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  • Clare Teal -
    in other parts of the world In Bulgaria for example families dye eggs on Maundy Thursday the first red egg is seen as a symbol of health and good fortune and kept till the following Easter After the Saturday evening service a huge egg fight takes place or choukane s yaitsa the person with the last remaining unbroken egg is proclaimed the winner or borak the winning egg is also kept till the following Easter On Easter Monday in Slovakia and the Czech Republic men dig out their pomlázkas or hand made whips formed from 8 24 willow rods they then whip or spank women this apparently can be painful but isn t intended to cause suffering it s merely in order to maintain the woman s beauty and health for the next 12 months personally I d rather stay unwhipped ugly and eat chocolate By way of revenge women are allowed to pour buckets of cold water over any man the next day n Hungary however Watering Monday or Locsoló Hétfö involves visiting males sprinkling the womenfolk of the house with perfumed water in exchange for an Easter egg again I d just go for the chocolate Great big fires are the thing in Cyprus It is customary for eager youngsters to collect as much scrap wood as possible on which to burn a small doll representing Judas Iscariot such is the sense of competition between neighborhoods the fire department are often called to put them out On Easter morning in Bosnia and Herzegovinia you take a basket of food to church to be blessed this will usually involve bread coloured eggs ham horseradish and potica a kind of nut cake I m most approving of the basket idea it sounds right up my street as does the Jamaican

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/easter-traditions/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    concert that they were using the vile stuff It s like inhaling powdered glass My breathlessness wasn t helped either by the fact that my emergency gig trousers the larger ones were let s say a little snug Only one thing for it cept I hadn t realised Easter was upon us when I embarked on this monumental diet it s early days I only started on Sunday To help me this time as I can t seem to lose weight without some gimmick or other I have employed the services of an app on my phone You tell it how tall you are and what you weigh it doesn t laugh then you tell it how much you want to lose It sets a goal and gives you a daily calorie allowance mine is 1 200 Here s the brilliant part you just scan the barcodes of what you re eating and it works out the calories you can also search from a massive list of foods from celery sticks to black pudding to a kumquat I was trying to catch it out but no one kumquat 13 calories If you do any exercise tell it what you ve done and it swaps your toil for extra calories What a marvellous invention Short of the fact that I m hungry all the time this app makes dieting fun but then I am only on day three I think keeping a food diary of any kind be it pencil and paper or digital really helps as it makes you think about what you eat I know if I eat anything extra I have to write it down so I don t bother Planning the Easter menus is going to be a little tricky I don t think I ll be

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/happy-eater/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    the side The rustling that followed not only made me leap a mile but nearly had me off the ladder Yep I think he s awake Mass relief all round Tolly the tortoise was lowered to the ground Thankfully he has survived his first hibernation with us in Glastonbury If you remember this is Muddy s tortoise that mum Di has been looking after for her for some 22 years He s grown a lot which is odd as he obviously hasn t eaten for months Everyone is pleased to see him mooching about again everyone that is except Alan the puppy dog Tolly went into Hibernation early November and Alan didn t arrive till the end of November so they hadn t met Alan doesn t quite know what to make of him and hasn t stopped barking at Tolly since he awoke from the dead on Friday I think Alan s a bit jealous but Tolls seems pretty indifferent to be honest he s concentrating of rehydrating in his daily bath The tortoise has yet to eat anything this is apparently not uncommon but also not helped by Alan the canine hoover instantly gobbling every morsel placed in front of the tortoise the dog doesn t even like lettuce although it s quite funny watching him try to eat it Tolly is a very fussy eater so this year we re trying something new since discovering the local pet shop sells tasty tortoise pellets They are apparently very addictive I m assuming to tortoises but I won t try one just in case I remember reading that people inherit tortoises from elderly relatives but had no real idea just how long they can exist For example Captain Cook gave the Tongan Royal Family a baby tortoise in 1777

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/tales-of-tolly/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    on violin but now comes to the fore again on fiddle and along with the force of band proceeds to totally destroy me there in the kitchen peeling carrots tears streaming down my face This was an unexpected reaction but we ve all been touched or shed an unexpected tear to a song or even a piece of music we ve never heard before Powerful stuff it holds our memories and emotions and brings them to the surface when least expected but then I m grateful for that 29 Jan January s jobs January on paper is supposed to be our quietest month a time for relaxation and reflection Whatever There s just too much to do 2014 is shaping up to be a very busy year Our regular quartet show is in the workshop wheels off for a total overhaul which should be complete by the end of February tons of songs milling through the air some old some new some borrowed some you get the idea At the same time we are busy preparing our latest recording project with good friend and sax legend Pee Wee Ellis this will be a retrospective of songs that have inspired the great man over his 72 years it will be a very intimate low key session recorded as live in Grant Windsor s beautiful studio in very high definition sound With just Pee Wee s tenor Grant s piano and my vocals and by taking drums out of the equation the idea is that you will be able to hear all round the individual sounds There are already a few concert dates in the book for this new venture which we re all very much looking forward to In April Doris Day will celebrate her 90th birthday so to mark this milestone we are performing a few select dates throughout the year paying tribute to her fabulous music with a small Hollywood style Orchestra that s small not Paul Venues so far include Cadogan Hall and Wigan International Jazz Festival We start our touring schedule with a duo show in Settle Town Hall on Valentine s day This will be our Settle debut I m sure there ll be time for a spot of one stop shopping at Car and Kitchen and maybe even time for a cuppa at The Naked Man Then it s up the A64 to take part in this year s Coastival Scarborough s marvellous bi annual music fest We ll have our BBC Radio Leeds Community Big Band With Us and it s always a pleasure to work with those guys In addition to all this there are a couple of very exciting musical adventures that I m not at liberty to discuss at present so although we re not haring round the country except on Sunday s there s very little putting up of feet going on At this rate we re never going to finish Breaking Bad Ah well happy to be busy we ll just have to reschedule this January s R R to next January 15 Jan Alan rises to the occasions Alan the dog is a brilliant addition to the family the fact that even smallest of tasks now takes three times as long to achieve is no matter a wondrous little stress buster he is Last Tuesday we took him for an epic walk to the post office and back a 10 minute skip for us took nearly 45 minutes with Alan At 3 months he can only walk for 10 minutes at a time but this is difficult to monitor with all the sniffing and stopping By the time we carried him home he was pooped in fact we had to wake him up for his first puppy socialisation class at the local vets Although Alan has doubled in size since he first arrived he was still minuscule compared to the other pups who were all eager springy spaniels He took in the scene and with a withering Dorothy Parker esque What fresh hell is this backward glance in our general direction stomped into the fray Utterly grumpy throughout especially when a particular boisterous springer named Livvie after Olivia Newton John pounced on him from a great height all of 2 foot his reaction smacked of You re Not the One That I Want and I will categorically never be Hopelessly Devoted To You we left shortly after Muddy and I were both worried about Alan s attitude to other dogs all the books say how important it is to socialise your puppy with other canines thankfully the very next day he met two adorably placid retrievers Benji and Sweep who allowed him to say hello in a more civilised manner On Friday Alan learned how to bark I don t know why we were so surprised but we were even more so when he pretty much didn t stop till Saturday actually that s a slight exaggeration and the main contributing factor was Lani the Collie cross who came to stay the night After a lengthy and worrying display of get off my land type behaviour from his nibs Alan finally chilled out and even allowed Lani to play with his space hopper and by the time she left they were firm friends We re meeting lots of dogs on our walks and Alan s manners are improving plus Biscuit the JackieBichon has booked in for Monday night so with this in mind I think we re going to skive tonight s puppy socialisation class 14 Jan Alan s Adventures Muddy and I are becoming puppy bores but I have to share Alan s latest adventure Himself s pedigree name is Daredevil which seemed preposterous considering the first time we saw him he barely fitted in the palm of my hand obviously the breeder s knew something we didn t On Saturday Alistaire the log man dropped off a ton of top soil it was wet and he

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/category/clares-blog/page/7/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    performance from a Brooklyn based quartet called Lake Street Dive coincidentally Muddy s cousin Simon had told us about these guys back in January so it was great to meet them in the flesh I rounded off the show talking to Ian George the festival director before singing a closing number The atmosphere of live broadcasting out on location is quite exhilarating there we were patting each other on the back when security told us we had to hurry up and get out The glamour 30 Apr Poor Alan Muddy and I both found it really difficult not to look guilty at 8am on Monday morning Alan the dog had only got to bed five hours earlier after our weekly round trip to London for my Radio 2 show not that you would have known to see him bounding around The vets isn t very far away and he was still decidedly cheery when we walked him in The nurse went through some paper work and weighed him then we had to say goodbye Again he didn t seem bothered at all hardly gave us a backwards glance Back in the office I had loads of work to do this week our radio show comes live from the Cheltenham Jazz Festival with special guests legendary percussionist Billy Cobham saxophonist Julian Siegel and jazz singer extraordinaire Liane Carroll In addition to spinning records and chatting to guests I m also going to be singing a few songs with my band so there s a lot to sort out but it was a very long morning waiting for the phone call to say Alan s little operation had been a success and that he was awake At two o clock we went to pick him up thankfully he was really pleased to see us I had feared he d never speak to us again in fact he looked most fetching with a cute little plastic funnel round his neck with green flowers on it sadly though it wasn t big enough but the next size up made him look Nipper His Master s Voice dog only with the gramophone bell wrapped round his head We ended up with a blue inflatable collar neck brace which gives him a nautical dog overboard sort of air I m just hoping it doesn t pop in the next 10 days As the evening wore on and the pain killers wore off a very sorry little puppy emerged he didn t know what to do with himself and to be honest no one slept much last night This morning however is a different story altogether After a good breakfast of chicken and rice and the longest wee of his short life sorry to be graphic dog lovers will understand he s a different chap and is now playing with his new toy a fluffy bear we ve named Kahunas in memory of the occasion Granted shouting Alan where s yer Kahunas is perhaps a little unsubtle but so far he seems oblivious 24 Apr Easter Traditions Being on diet over the Easter weekend of course meant no chocolate and only the merest slivers of Simnel cake rude not to I was curious to discover a few of the more unusual Easter customs carried out in other parts of the world In Bulgaria for example families dye eggs on Maundy Thursday the first red egg is seen as a symbol of health and good fortune and kept till the following Easter After the Saturday evening service a huge egg fight takes place or choukane s yaitsa the person with the last remaining unbroken egg is proclaimed the winner or borak the winning egg is also kept till the following Easter On Easter Monday in Slovakia and the Czech Republic men dig out their pomlázkas or hand made whips formed from 8 24 willow rods they then whip or spank women this apparently can be painful but isn t intended to cause suffering it s merely in order to maintain the woman s beauty and health for the next 12 months personally I d rather stay unwhipped ugly and eat chocolate By way of revenge women are allowed to pour buckets of cold water over any man the next day n Hungary however Watering Monday or Locsoló Hétfö involves visiting males sprinkling the womenfolk of the house with perfumed water in exchange for an Easter egg again I d just go for the chocolate Great big fires are the thing in Cyprus It is customary for eager youngsters to collect as much scrap wood as possible on which to burn a small doll representing Judas Iscariot such is the sense of competition between neighborhoods the fire department are often called to put them out On Easter morning in Bosnia and Herzegovinia you take a basket of food to church to be blessed this will usually involve bread coloured eggs ham horseradish and potica a kind of nut cake I m most approving of the basket idea it sounds right up my street as does the Jamaican tradition of spicy fruit buns and cheese Over in Bermuda they fly homemade kites and eat fish cakes in addition to hot cross buns Finally in Norway people partake in the bizarre relatively modern tradition of reading and or watching murder mysteries apparently Poirot is a firm favourite and publisher s schedule their whodunnits to coincide with Easter A few ideas there for next Easter 18 Apr Happy Eater Haze machines are a singer s curse They make the lights look pretty but most of us hate the stuff with a passion I was at a gig last week and within two songs I was really struggling I didn t realise until after the concert that they were using the vile stuff It s like inhaling powdered glass My breathlessness wasn t helped either by the fact that my emergency gig trousers the larger ones were let s say a little snug

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/page/8/?page_id=2 (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    in his morning biscuit or anything else for that matter then fell into a worryingly deep sleep all hot and floppy Worried we took him to the vets for the 2nd time in a week Last Tuesday Muddy discovered a small red lump under Alan s chin which has since almost doubled in size the vet gave us some cream but he hasn t been himself Alan not the vet also there s a chance the missing sofa tassle may be responsible for his slightly under the weather feeling So yesterday I lovingly carried our floppy sad puppy into the waiting room where on seeing an Airedale terrier he woke up tail wagging like it might come off barking for England Funnily enough he stopped barking when the vet gave him a jab of antibiotics they are hoping the lump is a histiocytoma a benign skin tumour usually seen in young dogs that should hopefully heel itself within a few months she did a biopsy to be on the safe side Because he d been sick Holly the vet gave him another shot of something tummy related and prescribed a green medicine to be administered half an hour before eating It came with an oral syringe Now I m sure many of you are already chuckling knowingly to yourselves reliving your own experiences of trying to get smelly green sticky medicine down a reluctant pooch It took two of us at least twenty minutes to express the syringe and I think most of it went on my jeans The next gripping installment of The Adventures of Alan took place this afternoon when Soggy Doggy the mobile dog groomers pulled up After yesterday s ordeal we were relived to see he bonded instantly with Linda or the ham lady as she

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/more-adventures-of-alan/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    up on the wall last Autumn so s our beaky friends could get used to it unfortunately it blew away in the recent storms but our hero tracked it down and fixed it more firmly to the fence in view of these events we feared any future inhabitants might deem our little wooden box with the Teal green roof unsafe but no a blue tit has been seen popping in and out of the tiny front door hole Blue Tits spend most of March eating and partying not surprisingly I have been known to do this too Apparently birds use this extra energy to keep in shape whilst producing eggs Come April we should see Betty Blue Tit start to build the nest ALL ON HER OWN she has to lug great chunks of moss about with little or no help from himself it can take her up to 2 weeks to complete the nest is ready once it has been lined with soft feathers whose I m not sure possibly his fur or wool Having built her nest Betty then has the exhausting task of laying eggs one per day usually early in the morning these tiny weeny little birds can lay up to 16 eggs per clutch but average 8 12 The day before all the eggs are in one basket she creates a brood patch to incubate the eggs by plucking bare a small area of her own abdomen feathers that s love she then sits on the eggs for two weeks hoping that himself will pop by with a takeaway Late May the featherless blind squawky mouths are a hungry reality and Betty spends her days searching for food and sitting on the clutch to keep them warm or possibly quiet by the end of May

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/new-neighbours/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    to appear in this year s Coastival I don t get to see the chaps very often and I m always surprised at the quality of their playing in particular the younger members of the band who grow from strength to strength As you know I am a big band nut there s something magical about the combination of trumpets trombones saxophones and a rhythm section Big bands can play quiet as a mouse one second then blast your face off the next also uniquely they can handle virtually any kind of music you throw at them and still sound amazing Worryingly we have a national shortage of trombones or rather people to play them As a kid I used to think the trombone as a comical prop akin to the bagpipes as I ve gotten older my appreciation of this stunning and very versatile instrument has heightened to the extent that I now think trombones are ACE my feelings towards the bagpipes remain unchanged Musical instruments aren t cheap that said there are some rubbish cheaper trombones on the market some don t even work properly the player will most likely get frustrated by the poor sound or quality or both and give up BBC Big Band conductor and total trombone legend Jiggs Whigham told me a couple of years ago that he was working with a company who had invented a plastic trombone I smiled politely but couldn t help thinking surely that s not going to work Since then I have heard great things the best perhaps being the price which is just over 100 they are lightweight so easier for youngsters and those with weak arms like me to lift also they come in a range of funky colours which is bound to help the overall

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/plastic-trombones-are-ace/ (2016-02-15)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2017-12-11