Sunday, 24 April 2011


A day of reconciliation. 

A day to accept and acknowledge errors, failings, weaknesses and "to accept the things I cannot change" and "to have the courage to change the things I can" and "to have wisdom to know the difference".
Patience, time, appreciation, tolerance are required to make changes. 

Despite days, hours and parts of time, with difficult moments, there is strength to pick myself up, to try again and again, to be determined not to be beaten and to make the next step - pas a pas - to work at confronting struggles as they occur, one day at a time.

To forgive but not to forget.   
To remember.
To acknowledge what my dearest daughter told me,  
that the past is not the future.
To create change can be rewarding. 
Out of death, growth and life will come.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Frosts in April or May?

Although we have a way to go for the following dates, and as a reply to “DaysontheClaise”  with their posting "Frost Candles at the Ready"  which mentions the installation of special candles in vineyards, ( a lesson for which I thank S & S), I feel bound to write about the Frost Saints' Days, which our French neighbours have often alerted us to in previous years.   

The dates are May 11, 12, 13 when three consecutive days in May mark the feasts of St. Mammertus, St. Pancras, and St. Servatus.  In the wine-growing districts of France, a severe cold spell occasionally arrives,  inflicting serious damage on the grapevines. Although scientists claim that the unseasonable frost is caused by air currents blowing off a late breakup of polar ice in the north, some people in rural France believed that it is the result of having offended one of the three saints, who for this reason are called the "frost saints."

In Germany, too, feelings toward these three saints are mixed, especially among those whose livelihood depends on agriculture. They call them "the three severe lords," and farmers believe that their crops are not safe from frost until May 13 has passed. French farmers have been known to show their displeasure over a cold snap at this time of year by flogging the statues and defacing the pictures of Mammertus, Pancras, and Servatus.

Evidently, the growing season has to get past these dates in May safely, if at all possible, to ensure a chance for the cropsin the potager or fruits in the orchard to survive. 

I have only ever heard of the second saint linked to St Pancras Station in London, UK.  As for the first and third,  I suppose I ought to do some research but do not have immediate time.  Mammertus makes me think of mammary glands and Servatus makes me think that I should serve myself as well as others!  Flippant or not?

Not being NOW religiously-minded, I do know that one year recently we were afflicted by frosts in May (was it last year?) and our potager crops were mostly unsuccessful.   So much so, that this year, and because of other circumstances, we are hardly going to plant anything.  We are fortunate enough to have a marvellous French producer of almost bio veg in our village at incredibly reasonable prices…….we are going to support this French family to receive or seasonal fresh vegetables so as to get on with other facets of our lives and thank the Saints that we won't have to dig, weed and harvest the crops and therby save our own personal energies! 

With thanks to Wikipedia.