Sunday, 11 November 2018

Bonfire Night Fireworks Photos

Here are a few photos from  Bonfire Night firework displays I went to recently. Although Bonfire Night (also known as Guy Fawkes Night) is on 5th November, people have displays around that date, and I went to one on Hallowe'en (as I mentioned in my Hallowe'en/Samhain 2018 post) and then another one on Friday 2nd November. I didn't get many good pics at the Lancing Beach Green one, so they're mostly from the display in Preston Park in Brighton. They were more varied in colour but I had trouble getting good pictures, and these were the best ones!

Fireworks at Lancing Beach Green

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Hallowe'en/Samhain 2018

Last Wednesday it was Hallowe'en/Samhain. As I mentioned in my post Celebrating Samhain/Halloween , I had a pumpkin and made some food and drink. I made my usual Demon's Blood (a Kate West recipe of ginger beer mixed with apple and orange juice, and dyed green), and potato salad which I've done for the past few years. It's based on recipe from The Kitchen Witch by Soraya, but I did it with spring onion and chives. I made some fire roasted potatoes as well, which is a recipe from last year's Co-Op magazine. (I think it's a Bonfire Night recipe but we're in that season as well, and I did go to a firework display on Hallowee'n itself, since it happened to be that Wednesday! I'll probably share firework pics in another post. :)

Here's a picture of the pumpkin and pumpkin lantern (both have tealights inside):

Came out a bit blurry but nice effect!

Monday, 29 October 2018

Celebrating Samhain/Hallowe'en

It's time for Samhain! This year it's on a Wednesday (31st October). Samhain is my favourite sabbat (apart from Lammas). I also celebrate Hallowe'en, the modern version of Samhain. I celebrated Hallowe'en as a child, so I have combined celebrations these days.

Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere it's Beltane! Check out my Beltane Celebration posts here:

In the past two years I've done posts about celebrating Hallowe'en and Samhain. You can read them here:

These year I'm sharing more ideas for celebrating both Samhain and Hallowe'en, so hopefully there's something to suit you if you celebrate both (like I do) or prefer one or the other. :)

Hallowe'en info

Hallowe'en (more commonly spelt Halloween, but you can also spell as "Hallowe'en because it's a shortened version of All Hallows' Even) is thought to have originated from Samhain. In later years 1st November was made All Saint's Day by the Christian church, and the night before was known as All Hallows Evening (shortened to All Hallows' Ev'en or Eve). It's the time of year when the veil between the worlds (this world and the next, or the world beyond the one we know) thins and your loved ones may come back to visit. Also spirits are more likely to be around in general and the practice of lighting a pumpkin is thought to have originated from the pagan ritual of lighting a candle to honour and welcome your ancestors, and keep unwanted spirits away. (See below for more).  For more about the history of Hallowe'en you can read this article:

Monday, 15 October 2018

Autumn Photos + Inspiration

Autumn is properly here! (Although we have had some warmer weather recently, and I did wear my flip flops a few days ago because I thought it might be the last time I'd get to wear them this year, lol). I'm always sad to see summer go but autumn is a beautiful time of year.

I thought I'd share some recent photos I took and also some links with ideas for celebrating autumn. (Doesn't seem that long since I shared spring pictures, but it's 6 months ago now and 3 since I posted some summer photos!).

Trees in Sompting

Monday, 24 September 2018

Madron 2018

Yesterday was Madron, also known as Mabon and the Autumn Equinox. Or Saturday depending on your time zone, as I mentioned in my Celebrating Madron and Autumn post, the actual equinox time and date in the UK was  2.54am on Sunday 23rd Sept, but in the US it was 9.54pm EST on Saturday the 22nd.

My main celebration was  baking a ginger spice cake. It was based on this spiced wacky cake recipe:

I'd had the recipe saved on Pinterest for a while so this was a good opportunity to use it! I didn't know what a wacky cake was, but on the site Brandie explains that they're also called Depression-era cakes because they were good to make if you didn't have many ingredients in such as eggs, butter and milk. This recipe uses white vinegar and vegetable oil.

The original recipe uses pumpkin spice. I'm not sure if that's widely available in the UK, but there might  be some places that do it.. I decided to use ginger and mixed spices instead though, so I put a tablespoon of ginger and mixed spice in (rather than 1TBSP pumpkin spice). The frosting for the spiced wacky cake is a vanilla buttercream one from the Food Network website, but the site itself isn't available in the UK (not sure why!) so I couldn't see the recipe. Rather than make another vanilla frosting I decided to use the cream cheese icing one from the frosted white chocolate Easter cake I've made a few times (most recently this Easter). You can see that recipe here:

I'd previously used the same icing for the ginger beer cake I baked for Madron 2016, so thought it would work. It did go well and the cake itself tastes quite nice. Nice flavour and the ginger and mixed spices aren't too overpowering. The sponge is a bit chewier than some cakes though, maybe because of the oil. Here are a couple of  pics:

The mark is just a hole in the icing!

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Celebrating Madron + Autumn

Madron, also known as Mabon and the Autumn Equinox, is coming up next weekend. This year it's Sunday 23rd September. Note: This may be different depending on your time zone, the actual equinox time and date in the UK is  2.54 am on Sunday 23rd Sept, but in the US it's 9.54 pm EST on Saturday the 22nd. So celebrate at the appropriate time for you. The energy of the sabbats is thought to be active for a couple of days either side anyway. :)

Last year I did a post on ways to celebrate. You can read it here:

So for 2018 I thought I'd do one about celebrating both Madron and autumn in general, like my previous ones about Oestara and spring, and Litha and summer.

Note: If you're in the Southern Hemipshere it's time for Oestra/Ostara and spring. You might like this post:

Update 20/9/18: Added a couple of extra links. :)

Madron Ideas

Madron (more commonly known as Mabon but I was first introduced to it as "Madron" in Kate West's books) and the Autumn Equinox is the time when day and night is equal. It's the opposite of the Spring Equinox. Since Litha/the Summer Solstice which was the longest day of the year, the days have been getting gradually shorter. I've only really noticed it in recent weeks, sunset is now around 7.15pm. After Madron days will continue to get shorter and nights longer, until Yule aka the Winter Solstice, just before Christmas. So Madron is a time of balance.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Getting Ready for Autumn

Last December I started a series of post about preparing for the coming seasons, the first post was Getting Ready for Winter. I followed that up with Getting Ready for Spring and Getting Ready for Summer, so now here is a post on getting ready for autumn, to complete the seasonal circle. :)

Note: If  spring is coming up where you are check out the spring post:

After what has felt like an especially long, hot summer, the weather has cooled down and autumn is coming. We seem to have had some weird weather in the UK this year, with snow storms in March and more snow than usual here in Sussex. Then in April we had hotter weather than usual for spring, and then a hot summer. I did enjoy the hotter weather, although I struggled a bit to adjust to the heat. In the past couple of weeks or so it's cooled down and now it's feeling more like autumn. The light shifts towards the end of August, mellows, and also now the shorter days (since Litha/the Summer Solstice they shorten by about a minute every 3 days and about 3 mins a day by Madron aka the Autumn Equinox) are becoming a bit more noticeable with sunset before 8pm instead of after 9 earlier in the summer.

It has actually warmed up these past couple of days and I'm planning to go to the beach tomorrow to make the most of the weather, before summer is officially over! But I'm also concentrating on moving into autumn.

As with the other seasons, there are two "official" starts to autumn- meteorological autumn which is 1st September, and astronomical autumn which is around 22nd September when the Autumn Equinox (Madron/Mabon) is. This year Madron is 23rd Sept. For more information read this post: