Saturday, 17 March 2018

Happy St. Patrick’s day

Happy St. Patrick’s day everyone or as it is said in Gaelic “Lá fhéile pádraig sona dhaoibh”. Now in the spirit of things haunted and spooky and in celebration of all things Irish on this day lets look at one of Ireland’s most famous and probably most famous legends the Banshee. The Banshee or Bean Sidhe as its said in Gaelic is probably the most notable Irish spirit that is associated with death, and the legends of the Banshee goes back for centuries and it can be documented back as early as the 8th century. She is more often than not confused as being a ghost but in fact she is a fairy or one of the sidhe (shee) which is Gaelic for fairy, and her cries or wails do not cause death instead it warns and signals when a death is or is about to occur.
The Banshee have been described as a young woman with long red hair and very pale skin with red eyes caused by her cries to descriptions of her being an old woman with gray stringy hair also with fire red eyes. She is also said to appear as a woman who died in childbirth and she is also said to be seen to be wearing the clothes of the person who is about to die. She is also said to be seen as a washer woman cleaning blood soaked clothes on the shores of rivers. It is said that when a Banshee becomes aware of a humans presence she often will disappear into a mist which is than accompanied by the sound of flapping wings. Another notable feature of the Banshee is she is often seen seen with a silver comb which she uses to groom her hair and if you happened to find one on the ground you best leave it where it lies for if you were to take it….well lets just say the consequences would be tragic.
The most notable feature of the Banshee is her cry or caoine which translates into keening and this is a common practice in Celtic cultures were laments and songs would be sung during and after funerals. There are several variations of what the Banshee sounds like some say its like a soft song while others say its more like a wail or scream and some even say it shrieks like an owl. Traditionally her keening was heard before the death of one of Ireland’s major families or clans. And it is believed that these families had their own Banshee and that when these families migrated the Banshee followed them and continued to fore warn of death. The Banshee has been seen and heard by many people in Ireland and Scotland alike it is said that in 1437 King James I was approached by an Irish seer who fore told of his upcoming death and it was believed the seer was a banshee. The Banshee have even been reported in countries like the United States in places like North Carolina and in South Dakota as Irish people have migrated to other countries. So my friends may the “Luck of the Irish” be with you today and beware any screams in the night feel free to share this article and dont forget to click like and subscribe, and remember to stay spooky and let them know why they fear the dark.

Friday, 16 March 2018


SANREMO, ITALY Edward Lear's Grave

There once was a man named Lear / Who found limericks so dear / His final resting space / Is an unusual place / Most people don’t know he’s here. 

Renowned as the author who wrote “A Book of the Nonsense” and who popularized limericks as a form of poetry, Edward Lear’s final resting place is fittingly unusual. Hidden away in the relatively nondescript Foce Cemetery near the Italian Rivera city of Sanremo, the English artist’s overgrown grave and its neighbor ensure his appealing oddness transcends even death.

Though noted for his whimsical poems (the most famous of which is probably “The Owl and the Pussycat”), illustrations, and paintings, Lear was also an extensive traveler. Having developed a fondness for Italy, he settled in Sanremo in the 1870s and saw out his final years there in a house he named “Villa Tennyson” (after his friend Emily Tennyson, the wife of the poet Alfred Tennyson).
Afflicted by life-long health problems and unmarried (he proposed twice to a woman 46 years younger than him and was rejected both times), Lear’s dotage is colored with a certain melancholy. To combat the loneliness and depression (which he called “the Morbids”) that dogged him, the Englishman relied on the companionship of his cat, Foss, and his Albanian Suliot chef, Giorgio Cocali, who he described as a faithful friend but “a thoroughly unsatisfactory chef.”
The bodies of Giorgio and his eldest son, Nicola, are buried in the grave that stands next to Lear’s. Lear died in 1888, and his funeral is said to have been a sad and lonely affair, with none of his long-distance old friends able to attend. Foss’ funeral two years earlier in the garden of Villa Tennyson, in contrast, was allegedly one of greater ceremony.
Untended and unkempt, the graves themselves are appropriately wild. Lear’s headstone proclaims the artist to be “a landscape painter in many lands” and “dear for his many gifts to many souls”. Lines about the Albanian Mount Tomohrit from the Alfred Tennyson poem ‘To E.L. (Edward Lear), on His Travels in Greece” are also inscribed as a further tribute.
Thankfully, perhaps, the headstone doesn’t bear either of the long names that the idiosyncratic author would use to introduce himself—like “Mr. Abebika Kratoponoko Prizzikalo Kattefello Ablegorabalus Ableborinto Phashyph” or “Chakonoton the Cozovex Dossi Fossi Sini Tomentilla Coronilla Polentilla Battledore & Shuttlecock Derry down Derry Dumps.”
Know Before You Go
Staff may not be aware of the graves' locations so visitors may have to do some searching to find Lear and Cocali.
The cemetery is about a 30-minute walk from the center of Sanremo. It can be reached by following Corso Matuzia by foot or on the bus (there is a bus stop just around the corner). Alternatively, visitors approaching along the beach promenade route can get to the Cemetery by turning right at Villa Matutiae and heading up the walkway to Via San Rocco.

Intriguing stories served fresh daily Tell Us About Your Most Unusual Cookbook

Do you have an offbeat cookbook in your collection? Gastro Obscura wants to see it.

We hope that it's not a real hippo cookbook.
We hope that it’s not a real hippo cookbook. GEZELLIG-GIRL/CC BY-ND 2.0

HUMANS HAVE BEEN COOKING BY the book—or clay tablet—since about 1700 B.C. Modern cookbooks, meanwhile, come in endless varieties and serve a number of purposes. They can be gateways to new cuisines. They can be comforting collections of reference material. (Just look at The Joy of Cooking, which has eight editions and has been in print for 87 years.) Or they can be downright bizarre.
There’s no shortage of unusual cookbooks. Nostradamus, famous for his prophecies, published a cookbook of love potions and jam recipes. Hundreds of years later, Salvador Dali wrote a cookbook filled with vibrant illustrations and Surrealist musings. He also included recipes for tequila artichokes and crawfish with “Viking” herbs (that is, dill). What’s on your bookshelf?
Perhaps you own a slightly-menacing promotional cookbook for bananas from the 1970s. Or the Boy George cookbook, filled with macrobiotic recipes. Some wildly popular books and TV shows have tie-in cookbooks: Game of Scones, anyone? Or maybe you own a cookbook filled with recipes passed on by ghost cooks.
If you have an unusual cookbook, Gastro Obscura wants to see it! Send a picture, description, and the story of how you received your unusual cookbook to anne.ewbank@atlasobscura.comwith the subject line “Unusual Cookbook,” by Friday March 16 at 5 p.m. If you’ve made something from your cookbook, we’d love to hear about that too. We’ll publish our favorite reader stories in an upcoming article, so please include your full name and where you live in the email.
Gastro Obscura covers the world’s most wondrous food and drink. 
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Could a Book-Scented Candle Make Your Place Smell… Smarter?

Options include “Sherlock’s Study” and “Reading at the Cafe.”


‘Old Book’ Scented Candle

$18, Amazon

LET’S ADDRESS A TOUCHY, BUT undeniable fact: interesting people (and their homes or offices) don’t always smell good. Geniuses and eccentrics can easily lose sight of little things, like cleaning or hygiene, in their intellectual fervor. Luckily, our idea of how they should smell has been lovingly distilled into a collection of literary-themed scented candles.
Frostbeard Studio offers a range of “Book Lover’s” scents inspired by specific titles, including “The Shire” (The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy), “Sherlock’s Study” (the Sherlock Holmes canon), and “Winterfell” (A Song of Ice and Fire). But their most intriguing scents are the more broadly described ones, such as “Old Books” or “Reading at the Cafe.” The whole concept evokes what you want interesting people (and places) to smell like, even if that’s not always the reality.
While some reviewers argue that the candles don’t smell exactly like used books, we’re still intrigued by any scent that makes us feel like we should be reading.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

The Solitary

Upon the mossed rock by the spring
She sits, forgetful of her pail,
Lost in remote remembering
Of that which may no more avail.
Her thin, pale hair is dimly dressed
Above a brow lined deep with care,
The color of a leaf long pressed,
A faded leaf that once was fair.
You may not know her from the stone
So still she sits who does not stir,
Thinking of this one thing alone -
The love that never came to her.
by Madison Julius Cawein
Art Kay Nielsen

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Why Bring Your Dog to Work Day is a scheme bosses should sit up and beg for

A dog in the office is great for office stress 



Bring Your Dog To Work Day (as seen on ITV’s This Morning, the Daily Mirror and Waitrose Weekend as well as many other UK national publications) is an annual nationwide event that raises money for charities dedicated to making a difference to the welfare of dogs. On Friday 22nd June 2018, businesses from across the UK will welcome their dog loving employees into the workplace, along with their loyal four-legged companions, all in the name of charity. It’s the fifth national event of its kind and is organised by HOWND®.
Even if you already take your dog to work, you, your businesses or any dog-loving employee can become an official sponsor by making a donation online and uploading your company logo (businesses) or pooch selfie (individuals), on our website. All proceeds this year go to dog rescue charity All Dogs Matter, a charity that rehomes hundreds of dogs every year in London and Norfolk. We welcome all businesses from all industries to join in the fun! Why not raise funds for your own charity too, and we'll share your event and fundraising activities. Just sign up as a business sponsor, and we'll give you a big shout-out!


As well as raising funds for a great cause, Bring Your Dog to Work Day could have some positive benefits for employee productivity and wellbeing. Above all, the day promises to be a lot of fun for all those involved. It’s time to give your dog a job!
Many scientific studies have concluded that the presence of pets can substantially reduce a person’s stress level in the workplace. Increased job satisfaction, team co-operation and morale have all been reported in employees that spend the workday with their pets. Since 2014, the year we established Bring Your Dog To Work Day, we have witnessed a growing number of businesses across the UK that allow dogs in the workplace.
So in addition to raising funds, Bring Your Dog To Work Day is likely to boost the productivity and happiness of the employees within your company. And it means hundreds if not thousands of pets around the UK can now go to work alongside their humans!
#BringYourDogToWorkDay trends at #1 on Twitter every year. 
Let’s make it happen again!


Joining Bring Your Dog to Work Day is quick, easy and secure. You can either participate as a business or as an individual and become an official Bring Your Dog to Work Day sponsor.
Do share your photos of the day on social media using #BringYourDogToWorkDay.