didactic prose poem "Desiderata." The wise advice in these calming lines from 1927 still holds strong in the twenty-first century.
'Come live with me and by my love' by Christopher Marlowe is one of the most loved pastoral poems of all time. This article gives an explanation and contextual analysis of this 16th-century appeal to a sweetheart to join the speaker in a country idyll.
'To My Valentine' by Ogden Nash is a charming, unconventional love poem that casts aside cliches in favour of unexpected comparisons. Elizabeth Barrett Brownings' sonnet is conventionally romantic
Enjoy a snapshot of the opulence and extravagance of a Buddhist Temple in Chinatown. Completed at a cost of S$75 million, and opened in 2007, it is high on the list of must-visit places in Singapore.
Robert Burns is Scotland's National Poet. On the 25th January his birthday is celebrated by Scots around the world at formal dinners which follow a time-honoured format incorporating haggis, bagpipes, poetry, and a wee dram. Find out everything about iBurns’ Night in this article.
Analysis of Tennyson’s Ring Out, Wild Bells, a New Year's poem published 1850. The sentiments about the need to let go the past, the unfair inequalities in society,and wishes for a better future for everyone,are still relevant in the twenty-first century.
'Christmas' was written by one of Britain's most loved contemporary poets. It is an evocative poem about Christmas customs and the Christian faith.
A Christmas poem by England's Great Nature Poet, William Wordsworth. The poem is about an old Christmas Eve custom of village musicians visiting homes in the Parish to entertain and offer good wishes
Step out of the MRT station in Singapore's Chinatown and enter a different world. The cosmopolitan city and the modern blocks filled with high-rise offices and apartments will feel a world away.
The impressions of a grandmother who took a long-haul flight to Singapore to celebrate her seventieth birthday with members of her family who have been living and working there for two years.
Analysis of "London Snow" by Robert Bridges, a poem that creates an image of the transformational enchantment of snowfall in London; which at the time the poem was created (1890) was noisy, crowded, and heavily polluted.
A recipe for an ancient Halloween treat. Trick-or-treaters hoping for a gift of candy might be surprised to be given these soul cakes instead. But baking and giving them observes an ancient Halloween tradition. Find out more in this article.
An analysis of the evocative, lyric poem, Ode to Autumn, the last poem written by the English Romantic poet Keats before he died at the early age of 26.
This article discusses the context of Yeat’s wistful poem about unrequited love and offers an analysis of the poetic form and techniques in the text
The Dirge by Christina Rossetti is a poem about grief and regret following the death of someone who has led a life too short. It compares the human life cycle with the cycle of the seasons.
A recipe for novice cooks for an easy and economical traditional English casserole dish of succulent pieces of lamb layered with onions and carrots in a rich gravy, topped with sliced potatoes. Comfort food for a chilly day.
This article covers events and relationships that led to the short marriage and scandalous separation from his wife of Lord Byron which led to his consequent self-imposed exile from England
These two beautiful poems are perfect for a funeral service that aims to celebrate the life of the loved one who has passed. They emphasise hope and comfort and suggest that life goes on both for the deceased and the bereaved.
Chickpeas, commonly known as garbanzo beans, are a nutrient-dense, low-fat food—a healthy, budget-friendly substitute for expensive meat. This is a quick, cheap, and tasty recipe for chickpeas in a sauce made from onions, peppers, garlic, tomatoes, paprika, and a little (optional) meat.
Which plants are essential in a traditional English garden? Roses, hollyhocks, foxgloves, lupins, pinks, and more, with a sprinkling of fruits and vegetables.
Visit the Benedictine Cathedral at Montserrat, set high on the Catalonia mountain after which it is named. There you will find the shrine dedicated to Santa Maria de Montserrat, the Black Virgin
Find out how this writer updated her tired and shabby kitchen quickly with minimum disruption and a small budget.
Immerse yourself in the rich history of Newark-on-Trent, a Royalist stronghold besieged three times during English Civil Wars (1642-1651), a delightful small market town with a wealth of buildings of historic interest, and home to England's Civil War Centre.
Venice is amazing, unique and wonderful, but can be very expensive. This article gives lots of tips about how to have a long weekend visit from the UK reasonably economically.
A flight to Pisa from England was the first leg of this trip for a stay in Tuscany. The road home took us from Italy to Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, and Belgium, and on a car ferry to Hull.
Grantham Gingerbread arose through a lucky mistake in 1740 by William Eggleston, a baker in the English town of Grantham. The unique biscuit that he produced has never lost its local popularity. Read about the history and find a recipe in this article.
Does the play Antony and Cleopatra have a subtext that undermines James’s regime, offering a warning about the iniquity of state absolutism? If so, Shakespeare was treading dangerous ground.