Friday, 15 July 2011

St Swithin's Day

St Swithun's day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithun's day if thou be fair
For forty days 'twill rain no more
St Swithin was an Anglo-Saxon bishop of Winchester who gained a reputation for posthumous miracle-working after his death in c. 862.

St Swithun looking very serious indeed
St Swithun's church

A legend says that as the Bishop lay on his deathbed, he asked to be buried out of doors, where he would be trodden on and rained on. For nine years, his wishes were followed, but then, the monks of Winchester attempted to remove his remains to a splendid shrine inside the cathedral on 15 July 971. According to legend there was a heavy rain storm either during the ceremony or on its anniversary.
This led to the old wives' tale (folklore) that if it rains on St Swithin's Day (July 15th), it will rain for the next 40 days in succession, and a fine 15th July will be followed by 40 days of fine weather. co

Well, thank goodness it's not raining in East Sussex, it is a beautiful day!!!

Thursday, 14 July 2011


I was compiling a book of poetry for my seven year old grandchild, remembering the poetry that my mother read to me as a child.  This one was my favourite:

NOD by Walter de la Mare 1873-1956

Softly along the road of evening,  
    In a twilight dim with rose,  
Wrinkled with age, and drenched with dew  
    Old Nod, the shepherd, goes.  
His drowsy flock streams on before him, 
    Their fleeces charged with gold,  
To where the sun's last beam leans low  
    On Nod the shepherd's fold.  
The hedge is quick and green with briar,  
    From their sand the conies creep;
And all the birds that fly in heaven  
    Flock singing home to sleep.  
His lambs outnumber a noon's roses,  
    Yet, when night's shadows fall,  
His blind old sheep-dog, Slumber-soon,
    Misses not one of all.  
His are the quiet steeps of dreamland,  
    The waters of no-more-pain;  
His ram's bell rings 'neath an arch of stars,  
    "Rest, rest, and rest again."

(painting 'Shepherd with a flock of sheep' Vincent van Gogh)