Happy New Year! And welcome to the very last #FolkloreFOMO post of The Everyday Lore Project. It seemed a bit daft to write a post about my upcoming folklore, given after today there’s only a handful of days left. Besides, I’ve already written one for January, this time last year. Instead I thought I’d raid my now bulging back catalogue and revisit some of my favourite moments. But don’t worry, I’ll be brief. After all, it is New Year’s Day.
If you’re feeling a little delicate this morning, you might want to look at the very first post of the project, St Distaff’s Day, as it deals with hangover cures.
25 January – St Dwynwen’s Day and I wrote a love englyn to my cat. I have no poetic pretensions (or feline intentions), but this was most fun.
More writing, this time of the automatic variety. Which left me feeling rather surprised.
6 & 7 February saw me making a philosopher’s stone. Very unsuccessfully.
And here’s a diary extract from 9 February:
Planted potatoes in the middle of Storm Ciara in my kitchen with vertigo not wearing any underwear.
Never let anyone tell you that folklore isn’t glamourous.
My last big beano before lockdown was our Doctor Who Day on 7 March. It was perfect. And I miss all that.
Bribing the gods of the sea with gruel and whisky on Gruel Thursday, 9 April. One of my absolute favourite moments.
Making a miniature maypole for the faeries to dance round on Beltane. Then making and burning a wicker man the next day for May Day.
Finding out that nettles are absolutely delicious and very easy to cook with.
Performing an Ancient Roman exorcism for Lemuralia by tossing black beans about. I was finding them in crevices for months after.
Finally becoming a proper folklorist when I rubbed turnips onto my feet to soften my heels on Rogation Sunday, 17 May.
Cornish dancing in my kitchen for Mazey Day was unexpectedly delightful.
Going international for a spot of watermelon pip spitting for the fourth of July. I demand a rematch.
The making of, and giggling at, balloon animals.
Trying to establish if a butternut squash and a watermelon would turn into a vampire under a full moon. This was the folklore content I was here for.
Although a perfectly horrible experience, recreating the Newent Onion Fayre onion eating competition proved how determined I was not to miss out on the folklore.
Bunking off work to wander through the woods looking for
The Devil nuts, on the Devil’s Nutting Day.
Bolving. Bolving is awesome fun. Bolve like no-one can hear you.
Digging up my miniscule mangelwurzel. And putting googly eyes on it.
A weekend of mincemeat, firstly with a pie-off and then with an early morning Stir Up.
The smells of orange and clove when studding my pomander. Not a euphemism.
Christmas Day. I love it when a plan comes together.
So there you are then. And there’s still five more days to go. But should anyone ever suggest that you research, perform and write about a topic for 366 days straight without a break, run. Run as fast, and as far as you can. Then run some more.
Then find a horse.
Happy New Year!