Time to Mull it Over January 22nd

Pic by courtesy of YuliaSlept from Pixaby

We have left the season of Wassail, but maybe you have gained a taste for the hot toddy? Here are Northern European variations on a theme. My favourite, is Glugg, unless the Glühwein is taken with a Bratwurst in Köln.

Mulled Wine? German Glühwein or Danish Gløgg

Gløgg

This is from https://ohhappydane.com/.

Mix all the ingredients in a large pot. Heat up the mixture for a few minutes (until the sugar is melted). Be careful not to bring it to a boil!

Next you will have to let the mixture rest for minimum 2 days. Preferably, let it rest for 3–4 days in the refrigerator in the pot under a lid. Finally, after a few days of rest, you sieve the mixture and pour the extract into glass bottles.

Store the extract in the refrigerator. Use within a month.

Now you have the gløgg extract to make a portion of mulled wine.

First mix 1/4 of the extract with a bottle of red wine in a large pot. Also add 1 cup of chopped, blanched almonds and 1 cup of raisins.

Heat up the mixture slowly (do NOT boil!)

To sum it up; simply serve the warm gløgg with almonds and raisins in tall glasses with a spoon – to dig up the almonds and raisins!

Glühwein

From https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/

Ingredients

  • 1 orange, halved and sliced
  • 1 bottle, red wine
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 slices fresh ginger (peeled)
  • 150ml brandy, rum, amaretto, or schnapps

Put the orange slices, wine, sugar, cloves, cinnamon, star anise and ginger in a large pan. Warm gently for 10–15 mins, being careful not to let the mixture boil. Add the alcohol, pour into glasses and serve warm.

Mulled wine recipe

From https://realfood.tesco.com/

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon
  • 2 oranges
  • 8 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cm (1.5in) piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 60g (2½oz) light-brown sugar
  • 60ml ruby port
  • 75cl bottle full-bodied red wine

For the garnish

  • ½ orange, sliced into half moons
  • ½ lemon, sliced into half moons
  • 6-8 cinnamon sticks

Method

  1. Remove the zest from the lemon and one of the oranges with a potato peeler in thin strips, then juice the zested orange. Push the cloves into the remaining orange.
  2. Put the zest, orange juice and clove studded orange in a large pan along with 2 cinnamon sticks, the ginger, sugar, port, red wine and 750ml (1 1/2 pint) water.
  3. Put over a low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves, then turn up the heat slightly and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes before ladling into glasses. Garnish with the orange and lemon slices and a cinnamon stick.

First Published January 2023, republished January 2024

St Agnes Eve January 20th

Porphyro looking at the sleeping Madeline by  Edward Henry Wehnert (1813-68)
Scanned image and text by Simon Cooke https://victorianweb.org/art/illustration/wehnert/8.htm
Porphyro looking at the sleeping Madeline by Edward Henry Wehnert (1813-68)
Scanned image and text by Simon Cooke https://victorianweb.org/art/illustration/wehnert/8.html

I first discussed St Agnes and the Fraternity of St Anne and St Agnes on Distaff Sunday . St Agnes was a martyr who, at 13 years old, refused to marry a pagan, and was martyred by being stabbed in the throat. She is well attested and on a list of martyrs dating to AD345. She is the patroness of young women and of chastity.

Folklore held that a maid would dream of her future lover on St Agnes Eve if she took certain precautions. John Keats use this tradition in his epic poem, which begins with a great description of winter.

The Eve of St. Agnes

By John Keats

St. Agnes’ Eve—Ah, bitter chill it was!
       The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold;
       The hare limp’d trembling through the frozen grass,
       And silent was the flock in woolly fold:
       Numb were the Beadsman’s fingers, while he told
       His rosary, and while his frosted breath,
       Like pious incense from a censer old,
       Seem’d taking flight for heaven, without a death,
Past the sweet Virgin’s picture, while his prayer he saith.

Keats sets up the drama with a poetic description of the folklore:

They told her how, upon St. Agnes’ Eve,
       Young virgins might have visions of delight,
       And soft adorings from their loves receive
       Upon the honey’d middle of the night,
       If ceremonies due they did aright;
       As, supperless to bed they must retire,
       And couch supine their beauties, lily white;
       Nor look behind, nor sideways, but require
Of Heaven with upward eyes for all that they desire.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org

In the poem, the maid Madelaine goes to sleep to dream of her love Porphyro . He risks everything to visit the young girl, and watches her while she sleeps. She dreams of him and seeing him when she wakes she lets him in her bed thinking she is still dreaming.

When she realises her mistake, she tells him she cannot blame him as she loves him so much but says if he leaves her, she will be like “A dove forlorn and lost / With sick unpruned wing”.

The two lovers escape and run away together.

Keats lived in Cheapside, later in Hampstead, and was published in Welbeck Street in the West End. Keats was trained as a surgeon at Guys Hospital, but never practised, although he did consider a post as a Ship’s Surgeon.

First written in January 23, republished on January 20th 24

January & Rabbiting January 19th

January from Nicholas Breton’s ‘Fantasticks 1626 from the Kalendar of Shepherds (digitised by Internet Archive)

The Kalendar of Shepherds was printed in 1493 in Paris and provided ‘Devices for the 12 Months.’ This is a modern (1908) reconstruction of it using wood cuts from the original and adding various text from 16th and 17th Century sources. The text of the month is provided from a 17th Century source and provides an interesting view of what was going on in the countryside in January. To see the full Kalendar, go here:

Nicholas Breton, the writer of the text above, concludes that January ‘is a time of little comfort, the rich man’s charge, and the poore man’s misery.’ The image for January shows that it is best spent indoors by a roaring fire, and while eating pies.

January from the Kalendar of Shepherds 15th Century French

The Kalendar introduces their ‘conceit’ which is that the year mirrors our lives, and we can forecast what will happen in our lives by looking at the months.

Kalendar of Shepherds January text
Kalendar of Shepherds, January text

So our lives, which are of 72 years, can be divided into 12 ages of man, each of 6 years. So, January represents the first 6 years of a person’s life. And as you can see, that during these first 6 years, the child is ‘without witte, strength, or cunning, and may do nothing that profiteth‘. As the year changes every month, so, ‘a man change himself twelve times in his life’. At three times 6 (18 or March) a child becomes a man, and 6 times 6 (36 or June) man is at his best and highest. And at 12 times 6 (72 or December) man is at the end of his allotted span.

Shakespeare numbered the Ages of Man as seven, in the great speech of Jacques in ‘As You Like it’ I dealt with this and other Ages of the World in my post:

Bereton tells us that, in January, the ‘coney is so ferreted that she cannot keep in her borough’. To put that is modern speech, ‘the rabbit is so hunted with the aid of ferrets that she cannot keep in her burrow’. The London Illustrated Almanac of 1873 chose the Rabbit as its wild animal of the month.

London Illustrated Almanac of 1873
January from London Illustrated Almanac of 1873

To have luck for a month, you are supposed to say ‘Rabbit, Rabbit’. No less a person than FD Roosevelt used to say this. No one knows why. Rabbit’s feet are lucky too. I remember some of my friends had them in our Surrey village in the early 60s. Some of the Dads kept ferrets, and I remember dead Rabbits hanging from walls. The history.com website gives an idea, possibly exaggerated view, of the merits of the feet which depended upon how they were collected:

“A 1908 British account reports rabbits’ feet imported from America being advertised as ‘the left hind foot of a rabbit killed in a country churchyard at midnight, during the dark of the moon, on Friday the 13th of the month, by a cross-eyed, left-handed, red-headed bow-legged Negro riding a white horse,’

https://www.history.com/news/

As to why, no one really knows, but Pliny the Elder in 71AD reported that cutting off the foot of a live hare could cure gout and there are European traditions of rabbit and other animal’s feet amulets curing all sorts of ailments. There are associations with witches, who could shape-shift into a rabbit, so a rabbit’s foot would be witchy and therefore powerful. In March, I reported on the Hare, and their, similar, associations with witches:

For lovers of Music, Chas and Dave’s hit song ‘Rabbit’ has a chorus of Rabbit, Rabbit. According to the Cockney’s singers (they do love a Knee’s Up) it comes from the Cockney Rhyming Slang expression: Rabbit and Pork which means ‘Talk’ because it rhymes with ‘Talk’. To hear the song, its gestation and Royal connections, click here.

Now, I must stop rabbiting on. Time to get things done.

First, published in 2023, revised in January 2024

Lambing January 18th

Hermes the ram-bearer near Roman 1st BCE copy of 5th Greek statue
Hermes the ram-bearer, Roman 1st BCE copy of 5th Greek statue

My apology of the day is to Diane Stein, the author of the ‘The Goddess Book of Days’ because of the implied error in the book in the sentence (below). Republished yesterday:

Before we read Ovid’s ‘Fasti’ first note that he locates the Day on the 16th January rather than the ‘Book of Goddesses’ which puts her on the 17th

Not only did I get the name of the book wrong (which is ‘The Goddess Book of Days’, but I had another look at what Ovid actually said and I saw this:

Book I: January 16
Radiant one, the next day places you in your snow-white
shrine,’

So, ‘the next day’, so Ovid agrees that January 17th is the appropriate day to honour Concordia.

Lambing

If a lamb be born sick and weak, the Shepherd shall fold it in his cloak, blow into the mouth of it and then, drawing the Dam’s dog, shall squirt milk into the mouth of it. If an Ewe grow unnatural, and will not take her Lamb after she has yeaned it, you shall take a little of the Clean of the Ewe (which is the bed in which the Lamb lay) and force the Ewe to eat it, or at least chew it in her mouth and she will fall to love a Lamb naturally. But if an Ewe have cast her Lamb, and you would have her take to another Ewe’s Lamb, you shall take the Lamb which is dead, and with it rub and daub the live Lamb all over, and so put it to the Ewe, and she will take to it as naturally as if it were her own.

Gervase Markham, ‘Cheap and Good Husbandry’ 1613 (quoted in the Perpetual Almanac by Charles Kightly.

tionalsheep.org.uk

Lambing can begin about now in the south-west, but it gets progressively later as you travel north. Itinerant shearers, now often from New Zealand, travel the country shearing sheep. They will begin in the south and then progress north.

March and April are peak lambing time in the UK, although the season runs from February to April, but some farmers even lamb before Christmas (and even November). If ewes are tupped in October, they will lamb in March. www.nationalsheep.org.uk

The country expression is ‘in with a bang and out with the fool’ which suggests an ideal time to tup, is November 5th, on Fireworks Night. So that the lambs will be born, 5 months later, around the 1st of April.

A litter is normally one or two but occasionally more. Ewe’s get fed depending on how many lambs they will be having.

In the ‘Return of the Native’, Thomas Hardy has a character called Diggory Venn, he is a reddle man. He travels the country in a little pony and trap selling reddle, a red ochre dye with which shepherds mark their flock. Part of the plot is about the reluctance of women to marry a man whose red, reddle-stained face, makes him look like a devil.

The reddle is used to mark sheep. The ram is given a collar or girdle with a marker full of reddle in it. When he mounts the ewe, she will have a red mark on her back. Once she has been tupped twice, she will have two red marks on her back, and she will be taken out of the field, to encourage the ram to impregnate the others. Reddle could also be used to mark lambs chosen for slaughter, or dipping, or weighing etc.

(Tup is a country verb: I tup. You tup, we are tupping etc, and means what happens when the ram ‘covers’ the ewe).

First, published Jan 2023, republished Jan 2024

To Concordia on the Day of Peace January 17th

“To Concordia,¹ the Sixth Legion, Victorious, Loyal and Faithful and the Twentieth Legion [dedicates this].”
“To Concordia,the Sixth Legion, Victorious, Loyal and Faithful and the Twentieth Legion [dedicates this].”

Concordia

The 17th January is also the Day of Peace for the Goddesses Felicitas, Pax, and Concordia. Concordia was the Roman goddess of conciliation and harmony, and it is interesting that the only examples of altars to Concordia in Britain occur where there were detachments of troops from more than one Roman legion posted in the same place’ as in Corbridge and Carlisle. (The Gods of Roman Britain)

Before we read Ovid’s ‘Fasti’ first note that he locates the Day on the 16th January rather than the Book of Goddesses which puts her on the 17th. The translator of the Fasti, A. S. Kline, explains that the Goddess Concord:

‘symbolised the harmonious union of citizens. A temple was erected to her in 367BC (on the Capitol, near the temple of Juno Moneta) It was erected by Marcus Furius Camillus at the time when the plebeians won political equality. The Temple of Concord was restored by the Emperor Tiberius from his German spoils in AD10.

Book I: January 16
Radiant one, the next day places you in your snow-white
shrine,
Near where lofty Moneta lifts her noble stairway:
Concord, you will gaze on the Latin crowd’s prosperity,
Now sacred hands have established you.
Camillus, conqueror of the Etruscan people,
Vowed your ancient temple and kept his vow.
His reason was that the commoners had armed themselves,
Seceding from the nobles, and Rome feared their power.
This latest reason was a better one: revered Leader,
Germany
Offered up her dishevelled tresses, at your command:
From that, you dedicated the spoils of a defeated race,
And built a shrine to the goddess that you yourself
worship.
A goddess your mother honoured by her life, and by an
altar,
She alone worthy to share great Jupiter’s couch.

Book I: January 17
When this day is over, Phoebus, you will leave Capricorn,
And take your course through the sign of the WaterBearer.

Today is also Twelfth Night Old style which is the date of the celebration of the last night of Christmas according to Julian Calendar which was replaced by the Gregorian in 1752. So Old Style time to Wassail the Orchard!

First written in Jan 2023, revised and republished in Jan 2024

Queen Elizabeth’s Nicknames January 16th

Today is the day after the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth 1’s coronation 1559. She soon developed enduring relationships with the senior members of her Government. For example, William Cecil, Lord Burghley served the Queen for the rest of his life – from 1558 to 1598 when he died.

Elizabeth gave leading members of her Court, nicknames. My interest in the nicknames was revived, a few days ago, by a post on the subject in an interesting blog called The Chronicles of History, whose author became a follower of this blog. She listed a few of the nicknames. I had a record of all the nicknames I had come across but can never find it when I want it. The Chronicles mentioned three of them so I went in search for the rest and here is what the internet says:

Her chief minister, William Cecil Lord Burghley, was called her ‘spirit’, and her alleged lover, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, was her ‘eyes’. Rather more cheekily, she called François, Duke of Anjou, her ‘frog’.

https://www.historyextra.com/period/elizabethan/7-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-elizabeth-i/


Elizabeth called Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester her “Eyes”
William Cecil was her “Spirit”
Robert Cecil was her “pigmy” or “elf”
Sir Christopher Hatton was her “mutton” or “lids”
Francis Walsingham was her “Moor”
Francis, Duke of Alencon, (her French suitor) her “frog”

http://everythingelizabethan.blogspot.com/2011/03/she-was-fond-of-nicknames.html

A comment on the same page says the moor was, in fact, Edward De Vere Earl of Oxford and that the attribution to Walsingham is a mistake. De Vere had a house in Clapton, Hackney, very near to where I lived, and is one of the many people conspiracy theorists think wrote Shakespeare (as is Queen Elizabeth 1).

Robert Cecil was Lord Burghley’s son and largely took over his father’s role.
Christopher Hatton was a handsome aristocrat who had a lovely house and garden in Holborn which is now called Hatton Garden.
Francis Walshingham was the ruthless spy master.
Duke of Alencon was one suitor she seemed to take seriously, although she gently mocked him.
Dudley was her favourite and almost her official escort/companion.

Illustrations from a Victorian History of England.

First Published in January 2023, republished in January 2024

Queen Elizabeth 1 Coronation January 15th

Queen Elizabeth’s litter at her royal entry, accompanied by footmen and Gentlemen Pensioners. Unidentified engraver. (Wikipedia)

Today is the most depressing day of the year, so called Blue Monday. It was only a marketing stunt but seems to have stuck. So, ‘officially’ Blue Monday is the third Monday of the year – in 2024 156 January. It was worked out using this ‘equation’:

[W + (D-d)] x TQ
M x NA

(W) weather, (D) debt, (d) monthly salary, (T) time since Christmas, (Q) time since failed quit attempt, (M) low motivational levels and (NA) the need to take action. (https://news.sky.com )

Queen Elizabeth 1’s Coronation

Queen Elizabeth 1 ascended the throne on 17 Nov 1558. Her courtiers immediately began work on the Coronation, scheduled for January 15th 1559. In terms of Coronations, this was rushed. The precise date was, in fact, chosen by the Royal Astrologer, John Dee on a date that the celestial bodies deemed propitious, and which was sooner rather than later because Elizabeth’s position was not secure.

Her accession was certainly greeted with an outbreak of joy by the Protestant population. But the supporters of her dead sister Mary 1 did not want a Protestant monarch. On hearing the news of the death of her sister, Elizabeth rushed to occupy the Tower of London, even shooting London Bridge, such was her haste. She consulted lawyers about the legal position. Elizabeth, and her sister Mary, had been declared bastards by two Succession Acts passed during Henry VIII’s ‘troubled’ married life. The Third Succession Act of 1543/44, following Henry’s marriage to Katherine Parr, had restored Mary and Elizabeth to the Royal line but did not restore their legitimacy. Rather than tackle the complex legislation, Sir Nicholas Bacon, the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, advised:

“the English laws have long since pronounced, that the Crowne once worn quite taketh away all Defects whatsoever“.

(Wikipedia)

Which, when you think about it, basically legitimises successful any ‘Coup’! And, from a legal perspective, she was still, arguably, illegitimate.

The Coronation began with a procession from the Whitehall Palace in Westminster back to the Tower of London for the Vigil, then a Royal Procession through the City of London to Westminster Abbey for the Coronation service, followed by the traditional Coronation Banquet at Westminster Hall.

The Vigil Procession was on the Thames where she was escorted to the Tower by ‘ships, galleys, brigantines‘ sumptuously decorated. The Royal Entry consisted of 5 Pageants and 11 Triumphal Arches.

The first pageant showed the Queen’s descent from Henry VII and his marriage to Elizabeth of York. This marriage effectively ended the Wars of the Roses by linking the House of York and the House of Lancaster. The pageant also emphasised her ‘Englishness’ as opposed to the Spanish affiliations of Mary. The second pageant demonstrated that the Queen would rule by the four virtues of True Religion, Love of Subjects, Wisdom and Justice, while trampling on Superstition, Ignorance and other vices.

The third pageant, at the upper end of Cheapside near the Guildhall, provided the opportunity for the City to give Elizabeth a handsome crimson purse with 1000 marks of gold, showing the closeness of the City and the Crown. The fourth pageant, contrasted a decaying country during the time of Mary with a thriving one under Elizabeth. It featured the figure of Truth, who was carrying a Bible written in English and entitled ‘the Word of Truth’. The Bible was lowered on a silken thread to the Queen, who kissed it and laid it on her breast to the cheers of the crowd. She promised to read it diligently. The final pageant was Elizabeth portrayed as Deborah, the Old Testament prophet, who by rescuing Israel and ruling for 40 years was an ideal role model for Elizabeth. (https://www.rmg.co.uk/stories/topics/queen-elizabeth-coronation)

‘All the houses in Cheapside were dressed with banners and streamers, and the richest carpets, stuffs and cloth of gold tapestried the streets’.

British History.ac.uk Vol 1 pp315 -332.

The Coronation was traditional – in Latin and presided by a Catholic Bishop, but there were significant innovations. Important passages were read both in Latin and in English, and the Queen added to the Coronation Oath that she would rule according to the ‘true profession of the Gospel established in this Kingdom.’ This showed the way forward, introducing innovation gradually into tradition, but emphasizing that the fundamentals had indeed changed. This was going to be a Protestant reign.

Please do remember, I wrote a best-selling book on the Kings and Queens of Britain which k has been reprinted several times and is available below.

First published in January 2023, republished January 2024

Ice age Lunar Calendar in the Palaeolithic (20,000 years ago) 14th January

The Moon over 28 days

The alignment of neolithic and Bronze Age monuments shows that there was a calendar of the year in use at the time of Stonehenge and other megalithic monuments. There are also suggestions in the Stonehenge area that there were alignments with the Midsummer and Midwinter Solstices further back in the Mesolithic period.

But last year, evidence of a Palaeolithic Calendar has been uncovered by an ‘amateur’ studying markings in cave paintings at Lascaux, Altamira and other caves.

Sketch of 23,000 year old cave painting, below the head of the animal are  dots which arethought to be lunar months of the mating season
Sketch of 23,000 year old cave painting, below the head of the animal are 4 dots which are thought to be lunar months of the mating season

Furniture maker Ben Bacon has collaborated with Professors at UCL and Durham and interpreted markings which suggest the use of a lunar calendar to mark the mating season of particular animals. A Y shaped mark he interpreted as meaning ‘giving birth’ and the number of dots or dashes drawn by or in the outline of the animal or fish has been shown to coincide with the mating season of the animals depicted on the walls of the caves. They determined this by studying the mating season of modern animals.

For further details, follow this link:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/

St Hilary’s Day – the Coldest Day of the Year? January 13th

Hackney Marshes, Jan 2022, Chris Sansom

St Hilary’s Day is traditionally the coldest day in the year. Of course the coldest day varies but it is normally in January, or February but sometimes in December and occasionally in November, or March.

In 2023 it was;

-16.0C, recorded at Altnaharra on the 9th of March.

At the bottom of the post are the coldest days in the UK since 2000.

Hilary & the Arians

St Hilary (born 315) was the Bishop of Poitiers in France where he died around 367 AD. He was a vigorous opponent of the Arian Heresy which swept through the Catholic world in the late Roman period. Catholic doctrine was that God – the Father, Son and Holy Ghost was a Trinity. Arius took the view that: “If the Father begat the Son, then he who was begotten had a beginning in existence, and from this it follows there was a time when the Son was not.” So Jesus was not equal with God. A question at the time was, ‘Was Jesus divine?’

Eventually the ecumenical First Council of Nicaea of 325, declared Arianism to be a heresy during the reign of Constantine the Great. It was very strong in the East and was accepted by Constantine’s son and continued as a major influence especially among the Goths and Vandals.

The Church takes the position on the Trinity which is one God existing in three coequal, coeternal, consubstantial divine persons (wikipedia). Its sobering to think how many people were martyred over these arcane attempts to maintain what they considered a coherent monotheism despite this difficult idea of three entities being one God.

Hilary Term

Hilary was a scholar and is one of those rare early Saints not to be horrifically martyred. We remember him in the UK with the dedication of a few Churches, particularly in Wales but he has also given his name to one of the terms of the academic year. At least for Oxford, Hilary Term is their name for the ‘spring term’ and this year Hilary begins on the 14th January.

The legal establishment also uses ‘Hilary.’ This year the legal year is:

Hilary: Thursday 11 January to Wednesday 27 March 2024
Easter: Tuesday 9 April to Friday 24 May 2024
Trinity: Tuesday 4 June to Wednesday 31 July 2024
Michaelmas: Tuesday 1 October to Friday 20 December 2024

Oxford shares the nomenclature of Michaelmas, Hilary and Trinity. Cambridge and London School of Economics share Michaelmas but call the next term ‘Lent term’ and then ‘Summer Term’ Most other universities split the academic year into three terms (autumn, spring and summer) across two academic semesters. 

The legal term is quite interesting in so far as for most of us ‘terms’ are a thing of our youth. We then participate in the hard slog of what might be called ‘real life’ or work, work, work, separated by a few short breaks. But not for the High Court and the Court of Appeal. Too much like hard work, and not enough time off!

As I travel around Britain I find a lot of ‘Stately Homes’ which were bought by eminent Judges or lawyers. At the same time the legal establishment in London is based at the four Inns of Court: Lincoln’s Inn, Grey’s Inn, Inner Temple and Middle Temple. These were founded in the medieval period and one of the reasons they have stayed as important institutions is that they provided homes and well as offices for the lawyers who would only come to London during the three terms, about 30 weeks out of the 52 available. Then they would go off to their country estates to recuperate and enjoy the fruits of their privileged position.

Coldest days in the UK (according to https://www.trevorharley.com/coldest-days-of-each-year-from-1875.html and in centigrade.)

2000 -15.0 Dalmally (Argyll) 30 December

2001 -21.7 Kinbrace (Sutherland) 3 March

2002 -16.1 Grantown 2 January

2003 -18.3 Aviemore 7 January

2004 -15.2 Kinbrace (Sutherland) 19 December

2005 -13.2 Ravensworth (North Yorks.) 29 December

2006 -16.4 Altnaharra 2 March

2007 -13.0 Aboyne 22 December

2008 -12.9 Aviemore 30 December

2009 -18.4 Aviemore 9 February, Braemar 29 December

2010 -22.3 Altnaharra 8 January

2011 -13.0 Althnaharra 8 January

2012 -18.3 Chesham (Bucks.) 11 February

2013 -13.4 Marham (near Norwich, Norfolk) 16 January

2014 -9.0 Cromdale (Morayshire) 27 December

2015 -12.5 Tulloch Bridge, Glascarnoch 19 January

2016 -14.1 Braemar 14 February

2017 -13.0 Shawbury (Shropshire) 12 December

2018 -14.2 Faversham (Kent) 28 February

2019 -15.4 Braemar 1 February

2020 -10.2 Braemar 13 February and Dalwhinnie (30 December)

2021 -23.0 Braemar 11 February

2022 -17.3 Braemar 13 December

If you look at the long list you will see that Braemar is, far and away, the most common place to host the coldest day in the UK.

Next Walks

Chaucer’s Medieval London Guided Walk Sun 11.30am 7th April 24 Aldgate Tube. To Book
The Decline And Fall Of Roman London Walk Sat 1.30pm 25th May 2024 Exit 2 St Pauls Underground Station. To Book
Jane Austen’s London Sat 6pm 25th May 2024 Green Park Tube (Green Park exit, by the fountain) to Book
The Peasants Revolt Anniversary Walk Thurs 6.30 13th June 2024 Aldgate Tube. To book
Chaucer’s Medieval London Guided Walk Sat 2.30pm 6th July Aldgate Tube. To Book
Myths, Legends, Archaeology and the Origins of London Sat 6pm July 6th 24 Tower Hill Underground To book
Roman London – A Literary & Archaeological Walk Sun 11.30 am 4th August 2024 Monument Underground Station To book
1066 and All That Walk Sat 2.30pm 9th Nov 24 Blackfriars Underground Station To book
For a complete list of my walks for London Walks in 2024 look here: