It’s that time of year again – Hallowe’en is almost past, and it is time to start getting ready for that ultimate English autumn party – Bonfire Night! Pack a flask of hot toddy, bundle the kids up warm, bring along a packet of sparklers and head outside to watch fireworks, give a penny to the Guy and see the effigy burn!
Also known as Guy Fawkes Night, this strange celebration takes place each November 5th in order to commemorate Catholic rebel Guy Fawkes’ failed attempt to blow up Parliament (with King James I and all of the MPs inside) in 1605. He was angry at widespread mistreatment of Catholics across the country and thought he would make a statement with a bang – literally!
His plan was called the Gunpowder Plot, but was foiled at the last minute when he attempted to warn other Catholics of the impending blast. He was ultimately hanged, drawn and quartered – but not before getting the last laugh and jumping off of his gallows, saving himself hours of torture! He occupies a bizarre place in the national imagination – one part anti-hero and one part villain – and we love to celebrate the fact that he did not succeed in destroying Westminster and killing the king by burning his effigy on a massive bonfire.
Nowadays, the bonfire can often take a backseat to the lavish fireworks displays staged by local councils and clubs (here is a great list of the top ten Bonfire Night fireworks’ displays across the country). This can be an excellent time to take out the camera and snap some photos of your family enjoying the brisk air and bright colours! That said, taking photos of fireworks can be tricky. Here are a few simple tips that can really help you to get great shots.
Include foreground objects – No matter how pretty the lights themselves are, they are much more captivating when buildings or people are in the foreground for context and interest.
Use a tripod – Fireworks are gorgeous light in motion, and even the slightest shakiness in your hands can cause the photo to blur. Tripods are definitely the way to go here.
As the sun begins to set on another Autumn, and with Winter creeping up just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about cozy nights in front of the fireplace, warm mugs of hot chocolate and soft, snuggly woolen jumpers. The Danes have a concept called hygge – a term that evokes the warmth and coziness of a family home in the winter time – and hygge can help you to make sure your home is perfectly comfortable and relaxed this winter. Here are some great tips.
Light some candles – A room lit with glowing candles evokes calm and relaxation. As the days get darker and shorter the soft glow of a flickering wick can make your home more inviting in the winter.
Spread the love – At its core, hygge is all about creating a beautiful family atmosphere that makes each member of your clan feel cared for and valued. Placing special family photos around your home is a great way to keep your home cozy when it is cold outside. Consider framing them in a variety of ways, and make sure that you turn a few of your favourites into delightful 3D photo crystals that will reflect your candle light!
Bake something spicy – Pumpkin pie, carrot muffins, apple crumble – baking any of these spicy treats in your oven will flood your whole home with the intoxicating smells of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. This is the perfect way to welcome any guests into your home!
Snuggle up – Drape your home is soft blankets, fuzzy knitted throws and woolen carpets in order to keep your living space inviting in the cold.
With these starter tips you can focus on creating a warm and comfortable atmosphere in your home this winter. Enjoy!
October is truly the spookiest month of the year – not only are the days increasingly shorter, the leaves crunching on the ground and the weather noticeably frostier, but there is a strange and eerie feeling in the air. It’s time to take a whiff of the crisp, fireplace- tinged air and dress up in your best vampire or werewolf costume – Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night are just around the corner!