neighbours

It’s Sunday; it’s the first of December. Which means that here in the UK, some people are celebrating the first day of Advent.

But the first day of December is cause for celebration for other reasons and in other places. In Chad, it’s Freedom and Democracy day. In Romania, it’s Great Union Day, celebrating the Union of Transylvania with Romania. It’s Myanmar’s National Day, and it’s Military Abolition Day in Costa Rica.
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thistles & things

Today is St Andrew’s Day, the national day of Scotland.

So, since Andrew the Apostle, also known as the First-called, includes among his patronage, fishermen and rope-makers, it seems reasonable to mark the day here on the blog by posting a selection of images of ropes, fish, fishing boats, and fishermen.

As well, of course, as thistles, which are the national flower of Scotland.
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trumpets of prophecy

Last weekend, the UK had the hottest August Bank Holiday on record. Presumably that means it was also the hottest Bank Holiday of all on record, as I can’t imagine it ever getting hotter for the other dates – Christmas, New Year, Easter, or either of the holiday Mondays in May.

But even if it was lovely and sunny, it did seem a little late in the year for perfect rose buds like the one at the start of the post.
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too early

I realised this morning that it’s been a long time since I went for a walk. That’s not to say I have been shut up indoors. Nor that I have been entirely sedentary: I may not complete my 10,000 steps each day, but I actually do walk quite a lot.

But taking the short-cut across the park in a rush to catch a train, racing off to the bus station, or scurrying round the supermarket in a lunch break don’t really count as going for a walk. Nor does tottering in high heels from the bus stop up the mile-long drive of a country hotel to attend a business meeting, however rural the setting and however much wildlife one sees en route. (I’ve noticed that many such hotels are on bus routes, though I’m pretty sure the guests don’t use pubic transport; I assume it’s so the staff can get there without them needing to be able to afford to run a car.)
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hazy memories

According to Google, today is the 971st anniversary of the birth of Omar Khayyam, Persian mathematician, astronomer, and poet. It seems slightly strange to me that we would know the exact date of birth of someone born nearly 1000 years ago, and I wonder how eastern and western calendar differences and the change from the Julian to Gregorian calendar affect things.

But even if there were good reason to doubt the accuracy of the date, I have no objections to celebrating Khayaam; I may not be able to read the original, but I’ve loved Fitzgerald’s translation of the Rubaiyat since I first came across it.
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à propos April

In the United States and in Canada, April is National Poetry Month.

Although we don’t actually celebrate the month in the UK, focusing instead on a single Thursday in October for National Poetry Day, the concept of “national” celebrations has become very blurred in recent years. With modern tech and global comms, it’s sometimes hard to ignore the sheer number and volume of voices taking it for granted that what’s true in their region must be true everywhere.

So there is a little bit of my mind that seems to think I should be writing or posting poetry throughout the month.
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the same but different

March has been an odd month and although I did just remember to mention St David’s Day and the start of spring here on the blog, I was a bit late with both of them.

Today, of course, is Mother’s Day, and to tell the truth, I’ve been late with that, too. Sadly, even the fact that the clocks changed last night and we lost an hour hardly provides me with an excuse for failing to get a card posted to arrive in time at my mother’s house.
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