A short poem about the meaning of Easter by Edmund Spenser (c. 1552-99):
Most glorious Lord of Lyfe! that, on this day,
Didst make Thy triumph over death and sin;
And, having harrowd hell, didst bring away
Captivity thence captive, us to win:
This joyous day, deare Lord, with joy begin;
And grant that we, for whom thou diddest dye,
Being with Thy deare blood clene washt from sin,
May live for ever in felicity!
And that Thy love we weighing worthily,
May likewise love Thee for the same againe;
And for Thy sake, that all lyke deare didst buy,
With love may one another entertayne!
So let us love, deare Love, lyke as we ought,
—Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.
A Poem by Edmund Spenser (c. 1552-99)
In medieval England and into the Elizabethan era, Easter was a more important religious festival than Christmas.
In his poem, Spenser writes about the love of Jesus Christ and sacrificing himself on the Cross for humanity.
He reflects, we should take our ‘lesson’ from Christ and practise love towards one another.
This religious poem even becomes romantic at the end.
With Mother’s Day on the Horizon, everywhere you look there are reminders of how we should treat our Mothers on this special day.
Here at PAIRFUM we started to ask ourselves and others, “What do Mother’s really want for Mother’s Day”, we mean really, really want!
Following a lot of very nice suggestions ranging from ‘a two week all expenses paid Holiday in Bali’, ‘a Weekend at an exclusive Spa’, to ‘a week Skiing at a top resort of their choice’, we started to come back down to earth and realised that most children, be they 2 or 82, do not have that sort of money in their Piggy Bank.
We also came to the realisation that we never ask our Mother’s what they want. Now, … as all of us know, our Mothers are very good at telling us what they want, but it is normally for our benefit not theirs.
I am sure there are the few exceptions to the rule, but generally our Mums do not tell us what they would like as a gift on Mother’s Day.
So,… this year we thought we would ask for a change, and give all those Mums out there a chance to say what they would really like.
From our internal questionnaire the answers we realised depended on the age range of the children:
Mothers of young children would dearly love ‘Time for Themselves’,
Mothers of teenagers would like a little more help at home in combination with the phrase “whatever” to have the Cambridge Dictionary meaning [‘Whatever- pronoun, determiner meaning ANYTHING or EVERYTHING], as in “Anything I can do to help you Mum”, or “I really appreciate everything you do for me Mum”.
Another recurring wish was for a long lazy ‘Morning in Bed’, a lie-in followed by a long luxurious soak in the bath and the pleasure to take as much time as you like to choose what to wear and to do your make-up, or not, as the case may be.
‘Gift Giving’ was another interesting topic of discussion which was also related to the age of the children:
Mums of younger children would love to receive something made for them,
Mums of teenage children would really appreciate something done for them: Breakfast in Bed (after a long lie in and which would include leaving the kitchen in perfect condition afterwards, even if it was not that way beforehand),…
We also came across a new poll by Mumsnet that revealed that 85% of mums would actually like more than an hour of ‘me-time’ on the day. The same reply we got from Mothers of young and not so young Children.
Sadly, when they inquired how Mother’s Day was last year for their Mothers, their survey found that most mums didn’t get their wish, as three quarters didn’t even get a full hour of time to themselves.
Just like the answers we received in our much smaller poll, ‘lie-ins’ were also top of the Mother’s Day wish-list with 92% hoping they would get some extra ‘shut-eye’. However, the response from their Mothers polled said that they were left disappointed about that too, as over half (58%) of mums were up before 8am last year.
They also discovered that ‘breakfast in bed’ was not a given, as 53% of mums said they had to make it for themselves last year, despite hoping or hinting that their partner or children would do it for them.
If you think that this was bad, it gets much worse, as not all Mums got the day off from their normal domestic chores.
When questioned which household tasks they had carried out on Mother’s Day last year, 62% said they had done some cooking, 58% did the washing, almost half (49%) did cleaning and 11% took the bins out (the ‘bins out’, this should really be the last straw).
As with our questionnaire, when it came to ‘Gift Giving’, something homemade or personal tops the wish-list, with 37% of mums saying they would love something made by their children and almost a fifth (18%) saying they would like something personalised, like a mug or keyring with their kids’ photo or footprint.
Unlike our small survey, where no-one admitted to this fact, Mumsnet revealed that despite it being their day, only two thirds of mums actually admitted to enjoying Mother’s Day. Maybe our Mums just did not have the heart to say so.
We fully agree with the findings of Mumsnet CEO Justine Roberts: “There is quite a lot of pressure on mothers to be selfless, and it can be difficult for them to ask for what they want, especially if it’s for their early-rising children to go away and take their burnt toast with them.”
This is especially true, when you see, how well meaning it was, how long it was in the planning and how excited they were to bring it in and present it to you. So,… maybe in the future, when you look back at all those Mother’s Day Mornings, you will not remember the tiredness you felt, or the tray with half of the Tea or Coffee floating in it, but remember the look of concentration on the face that has just managed to open the door, with or without help, and the inevitable question of “Do you like it”? What Mother could not say truthfully “This is the best half filled, luck warm cup of dishwater I have had since last year!” Now,.. there may be exceptions to the rule, as I mentioned earlier, but as all wonderful Mothers know the truth is sometimes best kept to ourselves or stored away for another time.
Having said that we do not mean it as a ‘Get out of Jail card’ for Fathers, Partners or Children to not show this wonderful person in your life how much they mean to you.
We do think that from the responses that we got, that on this day at least, you not only do something special for your Mum but you also don’t expect her to do the usual things she normally does for you every day.
So,… if your Mother wants some free time to herself then this is the ‘Time’ to start planning how to give her just that.
It really is amazing how we value the simple things in life when they are in short supply.
The one recurring theme is, that Mothers all over the world never seem to have enough time, and least of all ‘Free Time to Themselves’.
So go on,… and on this Mother’s Day, ask your Mum: “What do you want, really, really want?” The answer may surprise you.
With this in mind, we would like you to tell us what the answer was that you got, and how you went about giving your Mother her wish.
From the stories we get back we will pick out some of the wonderful Mothers and send them a “Pairfum London” gift, that will help them to relax and enjoy their well-deserved free-time.
Mother’s Day Poem
For All Those Times!
For all those times when you picked me up.
When you sent me off and you wished me Luck.
You tied my laces and wiped my nose.
Made my lunch and corrected my prose.
Dropped me off at School and on final bell call.
You were standing waiting by the School yard wall.
For the Times I got it wrong, but was sure I was right.
When I was very ill and you sat up all night.
For the Times we fought and I was leaving Home.
I knew you would be Sorry, as you would be all alone.
You asked “Where I was going” I said “I did not know”.
So you suggested delaying my departure, until I was 10 or so.
When I first went away all on my own,
but it was all O.K, knowing you were waiting at Home.
When I had my first crush, and grew taller than you.
You were stern, forgiving, loyal and true.
For the Times you needed something, but put me first instead.
To the day I realised I would never have a better Friend.
For all those Times and many many more..
I want to say “Thank You, I love You, Amore”.
Is there a better way of celebrating National Fragrance Day 2017 than by wearing your favourite perfume, lighting a fragranced candle you love or unwinding in a bath with a much loved bathing gel ?
Treat yourself today and enjoy the charms of perfume.
This is the day for lovers of perfume.
Prioritise Your Nose For The Day
We also suggest that today you should give your nose priority !
When doing something, start with your nose. Let your nose be your guide for the day.
Here are some ideas:
Smell your meal and enjoy its odours before you eat it.
Take in the bouquet of the wine you are about to drink.
Place your nose against the neck of your partner and inhale the aroma.
Memorise the fragrance of your children.
When you come home, open the door with your eyes closed and just take in the scent.
Relax on the sofa, close your eyes and treasure the fragrances you begin to pick up.
Try and identify as many facets as you can of your favourite fragrance.
Be creative, … and let’s see what your nose lets you get up to.
Quotes About Perfume
“No elegance is possible without perfume. It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory.”
“The beauty of fragrance is that it speaks to your heart…and hopefully someone else’s.”
“You should put scent where you like to be kissed.”
“A perfume is like a piece of clothing, a message, a way of presenting oneself… a costume… that differs according to the woman who wears it.”
“Fragrance helps to communicate immediately a certain something that is special about a person. Women expect fragrance to match their personality and highlight it. When I think of putting on shoes, a shirt, a tie, it is to express what I am all about – I believe a fragrance should do the same thing; make you feel more yourself.”
“The creation of a perfume is an act of love, whether real or imaginary. I am romantic. I couldn’t imagine living without dreams.”
“I felt something so intense, I could only express it in a perfume.”
“Odours have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions or will. The persuasive power of an odour cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.”
March 8th is International Womens’s Day which was originally called ‘International Working Women’s Day’, it was first celebrated on the 28th of February, 1909, in New York in remembrance of the 1908 strike held by the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union when 15,000 workers, marched through New York city’s lower east side to demand social and political rights.
The first International Women’s Day was held five years later in 1914, on the 8th of March which was chosen because it was a Sunday, and the majority of women would have the day off work thus allowing them to participate in the events that were organised, and has been celebrated on that date ever since.
The day was declared a national holiday in the Soviet Union in 1917, and it was adopted by the UN in 1977. Since 1996, the UN has assigned a theme to every IWD. This year’s theme is “Be bold for change”. According to the UN, it is “a day when women are recognize for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. It is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments, and more importantly, for looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women.”
13 Remarkable Women
Today’s ‘Google Doodle’ March 8th 2017 features Thirteen “female pioneers” – not all of whom are household names, most of them we may never have heard of and yet all of them achieved success in their chosen fields against what seems like insurmountable odds.
Ida Wells an African-American journalist and activist born in Mississippi in 1862, she wrote prolifically on the fight for women’s suffrage as well as the struggle for civil rights.
Lotifa El Nadi Egypt’s first female pilot born in 1907 in Cairo Her achievements made headlines around the world when she flew over the pyramids and competed in international flying races.
Frida Kahlo a Mexican painter and activist born in Mexico City in 1907, her work was loved by Women for its honest depiction of the female experience.
Lina Bo Bardi a Brazilian architect, born in Italy in 1914, promoted the social and cultural potential of architecture and design. Her furniture and jewellery designs are also celebrated.
Olga Skorokhodova was a scientist born into a poor Ukranian family in 1911, she lost her sight and hearing at the age of five. Overcoming these difficulties in the most amazing way, she became a researcher in the field of communication and produced a number of scientific works concerning the development of education for deaf-blind children.
Miriam Makeba a South African singer and civil rights activist was born in Johannesburg in 1932, was discovered as a singer of jazz and African melodies. She became hugely successful in the USA wining a Grammy for her work , she then became involved in the civil rights struggle in the US, as well as against apartheid in her native South Africa, writing political songs. Following her death President Nelson Mandela said that “her music inspired a powerful sense of hope in all of us.”
Sally Ride an American astronaut and physicist, born in Los Angeles in 1951 joined NASA in 1978, she became the first American woman and the third woman ever to go into space in 1983 at the age of 32. She later worked as an academic at the University of California, San Diego.
Halet Cambel a Turkish archaeologist born in 1916, became the first Muslim women to compete in the Olympics in the 1936 Berlin games as a fencer. She bravely declined an invitation to meet Adolf Hitler on political grounds, and after the conclusion of the Second World War, she trained as an architect and later worked as an academic in Turkey and Germany.
Ada Lovelace also known as ‘Countess of Lovelace’was an English mathematician and writer born in 1815, she became the world’s first computer programmer. The daughter of the poet Lord George Byron, she is chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage’s proposed mechanical general-purpose computer known as the Analytical Engine, and was the first to recognise the machine had applications beyond pure calculation, creating the first algorithm intended to be carried out by such a machine.
Rukmini Devi an Indian dancer and choreographer credited with reviving Indian classical dance, was born in 1904 and presented her form of dance on stage in the 1920s which was considered in very bad taste. She features in India Today’s list of the “100 people who shaped India”. She also worked to re-establish traditional Indian arts and crafts and was passionate about animal rights.
Cecilia Grierson an Argentine physician born in Buenes Aires in 1859, became the first woman in Argentina to receive a medical degree having previously worked as a teacher. At this time Women were barred from entering medical school and so she first volunteered as an unpaid lab assistant before being allowed to train as a doctor. She was recognised for her work during a cholera epidemic and went on to found the first nursing school in Argentina. The treatment she received during her training at medical school helped to shape her as an advocate for women’s rights in Argentina.
Lee Tai-young Korea’s first female lawyer and judge born in 1914 in what is now known as North Korea, founded the country’s first legal aid centre and fought throughout her career for women’s rights . Her often quoted refrain was, “No society can or will prosper without the cooperation of women.” She was married, worked as a teacher, and had four children before she was able to begin her legal career after the Second World War. Becoming the first woman to enter the National University of Seoul . She fought for civil rights in the country, and in 1977 was arrested and given a three-year suspended sentence and a ten year disbarment.
Suzanne Lenglen the French tennis champion born in 1899, popularised the sport winning 31 championships and dominating the women’s game for over a decade. She was one of the first international women sports stars, and was the first female tennis celebrity. Aged 15 she became the youngest ever winner of a major championship and during her entire career lost only seven matches. She defended her decision to turn professional by stating that she had a right to make a decent living in the days when the grand slam tournaments paid a relative pittance to the winners.
Men As Feminists
An article in the Lifestyle section of today’s Independent newspaper showing a clip made by a group of young men from an Australian school identifying as feminists. The video clip shows the answers these young Men were given when they asked the Women in their lives, Mothers, Aunts, Sisters, Teachers, Friends what Feminism meant to them. It takes just a few seconds to watch but leaves us begging the question? If we all just pause for a moment and asked ourselves “where would we be without Women”, I think there really is only one answer “nowhere” – put simply we would not exist.
Foliage is often overlooked when big the blooms of roses and peonies dazzles us with their colour & shape. However, Florists overlook it at their peril! Foliage will always be the backbone or backdrop of any stunning bouquet, giving it a background framework, structure, movement and texture.
Foliage does not have to boring and can be selected from branches of beech, photinia, white leaf, willow, eucalyptus birch or euonymus.
‘Herbs’ can also be used to adds interest and fragrance to a bouquet through the inclusion of mint, oregano, sage, lavender or rosemary.
‘Stems’ offer another source of inspiration to the florist and these are some examples: cow parsley, breezy grasses and stems of trailing jasmine.
Here are links to blog posts with further information during the British Flower Week website: