Saturday, 14 July 2012

St Swithin's Day - July 15th

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 St Swithin was an Anglo-Saxon bishop of Winchester and subsequently patron saint of Winchester Cathedral. His historical importance as bishop is overshadowed by his reputation for posthumous miracle-working. According to tradition, the weather on his feast day (15 July) will continue for forty days. The proverb goes as follows:-

St Swithin's Day, if thou dost rain,
For forty days it will remain;
St Swithin's Day, if thou be fair,
For forty days 'twill rain na mair'

So here in the UK we are keeping our fingers crossed that it doesn't rain as we have had not one dry day in the whole of June and July so far. We should have known really because the water companies introduced hose pipe bans and the day after that occurred it started to rain and has done ever since. Reminds me of another rhyme:-

Rain, rain go away,
Come again another day.

It reminded of a drought we experienced in around 1992. The authorities were transporting tankers of water to a local reservoir from a natural lake further north, temperatures were up in the eighties and we, the family, had booked a holiday on the sunny island of Rhodes. We were leaving more hosepipe bans, standpipes on street corners and were heading to the sun baked Greek island for more sun!
Once there and settled the first thing that hit me after the temperature, which was in the nineties was the greenness of the lawns around the hotel. They were watered by hosepipe daily in the most arid of places and yet our lush, green and pleasant land was thirsty. There had to be organisational lessons that could be learned but in 20 years we don't seem to have managed that.

God Bless