Wednesday, 30 November 2011
Despite being such an important figure in the New Testament, scholars are not sure where he preached the Gospel (both Scythia and Epirus in Greece claimed him as their apostle), where he died or even where he was buried. However, the manner of his death is very well-documented.
Like most saints, a number of legends that have grown up about his life and holy work. One of these, regarding a journey to Ethiopia, is told in the Old English poem Andreas. But none of this explains how he came to be the patron saint of Scotland.
You can learn more about Saint Andrew and the Scottish city of St Andrews (along with its world famous university) in Scottish Miscellany: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Scotland the Brave.
If you would like to listen to the whole hour's worth of Dom and Danny Do Christmas, you can download it for free from here.
Just before we went on air, Dom Joly got out a singing, plastic Christmas tree. When I happened to mention that the first artificial trees were made from goose feathers dyed greed, he turned to me in amazement and said, "You really do know everything about Christmas!" I obviously made an impression, because he later mentioned me in his column in the Independent - sort of...
Then, last week I was recording my Radio Five Live Christmas day special and invited a man on who'd written a book called What is Myrrh Anyway? It turns out to be an "embalming ointment".
Ah... Fame at last!
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
The postal service is something we all take for granted, but without it there would be no convenient way of sending sackloads of cards every year. As a result, the greetings card as we know it didn't appear until the Victorian era when a reliable (and, more importantly, affordable) postal service was created.The first true commercial Christmas card went on sale in 1843. It was designed and printed at the behest of Sir Henry Cole, a businessman and philanthropist, who had played a key role in introducing the Penny Post in 1840. Thanks to the Penny Post, it was possible to send a letter or card anywhere within Britain. Cole was also the director of the newly founded Victoria and Albert Museum in London and it was his idea to give stamps perforated edges (an affectation that self-adhesive stamps retain today, even there is no physical need for them).
Did you know...?
By the late 19th century, there were between six and twelve mail deliveries per day in London, permitting correspondents to exchange multiple letters within a single day. Sounds a bit like email!
These are the last recommended posting date for Christmas 2011
Standard Parcels ~ Wednesday 14 December
Second Class and Recorded Signed For ~ Saturday 17 December
First Class and Recorded Signed For ~ Tuesday 20 December
Parcelforce express 48 ~ Wednesday 21 December
Parcelforce express 24 ~ Thursday 22 December
Special Delivery ~ Thursday 22 December
Special Delivery with Saturday Guarantee ~ Friday 23 December
Monday, 28 November 2011
Friday, 25 November 2011
Thursday, 17 November 2011
To read more, follow this link.