Pinch punch, people, it’s the start of another month, which means it’s time for another #FolkloreFOMO post. I really thought I was getting over my fear of missing out on folklore, given how much missing out on folklore I’ve been doing due to the lockdown. But then Sunday happened. I’d played the day of rest card as I was up to my oxters in Other Life, only to find a brilliant piece of folklore attached to the Eve of St Peter and St Paul, that I could have done with almost no fuss at all. I think I probably just need to lie on my back and stare at some clouds some more.
Anyhow, onwards, July! After last month’s zeniths, July seems a little downhill. Except for next Tuesday. That’s when The Everyday Lore Project celebrates Half Way Through! Luckily this celebration also corresponds with World Chocolate Day, so all suggestions on how best I can combine the two will be much appreciated. July also seems to be a lot about the weather. It’s the start of the Dog Days. And while we dodged a bullet with St Medard and his dripping hood, St Swithin pops up on the 15th with his 40 days of downpour, as does St Martin o’Ballymus on the 4th, but both of these predictions are a mere puddle compared to what happens if it rains on the 10th. I should probably make a barometer this month. Or an umbrella.
Now, I know how I’ve found the first six months of this project (I’ve invented new expletives for starters), but what about you? Is there any folklore you think I haven’t covered enough? Or too much? What do you want me to get up to in this last half? And more specifically, can you recommend anything I can get up to in July? What should I be foraging for? What full moon ceremony should I be doing (it’s a herb and mead moon)? What traditional, seasonal dishes should I be cooking? I’m quite excited by the prospect of making a Heg Peg Dump on the 20th for St Margaret’s Day. Although the recipe does call for suet again. And as this is cherry month, I can easily see myself with some cherry pie in front of an episode of Twin Peaks. Any ideas for this month would be very gratefully received, as having now played my second emergency card, I only have one left.
An eagle eyed reader spotted that I hadn’t managed my Broadwater Skeleton Stakeout touted in last month’s #FolkloreFOMO post. All I’m going to say is, it was a pre-dawn thing, I was overconfident, I turned off my alarm. So here’s some of my, ahem, ambitions for this month:
4 July – Online watermelon seed spitting competition
21 July – Celebrate the anniversary of the opening of the Tate by trying out the Art of Slow Looking with one of my favourite paintings there, Richard Dadd’s The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke
25 July – Make a grotto
Let me know your thoughts in the comments. You can also follow and tweet me @lilithepunk and through the hashtags #EverydayLore and #FolkloreFOMO on Twitter, and isn’t it time you subscribed? Just click here, or scroll down and pop your email in the box (you don’t have to be deluged daily, there’s a weekly option too). And if you like what you read, please share this post and others to get the word out about the project.
Here’s hoping that the heavens keep closed, despite all the saintly provocation going on… Keep safe and have a great July!
Cooper, Q. and Sullivan, P. (1994) Maypoles, Martyrs & Mayhem: 366 Days of British Myths, Customs & Eccentricities, London, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Day, B. (1998) A Chronicle of Folk Customs, London, Hamlyn
Jones, J. and Deer, B. (1987) Cattern Cakes and Lace, London, Dorling Kindersley Limited
Leendertz, L. (2019) The Almanac, A Seasonal Guide to 2020, London, Mitchell Beazley
Roud, S. (2006) The English Year: A Month-By-Month Guide To The Nation’s Customs and Festivals, From May Day to Mischief Night, London, Penguin Books