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.