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Magazine September 2020

September 2020.

There is an article about this month. Specific dates are mentioned accompanied by a ‘poem’ highlighting their significance, including one from the church magazine 100 years ago. This is followed by a quiz about the month; all you have to do is select the right year when the events occurred. It is not as easy as you might think! The answers are at the end. Lancelot Andrewes is remembered during this month and there is an article about him and a prayer which seems very apt at this time. A chance encounter with an article about deviation has lead to a description of one of them; have a go. Charlie has had a thought about sorrow and joy and you might share his conclusion.  Finally there is an article inspired from a time relaxing in the sun lounge during the very hot and humid weather.

Any article or info for the next magazine by the 24th please.

                        Keep well and safe. Best wishes Eva,

The month of September.

September was the seventh month in the oldest Roman calender, hence its name from ‘septem’ meaning seven. Two months were added so it became the ninth mouth. It originally had 29 days but one was added to honour Julius Caesar. The Julian calendar was 365.25 days long. This was too long and the dates did not fit with the seasons. In 1752 Britain decided to correct this and abandoned the Julian calendar and changed to the Gregorian. This meant that the 3rd of September became the 14th and so nothing happened in Britain between the 3rd and the 15th in 1752.

There seems to be many names used by the Anglo-Saxons reflecting events that occurred during the month. It is ‘Haefest Monath’, the harvest month, ‘Gerst Monath’, the barley month, and ‘Halgmonao’, the holy month.

It is the start of the ecclesiastical year in Eastern Orthodoxy.

The birth stone is the sapphire, which aids inspiration,  teaches joy and peace and helps to protect from mental strain. There are two flowers associated with September, morning glory and the aster. These are associated with love, affection, and are linked to patience and elegance.

The Zodiac signs associated with September are Virgo and Libra which is from the 22nd. Those born under Virgo are loyal, and methodical but can be shy. Those born under Libra are sociable.

No specific bird is linked to September so after reading these lines from Jean Ingelow’s  poem;

             ‘The goldfinch on a thistle-head

            Stood scattering seedlets as she fed,

            The wren’s their pretty gossip spread,

            Or joined a random roundelay.’

            I have selected the wren as my bird of the month.  This very small brown bird is more often heard and not seen as it has a very melodious song. It is shrill, very rhythmic and tuneful and is surprisingly loud for such a small bird. Wrens are russet-brown with pretty barbed plumage, a pale stripe by their eyes and a short upturned tail. They flit from bush to bush or flow low and fly quickly with rapidly beating wings across an open patch. Their courtship is fascinating; the cock sings excitedly before the hen, his body quivering feathers raised and half open wings. Some have been known to fall from their perch but quickly resume their courtship. The male may build a number of domed nests and the hen will line the chosen one with feathers. She lays a large clutch of eggs, 6 – 8, and incubates them but the male helping with their feeding. They are solitary birds and feed largely on insects.

                                     Folk lore.

              “Fair on September first, fair for the month.”

             “September blows soft – Till the fruits in the loft.”

              “September dries up wells, or breaks down bridges.”

             “St. Matthew brings cold dew.”

              “Plant trees at Michaelmas and command them to grow

               Set them at Candlemas  and entreat them to grow.”

              “If St. Michael brings many acorns,

              Christmas will cover fields with snow.”

            “Eat a goose on Michaelmass Day,

             Want not for money all the year.”

Many customs were celebrated in the past during this month but sadly few remain today. In medieval times the 24th was the beginning of harvest. The end of the harvesting was celebrated with a ceremony called ‘Calling the Mare’. The last sheaf was made into the rough shape of a mare. The ‘mare’ would be thrown over the hedge/fence of any farmer still harvesting while shouting ‘Mare, Mare’ and then the culprit would run away. This farmer would then work quickly to beat other farmers and throw the ‘mare’ into their field.

There was also a custom of making corn dollies with the last sheaf of corn harvested. This was regarded as preserving the corn goddess’s spirit and keeping it safe until the following spring. The spirit would therefore live until the next years crop was sown.

There are many events associated with Michaelmas day on the 29th. It used to be a popular day for the winter night curfew to begin. It showed that winter was on its way. Curfew may come from ‘couvre feu’ a French word meaning ‘cover fire’. The curfew bell was usually rung at 9pm, except on a Sunday, until Shrove Tuesday. This signalled the time when household fires  should be doused.

Michaelmas Day is sometimes called Goose Day. Goose fairs were often held and some still are although no geese are sold. (The Goose Fair in Nottingham is now held round about  October 3rd )

A goose was eaten on this day as it was regarded to have the best flavour then. This may have been linked to Elizabeth I who was eating goose when she heard the news that the Spanish Armada had been defeated. It could also be linked to the fact that rents and bills were due and tenants wanting a delay payment would give a goose to the landlord to help their cause.

The 30th was the day on which farm labourers were hired. They went with their tools to a local town hoping to be hired. A fair, the Mop fair, often followed. Many places have a fair now about this time.There are many events associated with Michaelmas day on the 29th. It used to be a popular day for the winter night curfew to begin. It showed that winter was on its way. Curfew may come from ‘couvre feu’ a French word meaning ‘cover fire’. The curfew bell was usually rung at 9pm, except on a Sunday, until Shrove Tuesday. This signalled the time when household fires  should be doused.

Michaelmas Day is sometimes called Goose Day. Goose fairs were often held and some still are although no geese are sold. (The Goose Fair in Nottingham is now held round about  October 3rd )

A goose was eaten on this day as it was regarded to have the best flavour then. This may have been linked to Elizabeth I who was eating goose when she heard the news that the Spanish Armada had been defeated. It could also be linked to the fact that rents and bills were due and tenants wanting a delay payment would give a goose to the landlord to help their cause.

The 30th was the day on which farm labourers were hired. They went with their tools to a local town hoping to be hired. A fair, the Mop fair, often followed. Many places have a fair now about this time.There are many events associated with Michaelmas day on the 29th. It used to be a popular day for the winter night curfew to begin. It showed that winter was on its way. Curfew may come from ‘couvre feu’ a French word meaning ‘cover fire’. The curfew bell was usually rung at 9pm, except on a Sunday, until Shrove Tuesday. This signalled the time when household fires should be doused.

Michaelmas Day is sometimes called Goose Day. Goose fairs were often held and some still are although no geese are sold. (The Goose Fair in Nottingham is now held round about October 3rd )

A goose was eaten on this day as it was regarded to have the best flavour then. This may have been linked to Elizabeth I who was eating goose when she heard the news that the Spanish Armada had been defeated. It could also be linked to the fact that rents and bills were due and tenants wanting a delay payment would give a goose to the landlord to help their cause.

The 30th was the day on which farm labourers were hired. They went with their tools to a local town hoping to be hired. A fair, the Mop fair, often followed. Many places have a fair now about this time.

 Dates to remember.

September 8th. The Birthday of the Virgin Mary.

          “Thy nativity, O Mother of God,

            Has brought joy to all the world:

            For from thee has shone forth

            The Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God.”

   (Extract from hymns for the feast in the  Orthodox

            The Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God. Church.)

September 14th. Exaltation of the Cross.

            “The cross is the guardian of the whole earth,

            The cross is the beauty of the Church.

            The cross is the strength of kings,

            The cross is the support of the faithful.

            The cross in the angels’ glory, the demons’ destruction.”

    (Extract from hymns for the feast in the Orthodox Church.)

September 21st. St. Matthew the Apostle.

September 29th. St. Michael and All Angels.

            Angels of God! Sons of a King Victorious,

            Hosts in His battles, Guardians of His World,

            By day and night ye hold His banner glorious

                        Uplifted and unfurled.

            Fighting beside the strong man in temptation,

            Guarding the little child upon his way,

            Strengthening the suffering soul in tribulation,

                        Helping dumb lips to pray.

            Before God’s throne in adoration bending,

            Upon God’s earth offering your service meet,

            On Golden Stairs ascending and descending

                        With swift obedient feet.

            Lifting, unheard, your songs of exultation,

            Passing, unknown, admidst earth’s weary ways,

           Joining, unseen, our hymns of adoration,

                        Our Eucharistic praise.

            Heaven is more beautiful, and earth more holy

            And life more fair because God’s Angels bright

            Stoop from their worship high to service lowly,

                        And guard us day and night.

      (Poem from the Church magazine a 100 years ago.)

A quiz about September.

All these events happened in September. All you have to do is select the right year from the list given.

1. The threepenny piece and the penny ceased to be legal tender on the       1st in _____.

2 The first free library opened on the 6th in ____.

3. Queen Elizabeth I was born on the 7th in ____.

4. Bear Batting was banned by parliament on the 9th in ____.

5. Soap rationing introduced in 1942 ended on the 9th in ____.

6. William I died on the 9th in ____.

7. The first parking ticket was issued in London on the 19th ___.

8. The George Cross was instituted on the 23rd in ___.

9. Fish fingers went on sale on the 26th in ___.

10. The world’s first passenger rail service between Stockton and Darlington was opened on the 27th in ___.

11. Nelson was born on the 29th in ____.

12. Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin on the 30th in ___.

13. ITV started on the 22nd in ___.

14. The Great Fire of London  started on the 2nd in ___.

15. The National Anthem was first sung on the 28th in ___.

    

Select from; 1087, 1535, 1666, 1745, 1758, 1825, 1835, 1852,

1928, 1940, 1950, 1955, 1955, 1960, 1971.

 Lancelot Andrewes (1555 – 1625)

 He is remembered on the 25th. He was admired during his life time for his learning, holiness and preaching. Today he is remembered for his spirituality, ‘Preces Privatae’ (a collection of personal prayers) and his poems. He was born near the Tower of London, a member of an ancient Suffolk family and was well educated and went to Prembroke college, Cambridge. He was ordained in 1590 and became vicar of St. Giles in the City of London. He was a strong supporter of the reformed Church of England but disproved of Calvinism and he felt it was not compatible with civil government. He became chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury and in 1590 Queen Elizabeth I’s chaplain. In 1601 he became Dean of Westminster after declining the position of bishop of Ely and Salisbury. Between 1605 and 1609 he was bishop of Chichester, then bishop of Ely from 1609 and 1619 before becoming bishop of Winchester. He was buried beside the High Altar of St. Saviour’s, now Southwark cathedral, at that time in the Winchester Diocese. He is perhaps best known as the overseer of the translation of the King James version of the Bible.

            Extracts from one of his  prayers:-

            “We bring before You, O God: the cries of the weary, the pains of the distressed, the tears of the tragedies of life, the anxious hours of the insecure, the restlessness of the refugees, the hunger of the oppressed. Dear God, be near to each. – – –

Be with us to strengthen us; without us, to keep us; above us to inspire us; beneath us to uphold us; before us to direct us; behind us to propel us; around us to sustain us.

 Be all to all in present need.”

                                                Sorrow and Joy.   

Why does one have to be sad before you find joy? This has been puzzling me, now I think I have the answer. I don’t know why I was sad but things suddenly changed. I was just anxious. Then a new adventure lifted my spirits.

I was abandoned – not really- I was still in my forever home. Why?  Welcome visitors, old friends, then food and my late night walk. Then I was alone – I was responsible for looking after my home, all by myself. So I just went to sleep.

 Early next morning the door opened the and my friends were there. We went for a walk and I was fed. Then I was put in their car- I have been in there before and laid on the back seat. Two other people came to share my long seat but I did not mind as I could sit up and see where I was going. We ended up at the church so I knew it was time for a nap. Then we went along a road I did not know and went to a house. It had stairs so up I went to explore what I thought was my new home. Then I found the coolest place and settled down to sleep. Later we were off in the car again and I saw the sea but not where I had been before. I was anxious to explore and after walking on ‘proper’ ground we went over the sea. I had to be careful as there were gaps and I could look down and see water. Just step on the wood, I thought, avoid the gap and enjoy myself. I realised I could look over the bars. What a view! I was fascinated and decided people watching could be fun. Then after this different sort of walk we went back to my new home. This is going to suit me just fine. Then I had food in my own bowls and it was time to relax and sleep. I was surprised when all my luggage was put in the car and we went back to my forever home. Then I had my usual night walk and we went down the path to my own front door. I had a lovely welcome – I had not been abandoned but let to my friends. I had my usual chew and curled up on the settee and was soon asleep.

 What a wonderful day – SORROW HAD TURNED TO JOY.     Charlie.

                                                              Divination.

There has been interest throughout history to seek what the future holds. People seek it in various ways. Some of you might consult the ‘Stars’ published in papers and magazines. A method discovered by chance must prove an interesting method for you to try. In divination by numbers, or numerology, the diviner seeks to analyse the character of the person by assigning certain numerical values to the letters in their name. There are several ways of doing this but the usual modern method is as follows.

   1         2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9
   A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I
   J         K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R
   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z 

The numbers of the person’s name is obtained by writing the first name and the surname and then writing the right number underneath.  e.g.  J O H N   S M I T H.

                            1 6  8  5    I  4  9  2  8.

The numbers are added until a single figure remains;

       1+ 6 + 8 + 5 + 1 + 4 + 9 + 2 + 8  = 44;  4 + 4 = 8.

      This number show’s the character of the person.

 Similarly the digits of the date of birth can be added together to give their ‘birth number’ which shows the person’s destiny.

                        e.g. 26th June 1932.

      2 + 6  + 6 + 1 + 9 + 3  + 2 = 29;  2 + 9 = 11; 1 + 1 = 2.

This example shows that the addition of the 2 digits continues until the answer is less than 9.

Attributes and defects are assigned to each number.  e.g.

   1. Single minded; independent; unsympathetic; active.

   2. Feminine; gentle; modest; sympathetic.

   3. Brilliant; artistic; successful; ambitious.

   4. Steady; hard working; unsuccessful.

   5. Nervous; adventurous; versatile; eccentric.

   6. Simple; domestic; loyal.

   7. Scholarly; austere; mysterious.

   8. Powerful; rich; worldly.

   9. Idealistic; romantic; determined.

The fortune teller would then need to select the appropriate characteristic depending on intuition or prior knowledge. Like all predictions it is subject to the fortune teller’s interpretation.

                              “I have no time to stand and stare.”

These past few weeks have changed all that. Heat and humidity have forced one to slow down and relax. A cuppa, a book and a rocking chair was just the job. A time to sit and stare. What did the garden have in store?  A pond, a tree, bushes and flowers with a sad looking lawn.

Suddenly a quick movement – what was that? A field mouse scuttled by, not seeking food but a drink. After a struggle it managed to drink from the pond – a remember to top it up each day. Six bulbous eyes stared from the pond. Do frogs have eyelids? Were they watching the minute ones, ‘hatched’ this year sitting on water lily leaves? A blue damsel fly, it has a special name, suddenly appeared. Other insects caught my eye – gnats by the score waiting to eat me. Bumble bees and bees settled on flowers and lady birds, 7 spots, I believe, searching for greenflies on the roses. Too late the birds had got there first.

Many birds come daily for food and drink. All but the tits, who come at any time and do not mind who else is there, have their special daily routine and do not seem to want to mix. The sparrows come first – quite a large group – who don’t seem to squabble but take their turn. Having had their fill the bird baths they seek. They share, have a drink and then just a short rinse, followed by a dust bath. Surely they get the order wrong? Off they fly leaving the garden in peace. Next the greenfinches, usually just a pair,  attack the feeders and have a drink. They’re more thorough in bathing and shake themselves dry before off they fly. Goldfinches follow but don’t stay long. A peaceful episode then ensues. The peace is shattered – the starlings have arrived! They don’t seem able to share. They quarrel and argue, such a din! The feeders cause a problem; only a couple have mastered the art to perch and eat on a swaying device. They relish the water but can’t take their turn. It’s too crowded to drink and impossible to bathe. Water goes everywhere – the plants get a drink. The parents fly away, the youngsters stay and soon follow suit but seem to go a different way. Last to come, but never together, two robins search for grubs and drink their fill. I know there are two as one has mastered the art of eating the seed from a feeder. Best of all they know how to wash. They get soaked to the skin, have a shake and stay to get dry. Then they’re off. A similar sequence occurs later in the day.

Infrequently other visitors are seen – they might of course have a daily routine. A family of crows, five in all, come for a drink. Only one seems able to feed as it flaps its wings hard and manages to grab one or two seeds. Up to six magpies, all the same size, come for a drink. A couple have found away to get food.  and try to get in the pond.  They pretend to be humming birds flapping like mad and manage quite well for a very short time. Two spotted woodpeckers come each day. One sits on the fence and surveys the scene while the other feasts on the fat balls. They change places and separately have a drink before they fly off together. Pigeons come, I don’t know why, they can’t manage to feed and never seem to drink. Seagulls fly overhead but never land. They just make their presence heard. One unwelcome visitor sometimes appears. It sits on the fence and surveys the scene. Only once have I seen the result of its visit, when feathers, legs and a head is left on the ground. I know a kestrel has to eat but I wish it would learn to pick up the mess!

            Now you know its worth standing, or sitting, to stare!

                        Answers to the quiz.

1) 1971.  2) 1852.  3) 1533.  4) 1835.  5) 1950.  6) 1087.

7) 1960. 8) 1940.  9) 1955.  10) 1825. 11) 1758. 12) 1928.

13) 1955.  14) 1666.  15) 1745.