As well as being a Tudor history buff, I’m a complete Potterhead and Rufus Scrimgeour’s words from the movie “Harry Potter and the Deathy Hallows part 1” have been on my mind: “These are dark times, there is no denying. Our world has perhaps faced no greater threat than it does today…”. Yes, we’re in dark times, so if you need an excuse to crack open some bubbly and think about other things, then here’s one for you – it’s New Year’s Day!

Yes, 25th March, Lady Day or the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin, was the first day of the new calendar year in Tudor times. Happy New Year to you and yours! Find out more in this video I did last year:

On a more serious note, I know times are scary and some of you may be finding this time scary and lonely, and others may be grieving, but I have been heartwarmed by the love that is being shared online, by how people are supporting each other and checking in on others. I’m thinking of you all and sending you my very best wishes. Keep safe and well!

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24 thoughts on “Need a reason to celebrate?”
  1. Love and virtual kisses from Jane in isolation (I am asthmatic and also on immunosuppressant drugs). A bit hacked off because my cruise in April got cancelled, but can totally see why this was necessary. Working from home so not too bored.

    Lady Day is always a day of mixed feeling for me, I love Our Lady and am gutted at not being able to go and offer praise at Walsingham at the moment, but on the other hand, my Mum died the day after Lady Day seven years ago. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

  2. Thank you Claire. You and your family are on our minds also. So far I’m doing ok. Lots of podcasts and reading. I went outside for the first time since March 16 just to make sure my car would start. Only outside about 5 mins but it felt good. I would walk to the store to do some shopping but it’s supposed to pour for the next few days and I can’t wait.

    1. In England we are having a mini heatwave and it certainly is lovely weather, I’m still popping out to do some shopping, and get some exercise done at the same time, so sorry your cruise was cancelled Jane hopefully you will be able to go on another one, I just read that Prince Charles has coronavirus he got it of Prince Albert of Monaco, so he’s holed up in Balmoral.

      1. Prince Charles is an idiot. He ignored instructions not to shake hands and carried on hob nobbing. If footballers can’t shake hands why is he immune? Our royal family think they are above everything. I am sorry he has it, really am, but he should have done as everyone else has been doing. I feel sorry for him stuck in Balmoral, which will be stacked to the rafters with fresh produce and staff. I don’t like to think of him getting ill or anyone, but let’s face it, I wouldn’t mind being in Balmoral with servants to wait on me, if I were sick. Fortunately his symptoms are mild, so many others have it really bad. It breaks my heart for those in serious condition who may not survive.

        I hope you are able to go back to your charity shop afterwards, Christine, its things like that which keep us going. We went out at 8 p.m to clap for the NHS. I really feel for them on the frontline. I want to see everyone in the NHS and caring service honoured in the Queens Birthday List and New Year List. Stuff the actors and athletes, honour all our NHS staff.

        1. Yes that’s right I agree with you, the NHS really are wonderful and do deserve to be in the honours list, Charles can be a bit of an eccentric they reckon I don’t know why he still shook hands but he probably thought his blue blood protected him, daft man! They reckon now there’s some light at the end of the horizon at last pray god.

  3. I got a bit stir-crazy so I just got back from doing some grocery shopping. I went to the store that I mentioned earlier that used to be a 24-hour store. Their hours are now 7 a.m. to midnight. They have a pretty good system right now. There’s a line outside and they are letting about 10 people or so in at a time. We grab the stuff we need and then we go to the checkout stands. There are four stands open plus the four self checkout. I went to one of the regular stands. The system they have is you stand behind the belt that you would put your food on until the customer ahead of you is completely finished and starting to walk out then you can pull ahead it was so smooth I was in and out of that store in about 10 minutes. I made a comment to the cashier that I don’t know how well it’s working for the store but as a customer I was very impressed. She said what she like wasn’t she wasn’t feeling overwhelmed. I noticed that the shelves were pretty well stocked. I didn’t need to get any paper products but what I did notice is that they were running very low on pasta. So I’m thankful I can still shop and get what I need.

    1. I have an issue with my debit card so I went to the bank only to find their shut, they hav reduced their hours, so frustrating as it’s murder trying to get through by phone tried twice last night and I was waiting 45 minutes!

        1. Cheers Michael, I got some surgical gloves in the £ shop today, when I caught the bus home I couldn’t believe it, some one had stripped some tissue paper along one length of the seat behind the driver, as if to say keep out – honestly ! Well I hope everyone’s well stocked up my cousin text me earlier, bless him he’s got secondary liver cancer and said he’s so bored as he’s in isolation, it’s very hard for those who are very ill, he lives with his partner but she’s probably been forced into isolation herself she doesn’t infect him, lucky he’s very self reliant, he enjoys his cooking and he has two lovely cats for company.

  4. No no Christine, you must rephrase that. As a person once owned by cats, and Claire can back me up, you should have said that ‘two lovely cats have him for company’. 🙂

    1. Oh yeah, Michael. Absolutely right. And my cat Pickles is mistress over my dog Kafka too, that’s for sure.

  5. Happy New Year. We had an adventure today. The district nurse should have come but didn’t know anything about it and had to send someone out. However, the guy, nice as he was could not change the blood bottle from Steve ‘s drain and nobody knew what to do. Had to get a taxi to the hospital who were expecting him and the surgeon came personally down to see him, which was great. Told of course they know and hopefully tomorrow something will be sorted. Have to go on Monday for it to be removed. At least it was a nice day. I will be calling tomorrow and believe me I am taking no prisoners. He should not have to be put at risk like this. I wasn’t exactly up to it myself but it had to be done. If we didn’t already have a taxi booked to deliver food to mum, the driver was very good, it would have been a no no. If the person does not know, they need to send someone who does. Ridiculous.

      1. Yes he is but it had to be done. The nurse was expecting him and we were only there for a few moments. I am sure it will be sorted out now. Thanks for asking.

  6. On another note, hoping you are safe and well out there in Spain, Claire and Tim and family.

    Everyone stay sensibly cautious and aware, take the right precautions, listen to the right NHS and government advice, not scaremongering, look out for each other, only go out for essential items, to see to a vulnerable person, maintaining a safe distance, wash hands regularly, covering your sneezing and nose dropping, even if its only hay fever, bin, it and kill it, use sanitizer and deep clean if you can at home. Go out as a family for exercise, for a short walk and follow the social distancing. Try to keep cheerful if you can, I know amidst all of the sorrow and mourning this is very hard, but you must keep your own and families spirits up, this is good for morale and the immune system, eat healthily, get together at home in your own household only to do stuff together, play games. Check on neighbours. Use any offers from organisations to deliver food for you to others. Do not travel. Order what you can online or phone. Appreciate your community. We must now see the value is in the ordinary things of life not in technology. We must appreciate now what our ancestors went through and no longer think of ourselves as being superior to them as our modern cons have not prevented us from being almost as helpless as they were in the face of this terrible and relentless disease. Try to stay reasonable and calm, not every cough, sneeze and sniffle has anything to do with this strand of SARS2 Convid 19, although coronavirus are known since the 1960s and cause 30% of colds. This is a new strand, one passed from bats to humans by one person taking bats to be prepared in the food chain in a Chinese Supermarket. Not that the person knew or intended this result, but perhaps we need to look carefully at what we eat. Use social media and the news for updates but don’t become paranoid. Don’t listen to the individual opinion of others, seek out scientifically backed and official and reliable information and use that to reduce the risk of exposure. Remember also, lovely as the weather is, this isn’t an extension to holidays. Please stay away from crowded places, stop socialising, if you must go to the beech, do so only when it’s deserted and for exercise, you are not helping, if you want to go to the country to walk, avoid popular spots, and stay close to home, if you want to go shopping, be sensible, others may need something more than you and if you have a medical need follow the advice of your surgery. If you are now stuck in, please don’t play on game consoles, talk to each other, use the time constructively, maybe talk about problems, interaction is important, stay in touch, play music, learn something new, do the garden, reorganize the house, read, watch films together, face time your friends, share stories and laugh. I know it’s a sad time for many, but laughing is a good remedy for healing. Drink hot chocolate and spices wine. Use spices to make the house smell fresh and bright. Try meditation and prayers. Join in community praise for the health services as in Spain. Be flexible. Stay home as much as possible and follow procedures for preventing the spread of disease.

    Lastly take care of each other and stay safe and well. A big thanks again to Claire and Tim for carrying on with these resources during these days of crisis. God bless you all.

    1. Thanks BQ. Sending you a virtual bouquet of lovely damask roses, because you deserve them. Pickles is sitting on my lap, purring her old heart out, so I am typing with one finger!

      1. Hi Globerose. It doesn’t get much better than a purring kitty or two on your lap. Hope your staying safe and sane.

        1. Thanks Globerose, that’s very good of you and its lovely to have a kitty to cuddle with you. Thanks for the virtual flowers.

  7. Claire, I look forward to your daily videos, even more so now. Very appreciative of the information you find and share with us. Thank you. Yarmouth, Massachusetts USA

  8. Thank you,Claire.☺I haven’t been on in a minute but stopping by for some info.Hope you are doing well.

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