Decorating? It's all in the preparation.

Spring means different things to different people.  In parts of Poland they chuck straw dolls into the river to symbolize the end of winter’s wrath.

In Switzerland they burn winter at the stake in the shape of a snowman – known as the Boogg -  stuffed with explosives (don’t we all?).

And in India, Hindus celebrate Holi by hurling vivid coloured powders at each other to symbolize connecting with each other and letting go of past hardships.

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Pink. Or is it?

Dulux have announced their colour of the year: the winner is (ta-da!) Heart Wood. 

They describe it as ‘a beautiful warm pink’ and show you all manner of ways to use it on their site. I like it. The name suggests nature and warm coziness combined. 

It sounds – and looks – like a benevolent colour, nurturing in these hard times. 

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Spring is almost sprung.

February 2nd is the mid-point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. 

It’s the day every year that suddenly I feel…renewed.  The light seems a bit brighter, the day a bit longer, my heart just a bit lighter. 

So it’s not surprising to me that it’s been celebrated as a festival for centuries.  

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New Year? Already?

…and then, suddenly in a flurry of shiny paper and tinsel and Quality Street Christmas is over and we’re hurtling towards another year.

Homework and school uniforms have to be checked, chased and gathered, thoughts cleared for returns to work and for some the dreaded season of tax returns approaches.

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What were your best Christmas presents ever?

This is me on Christmas Day 1977.

Mull of Kintyre was number 1 (rural song, influencing the dungaree-style dress), the weather was mild and windy (check out the short puffed sleeve) and I was having the best day ever.

Father Christmas had brought me a black nylon wig, a plastic dolls’ house and a hamster and had made me the happiest child in England. 

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