JANUARY 12 OLD MOORE’S ALMANAC

Old Moore's Almanac for 2022 photo of January
Old Moore’s Almanac for 2022 photo of January

The Alamanac which claims to have begun in 1697 is heavily based on predictions which are mostly astrologically based. It begins with a World Preview of 2022. The economy is going to be uncertain, but growth will start to build from March.

Then there profiles of people such as Joe Biden, Keeley Hawkes, Countess of Wess etc. Biden it appears is unconventional and a maverick. He will surprise everyone by proving himself a modern FDR.

There is a page of predictions for each for star sign; a Chinese horoscope and then a page for each month as illustrated above. At the end are astrological pointers for horse racing, greyhound racing, gardening by the moon, Football pools, Angler’s Guide, lottery numbers. It finishes with a list of UK fairs and events, and lighting up times.

Very similar to almanacs since the 15th Century which I discussed here.

ADVERT FOR OLD MOORE'S ALMANAC 2022
Image of an advert for ADVERT FOR OLD MOORE’S ALMANAC 2022

This week I received my copy of Old Moore’s Almanac and a reproduction of the Illustrated London Almanac of 1873 (which I will discuss on another day).

As I stated in an earlier post the content of Almanacs has been similar since the Kalendar of Shepherdes of the 15th Century.

Old Moore’s, which claims ancestry back to 1697., begins with a large tranche of predictions both for the world and for celebrities, based on astrology. 2022 is the ‘year of Adjustment’. We are, they say, confronted with weak leaders, with weak values and so we, ‘the governed must build them.’

Then there is a page for each month, noting the calendar events such as Epiphany, Burns Night, Australia Day, and other days filled with very random notable events chosen to represent that day through history- 2nd Jan Conquest of Granada 1462. 9th Jan Duchess of Cambridge b. 1982, 13th Jan Trump impeached 2021 etc.

Next are columns for Sun rise and set, high water at London Bridge, moon at London. and a weather column. (Early snow, improvements mid month, and gale at the end of the month)

Then a column of predictions for the month:

‘The New Moon on 2nd January falls in Capricorn in the sixth house at London in a harmonious trine aspect to Uranus in the tenth house and a conjunction to the UK’s Sun.’ Venus is conjunct Pluto’. Phew! ‘The country is ready for a fresh start with a prevailing sense of optimism correlating with high support for government.’ And then they predict moves to constitutional reform for proportional representation! Boris Johnson will be surprised at this!

The horoscopes continue after the calendar has come to Dec 31st. We have pages for celebrities such as Joe Biden (he is unorthodox and will surprise people by some amazing FDR style transformation.) ; Matt Baker,;Peter Kay; Sophie Countess of Wessex etc. Right at the end we have astrological pointers to betting on the horses; greyhound racing; Gardening by the Moon; Football pools forecasts,; Angler’s guide; lottery numbers, and finishes with lighting up times.

£3.50 good value or is it just cheap?

JANUARY 10TH PLOUGH MONDAY, BACK TO WORK AND FALSE SPRING

Medieval scene showing a man plouging with the plough pulled by a bullock from Les_Très_Riches_Heures_du_duc_de_Berry
Detail from LesTrès Riches Heures du Duc de Berry

But as we saw Distaff Sunday is the day that women traditionally went back to work and Plough Monday was the men’s turn. 2022 it was on the 10th January. Plough Monday was not just a normal day of work though. Particularly in the North it was celebrated with a procession of ‘plough boys’, with a decorated plough and team and known as ‘Fool Plough’. Mumming, sword dancing and foolery propelled people back to work.

Here is a lovely recipe for a ‘Norfolk Plough Pudding‘ brought to my attention by Sue Walker.

The Christmas/Mid Winter break went on for some until Candlemas in early February, and in Jane Austen’s day the school boys had a 6 week holiday at Christmas much to the distress of Mary Musgrove in ‘Persuasion’, Chapter 18. She complains bitterly of children being left with her during the long winter holiday. But as it was written on 1st February I will leave the joy of that great FOMO letter till then.

This is a period when the world is dead but underneath the ground the bulbs are stirring. This year in London, after a very warm period, we have had a lot of premature budding. In my local park Euphorbia’s have been budding, there is blossom on a Japanese Cherry Tree and on a Bear’s Breech. The Park has a high wall facing south and this does provide a very sheltered spot but even so! In my arctic, North-facing garden some geraniums, and fuchsias are hanging on, and I have two white flowers on my Convolvulus which is unheard of.

This has been the hottest period in the world since records have been taken. A false spring can cause major disruption to agriculture. Plants put a lot of energy into surviving the winter so they can bloom in the spring. If they are fooled to bud early, the plant will pay a cost when the cold weather comes back, and this will mean either no flowering or fruiting later in the year or a reduced yield. Caitlin Reinartz, (follow the link above) says ‘the false spring of 2012 caused an estimated $500 million dollars of losses in the orchards of Michigan.’

HAPPY EPONALIA – DECEMBER 18TH

Roman Horse from Bunwell, Norfolk. Illustration by Sue Walker

I’ve been too busy working on my Jane Austen and Christmas Virtual Tour (Sunday 19th December 7.30) to post over the last few days. And I have, therefore, shamelessly stolen this post off my facebook friend Sue Walker, who is a talented archaeological illustrator, artist and a very good photographer.

She wrote: ‘the 18th December is the festival of the Celtic goddess Epona, the protector of horses she was adopted by the Romans and became a favourite with the cavalry. This finely sculpted bronze horse with a head dress and symbol on its chest is 37mm high – found in Bunwell #Norfolk #Archaeology’

DECEMBER – THE MONTH OF ADVENT OF ‘EXPECTANT WAITING’ LOOKING FORWARD TO CHRISTMAS, YULE, SATURNALIA SOLSTICE

Advent begins on the 4th Sunday before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. This year it was Sunday 28th November but it can be as last as 3rd December.

Advent divides the world into those who love to plan; who love to anticipate and people like me who buy all my presents in a mad flurry on Christmas Eve. Surely, my nephew will like the Arsenal Yearbook, my father ‘The History of the Spitfire’ and my brother the remastered version of the early Fleetwood Mac LP that I have, he tells me, already bought him three times. (In my defence, not the middle-of-the -road Fleetwood Mac but the one with Peter Green in it and capable of the Green Manalishi).

In my mind, people should be heavily fined for mentioning the C-word before December, and whipped, for mentioning the X word at all. So, not sure advent is my favourite time of the year.

Epulum Jovis – The Capitoline Cult

Capitoline Triad – Museum of Guidonia (Wikipedia)

This was the second festival in the year dedicated to the three most important deities in the Roman pantheon. Jupiter the Sky God, God of Justice, God of Rome. His wife and sister, ‘Queen’ Juno, protector of women. Minerva, Daughter of Jupiter. Goddess of Wisdom and Craft.

The main Temple was in Rome on the Capitoline Hill, known as aedes Iovis Optimi Maximi Capitolini (“Temple of Jupiter Best and Greatest on the Capitoline”). Similar temples spread throughout the Roman world, normally with a triple cella (inner sanctum) to allow separation of worship between the three cults.

In London, a temple was discovered to the west of the first Forum (built AD 75). There is no clue as to its dedication, but the Capitoline Cult has been suggested as well as for the Cult of the Emperor.

Painting of the Roman Forum of London from the air
Painting of the Roman Forum of London from the air (Note Temple on the left)

Originally posted on November 12th, 2021. Revised November 15, 2023

NOVEMBER 27th – NOVEMBER 30TH St Andrews

27th November – Eels now in Season.

Eel Pie Island . Ordnance Survey In 1871 to 1882 map series (OS, 1st series at 1:10560: Surrey (Wikipedia)

Sad loss of a East End Jellied Eels outlet (author's copyright)
photo of sold sign on Pie and Mashshop F Cooke in Broadway market
Sad loss of a East End Jellied Eels outlet (author’s copyright)

28th November – Time to Wed before Advent

Traditionally, you could not marry after Advent and before 12th Night. So now might be the last chance to marry before that bump gets too big!

19th Century Illustration (Author’s Copyright)

Wedding dresses were traditionally whatever really pretty dress you had. White only became de rigueur once Queen Victoria worn one, and the costs of material reduced because of mass production.

29th November To make a Dish of Snow

Thanks to Zdenek Machacek -unsplash

Snow is increasingly possible, and if you are keen to see some – try this medieval recipe:

To make a dish of Snowe / Take a potte of sweete thicke creme and the white of eight egges and beate them altogether with a spoone then putte them into your creame with a dish full of Rose Water and a dishfull of Sugar withall then take a sticke and make it cleane and then cutt it in the ende fowre square and therewith beate all the aforesayd thinges together and ever as it ariseth take it of and putte it into a Cullander thys done take a platter and set an aple in the middest of it and sticke a thicke bush of Rosemarye in the apple then cast your snowe upon the rosemarye and fill your platter therewith and if you have wafers cast some withall and thus serve them forth

From Medieval Manuscripts Blog. https://blogs.bl.uk/digitisedmanuscripts/medieval-history/page/2/

30th November St Andrew’s Day

One of the first Apostles. It seems all Christian martyrs have to be killed in a different grizzly way and Andrew was martyred on a X-shaped cross. As he was formerly a simple fisherman so patron of fishermen.

Celebrate with a Haggis and a Whisky!

In Kent and Sussex Andrewtide gave the right to hunt squirrels, and in Hasted’s History of Kent (1782) it allowed the ‘lower kind’ to form a lawless rabble hunting any manner of hares, partridges and pheasants.

The sort of squirrel that might deserve hunting? Cheeky devil.

RING IN THE EQUINOX VIRTUAL WALK

This walk has finished but will be repeated next year.

Listen to Podcast


Tuesday 21st September 2021 7.30pm

Druids on Tower Hill for the Equinox
Druids on Tower Hill for the Equinox


On this walk we look at London at the Equinox, its calendars, folklore and events associated with the beginning of Autumn


The Ancient Britons divided up the year according to the major movements of the Sun and the Moon. On this tour we look at the Equinox and the various calendars associated with the end of Summer and the beginning of Autumn, from the prehistoric period to the present.

We walk around the City of London in search of evidence of how the celestial bodies affects our legal, financial, religious, educational, political, agricultural and human systems. We look at different calendars such as the Pagan year, the Egyptian year, the Roman year, the Christian year, the Jewish year, as well as the various secular years, and explore how they began and how they relate to each other.

On the route we examine folk traditions & customs, festivals and events. We find interesting and historic places in the City of London to link to our stories of the Equinox. We begin at Borough Market and walk over the Thames on London Bridge and explore the City of London and the calendars that have ruled it over the millennia.

To Book:


MYTHS, LEGENDS, & HALLOWEEN WALK

Bran's head taken to Tower Hill
King Bran’s head buried at Tower Hill

Physical Walk: SUNDAY 31st October 2021 2.30pm Tower Hill Underground Station

Virtual Walk: SUNDAY 31st October 2021 6.30pm

The walk tells the story of London’s myths and legends and the Celtic origins of Halloween.

The walk is led by Kevin Flude, a former archaeologist at the Museum of London, who has an interest both in the archaeological evidence as well as the myths and legends of London’s origin.

The walk will tell the story of a selection of London’s Myths and Legends, beginning with the tale of London’s legendary origins in the Bronze Age by an exiled Trojan called Brutus. Stories of Bladud, Bellinus, Bran and Arthur will be interspersed with how they fit in with archaeological discoveries.

As we around the City we also look at the origins of Halloween celebrations and how they may have been celebrated in early London
The virtual route starts at Tower Hill, then down to the River Thames at Billingsgate, to London Bridge and Southwark Cathedral, to the Roman Forum at the top of Cornhill, into the valley of the River Walbrook, passed the Temple of Mithras, along Cheapside to the Roman Amphitheatre, and finishing up in the shadow of St Pauls.

This is a London Walks Guided Walk. Look at their web site for a list of other of their amazing walks.

To book: Physical Walk click here

To book: Virtual Walk click here

REVIEWS (from London Walks website)
“Kevin, I just wanted to drop you a quick email to thank you ever so much for your archaeological tours of London! I am so thrilled to have stumbled upon your tours! I have wanted to be an archaeologist since 1978 at the ripe old age of 8 years,… I was told for years that I could not be an archaeologist [for any number of reasons, which I now realise are completely ridiculous!], so I ended up on a different course of study. And now at the age of 50, it is my one great regret in life. So, I am thoroughly enjoying living vicariously through you, the digs you’ve been on, and the history you bring to life for us! British archaeology would have been my specific area of study had I pursued it. ?? Thank you SO MUCH for these! I look forward to them more than you can imagine, and honestly, I’ll be sad if you get them down to 1.5 hours! They’re the best 2 hours of my week! 🙂 Best, Sue