Getting Back on That Metaphorical Horse

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March 21st 2017
Published: May 7th 2017
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So.... I've fallen behind of late. I have been doing the odd celebration, but mostly because they are British or religious. I am in the process of catching up. So here is the rest of March (most of which were celebrated on time and I never got round to blogging). April has been a little bit hectic, but I'm catching up with them now.

21st - World Down Syndrome Day - Odd Socks - The idea behind the campaign is that people will ask why you are wearing odd socks and you can discuss Down Syndrome. I usually wear odd socks, so on this day I wore matching ones. One of my colleagues did comment and we had a lovely discussion.

22nd - Osatara (neo-paganism) - I put together a pagan altar. Candles, gem stones, incense, biscuits, a knife, small bowl of salt, etc. Missing items included statues and pentacles. Maybe next year.

23rd - World Meteorological Day - Short course on reading weather maps. Interesting stuff. Those triangles have meaning!

24th - Red Nose Day - watched the show, donated and went to the cinema a week later to watch Peter Kay's Car Share with my family. I've never seen my parents laugh so hard.

25th - Fish Day (Greece). Being vegan I found this festival tricky, and settled with a chat with a Greek man instead (thanks Terry!) I also had some potato/garlic mash, which is sometimes eaten in Greece.

26th - Mothering Sunday. Card sent to mother.

27th - International Whisk(e)y Day - Whiskey's from three countries (Scotland, Wales and Ireland).

28th - Nyepi Day of Silence, celebrated in Bali, Indonesia, is a Hindu celebration on Balinese new year. It is a day of self-reflection and meditation (I hope by now we know my feelings on meditation) - After finishing work, I didn't speak, listen to music or watch telly. In Bali, people have the day off work, there is no entertainment or pleasure, no travelling, no talking, no eating and restrictions on how bright lights can be. I instead read some intros to different philosophies online as my meditation.

29th - Barthelemy Boganda was a nationalist politician in what is now the Central African Republic. In 1946, he became the first Oubanguian to be elected to the French National Assembly, on a political platform against racism and colonialism. He then returned to Oubangui-Chari to begin a movement in opposition of French colonialism. In 1958 Charles de Gaulle met Boganda to discuss the terms for independence. Boganda's terms were accepted and the Central African Republic was established. Boganda was to be the first president by was killed in a plane crash (described as 'mysterious' online due to traces of explosives found, and conspiracy theories exist around the French secret police and even Boganda's wife). The Central African Republic was created the year after he died.

30th St Maarten Beach Poker. Played poker

31st Terra Festival, Guadeloupe (a few days late). An environment and sustainable development film festival. Mainly documentaries. I watched extracts from a couple, including Polynésie, sauvons les perles et le corail. My French is weak, very weak, however I think I got the gist of this one!


Bronwyn Bancroft - Founding member of the Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative and the first Australian fashion designer invited to show her work in Paris.

Mary Seacole - Jamaican business woman turned nurse during the Crimean War. Mary was a hotelier in the Caribbean and travelled to the UK to apply to be a nurse with Florence Nightingale's nurses, but was rejected. She travelled across Europe to assist the soldiers in the Crimean peninsula. She was extremely popular with the men she helped, and after the war, when facing destitution, the men raised money for her. Posthumously awarded the Jamaican Order of Merit in 1991 and voted the Greatest Black Briton in 2004.

Wallada bint al-Mustakfi - 11th century Andalusian poet. Wallanda was the daught of Muhammad III of Cordoba. A highly educated woman who wrote poetry and was a controversial figure during her own lifetime. She would walk without a hijab and wore transparent tunics with verses embroidered on the trim. She was criticised by local mullahs as perverse. She took part in, and won, poetry competitions.

Madeline Stuart - Australian model and business woman with Down Syndrome who has launched her design label in New York this year.

Isabella Kauakea Yau Yung Aiona Abbott - the first Native Hawaiian woman to receive a PhD in science. She has discovered over 200 species of algae, a genus of which is named after her, Abottella.

Margaret Atwood - Canadian author, the latest reincarnation of her work 'The Handmaid's Tale' will be on TV shortly, and I am looking forward to it! Poet, feminist, environmental activist.

Billie Jean King - Tennis player who played against Bobby Riggs (who?) in the 'Battle of the Sexes' after he said that men were superior athletes. She beat him.

Agent 355 - A spy for George Washington, and the only member of the Culper Spy Ring whose identity is unknown. Her work helped the colonies defeat the British. She is described as a socialite in British-occupied Manhatten and being of disarming wit and beguilling charm, and disappearing before the American Revolution ended.

Boudica - Queen of the Iceni - After her kingdom was annexed after her husband willed it to their daughters (the Romans didn't accept this), she led an uprising against the Romans. Eventually defeated.

Tomyrus - Massagetean queen (central Asia) who defeated and killed Cyrus the Great. She kept Cyrus' skull and drank from it for many years.

Catherine the Great of Russia- Not Russian, not called Catherine and the 'Great' is debateable. She reigned over Russia for 34 years. Catherine came to power in a bloodless coup - that turned pretty bloody shortly after. She extended the Russian empire and made it the dominate power in South Eastern Europe. A patron of the arts, determined to be seen as civilised outside of Russia.

So that's March. Hopefully April will also be up by the end of the day.


7th May 2017

So good to see the return of a metaphorical horse :) Looking forward to April's canter/trot.

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