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Foreign Correspondant

Fine Living - Foreign Correspondant

North Korea Warns Of Pre-emptive Nuclear Attack On U.S.

North Korea Warns Of Pre-emptive Nuclear Attack On U.S.

Pictured above:  Korean War/National Archives

VAV!/March 7, 2013

A preemptive nuclear attack on the United States and allies is being threatened by North Korea as the United Nations Security Council moves forward to approve new sanctions in response to Pyongyang's latest nuclear test.

The threat from the North Korean Foreign Ministry came just hours before the United Nations Security Council was scheduled to meet on the sanctions, Thursday.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 06 April 2013 05:24 )

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Fine Living - Foreign Correspondant

Life’s a Journey - Teenage Crushes

Life’s a Journey - Teenage Crushes

VAV!/February 10, 2012 By Helen Spencer of Life's A Journey

Look, if I'm going to be totally honest with you about this, then there were more than three.

But in case anyone ...

Last Updated ( Sunday, 18 May 2014 04:47 )

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Fine Living - Foreign Correspondant

The Madness of King George III – London Theatre Review

The Madness of King George III – London Theatre Review

VAV!/February 10, 2012  By Rebecca McWattie

This tremendous Theatre Royal Bath production of Alan Bennett’s play is directed by the great Christopher Luscombe. King G...

Last Updated ( Saturday, 11 February 2012 09:15 )

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Fine Living - Foreign Correspondant

Diana Mitford, Part II – Rebel with a Cause

Diana Mitford, Part II – Rebel with a Cause

VAV!/January 28, 2012 By Rebecca McWattie

(Diana Mitford - Bright Young Thing Part I )

In 1932 Diana was still at the height of her beauty and her life with Bryan Guinness and...

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 31 January 2012 00:55 )

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Fine Living - Foreign Correspondant

Diana Mitford, Part I - Bright Young Thing

Diana Mitford, Part I - Bright Young Thing

VAV!/January 12, 2012 By Rebecca McWattie

My old penguin copy of Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate is without doubt the most well thumbed book in...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 12 January 2012 10:27 )

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Halloween

Pictured above: The Haunted Lane/ c1889/LOC VAV!/October 22, 2014 The black as night holiday, Halloween, is celebrated on October 31.  Otherwise known as Hallowe'en, All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve, Halloween is the time of year when children and adults dress as ghosts, scarecrows, vampires, princesses, or their favorite cartoon character and forage into the night, ringing doorbells and knocking on doors.  While visions of ghastly ghouls, witches, pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns and hobgoblins dance mysteriously before the celebrant's eyes, they sing out 'trick or treat' in anticipation of the candy that will most certainly fill the bags they carry. While trick or treaters comb the streets today, a succession of Halloween parades unfold elsewhere in cities and towns and Halloween parties take the night with the bobbing of apples and carving out of pumpkins by roaring bon fires! While today, Halloween is an evening of gaiety, that was not always so.  During the 19th century and a greater part of the 20th century, Halloween earned a bad rap as rogues of ne'er do wells and trouble makers roamed the countryside and city raising a not so welcome raucous. Merrymakers began dressing in imitation of evil spirits and ghastly creatures all while performing mischief making activities in exchange for food and drink...a practice called mumming. From this, trick or treating evolved.  For the greater part, the tricks were harmless, but others engaged in a more serious endeavor of vandalizing homes and businesses. As a result, it was not unusual to find a special police force put in place for the sole purpose of patrolling throughout the evening "Nearly all Halloween traditions may be traced to the ancient Celtic day of the dead." What are the origins of Halloween? The origins of Halloween began in an ancient, pre-Christian Celtic festival of the dead. In accordance with the Celtics, their year began on the day that corresponded to November 1st on today's calendar. The first day of the year was the beginning of winter and a time when livestock was kept at closer pastures for the months ahead. As well, the new year was a time when crops were harvested and stored. It was, in short, a day that served as the beginning and ending of an ever eternal cycle. The festival celebrating the first day of the year was called Samhain. The occasion was a very significant holiday, if not the most significant holiday, of the Celts. They believed on Samhain that the ghosts of the dead mingled amongst the living, "because at Samhain the souls of those who had died during the year traveled into the otherworld." - Library of Congress During Samhain, animals were sacrificed and bonfires burned brightly in homage to the dead as they made their final journey into the otherworld, and to keep them at bay from the living. The Celts also believed that Samhain harbored demons, ghosts, and fairies. Samhain has long since transformed into the Halloween we celebrate today.  The transformation came after Christian missionaries attempted to change the religious practices of the Celts and put an end to their "pagan" holidays, such as Samhain.  While sweeping changes were made, in 601 A.D. Pope Gregory the First issued an edict to his missionaries that rather than obliterate native peoples' customs and beliefs,  he adjured them to consecrate it to Christ and allow its continued worship.  Consequently,  the Christian feast of All Saints was assigned to November 1st and the day honored every Christian saint This feast day was meant to substitute for Samhain, and finally,  replace it forever.  While that eradication did not occur, and Samhain never died out entirely, the church tried again to supplant it with a Christian feast day in the 9th century on November 2nd as All Souls Day as a day when the living prayed for the souls of all the dead. Nevertheless, the traditional beliefs and customs lived on, in new guises. All Saints Day, otherwise known as All Hallows, continued the ancient Celtic traditions. The evening prior to All Saints Day was the time of concentrated activity of both human and supernatural entities. People continued to celebrate All Hallows Eve as a time of the wandering dead. As time moved onward, people continued  the legacy of  those spirits' existence (and their masked impersonators) with the practice of  setting out gifts of food and drink. Thereafter, All Hallows Eve became Hallow Evening, which became Hallowe'en. Nearly all Halloween traditions may be traced to the ancient Celtic day of the dead.   The wearing of costumes  and going door to door for trick or treats can be traced to the Celtic period and the first few centuries of the Christian era,  offerings of food and drink were left out to placate the souls of the dead and evil spirits. As time evolved, and centuries lapsed one into another, people began dressing in imitation of evil spirits and ghastly creatures all while performing hi-jinx in exchange for food and drink.   The practice is called mumming, from which the practice of trick-or-treating evolved.   Reference: Library of Congress

 

Oscar de la Renta

  Pictured above:  Oscar de la Renta/Contributed by Screen Grab© "I'm a very restless person. I'm always doing something. The creative process never stops." - Oscar de la Renta VAV!/October 20, 2014 One of the world's premier fashion designers and philantropists, Oscar de la Renta,  died at his home in Kent, CT on Monday, October 20, 2014. He was 82. De La Renta was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. Born on July 22, 1932, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Oscar de la Renta was educated at the Academy of San Fernando, Madrid. His undeniable talent for illustration led him to an apprenticeship with couturier, Cristobal Balenciaga.

 

Oscar de la Renta

  Pictured above:  Oscar de la Renta/Contributed by Screen Grab© "I'm a very restless person. I'm always doing something. The creative process never stops." - Oscar de la Renta VAV!/October 20, 2014 One of the world's premier fashion designers and philantropists, Oscar de la Renta,  died at his home in Kent, CT on Monday, October 20, 2014. He was 82. De La Renta was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. Born on July 22, 1932, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Oscar de la Renta was educated at the Academy of San Fernando, Madrid. His undeniable talent for illustration led him to an apprenticeship with couturier, Cristobal Balenciaga.

 

Eyeliner History, How To And Eyeliner Tips

VAV!/October 14, 2014 Looking into history, as far back as ancient civilizations, eyeliner, makeup applied to enhance the eyes and give definition, is applied around the contours of the eyes.  Eyeliner has been worn by not only women but by men, as well. In 10,000 BC, Ancient Egyptians, both aristocracy and the lower classes, were adroit in their knowledge of cosmetics... used not only for aesthetics and  for protection from the harsh elements as well as protection from myths and cultural beliefs to include the 'evil eye'. The broad and heavily lined eyes, both upper and the lower rims, were lined using a small stick dipped into a paste made of mineral blends produced from a myriad of materials, including lead and copper ore to varieties of metallics and water.  From these elements, a paste was formed through a grinding process using a vessel known as a Kohl pot. The paste was then applied to the eyes..

 

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Pictured above:  Martin Luther King VAV!/March 17, 2011 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr (January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968)  was a charismatic civil rights leader who fully joined the crusade for equal rights for all people in America during the mid 1950s.  He first came to national prominence as one of the leaders of the Alabama bus boycott in 1955.  In 1963, Dr King led a massive march on Washington DC where he delivered his now famous "I have a dream" speech. In 1964 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

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