In 1906 Edith Holden started a Diary, now known as ‘The Country Diary Of An Edwardian Lady’. In it, she observed Natures cycle through the months of the year, writing simply about the weather, the birds, the flowers and the natural world around her. All the pages are beautifully ornamented with her original artwork and favourite poems. In this Blog, I’m going to try to emulate her Diary in a modern way. For a start, this is a blog on a computer, not pen and ink lovingly written on paper! However, I hope that the end result will have some similarities, in that I want to capture day by day, month by month the steady rhythm of Nature through the year. For although our 21st century lives are hectic, chaotic, noisy and deafened by electronics, the beat of the natural world, which is the backdrop to all our lives whether we notice it or not, remains ever the same. So take a sedate, gentle and steady-paced journey with me through the next year, observing the natural world. Our way of life may have changed almost beyond recognition since 1906, but nature is doing what it always has done, the cycle of nature remains constant and reassuringly predictable. In that respect, nothing has changed. ‘ No Winter lasts forever; no Spring skips its turn.’ (Hal Borland)
Wednesday, 1 January 2014
January gets its name from the Roman God 'Janus'. The earliest Roman calendars had only ten months, with no January or February, and the New Year started on March 1st. In 153 BC the Roman senate changed the calendar and added January and February, naming the first month after the ' the spirit of the opening'- Janus, a two headed god who looked both backwards and forwards. The Anglo-Saxons called this time 'Wolf- Monath' as it was common for wolves to come in to the villages searching for food.
Traditional days in January.
1st- New Years Day.
6th- Epiphany or twelfth day.
7th- St Distaffs day.
25th- Burns night.
Folk-sayings about January.
'A wet January, a wet Spring'.
'Fog in January brings a wet Spring'.
'The blackest month of all the year,
is the month of Janiveer.
High waving heather, 'neath stormy blasts bending- Emily Bronte.
High waving heather, 'neath stormy blasts bending,
Midnight and moonlight and bright shining stars;
Darkness and glory rejoicingly blending,
Earth rising to heaven and heaven descending,
Man's spirit away from its drear dongeon sending,
Bursting the fetters and breaking the bars.
All down the mountain sides, wild forest lending
One mighty voice to the life-giving wind;
Rivers their banks in the jubilee rending,
Fast through the valleys a reckless course wending,
Wider and deeper their waters extending,
Leaving a desolate desert behind.
Shining and lowering and swelling and dying,
Changing for ever from midnight to noon;
Roaring like thunder, like soft music sighing,
Shadows on shadows advancing and flying,
Lightning-bright flashes the deep gloom defying,
Coming as swiftly and fading as soon.