A Cup of of Camomile #quotes #Shakespeare #gardens #herbs #Spring #playwright #camomile

An English garden, or any of a temperate climate, through the seasons, holds a spell. It feeds the soul and mind in beauty, peace and rest and the body in herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables. Please note I’m mostly concerned with Spring and Summer.

Many herbs and plants have made their way into Shakespeare’s plays…their use in medicines (Romeo&Juliet), in metaphors (Hamlet, Henry IV) & in magic (A Midsummer Night’s Dream).

Shakespeare loved to garden. He would have been familiar with, and fully aware of the significance and importance of herbs. Their values, qualities and differences would have played on his imagination and are naturally and subtly woven (weaved) into his work with great effect.

“… though the camomile, the more it is trodden on the faster it grows, yet youth, the more it is wasted, the sooner it wears.” Henry IV

In herb gardens lie stories, tales and morals, and healing properties: prevention and cure.

Herbs and spices for sprinkling, wit and wisdom for thinking.


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Drumming up support #RNLI #charities #lifeboats #pirates #Hastings #Shakespeare #TheTempest #parades #drummers 

In this photo The Drumskull pirate drummers are drumming inside the Hastings Lifeboat Harbour Building (RNLI Hastings. Saving lives at sea since 1858). The echo of the beating drums is defiant; a pounding and thunderous roll.

A small sense of irony in that pirates are raising money for lifeboats, but what a wonderful thing! Hats off to anyone and everyone who raises and contributes money for charities big and small.

William Shakespeare is said to have derived some of the inspiration for his play, ‘The Tempest’ from a shipwreck that began on this day in 1609, as described by Silvester Jourdan, “… we were taken with a most sharpe and cruell storme upon the five and twentieth day of July, Anno 1609, which did separate us from the residue of our fleet…”

Luckily for the crew, on their way to Virginia, they fell upon ‘the islands of Barmudas’ where they remained for 9 months, ‘fruitful and inchanted.’

Back in 2016 it’s time to enjoy the summer season whether on the English coast or abroad or maybe some exotic island.  

Remember to pop a bit of money in a charity box; a few savings.

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First Class Quotations #Shakespeare #quotes #theatre #plays #stamps #StGeorge #Passover

The 23rd April is a very busy date. 

Firstly we must commemorate Mr William Shakespeare of Stratford upon Avon who died on 23rd April 1616, 400 years ago today.  

Shakespeare was also born on the 23rd April 1564.

The 23rd April happens to be St George’s Day; St George is the patron saint of England, often depicted slaying a dragon to rescue the fair maiden.

 “Love is a smoke made with the fumes of sighs” from Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet.

This quote seems to tie the two together perfectly.

Royal Mail has issued 10 Shakespeare quotes as 1st class stamps. You could have issued a 100 stamps going by the popularity and love of a Shakespeare line:

“To thine own self be true…” A quote for this day of all days, and everyday thereafter.

‘The fair and the mighty, such characters enthral

Indulge all our senses, give rowdy applause

To rousing great speeches, the lines well rehearsed

The sonnets and quotes, perfect prose of sweet verse…’

From The Bard by K.Barnwell

Today is also The First Day of Passover (Pesach = Hebrew ‘to pass over’) – the freedom of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery by the Pharaohs (rulers over the kingdom of Egypt, considered half man, half god, but not King).  

Only unleavened bread called Matzo is eaten. The festival lasts 15 days.
A Great weekend to come…

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Looking Rosy #poetry #roses #quotes #March #England #London #Shakespeare

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” (Act II, Scene II ‘Romeo & Juliet‘ by Shakespeare).
But I do particularly like ‘The Poet’s Wife’ (Auswhirl) grown by David Austin, English rose aficionado of Great Britain (see photo). This variety was introduced in 2014 and is the first yellow rose of his collection since the ‘Charles Darwin‘ of 2003.

‘Beautifully formed’ ‘Strong and unfading’ ‘Rich and Fruity’ 

Now is the time to start planting these beauties … there are some wonderful names to choose from. Take a stroll around Queen Mary’s Rose Garden in Regent’s Park, London and find hundreds of wonderfully named bedded buds (not yet in bloom, of course, but perfect in sunny June).

‘Why June is the time for a rose to bloom’

The rose is adored by poets from Robert Burns to Elizabeth Barrett Browning.  

Who is this poet and who is his wife? 

Ans. ‘Naturally rounded’ and a very fine inspiration for his work, perhaps.

Get searching and share your favourite named roses…
(See previous blog Captivated by Roses -November 2015).

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Epiphany  #epiphany #poetry #Shakespeare #January #quotes #TwelfthNight 

To have an epiphany is to experience a sudden and striking realisation, which would then lead on to extraordinary revelations, like those experienced by Archimedes (mathematics, invention) Issac Newton, (gravity, mechanics, physics) Albert Einstein (theoretical physics) Charles Darwin (Creation & natural selection).  
Please note these are all examples of The Sciences, The Arts are not represented as examples of ‘epiphanies.’ I suggest everyone choose their own…eg. The Sunflowers (painting) by Vincent Van Gogh or A Christmas Carol (book) by Charles Dickens or Bright Star (poem) by John Keats etc. These are wonderful realisations; what they reveal is what you choose to seek and take from them; no formulas, no theories, no statistics, just pure, emotive, personal satisfaction.

In the Christian calendar the 6th of January, the 12th day of Christmas; Twelfth Night is Epiphany: the visit and adoration of the Magi and their realisation of the Virgin Mary’s incarnation and the revelation that Christ is the son of God. (phew!)

Fast forward to the 17th century

On the 6th January 1601 the comedy play ‘Twelfth Night’ by William Shakespeare was entered in the Stationer’s Register.

It’s the beginning of the year, we need some comedy, especially as one realises that the resolutions, so resolutely written, are now starting to dwindle and the still-winter months lie ahead.

The Magi ended their journey to see the new-born babe.

Shakespeare wrote a love song to be sung by the clown Feste to Sir Toby Belch and Andrew Aguecheek (great names!)

‘Trip no further, pretty sweeting;

Journeys end in lovers meeting,

Every wise man’s son doth know…’

From Twelfth Night ‘Sweet-and Twenty’

So it seems we are surrounded by wise men, adoration, revelation, realisation, journeys, love and poetry.

‘What’s to come is still unsure:

In delay there lies no plenty;

Then come kiss me, sweet-and-twenty!’

Shakespeare’s quotes and poetry still widely endure; their greatness, their humility, their magnificence, their grace, their morals… and their beauty.  

They search the soul for the same secret qualities; allow yourself to realise it; no equation or theory required.

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Brothers in Arms and Battles #OnThisDay #anniversary #history #brothers


This month we have remembered two particular battles:
The Battle Of Hastings, 14th October 1066.
The Battle of Trafalgar, 21st October 1805.

and now ‘once more into the breach, dear friends, once more…’
we must remember another, precisely 600 years ago today – 

25th October, 1415 The Battle of Agincourt, Northern France.
It is Shakespeare’s great, patriotic play, ‘Henry V’ written in 1598 and consistently performed in England since the 1730s that dramatises the Battle of Agincourt.

The French outnumbered the English, by 5:1, yet victory prevailed in English favour.

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.”

England itself is personified in the famous St Crispian’s Day speech on the eve of battle as a small island nation that valiantly overcomes powerful enemies. 

To brush up on this story, one might brush up one’s Shakespeare and watch the very many interpretations of this history play.

Henry V is believed to be the first play presented to the new Globe Theatre (referenced as the ‘wooden O’ in the play) in Southwark in 1599.  

We now have a new Globe in Southwark opened in 1997, a hundred yards from the original site.
Gentlemen please take a bow, Ladies please curtesy…

 ‘O Kate, nice customs curtesy to great kings…’

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