Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wedding Traditions and Superstitions Behind the Bridesmaids, Wedding & Honeymoons Series

My beautiful daughter, Muriel van der Linde
The idea for my series on the theme of bridesmaids, weddings and honeymoons was sparked by the notion that some women are doomed to be bridesmaids, and never to be brides themselves.

This might be true for some women, but as weddings are one of those places where the potential for new romances to blossom is really strong, others might find that bit of folklore to be incorrect. At weddings, love seems to be in the air and cupid is a very busy boy under such circumstances.

Weddings have always been important event on the social calendar. It is the perfect time to get re-acquainted with family and friends and to meet new people.

Many traditions have been attached to weddings over the years. In some cases the logic behind the tradition has been lost, but it is interesting how many are still being used today.

It is said that if the bride cries on her wedding day, she won't cry again in her marriage. And rain on the wedding day is supposed to predict many children. Candles blown out by the wind during the wedding ceremony is supposed to bring very bad luck, because somebody is going to cause trouble. Eloise can vouch for this, because all the candles in the chapel blew out, and look at the trouble she had afterwards.

Another old wives' tale is that if the younger of two sisters marries first, the older sister must dance barefoot at the wedding if she wants to find a husband of her own.
The garter

The woman who catches the bride’s bouquet and the man the garter when tossed will be the next to get married. Traditionally, the unmarried man who catches the garter must place it on the leg of the unmarried woman who catches the bouquet.

And another tradition attempting to predict the next wedding is the one about the maid of honor and the best man going off together after the wedding. Marcus played heavily on this one to turn Piper's head.

Muriel's bouquet

The rings have been the focus of attention in that if it is dropped before it is placed on the finger, the person who dropped it will be the first of the couple to die.

The rhyme, something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe, dates from Victorian times but the traditions behind it is even older still. Something old has the continuation of the family in mind. Something new was a symbol for prosperity and good luck. The item that was borrowed is supposed to be something that brought happiness to another married person. Blue is the symbol of purity, modesty, fidelity and love. And the sixpence in her shoe meant that the bride would never be without.

And these are but a few.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

5 Theories of Paranormal Activity - for this picture's story
Ghosts and apparitions have held great interest to humankind throughout the ages. At first, ghosts of the dearly departed were accepted as fact, forming part of everyday life and rituals, but as we gradually became more technologically sophisticated, so scepticism set in. It is a basic instinct to fear what one doesn’t understand, or can’t reasonably explain.
Because ‘ghost hunting’ isn’t a real science and has depended on amateurs with imperfect methods and imperfect equipment, knowledge has remained rather sketchy. Of course, ghost stories are steeped in folklore. As tales are passed on from generation to generation, they become embellished and distorted. These stories were told to warn and to entertain—not necessarily meant to be accepted as fact.
Personally, I’ve always been interested in the paranormal and have started to question the nature of apparitions of the dead. I wanted to know why the spirits of some people linger after death and others not. To find answers, I first had to explore the nature of ghosts in general.
Let’s be honest. We’ve all heard inexplicable little sounds at odd times for which we couldn’t find reasonable explanations. And because we’re scared of ghosts and things that go bump in the night, it makes one feel better to blame the noisy neighbours. And what about the movement we catch from the corner of the eye that we assign to shifting light casting shadows? Sometimes, when we can’t come up with a logical explanation, it’s just more comforting to blame our own overactive imagination. But is it possible that all this space around us is not empty?
We’re all born with the ability to ‘see’. Unfortunately, our perception changes over time as we mature. Through the process of socialisation, the ability is blocked when it’s assigned to the child’s imagination.
Here are a few interesting ‘facts’ regarding the experience of ghostly activity:
•                Whereas children can see ghosts, only about one in ten adults retain that ability.
•                Women are more likely than men to see a ghost.
•                The higher the IQ, the lower the likelihood of seeing a ghost.
•                People actively looking for ghosts are the least likely to see one, and by the flip of a coin, those who disregard their presence are quite likely candidates to have a ghostly experience.

1) The most common explanation of what ghosts are, is that they’re the spirits of people who have died prematurely and so still have unfinished business to complete. The soul incarnates into each new life with a set of prescribed tasks to complete in that life for the development of that soul. When death comes unexpectedly or early, some of the tasks might still be incomplete and the soul is unable to cross over to the spirit world. The spirit then lingers around his or her old haunts, friends, and family. This kind of sighting is highly interactive, and not only is a conversation possible, one may even capture the spirit in a video or photo. Some people stick to this theory of the nature of ghosts because they seem to accept it as proof of life after death.
2) Another theory is that high impact events are recorded in the surroundings where those events take place. The recording is then replayed—so to speak—over and over, but can only be seen by people who have retained the sensitivity. This could manifest as the actual seeing of the apparition, but it could also take the form of recurring smells or sounds. The recording consists of a very strong emotion or violent event. As this is only a recording of an event, it makes sense that there can be no interaction with the ghost as such. This is what is called a residual haunting. A poltergeist is attached to a place or house, or even a single room in a house, and doesn’t respond to the people occupying the space. Poltergeist means noisy ghost, because they are known to throw things around and make sounds.
3) A third theory of what ghosts are, states that they are naturally occurring electromagnetic events. We all leave impressions on the places we visit during our lives. So, one place could have the impressions of many people who visited it over time. I’m not sure if these impressions would be interpreted as ghosts, though.
4) Similarly, there is a theory that ghosts are actual people living in parallel dimensions that overlap our dimension for a time. I suppose one must consider all options, but this one seems unlikely to me.
5) And the theory that ghosts live only in the imagination would seem to satisfy only those who have lost their ability to perceive.

Whatever the nature of ghosts, I believe they are there, whether one accepts them or not. And remember, if you don’t believe in the existence of such spirits, you stand a much better chance of being visited by one.

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Feelgood Friday Story - S'true's-bob

Able Seaman Just Nuisance R.N.

Yay! Friday at last! I thought we could end the week with a real "ghost" story and I hope you enjoy this one as much as I have.

One "person" who should be haunting Simon's Town, but who by all accounts aren't, is Able Seaman Just Nuisance, R.N. This is a great story I stumbled across while looking for Simon's Town's resident ghosts. I wouldn't mind bumping into this fellow on a dark and stormy night!

Born on April's Fool Day 1937 in Rondebosch, Cape Town, South Africa, this Great Dane pup was sold to Benjamin Chaney, who moved to Simon's Town to run the United Services Institute.  It was here where this large dog became a legend.

It was a dog's life - the sailors on the base at Simon's Town fed him all sorts: beer, pies, etc., and took him for walks. He was a friendly dog and was loved by everyone. He started to follow the sailors around the base and the docks and eventually onto the ships themselves - HMS Neptune was to become his favourite vessel. Only thing was, he chose his spot to lie down at the top of the gangplank, making boarding the vessel difficult, eliciting "You're just a nuisance!" from the sailors.

He regularly followed the off-duty seamen on their jaunts to Cape Town, 22miles and 27 stations north of Simon's Town. But he knew exactly where he was going. The conductor was not sympathetic and put the dog off at the next station. Undeterred, the dog would just board the next train. Sometimes people even offered to pay his fare, but a stream of complaints was sent to Mr Chaney, demanding that he controlled his dog's movements. It was only when the railway threatened to have the dog put down that, due to the massive outcry from the sailors and other people who have come to know Just Nuisance, that the Commander-in-Chief decided to enlist him into the Royal Navy, making him one of the world's most famous dogs.

He was enlisted on August 25th, 1939, his first name became "Just", his trade "Bone Crusher" and his religion "Scrounger" later upgraded to Canine Divinity League - Anti-Vivisection, for the rations. His duties seemed to have been self-imposed. He didn't like his friends to squabble and he made sure they got home to barracks after a night in the pub.

Just Nuisance was more than just a dog. He did much for the morale of the sailors in the Second World War, but he was no angel. His rap sheet was long and distinguished, including offenses like going AWOL, traveling on the trains without his free pass, sleeping in the petty officer's bed and refusing to leave a pub at closing time.

RIP Just Nuisance
Nuisance was involved in a traffic accident on January 1, 1944 which left him with thrombosis which slowly paralyzed him and on April 1, 1944, 7 years after he was born, he was put to sleep at the Simon's Town Naval Hospital. The next day he was buried with full military honors that included a gun salute and a lone bugle's rendition of The Last Post, on top of Red Hill.

He is not forgotten, though. His legend lives on at the Simon's Town Museum, where his official papers, his collar and many photos of him are on display. They even run a look-alike competition yearly, ensuring that the legend of Able Seaman Just Nuisance R.N. continue for a few years to come.

Isn't that a nice story to end the week with?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Series Giveaway

To celebrate the release of You're Wrong on 15 June 2016

All 3 books are on sale @ 99c for 4 days, between 15 - 19 June 2016

Buy all 3 for only $2-97! 

 A Giveaway

To enter giveaway,

Send your receipt for any book in the series,

along with your mailing address,


to stand a chance of winning 1 of 2 stunning, unique bookmarks

(pictured below)