Saturday, 21 March 2015

The Annual Afflictions in 2015

The Dragon is here to Save You from the Annual Afflictions in 2015

People usually set priorities on attaining health, wealth, career etc. This will be of little use if there are annual destructive energies in one’s home and workplace. Therefore, the first and foremost approach must be a defensive act. Each year, certain directions are considered particularly inauspicious and because they exert evil influences that are generally referred to as Sha Qi. Though we are now in March, it still is not too late to take action to protect oneself from these annual afflictions.

Succinctly, the three major yearly afflictions are: The 3 Killings (San Sha/Sarm Saat) ,Tai Sui (The Grand Duke of Jupiter), The Sui Po (referred to as Broken Soldier). 

The Three Killings 

The Three Killings in 2015 is located in the West (232.5 - 307.5)

The Three Killings refer to three Violent Robbers- the combination of Age Killing (Sui Sha), Plundering Killing (Jie Sha) and Calamity Killing (Zai Sha). When Three Killing are wrongly activated or disturbed it can bring about three types of misfortunes:

1- Financial loss/lawsuits, loss of wealth, robbery and theft.

2- Illnesses, blood related injuries

3- Accidents/arguments, calamities, destitution and fatalities.

An encounter with the inauspicious Three Killings calls for extreme caution. Any activity in the West part of your house or office in 2015 must be strictly avoided and any form of noisy renovations such as banging and nailing, re-decorating, disturbing the earth, digging holes or foundations, or any maintenance work with noisy equipment inside or outside will be detrimental to your home and health. If you have to carry out work or emergency repairs in the West during the year of the Sheep/Goat, you can place a six hollow metal rod wind chime between your buildings and the location where the work is being carried out so as to minimize the harm of the Three Killings. 

Aside from not disturbing the ground, there is another important rule of thumb to follow regarding the Three Killings in 2015. If you are moving your desk this year never sit with your back to the West, it is better to be seated facing the West. Also, do not sit with your back facing the 3 Killings either at work or at the dinner table; it is best to confront them directly. Remember, avoid sitting with your back to the west in 2015 or you may find unscrupulous people working against you or you may encounter undue gossip and back stabbing during the year.

If your front door faces the West in 2015 you should place a pair of Fu Dogs just inside the house looking outwards as protective guardians for the year. 

A Ba Gua mirror should also be placed outside if your door is facing west.

For those of you who have bedrooms, a main door or window either in the West or facing the West: you will be afflicted with the Three Killings energy and therefore be more susceptible to legal problems and accidents. 

Three Chi Lin can be used to effectively protect one against the Three Killings:

We previously did a post telling you about the Chi Lin (Qilin). A mythical animal related to Dragon. The Chi Lin- also known as Dragon Horse, is the Chinese Unicorn, a legendary creature with head of a dragon, scales of carp upon the body of a horse, and a tail consisting of little curls.

The Chi Lin's presence is said to attract the powerful cosmic breath of the dragon, which promises good omens, prosperity, success, longevity, wisdom, compassion and illustrious offspring. In Feng Shui the Chi Lin has a very important role as a protector of your home or office. It is also used to counteract the destructive energy of the Three Killings. Placing 3 Chi Lin facing the direction of the Three Killings will restrain and prevent the killing Chi from harming you. 

Tai Sui (Grand Duke of Jupiter) 

Tai Sui resides in 2015 Southwest between 202.5º - 217.5º degrees 
southwest in 2015.

Tai Sui, also known, as Grand Duke Jupiter or Grand Commander of the Year (or the Year God). He is one of the most highly respected and feared deity in the Chinese beliefs.

Great General Yang Xian is the Tai Sui (or Grand Duke) and year god for the yin, wood, earth Sheep/Goat year. He’s also the one who gives trials to the afflicted Zodiac signs. In 2015, people that are Goat/Sheep, Ox/Cow, Rat and Dog animal signs are in conflict with the Tai-Sui. Some may not understand the implications that are entailed when a zodiac sign is deemed to be in conflict with Tai Sui, resulting in fear and confusion. Unlike conventional thinking however, conflicting with the Annual Year Tai Sui may not be all ominous. Depending on the interpretation, it could foretell “CHANGES” or “MOTIONS” in your life.

Regardless, if you would like to ensure that the year is a smooth and rewarding one, remedial steps can be taken to appease Tai Sui and prevent offense to him.

Tai Sui is particularly sensitive about direct confrontation. Try not to sit facing, or sleep with your head pointing to the direction of Grand Duke Jupiter.

As it is with the Three Killings, Tai Sui also dislikes noise and commotion and being disturbed. Best avoid any construction work and home repairs in the Southwest during 2015.

The traditional Chinese method to appease Tai Sui is to place a Pi Yao or dragon headed tortoise in the northeast sector of the home or office facing the 15º southwest radius where Tai Sui sits.

This is so important this year. Remember also, Tai Sui is very fond of his pet, the Pi Yao. Appease him by placing the Pi Yao in the affected sector or just wear the Pi Yao as an amulet.

You never know when and where you have offended Tai Sui. To play safe, you may carry on you a protective amulet or a sacred talisman from temples, Pi Yao, Tai Sui Image or Tai Sui Mantra.

Sui Po 

Sui Po is located in the Northeast in 2015 (The year breaker)

Sui Po year breaker occupies the division directly opposite Tai Sui Grand Duke, which for 2015 is the northeast. You should treat this area the same as the other annual afflictions with no ground-breaking work, renovations or any noisy activities. If disturbed this area can, and normally will, cause immediate health problems especially for the elderly. If you have to carry out unavoidable work or do emergency repairs in the north place a six hollow metal rod wind chime between the buildings and where the work will be carried out.

To disperse the negative effects in 2015, you should also hang a set of six Chinese coins tied with red ribbon. Place a salt water cure in the west and southeast of your home or office this year to control the #5 and #2 stars. This is very important in 2015 especially if you have a main door, bedroom, office, lounge or other important room in the southeast, west, and south.

For those of you who would like to find out your Chinese Horoscope Animal see below:

The End.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Dragon's Animal Predictions for 2015-Year of the Yin Wood Goat/Sheep (Yi Wei)

Dragon's Animal Predictions for 2015-Year of the Yin Wood Goat/Sheep (Yi Wei)

The first day of the 2015 Chinese New Year is on February 19, 2015. Here are the 12 Animal predictions for the Year of the Goat/Sheep… Wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

2015 Predictions for the Rat

The Goat/Sheep year, which begins on the 19th Feb, will be a positive one for the Rat native; in fact, it could hold boundless opportunities and experiences for the Rat.

The best approach will be to make peace with past bad experiences and adopt a positive outlook in order to accomplish great things and go far in the coming year. It’s permissible to remember those past pesky, negative experiences, so long as it does affect or hinder any future action. Keep in mind also that there is a viable solution to every problem, so best to resolve these issues earlier on in the year order not to be troubled later on.

For the Rat native 2014 might have been trying year for relationships. Rats will be pleased to learn however that this year it will go a whole lot better. In fact, the Rats love life is looking to be one of the best aspects of the Rats life during the year of the Goat. They should therefore dedicate sometime this year to offer or seek advice in order to strengthen an existing liaison.

Any Rat that had lost touch with someone they cared about in their life, this is as good a time as any to reach out, make contact and try to resolve those pesky issues.

Concerning single Rats, they must remember that some part of the Rat’s new love will be dependent on fate although the Rat can do a lot to attract a new partner by remaining active at social circles.

Home life for the Rat, I’m happy to report, is very good. They will have a lot of opportunities to spend time with family and loved ones this year, enjoying many memorable moments with them. Day to day life is looking rather good also for the Rat this year and though there will be little problems in the house, the Rat should be able to resolve these quickly.

Meanwhile there will be plenty of good things and opportunities in the employment sector for the Rat native in 2015. Whether Rat stays put in current position or start a new job, they will receive benefit from the all the year of the Goat offers.

In view of this, the Rat should seize every opportunity that comes their way, however miniscule, as the sometimes seemingly innocuous task could lead them up the ladder of success. If Rats’ position at work involves using their skills creatively, like an artist or architect for example, this can be a very rewarding year for them. Strive to be noticed in workplace and offer new ideas when possible, as the Goat year, as mentioned earlier, will be of great assistance.

This is a fantastic year for the Rat to develop new skills both at work and also at home. The Rat can really tackle new challenges, activities and tasks head on this year and get some very rewarding results from doing so. Proviso Rat spends the year taking pride in their work and doing their utmost, they could see the hard work paying off towards the closing months of the Goat year. Regardless, with Rats’ desire to succeed in life they are poised to impress others (such as new employer) and build on their strengths therefore, attaining quick promotion and advances in their career.

It is safe to say that there is also a positive outlook concerning Rat`s finances in 2015. The Rat is able to enjoy their money throughout the year and can benefit from using the money on certain experiences. Some Rats may even find new ways to accrue additional income by utilising their skill set to make money in their spare time at home. Rat needs to exercise caution however, and also be mindful of investments and expenditures, especially when purchasing big items, as they could see in certain months during 2015, money dissipating just as quickly.

This year Rat should keep close eye on their health and welfare, for there is a risk of neglecting their health and diet due to other commitments. Make sure to keep active with exercise and maybe even combine this with shared indoor/outdoor activities with family and friends.

Overall, this is looking to be a fantastic year for the Rat and one where they can build fantastic relationships with others at all levels and experience many cherished, memorable moments.

The Rat is in affinity with the Ox. For their protection, they may have a key chain pendant of an Ox with them at all times throughout the year in 2014.

Have a fantastic year of the Goat. 

2015 Predictions for the Ox

The Year of the Yin Wood Goat starts on the 19th February 2015. Ox is in conflict with Goat this year therefore it could be considered a mixed year for those born in the year of the Ox.

The Ox native should take extra care in whatever they do, avoid unnecessary risks and in general remain vigilant of the potential difficulties that may surface all during 2015. The only exception being those Oxen that are born in 1925 or 1985, which makes them a wood Ox, for them the year will not be bad at all.

The year of the Goat brings forth a time of change and change comes about rather swiftly, which may distress some Oxen as, in general, they tend to enjoy a slightly slower pace in life. Nevertheless, the Ox can benefit from the many important changes and enjoyable moments that are in the forecast this year.

The Ox will need to be mindful of their finances and expenditures this year as there is a risk of overspending and money going out fast. When dealing with big purchases, the Ox should exercise caution and be sure to always seek help from a professional in order to better their chances at the outcome. Overall, the year of the Goat is probably not the best time to splurge and buy a Lamborghini, better to stick to making a reasonable purchase instead.

Home and family life will be very positive for the Ox this year as they will be able to offer help and advice to those that are close to them and boost both respect and affection. This year the Ox can partake in lots of enjoyable activities in the form of hobbies, entertainment, decorating and home improvement. The Oxen’s social life can naturally be a rewarding one in 2015. The Ox, with their resourcefulness and practicality, their brilliant and creative ideas will help bring an extended social element to their life. The Ox should surround themselves by friends and loved ones throughout the year as the Ox has a slight risk of feeling lonely during 2015. When problems manifest during the year, but quickly get resolved due to help and support of many friends, the Ox should remember to express the appropriate gratitude and thanks.

Career prospects for the Ox are expected to be very demanding this year as there will be lot of changes taking place. For the Oxen that are well established in a company, this amount of transformation or modifications could prove rather frustrating. However, if they are able embrace change and adapt quickly in order to stay ahead, they can achieve progress through the year. I repeat, the best way to do well this year and not fall behind is to embrace change and comply with the requirements demanded by the workplace.

For the Ox that is looking to change careers or seek employment, they may find the year of the Goat hindering their efforts. The Ox is poised to encounter difficulties in securing a new position or fresh opportunities as they are rather limited this year. It’s not hopeless however, for the Oxen could secure a good position by seeking a job in an entirely new field that they had not previously considered. Determination is the key. By acting fast on any manifest opportunities success is assured.

The Ox will need to pay attention to their health and lifestyle during 2015 and take plenty of time out for exercise; especially those who have let their health and diet go to pieces during 2014 due to other commitments. The Ox can achieve a lot this year and periodically they should pause to tally up their accomplishments and reflect on all the good things.

Romance is considered average for the Ox in 2015 and some Oxen may even find that it takes a bit more time to achieve new and positive relationship. Single Oxen can do well to attract a new partner this year so long as Ox realizes that progress may be painstakingly slow. Remember, if the attraction is strong, it must be pursued with dogged determination in order to succeed.

Overall, the year of the Goat will be a mixed year for the Ox with both highs and lows; however do not think that the bad will outweigh the good as even the worst situations can be turned into the best ones. The Ox should embrace change this year and learn to adapt early in the year to make the most out of 2015.

Oxen are in affinity with the Rat. For their protection, they should have a key chain pendant of a Rat with them at all times throughout the year.

Have a fantastic year of the Goat. 

2015 Predictions for the Tiger

On 19th of February 2015 the Tiger will start the year of the Goat/Sheep on a very positive note with plenty of good ideas and prospects for the year ahead and overall.

Even though the year of the Goat can be inconsistent, 2015 can still be considered a good year for the Tiger. The Tiger may soon find out that lot more effort is needed to achieve the desired results. Nevertheless changes will transpire early on in the year and for the alert Tiger this offers an excellent opportunity for advancement in their career. They will derive great satisfaction in incorporating fresh ideas or plans and solutions to the problems arising from new practices introduced to the workplace.

Regular communication is also an imperative this year and the tiger needs to be mindful of upsetting or annoying their colleagues, as Tigers tend to take on far too much work on their own. This will not only deplete Tiger’s strength but also may cause undue resentment from co-workers.

The year of the Goat can also hold plenty of opportunities for the Tiger native who is considering a change of career or seeking new employment. They should be able to secure a new job in no time at all by using their skills to their advantage in any interview.

The Tiger can sometimes lose interest in new ventures shortly after the initial start; therefore, they need to remain vigilant and be focused on one thing at a time to achieve their goal.

Considering Tigers propensity in initiating new tasks, they may soon find themselves starting many new projects in their home in the year of the Goat. Naturally they could make some amazing improvements but they must focus on implementing one project at a time or the result could be a source of irritation to loved ones- particularly when faced with half completed tasks such as partially painted bedrooms or half-finished decking.

The Tiger’s social life will be very good in 2015 and, they can expect a rather busy home life with many enjoyable events with family and friends. The Tiger should be mindful of their family and friends’ feelings however and show plenty of appreciation and reserve some quality time for their loved ones. They should not be remiss in showing love and compassion as there is a serious risk of getting into disagreements and causing upsets with the other. Furthermore, Tigers should hone their communication skills and talk freely about any problems with family members in order to avoid future misunderstandings.

Changes being a key factor in the Goat year, it will also foster plenty of new opportunities and situations that would introduce new people into the Tiger’s life.

Romance is particularly propitious for the Tiger this year and they will be able to enjoy some great moments, including travel if they are in a relationship. 2015 is indeed a good year that promises ample opportunities for travelling and, if not careful, the Tiger could be exhausted with such a busy agenda. Remember, the Tiger native needs to manage their time carefully if they want to derive the most benefit from the upcoming year.

Those Tigers looking for love will be pleased to learn that the year of the Goat is one of the best years for them to find their future mate.

Finances will require some care during 2015 as the Tiger will want to spend their hard earned money liberally on impulsive buys. Tiger’s should avoid making too many spur of the moment purchases during the year and instead, save for events that would transpire later on in the year.

Tigers should also periodically check any security system at home and work throughout the year and update any locks, alarms and any other systems that may have been installed, as there is a real risk of theft during 2015.

Overall, this is a good year for the Tiger and one where they can achieve a great many things so long as they remember to stick to one project at a time. There will be some complications throughout the year but that should not deter them.

Tigers are in affinity with the Pig/Boar. For their protection, they can carry a key chain pendant of a Pig.

Enjoy a fantastic year of the Goat. 

2015 Predictions for the Rabbit

This Goat year that bodes well for the Rabbit starts on 19th February 2015. As the closing months of 2014 was so stressful, the Rabbit may have started the year of the Goat on a rather dismal note with low expectations; now however, the Rabbit will join in the activities which will soon boost their spirits and also help them discover many available opportunities.

The Rabbit’s career prospects are particularly favorable this year and their expertise and resourcefulness, when put into good use, should go a long way towards attaining positive recognition in the workplace.

There might be lot of Rabbits that have recently changed positions at work and now they will be given the opportunity to prove their aptitude and worth within the company, so they shouldn’t shy away from initiating or completing the important tasks that will arise periodically during the year of the Goat. Their invaluable input will certainly render positive results and pave the way for ascending the ladder of success.

Rabbits seeking employment can see a lot of developments this year also, but they would be advised to take advice from anyone who can be of help to them; this could be from a friend or former colleague that knows more about the inner workings of a company.

The Rabbits social life in 2015 is looking rather promising. Old friends of the Rabbit will provide a lot of support and elation during the year and there will be ample opportunities for the Rabbit to strengthen existing relationships as well as mending broken ones. Indeed, forgive and forget should be the motto for this year. Meanwhile the Rabbit will have ample opportunity to make some new acquaintances due to their busy social calendar. Safe to say, chances for romance is also very optimistic for the Rabbit in 2015 and they should be able to find new love in the year of the Goat easily, particularly if they are engaged in activities and social gatherings. This is very much a year of love for the Rabbit and those in an existing liaison can really strengthen their relationship with their loved one.

The Rabbits home life will be busy during the year but also very rewarding for they will be keen to make a lot of improvements in their home and also enjoy some quality time with their family and friends. Rabbits should enjoy the numerous opportunities that will enable them the countless hours of joy indulging their hobbies as well as, undertaking many tasks at home that will prove most gratifying. In the interim, Rabbits would also benefit from a trip with the family.

Overall 2015 is looking to be a fantastic year for the Rabbit. With a lot of progress taking place in the Goat year, the Rabbit should soon notice a rise in their finances; nevertheless caution is warranted when spending money and with major investments or purchases. The Rabbit will need to check over paperwork and fine print in order to avoid mistakes but this is looking to be a great year regardless. So enjoy!

Rabbits are in affinity with the Dog. For their protection, they should have a key chain pendant of a Dog.

Good luck and have a fantastic year of the Goat. 

2015 Predictions for the Dragon

The year of the Goat begins on the 19th February and along with it starts an inconsistent year for the Dragon, one with lots of changes in store and requiring due diligence and caution. 2015 will have its benefits however, and even though the year should be dealt with care and prudence, the overall balance of life should still be good.

Considering the Dragon’s career prospects, the year of the Yin Wood Goad bodes rather well for them. This can be a rewarding year with brilliant results for those who’ll dedicate 100% in to their work on their current position. Dragons are poised to gain recognition and benefits especially if they undertake additional training and extra assignments in their workplace.

Dragons that are looking to change position in their workplace however, could find their efforts somewhat hindered by the year of the Goat. And yes, Dragons seeking new employment or looking to change career paths may also find that in 2015 this will be a daunting and challenging endeavour. Dragons are very headstrong and determined individuals and if they persevere and are driven to do well this trait could help them to secure a worthy position in a good company regardless of the obstacles the year of the Goat presents.

The year 2015, meanwhile, can be a fantastic year for the dragon wishing to pursue their interests and hobbies and the best way to get the most out of it will be to focus on the existing hobbies and interests at first then progress to new ones. There is also great benefit to be had in acquiring new skills, furthering personal development, taking on new challenges and focusing on physical fitness in the year of the Goat.

The Dragon meanwhile can look forward to a lot of joyous, memorable moments and a very enjoyable social life with the great deal that is going on in 2015. The Dragon will find it very easy to make new friends in the year of the Goat and will gain benefit from strong bonds with existing friends.

Family life for the Dragon will be a rewarding one. The Dragon will enjoy the help and support of the close family members at home, as Goat years favour joint ventures within the family circle.

Naturally, for the attached Dragon this year will be a very propitious time with little problems. Single Dragons can also look forward to a satisfactory and rather promising year with a good chance of meeting that special someone with the potential of a strong bond forming.

Travel is very much favoured for the Dragon in 2015 and a vacation or two during the year could really benefit the Dragon and give them much needed respite whether it is alone or with loved ones. The Dragon does not have to travel thousands of miles to enjoy the benefits that travelling has to offer however; a simple excursion out of the city for the weekend or a day trip somewhere special can still bring great deal of enjoyment and repose to the Dragon during this year of the Goat.

Overall, the year of the Goat will be a good one for the Dragon although some discipline will be warranted throughout the year as the Dragon likes to take a lot on at the same time. As the year of the Goat will be an eventful time for the Dragon, expectantly the resources may become somewhat limited, after all funds are needed for the provision of Dragon’s excursions and very busy social life. Indeed, this could be a costly year for the Dragon and some requisite planning and frugal discipline is crucial. Care is warranted for, without this level of discipline with Dragon’s spending, they could end up losing a considerable amount of money in 2015. Meanwhile Dragons are advised to also carefully check over credit card statements and ferret for bargains and better deals when making big purchases.

Dragons are in affinity with the Rooster. For enhancement they should keep a key chain pendant of a Rooster on them.

Have a fantastic year of the Goat.

2015 Predictions for the Snake

Now that the challenges of the Horse year are far behind them, the Snake can look forward to a great Goat year that will be most beneficial to them. The Goat fosters resourcefulness and the Snake’s acumen and proficiency should serve them well during 2015.

Possessing a knack for business, the Snake can make the most of the opportunities that present themselves in the workplace all during the year. This is their chance to demonstrate their intrinsic aptitude to further their position in their career. Naturally there will be some setbacks in a Goat year but with dogged determination Snake can still fare well and further their expertise.

Snakes looking to change career and those looking for employment in general should find that the year of the Goat brings plenty of opportunities and they could soon find themselves securing a position in a good company. Older Snakes looking for similar positions that they are experienced in could see their good reputation can beget swift and satisfactory results. The only conceivable problem could be when large group of Snakes all vie for the same position. Remember, the secret of success is dependent on Snake’s persistence and vigilance.

The Snake’s finances are looking rather propitious this year. If the Snakes manage their money well, they could indulge in some big purchases and act on ideas and plans that they’ve been wanting to partake of in their personal life and home. Investing money or putting money aside in to a savings account would benefit the Snake this year although they should get professional advice for high returns.

The Snake’s home life is also looking good. Snakes are poised to enjoy a lot of pleasurable and fun moments with their loved ones and family throughout the year. When, on occasion, plans change quickly during the Goat year the Snake should remember to work around these changes rather than waste time worrying too much about it. Remember, lots can be achieved around the house if Snakes remains adaptable to changes.

The Snake can sometimes be very discriminating when it comes to choosing new friends. There is great benefit to be had, however, from getting involved in social events and being more open with people, especially since Snakes are poised to make some lifelong friends during this year. This also applies to relationships of the heart as new romance is predicted for the unattached Snakes in this Goat year. When new love manifests Snake must allow it to grow naturally and not try to rush or force it, for this might generate an unwanted, adverse effect.

During the year of the Goat, the other area that warrants caution and care for the Snake is their mental and physical health. To maintain good health the snake should keep an active lifestyle. For instance they should join a gym or participate in group sports or other such outdoor activities. And it goes without saying they should stick to a healthy diet by keeping takeout and junk food to a minimum.

Overall this is looking to be a very good year for the Snake and one where they can advance in their career, improve their lifestyle and augment their finances.

Snakes are in affinity with the Monkey. For their protection, they should have a key chain pendant of a Monkey.

Have a fantastic year of the Goat. 

2015 Predictions for the Horse

The year of the Goat should be a propitious one for the Horse and they’ll find that this year they are able to accomplish quite a lot if they focus on the task at hand and dedicate 100% effort to it. This is truly a year for progress but the Horse needs to list priorities: what they wish to participate in and achieve, and then meticulously, one task at a time, focus in accomplishing these.

Work life will be very productive for the Horse in 2015. They will be given a chance to showcase those skills and abilities previously overlooked by their peers, leading to advancement and more responsibility in the company. All efforts expended in the year of the Goat can be seen as an investment as they will establish foundations for the future success of the Horse’s career.

Horses looking for employment or those looking to change vocation could find that by exploring different options or taking on new tasks can lead to positive result. The year of the Goat favours progress and this is where the Horse native is poised to excel.

Suffice it to say finances can be increased as the result of advancements in the workplace this year and so will be the resulting expenditures, including holidays. The Horse therefore is advised to exercise caution and be disciplined with their spending.

The year of the Goat is a advantageous time for those Horses that are planning to purchase a home or move into a new residence; although considering the amount of work involved, the Horse should initiate this move well before year’s end.

In case moving the Horse’s abode is not an option, renovations and home improvements could afford an exciting alternative; provided that is, the Horse remains mindful of his expenditures and the scope of the project. If extensive, it might prove rather costly and time consuming. The Horse should also be heedful of their partner’s thoughts and feelings when managing these projects in order to circumvent possible arguments.

Socially this will be a very busy year for the Horse. The Horse will spend a great deal of time with close friends and will take immense pleasure from doing this. They may find that a lot of their personal interests and hobbies, time spent at a gym or involvement in a sport team, may also be a contributing factor to their increased social calendar.

For the moment romance is looking very promising for the Horse and they may find that their bond with loved ones is a lot stronger this year.

The unattached Horse can look forward to an exciting time in the Goat year with an anticipated new romance, though they should resist rushing into the new relationship.

As the year of the Goat promises to be a very busy time for the Horse, what with hobbies, socializing, moving or renovating, they need to set aside some time for exercise and eating healthy, nutritious food. Otherwise they will be tempted with fast food and will adopt other unhealthy traits.

Overall this is looking to be a great year for the Horse and one where they can accomplish a great deal in all aspects of their life.

Horses are in affinity with the Sheep/Goat. For their protection, they should have a key chain pendant of a Goat.

Have a great year of the Goat. 

2015 Predictions for the Goat-Sheep

The year of the Goat begins on the 19th February 2015. Right at the start the Goat needs to adopt a positive outlook when dealing with many residual problems and bad thoughts of the previous year. This turning point will ensure a good year for the Goat with some very encouraging prospects.

Generally, the Goat’s affable character in 2015 will win them support from colleagues in the workplace. Meanwhile there is encouraging news for those Goats that may have felt stymied or stuck in the dead end position in their career for a long time. The Goat that is dissatisfied in their present workplace and wants to move on can benefit from the advice of professionals or someone who works in the Goat’s targeted job.

Keep in mind that this could be a very important year for Goats seeking new employment as they could find something that will lead to long term employment in a good field. The Goat need not hesitate, after all the year of the Goat is poised to provide them with some fantastic opportunities and at the same time allow them to show off their aptitude and resourcefulness, winning them in the end both recognition by their peers and a good promotion. Meanwhile Goats who work in creative professions in particular will have a definite positive break.

Finance is looking real good for the Goat this year although this may prove to be an expensive time for them. As their expenditures could be copious throughout 2015, the Goat needs to exercise prudence and resist those many impulsive purchases.

The Goats personal life will be very rewarding this year and their hobbies will bring them ample joy. The Goat will have a lot of opportunities to share their hobbies with friends and loved ones. All in all Goats with creative hobbies will see their hobbies and talents reaching an apex this year and this could even bring them financial gain.

The Goat needs to initiate plans carefully and at comfortable pace in certain areas of their life otherwise they may be overwhelmed and suffer unwarranted stress and exhaustion.

Socially, the year of the Goat will be a very busy one for Goats especially the young ones. There will be ample opportunities to meet new people during 2015 and some of this will be through existing friends. They should make sure to reserve some time for all friends, new and old, this year.

As 2015 will be a very busy time for the Goat, they need to be mindful of their diet and also make sure to stay active in a sport or team, and in doing so get plenty of exercise. Or they could simply go for extensive walks with their loved ones. Neglecting health this year could lead to minor illness such as colds or bad stomach.

The 2015 prediction for Goat’s love life is both promising and extraordinary with prospects of love and strong romance manifesting throughout the year, so they should be prepared to dedicate some time to their loved ones. Single Goats meanwhile shouldn’t fret, for they too could discover that special someone when least expected.

Suffice it to say, home life for the Goat will be a particularly busy one and in the interim they will receive a lot of attention, love and support from their family in all that they do. There could be a considerable amount of change in the home this year and the Goat will need to try and adjust accordingly. The Goat is, by nature, a keen stylist and they will initiate or embark on many projects for improving their present abode. Patience is warranted for it will require meticulous planning and a great deal of time to realize these goals.

A holiday can be a very rewarding experience for the Goat this year, especially with family and loved ones.

Overall, this is a very propitious year for the Goat with a joyous, rewarding love and home life.

Goats are in affinity with the Horse. For their protection, they should have a key chain pendant of a Horse.

Have a fantastic year of the Goat.

2015 Prediction for the Monkey

The Goat year that starts on the 19th February 2015 is going to be a mixed year for the Monkey. Some areas of the Monkeys life bode well whereas other areas will require some care and attention. Fortunately for the Monkey, they are quite intelligent and insightful and so with a bit of care and planning, they can elude most of the problems and transform a bad situation into good.

The career prospects for the Monkey are very positive this year and there will be ample opportunities for the Monkey to demonstrate their aptitude. The Monkey, through successful completion of tasks and projects, can secure approval and high regard from their peers in the workplace.

For the Monkeys seeking employment or those looking to change careers, the year of the Goat can offer some fantastic opportunities. When making inquiries a positive attitude and persistence could avail the unrelenting monkey with long standing and very rewarding results.

The Monkeys many talents and hobbies will shine this year. These endowments will add to their elation and relaxation as they partake in projects that make them truly happy. As the year of the Goat favours creativity, the Monkey can utilize his talents to generate extra funds.

The Monkey’s social life and home life should be very busy this year. However they should pay heed and avoid arguments and disagreements, try not upsetting others, and strive to resolve problems before they magnify. This pertains to all aspects of the monkeys’ life including work, social, love life and more. So long as Monkey is mindful of this they can look forward to many pleasurable moments with loved ones, family and friends.

Suffice it to say travelling can be quite beneficial for the Monkey and their loved ones this year. It will certainly help diffuse hot tempers or disconcerting situations. Therefore, after researching for deals and offers, some money should be set aside for this outlay. The vacation break need not be across the seas, for any reservations within the same country or region can be just as gratifying.

Now bit of adverse news; the Monkey’s finances will require quite a lot of care and attention in this Goat year. The Monkey needs to pay meticulous care and attention to their capital. They should also be mindful of their spending, particularly when it comes to major purchases. They should avoid any sizeable expenditure without first speaking to a professional. When signing documents or paperwork, the Monkey should examine it thoroughly and always read the fine print as missing it may lead to future problems.

While this may not be the best year for financial investments, the Monkey should still invest in their health and well being for this area warrants particular care and attention. The Monkey in the end will benefit from dedicating some time to exercise and healthy diet.

Overall, the year of the Goat will be a mixed one. It will require some care in certain areas of the Monkey’s life but there will also be some good times and opportunities that will counterbalance the bad. Besides the Monkeys with their shrewdness are certain to overcome all difficulties as long as they curtail their wild nature and remain vigilant with their finances.

The Monkeys are in affinity with the Snake. For their protection, they should have a key chain pendant of a Snake.

Have a fantastic year of the Goat.

2015 Predictions for the Rooster

The year of the Goat starting on 19th February 2015, promises to be a productive year for the Rooster. As it forecasts lots of happenings throughout the year, the Rooster should learn to prioritise and resist initiating too many undertakings all at the same time. Ideally the Rooster should focus on one task to completion before starting another, and by so doing, enjoy a fruitful and well balanced existence in 2015.

The Roosters career opportunities are particularly propitious this year. In the course of 2014 there were many Roosters who had experienced a change in their workplace. This trend is poised to continue; the successful Rooster therefore should embrace further changes as any one of these seemingly insignificant things can lead to host of new prospects in their line of work. This year the Rooster, by simply talking things over with colleagues and peers, can achieve full recognition and same time establishes importance of their voice being heard in the workplace.

Even though the majority of Roosters will enjoy the benefits of their continued progress in the workplace, there will be some that are unhappy and long for a change. The encouraging news is that the year of the Goat will provide various promising opportunities for the disgruntled Rooster to choose. In the consideration of a different profession early inquiries will allow the malcontented Rooster to score well.

The Roosters personal life bodes well in 2015 and the Roosters can look forward to many enjoyable events and time with friends or alone. Any holiday will be of great benefit to the hard working Rooster this year.

Home life is looking particularly good for the Rooster in 2015 although the Rooster will need to show some flexibility when plans do not go the way they had hoped. During the year of the Goat the Rooster will be of great help around the home and with their families. They will not lack for support or opinions in matters that are vital. Those Roosters that had been rather hesitant in doing home improvements in the past now have the green light to go ahead. They should be mindful of the cost however, evaluate the pros and cons and always seek the advice of a professional before initiating any big projects.

The Rooster’s social life is prophesied as well to be very favorable in the year of the Goat. There will be ample opportunities for the innately charming Rooster to meet new acquaintances, form some good relationships and, as a result, expand their circle of friends.

Relationships are especially good for the married Rooster this year and the year of the Goat will beget some fantastic events and memories. Single Roosters should not fret however, for they too can look forward to some great and encouraging opportunities for finding that special someone or new love, especially those Roosters that have suffered recent heartache from a breakup.

Now a bit of adverse news: the Roosters finances are going to require a bit of control and discipline this year as the year of the Goat will be an eventful and at times even hectic year. By putting aside some money in advance however, the Rooster will be able to do circumvent trouble and accomplish a lot of what they wish to do. Another good piece of advice will be to read contracts and their small print very carefully and obtain professional advice before initiating any big acquisition.

Overall, 2015 will be a fantastic year for the Rooster with a lots going their way.

Roosters are in affinity with the Dragon. For their protection, they should have a key chain pendant of a Dragon.

Have a great year of the Goat.

2015 Predictions for the Dog

The year of the Goat which begins on 19th February 2015 will be mixed providence for the Dog. The Dog can expect lot of changes in their life which could upset them. Certain aspects of their life could be very arduous and exhausting but other aspects can equally turn out to be very good. Meanwhile, by anticipating problems beforehand, the Dog can avert or satisfactorily resolve most of the problems headed their way.

In order to fair well in 2015 the Dog’s main objective should be to show flexibility when things do not go their way.

The Dog’s work environment could also be affected by certain changes during the Goat year. The Dog, usually favoring tradition, may resist the new ideas and practices at work. If the Dog overcomes these impediments and instead embraces changes as well as shows initiative by taking the time to learn these new practices it could bode well for them and lead to an advancement in their career.

Dogs that are seeking employment or looking to change their career could find that the year of the Goat will pose some challenges. Through persistence and pursuit of different career alternatives, however, the Dog could ensure a good position in a successful company during 2015.

Socially the Dog may find that it will take some time for new friendships to develop. Still, there will be lot of new people added to the Dogs life this year and a lot of new friendships can be formed, especially if the Dog opens up to them early on. Friends that the Dog makes during the year of the Goat could endure over the next few years.

The Dog’s love life and romance meanwhile looks very promising in 2015. This is true especially for those who are in a new relationship, as they will find that the relationship can quickly form in to something more special over the course of the year.

The unattached Dog, especially those who have recently suffered heartbreak, should find a new love this year. Meanwhile, the Dog can get a lot of satisfaction from personal hobbies and tasks during the year of the Goat. The Dog can find that, by taking part in creative hobbies this year, they can unwind and relax. Indeed, the Dog should try to find time throughout the year for personal relaxation and “me-time”.

There will be a lot that the Dog wishes to accomplish in the Goat year. Fortunately progress at work will avail the Dog more income that should help greatly. Suffice to say, the Dogs home life will be a very busy one this year with lots to do around the house. This can bring a lot of enjoyment to the Dog as a lot of what they do will be well supported. The year of the Goat should bring the Dogs family closer especially if they all are engaged with the projects at home. There may be some Dogs celebrating a big event this year such as an anniversary or family member’s birthday and this will bring a lot of joy to the Dog.

As the year 2015 is poised to be an expensive one, the Dog should exercise caution with their spending habits and adopt a frugal budget. They should seek bargains whenever possible and rely on professional advice when unsure of a big transaction.

Overall, this is looking to be a mixed year for the Dog although there will be plenty of chances for the Dog to derive benefit from 2015.

Dogs are in affinity with the Rabbit. For their protection, they should have a key chain pendant of a Rabbit.

Have a fantastic year of the Goat.

2015 Predictions for the Pig

The year of the Goat begins on 19 February 2015. It will be a positive year for the Pig and one where they can achieve quite a lot.

The work life of the Pig will be particularly auspicious in this year of the Goat; it will see the motivated Pig ascending the ladder of success with ease. The climb may seem slow at times and furthermore, the Pig may find that there are certain things taking place that are out of their control; however, through persistence and hard work the Pig should still triumph. The best approach would be to try and embrace these changes early on and take advantage of the training programmes that are available. The Pig should also take up new projects and do some networking, as it can provide the means to meet new people in the workplace and further consolidate their worth to the company.

The Pig that has risen up the ladder of success and subsequently gained higher income may be tempted to make some big purchases to celebrate. It is advisable; therefore, that they curb excessive impulse buys as the Pig could be left financially strapped by the end of the year.

The Pig’s social life will be particularly exciting and busy in 2015. The Pig, with their suave, fun-loving nature, will be in high demand and will enjoy many social occasions.

Unattached Pigs are poised to have plenty of romantic liaisons in the year of the Goat. A new love which manifests at this time will quickly grow serious and possibly end up in marriage. For those Pigs that are already in a relationship and have been pondering about their future this may be the time to initialize a serious commitment or enter into matrimony.

Suffice to say the Pigs home life in the Goat year will be eventful and at times even demanding. This is very much the time for elation, progress and strengthened bonds. There will be many occasions to celebrate in the Pig’s home, delightful family activities will be plentiful and in the midst of all this, home improvements will dot the calendar of 2015. The Pig can anticipate deriving great satisfaction from all of these memorable events shared with their family.

Overall, this will be a positive year for the Pig; one where they will make some significant life changing decisions and set some milestones. The Pig should see this year as a time of self-development and self-gain.

Pigs are in affinity with the Tiger. For their protection, they should have a key chain pendant of a Tiger.

Have a fantastic year of the Goat. 

The Dragon Wishes You All  A Happy, Healthy And A Prosperous New Year !

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Dragon’s General Prediction for 2015

Dragon’s General Prediction for 2015 



2015 unfortunately will not be a good or steady year. The world will still experience pockets of hostility much like last year, as well as persistent unrest in the Middle East. 

The last two Goat/Sheep years were in 1991 and 2003 which were the two Gulf wars, so the likelihood of another conflict in 2015 is a definite probability especially if you factor in the pending trouble with ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Nevertheless from a Feng Shui aspect there is some encouraging news as it foretells some long term resolutions to these conflicts. 

Meanwhile, I’m afraid the powerful earth energy of the Goat/Sheep will also bring natural disasters like earthquake, landslides, floods, avalanches, and further worldwide disasters such as collapse of major buildings worldwide (in particular in Middle Eastern countries). 

There is no water in the goat/Sheep year; this makes the earth stronger which can also portend forest fires, hurricanes, typhoons and severe weather change along with potential for nuclear damages similar to Japan in 2011 along with air and sea pollutions possibly leading to severe environmental devastation. 

The less auspicious months are in April, June, July, October and January 2016. With regards to health, earth is associated to the pancreas, stomach and muscles. The resilient earth will disturb the balance of these areas and can easily activate problems of cancer and problems of the stomach, pancreas as well as propagating obesity. Diabetes can be caused by problems with the pancreas so it will also be more serious in year of the Goat. So mind your diet and make sure you limit carbohydrate intake as it will create blood sugar which is fire element disturbing the balance of earth element. 

Don’t fret; it’s not all doom and gloom. On the plus side the Goat/Sheep in Chinese metaphysics is the toughest earth element and Inside the Goat/Sheep there is a hidden yin fire, yin wood and yin earth. The fire energies still exist in the 2015 year therefore it looks favorably to the energy sector, air travel, sports, entertainment and restaurants. Furthermore, the fire element should continue to affect the economy and the stock market. 

Stay tuned for future blog: Chinese Animal Horoscopes for 2015

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

The Christmas Eve Snap-Dragons

Welcome to a Victorian tale for your Dragon-y Christmas.
Snap-Dragons was written by Juliana Horatia Ewing in 1870 and published in the Christmas edition of The Monthly Packet. You may find the anachronisms of Victorian times rather quaint and some seem outright silly in retrospect but you may also conclude that they do have their own charm.
For ease of reading you can pronounce the main characters' Family Name "Skratdj" as "Scratch".

Now, on to the story:

Snap-Dragons - A Tale of Christmas Eve

Juliana Horatia Ewing


Once upon a time there lived a certain family of the name of Skratdj. (It has a Russian or Polish look, and yet they most certainly lived in England.) They were remarkable for the following peculiarity. They seldom seriously quarrelled, but they never agreed about anything. It is hard to say whether it were more painful for their friends to hear them constantly contradicting each other, or gratifying to discover that it "meant nothing,” and was "only their way."

It began with the father and mother. They were a worthy couple, and really attached to each other. But they had a habit of contradicting each other’s statements, and opposing each other’s opinions, which, though mutually understood and allowed for in private, was most trying to the by-standers in public. If one related an anecdote, the other would break in with half-a-dozen corrections of trivial details of no interest or importance to anyone, the speakers included. For instance: Suppose the two dining in a strange house, and Mrs. Skratdj seated by the host, and contributing to the small-talk of the dinner-table. Thus:—
"Oh, yes. Very changeable weather indeed. It looked quite promising yesterday morning in the town, but it began to rain at noon.”
"A quarter past eleven, my dear,” Mr. Skratdj’s voice would be heard to say from several chairs down, in the corrective tones of a husband and father; "and really, my dear, so far from being a promising morning, I must say it looked about as threatening as it well could. Your memory is not always accurate in small matters, my love.”
But Mrs. Skratdj had not been a wife and a mother for fifteen years, to be snuffed out at one snap of the marital snuffers. As Mr. Skratdj leaned forward in his chair, she leaned forward in hers, and defended herself across the intervening couples.
”Why, my dear Mr. Skratdj, you said yourself the weather had not been so promising for a week."
”What I said, my dear, pardon me, was that the barometer was higher than it had been for a week. But, as you might have observed if these details were in your line, my love, which they are not, the rise was extraordinarily rapid, and there is no surer sign of unsettled Weather. But Mrs. Skratdj is apt to forget these unimportant trifles,” he added, with a comprehensive smile round the dinner-table; ”her thoughts are very properly absorbed by the more important domestic questions of the nursery."

"Now I think that's rather unfair on Mr. Skratdj’s part,” Mrs. Skratdj would chirp, with a smile quite as affable and as general as her husband’s. ”I’m sure he's quite as forgetful and inaccurate as Iam. And I don't think my memory is at all a bad one.”
"You forgot the dinner hour when we were going out to dine last week, nevertheless,” said Mr. Skratdj.
"And you couldn't help me when I asked you," was the sprightly retort. "And I’m sure it’s not like you to forget anything about dinner, my dear.”
"The letter was addressed to you,” said Mr. Skratdj.
”I sent it to you by Jemima,” said Mrs. Skratdj.
”I didn't read it,” said Mr. Skratdj.
”Well, you burnt it,” said Mrs. Skratdj; ”and, as I always say, there’s nothing more foolish than burning a letter of invitation before the day, for one is certain to forget.”
”I’ve no doubt you always do say it,” Mr. Skratdj remarked, with a smile, "but I certainly never remember to have heard the observation from your lips, my love.”
"Whose memory’s in fault there?” asked Mrs. Skratdj triumphantly; and as at this point the ladies rose, Mrs. Skratdj had the last word.
Indeed, as may be gathered from this conversation, Mrs. Skratdj was quite able to defend herself. When she was yet a bride, and young and timid, she used to collapse when Mr. Skratdj
contradicted her statements, and set her stories straight in public. Then she hardly ever opened her lips without disappearing under the domestic extinguisher. But in the course of fifteen years she had learned that Mr. Skratdj’s bark was a great deal worse than his bite. (If, indeed, he had a bite at all.) Thus snubs that made other people's ears tingle, had no effect whatever on the lady to whom they were addressed, for she knew exactly what they were worth, and had by this time become fairly adept at snapping in return.

In the days when she succumbed she was occasionally unhappy, but now she and her husband understood each other, and, having agreed to differ, they unfortunately agreed also to differ in public. Indeed, it was the by-standers who had the worst of it on these occasions. To the worthy couple themselves the habit had become second nature, and in no way affected the friendly tenor of their domestic relations. They would interfere with each other’s conversation, contradicting assertions, and disputing conclusions for a whole evening; and then, when all the world and his wife thought that these ceaseless sparks of bickering must blaze up into a flaming quarrel as soon as they were alone, they would bowl amicably home in a cab, criticizing the friends who were commenting upon them, and as little agreed about the events of the evening as about the details of any other events whatever.
Yes; the by-standers certainly had the worst of it. Those who were near wished themselves anywhere else, especially when appealed to. Those who were at a distance did not mind so much. A domestic squabble at a certain distance is interesting, like an engagement viewed from a point beyond the range of guns. In such a position one may someday be placed oneself! Moreover, it gives a touch of excitement to a dull evening to be able to say sotto voce to one’s neighbor, "Do listen! The Skratdjs are at it again!”
Their unmarried friends thought a terrible abyss of tyranny and aggravation must lie beneath it all, and blessed their stars that they were still single and able to tell a tale their own way. The married ones had more idea of how it really was, and wished in the name of common sense and good taste that Skratdj and his wife would not make fools of themselves. So it went on, however; and so, I suppose, it goes on still, for not many bad habits are cured in middle age.
On certain questions of comparative speaking their views were never identical. Such as the temperature being hot or cold, things being light or dark, the apple-tarts being sweet or sour. So one day Mr. Skratdj came into the room, rubbing his hands, and planting himself at the fire with ”Bitterly cold it is to-day, to be sure."
"Why, my dear William," said Mrs. Skratdj, "I'm sure you must have got a cold; I feel a fire quite oppressive myself.”
”You were wishing you’d a seal-skin jacket yesterday, when it wasn’t half as cold as it is to-day,” said Mr. Skratdj.
”My dear William! Why, the children were shivering the whole day, and the wind was in the north.”
”Due east, Mrs. Skratdj."
”I know by the smoke,” said Mrs. Skratdj, softly, but decidedly.
”I fancy I can tell an east wind when I feel it," said Mr. Skratdj, jocosely, to the company.
"I told Jemima to look at the weathercock,” murmured Mrs. Skratdj.
”I don’t care a fig for Jemima,” said her husband.
On another occasion Mrs. Skratdj and a lady friend were conversing. . . ”We met him at the Smith’s—a gentlemanlike agreeable man, about forty," said Mrs. Skratdj, in reference to some matter interesting to both ladies.
”Not a day over thirty-five,” said Mr. Skratdj, from behind his
”Why, my dear William, his hair’s grey,” said Mrs. Skratdj.
"Plenty of men are grey at thirty,” said Mr. Skratdj. "I knew a man who was grey at twenty-five.”
”Well, forty or thirty-five, it doesn't much matter,” said Mrs. Skratdj, about to resume her narration.
"Five years matters a good deal to most people at thirty-five,” said Mr. Skratdj, as he walked towards the door. "They would make a remarkable difference to me, I know; ” and with a jocular air Mr. Skratdj departed, and Mrs. Skratdj had the rest of the anecdote her own way.


The Spirit of Contradiction finds a place in most nurseries, though to a very varying degree in different ones. Children snap and snarl by nature, like young puppies; and most of us can remember taking part in some such spirited dialogues as the following:

"I will.”
 "You daren't.”
”You can’t.”
 ”I dare.”
”You shall.”
 ”I’ll tell Mamma.”
"I won’t."
 "I don’t care if you do.”
It is the part of wise parents to repress these squibs and crackers of juvenile contention, and to enforce that slowly-learned lesson, that in this world one must often ”pass over” and ”put up with” things in other people, being oneself by no means perfect. Also that it is a kindness, and almost a duty, to let people think and say and do things in their own way occasionally.
But even if Mr. and Mrs. Skratdj had ever thought of teaching all this to their children, it must be confessed that the lesson would not have come with a good grace from either of them, since they snapped and snarled between themselves as much or more than their children in the nursery. The two elders were the leaders in the nursery squabbles. Between these, a boy and a girl, a ceaseless war of words was waged from morning to night. And as neither of them lacked ready wit, and both were in constant practice, the art of snapping was cultivated by them to the highest pitch.
It began at breakfast, if not sooner.
"You’ve taken my chair.”
”It’s not your chair.”
”You know it’s the one I like, and it was in my place.”
”How do you know it was in your place?"
"Never mind, I do know.”
”No, you don’t.”
"Yes, I do.”
"Suppose I say it was in my place.”
"You can't, for it wasn't.”
”I can, if I like.”
"Well, was it?”
”I shan’t tell you.”
"Ah! That shows it wasn't.”
”No, it doesn't.”
"Yes, it does.”
Etc., etc., etc.
The direction of their daily walks was a fruitful subject of difference of opinion.
”Let’s go on the Common to-day, Nurse.”
”Oh, don’t let’s go there; we’re always going on the Common."
"I'm sure we're not. We’ve not been there for ever so long.”
"Oh, what a story! We were there on Wednesday. Let's go down Gipsey Lane. We never go down Gipsey Lane.”
"Why, we're always going down Gipsey Lane. And there’s nothing to see there.”
”I don’t care. I won’t go on the Common, and I shall go and get Papa to say we're to go down Gipsey Lane. I can run faster than you.”
”That’s very sneaking; but I don’t care.”
"Papa! Papa! Polly’s called me a sneak.”
”No, I didn’t, Papa.”
"You did.”
”No, I didn’t. I only said it was sneaking of you to say you'd run faster than me, and get Papa to say we were to go down Gipsey Lane.”
"Then you did call him sneaking,” said Mr. Skratdj. "And you're a very naughty, ill-mannered little girl. You're getting very troublesome, Polly, and I shall have to send you to school, where you’ll be kept in order. Go where your brother wishes at once.”

For Polly and her brother had reached an age when it was convenient, if possible, to throw the blame of all nursery differences on Polly. In families where domestic discipline is rather fractious than firm, there comes a stage when the girls almost invariably go to the wall, because they will stand snubbing, and the boys will not. Domestic authority, like some other powers, is apt to be magnified on the weaker class. But Mr. Skratdj would not always listen even to Harry.

"If you don’t give it me back directly, I'll tell about your eating the two magnum-bonums in the kitchen garden on Sunday,” said Master Harry, on one occasion.
”Tell-tale tit! Your tongue shall be slit, And every dog in the town shall have a little bit,” quoted his sister.
"Ah! You've called me a tell-tale. Now I'll go and tell Papa. You got into a fine scrape for calling me names the other day.”
"Go, then! I don't care."
"You wouldn't like me to go, I know.”
"You daren’t. That's what it is."
"I dare.”
"Then why don't you?"
"Oh, I am going; but you'll see what will be the end of it."

Polly, however, had her own reasons for remaining stolid, and Harry started. But when he reached the landing he paused. Mr. Skratdj had especially announced that morning that he did not wish to be disturbed, and though he was a favourite, Harry had no desire to invade the dining-room at this crisis. So he returned to the nursery, and said, with a magnanimous air, ”I don't want to get you into a scrape, Polly. If you'll beg my pardon I won't go."
"I'm sure I shan’t," said Polly, who was equally well informed as to the position of affairs at head-quarters. "Go, if you dare.”
"I won't if you want me not, " said Harry, discreetly waiving the question of apologies.
”But I’d rather you went,” said the obdurate Polly. ”You’re always telling tales. Go and tell now, if you're not afraid.”
So Harry went. But at the bottom of the stairs he lingered again, and was meditating how to return with most credit to his dignity, when Polly’s face appeared through the banisters, and Polly's sharp tongue goaded him on.
"Ah! I see you. You're stopping. You daren’t go.”
”I dare,” said Harry; and at last he went.
As he turned the handle of the door, Mr. Skratdj turned round.
"Please, Papa—” Harry began.
"Get away with you!” cried Mr. Skratdj. ”Didn’t I tell you I was not to be disturbed this morning? What an extraor—”
But Harry had shut the door, and withdrawn precipitately.
Once outside, he returned to the nursery with dignified steps, and an air of apparent satisfaction, saying:
”You’re to give me the bricks, please.”
"Who says so?”
"Why, who should say so? Where have I been, pray?”
”I don't know, and I don't care.”
”I’ve been to Papa. There!”
"Did he say I was to give up the bricks?”
”I’ve told you.”
"No, you've not.”
"I shan’t tell you anymore.”
"Then I'll go to Papa and ask.”
”Go by all means.”
"I won’t if you'll tell me truly.”
”I shan’t tell you anything. Go and ask, if you dare,” said Harry, only too glad to have the tables turned.
Polly’s expedition met with the same fate, and she attempted to cover her retreat in a similar manner.
"Ah! you didn’t tell.”
”I don't believe you asked Papa.”
”Don’t you? Very well!”
"Well, did you?”
"Never mind."
Etc., etc., etc.

Meanwhile Mr. Skratdj scolded Mrs. Skratdj for not keeping the children in better order. And Mrs. Skratdj said it was quite impossible to do so, when Mr. Skratdj spoilt Harry as he did, and weakened her (Mrs. Skratdj’s) authority by constant interference. Difference of sex gave point to many of these nursery squabbles, as it so often does to domestic broils.
”Boys never will do what they're asked," Polly would complain.
"Girls ask such unreasonable things,” was Harry's retort.
”Not half so unreasonable as the things you ask."
"Ah! That’s a different thing! Women have got to do what men tell them, whether it’s reasonable or not."
”No, they’ve not!” said Polly. ”At least, that's only husbands and wives.”
”All women are inferior animals,” said Harry.
"Try ordering Mamma to do what you want and see!" said Polly.
"Men have got to give orders, and women have to obey," said Harry, falling back on the general principle. ”And when I get a wife, I'll take care I make her do what I tell her. But you'll have to obey your husband when you get one.”
"I won’t have a husband, and then I can do as I like."
"Oh, won’t you? You’ll try to get one, I know. Girls always want to be married.”
”I’m sure I don’t know why," said Polly; "they must have had enough of men if they have brothers."
And so they went on, ad infinitum, with ceaseless arguments that proved nothing and convinced nobody, and a continual stream of contradiction that just fell short of downright quarrelling.
Indeed, there was a kind of snapping even less near to a dispute than in the cases just mentioned. The little Skratdjs, like some other children, were under the unfortunate delusion that it sounds clever to hear little boys and girls snap each other up with smart sayings, and old and rather vulgar play upon words, such as:
”I’ll give you a Christmas box. Which ear will you have it on?”
"I won't stand it.” "Pray take a chair.”
"You shall have it to-morrow." ”To-morrow never comes.”
And so if a visitor kindly began to talk to one of the children, another was sure to draw near and "take up” all the first child’s answers, with smart comments and catches that sounded as silly as they were tiresome and impertinent.
And ill-mannered as this was, Mr. and Mrs. Skratdj never put a stop to it. Indeed, it was only a caricature of what they did themselves. But they often said ”We can't think how it is the children are always squabbling!"


It is wonderful how the state of mind of a whole household is influenced by the heads of it. Mr. Skratdj was a very kind master, and Mrs. Skratdj was a very kind mistress, and yet their servants lived in a perpetual fever of irritability that fell just short of discontent. They jostled each other on the back stairs, said sharp things in the pantry, and kept up a perennial warfare on the subject of the duty of the sexes with the general man-servant. They gave warning on the slightest provocation.

The very dog was infected by the snapping mania. He was not a brave dog, he was not a vicious dog, and no high-breeding sanctioned his pretensions to arrogance. But like his owners, he had contracted a bad habit, a trick, which made him the pest of all timid visitors, and indeed of all visitors whatsoever.
The moment anyone approached the house, on certain occasions when he was spoken to, and often in no traceable connection with any cause at all, Snap the mongrel would rush out, and bark in his little sharp voice—”Yap! yap! yap!” If the visitor made a stand, he would bound away sideways on his four little legs; but the moment the visitor went on his way again, Snap was at his heels—”Yap! yap! yap!” He barked at the milkman, the butcher's boy, and the baker, though he saw them every day. He never got used to the Washerwoman, and she never got used to him. She said he ”put her in mind of that there black dog in the Pilgrim’s Progress.” He sat at the gate in summer, and yapped at every vehicle and
every pedestrian who ventured to pass on the high road. He never but once had the chance of barking at burglars; and then, though he barked long and loud, nobody got up, for they said, "It’s only Snap’s way.” The Skratdj s lost a silver teapot, a Stilton cheese, and two electro christening mugs, on this occasion; and Mr. and Mrs. Skratdj dispute who it was who discouraged reliance on Snap's warning to the present day.

One Christmas time, a certain hot—tempered gentleman came to visit the Skratdjs; a tall, sandy, energetic young man who carried his own bag from the railway. The bag had been crammed rather than packed, after the wont of bachelors; and you could see where the heel of a boot distended the leather, and where the bottle of shaving-cream lay. As he came up to the house, out came Snap as usual—”Yap! yap! yap!”
Now the gentleman was very fond of dogs, and had borne this greeting some dozens of times from Snap, who for his part knew the visitor quite as well as the washerwoman, and rather better than the butcher's boy. The gentleman had good, sensible, well-behaved dogs of his own, and was greatly disgusted with Snap’s conduct. Nevertheless he spoke friendly to him; and Snap, who had had many a bit from his plate, could not help stopping for a minute to lick his hand. But no sooner did the gentleman proceed on his way, than Snap flew at his heels in the usual fashion-
”Yap! Yap! Yap!”

On which the gentleman—being hot-tempered, and one of those people with whom it is (as they say) a word and a blow, and the blow first—made a dash at Snap, and Snap taking to his heels, the gentleman flung his carpet-bag after him. The bottle of shaving-cream hit upon a stone and was smashed. The heel of the boot caught Snap on the back and sent him squealing to the kitchen. And he never barked at that gentleman again.
 If the gentleman disapproved of Snap’s conduct, he still less liked the continual snapping of the Skratdj family themselves. He was an old friend of Mr, and Mrs. Skratdj, however, and knew that they were really happy together, and that it was only a bad habit which made them constantly contradict each other. It was in allusion to their real affection for each other, and their perpetual disputing, that he called them the ‘Snapping Turtles’.

When the war of words waxed hottest at the dinner-table between his host and hostess, he would drive his hands through his shock of sandy hair, and say, with a comical glance out of his umber eyes: ”Don’t flirt, my friends. It makes a bachelor feel awkward.”
And neither Mr. nor Mrs. Skratdj could help laughing.
With the little Skratdjs his measures were more vigorous. He was very fond of children, and a good friend to them. He grudged no time or trouble to help them in their games and projects, but he would not tolerate their snapping up each other’s Words in his presence. He was much more truly kind than many visitors, who think it polite to smile at the sauciness and forwardness which ignorant vanity leads children so often to "shew off” before strangers. These civil acquaintances only abuse both children and parents behind their backs, for the very bad habits which they help to encourage.
The hot-tempered gentleman's treatment of his young friends was very different. One day he was talking to Polly, and making some kind inquiries about her lessons, to which she was replying in a quiet and sensible fashion, when up came Master Harry, and began to display his wit by comments on the conversation, and by snapping at and contradicting his sister’s remarks, to which she retorted; and the usual snap-dialogue went on as usual.
”Then you like music?” said the hot-tempered gentleman.
"Yes, I like it very much,” said Polly.
"Oh, do you?” Harry broke in. "Then what are you always crying over it for?”
”I’m not always crying over it.”
"Yes, you are.”
”No, I’m not. I only cry sometimes, when I stick fast.”
"Your music must be very sticky, for you're always stuck fast.”
"Hold your tongue!” said the hot-tempered gentleman.

With what he imagined to be a very waggish air, Harry put out his tongue, and held it with his finger and thumb. It was unfortunate that he had not time to draw it in again before the hot-tempered gentleman gave him a stinging box on the ear, which brought his teeth rather sharply together on the tip of his tongue, which was bitten in consequence.
"It’s no use speaking,” said the hot-tempered gentleman, driving his hands through his hair. Children are like dogs: they are very good judges of their real friends.
Harry did not like the hot-tempered gentleman a bit the less because he was obliged to respect and obey him; and all the children welcomed him boisterously when he arrived that Christmas which we have spoken of in connection with his attack on Snap.
It was on the morning of Christmas Eve that the china punch bowl was broken. Mr. Skratdj had a warm dispute with Mrs. Skratdj as to whether it had been kept in a safe place; after which both had a brisk encounter with the housemaid, who did not know how it happened; and she, flouncing down the back passage, kicked Snap; who forthwith flew at the gardener as he was bringing in the horse-radish for the beef; who stepping backwards trode upon the cat; who spit and swore, and went up the pump with her tail as big as a fox’s brush.

To avoid this domestic scene, the hot-tempered gentleman withdrew to the breakfast-room and took up a newspaper. By-and-by, Harry and Polly came in, and they were soon snapping comfortably over their own affairs in a corner.
The hot-tempered gentleman's umber eyes had been looking over the top of his newspaper at them for some time, before he called, "Harry, my boy!”
And Harry came up to him.
”Show me your tongue, Harry,” said he.
"What for?” said Harry; "you're not a doctor.”
”Do as I tell you,” said the hot-tempered gentleman; and as Harry saw his hand moving, he put his tongue out with all possible haste. The hot- tempered gentleman sighed. ”Ah!” he said in depressed tones; "I thought so!—Polly, come and let me look at yours.”
Polly, who had crept up during this process, now put out hers. But the hot-tempered gentleman looked gloomier still, and shook his head.
"What is it?” cried both the children, "What do you mean?” And they seized the tips of their tongues in their fingers, to feel for themselves.
But the hot-tempered gentleman went slowly out of the room without answering; passing his hands through his hair, and saying, "Ah! Hum!” and nodding with an air of grave foreboding.
Just as he crossed the threshold, he turned back, and put his head into the room. ”Have you ever noticed that your tongues are growing pointed?" he asked.
”No!” cried the children with alarm. ”Are they?"
"If ever you find them becoming forked,” said the gentleman in solemn tones, ”let me know.” with which he departed, gravely shaking his head.
In the afternoon the children attacked him again.
”Do tell us what's the matter with our tongues.”
"You were snapping and squabbling just as usual this morning,” said the hot-tempered gentleman.
"Well, we forgot,” said Polly. ”We don't mean anything, you know. But never mind that now, please. Tell us about our tongues. What is going to happen to them?”
”I’m very much afraid,” said the hot-tempered gentleman, in solemn, measured tones, "that you are both of you—fast—going—to—the—"

"Dogs?" suggested Harry, who was learned in cant expressions.
"Dogs!" said the hot-tempered gentleman, driving his hands through his hair. "Bless your life, no! Nothing half so pleasant! (That is, unless all dogs were like Snap, Which mercifully they are not.) No, my sad fear is that you are, both of you, rapidly going to the Snap-Dragons!” And not another Word would the hot-tempered gentleman say on the subject.


In the course of a few hours Mr. and Mrs. Skratdj recovered their equanimity. The punch was brewed in a jug, and tasted quite as good as usual. The evening was very lively. There were a Christmas tree, Yule cakes, log, and candles, furmety, and snap-dragon after supper. When the company were tired of the tree, and had gained an appetite by the hard exercise of stretching to high branches, blowing out "dangerous" tapers, and cutting ribbon and pack-thread in all directions, supper came, with its welcome cakes, and furmety, and punch.
And when furmety somewhat palled upon the taste (and it must be admitted to boast more sentiment than flavour as a Christmas dish), the Yule candles were blown out and both the spirits and the palates of the party were stimulated by the mysterious and pungent pleasures of snap-dragon.
Then, as the hot-tempered gentleman warmed his coat-tails at the Yule log, a grim smile stole over his features as he listened to the sounds in the room. In the darkness the blue flames leaped and danced, the raisins were snapped and snatched from hand to hand, scattering fragments of flame hither and thither. The children shouted as the fiery sweetmeats burnt away the mawkish taste of the furmety. Mr. Skratdj cried that they were spoiling the carpet; Mrs. Skratdj complained that he had spilled some brandy on her dress. Mr. Skratdj retorted that she should not wear dresses so susceptible of damage in the family circle. Mrs. Skratdj recalled an old speech of Mr. Skratdj on the subject of wearing one’s nice things for the benefit of one’s family and not reserving them for visitors. Mr. Skratdj remembered that Mrs. Skratdj’s excuse for buying that particular dress when she did not need it, was her intention of keeping it for the next year. The children disputed as to the credit for courage and the amount of raisins due to each. Snap barked furiously the flames; and the maids hustled each other for good places in the doorway, and would not have allowed the man-servant to see at all, but he looked over their heads.

”St! St! At it! At it!" chuckled the hot-tempered gentleman in undertones. And when he said that it seemed as if the voices of Mr. and Mrs. Skratdj rose higher in matrimonial repartee and the children's squabbles became louder, and the dog yelped as if he were mad, and the maids’ contest was sharper; whilst the snap-dragon flames leaped up and up, and blue fire flew about the room like foam.
At last the raisins were finished, the flames were all but out, and the company withdrew to the drawing-room. Only Harry lingered.
"Come along, Harry,” said the hot-tempered gentleman.
”Wait a minute,” said Harry.
"You had better come,” said the gentleman.
"Why?" said Harry.
"There's nothing to stop for. The raisins are eaten; the brandy is burnt out—”
”No, it's not,” said Harry.
"Well, almost. It would be better if it were quite out. Now come. It's dangerous for a boy like you to be alone with the Snap-Dragons to- night."
”Fiddle-sticks!" said Harry.
"Go your own way, then!" said the hot-tempered gentleman; and he bounced out of the room, and Harry was left alone.


He crept up to the table, where one little pale blue flame flickered in the snap-dragon dish.
"What a pity it should go out!” said Harry. At this moment the brandy bottle on the side-board caught his eye.
"Just a little more,” murmured Harry to himself; and he uncorked the bottle, and poured a little brandy on to the flame.

Now, of course, as soon as the brandy touched the fire, all the brandy in the bottle blazed up at once, and the bottle split to pieces; and it was very fortunate for Harry that he did not get seriously hurt. A little of the hot brandy did get into his eyes, and made them smart, so that he had to shut them for a few seconds. But when he opened them again; what a sight! The blue flames leaped and danced as they had leaped and danced in the soup-plate with the raisins. And Harry saw that each successive flame was the fold in the long body of a bright blue Dragon, which moved like the body of a snake. And the room was full of these Dragons. In the face they were like the dragons one sees made of very old blue and white china; and they had forked tongues, like the tongues of serpents. They were most beautiful in colour, being sky-blue. Lobsters that have just changed their coats are very handsome, but the violet and indigo of a lobster’s coat is nothing to the brilliant sky-blue of a Snap-Dragon.
How they leaped about! They were forever leaping over each other, like seals at play. But if it was ‘play’ at all with them, it was of a very rough kind; for as they jumped, they snapped and barked at each other, and their barking was like that of the barking Gnu in the Zoological Gardens; and from time to time they tore the hair out of each other’s heads with their claws, and scattered it about the floor. And as it dropped it was like the flecks of flame people shake from their fingers when they are eating snap-dragon raisins.
Harry stood aghast.
"What fun!” said a voice close by him; and he saw that one of the Dragons was lying near, and not joining in the game. He had lost one of the forks of his tongue by accident, and could not bark for awhile.
”I’m glad you think it funny,” said Harry; "I don’t.”
”Yes, those creatures. And if I hadn't lost my bark, I’d be the first to lead you off,” said the Dragon. ”Oh, the game will exactly suit you.”

”What is it, please?” Harry asked.
"You’d better not say ’please’ to the others," said the Dragon, "if you don’t want to have all your hair pulled out. The game is this. You have always to be jumping over somebody else, and you must either talk or bark. If anybody speaks to you, you must snap in return. I need not explain what snapping is. You know. If anyone by accident gives a civil answer, a clawful of hair is torn out of his head to stimulate his brain. Nothing can be funnier."
”I dare say it suits you capitally,” said Harry; "but I'm sure we shouldn't like it. I mean men and women and children. It wouldn’t do for us at all.
”Wouldn’t it?” said the Dragon. ”You don’t know how many human beings dance with dragons on Christmas Eve. If we are kept going in a house till after midnight, we can pull people out of their beds, and take them to dance in Vesuvius."
"Vesuvius!" cried Harry.
"Yes, Vesuvius. We come from Italy originally, you know. Our skins are the colour of the Bay of Naples. We live on dried grapes and ardent spirits. We have glorious fun in the mountain sometimes. Oh! What snapping, and scratching, and tearing! Delicious! There are times when the squabbling becomes too great, and Mother Mountain won’t stand it, and spits us all out, and throws cinders after us. But this is only at times. We had a charming meeting last year. So many human beings, and how they can snap! It was a choice party. So very select. We always have plenty of saucy children, and servants. Husbands and wives too, and quite as many of the former as the latter, if not more. But besides these, we had two vestry-men, a country postmaster, who devoted his talents to insulting the public instead of to learning the postal regulations, three cabmen and two "fares," two young shop-girls from a Berlin wool shop in a town where there was no competition, four commercial travellers, six landladies, six Old Bailey lawyers, several widows from almshouses, seven single gentlemen and nine cats, who swore at everything; a dozen sulphur-coloured screaming cockatoos; a lot of street children from a town; a pack of mongrel curs from the colonies, who snapped at the human beings’ heels, and five elderly ladies in their Sunday bonnets with Prayer-books, who had been fighting for good seats in church."

"Dear me!” said Harry.
"If you can find nothing sharper to say than ’Dear me!” said the Dragon, ”you will fare badly, I can tell you. Why, I thought you’d a sharp tongue, but it's not forked yet, I see. Here they are, however. Off with you! And if you value your curls—Snap!”
And before Harry could reply, the Snap-Dragons came in on their third round, and as they passed they swept Harry with them.
He shuddered as he looked at his companions. They were as transparent as shrimps, but of this lovely cerulean blue. And as they leaped they barked—”Howf! Howf‘?”—like barking Gnus; and when they leaped Harry had to leap with them. Besides barking, they snapped and wrangled with each other; and in this Harry must join also.
"Pleasant, isn't it?” said one of the blue Dragons.
"Not at all,” snapped Harry.
"That's your bad taste," snapped the blue Dragon.
 "No, it's not!” snapped Harry.
"Then it’s pride and perverseness. You want your hair combing.”
"Oh, please don't!” shrieked Harry, forgetting himself. On which the Dragon clawed a handful of hair out of his head, and Harry screamed, and the blue Dragons barked and danced.
"That made your hair curl, didn't it?” asked another Dragon, leaping over Harry.
”That's no business of yours,” Harry snapped, as well as he could for crying.
”It’s more my pleasure than business,” retorted the Dragon.
”Keep it to yourself, then,” snapped Harry.
"I mean to share it with you, when I get hold of your hair,” snapped the Dragon.
"Wait till you get the chance," Harry snapped, with desperate presence of mind.

"Do you know whom you're talking to?” roared the Dragon; and he opened his mouth from ear to ear, and shot out his forked tongue in Harry's face; and the boy was so frightened that he forgot to snap, and cried piteously:
”Oh, I beg your pardon, please don't! On which the blue Dragon clawed another handful of hair out of his head, and all the Dragons barked as before.
How long the dreadful game went on Harry never exactly knew. Well practised as he was in snapping in the nursery, he often failed to think of a retort, and paid for his unreadiness by the loss of his hair. Oh, how foolish and wearisome all this rudeness and snapping now seemed to him! But on he had to go, wondering all the time how near it was to twelve o'clock, and whether the Snap-Dragons would stay till midnight and take him with them to Vesuvius.
At last, to his joy, it became evident that the brandy was coming to an end. The Dragons moved slower, they could not leap so high, and at last one after another they began to go out.
”Oh, if they only all of them get away before twelve!” thought poor Harry.
At last there was only one. He and Harry jumped about and snapped and barked, and Harry was thinking with joy that he was the last, when the clock in the hall gave that whirring sound which some clocks do before they strike, as if it were clearing its throat.
"Oh, please go!” screamed Harry, in despair.

The blue Dragon leaped up, and took such a clawful of hair out of the boy’s head, that it seemed as if part of the skin went, too. But that leap was his last. He went out at once, vanishing before the first stroke of twelve. And Harry was left on his face on the floor in the darkness.


When his friends found him there was blood on his forehead. Harry thought it was where the Dragon had clawed him, but they said it was a cut from a fragment of the broken brandy bottle. The Dragons had disappeared as completely as the brandy.
Harry was cured of snapping. He had had quite enough of it for a lifetime, and the catch-contradictions of the household now made him shudder. Polly had not had the benefit of his experiences, and yet she improved also.
In the first place, snapping, like other kinds of quarrelling, requires two parties to it, and Harry would never be a party to snapping any more. And when he gave civil and kind answers to Polly’s smart speeches, she felt ashamed of herself, and did not repeat them. In the second place, she heard about the Snap-Dragons. Harry told all about it to her and to the hot-tempered gentleman.
”Now do you think it's true?” Polly asked the hot—tempered gentleman.
"Hum! Ha!” said he, driving his hands through his hair. "You know I warned you, you were going to the Snap-Dragons.”

Harry and Polly snubbed ‘the little ones’ when they snapped, and utterly discountenanced snapping in the nursery. The example and admonitions of elder children are a powerful instrument of nursery discipline, and before long there was not a ”sharp tongue” amongst all the little Skratdjs.
But I doubt if the parents ever were cured. I don’t know if they heard the story. Besides, bad habits are not easily cured when one is old.
I fear Mr. and Mrs. Skratdj have yet got to dance with the Dragons.


Good night, everyone and a Merry Christmas to all.

Make Your Own Snap-Dragon Dessert:


Mound a cluster of seeded Malaga raisins on a large silver platter and put it in the center of the holiday table.
Pour 1 cup heated Cognac over the raisins and ignite the spirit.
Keep ladling the burning Cognac over the raisins to keep it aflame.
The guests quickly put their fingers through the flame and pull out one raisin at a time.

This exclusive recipe is pulled directly from Gourmet's archive. It has not been re-tested by our food editors since it was published in the magazine, but it's a pretty good indication of the kinds of things we once cooked—and ate—with great pleasure.