Tuesday, 11 December 2012

A super seasonal box of goodies

It's that time of year when the postman leaves notes through the letterbox to pick up a parcel at the local sorting office. With waiting times of up to two hours this is never fun. I knew I hadn't ordered anything from Amazon or Ebay or any other website so it had to be a present. 

The timing of said box could not have been better. We are currently a family of three sniffing and coughing people and a box of lovely scented Olbas tissues, Olbas bubble bath to relax & open the airways and a selection of cough mints and soothers arrived just at the right time. 

In all fairness we were asked to test these goodies but the timing was perfect. Although I usually choose products quite carefully when it comes to tissues we tend to go for a nice looking box or failing that whichever box or packet of 12 is at the front of the shelf. Having tried Olbas tissues I will be looking out for these. They come with a handy instruction that tells you to crush the tissue to release the vapour but I don't think there is any need. My whole box had been crushed by the postie anyway so the whole bathroom just smells gorgeous. 

If these products had arrived at another time my experience may have been slightly different but I have to say I am presently raving about the bath bubbles. I thought this product was ever so relaxing and really helped unblocking noses. 

Between my little girl monkey and me, we've managed to finish all the Jakemans' soothing menthol sweets in no time. My little one loved the honey and lemon and I really liked the Throat and Chest variety. I love liquorice (it's those Dutch roots!) and find that I couldn't really find aniseed or liquorice cough sweets. Well I know what to choose now. 

The Olbas lozenges have nearly all finished as well. Perhaps not as soothing I felt as the Jakemans' I liked the honey and lemon ones but have to say I am not a fan of blackcurrant unless they are fresh so that flavour is a bit wasted on me but that is not a reflection on the product. 

I shall now pop out the last lozenge and enjoy this whilst curling up on the sofa under one of my quilts. 

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

UK's weird and wonderful customs in photos

United Kingdom by James O. Jenkins is a brilliant collection of portraits of people (and effigies in some cases) taking part in traditional customs. 
Photographed against a white backdrop James Jenkins said: “Each one of my subjects was deliberately photographed outside their natural environment. I wanted to take them away from the ceremony they were performing in, to shoot the portrait on the spot, and equipped with a ring flash, a portable white canvas background or a colorama gaffer-taped to an available wall.”
Having researched the book over two years, James shows just a fraction of the traditional customs that take place up and down the country every year. He said: "I’ve included the ones that I found to be most visually attractive to me as a photographer. My aim has been to capture the culture of annual UK traditions by portraying the main individuals involved.”
These age old customs still bind communities and it is amazing to read about those that have been going for centuries and ones that take place on a daily basis such as the Ripon Horn-Blower in North Yorkshire. I loved reading about this diversity of customs, many I had never heard of. The amount of organisation that must go into some of them is astonishing and I cannot help but wonder what goes on behind the personas in the portraits, how much time do those taking part spend on their act? Is this the highlight of their year?

This book is not just a visual feast but also a great read for anyone interested in local history and social anthropology. 

The book is available here