Thursday, 15 July 2010
The Times is 225 years old today - so happy birthday dear old Times - what would I do without you on my breakfast table each morning; how would I keep my mind active without your 'Mind Games'; how would I keep up to date with the news; how would I find interesting stories for my blog? Today's Times is the 70,000th edition and it is now, officially, the longest running English-speaking newspaper in the world. So well done for that!
On the rain front - well, as usual in this country, once it starts it doesn't know when to stop. We had more heavy downpours yesterday and another this morning during the farmer's walk round the fields with Tess and Tip. The garden is delighted but not sure about the climbing roses, which look decidedly dejected. Still, it will make the hay grass grow and the beck is now full, so neighbouring farmers will be pleased.
But note - today is Saint Swithin's Day - whatever the weather does today it will do for the next 40 days according to legend. This morning I read the origin of the legend: apparently Swithin was Bishop of Winchester in the 9th century. He was a very humble man and insisted that when he was to die he was to be buried outside the cathedral, where his grave was exposed to the weather. A century later his remains were transferred inside the cathedral and it rained and rained for weeks afterwards. And so the curse arose.
Well, we shall see. Every year people say in dolorous voices 'it's St Swithin's Day' but I think we all forget about it a week later.
Walking round the fields yesterday I was pleased to see the next batch of wildflowers in full bloom. Meadow sweet is everywhere, rosebay willow herb is just coming out here and its cousin, great hairy willowherb (not such a nice name, is it?)
is joining it. The purple and yellow vetches are everywhere - I have never seen them so prolific round here. The other wild flower which is in bloom is the meadow cranesbill - I wasn't able to get a photograph of that so I shall post it later when I have been for another walk.
The sun streams through the hall window as I write - maybe it will be sunny for Saint Swithin after all.