‘Tulipmania’ was the first major financial bubble. Investors began to madly purchase tulips, pushing their prices to unprecedented highs; the average price of a single flower exceeded the annual income of a skilled worker. Tulips sold for over 4000 florins, the currency of the Netherlands at the time. As prices drastically collapsed over the course of a week, many tulip holders instantly went bankrupt.

At one point during the height of Europe’s tulip mania, a single Viceroy tulip bulb was purchased for two lasts of wheat, four lasts of rye, four fat oxen, eight fat swine, 12 fat sheep, two hogsheads of wine, four casks of beer, two tons of butter, a complete bed, a suit of clothes and even a silver drinking cup! In the winter of 1636-37, a valuable tulip bulb could change hands ten times in a day.

Wikipedia actually has a wealth of tulip mania related information available for those who are interested. Quite a fascinating topic, considering the ever constant rise and fall of the modern stock market in comparison!



“As may be seen on picture here,
In Rome the doctors do appear,
When to their patients they are called,
In places by the plague appalled,
Their hats and cloaks, of fashion new,
Are made of oilcloth, dark of hue,
Their caps with glasses are designed,
Their bills with antidotes all lined,
That foulsome air may do no harm,
Nor cause the doctor man alarm,
The staff in hand must serve to show,
Their noble trade where’er they go.”

A ‘Plague Doctor’ was a special medical physician who saw those who had the plague. They were specifically hired by towns that had many plague victims in times of plague epidemics. Since the city was paying their salary, they treated everyone: both the rich and the poor. They were not normally professionally trained experienced physicians or surgeons, and often were second-rate doctors not able to otherwise run a successful medical business or young physicians trying to establish themselves.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, some doctors wore a beak-like mask which was filled with aromatic items. The masks were designed to protect them from putrid air, which (according to the miasmatic theory of disease) was seen as the cause of infection. Being a plague doctor was unpleasant, dangerous and difficult. Their chances of survival in times of a plague epidemic were low.

Although the costume may seem incredibly creepy, at the time it was a symbol of hope, that you, or those around you, had a chance to survive the black death. For others, a clear symbol of death, for if the plague doctor was seen in your house, you could be sure that the end was near.

You can find out more about the plague doctor costume and the history behind it here.


Today I walked past a group of rather young children, they asked me if I was a ‘real life witch’- I just smiled, but as I hurried off, a ridiculous amount of glitter fell out of my bag and trailed behind me, causing all the kids to yell in shock.

I turned around to see what the fuss was about, and winked at the youngest girl.

Terrified, She burst into tears.


Gone away
all the dark has
taken over
happy thoughts have
no meaning
for this emptiness has
to be here
a reason
to smile gives me
a better chance
false hope
i have lost all
my delight
I am overcome by
i have lost.

Perhaps read this another way?
This by no means explains how I feel at the moment, in fact i feel quite the reverse.

– Staywise.