Sunday 1 February 2015

Candlemas Eve

Hello, thank you for dropping in.  Today is the first day of February.  Why do people seem to have such a downer on February?  Even the Bishop of Stafford has written that the best thing about February is that it is a short month.  For those of us who have birthdays in February it's inexplicable.  Perhaps it is partly about expectations?  People are looking towards the spring, the shops are selling daffodils and green shoots have appeared in my tubs and perhaps people are disappointed that the weather is very cold and there is lots of precipitation, wintry or otherwise.  And yet it is NOT spring, it is winter and we should expect winter weather.  Tomorrow we shall be exactly halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. If we accept that it is winter and stop hankering for warmer, lighter days we might enjoy February a bit more.
Tomorrow is Candlemas so today, Candlemas Eve, is the last day of Epiphany.  In the church calendar today is therefore the last day of the Christmas season and the proper day on which to take down the Christmas decorations.  I kid you not.  The 17th century poet Robert Herrick wrote a poem called Ceremony Upon Candlemas Eve which begins
Down with the rosemary, and so
Down with the bays and misletoe ;
Down with the holly, ivy, all,
Wherewith ye dress'd the Christmas Hall :
That so the superstitious find
No one least branch there left behind :
For look, how many leaves there be
Neglected, there (maids, trust to me)
So many goblins you shall see.
You can take down your Christmas decorations on 5th January but if you leave them up, the next date for removing them is 1st February.  So today, we have taken down our Christmas tealight holders from the mantelpiece.  I wasn't ready to take them down with the rest of the decs on 5th January, they hadn't even been up for a fortnight, and the Best Beloved pointed out that they are wintry rather than Christmassy so he agreed that they could stay out, but I am ready for them to be packed away now.  The Christmas season is over and it is time to look forward.
Ah yes, the aforementioned birthday.  It is indeed this month, and I have decided to celebrate it all month.  (My friend Lilla celebrated her Significant Birthday last year and had "a birthday month".)  I shall be marking it in a number of ways and one of them is by looking for the small things which make me happy.  I am planning to show them to you here and hoping that I can find something every day, a daily post of happiness.  I am feeling tentative about it so I am not promising, it seems like a really big task, but I am going to try so I hope you will be dropping in.

I am beginning today.  My lovely friend Myra made a Shropshire fidget pie after reading my post about my own effort and look -

she decorated it with a Mrs Tiggy-Winkle in my honour!!  That really made me smile.  I wonder what will make me smile tomorrow?  Take care, keep warm and look for the positives.
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x 



1 comment:

  1. I love the potential of February.... sometimes it can be cold, stormy and wintery but we've also had some beautifully mild weekends in the past. (Here's hoping that this year it's leaning towards the warm!). Enjoy your birthday month. Jx