Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Please a "sospeso"; an old tradition;

Have you heard about a Neapolitan tradition called the caffè sospeso meaning "suspended coffee". A person who might be feeling generous, or thankful because he experienced some good fortune, would order a sospeso, paying for two espressos but only drinking one. Then, later, a less-fortunate person who entered and inquired as to whether a "sospeso" was available could have the other espresso -- for free. 
This tradition allegedly began  a century ago, and while it was nearly forgotten in Italy, it has now experienced a revival and started gaining popularity in other countries around the world, including Spain and  France. In the  United States, it has been picked up by a coffee shop in Portland, Oregon, an anonymous Tim Horton's customer who paid for 500 coffees for others.
Large chain corporations taking it over,  changes the dynamic (the beauty of the original caffè sospeso is that, the donor is  anonymous -- the giver offers their gift without needing to announce it or show off, and the receiver gets their coffee with no strings attached and without feeling obligated to somehow repay the favour.
 It is  and was not an advertisement for a certain person or merchandise they sold. It is a beautiful custom and typically it is abused by big corporations until they lose interest or their efforts does not produce the wanted effects. In a way it's great, that this custom has started to regain interest. 

©Photo/Text Ts /Titania Everyday or..

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Why did brides wear a black dress at their wedding?

My aunt Gertrud Martina and My Uncle Erwin Joseph at their wedding in the 1930's

Does the tradition of the white wedding dress come from the colour’s ancient symbolic association with virginity and purity? This is a myth, in reality, the white wedding dress is a much more recent development. It was Queen Victoria who made it popular and a tradition for brides to wear a white wedding dress. Royalty typically wore embroidered brocade and crimson robes for weddings. Victoria wore a white satin gown with layers of lace made by two hundred women and a white veil. The lavish dress and the wedding between Victoria and her cousin Albert in 1840 were written up and illustrated in thousands of publications worldwide. Soon, American etiquette books decreed that the white wedding was the "proper style." The white wedding dress became a symbol of wealth and social status—after all, white could not easily be cleaned or worn again outside of hot summer months, and very few women could afford to buy and wear a dress solely for one occasion. 
Generally bridal attire was simply dictated by what a woman had in her closet and by what was au courant. So, while brides in the Western world have worn white, they’ve also donned every other colour of the rainbow and black! 
By the late 1800s, American and European brides loved wedding dresses in the bright, rich colours created by new synthetic dyes. 
During WWI, many women considered it their duty to give up a "white wedding" in wartime, and during the Depression most brides had no choice, simply making do with their best dress or suit. 
Garment manufacturers began specializing in making wedding dresses, and bridal magazines filled with photographs began marketing the white wedding dress as part of a romantic ideal, a custom from "the earliest ages." Marketing, rather than any ageless tradition, that has made the white wedding dress a ubiquitous part of our visual culture.  (excerpts Smithsonian history)

Photo/Text Ts Titania-Everyday..

Friday, 15 May 2015

Bookshelf; May;

La bibliothèque abandonnée dans le château de la Forêt, Belgique.Désolation. Quel désordre et quelle tristesse de voir tous ces livres s'abîmer.

How sad!

A handful of books to read, today, tomorrow and after tomorrow;

The Saffron Kitchen by Yasmin Crowther

In northern Iran, on the plains of Khorasan, there is a village called Mazareh. It is a honeycomb of brown mud walls, where the foothills meet the plains, far from the nearet city of Mashad...
and so the story goes, such a wonderful Novel leading you into another place, another time...


An enthralling haunting tale of obsession, love and courage.

THE TROUT OPERA by Matthew Condon

One small boy, one big country, one hundred years of life.
Flamboyant, operatic, and funny, shows a mad world of history, war, bushfires...the resilience of nature.

HAUNTED  by Kay Hooper

How do you make peace with the dead if the dead are not ready to forgive?


A silent community. A murderer among them...

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Library cat; March;

A stash of books to read;

The Tournament
by Matthew Reilly

"Chess, Aschan claimed, taught many important lessons: to flatter one's opponent, to lay traps and to see them laid, to be bold and to restrain one's tendency to boldness, to appear naive when in truth one is alert, to see the future many moves ahead and to discover that decisions always have consequences,

A rumour persists, that the first chess tournament was hel d in the 16th century, long befiore the one in  London took place in 1851.

Currawalli Street
by Christopher Morgan
a powerful and moving dance through time.

We all have secret lives and we are all pretty good at keeping them secret.
In 1914,Thomas the young rector, questions his faith and falls in love; his sister Janet adutiful spinster, hides a surprising secret; and their neighbour Rose is burdenend with visions of the coming hell. In 1972, Jim, a soldier fresh from Vietnam, returns home to Currawalli street...
and always there is the boy up in the tree watching them all..

The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak
...the day had been sweaty and hot...In :The Last Human Stranger" there was a quote near the end page 211,
The sun stirs the earth, Round and round, it stirs us like stew. At the time, Liesel only thought of it because the day was so warm.

Flowers of Baghdad
by Bruce Lyman
...bringing the lives of ordinary people in strife-torn Baghdad into focus.

...I see the distinctive kick of dust...the boiling cloud of dust and smoke that lifts like a small Hiroshima cloud over the stomach churns...two bombs, two big blasts near the hospital.

From the first picture books  held in chubby toddlers hands a long lasting friendship with  books is forged. Ts

Wednesday, 21 January 2015


Cats paws in a 15th Century Manuscript.

Time's Echo by Pamela Hartshorne

York 1577 Elisabethan time, mainly women are tortured, burned, drowned or hung as witches.  Hebalists who were able to help  and ease certain diseases were also victims. They have been accused to be witches and casting evil spells for which they have faced trials and have been condemned to death.,  
How horrible and sickening have these trials been, accused and executed by
moral panic and mass hysteria.
Cats and dogs which were kept as pets, were accused to be a familar of the accused witch and were also destroyed.
In European folklore and folk-belief of the Medieval and Early Modern periods, familiar spirits (sometimes referred to simply as "familiars" or "animal guides") were supernatural entities believed to assist witches in their practice of magic

This story has got a twist to it, it weaves from the present to the past.

Chapter One
I feel no fear, not yet......I am somehow suspended between the sky and the water....between disbelief and horror. It is All Hallows Eve, and I am going to I struggle as horror clogs my mind, but my thumb is tied to my toe and I can't swim, even if I knew how. 

 The last executions of people convicted as witches in Europe took place in the 18th century. In the Kingdom of Great Britain. Witchcraft ceased to be an act punishable by law with the Witchcraft Act of 1735. In Germany, sorcery remained punishable by law into the late 18th century. Contemporary witch-hunts have been reported from Sub-Saharan Africa, India and Papua New Guinea. Official legislation against witchcraft is still found in Saudi Arabia and Cameroon.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Toowoomba...Darling Downs;

Toowoomba is a picturesque mountain city located in south east Queensland some 127Km west of the states capital, Brisbane.

Clinging to the edge of the Great Dividing Range escarpment at an altitude of seven hundred meters above sea-level, the city affords breathtaking views of Table Top Mountain and the Lockyer Valley region across the east.

Toowoomba's climate is pleasant, temperature averaging a cool 5°C to 16°C in winter and a mild 17°C to 27°C in summer.
Toowoomba is Australia's largest inland regional city and is the commercial and economic hub of the Darling Downs.

The Darling Downs is a farming region on the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range in southern Queensland, Australia. The Downs are to the west of South East Queensland and are one of eleven major regions of Queensland, Area: 77,389 km²

There are many theories regarding the naming of Toowoomba. In the final analysis though, Toowoomba became "Toowoomba" regardless of which theory is correct.

In its earliest time of European settlement, Toowoomba was known as the ‘Drayton Swamp’ and was called   ‘The Swamp.’ It is believed, that Aborigines  pronounced the word  Swamp to sound  like ‘Tawampa’, which easily becomes Toowoomba.

Another  version features a letter to the Toowoomba City Council from Steele Rudd claiming that his father had told him that in 1848 he first saw Toowoomba and in 1849, attached to J C Burnett, he assisted to lay it out. He believed that it was derived from the Aboriginal name of ‘Toogoom’ because of the reeds that grew here.

A third version and  theory of the use of Toowoomba's name comes from Mrs Alford. It is believed that Mrs Alford asked the local Indigenous people what they called the area. They replied 'Woomba Woomba' meaning 'the springs and the water underneath.' The Alford's realised that two woombas would not be a suitable name for their house and store but by using TOO which is also a type of plural it would become Toowoomba.

This theory  of the name  Toowoomba  came from a botanist by the name of Archibald Meston.  In 1895 Meston wrote a book titled “A Geographical History of Queensland,” which included his explanation of the name “Toowoomba”. “Toowoom” or “Choowom” was the local Indigenous peoples’ name for a small native melon (Cucumus pubescens) which grew plentifully on the site of the township. The terminal “ba” is equal to the adverb “There,” so the whole word means “melons there,” or  “the place where the melon grows”.  This melon still exists and can be found growing in the Balonne and Warrego areas as well as areas closer to Toowoomba however there is no evidence that the melons grew in or near the Toowoomba swamps.

This version came from a man called Enoggera Charlie who wrote his story in the Sydney Morning Herald. He claimed when he was looking for work as a tar boy, he had camped overnight near the Toowoomba Swamp. Questioning an old shepherd sage of the naming of the Toowoomba Swamp he was informed that near the junction of the East and West Swamp there was a log with the inscription informing tramps the way to a well-known homestead where there was a certainty to rations. The inscription read 'To Woombrah.'

At around the same time that Enoggera Charlie wrote to the Sydney Morning Herald another man by the name of Ardlaw Lawrence put forward his theory. He suggested that the name Toowoomba may be an Anglicised version of the 'Boowoomga' which meant 'thunder' in the dialect of the Upper Burnett and Gayndah tribes. However he could give no reason for the name being transferred to the Darling Downs.

Writing in a pamphlet in 1899, George Essex Evans wrote that the name Toowoomba meant 'meeting of the waters' however this was again written without authentication.

Dansie , R.A.(1989) "A Melon, a Swamp and a Piece of Red Calico."
Marriott, R.S. (1960) 100 Years of Progress: the story of Toowoomba.

©Photos/Ts Titania Every Day;

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Happy New Year 2015;

...say good bye to the old 2014..

Sunrise, January 2014

In a few days….a new year makes its great entrance; it comes with hope and gilded dreams. Whispering about its seasons that come and go; It smiles and  means to be a happy Year for all. Ts

January/figs are ripe

February/Tillandsia flowering;

March/Escargot found in the butterfly garden;

April/Rain, Plectranthus and Roses

May/ blue sky

June/ rain and fungi

July/ a cold winter, the beautiful Elina is flowering

August/Dendrobium Orchids make an appearance.

September/spring has arrived, Louisiana Iris;

October/ Gladioli and new daylilies in the bulb garden

November/ Miss Bella,a  phyton, has emerged from hibernation; in all the years she has lived in the garden, she has grown considerably, she is not poisonous, has become quite friendly, she knows, she is welcome.

December/Bromeliads as nature intended them to grow, big and bold collecting water and nutrients,

©Ts Photos and text/ Titania-Everyday.