Monday, 2 October 2017

October Days


 Fresh October brings the pheasants,
Then to gather nuts is pleasant.

 October was called Wynmonarth by the Anglo-Saxons - the wine making month

A Good October and a good blast
Will blow the hog his acorns and mast

 Villagers in the past relied on pannage - the law allowing them access to the woods for their pig - so they could fatten on acorns and beech mast before being killed next month.

Pale amber sunlight falls across
The reddening October trees,
That hardly sway before a breeze,
As soft as summer: summer's loss
Seems little, dear, on days like these!
                                                                                            Ernest Dowson 

 St Luke's Day is the 18th of October and there is often a spell of fine,sunny weather at this time which is known as St. Luke's little summer.

There are lots of old weather sayings, no idea if they are right or wrong!

Hard frosts in October means we'll have a mild January

For every fog in October there will be snow in winter  

Full moon in October without frost, no frost until full moon in November 

 Then of course there is Halloween on the 31st. Not something that was celebrated when I was little or even in the 1970's. When I worked on a mobile library in around 1977ish one of our stops was by a USAF housing estate and I can remember seeing all their houses decorated with pumpkins, lights and pictures of ghosts and thinking how odd that was. Now the shops are stocked with imported junk since the beginning of the month!

We were much more interested  in Guy Fawkes night - as the 5th of November was called back in the day.

This is the October page of my Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady colouring book.

I traced the picture onto my new watercolour paper pad and then looked in the Edwardian Lady Diary book to find her original only to find that the picture on the right for October isn't taken from one page of the book but put together from 3 different paintings.
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I started painting the tracing (which is back to front because I couldn't be bothered to go over it twice) with my watercolour pencils but got the colours of the birds all wrong. Even with my tin of 40 colours I didn't have anything pale enough for the birds which are supposed to be Yellow Hammers! Ha!
At least the Elderberries look right, except that by October Elderberries are all gone. Perhaps the climate has changed since Edwardian times.

 I shall have another go with the water-colour pencils for Novembers picture.

Many thanks for all the comments on Saturdays post and hello and welcome to 3 new followers.

Back Tomorrow


  1. Thank you for all those fabulous autumnal facts! I love your Country Lady painting. I loathe Halloween.

  2. I love the idea of a colouring book from the Country Diary. Have you tried making the watercolour crayons paler by very lightly wetting the area you want to colour and using a fine brush to take a little pigment of the crayon?
    That might work . Sue

    1. I'm going to have a go at doing it that way as I've always thought you just dipped the crayons in water but that's not the way advised at all.

  3. Should read "off the crayon"!

  4. I enjoyed reading these sayings. Your watercolor looks great. I too use my watercolor pencils as Beachcomber mentioned above. This technique works very good for detailed work. Enjoy your day. Pat

  5. You got me with the fact that October was thought of as the wine making month by the Anglo Saxons :) October is my birh month and I do like a glass of wine now and again lol

    Thanks for all the interesting facts to reflect on and wonder why I didn't know any of them when I actually lived in England.

    Take care

    1. They are all old sayings, not really used nowadays, i have a couple of books which I glean them from.

  6. I'm now standing corrected in my belief that Guy Fawkes night was on Hallowe'en (October 31). I like all the weather folklore. -Jenn

    1. Guy fawkes night has always been 5th November - it's often just called Firework night now. I'll write about Guy Fawkes when I do the November page

  7. I have always celebrated Hallowe'en because it happens to be my birthday.

    1. Just in case I forget - Many Happy Returns for 29 days time!

  8. We always used to do apple bobbing on Halloween. And I remember my mum hanging scones covered in treacle from the washing maiden. They were on long strings and we had to try and eat them with our hands behind our backs. VERY messy, but delicious and fun. I suppose the apple bobbing would clean some of the mess up! My kids love bobbing, bit I've not been brave enough to let them loose on the treacle game ��

  9. Just had a wee search of the Internet to see if this was really a thing or my mum was just crazy, turns out it's part of the Scottish tradition of 'guising' at Halloween. My parents are both Scottish so crazy treacle was part of our Halloween too!

  10. Hallowe'en in Scotland.....carving Jack-O-Lanterns from turnips! But we did have "guising" when you had to recite a poem or sing a song to get your "treat".

  11. Your painting looks lovely.

    Thanks for all the October tid bits. Must tell Harvey he should be making his cherry wine.

    God bless.