Tag Archives: Traditions

Brockhampton Village Show ブロックハンプトンのヴィレッジ.ショー


One thing I would recommend any visitor to the Cotswolds to do is visit a village show. They usually take place on Saturdays in the Summer. They’re open to all.



Usually arranged around a village hall, you’ll find afternoon tea tents, competitions and games, secondhand book and plant stalls and second hand ‘antiques’ stands. Prices are always low and the cakes are always very good.


Today I went to Brockhampton a tiny village near Cheltenham  – here are some pictures of competitors in the best fruit, vegetable and flower competitions. It’s a very nice way to spend the afternoon.




Valentine’s Day in Japan and Britain 日本とイギリスのバレンタイン.デー


I was reading about Valentine’s Day in Japan and it seems that it’s a little different to ours.


To begin with, it’s properly called St Valentine’s Day, named after an one or more Roman saints. The stories of the Roman ‘Valentinus’ are probably more myth than legend, but one version says that a priest of that name defied the Emperor Claudius and married couples in secret so that the husbands wouldn’t have to go to war.


In Britain, we’ve gone pretty commercial about Valentine’s Day and everything from restaurants to the Fifty Shades of Grey movie is promoted in February.  It’s good to remember though that February 14th is based on a simple idea; lovers exchange cards and maybe a small gifts.  I always think a bit of thought is usually more romantic than an expensive present.  Unlike Japan, the exchange is two-way, girlfriend and boyfriend, husband and wife but, if you’re single (or being a bit naughty) it’s also it’s an opportunity to send a secret card to someone that you fancy. In fact, secrecy is part of it and even husband and wives usually don’t write their names in cards – just the words ‘be my Valentine.’   So if you are single and you get a card (or maybe more than one) you may have to guess who send it, which is kind of fun – but best not to guess wrong…

この国でもバレンタイン.デイはアメリカのように商業中心になっている傾向にある。2月に入るとレストランから、映画 ‘Fifty Shades of Grey ’まで全てのプロモーションが始まる。しかし、2月14日の日はごく単純なアイデイアに基づいていることを覚えておこう。それは恋人同士がカードやちょっとした贈り物を交換することだ。日本と違い、この国では恋人同士が両方で交換しあう。ガールフレンドとボーイフレンド、夫と妻など。しかし、もしあなたがシングルであったら(またはちょっと積極的な気分であれば)、気になる人に匿名でカードを出す機会でもあるのだ。もっとも秘密ということは大切なことであり、通常夫婦の間でさえカードに名前を書かない ー ‘私の恋人になってください。’という文章だけである。 ということで、もしあなたがシングルでカードをもらったら(一枚以上かもしれないが)、誰が送ったかを想像する必要がある。楽しいことではあるが、想像が間違っていないよう気をつけなければならない。

As in Japan, flowers and chocolate seems to be the main Valentine gifts, but remember that boys and girls exchange cards and gifts on this day, not just girls and… there’s no ‘tomo choco’, no ‘famili choco’, no ‘giri choco’ – just ‘honmei choco’ for the special one. And there’s no White Day to follow.

日本と同じように花束やチョコレートが贈られる。しかし、忘れてはいけないことはこの日、男女両方がカードやギフトを贈ることだ。女性だけではない。また‘友チョコ’もなければ‘ファミチョコ’もないし‘義理チョコ’もない。 - 特別な人の‘本命チョコ’のみである。そしてこれに続くホワイトデーなるものもない。

So how about me? It so happens that my Birthday is on the day after Valentine’s Day, 15th February, so often the postman delivers lots of cards on the 14th. I never tell him why. This year I designed and made a Valentine’s card for a change (see picture of our bookshelf).

私はどうだろう? 実は誕生日が翌日の15日であることから、郵便配達人は14日に沢山のカードを届けることになる。その理由は彼には話したことがない。今年は私はバレンタインのカードを自分で作ることにした。(上にある本棚の写真を見てほしい)

Card-sending really took off in 19th century Victorian times – this is how our where our images of flowers, doves and hearts started to become traditional.

カードを送ることは19世紀のヴィクトリア時代に一般に浸透した - それ以後、花や鳩、ハートのイメージが伝統になったのだ。.

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Anyway, I wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day from the Cotswolds and I hope that you all received some Honmei Choco from someone special.

何はともあれ、コッツウォルズより ハッピー.バレンタインズ.デイ  皆さんが、特別な人から本命チョコをが届いたことを期待する。

クリスマスの伝統 その 2 : ヤドリギ


It’s a tradition to bring Mistletoe into the house at Christmas.


Mistletoe is a common sight in the Cotswolds, high in the trees that line the country lanes. It’s a mysterious, parasitic plant that feeds on trees and looks like a loose ball of leaves suspended from bare winter branches.


In my case, I took two boughs from my father’s apple tree this afternoon. Cutting your own mistletoe is very satisfying… it’s good for the host tree and the vivid green brightens up the house in December.


This winter, all the local mistletoe seems to be especially bright and perfect, with plenty of the usual milky white berries. Tradition says that if you stand under the mistletoe you can ask for a kiss. And there is said to be a kiss for every berry…



Christmas Tradition 1: Christmas Cards クリスマスの伝統 その1 : クリスマスカード

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December – time to send Christmas cards.


Christmas cards aren’t as old a tradition as you might think – the picture above is the very first one and goes back to 1843, when the Post Office wanted the new ‘Penny Post’ popular. The Penny Post made sending letters affordable for ordinary people.


I think that it’s nice to send hand made cards at Christmas. This year I made a linocut of a peace dove, cutting shapes into a piece of lino.



Then paint and roller, I used a glass chopping board to roll the ink on…



Then rolled the ink onto the lino.



Cover the entire thing (not too much ink!) then…



Press down onto some folded card.



Next the best bit of the process… carefully remove the lino to reveal the print.



Repeat and build up your pile of Christmas cards.



When they’re dry, they’re all ready to send off.