Wednesday, 25 January 2017

St Pauls Day, a book and Burns Night

January the 25th is St Paul's Day. In the past many weather rhymes were linked to this date as country people tried to predict what the growing year would be like

If St. Paul's Day be fair and clear
It doth betide a happy year.
But if, by chance,it then should rain,
It will make dear all kinds of grain.
And if the clouds make dark the sky,
Then neate and fowls this year shall die.
If blustering winds do blow aloft,
Then wars shall trouble the realm full oft.

In this rhyme neate is an old word for cattle and even politics can be changed by the weather - who knew?

I was pondering on how various days were remembered in the past. Usually because they were Saints days or important in the church calendar.
Now we have days that reflect the importance of money rather than weather.

Black Thursday and Black Tuesday - The 24th and 29th October 1929, when panicked sellers traded 4 million shares, making the stock market crash and the usually said to be the start of the Great Depression.

Black Friday - The day following Thanksgiving in the US. Now used worldwide to signify the start of a mad spending spree leading up to Christmas

Black Monday - October 19th 1987 - The more recent stock market crash

Blue Monday - the day in January when all the credit card bills arrive for the massive Christmas overspend

Black Wednesday 16th September 1992, when the pound sterling was withdrawn from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism

I think I would rather have weather sayings.

The latest book added to my Books Read 2017 list. I read  this quite quickly. It's Elly Griffiths other series- A Stephens and Mephisto mystery. This is the 3rd, set mainly in 1950's Brighton.
The library website says this-On the eve of the Queen's coronation, DI Stephens and Max Mephisto uncover an anarchist plot and a ticking bomb at the same time as solving the murder of a man close to them.
 Elizabeth II's coronation is looming, but the murder of their wartime commander, Colonel Cartwright, spoils the happy mood for DI Edgar Stephens and magician Max Mephisto. A playbill featuring another deceased comrade is found in Colonel Cartwright's possession, and a playing card, the ace of hearts: the blood card. The wartime connection and the suggestion of magic are for Stephens and Mephisto to be summoned to the case. Edgar's ongoing investigation into the death of Brighton fortune-teller Madame Zabini is put on hold. Max is busy rehearsing for a spectacular Coronation Day variety show - and his television debut - so it's Edgar who is sent to New York, a land of plenty worlds away from still-rationed England. He's on the trail of a small-town mesmerist who may provide the key, but someone silences him first. It's Edgar's colleague, DS Emma Holmes, who finds the clue, buried in the files of the Zabini case, that leads them to an anarchist group intent on providing an explosive finale to Coronation Day. Now it's up to Edgar, Max and Emma to foil the plot, and find out who it is who's been dealing the cards.

The 9th book in her Dr Ruth Galloway series - The Chalk Pit- is due out next month, the library has loads of copies on order and I'm on the waiting list.

And to anyone with Scottish heritage celebrating Burns' night  - Lang may your lum reek.

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