Monday, 18 October 2021

St Audrey's Day ? or Not ?

Son was 40 yesterday and it's a good job we didn't name him after his Saint's day because according to my book  Cattern Cakes and Lace by  Julia Jones and Barbara Deer October 17th is St Audrey's day, the day her remains were moved from a common cemetery to a special marble coffin within the church.   The Chambers Book of Days agrees with the date (BUT other sources say her real feast day is 23rd June. Depends if I'm following the calendar from England or Rome!)

St Audrey was also known as Saint Etheldreda and was the daughter of a king of East Anglia. She was known for her piety and good works and she founded a convent and church in Ely where the cathedral was later built. She became abbess of the convent and died from a tumour of the neck in 679. From my Saint's Days book I found Bede says that when her body was exhumed and the coffin opened 16 years later the tumour had healed so she became the patron saint of those with neck and throat ailments.

According to Cattern Cakes and Lace and Chambers book of Days........In Medieval times a fair was held in Ely on the 17th of October where things like necklaces, silk ribbons and cheap lace  were sold. The cheap bobbin lace was known as St Audrey's lace which was shortened to "t'awdry laces" Later it was cheap imitations of these ornaments that gave rise to the use of 'tawdry' to describe anything that is showy but without quality.

Scenes from the life of St Etheldreda, 15th century altarpiece

 One time I gave thee a paper of pins
 Another time a tawdry lace
And  if thou wilt not grant me love
In truth I'll die before thy face.
 
Anon


We celebrated son's 40th with a family get together at their house. I always used to think that people who had children who were 40 must be really old - now I have two who are 40+  I've changed my mind!

Back Tomorrow
Sue


32 comments:

  1. How life flies by in the blink of an eye...only as old as we feel Sue...having said that about 77 this morning for me!! x

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    1. Is it your birthday? - happy birthday if it is.
      My days and weeks go far far too quickly

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  2. Good to hear you had a nice family get-together for your son's 40th birthday. Mine are all in their 30s now . . .

    Interesting about St Audrey and how her tumour had "healed" . . . well, it was hardly likely to get worse once she died from it! It sounds like she must have been in a lead coffin.

    Loved the bit about the derivation of "tawdry" - it's a word I've used in the past.

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    1. I hadn't even thought about the origin of tawdry so that was an interesting find

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  3. Happy Birthday for your son and it sounds you had a nice day.
    I agree time goes very quick so we must make the best of each day. I think Sue you are very similar to me enjoy each day I have my problems but don't dwell on them.
    Look forward to see what you are doing this week.
    Hazel 🌈🌈

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    1. Yes it was good for the aunties and Uncles to see their nephew and family - don't often meet up .

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  4. Happy birthday to your son.
    I love how words originated and that's a goodie, thanks for sharing it.
    xx

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    1. I had no idea about tawdry - interesting to find out

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  5. Age is strange. I was reflecting the other day that on my 60th birthday I had 2 daughters but no grandchildren. 6years later I have 3. Yet my friend of the same age has a baby great grandchild. As women in the UK are generally having babies later, I suppose there will be fewer great grandmothers - unless women's life expectancy continues to rise.

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    1. My eldest two children have a few hazy memories of "little nanna and grandad" which is what we called Colins Nanna and Grandad but you're right it will be unlikely to have photos of 4 generations in the future

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  6. Belated birthday greetings to your son on his 40th. I'm glad you were able to celebrate with him on a landmark birthday, makes it all the more special for him.

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  7. We are not old enough to have 40 year old sons are we Sue ... where have the years gone?

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    1. Definitely not old enough - I'm sure I'm only about 45 years old myself!!

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  8. Children in their forties still don't know as much as they think they do.

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  9. A word that started out for Audrey describing fine lace and adornment gradually turned full circle as it went on its downward spiral in its usage. Shame really.

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  10. ha ha yes I would change my mind too. I have one that turned 38 this year and I cannot think where the years have gone.
    Cathy

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    1. I have no idea how I have two children over 40 already!

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  11. Funny how time passes almost without awareness. Then we think about birthdays and other events and start doing the math. My favorite Uncle used to say: "Age is only a number," followed by: "Don't worry about it." This still makes me laugh. Tawdry is a word with lots of meaning and I did not know about the lace connection. The sun is out and the air is crisp. Another beautiful Autumn day. Enjoy.

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  12. Happy birthday to your son! My oldest is 42 and my youngest is 32 (I have 5 all together) and I know that I AM old! But you are right that time flew by!

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  13. An interesting post - if I could get in a time machine I would love to go back to the days when that market in Ely was thriving and buy myself some of the genuine bobbin lace! Congratulations for your sons birthday

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  14. Happy Birthday to your son! I remember when my oldest son first turn 40, I think it was harder for me than him. Now he will be 50 in the next year! That's scary!

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  15. Wait til your son is 63 like mine. Then you really are old.

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  16. II was 27 when I had our son, and somehow he's not 41... but I don't feel like nearly 70! How could that be? Unfortunately with the increasing age of first births, there won't be nearly as many great-grandmothers around, in fact I doubt we will be alive to see our grandchildren settled and married, let alone see their children. Our son lives just down the road, and the grandchildren spent a day a week with each set of grandparents, but that is also a luxury/blessing few children experience in these more mobile days. That wider family support has changed dramatically over the last 20-30 years. Such a shame for the next generation.

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  17. I used to think those people were old as well - but my youngest is now 42 and I don't really feel THAT old :))

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  18. I am the same way now that our two sons are 40 and 45. I really don't feel old most of the time.

    What an interesting Saint.

    God bless.

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  19. I have two children, each over fifty. Tempus fugit.

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  20. Happy 40th to your son! I think my children's 'big' birthdays hit me harder than my own lol.

    I love these posts. What a great history lesson! Thanks for sharing.

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