Friday, 24 October 2014

Facts about Halloween!

Are you wondering what Halloween is all about? I also wondered what is being celebrated and made some research on the topic. 

According to history, it is believed that Halloween originated from Ireland. 

Do you know what the traditional Halloween dish is? I like this part of the story!
A traditional Irish Halloween dinner comprises of boiled potatoes, cabbage and raw onions. Coins are cleaned, wrapped in baking paper and hidden in the potatoes. While eating, children who find these coins keep them. 
The barnbrack cake, a fruitcake that has a rag, ring and coin hidden within it, is served for dessert. It is believed that the rag represents a financial future, the ring impending romance and happiness, and the coin prosperity. Whoever finds the hidden treasure while eating will also find the respective faith. 

The legend of the Jack O'Lantern, which dates back to the 18th century, refers to the story of an Irish blacksmith called Jack who was denied entry to heaven because he conspired with the devil. He was condemned to wander the earth. His only light was a burning coal inside a hallowed turnip. People believed that placing a Jack O'Lantern on their windows during Halloween time will keep the damned soul of the wandering blacksmith away from them. When the Irish immigrants arrived in the US, they found out that there was not enough turnips to carry out this tradition so they decided to use pumpkins instead. 

This year, the Halloween date is the 31st of October which is on a Friday. In accordance with an ancient history, the official Halloween bank holiday is celebrated on the last Monday of October which is the 27th. Many cultural and sporting events are held in Dublin to commemorate this occasion. These events include, but not limited to the following: the Dublin marathon; theatre, arts and fashion festivals; music performances by Irish musicians or inspired by Ireland's history; celebrations of traditional and modern Irish food and drink; Halloween themed events. 

People dress up in scary costumes (ghost and goblin costumes) to confuse the spirits that wandered the earth on Halloween night, to avoid being taken away by them. 

Monday, 20 October 2014

Is the weekend long enough?

Weekends are great! The time to take a break and switch off from the daily hustle and bustle of life (work, school, business, etc.). The time to relax and spend quality time with loved ones and family.

Fridays are exciting! Mostly because Friday is the last day of a working week. On a Friday, one feels like the break will be for an eternity.

Usually when I ask people on Monday how their weekend was, I always get similar responses like "it was good/busy/quiet/great, etc. - but too short!" :-)

It makes me think:
What can be done about this?

Is there a way of squeezing a day or two in-between Saturday and Sunday?

Maybe we should request 3 days for the weekend and 4 working days?

Or, even better, ask for 2 long-hours working days and 5 days for the weekend?

Which option would you prefer?

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Better shopping online or in the shop?

With the evolution of technology and internet, some people now prefer online shopping to the traditional way of going to the shop to buy things.

While some people shop online for convenience sake, others are just keen to try out the evolving technology. Personally, I enjoy the convenience of shopping online and do avail of this option where necessary (let us say, when I have no other option). But to be honest, I prefer to go to the shop, and I do go whenever I can. 

There are lots of good things I like when buying personally in the shop. One can see the quality of what one wants to buy, test it and have person contact with the sales personal if required. For grocery, I can see, touch and compare items. I can check the "use by" dates and select the exact product I want. When buying shoes and clothes, I always like to try them to ensure that they fit properly. As you know, different designs of the same size do not always fit. The shoes might be too tight, the clothes too small or too big.

I am reluctant to buy online because there is no way of seeing and feeling the quality of items you want to buy and no sales personal to ask questions.

When buying grocery, you can indicate your choice when placing an order but there is no absolute guarantee that the requested item will be delivered because the shop will supply a different product if the requested brand is out of stock.

For clothes and shoes, there is no possibility of trying what you want to buy. You buy on the assumption that the selected design will fit and there is the risk of returning some items.

What is your preference and why?


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Last day before vacation! How organised are you?

Whether at work or at home, I find the last day before vacation always very hectic.

At work, it is all about cleaning up the inbox, following up on pending and new requests, handing over tasks to a back-up colleague, etc.

Prior to travelling, one has to do some ironing, packing of baggage, tiding up, making sure that all necessary arrangements have been made ... to name but few things. 

Also depending on the destination, big or small shopping has to be made. 

I always try to organise things well in advance before travelling, but there are always last minute thoughts and arrangements. 

The expectation and joy of having a break for a while alleviates the stress of the day, though. 

How organised are you, usually?

Make-up! Are you obsessed?

So many questions border around making up. Some of these questions could be, for example: When you wake up, do you make up first before doing any other thing? Can you go out any time of the day without make-up? These questions will definitely have different answers from women of different age groups. 

No matter the different opinions though, one thing I will say is that make-up boosts one's confidence.

Personally, I like making up but I will say that I am not so crazy about it. I can go to some places without applying make-up. 

Some women go about their daily businesses without worrying about make-up; others must make up as a daily routine. From my observation, two categories of women fall under the latter group: there are those who make up at home and those who carry their make-up kit along with them. Those who carry their make-up kits with them make up on their way (in the trains, buses, while driving or being driven) or when they reach their destination (school or place of work). One might say that the reason why they carry their kits along is because they do not have enough time to make up before leaving the house. It could also be preferential if they like to make up and show off in public (this might be a habit!). 
For me, I prefer making up at home. 

It amuses me (not all the time though) to watch those women who make up in public. 
I was surprised one day when I saw a lady making up while driving which I thought was an extreme case. 

What is your opinion?

Which group do you belong to? 


Saturday, 4 October 2014

The "Golden" October!

In October, the trees start reacting to the change of weather. That is, the leaves start drying up, turning yellow or golden then brown and falling off the trees. This is another characteristics of autumn.

You see the road littered with these dead brown leaves. 

The local councils or community services usually engage more manpower to ensure that the roads are particularly kept clean this time of the year.

Each household also caters for the cleanliness of the respective neighbourhood. 

As a result of this natural change that occurs this month and the golden colour of the leaves still on trees, the month is popularly known as the "Golden" October. 

I love this time of the season!

What about you?

Autumn and its characteristics!

One of the characteristics of autumn is the change of weather, that is, getting bright late in the morning and dark early in the evening. 

Waking up in the morning seems a bit difficult now because it looks darker compared to previous days. 

Driving very early in the morning, at the usual time, also feels different. One has to use the headlights, sometimes, the fog lights too. I noticed the obvious change a couple of days ago when I was driving in the morning. The weather was very dark and foggy compared to previous days. I found it difficult to see the road ahead even with the fog lights turned on. 

The change of weather in the evening prompts one to go to bed earlier. 
keep things on track by checking the time!

How does this affect you?

Autumn is here! Getting ready for the change?

With the cold weather gradually creeping in, we find ourselves again in that well-known adaptation phase. That is, change of weather and the dilemma of what to wear. 

Even though this season comes annually, it is still difficult to cope with, especially at the very beginning. 

Talking about clothing ladies, we still try to wear summer clothes even when it gets colder day by day. Of course, we do not want to give up wearing light clothes if we can. We also dread the task of packing our summer clothes and bringing out warmer ones ! :-)

Deciding on the right pair of shoes, sandals or slippers to wear at this time is also very tricky. One has to decide if one wants to go out with or without tights/light stockings, muffler/scarf, or even light hand gloves. What about the sun glasses?

The weather is usually very cold in the morning, gets warmer during the day and cold again at night; it could be different sometimes. If you leave the house very early in the morning, you have to use your good judgement to select what to wear because you might end up dressing up too warm for the day. 

Decide also on the type of jacket (light or heavy) to wear!

Have you started adapting?

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