Monday, December 27, 2010

God Save the King/Queen

National anthem of the United Kingdom.

"God Save the Queen" (alternatively "God Save the King") is an anthem used in a number of Commonwealth realms and British Crown Dependencies. It is the sole national anthem of the United Kingdom and some of its territories; one of the two national anthems of New Zealand (since 1977) and those of Britain's territories that have their own additional local anthem; and the royal anthem of Australia (since 1984), Canada (since 1980), Jamaica, and Tuvalu, as well as Gibraltar and the Isle of Man. In countries not previously part of the British Empire, the tune of "God Save the Queen" has also been used as the basis for different patriotic songs, though still generally connected with royal ceremony. The authorship of the song is unknown, and beyond its first verse, which is consistent, it has many historic and extant versions: Since its first publication, different verses have been added and taken away and, even today, different publications include various selections of verses in various orders. In general only one, or sometimes two verses are sung, but on rare occasions three.

The sovereign and his or her consort are saluted with the entire anthem, while other members of the royal family who are entitled to royal salute (such as the Prince of Wales) receive just the first six bars. The first six bars also form all or part of the Vice Regal Salute in some Commonwealth realms outside the UK (e.g., in Canada, governors general and lieutenant governors are at official events saluted with the first six bars of "God Save the Queen" followed by the first four and last four bars of "O Canada"), as well as the salute given to governors of British overseas territories. The words of the song, like its title, are adapted to the gender of monarch, with "King" replacing "Queen", "he" replacing "she", and so forth, when a king reigns.


God save our gracious Queen,

Long live TO noble Queen,

God save the Queen:

Send her victorious,

Happy and glorious,

Long to reign over us:

God save the Queen.


O Lord, our God, arise,

Scatter her enemies,

And make them fall.

Confound their politics,

Frustrate their knavish tricks,

On Thee our hopes we fix,

God save us all.


Thy choicest gifts in store,

On her be pleased to pour;

Long may she reign:

May she defend our laws,

And ever give us cause

To sing with heart and voice

God save the our Queen.

With heart and voice to sing

God save the our King.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Che Guevara was born 1928, in Argentina. Che was educated at home, by his mother, "Celia de la Serna". As a child, Che Guevara was a reader of Marx, Engels and Freud. In 1941 Che Guevara went to secondary school, "Colegio Nacional Dean Funes". Studied as a physician at the University of Buenos Aires. Che Guevara explored Argentina on long bicycle trips where he came into contact with the poor. Che Guevara took part in riots against Juan Perуn in Argentina in 1952. Later, Che Guevara joined agitators in Bolivia, and worked in a leper colony.

In 1953 he went to Guatemala where he joined the leftist regime of Jacobo Arbenz Guzmбn. But when Arbenz was overthrown, Che Guevara was forced to flee to Mexico. Here, he met Fidel Castro. Che Guevara became Castro's chief lieutenant soon after the rebel invasion of Cuba in 1956. In 1959, Che Guevara married Aledia March. Che became president of the national bank under Castro, and was instrumental in cutting Cuba's traditional ties with the United States. He served from 1961 to 65, as minister of industry. Che Guevara left Cuba in 1965 to foster revolutionary activity in the Congo.

1967, directing an ineffective guerrilla movement in Bolivia, Che Guevara was wounded, captured, and executed by government troops. Che Guevara wrote Guerrilla Warfare (1961), Man and Socialism in Cuba (1967), and Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War (1968).

Some interesting facts about London

Most people know that the Queen lives at Buckingham Palace, Liverpool was home to the Beatles and the River Thames is the longest river in England.

But here is a selection of interesting facts that you may not know about London and which you can check out on your London holiday. Aside from being interesting facts, they help make your London visit more enjoyable.

Tower Bridge, London
Big Ben, London
St Paul's Cathedral, London
  1. There are currently four World Heritage Sites in the city of London: the Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament), the Tower of London, Maritime Greenwich and Kew Gardens – and they’re all along River Thames and certainly worth visiting.
  2.  It’s easy to spot residences of (deceased) famous people in London – there are 800 distinctive blue plaques ( affixed to walls, spotlighting poets, pioneers and politicians. From Jimi Hendrix and Handel to Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore. Up to 15 new ones are added to the roll-call each year.
  3. You can ride a classic red Routemaster bus on two routes through London, for the price of an ordinary fare. Numbers 9 and 15 travel via Trafalgar Square every 15 minutes and are a fine way to see the sights, especially from the upper deck.
  4. There are many galleries just as exciting as Tate Modern ( but less well known. In London’s East End, the century-old Whitechapel Gallery ( has reopened after an expansion which doubles its size and showcases an intriguing mixture of local and international art.
  5. London is full of wonderful small museums that rarely make the London itineraries and are often overlooked. Many of these local and specialist museums are Free to visit or charge a cheap entry fee. They offer special insider’s knowledge and are often located in areas of London teeming with history and atmosphere.
  6. Waterway holidays are a delightful way of seeing London. A self-drive narrow boat (no previous experience needed) is a comfortable base from which to explore the 200 year-old canal system at a leisurely pace.
  7. It’s not just homes that are stately. Some pubs are more like palaces, filled with varnished mahogany, ceramics and engraved mirrors, all enjoyed for the price of a drink. Most cities have at least one example: the newly restored Princess Louise in London’s Holborn is an example.
  8. For a scrumptious afternoon tea, visit a National Trust ( property. The charity has more than 140 tea-rooms, many in unusual buildings including castles, lighthouses, stables, and even hot-houses. Some serve historical menus reflecting the heyday of the property.
  9. The modern game of tennis originated here in the 19th century. Wimbledon, ( home of the world’s leading tournament has a fascinating museum devoted to the sport, with artefacts dating from 1555.
  10. The Great British Heritage Pass ( allows you to skip the queues at places. In London, the Great British Heritage Pass lets you discover fascinating locations such as St Paul’s Cathedral, Jewel Tower, Shakespeare’s Globe, Apsley House, Wellington Arch, Royal Albert Hall and Hampton Court Palace. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas in England

Celebrating Christmas in England is much like celebrating it in any other Western country. Even though many of the cultures in England do not actually believe in what the holiday represents, everyone seems to take part in the giving and receiving of gifts, as a sign of friendship and goodwill toward others. With so many different cultures living so closely together, Christmas is the only time people tend to celebrate together.

Preparing for the big day

Throughout the month of December, people busy themselves preparing for the Christmas festivities. There are the mince pies and Christmas cakes to bake and decorate as well as the all-important Christmas pudding.

In England over the years many superstitions have surrounded this popular festive dessert. It is said puddings should be made by the 25th Sunday after Trinity, prepared with 13 ingredients to represent Christ and His Disciples, and that every member of the family take turns to stir the pudding with a wooden spoon from east to west, in honour of the Three Kings. A silver coin is always dropped into the pudding mixture before it is cooked. This is said to bring wealth, health and happiness to whomever is lucky enough to find it when the pudding is cut.

People decorate their homes and a tree, with baubles, tinsel and fairy lights, placing a star or an angel in pride of place, on the top of the tree. The decorating of Christmas trees, though primarily a German custom, has been widely popular in England since 1841 when Prince Albert had a Christmas tree decorated with candles, set up in Windsor Castle for his wife Queen Victoria and their children.

Children hang stockings on the fireplace or at the end of their beds so when Father Christmas pays a visit, they are stuffed full of goodies, but only if they have been good! Children also send letters to Father Christmas, which legend has it, if they are tossed in the fireplace, the smoke from them burning gets carried up the chimney directly to the man in the red suit! Advent Calendarshelp us count down to Christmas Day and people give Poinsetta plants as gifts because the general shape of the plant and the arrangement of leaves are seen as a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem, which led the wise men to the baby Jesus. The red coloured leaves symbolise the blood of Christ. The white leaves represent his purity.

In primary schools, the younger children re-enact the nativity story, dressed as Mary and Joseph, angels, wise men and the occasional sheep, watched by proud parents and relatives.

An English Christmas

The English have much to thank Charles Dickens for because we will be forever linked with the tale of A Christmas Carol. A truly wonderful story about the old miser suddenly realising the true spirit of Christmas, thanks to a few ghostly visions. This is a truly remarkable story and each and every Christmastime you'll find people glued to their television screens when it is on because it is a Christmas story that still has a lot of emphasis, especially today when Christmas has become so commercialised. One word of warning though, not ALL English people are as bad as Ebeneezer Scrooge!

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Another very English tradition at Christmas is the family visit to see a Pantomime. The English 'panto' is based on traditional stories like Cinderella, Peter Pan and Puss in Boots and developed into the form we know today during the reign of Queen Victoria. It is a play of a fairy tale where the hero is played by a young woman, the comic characters are men dressed in outrageous drag, the bad guy is really, really bad and the cow is obviously two people dressed as a cow. The humour is topical (and FULL of double-entendres) and the play involves audience participation, (Oh No it Doesn't! Oh Yes it Does!!). Strange, I know, but Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without our pantos.

In the days leading up to Christmas, groups of carol singers holding candle lanterns, dressed in their hats and scarves to fight off the cold, go from door to door performing traditional Christmas songs for a small charitable donation to their cause. On Christmas Eve night, children leave out a glass of brandy and a mince pie for Santa, and a carrot and bowl of water for the reindeer.

Christmas Day

On Christmas morning the first task of the day is to dive under the tree and open the huge pile of gifts that Father Christmas has left, making as much mess as you possibly can with all the wrapping paper! Then for many people it's off to church for the morning service to give thanks. Back home, Christmas dinner is usually had between 2 and 4 in the afternoon. The Christmas table is decorated with festive candles and crackers, and we always use the best dinner service at Christmas! Christmas is very much a time for families to be together, so everyone gathers for the Christmas meal. A traditional english Christmas dinner is roast turkey with all the trimmings, like stuffing and cranberry sauce, washed down with a little mulled wine. For dessert there's mince pies, Christmas cake, Christmas pudding served with brandy sauce and cream and even sherry trifle! Картинка 97 из 2758

At 3pm on Christmas Day it is time to watch the Queen's speech to the Nation and Commonwealth. This is probably the only truly modern tradition that we have.

In 1922, Lord Reith, General Manager of the BBC, felt that the King, George V should use the powerful new medium of radio to speak to the nation as one family. Initially the King refused as he felt that radio was still too experimental to be used for a royal message. Lord Reith did not give up though, and asked the King again in 1932. By this time the BBC has begun its overseas service, and the King had the opportunity to talk to his subjects around the world. At 3:00pm on 25th December 1932, the King made the first broadcast live from Sandringham. Since then King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II have continued the tradition and in 1957 the broadcast moved to television.

Over the years the format has changed from a formal speech delivered live, to a pre-recorded Christmas message, to the current more relaxed broadcasts.

However, Christmas in England wouldn't be the same without the anticipation of opening the curtains on Christmas morning, in the hope of seeing a beautiful blanket of white snow covering everything in sight. We can but dream of our perfect white Christmas, until then "Merry Christmas to One and All!"

Christmas quizzes and games!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas at Windsor Castle

The festive season will be marked at Windsor Castle with special displays and activities from 10 December until 5 January In the Castle’s magnificent State Dining Room the table will be dressed with pieces from the Minton ‘Victoria’ dessert service, purchased by Queen Victoria at the Great Exhibition of 1851. Porcelain custard cups, bonbon dishes and a centrepiece decorated with seasonal images will be displayed alongside glittering silver-gilt candlesticks and festive fruit and flowers. At the heart of George IV’s Semi-State Apartments (open from October to March), the State Dining Room is today used by The Queen for entertaining.

Christmas trees from the Windsor Great Park will be displayed in the State Apartments from 6 December. The Castle is closely associated with the tradition of the Christmas tree, and Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria, is credited with popularising tree decorations. Festive decorations, including crown baubles, can be purchased from the Windsor Castle shops along with a host of other unique Royal Collection gifts.

Families visiting on 18 and 19 December (11:00-15:00) can follow a special Christmas activity trail and learn about the feasts and festivities of Christmases past and royal Christmases today. Children can make their own Christmas decorations, cards and crackers to take home.

In the run-up to New Year...

Many people are surprised to learn that "Jingle Bells" was actually written for American Thanksgiving. The song was composed by James Lord Pierpont, and details surrounding his life and the writing of the song have been contended over the years. In fact, in some older publications, the song's writer is listed as 'anonymous.' It is commonly accepted today, however, that Pierpont was indeed the writer, though the song was originally published under the title "One Horse Open Sleigh."


These are the original lyrics and spellings for the first two of the four verses:

1. Dashing thro' the snow,
In a one horse open sleigh,
O'er the hills we go,
Laughing all the way;
Bells on bob tail ring,

Making spirits bright,
Oh what sport to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight.

Jingle bells, Jingle bells,
Jingle all the way;
Oh! what joy it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh. [repeat four lines]

2. A day or two ago
I thought I take a ride
And soon Miss Fannie Bright
Was seated by my side,
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seem'd his lot
He got into a drifted bank
And we, we got up sot.


Jingle bells, Jingle bells,
Jingle all the way;
Oh! what joy it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh. [repeat all four lines]