28 November 2020 – BBC

So the radio thing happened. I don’t really remember much about it, and I certainly haven’t listened back to it. But these are the things I do recall:

  • On the way to the station, it was still dark enough for me to wish upon a star, despite it being morning and the rhyme not working
  • The train was delayed so I had to leg it from St Pancras to Broadcasting House
  • It gets blurry after that
  • My palms were very clammy
  • Nikki Bedi and Richard Coles were adorable, had it not been for social distancing, I might have hugged and cried on both of them
  • Mica Paris was a goddess
  • I wanted Nikki’s boots
  • Richard talked about a wandering demon doll off mic
  • There was a cooking station in the corner of the studio
  • My amazing sister emailed the show to tell me she was listening, and Alex, one of the production staff brought the email in to me while we were recording, and the print out sat on my lap like a talisman
  • I didn’t faint, so folklore for the win for the powdered St John’s wort!
  • I hadn’t meant to reveal the larch cone was in my bra, but Alex, Mica and I had been talking about how handy bras are as item receptacles just before going into the studio and it just kind of popped out
  • I loved listening to the other guests and wished Karenjeet Kaur Bains and John ‘Chickie’ Donohue had been in the studio too
  • Everyone working on the show was lovely!
  • It went really quickly and fantastically slowly all at the same time
  • After we finished, I gifted acorns and larch cones I’d foraged on Devil’s Nutting Day to everyone for good luck and protection
  • And then I regretted having said I’d make that sodding worm

A side quest, a very slow train home, and some lunch later, I realised that what I wanted most in the world was to go to sleep, having not slept last night and risen at 5.30am. But for reasons I cannot fathom, I’d said on live radio that rather than write about all the folkloric aspects of doing the radio show, I was going to celebrate the 34th birthday of the film Labyrinth as it was released on this day in 1986, by crocheting the worm that my best friend, GloBarb and I obsessed about when we were teenagers (that, and David Bowie’s downstairs wardrobe. Obviously).

But as I hauled out my bag of wool and my hooks, saw all the balls were tangled, and I only had the wrong shade of worm belly colour, my energy started sapping, ruby earrings or no ruby earrings. However, I girded my loins, and got on with it. But after 10 magic rings and two false starts, I’m calling the worm a work in progress. My eyes hurt, my neighbour is playing his drums, loudly, and my bed is calling. 

I haven’t done badly though, I carried a larch cone and my acorn, I wore my thimble from the station to the BBC, I wore my locket filled with St John’s wort, and a pair of lucky pants, I wished upon a star, I mainlined Rescue Remedy pastilles (thank you to everyone who recommended them), plus the ruby earrings. And I didn’t swear.

At least, I don’t think I did…?


The Everyday Lore Project has been running since St Distaff’s Day on 7 January 2020 and will run until 12th Night on 6 January 2021. It’s very rare for me not to finish a task, but I’m calling this day an exception. I didn’t stop shaking for about an hour afterwards. Also, hello to all the lovely people who subscribed on the back of today’s outing! The best way of dipping in and out of the project is to pick dates that are significant to you and search for them. Plus I’m always up for recommendations of things to try, so let me know if you have any family traditions or rituals you think I should experience.

Resources

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000pvk7

https://www.gemsociety.org/article/history-legend-rubies-gems-yore/

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8 Comments

  1. Gary Carey
    28 November 2020
    Reply

    Considering what you wrote about superstition in folklore on my postcard, you seemed to be armed with quite an armoury. Larch cone, acorn, thimble, lucky knickers and St. John’s Wort in a locket. You were clearly leaving nothing to chance

    • 29 November 2020
      Reply

      The word and the act are two different things! And yes, I needed all the help I could get!!

  2. Kate Small
    29 November 2020
    Reply

    I’m one of those people who signed up following Saturday Live yesterday. Really love this blog and the way it works with all the links, thanks Liza Kate S

    • 29 November 2020
      Reply

      That’s so kind of you, Kate! Thank you!

  3. 29 November 2020
    Reply

    You were brilliant, LIza! They should invite you back every week.
    Can I have your autograph?

    • 29 November 2020
      Reply

      Hey Tim, thank you! And just because it’s you…

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