It was Candlemas yesterday and an utterly glorious day. Sadly, a fine Candlemas is supposed to mean there’s still more winter to come. Which probably means it’s as likely to be snow as rain that provides the required liquid for “February fill dyke”.

Today has certainly brought more rain than snow – there was sleet first thing, and then the constant mizzle that isn’t worth getting an umbrella out for, so you end up damp spirited as well as wet.

Still, we do have snowrops – Candlemas Bells – even if we don’t have snow flakes at the moment.


high days and holidays

Good Friday, Easter Monday, Early May Bank Holiday and now the Spring Bank Holiday… we seem to have had a lot of holidays in the UK recently.

Surprisingly, the Early May Bank Holiday actually coincided with May Day this year, and today, too, has its own traditional associations:

The 29th of May is Royal Oak Day:
if you don’t give us a holiday, we’ll all run away !

Sadly, I didn’t pass even a single oak tree on my brief walk to the shop this morning, so have settled for pulling a few dead leaves from the archives.
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When I first posted the photo above last autumn, I simply called it “pink flowers” as I didn’t know what the plant was.

Today, though, I put some in a vase for my mother along with foxgloves and other flowers from her garden and she told me it was red valerian or kiss-me-quick.
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a lack of chocolate

Yesterday’s post looked at a few of the different aspects of Easter and prompted a comment about the goddess Eostre, who may or may not have been an invention of the eight century monk, the Venerable Bede.

This reminded me once more that the ‘new life’ of Easter is not just about the Christian resurrection, but is also linked with fertility.

From there, my mind jumped to the etymological link with oestrus and oestrogen.
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Easter day

I read in the papers recently that Easter has now become almost as great a non-religious celebration as Christmas, with gifts and cards, crackers, candles and floral wreaths.

Personally, I won’t be celebrating in any way, except inasmuch as today being Easter Sunday has influenced the choice of photos for this blog post.
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mothers and daughters

We had New Year at the start of 2017, and Chinese New Year at the end of January; then the new astrological year began on Tuesday with the Spring equinox.

Now today is March 25th – Lady Day – and, apparently, the traditional start of the new legal year.

(Incidentally, it seems that in combination with the lost days caused by the calendar change in 1752, this explains why we have a tax year that starts on April 6th.)
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Well, no, not a bobcat, a tricolour cat.

Perhaps a tortoiseshell, or perhaps a calico; it probably depends on which side of the Atlantic you live. And if you live in Spain, you might call it a gato mariposa – a butterfly.
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