Mothers – A Brief History

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Mother. It’s a word we hear nearly every year, but what does it actually mean? The dictionary describes a mother as something which is ‘full of moths’, but that barely scratches the surface of what a mother really is.

For centuries the mother was seen as secondary to the father in almost every way. The fact that there was no word in the English language for mother until 1796 shows how little they were regarded by society. They were simply called Female Fathers and were of the same social standing as a blacksmith.

However, that all changed in the early 19th century, when scientists discovered that it was actually the mother who gave birth to the child. This turned the whole family dynamic on its head. As reward for painful childbirth, women were allowed to become integrated into family life, often feeding the children and sometimes even clothing them.

This came at an ideal time for men – right in the middle of the industrial revolution. The world was fast becoming filled with machines. These machines caused something to awaken deep within the hearts of men. They lost all interest in farming, child raising and love. Why spend time with their families when they could watch a machine produce a hundred yards of linen in an hour? Or run their hands across the cool steel shell of a steam engine? The duties which had always belonged to the father were thrust upon the mother in their entirety, as fathers met in ale houses, comparing the processing speed of their tractors and the storage capacity of their trains.

In time, the machines became smaller and more complex, but man’s love for gadgets never tired. By the 20th century, men had forgotten how to raise children. Their breasts no longer produced milk. All they cared about was creating a machine capable of reaching the Moon. Meanwhile, mothers had conquered the art of raising children. They had perfected in 100 years what men had been doing and failing at for countless millennia. Children now had emotions, they spoke languages, they wore matching socks and their faces were free from dirt.

It was generally agreed that the mothers had done a good job. ‘Mothering’ became the new word for what had previously been known as ‘fathering’. Whilst the word ‘fathering’ came to mean ‘Observing from a distance – With or without the latest in video camera technology’.

In the next chapter we will be looking at the different types of mothers available in the world.

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Top Tips For Romance

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Part One – How To Tell If A Girl Likes You

We like to be helpful and so for this year’s Valentine’s we’ve called on a “specialist” to share his top tips in the dating game. Unfortunately, given one of his most sensible tips is to pretend to be your target’s ex-boyfriend, we’re not sure exactly what he’s a “specialist” in. We’ll share a new post every day this week, addressing a different aspect of love and the wooing game. Without further ado, the first installment: How to tell if a girl likes you. Read on!

The most effective way to discover whether or not a girl likes you is to examine her Amare Saccuss (‘love sack’). This is a small area at the front of the brain which fills with mucus whenever feelings of a romantic nature develop. The mucus can be easily accessed by piercing the skull with a large syringe and drawing the substance out. The redder the mucus the stronger her feelings are likely to be towards you.

However, it is not always appropriate to pierce a lady’s brain with a needle.  In such cases there are a number of ways (although much less effective) to uncover her true feelings:

1. Ask her if she likes you.

This is perhaps the most obvious, but also the most dangerous. You’ll be playing your cards very firmly away from your chest.  She’ll immediately discover your intentions and there’s no guarantee that she’ll give a truthful answer.

However, there is a method you can use to disguise your question and intentions. Walk up to her with a clipboard and ask if she likes Martin (assuming that you both have a mutual acquaintance called Martin).  Pretend to tick something on the clipboard. Then ask her if she likes Peter (again, only if you both know someone called Peter). Continue this with 50 or so names until eventually you ask her “Do you like me?”. If she says yes you might want to try to kiss her, but I would recommend playing it cool by then asking her another 50 or so names.

2. Does she always laugh at your jokes?

If a lady likes a man she will often laugh at his jokes, even if they are not funny. The most important thing is to know whether she laughs at your jokes because she likes you or because you are very, very funny.  I would suggest that you enrol yourself in an open mic comedy night to confirm just how funny you are. If your jokes result in a standing ovation, hysterical laughter and a job as a man who appears in many TV panel shows, then you are probably quite funny and she has no romantic feelings towards you at all. However, if your performance results in heckles, awkward silences and a pint of urine being thrown in your face, then I would strongly urge you to wash your face, run straight to the lady’s house and kiss her.

3. Is she often running her hands through your hair, stroking your neck, holding your hand and asking you out on dates?

It’s possible that she likes you, but it’s more likely to be some kind of trap to humiliate you. You must tell her that you will not stand for her games and you will only agree to a date upon the condition that you gain access to her Amare Saccus for scientific research.

We hope this was helpful!

Top Tips for Romance: Part 2 – How To Get A Girl To Like You

There are many well documented ways to make a girl like you. Unfortunately they are mostly wrong. A fast car, a nice house and fashionable clothes doesn’t project ‘cool guy’, it reeks of ‘organised crime’.

Rule #1: Do Not Be Yourself

Under no circumstances must you be yourself. There’s a reason why you’re single and using the advice of an online flower delivery company to find a mate. Be someone else, but don’t make the mistake of being someone obvious like James Bond or George Clooney. In reality women would be put off by James Bond’s disregard for human life or George Clooney’s busy work schedule.

Nothing says potential boyfriend like ‘former boyfriend’. People are always getting back together with old flames. Find him, follow him, and become him. By mimicking the personality and look of her ex lover you will be tapping into tools which have already proven to work on this specific lady in the past.

Rule #2: Become Best Friends With Her Mother

Nobody has a bigger influence on a woman’s relationship than her mother. Become close to the mother and she’ll be sure to put in a good word for you. It’s easy to befriend a mother by simply turning up at her house unannounced with a bottle of Martini, Casablanca on DVD and a Backgammon board. When she answers the door you must repeat these words exactly: “Hello. I’m a friend of your daughter. I’ve come to be your friend too.” Everyone likes having friends and it will reassure her that you have not come to murder her.

Rule #3: Be Mysterious

All women like mystery. It’s thrilling.

  • Change your name often. (Occasionally claim to have no name)
  • Lurk in the shadows.
  • Give false information.
  • Pretend to be confused.

Rule #4: Be Dying

Fake an illness. Sympathy is a powerful motivator of emotions. Even if a woman doesn’t love a man, she might be forced into loving him just in case she believes that one day she could have loved him, but now she might never get that chance. Alternatively, claim to be immortal. This would make you appear quite unique and a good long term investment.

 

Top Tips For Romance: Part 3 – How To Ask A Girl Out On A Date

This can be quite a daunting task. There’s always the chance that she will say no and everyone in the world will laugh at you. Forever. Here are a few handy tips for getting that elusive ‘YES!’

Option 1: Ask Your Friend To Do It For You

This is without a doubt the best option. Not only will it make you look powerful like you have people who do your bidding, but it will also subliminally remind her about being in school. Everyone has fond memories of school. They were simpler times, free from soaring mortgage payments, the ever increasing awareness of your own mortality and Russell Howard’s Good News.

General Rule #1: Do Not Make Eye Contact

Nobody likes eye contact. The eyes are the windows to the soul. Therefore the fringe is the curtain to the soul. There’s a reason why so many women have bangs these days. With demons like Derren Brown and Dynamo walking the streets of the Earth, many people have become fearful of eye contact; because they believe that their thoughts can be both interpreted and influenced. Look at the floor. It will make you seem both considerate and lacking in confidence, which has been known to be a great turn on.

Option 2: Create The Illusion That The Date Is With Someone Else

Technology is wonderful for deceiving ladies. Using a fake email account or a pay-as-you-go cell phone, begin a text based conversation with the woman of your dreams under the pretence that you are someone that you know that she would go on a date with. Once the date is confirmed, go to the place where the date is set to take place. Be ten minutes early and order a bottle of moderately priced wine. Have the waiter open the bottle. When she arrives and sees that you are not the person she was expecting she will be very angry and want to leave. Explain that she can’t leave, because you’ve already ordered the wine and won’t be able to send it back. If she has any empathy for human beings during these tough economic times, she will agree to stay and not let wine go to waste. Use the following moments to apologise for deceiving her (possibly blame it on someone else). If she accepts your apology the date will most likely go ahead.

General Rule #2: Do Offer Money

It’s very offensive to straight out offer a woman money to go on a date with you, but if you were to approach the situation with “If you go out with me I will give £1000 to charity”, then it would be impossible for you to look like a bad person. In fact, she would have to say yes for fear of being a bad person herself. It’s disgusting manipulation of the best kind.

 

Top Tips For Romance: Part 4 – How To Kiss Your Sexy Neighbour

Easy Solutions #2

So, you want to kiss your sexy neighbour, but you’ve never even said hello.

What you will need: 1 x computer with photoshop, 1 x printer, 1 x A4 envelope, 1 x black pen, 1 x red pen, 1 x stamp, 1 x pot of extra strength glue, 1 x photo of yourself with a lady.

Step One: Use your computer to photoshop Angelina Jolie’s head onto the lady’s body in your photograph. If you are unable to do this, seek the assistance of a ten year old child.

Step Two: Print out the photo, place it in a frame and hang it in your hallway.

Step Three:
 Use your computer to write a script for a short Hollywood film. Put all of your effort into it, because although it will probably never get made, you might discover that you have a hidden talent.

Step Four: Print out two copies of the script and place them in the envelope. Write your name and address on the envelope using the black pen. Then, using the red pen, write the words “Confidential” and “Urgent” in bold capital letters. Exclamation marks are optional.

Step Five: Lick the stamp and stick it on the top right hand corner of the envelope.

Step Six: On Saturday morning stand outside your neighbour’s house until the postman arrives. As soon as he posts your neighbour’s letters run up to her door and post your envelope.

Step Seven: Return home and glue your letterbox shut.

Step Eight: Pretty soon your neighbour will discover your envelope and she will immediately bring it to the correct address, because of the bold red writing. She will be unable to simply post it through your letterbox, because you have glued it shut. When she knocks your door, answer it.

Step Nine: When she hands you the envelope say the words “Oh, thank God. I was worried I wasn’t going to get this in time before Monday.” The “Confidential” written on the envelope will have made her curious, so she may ask what the envelope contains.

Step Ten:Even if she doesn’t, casually announce that it’s just the script for a new film you’re starring in with Angelina Jolie. While your neighbour is being impressed mention that you’ve just opened a bottle of wine. Ask her if she would like a glass. You won’t need to have a bottle ready. She will automatically decline, because it’s Saturday morning, but it will make you appear artistic, because only creative types drink wine in the morning.

Step Eleven: There’s a 50/50 chance that she will now ask if you know Angelina Jolie. Even if she doesn’t ask this question it is important that you now point her towards the photograph hanging in your hallway, thus causing her to enter your house.

Step Twelve: Whilst she is looking at the photo, open the envelope and say the words “Why have they sent me two?”

Step Thirteen:
 After she is done admiring the photograph say the words “Hey, you wouldn’t mind running through a few scenes with me, would you?” She will be reluctant to decline, because she’s already declined your offer of wine and won’t want to seem rude, especially to a man who she now believes to be an associate of a top movie star.

Step Fourteen: Take her into the living room and tell her that you aren’t in many of the early scenes, so you should start with the final act.

Step Fifteen:
 After she’s read a few lines, compliment her by saying “You’re very good. Have you done any acting before?” This will put her at ease.

Step Sixteen: Now, if you’ve written your script correctly, you will have included a climax where you and Angelina Jolie’s character kiss. It’s Hollywood writing 101. Upon reading the direction notes of this scene your neighbour will instinctively be reluctant to kiss a man she’s only just met on a Saturday morning.

Step Seventeen: However, before she says the words “We don’t have to kiss, do we?” she will start to think about Angelina Jolie and her lips. All women have the exact same strong feelings about Angelina Jolie, and no matter what they say, it is thinly veiled jealousy. Your neighbour will start to wonder about you kissing Angelina Jolie on Monday. At first she will realise that this is her one opportunity to beat Angelina Jolie by being a better kisser. Then she will imagine the kiss chain from her, to you, to Angelina Jolie, to Brad Pitt. This will seal the deal in her mind.

Step Eighteen: When your neighbour moves her mouth close to your’s, begin to kiss her. Mission accomplished.

Step Nineteen (Optional): If you want to take a risk, you can make your script about a man who kisses his neighbour by doing this exact thing. Your neighbour might appreciate the Charlie Kauffman quality to it. It’s a good way to come clean and rid yourself of the guilt. If she admires your efforts you might enter into a love affair. Sadly this step will only work 60% of the time.

Notes: Women can use this tutorial by simply replacing the photo of Angelina Jolie with Johnny Depp.

 

Top Tips For Romance: Part 5 – A Valentine’s Day Adventure

People say that romance is dead, but it’s just evolving with the times. Candles have been replaced by LEDs, poetry has been replaced by gangster heavy txt spk and long walks on the beach have been replaced by a 100m sprint around a petrol station forecourt. It’s just how things go. Compliments have very nearly been replaced by the Facebook poke. Tell someone their hair looks nice before it’s too late.

One Valentine’s Day, in a bid to recapture the more traditional type of romance, I decided to take a lady for a daytime stroll along a cliff, (the third most romantic generic location behind a hilltop and a frozen lake respectively).

Knowing that hunger could very well be an issue in this isolated location, I prepared a picnic basket filled with the most romantic foods (Toblerones, Mint Aeros and Flakes). To increase the romance tenfold I decided to have the basket already planted there, which meant leaving it unguarded. This thought worried me. Although this was not a popular spot, I could not cope with the idea that some stranger might stumble upon my romance hamper. I did what I had to – I buried it. Precautious is my middle name and also quite a good description of my personality, so I buried it far deeper than I needed to. I also buried the shovel in a separate less deep hole, for fear that someone might find the shovel and decide to go on a random dig and unearth my love basket.

February 14th came and I found myself walking hand in hand with the potential love of my life. The Sun seemed to be burning brighter than ever before and a cool breeze kept the conditions perfect for a romantic stroll, because as you probably know, romance cannot develop at temperatures of more than 25 degrees.

Upon arriving at the cliff top a tiny lamb leapt into my arms and we both stroked it whilst laughing manically at the joy of such a thing. After the novelty of the lamb had passed I tossed it to one side and decided it was time to unveil the picnic basket.

“Look over there!” I yelled as I pointed at a bush. She turned away and I quickly got on my knees and began to dig with my bare hands. “Well, will you look at what I’ve found?” I said, proudly brandishing a shovel. “I bet there’s some treasure around here.”

I set to digging, as my potential wife gazed blissfully out at the sea. “Come see this view.” she said, her voice as soft the lamb I’d stroked a minute before.

“In a moment.” I replied “I think I’ve found something.”

Minutes passed, and I was still far from unearthing the picnic surprise. My date was losing patience. Half an hour had gone and the treasure was still far my grasp. I’d been too cautious with my burying. By this time I’d become quite manic. Her pleas for moving on or for conversation were met by screeches of “Leave me. Let me work. I’m onto something.”

The Sun began to set and the sky became a canvas of purple, violet and peach. “Come and enjoy this sunset with me. Please.” she begged, but I gave no reply. I was no longer a man; I had become a JCB born only to dig.

Night had officially checked in and the temperature was falling fast. It had already fallen below 7 degrees, which is the generally accepted minimum temperature for incubating romance. My offer of a jacket was met with silence. She’d gone. Not wanting the day to be a complete waste of time, I carried on digging.

If you’re expecting a funny twist, like I dug all the way to China or I’d been digging in the wrong place, you’ll be very disappointed. There is nothing funny about what I discovered after eight hours of digging – Someone had stolen my picnic basket. Maybe romance really is dead.

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Classic Paintings with added Panache

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If you’ve ever considered classic fine art to be a bit stuffy and perhaps lacking colour, we have a remedy.  After a recent visit to the International Floriculture Trade Fair in Holland, we’ve found some art with added extras.  We can now see some classic masterpieces with some lovely floral ingredients added.   With artists ranging from Monet, Manet through to De Vinci, we’re going to give you a rundown of our favourites and a little background to each piece.

1) Mona Lisa

This classic painting by Leonardo Da Vinci has had many people wondering; just what is she smiling at as well her relationship to the artist.  Theories have been researched and conjectured upon but no one shall ever truly know (unless Da Vinci kept a secret journal of course).

However the image is a bit bland.  Granted, you could say that the detail is in the background and in the encapsulating smile, but doesn’t it look so much more colourful with Roses? We think it does so we’ve posted the picture here for you.

2) A Bar at the Folies-Bergére

Manet is the next artist we’re about to brighten up.   Created in 1882 this was the last major work by the French maestro.  Showing a scene from a bar in Paris the original painting had an assortment of champagne bottles, glasses and fruit but little in the way of floral design except a small Rose in a glass. Well as you can see the image has been accentuated here to have a full blown Rose in the foreground to bring some much needed colour to the scene. Who doesn’t like pink Roses!?

3) The Milkmaid


Johannes Vermeer is the creator of this masterpiece; you may recognise his style from the more famous piece ‘The Girl with the Pearl Earring’ about which a movie was recently made.  In the original composition there is a rather drab table with some loaves of bread and a few pitchers. Nothing really stands out although it has to be said that there are some striking blue tones for which Vermeer was well known to produce. If we wanted to add a little something extra then what better way to offset the yellow top that the maid is wearing by introducing a yellow bouquet of Roses which makes it even more stunning.  No matter what daily chore the servant is instructed to do, we’re sure that every task would be made that little bit easier if you had a bit of extra colour and this is beautifully demonstrated here with yellow Roses.

4) Café Terrace at Night


This painting of a Café in Arles, France was made by the great Vincent Van Gogh in 1888.  Van Gogh was an inspiration to the great impressionists such as Monet, who were to come later, it is a tragedy that he was never recognised in his time as being the great artist he was.

This painting is of a scene that is still visible today, with Van Gogh’s unmistakable style of sky and foreground with large brush strokes clearly visible.  However, in the original the table is a little drab.  The recreation has added a little colour with some delightful orange and pink Roses which combine with the colour of the wall and floor perfectly. They may be a little out of proportion to the rest of the painting but Van Gogh was never a stickler for perspective himself, so I’m sure he’d understand.

5) Luncheon of the Boating Party


One of France’s truly great artists and an early impressionist, Pierre Renoir mastered his technique with beautiful and subtle brush strokes with an excellent use of light.  Still very much an impressionist but with perhaps a more realistic approach than compared to his contemporaries such as Monet, Renoir’s scenes are often associated with dignified glimpses into everyday life.   Indeed, one part of the manifesto of the impressionist movement was to capture what was before them, rather than creating a false impression or composition.

In this piece we find a group of what we can presume to be well to do friends enjoying a summers’ day.  There are plenty of things to keep the eye occupied across the piece as your eye follows the various gazes of the main characters.  What you may notice is that in the original there are no flowers on the table.  Instead, the flowers are in the hats of the women sitting at the tables.  Something is wrong here, so in this recreation there’s been a bit of a reworking of the table decoration with some beautiful pink Roses to give the scene a bit of added sparkle.  I’m sure you’ll agree that the scene is now set beautifully and this masterpiece is now perfect, though in fairness to Renoir it was pretty good originally.

These paintings are masterpieces but I think it’s fair to say that the additional flowers make the scenes look more striking.  If you’re searching for a bit of extra colour you can’t go wrong with a Rose to brighten up the situation.  Although we believe these paintings do look better for having flowers in them, we don’t condone or encourage anyone to start defacing pieces of fine art, you’ll get arrested and we’d get in trouble.

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3 Sordid Secrets about Flowers – Drugs, Stress and Fire

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Drugs, stress and fire. They all share just one unlikely thing in common, flowers.  Indeed, from bud to bouquet, a flower’s life is not quite as innocent as one would think…
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1)      From The Netherlands with drugs

On occasion, the Dutch flower industry has been utilised by criminals as a cover for some of the most lucrative drug smuggling enterprises known to date.

Chrysanthemums and cannabis seems a highly unlikely coupling. Yet on March 10th 2010, British police unearthed a staggering ten tonnes of skunk with an estimated street value of £30 million in a farm near Swindon. A gang were found to have been purchasing boxes of chrysanthemums at the enormous international flower market at Naaldwijk near The Haig before concealing cannabis inside each and exporting them to Britain.

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Cannabis is by no means an isolated drug in its occasional illegal relationship with the Dutch flower trade.  Indeed, on September 15th 2010, the Spanish National Guard uncovered 120kg of speed masked in a shipment of Dutch flowers. The 400,000 doses of amphetamine sulphate were seized in time to prevent it flooding the market, a strategic move in the preservation of the Spanish population’s aesthetics, as the pictures below of methamphetamine users attests to.

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Rest assured, the only drug with which the flower-buying public has any contact is the crucial plant-food used during the growing process to make flowers beautiful and long-lasting.

2)      Dawn duels for the farmers’ jewels

It’s 6.30am and Europe is contemplating a shower over its morning coffee. Meanwhile, a fierce battle is underway in a small town in Holland where everything is at stake for those who dare to partake. The peaceful lakeside town of Aalsmeer boasts the largest flower auction in the world. The daily auction, frenetic, fast-paced and disturbingly competitive, is an event restricted to only the most stout-hearted members of our species.

After rising at an unseemly hour of the morning, 3000 buyers flock to the Aalsmeer auction house to make or break their fortunes in “the New York stock exchange of flowers”. Each morning upon entering an auction room, one will encounter an auditorium of anxious buyers, eyes frantically darting between the thirteen prominent clocks above and the convoy of flower laden carts below.

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The clocks, invented by a Dutch cauliflower grower in the 1870’s, rapidly tick down the price of the displayed batch of flowers. In order to buy the flowers, a buyer must press a button on their desk which freezes the price at its point on the fast-moving clock. Press too soon and the price paid will be too high, press too late and the competitor to your side will have beaten you to the bunch. Either way, a mistake will prove costly.

3)      Fiery funeral for a flower

A fiery end awaits those ill-starred flowers which remain unsold at the culmination of the auction. These hapless flowers enter a frightening incinerator, never to grace a table.

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As the auction sets a minimum price for each group of flowers, if no buyer stops the clock before it lowers beneath this price, the flowers are deemed unsold and are burnt. Greater numbers of flowers meet this fiery fate during the summer months when the flower yield is greatest yet holiday-making Europe exerts less demand. On a happier note, growers are paid this minimum price by the auction, a Dutch rose earning €0.05 for example.

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Not For The Faint Hearted – "Flower Skeleton Sculptures"

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When travelling around the web, one comes across lots of funny and bizarre things. The “flowers skeleton sculptures” below from Dutch artist Cedric Laquieze must rank amongst the more bizarre offerings we’ve seen recently though. Not a product  / service we’ll be offering at Flowers HQ anytime soon…

Flower Skeleton One

Flower Skeleton Two

Flower Skeleton Three

Flower Skeleton Four

Flower Skeleton Five

Original source.

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