Queen Charlotte introduced the Christmas Tree to Britain in 1800.

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For some years it was assumed that Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s consort had introduced the Christmas Tree into Great Britain.
However, that honour rightfully belongs to Queen Charlotte, the German born wife of George III in December of 1800.
That year Queen Charlotte planned to hold a large Christmas party for the children of all the principal families in Windsor.
And casting about in her mind for a special treat to give the youngsters, she suddenly decided that instead of the customary yew bough, she would pot up an entire yew tree, cover it with baubles and fruit, load it with presents and stand it in the middle of the drawing-room floor at Queen’s Lodge.
Such a tree, she considered, would make an enchanting spectacle for the little ones to gaze upon.
When the children arrived at the house on the evening of Christmas Day and beheld that magical tree, all aglitter with tinsel and glass, they believed themselves transported straight to fairyland and their happiness knew no bounds.
CEMbtmLWIAA_54gQueen Charlotte.
Dr John Watkins, one of Queen Charlotte’s biographers, who attended the party, provides us with a vivid description of this captivating tree ‘from the branches of which hung bunches of sweetmeats, almonds and raisins in papers, fruits and toys, most tastefully arranged; the whole illuminated by small wax candles’.
He adds that ‘after the company had walked round and admired the tree, each child obtained a portion of the sweets it bore, together with a toy, and then all returned home quite delighted’.
Christmas trees now became all the rage in English upper-class circles, where they formed the focal point at countless children’s gatherings.
As in Germany, any handy evergreen tree might be uprooted for the purpose; yews, box trees, pines or firs. Trees placed on table tops usually also had either a Noah’s Ark or a model farm and numerous gaily-painted wooden animals set out among the presents beneath the branches to add extra allurement to the scene.
By the time Queen Charlotte died in 1818, the Christmas-tree tradition was firmly established in society, and it continued to flourish throughout the 1820s and 1830s.
The fullest description of these early English Yuletide trees is to be found in the diary of Charles Greville, the witty, cultured Clerk of the Privy Council, who in 1829 spent his Christmas holidays at Panshanger, Hertfordshire, home to Peter, 5th Earl Cowper, and his wife Lady Emily.
But it was not until periodicals such as the Illustrated London News, Cassell’s Magazine and The Graphic began to depict and describe the royal Christmas trees every year from 1845 until the late 1850s, that the custom of setting up such trees in their own homes caught on with the masses in England.
By 1860, however, there was scarcely a well-off family in the land that did not sport a Christmas tree in parlour or hall.
And all the December parties held for pauper children at this date featured gift-laden Christmas trees as their main attraction.
The spruce fir was now generally accepted as the festive tree par excellence, but the branches of these firs were no longer cut into artificial tiers or layers as in Germany, but were allowed to remain intact, with candles and ornaments arranged randomly over them, as at the present day.
via History Today.

‘A Show of Hands’ by Tim Booth.

by Emily Sakzewsk
What do your hands say about you?
UK photographer Tim Booth believes the hands tell a more honest story about what a person has been through than faces.In an extensive photographic study, Booth has turned images of people’s hands into an alternative form of portraiture.
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Photo: Deborah Bull has danced before presidents, kings and queens, and on many occasions has had roles created especially for her. (Supplied: Tim Booth Photography)
“When you look at just the hands, your mind is free from pre-conceptions and is able to imagine the whole life of the person, their completeness, rather than just the aesthetic of a face,” he told the ABC.
He has had the pleasure of working with some of the world’s most well-known people, including England’s former rugby union player Jonny Wilkinson and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason.
But Booth is also intrigued by the not as well-known, everyday people with a lifetime of experience in their trade.
Tom Kennedy: Baker Photo: Tom Kennedy, a baker for nearly half a century, had never taken a day off in 49 years. He lost the end of his finger in a bicycle accident when he was twelve. (Supplied: Tim Booth Photography) Frank Suarez: Mechanic Photo: Frank Suarez’s hands are extensions to the tools of his trade as a mechanic. He says they’re so ingrained with oil it takes him a week to get them completely clean. (Supplied: Tim Booth Photography)
Since then, Booth has chosen his subjects based on their profession. He chooses people whose hands are intricately involved in the world they produce.“There were also just some people who I really wanted to photograph because of what they had managed to achieve in their lifetime, such as Sir Ranulph Fiennes the explorer who’s exploits are more or less legendary,” he said. Jonny Wilkinson: Former rugby player Photo: Jonny Wilkinson’s now famous pre-kick hands clasped gesture, developed over the years, helps him go to a place where he can drown out the mayhem and clear his mind. (Supplied: Tim Booth Photography) Nick Mason: Drummer Photo: In 1962 Nick Mason made some new friends at Poly: four years later they became Pink Floyd. He has drummed for somewhere between 15-20,000 hours. (Supplied: Tim Booth Photography.)
Read on further via A Show of Hands: Photographer Tim Booth captures raw and honest side through hand portraits – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A Christmas Gift List in 1948 looks strange in 2018.

Take a look at Macy’s best-selling holiday gifts of 1948—which LIFE compiled, along with the number of each item sold and at what price—and it’s immediately apparent that things have changed since then.
For starters, the gifts then skewed more toward the practical.
Such everyday items as a pair of nylons or a ballpoint pen, the department store’s third- and fourth-highest-selling items that season, may ignite little excitement in today’s gift receiver, who has been conditioned to want little more than the latest Apple product.
Second, there is a conspicuous absence of anything technological, whereas nearly seven decades later, more than two thirds of holiday shoppers plan to purchase electronics for their loved ones.
Then again, the rise of personal technology was still decades away, as these were the days when fewer than 10% of households even had a TV set.
Rather than instruments of entertainment, gift-givers wrapped up objects that were wearable or edible, and immediately usable: a pair of pajamas, a bottle of scotch or that perennial favourite, some sturdy slippers.
Basic, to be sure—but sure to be put to frequent use.
via Top Christmas Gifts: See How Popular These 1948 Best-Selling Christmas Gifts Were ~ vintage everyday

Scale the Great Arch, Getu, China.

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Photograph by Carsten Peter, National Geographic
“We all were absolutely shocked that this wall existed in nature!” recalls climber Matt Segal, seen here about 300 feet above the ground on the Nihao Wokepa route on the Great Arch in Getu, China.
Segal, along with friends Emily Harrington and Cedar Wright, joined a National Geographic assignment with photographer Carsten Peter to investigate the region’s diverse karst rock formations for “Exploring China’s Caves” in the July edition of the magazine.
“The climbing was very steep and physical—in fact, I think this is the most overhanging wall either Cedar or I has ever climbed.”
The protruding rock on the left side of the photo showcases one of the various rock formations they encountered—stalactites. “The majority of this climb was ‘wrestling’ with those stalactites!” says Segal. “Swinging from one to the next and wrapping your whole body around them is one of the most unique styles of climbing I’ve ever done.”
See more via Extreme Photo of the Week – National Geographic.

Good Girls.

So Mr Parham this beautiful girl (Lyrical Girl) is going for 4 wins in a row today at Doomben……..
Jude Marks and her partners have been having a great run with Lyrical Girl of late.
Only problem is that Jude can’t see her run in person because of you know what.

Anyway all the best girls…..NEWS FLASH – The Girl Won.

Derwombat

 

Two good girls get ready to hit the track.

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Adelaide Festival Theatre under Construction.

 

The Misadventures of some Comp Room Wankers.

During the construction of the Festival Theatre some Bright Spark working on Hansard said he knew of a way in to inspect the inside of the construction site.
So a group of us stupidly followed this bloke into the inner heart of the construction during our tea break.
As we passed by some workers, we waved to them and walked on.
Our mystery leader said we were from next door at the Old Guv and were having a sneak peek.
It was then that we were approached by an official looking bloke who was the site’s health and safety officer.
He was not impressed with us as we had no authority and no hard hats on.
Fortunately, for me (because I was scared) he took no action against us and promptly frogmarched us out of the building.
The Toff

 

Bruce Watts Lockier.

Photograph: Bruce and Joan Lockier.
Bruce was born on 24 June 1928 to parents John and Lilian Lockier at a Maternity House in Maylands.
His twin sister Nancy was born half an hour before him. Thank goodness she was a twin sister and not a brother.
Bruce began his education at Magill Primary School and later attended Norwood Tech where he gained his Technical Certificate after two years which included subjects in woodwork and sheet metal work.
At 15 years of age Bruce arrived at The Old Guv in May 1943 and started out as a “shit” boy in the Comp Room, sweeping the pavement, filling the wash basins in the ladies rest rooms, filling enamelled jugs with clean water for the overseer and foreman.
On completion of his apprenticeship Bruce worked as a compositor, linotype operator, a Hansard proof reader and at times acted as a clicker.
Bruce played a major role in the decoration of the Old Guv building during the Queen’s Royal Visit in 1956. The Government Printer (Doctor Cack) and Bruce received all the appreciation for doing a great job in decorating the building.
Some say Lew Morrison actually should have been the person to get all the credit as it seems Lew did all the work while Bruce gave orders. 
Bruce at work was a practical joker and no one was safe, whether you were a machinist, binder or comp.
I can remember a day on the Jobbing Room floor when Bruce came up to me and asked me what day it was.
I said it was Friday; why? He told me that Des Woods another comp on the Jobbing Room Floor and a devout Catholic had just eaten a meat pie. In those days it was absolute sacrilege to eat meat on a Friday.
When Chippsie Woods came back from lunch; Bruce asked him what day it was. The reply was it is Friday. Bruce came back with what did you have for lunch? A look of horror came over Des’s face.
Bruce then lit a ball of cotton waste soaked in kerosene, put out the flames, with smoke pouring out of the cotton waste and threw it in Des’s composing frame.
Des asked the obvious question of why Bruce would do such a thing. “To drive out the spooks because you ate a meat pie on a Friday”, Bruce replied.
Lew Morrison for his 90th birthday received a special card signed by all his old work mates. Unfortunately, most of the names on the card were deceased.
As President of the Office Association Bruce got rid of smoking in the toilets. Smoking in the toilets was one of the greatest scams that was around. Someone would head off to the toilet with a piece of strawboard under an arm to dissipate the smoke from the cigarette. Office picnics and Children’s Christmas parties improved.

Article from the Adelaide Advertiser

With great shock to all Bruce tendered his resignation in the mid 1960s and left for ‘better things’. He joined the Apple and Pear Board as a Section Organiser. Some say he couldn’t tell an apple from a pear. However Bruce became highly successful in improving the organisation.
I had left the Old Guv and was working for Collies Inks and was on my way back from Melbourne on a flight when the hostess came up to me and told me that a another passenger had requested that I change seats and join him for a drink. It was Bruce Lockier .
 Sadly, Bruce’s wife Dulcie passed away from a long illness. Loneliness set in, but Bruce’s life changed when Joan lovingly entered his life and they married.
Bruce you are indeed an Old Guv Legend and rate up there with the best.
Don Woolman

Beatus of Liébana on the Apocalypse.

In a monastery in the mountains of northern Spain, 700 years after the Book of Revelations was written, a monk set down to illustrate a collection of writings he had compiled about this most vivid and apocalyptic of the New Testament books.
Throughout the next few centuries his depictions of multi-headed beasts, decapitated sinners, and trumpet blowing angels, would be copied over and over again in various versions of the manuscript.
John Williams, author of The Illustrated Beatus, introduces Beatus of Liébana and his Commentary on the Apocalypse.
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The Vision of the Lamb (Apoc. 4: 6 – V: 6-8), in Maius’ Morgana Beatus, Pierpont Morgan Library M644, fol. 87r
Towards the end of the eighth century Beatus, a monk in the monastery of San Martin de Turieno, near present day Santander, compiled a Commentary on the Book of Revelation, or Apocalypse, from the writings dedicated to the topic by such patristic authors as Jerome, Augustine, Ambrose and Irenaeus.
Recognition of Beatus of Liébana has survived to our time thanks to his decision to illustrate the sixty-eight sections into which he divided the text of the Book of Revelation.
It was a decision that could not easily have been anticipated, for it is not at all clear that Beatus had ever seen an illustrated book, and it is almost certain these illustrations were invented by him or an assistant.
The pictures would remain integral to the many – some twenty-six – copies of the Commentary that have survived.
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And the fifth Angel sounded the trumpet: and I saw a star fall from heaven upon the earth, and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit (Apoc:9 – V:1-11) – in the Beatus de Facunda.
via Beatus of Liébana | The Public Domain Review.

Art by Lea Bradovich.

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I stumbled across the artwork of Lea Bradovich last month, and was knocked out. Insects merged with the sumptuous details of Botticelli and other Renaissance painters! What was the inspiration for this fascinating work?

I talked to Bradovich about the motivation for her insect and bird paintings, which she’s been creating since 2004.

She’s a self-described “portrait wonk” and came up with the idea of a nature allegory; the natural world expressed in headgear and clothing.

Hats in her work display life cycles, food sources, and sometimes predators.

The Renaissance style of rich saturated colors and symbolic meanings seemed like a natural match:

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Ladies of the Queen Bee’s Court. Lea Bradovich

See more via Art, Science, and an Insect Renaissance | Science Blogs | WIRED.

Underwater Scenes of Giordano.

afac849474c91b3f62eb914f64591670a1011980_660by Laura Collinson
Neko Dream is a series of acrylic paintings on wood board by illustration artist Philip Giordano.
The surreal scenes feature dreamlike characters in the setting of an underwater forest, enjoying a cup of tea and one another’s company.
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The images were exhibited at the Pinpoint Gallery in Omotensando, Tokyo.
You can see more of Giordano’s work over on his Behance profile.453dead14ea63afb511d231960bfb5786985d708_660
via Surreal underwater scenes beautifully illustrated | Creative Boom.