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Daily Archives: October 27, 2013

Rudyard Kipling’s inspirational poem – ‘ IF YOUR FAVOURITE POEM


Rudyard Kipling’s (1865-1936) inspirational poem ‘If’ first appeared in his collection ‘Rewards and Fairies’ in 1909. The poem ‘If’ is inspirational, motivational, and a set of rules for ‘grown-up’ living. Kipling’s ‘If’ contains mottos and maxims for life, and the poem is also a blueprint for personal integrity, behaviour and self-development. ‘If’ is perhaps even more relevant today than when Kipling wrote it, as an ethos and a personal philosophy. Lines from Kipling’s ‘If’ appear over the player’s entrance to Wimbledon’s Centre Court – a poignant reflection of the poem’s timeless and inspiring quality.

The beauty and elegance of ‘If’ contrasts starkly with Rudyard Kipling’s largely tragic and unhappy life. He was starved of love and attention and sent away by his parents; beaten and abused by his foster mother; and a failure at a public school which sought to develop qualities that were completely alien to Kipling. In later life the deaths of two of his children also affected Kipling deeply.

Rudyard Kipling achieved fame quickly, based initially on his first stories and poems written in India (he returned there after College), and his great popularity with the British public continued despite subsequent critical reaction to some of his more conservative work, and critical opinion in later years that his poetry was superficial and lacking in depth of meaning.

Significantly, Kipling turned down many honours offered to him including a knighthood, Poet Laureate and the Order of Merit, but in 1907 he accepted the Nobel Prize for Literature. Kipling’s wide popular appeal survives through other works, notably The Jungle Book (1894) the novel, Kim (1901), and Just So Stories (1902).

Kipling is said to have written the poem ‘If’ with Dr Leander Starr Jameson in mind, who led about five-hundred of his countrymen in a failed raid against the Boers, in southern Africa. The ‘Jameson Raid’ was later considered a major factor in starting the Boer War (1899-1902).

Kipling is said to have written the poem ‘If’ with Dr Leander Starr Jameson in mind, who led about five-hundred of his countrymen in a failed raid against the Boers, in southern Africa. The ‘Jameson Raid’ was later considered a major factor in starting the Boer War (1899-1902).


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son! 

Rudyard Kipling



Halloween Shopping List

 Makes it easy to remember everything you need to shop for this Halloween

Spooktacular Supplies
Dinner Plates
Dessert Plates
Hot and Cold Cups
Plastic Cutlery
Table Cover
Punch bowl or Pitcher
Party Tub
Serving Trays
Cookie Cutters
Candy Dishes
Goody BagsHalloween Costumes
Snazaroo Makeup
Pet Costumes
Kids Costumes
Trick-or-Treat Bags 
Festive Foods
Alcoholic Beverages
Non-Alcoholic Beverages
Main Course
Apples for Bobbing
Trick-or-Treat Candy
FUN SnacksHalloween Projects
Pumpkin Carving Kit
BOO-tiful Decorations
Hanging Ghosts
Spider Webbing
Plastic Skulls
Plastic Pails (Cauldron, Frankenstein)
Halloween Scene Setters
FUN Signs
Party Streamers
Fog Machine
Halloween Music
Jack-O-Lantern Carving KitOdds ‘n’ Ends
Costume Contest Prizes
Cameras to Capture the FUN!



How to stay safe this Halloween

Halloween is a frighteningly fun time for children of all ages, but before you send your kids out trick or treating around the neighbourhood, consider a few safety tips:

Before Halloween:

Teach your children how to safely cross the road. This is vital whether they are trick or treating with or without you — it’s an important life skill. Practice stopping at the curb, looking both ways twice, and listening for approaching vehicles. Children should cross at intersections when able, to increase visibility of both pedestrians and drivers.

Choose bright costumes that will be visible from a distance and at night. Also make sure to check the length of the costume so your child doesn’t trip over it.

If possible, try to use makeup instead of a mask on Halloween. Masks can reduce your child’s vision and interfere with their breathing. If you do choose a mask, have your child try it on and practise moving around the house.

If your child’s costume includes a weapon, make sure it is soft and flexible and will not cause damage if flung around as you know is going to happen.

When it comes time to carve pumpkins, never give your child the knife. Instead, have your child draw with marker on the pumpkin the face they would like to see. An adult should always be the one doing the carving.

On Halloween:

If you are health-conscious or would like to provide a healthier alternative to the regular Halloween treats, try giving away stickers, pencils, sugar-free gum, glow sticks, or bracelets.

If you are giving away any nut products, make sure they are adequately packaged to avoid any allergic reactions.

Children under the age of 10 should be accompanied trick or treating by an adult or an older, responsible child.

Stay on the sidewalk or, if there is no sidewalk, as close to the side of the road as possible. When walking on the road make sure you are facing traffic and that your child is walking and not running.

If your child feels he or she is too old to trick or treat with a parent but you feel they are not ready to go alone, compromise and walk a distance behind your child.

Warn your child never to go into a stranger’s car or house. This may seem obvious and is a rule they hear countless times over the year, but it is easy to get over-excited on Halloween and forget some of the rules — even the most important ones.

Stay in well-lit areas and only go to houses that have their outside lights on.

Stay away from candles or other flames — costumes can be very flammable!

Trick or treat all along one side of the road before crossing to the other side — never zig-zag from one side to the other.

If older children are going by themselves, make sure that they are travelling in a group and have flashlights. In this circumstance it may not be a bad idea to bend the rules and lend your child a cellphone for the night if he or she is mature enough.

Start trick or treating early. The earlier you start the earlier you can get home — it is a school night after all.

After Halloween:

Carefully examine all the treats your child has brought home. Unwrapped candy should be thrown out. Any candy with wrappers that are ripped or damaged in any way should also be discarded.

Check toys for small or broken parts. Only children older than three should be given toys with small parts because of the choking hazard they present.

Children with diabetes should be allowed to keep potato chips, peanuts, and sugar-free gum. An alternative to trick or treating for children with diabetes, or children who may not be comfortable trick or treating, is to stay home in costume and give out treats to all the trick or treaters. This can actually be more fun as they get to stay warm and see all the fun costumes!

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