The Last Week in January

25th January. St Paul’s Day.

If St. Paul’s Day be fair and clear
We shall have a happy year.
But if it be both wind and rain
Dear will be all kinds of grain.
If the winds do blow aloft
Then wars will trouble this reign aloft.

25th January. Burns Night.

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face
Great Chieftain o’ the Pudding-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place
Painch, tripe, or thairm;
Weel are ye wody of a grace
As lang’s my arm.

Robert Burns -  To A Haggis. 1786.

Recipe for Lambs Wool

A drink for special occasions, particularly winter celebrations, was often offered by wassailers. Four pints of ale, two pints of white wine, grated nutmeg, two teaspoons of cinnamon, a tablespoon of demerrera sugar, and roasted apples.

Heat together the wine and ale, and when warm stir in the sugar and spices. Serve in a deep bowl with the roasted apples floating on the top, their bursting skins revealing the fluffy pulp inside, hence the name lambs wool.

30th January. On this day in 1649 Charles I was beheaded. It was said that he wore two hair shirts, so as not to shiver in the cold and appear nervous to the large crowd gathered.

31st January. On this day in 1606 Guido Fawkes was executed.

That’s it for January, except to say:

March in Janiveer
Janiveer in March I fear.

A January spring is worth nothing.

16th and 19th – 22nd January

16th January. The old Twelfth Night, and also the feast day of no less than three saints:

  • St Sigebert. A saint and King of East Anglia. He was forced into exile in Gaul, but following his step-brother’s assassination in 627 he returned to become King jointly with another half-brother. Later he rejected his kingdom and entered monastic life, but was forced to return when East Anglia was invaded by the Mercians, being slain in battle in 634.
  • St. Fursey. An Irish mystic monk who reputedly experienced visions of the afterlife.
  • St Henry. An English-born bishop of Uppsala, Sweden in the mid-twelfth century. After the Swedish King had invaded Finland Henry converted the Finns to Christianity and remained in Finland to supervise church building. After his murder in 1156 a number of miracles are reported to have taken place. His actual existence is disputed by some uncharitable folk.

Apple wassailing traditionally takes place around this time. It comes from the Saxon “was hael” meaning “to your health”. It was the time of blessing orchards to ensure a good crop in the coming season. At dusk songs were sung, cider poured over the tree’s roots, toast was hung in the branches for the robins to pick, to frighten off evil spirits, guns would be fired, horns blown and pots and pans banged, and bonfires lit.

Old apple tree we wassail thee
And hope that thou wilt bear,
For Lord doth know where we shall be
Till apples come next year.

To bloom well and to bear well,
So merry let us be.
Let every man take off his hat
And shout out to the apple tree.

19th January, St Wulfstan’s Day. c. 1008-1095. He served as Bishop of Worcester under the last two Saxon Kings and the first two Norman Kings. He started the building of the new Worcester Cathedral in 1084.

20th January. St Agnes Eve.

As, supperless to bed they must retire,
And couch supine their beauties, lilywhite
Nor look behind, nor sideways, but require
Of heaven with upwards eyes with all that they desire.

Keats 1819

22nd January. St Vincent’s Day.

Remember on St Vincent’s Day
If the sun his beams display
Be sure to mark the transient beam
Which through the casement sheds a gleam.
For ’tis a token bright and clear
Of prosperous weather all the year.

15th – 17th January

15th January is an important historical day. On this date in 1535 King Henry VIII became Supreme Head of the Church of England under the Act of Supremacy. Twenty four years later, in 1559, his daughter, Queen Elizabeth I, was crowned in Westminster Abbey on this day.

17th January marks the old twelfth night, under the old calendar. In former times this day and night were particularly important, and were marked by festivities rivalling those of Christmas Day itself. Exchange of gifts, and the performance of plays and holding of pageants took place throughout the land. Exotic cakes were cooked and eaten, and in later times gambling took place among the upper echelons of society.

Why Our Economy Is Bust

Here are a few links to articles explaining some of the things wrong with the banking system afflicting the western world, including Anglo-Celtic nations.

How Real Wealth Is Created – 1

Video Proof – Federal Reserve Are Crooks

Digging Ourselves Into More Debt

The Criminal Rothschilds

A Short Diversion

Economic Globalisation, the Economy Downturn and the Real Truth

The £1.3 Trillion Black Hole

Free Trade and the Credit Crunch

The Credit Crunch – More of What You Need To Know

More links will be added from time to time. Please leave any comments below or on the relevant page.

St Hilary’s Day

Yesterday, 13th January, was St Hilary’s Day. St Hilary was a fourth century Bishop of Poitiers in France, and his name comes from the Greek word for “happy” or “cheerful”. The Hilary term in some universities and law courts is named after him.

By tradition, the day is supposed to be the coldest day of the year for northern European countries, and some say the wettest as well, though others reserve that honour to today, 14th January.