I’m doing a shiny new thing, and it’s called The Everyday Lore Project.
I say shiny and new, but actually, this project has been percolating for a long time. It started about twelve years ago in a kitchen, in the depths of Surrey, over a tray of roasted chickpeas and a copy of The Stones Are Hatching, as all good beginnings are wont to do.
Jenifer Toksvig, a very old partner in theatrical crimes and I were discussing whether it could be practical to live our lives by the rules of folklore (I rather like rules. I tend to break them a lot, but ultimately find it comforting to have them there in the first place). We got all excited (mainly about riding Obby Osses), but then once the chickpeas were finished, life took over (as it always tends to) and this fantastical idea was consigned to sit beside others in the Great What If? Project Pile.
But last Twelfth Night we met for lunch on the South Bank and I brought it up again. Food finished, we wandered along the Thames until we got to a traditional mummer’s play, and we talked some more. As the Green Man fluttered his foliage, we started to plan, and by the time the King and Queen had found their beans, we’d sketched out how the project might work.
Since then, with the help of Jenifer and others, I’ve been planning some more, and next St Distaff’s Day (7 January) 2020, I’ll be starting what all of this has become: The Everyday Lore Project. During a year long study, I’ll be finding some way of incorporating anything from a smidgen of superstition to a whopping great piece of folklore, tradition or calendar custom into my life, every day.
And you can help me! Even if you’re not into folklore and tradition (which you are, by the way, you just don’t know it yet) you can make suggestions about what I can do, based on what you do. Like for instance recommending your go-to alternative hangover cure for St Distaff’s Day (hot cheese and onion pasty, obviously), or confessing the sweet nothings you whisper to the Goddess of Parking to ensure you find the right spot… Send me a message or leave me a comment or tweet me @lilithepunk with your ideas. You can also follow me on Twitter using the hashtag #EverydayLore.
And what will I be doing with all this accumulated knowledge? I’ll be using my experiences as writing prompts for short stories and poems. Or maybe a novel. Or a memoir. Or something. But one thing is for sure, I will be blogging about what I learn every day (so sign up if you haven’t already done so).
So cross your fingers, tell me to break a leg, throw some salt over your shoulder, wish that The Force is with me, always, and proclaim may the odds be ever in my favour, because anything could happen in those next twelve months…
Welcome to The Everyday Lore Project.