Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Chinese Snuff Bottles

While GB was staying with us we went to the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight.   One of the remarkable items there is Lord Lever’s collection of Chinese snuff bottles. 

He collected 188 snuff bottles – mostly around 1918 - and his collection is one of the best in the country.

Snuff is powdered tobacco mixed with herbs and spices and inhaled through the nose.  The habit of snuff taking spread to China from the West in the 17th and 18th centuries.

These exquisite miniatures, which measure between one-and-a-half and three inches high, not only illustrate the technical virtuosity of Qing dynasty craftsmen, but also provide a window on life and culture in late imperial China.

Many of the bottles were brilliantly designed and made from a variety of materials including glass, porcelain, stone, ivory, coral, lacquer, amber and even a bean pod.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Words and phrases - Binky

GB recently pointed out that I hadn't blogged any words or phrases lately.  If time permitted I would continue to add to my Word blog.  But perhaps I should just add some here occasionally.  Here is today's  appropriate word -

Binky (pl. binkies)
In the Peanuts cartoon, Linus van Pelt
is rarely seen without his blanket

  • (informal) A stuffed animal, blanket, or toy that a small child is more attached to than any other, and often sleeps with.
  •  A high hop that a rabbit may perform when happy.
  • (US, informal) A baby's dummy (pacifier) In the U.S. and a number of other countries, BINKY is a brand of pacifiers, owned by Playtex Products, Inc.  (In the UK - or at least to me -Playtex only brings to mind 'the living bra' they used to advertise)
  • Saturday, 22 October 2016


    The first photos of my granddaughter Katie.  Can't wait to give her a cuddle.

    Friday, 21 October 2016

    Katie - The happiest days are when babies come.

    As I mentioned in the posting about Toby's arrival, Helen and Ian were also expecting around now...

    On Thursday evening, 20th October 2016, at a bit before 6 pm Helen gave birth to Katharine (Katie) Rose and both mum and baby are doing very well.  No photos as yet but you can be sure one will be put on here as soon as possible.

    Obviously I won't be going overboard and posting on Rambles from my Chair and Facebook about the two new arrivals all the time.  Like Hell I won't!!

    A few quotes with apologies to Gone with the Wind (and thanks to Kay for the idea).... 

    Nurse: You control yourself, Grandpa. You'll be seeing it for a long time. I'd like to apologize, Grandpa, about it's not being a boy. 
    Grandpa -with apologies to Toby: Oh, hush your mouth, Nurse. Who wants a boy? Boys aren't any use to anybody. Don't you think I'm proof of that? Have a drink of sherry, Nurse. 

    Nurse: This sure is a happy day to me. I done diapered three generations of this family's girls and it sure is a happy day. 
    Auxilliary Nurse: Oh, yes, Nurse. The happiest days are when babies come. I wish.. Oh, Nurse, she's beautiful. What do you suppose they'll name her? 
    Nurse: Miss Helen done told me if it was a girl she's going to name her Katharine Rose.
    Grandpa: Yes she's a beautiful baby the most beautiful baby ever.... Yes, I'm going to buy her a pony the likes of which this town has never seen. Yes, I'm gonna send her to the best schools in Devon. Yes. And her'll be received by the best families in the South. And when it comes time for her to marry well, she'll be a little princess. 
    Helen: You certainly are making a fool of yourself. 
    Grandpa: And why shouldn't I? 
    Helen: Great balls of fire! I had the baby, didn't I? 

    Inn Signs - Ye Hole in Ye Wall and Jupiters

    This is a popular pub name throughout the country and a variety of explanations are given for it.  In the case of this one, in Hackins Hey, Liverpool, it would appear to be because the pub is set down a narrow alleyway (Hackins Hey) off the man thoroughfare (Dale Street).

    Note the barber's pole on the left of the street.

    The blue sign higher up on the right belongs to another pub - Jupiters, a gay bar.  I'm not sure of the origin of the name but the adjectival form of Jupiter is jovial which means merry or happy, moods ascribed to Jupiter's astrological influence, and, of course, to the intake of alcohol.  The fact that merry is a synonym for gay is probably coincidental.

    Somehow, ye green wheelie bins don't quite fit in with ye scene!

    (This scheduled pst would have been re-scheduled if I had realised it was there - there are more important things going on in my life at the moment!)

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