Sunday, 15 July 2012

UNdane SUNDAY:- St Swithin's Day AKA Is It Ever Going to Stop Raining?

...Actually, I hope it doesn't stop raining. I like the rain. Although I understand how annoying it is for anyone who has just hung their washing out/lives in a valley.

So, St Swithin was a Saxon Bishop of Winchester (a city I love a LOT - I went to University there. Also, it's beautiful. And situated in a valley.) who wanted to be buried outside so people could tread on him and things. And so it would rain on him. His wishes were followed for 9 years and then he was moved indoors, whereupon it rained heavily in protest. And so the legend goes that if it rains on St Swithin's Day, it will subsequently rain for 40 days.

Also, apparently, his name is considered to mean 'pig man'. Could it get more romantic than this?

And so, I could quote the old St Swithin's proverb, which goes on about what happens when it dost rain etc, but instead, here is a poem I saw on the London Underground recently:-

The Thunderbolt's Training Manual

Choose a soporific afternoonAs sunbathers Enjoy sound. A long peal doze, saturday papers abandoned. a blast of cathedral bells. Crash. Smell suntan oil among rhododendrons. Enjoy light flashed on dark. Drone of bee and walkman. Newspapers speared on the rose bush. Circle a breeze about marshy thighs. Relish the sunbathers’ scatter. Cloud the sky. Start far off. Slowly. Listen to dogs bark and bark and bark. Observe how sheep know better Send a drop of rain. set their rumps to the wind. Send a canyon of rain.

- Danielle Hope (2003)