Advent 22: Teddy Bears

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They’re not just for Christmas…
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Advent 6: Christmas Birds

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Two Turtle Doves © Southampton Old Lady

Birds feature heavily at the British Christmas table.

The Victorians always carved goose at Christmas, but later ate turkey when Charles Dickens wrote about it in A Christmas Carol, adopting it from the New World (America).

“Christmas is a-coming, the goose is getting fat… Please put a penny in the old man’s hat… If you haven’t got a penny a ha’penny will do… If you haven’t got a ha’penny then God bless you!

A few years ago celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall featured his 10-bird roast. Multi-bird roasts are different types of birds each stuffed inside a larger one, and the more birds involved the better.

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12 bird roast as depicted in The Mail Online
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Seven swans-a-swimming © Southampton Old Lady

Whittingstall was harking back to Tudor times when stuffing birds this way was fashionable. Or a different bird was eaten each day of the 12 days of Christmas (the 12 days between 25th December and the 5th January – the eve of Epiphany or Kings Day)

” 7 swans-a-swimming – 6 geese-a-laying – 4 calling birds – 3 french hens – 2 turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree”

Since then the  3-4-5-7-10-12 bird roast has made a big come back – there is a very interesting article about it in: The Mail Online

However the most popular bird at Christmas in the UK is still Chicken – possibly because it is the cheapest yet tastiest – and the bird of choice with British Hindus, who marinade it in spices for days for slow roasting it.

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The Dodo bird was eaten to extinction by Victorian sailors. Photo taken at The Bristol Museum © Southampton Old Lady
My three gals!
My three gals!

Zebra Go

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Print Primary Zebra contrasts with Southampton’s freshly cleaned Bargate

While the world plays Pokemon-Go – the people in Southampton are walking around and searching for painted zebras. A few years ago it was rhinos in collaboration with Marwell Zoo. It was such a success that we now have these zebras with sponsored themes.

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Judge Zebra Below Bar – with reference to when Southampton’s Bargate was once a court.

So here are some photos of a few of my favourites – I must confess I did not take the details of all of them – one of the best bloggers for these is on the WP site “I Walk Alone” so seek her out for some lovely walks.

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The Wheels on the Bus Zebra en-route from West Quay shopping centre
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Abbey Road Zebra by Watts Park entrance

Vandals have stolen some of them; one also with a Beatles theme, named Ticket to Ride featuring buses, was found floating along the River Itchen and rescued by a youth sailing team.

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A beautiful Ocean Zebra in St Michael’s Square
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Jigsaw Zebra. You never know who will be dropping by while you are at a Mettricks having coffee in Southampton.
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Sharknado Zebra outside the old town walls at Western Esplanade
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Foxy Zebra in front of Southampton Guildhall

For more zebra photos and an interesting article from a ‘crazy’ tourist who flew to Southampton on a day trip click: here

For an avid walker who seems to be getting them all (though you might need to register on her site) – I Walk Alone – click: here