Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Cake Recipe

Some of you have asked that I share my  'fast and easy' Christmas Cake  recipe again.  So for those who like me,  have left it until the last moment, here it is.  


Brandy Christmas Cake (some may prefer rum)

1 cup water

1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
Lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 bottle Courvoisier VSOP Brandy
2 cups dried fruit

Sample the brandy to check quality. (I already sampled it.....several times to check the quality)

Take a large bowl, check the brandy again. To be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.


Turn on the electric mixer.

Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.

Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again.

At this point its best to make sure the brandy is still OK. Try another cup...just in case.

Turn off the mixerer thingy.

Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

Pick the fruit up off the floor.

Mix on the turner.

If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver.

Sample the brandy to check for tonsisticity.

Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something.

Check the brandy.

Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.

Add one table.

Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find.

Greash the oven.

Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over.

Don't forget to beat off the turner.

Finally, throw the bowl through the window.

Finish the brandy and wipe counter with the cat


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Advent and the New Roman Missal

 Today is the First Sunday of Advent in the Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Anglican calendars. Advent is the beginning of the Church Year for most churches in the Western tradition. It begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, which is the Sunday nearest November 30 (the Feast of St Andrew the Apostle) and ends on Christmas Eve, 24 December.  If Christmas Eve is a Sunday, it is counted as the fourth Sunday of Advent.

The word 'advent' is Latin for 'a coming or arrival' so Christians look on Advent as a season of preparation.  It is a time to get ready for the birth of Jesus Christ.

Practicing Christians do special things to mark the holy purposes of the Advent season and many churches have weekly services with a lot of praise, joy and song.During the Advent season many families start making their own creche or manger scene. It has been said that St Francis of Assisi popularized the creche. 

The Advent wreath is part of the long-standing tradition but the actual origins are uncertain. There is evidence of pre-Christian Germanic peoples using wreathes with lit candles during the cold and dark December days as a sign of hope in the future warm and extended-sunlight days of Spring. In Scandinavia during Winter, lighted candles were placed around a wheel, and prayers were offered to the god of light to turn “the wheel of the earth” back toward the sun to lengthen the days and restore warmth. 

The symbolism of the Advent wreath is beautiful. The wreath is made of various evergreens, signifying continuous life. The laurel signifies victory over persecution and suffering; pine, holly, and yew, immortality; and cedar, strength and healing. Holly also has a special Christian symbolism: The prickly leaves remind us of the crown of thorns, and one English legend tells of how the cross was made of holly. The circle of the wreath, which has no beginning or end, symbolizes the eternity of God, the immortality of the soul, and the everlasting life found in Christ. Any pine cones, nuts, or seedpods used to decorate the wreath also symbolize life and resurrection. All together, the wreath of evergreens depicts the immortality of our soul and the new, everlasting life promised to us through Christ, the eternal Word of the Father, who entered our world becoming true man and who was victorious over sin and death through His own passion, death, and resurrection ( Thanks to Fr  William Saunders - The History of the Advent Wreath - Arlington Catholic Herald).

The four candles that decorate the wreath represent the four weeks of Advent. Three candles are purple and one is rose. The purple candles symbolize the prayer, penance, and preparatory sacrifices and goods works undertaken during this season and the rose candle is lit on the third Sunday marking the the midpoint of Advent. The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world.
The light signifies Christ, the Light of the world. Some modern day adaptions include a white candle placed in the middle of the wreath, which represents Christ and is lit on Christmas Eve. Another tradition is to replace the three purple and one rose candles with four white candles which will be lit throughout Christmas season. 

Since Advent is a time to stir-up our faith in the Lord, the wreath and its prayers provide Christians with a way to augment the special preparation for Christmas.  The tradition helps us to remain vigilant in our homes and not lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas. 
For those of you celebrating this wonderful time of 'waiting' I wish you a joyful Advent season.
Sunday 27 November 2011 marks a huge step in the Roman Catholic Church with the advent of the New Missal.  Not all Catholics are happy with this as they see it as a retrograde step and going against Vatican II.  From today Catholic clergy, religious and laity will have no choice other than to use the translation of the Roman Missal  for Mass.  Many Catholics around the world have been questioning the merits  of the New Translation, some saying it is 'clumsy' whilst others are welcoming the new word-for-word  translation.    The new Missal is not changing anything except the words we have used for the last forty years.  There is new formality.  The Mass will not look different but will sound different.  In the Archdiocese of Port of Spain, there have been training sessions for Mass celebrants and seminars for the laity.  Missal cards will be used by congregations until such time that people have familiarized themselves with the New Translation.  The thinking behind the new translation in the Third Roman Missal is that there will be a new appreciation for a sacrament that is the summit of a Catholic's experience.  There will also be a change in some of the music

This actually takes me back to a time when I had to get used to the Mass, post Vatican II being celebrated in English as I was  brought up on the Latin Mass.  Personally I see it as  a retrograde step but I'm sure that many traditionalists are delighted that the Church has seen fit to return to the formality that once was.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Weekend

With one thing and another it's been a pretty stressful week.  Seems to be the norm at the moment.

So whilst I get myself together to write a blog on what's happening in this part of the world - State of Emergency continuing,  alleged plot to assassinate the Prime Minister and three members of her Cabinet, bad weather with floods and mud slides in abundance, people losing their homes in the landslides and a general feeling of unease in this country, I wish anyone who pops in, a peaceful weekend.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving 2011

To all my American friends, a very Happy Thanksgiving

May your lives be filled with
blessings and an abundance of all things good 
May your day be filled with joy as you give thanks and may you be surrounded with love, peace and fulfillment on this special holiday.
If anyone is having problems trying to find the turkey, you may just want to check unlikely places around the house!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cracks Unseen


 Woodward - Newman
Photograph courtesy of Tess Kinkaid, Magpie Tales

Gently caressing
 As though
The other  
Might break

Heads  carefully
So tenderly
Yet hesitant

Taste of  love
Torsos curved
Totally at one

Body formation
A zigzag
Future cracks

Barbara M Lake ©
Trinidad WI
November 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Down the Rabbit Hole


Photograph courtesy Tess Kinkaid, Magpie Tales

How bizarre
So many chairs
Yet no people
No music
Is this how it really is
Down the rabbit hole?

Barbara M Lake  ©
Trinidad WI
November 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Talk About a Wreck!

I have been away for a while because work wise I'm terribly busy and also caught up in the charity The Jericho Project.  I am totally bogged down at work and maybe because I've only had a week's holiday for the year instead of the four I'm entitled to, am not up to par.

The last few weeks have been tiring and trying.

No car for two weeks.  The damage was much worse than first thought but at last we are back on the road together. The bill is astronomical but worth it because apparently something of which could have failed at any moment, would more than likely have seen me pushing up daisies had I been driving.  Something to do with an important part of the steering wheel - I did not ask!

My daughter who wanted to take a year off off to work before taking her Legal Practioner's Certificate  is over qualified for every job she has applied for  - they all just want a work horse and are not prepared to pay.

I was recently informed by our newly formed HR department that I have to retire at the end of the year.  Went into total meltdown as that was not part of my plan. revived a bit when they said that I would be put on contract as opposed to 'a letter of employment'. Am still awaiting outcome and the Valium bottle needs refilling! Reminder to self: wine cellar also needs refilling!

Co-driver son and driver, in the final Trinidad  Rally of the Year, travelling at close to 200 mph hit a bump in the road and ended upside down in a river after overturning and dropping nine feet into a ravine. That was scary as water was rising and  neither could open their door. Son ended up smashing the window with his helmet after the hammer would not shatter it. Added problem: the car behind them slid down the ravine and hit them from behind whilst the driver was still in the car. It could have been worse in that it could have ended up on top of the car. Brilliant piece of news is that with nerves of steel, neither driver nor son panicked.  You can see my son standing, still with navigation notes in hand on the bank.  They made the tv news - whilst winners were being talked about, footage of the mishap was being shown.  That's one way of making the news but I'd have preferred footage of them receiving prizes!

Yesterday attended an excellent and compulsory programme for all those working in the Archdiocese - the VIRTUS Programme which you can find on line.  In a nutshell it's to do with recognizing child molesters and paedophiles - depressing and sad but something that anyone working with with children and anyone else at risk eg the elderly, should see and become part of.

That was followed by a visit to the dentist who is in the same area as where the Seminar was taking place.  So after 8 months of on and off hell, many self administered treatments, I decided enough was enough, was enough, called the dentist on my way to the Seminar and told him that I would be in at 1pm for an extraction.  When he saw me he said I am his favourite patient who is forever youthful and I retorted that it would be better all round if he did feed me bullshit!  He did ask me not to treat him as my lawyer and when I asked why he said 'because you only come to me when you're in trouble'.  Makes sense!   So am minus a tooth and now feeling no pain. Thank you God!

On the positive side, husband's blood tests show no deterioration of the kidneys over the last two years - prayers answered.

More negatives and not a great deal of positives but then again, life's what you make it and at at the moment I'm adding salt and tequila to the lemons!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Wonderful Week

I don't think that I'm going to be around much over the next few weeks.  I have my hands pretty full  until mid December work wise and in my spare time am involved in a charitable organization called The Jericho Project.  You can find us on Face Book. 

I am presently very tied up in a campaign  called Cans of Hope T & T which is a follow on ffrom Cans of Hope - from Trinidad to Somalia with Love.   We are going all out over the next few weeks to collect nationwide,  as many cans as possible which will then be distributed to the needy for Christmas.  We have many needy families in Trinidad and Tobago.

So until I post my response to this week's Magpie, have a wonderful week everyone.

Great Week Pictures

Remembrance Day 11/11

In Flanders Fields

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Being an army brat, I have attended many, many Remembrance Sunday Parades in several countries, on various camps. My father was always on parade. I never cease to be moved by the two minute silence because no matter what or where, the traffic and throngs always come to a complete standstill. The eeriness, especially on a cold, English November morning, always makes it seem to me, that the entire world has come to a stop as one can literally hear a pin drop.

Old soldiers never die
They simply fade they say
Is that the price I ask myself
That soldiers have to pay?

Bugle notes and drum beat
Flash of sun on brass
He hears the call as comrades all
Tramp the long march past

Warriors fading quickly
Like a weak pale winter sun
Bowed and creeping slowly
Life's race is all but run

The red poppy leaves are wrinkled
One by one they fall
Soldier, can you answer still
When the bugle notes do call

Play the music gently
No harsh notes sound, I ask
For the poppy leaves are falling
Glory days now past

London Sunday 13 November 2011
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II leads military members of the Royal Family, military personnel and politicians in tribute the war dead 

HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge lays a wreath at The Cenotaph

British soldiers and one Estonian, right, at a Remembrance Sunday parade ay Lashgar Gar base in Helmand province

Let us never forget those who gave their lives in WWI and all the wars that have followed and continue to this day.  Let us ensure that our children and grandchildren know their history and never be allowed to forget those who fought for and continue to fight for, their and their children's freedom .

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Your Story Told

 MAG 90
 Photograph courtesy Tess Kinkaid, Magpie Tales
I finally found the church.  I knew your grave was there somewhere and was surprised that after so many years it was in such pristine condition. A family member renovated it perhaps?  I was surprised too to find such a large memorial stone amongst the smaller ones.  The parish records showed the dates of your birth, baptism and death.   Carefully recorded by whoever kept the records at the time. Whoever did, had a neat hand which suggests an educated person. Maybe the sexton, maybe the minister.  Definitely not a woman.  Someone who knew you. Someone who knew the family.  How did the recorder feel when he wrote the words ‘date of death’ in the parish records?  Cause of death remains blank. Strange that!

When the family bible was returned to me (after much searching and incessantly nagging at relatives) I flicked through it just happy that it was back with who I considered to be its rightful owner – me.  After all, my paternal grandfather had inherited it and my grandmother had ensured that all the family births, baptisms, confirmations, marriages and deaths were recorded.

I first heard of the family bible from my father when I was quite young.  He only knew that it had been in the family home and that his mother was the person responsible for it.  When she died, my father was serving abroad and by the time he reached England, relatives had ‘ransacked’ the house.  It wasn’t until sometime later that my father (an only child) realized that the family bible was missing.  When he finally found out who had it, the person – his cousin – refused to return it.  He didn’t really want it. He just didn’t want my father to have it.

After my father died, I decided to pursue the family bible.  as an only child, I wanted, thirsted for family history.  I wanted to know about my ancestors. I knew that my paternal grandmother was Irish.  I knew something of my English/Welsh grandfather’s (one of fourteen of which eleven survived) family – one of his brothers threw an ink pot at his teacher and promptly ran off to sea – last heard of in the United States of America! Anyway cut a long story short, I now have the family bible which dates back to 1820. It was kept religiously until the year my grandmother died in 1948.  I was the last but one to be entered. She never recorded her brother in law’s death.  She got up from her sick bed to go to his funeral and three weeks later, died of pneumonia.

I fell ill and tired of Face Book, Blogger and Multiply,  went through my bookshelf where I found the family bible that I had sought for so many years and then just put on a shelf to gather dust. I began to read and the more I read, the more my interest was piqued.  Family trees are fascinating. Who married who, who was born when, who died when but never a mention of divorce. I was told many years later that my divorce was a first in the family. Would that have been recorded had the family bible still been active? No mention of Great Aunt Dorothy  – family lore has it that this southerner bewitched and snared Great Uncle Edward. It was only at the wedding that she introduced her fourteen year old son to the family by which time it was too late. 

After much searching I am here standing in front of your memorial stone.  Why am I here? Why do I have such an interest in you?  Why you above all others between 1858 and 1948? Ninety years of family history and I chose you. Actually, I didn’t.  You chose me, a descendant on my father’s side.  It was only when I read the family bible that things began to fall into place.   The recurring dreams I’ve had since I was four years old. Always a child in the dream. The same child. A very young child.  Dreams of a young woman watching the child. Dreams of a man watching the young woman.  Dreams of the same man holding the young woman.  Dreams of a  different woman crying. Dreams of the man berating the crying woman.  And then the awful indescribable dream of the young woman putting a pillow over the child’s face.  The dream of a funeral after which a tall headstone is erected. Grieving man, crying woman. The people of dreams past.  The parents. And nearby stands the young woman watching and waiting to console.

I know your story little one but what can I do about it now?  I cannot ask the scribe in the church what he thought.  I cannot ask your mother if she suspected your father’s affair with your nanny?  I cannot ask your nanny why.  What I can do little one, is tell that your father’s death is recorded in the parish records by the same educated hand and in the family bible probably by your maternal grandmother’s delicate hand.   Cause of death: suicide.

Rest in peace little one. Come to me in dreams no more. I have told your story.

Barbara M Lake ©
November 2011
Trinidad WI

Footnote:  This is, with some changes, taken from Magie #38  which was one of the first I wrote in October 2010

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Seventy Fourth Wedding Anniverary

On the 5 November 1946 a 25 year British soldier and his 21 year Austrian fianceé  were married in the Klagenfurt Cathedral in Klagenfurt am Wӧrthersee which is the capital of the federal state of  Carinthia in Austria.

The young soldier had made his way up to Austria  with his battalion,  through Italy from Africa where he had served with Montgomery at El Alamein

This story however is not about WWII but about what happened when this young man, at the time engaged to a a 'good Catholic Irish girl' back home met and fell in love with a 'good Catholic Austrian girl' when he was based in Klagenfurt.   I suppose one can picture the scene - post war, now allied occupied Austria.  Soldiers relieved that the battle was not only over but won.  Young women once again wearing their dancing shoes although some like the 21 year old had spent much of the war training in dentistry, playing on the ski slopes, refusing to join the Hitler youth movement and being questioned by Nazi interrogators because of that and because her best friend's boyfriend, a ski instructor was suspected of being a spy.

So it was in post war Austria in 1945.  The soldier and the would-be dentist met at a dance.  She went with someone named Bill, left with someone named John and from that time they were inseparable.  The proposal came very quickly and one has to wonder whether the young woman who came from a completely different culture  knew or understood what she was letting herself in for when the words "you have to understand I will always be a soldier first" came on the heels of  "will you marry me?" ! She learned, learned very fast  and to her credit never wavered, understood she was an army wife, was as much of the army as he was and in later years with every medal that was awarded, was always told that she was the one who earned it.

But theirs was not an easy path to marriage.   Breaking off the engagement to the 'girl at home' was the least of their worries. Both families were horrified.  The English/Irish side because the already decorated,  favourite son of the soil was marrying the 'enemy' and the Austrian side because the much loved youngest daughter was marrying one of those responsible for killing her father and her youngest brother.  To be fair, the girl's mother was not phased but her late husband's family cut her and her remaining children off.  They remained estranged for almost forty years.

To add to family complications, the army wasn't too happy either!  Post-war one couldn't just go off and marry a foreigner who had been the enemy. Applications had to be made, background checks done (like there hadn't been enough of those by Nazi intelligence!), red tape gone through and  permission granted.

The couple persevered, jumped all the hurdles, dodged the obstacles and eventually as I said at the beginning, married on the 5 November 1946.  Their daughter was baptized the following year in the same Cathedral. 

Had my parents lived today they would be celebrating their 74th Wedding Anniversary.  They had an incredible journey together until Daddy died after an extremely short illness in 1986.  He fell ill whilst they were having lunch in celebration of their 40th Wedding Anniversary and five weeks later he went home.  Mummy followed him 17 years later.

During their marriage they experienced much. Who would have thought that a young English/Irish teen who added a year onto his age to be able to join the army and a carefree young Austrian girl who spent her leisure time on the ski slopes, the ice rink, and in summer swimming in the beautiful waters of the  Wӧrthersee, would end up together?  Living in far off lands that some could only dream of, living and surviving in danger spots such as Singapore and Aden,   being in the Middle East before the oil, having their ups and downs like any other couple, dining with Royalty and eventually retiring to Cyprus where their time together was spent renovating and transforming the Greek Orthodox priest's old house (he lived upstairs and the donkey downstairs)  into a beautiful home in which sadly, when finished, they did not have enough time together.

So today I raise my glass to my parents - a toast to their memory and to their story only a little of which I have shared.  I am sure they are together,  smiling from heaven, glasses in hands as they clink my glass, and Daddy with a twinkle in his eye looks at me and says  "Cheers darling! Happy days!'. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

All Souls and Another Birthday

Today, the 2 November is the Roman Catholic day of remembrance of friends, loved ones and others who have died.  This morning I lit candles by a photo of my late parents. At Requiem Masses today throughout the world, the Office of the Dead will be recited by the clergy. 

The theological basis for the feast is the doctrine that those souls which leave the body not perfectly cleansed, or have not fully atoned for past sins cannot yet see God.  Those left on earth can apparently help these souls by praying for them, giving alms and offering Masses which will help in their release from Purgatory.

There are many customs and rituals followed in various countries. In Trinidad, the cemeteries and grave yards are cleaned up in the days leading up to All Souls.  Relatives normally visit the family graves on the 1 November (All Saints) to pimp and preen for the following day.

Today many families will go to their family plots or single plots, gather round and even bring picnic baskets.  Tonight every non-forgotten grave will be lit up by candles so that the cemetery will just, for one night of the year, be bathed in candle light.  It would be nice to think that the visitors will put candles on the forgotten graves as well.  I think it's as well to remember that not all graves that appear to be  'forgotten', actually are.  Circumstances don't always allow for people to visit.

I like the customs of some European countries where a candle is burning at the grave continuously as it was for my Austrian grandmother. Sadly there is no one left to burn the candle but I know the cemetery keepers do tend to keep the flame alight.  Then there are the countries where the grave has a photo of the deceased with the burning candle.

It would seem that this day of remembrance comes from the ancient Pagan Festival of the Dead.  The Pagan belief is that the souls of the dead return for a meal with the family (hence the picnic baskets??)  Candles in the window would guide the souls back home and another place was set at the table.  Children would come through the village asking for food to be offered symbolically to the dead, then donated to feed the hungry.

The Christian  origins of the day have been attributed to various religious orders - some say the Cluny Order, others the Benedictines.  If it was started by St Odilo of Cluny  at the Cluny Abbey in France, the tradition is 1012 years old.  Other monasteries throughout France adopted  the tradition and it quickly spread throughout the western church.  It was only in the 14th century that this day was officially recognized by Rome.

So when I go home this evening the candles will still be burning by the photo.  I do this on birthdays, anniversaries and sometimes just on any day that I feel like it.
And when we have said a prayer and blown out the candles, we will light the candles on my husband's birthday cake and give thanks for his life as he goes rushing into another year with guns blazing.  He thinks he's still twenty!!!

 Happy birthday glitters

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Typist's Nightmare


   Photograph courtesy Tess Kinkaid, Magpie Tales

Carbon paper
Three copies
Click clack
Tap tap
Parental pressure 
Before you can do
What you really want to
Get a proper job
Take a course
A secretarial course
So that you have
To fall back on

Old typewriter
Boring class 
The quick brown fox
The lazy dog
Fingers pushing
Hard old keys
As eyes
Stare hard
At the
Diagram above

Don't dare
Look down
Click clack
Tap tap
Teacher is glowering
Mean old bat
She's overweight
Whiskered chin
That's not nice
But what the hell
Light a ciggie
Oh bugger she’s

Years later
Technical age
Hands gliding
No click
Nor clack
Almost silent
As fingers fly
Over electronic keyboard
No white-off
The beauty of
Backspace and delete
Book written

Barbara M Lake ©

November 2011
Trinidad WI

All Saints Day

Today 1 November is All Saints Day which is believed to have been established in the early part of the fourth century and was known as 'Martyrs Day'.  All Saints is a Feast Day which honours and remembers  all Christian saints whose names we know and those we don't.  Western Roman Catholics, Anglicans and Lutherans celebrate this feast today whereas the Eastern Orthodox churches observe it on the first Sunday after Pentecost. 

In the early days many Christians were persecuted by the Romans and died for their belief in God.  To remember those martyrs, various dioceses set aside special days to celebrate.  In the early seventh century the Roman Emperor handed over the Pantheon Temple to the Pope who removed the statues of the Roman gods and consecrated it as 'All Saints in recognition of those who had died  from persecution during the first three hundred years after Christ.   Pope Gregory III instituted the 1 November as 'All Saints' in the diocese of Rome as he consecrated a chapel to all the martyrs in st Peter's Basilica.  Pope Gregory IV extended the feast to the entire church and that is where it remains today except in the Orthodox churches.  

That is how people came to be made saints in the early days and when Christians became free to worship openly, the church found other ways to recognize sanctity.  Early in Christianity people were made saints by popular acclaim which was then sanctioned by the local bishop.  For the last 500 years, the path to sainthood has been a much lengthier process  and includes necessary proof of extraordinary sanctity.

In Catholic countries this day is a Public Holiday and is seen as a holy Day of Obligation meaning that one is required to attend Mass.  In other countries, the day is moved to the nearest Sunday.  Countries and cultures have different ways of acknowledging and celebrating this feast.  In Spain, Portugal   and Mexico offerings are made.  In Belgium, Hungary and Italy flowers are brought to the graves of dead relatives.  In other parts of Europe such as Austria, Croatia, Poland and Romania it is customary to light candles which are placed on the graves.  In parts of Asia such as The Philippines it is also observed.  Relatives go to the graves of the dead, clean and repair them, lay flowers and light candles.  In France,   church services are held but by evening the focus has moved towards the dead.  People crowd cemeteries and there is much cleaning and lighting of candles.  All Saints is closely tied to All Souls' Day, held on the 2 November which is dedicated  to prayers fir the dead who are not yet glorified.  

'All Saints' is not a public holiday in Trinidad  but the tradition of the living, visiting the family grave in preparation for the 2 November, is strong and very much part of its culture.  On the  night of the 1  November,  some Trinidadians still put lighted candles in their windows carrying out the age old belief that 'lost souls' will be able to find their way home.


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