Friday, 10 September 2010

The Weather forcast by Owd Fred's mother (blog 2)


I know I'm a bit owd fashion, and the weathers getting everyone down at the moment, but my mother always "did" the weather for us, and all the family, she could give a "forecast" based on what stage the phase of the moon was at, and watching the house barometer closely. Even into her eighties we could contact her and the first thing was, the weather, and was advised when to start hay making or combining and so on, and the prospects for the following week. From what I learned from her, the weather will set a trend in the first few days of the new moon and that trend will often follow through till the next moon. Take this spell of wet weather right now, the last time we had more than a few dry days strung together was last month when the combines could go and many were making hay not round bale silage to save on the plastic, so not a bad month.

From the first of this month August, when it was the new moon the weather "broke" and we have rarely had two days dry stung together since. This trend in the weather will continue until the next new moon which is at the end of this month. This is why everyone is saying when is it going to end.

My prediction is that if the weather turns for the better in the first few days of next month, September, the chances are that it will stay in that trend for the whole of the next phase of the moon.

Can you remember occasionally we get what they call an "Indian Summer" in September October time, well these weather periods last usually for the month or the phase of the moon. And if two of these weather patterns string along one after the other, we are usually in deep trouble, this is when we get hose pipe bans and the fields start going brown , or we get sodden ground with the seeds rotting in the fields and floods.

So it all boils down to take what the weather throws at you and work with the weather, you can't change it. Trying to work against the weather is disastrous.



Now seeing as this seems to be MOTHER's blog,

I recall the work she used to put into her pantry to keep four of us lads growing and my dad and uncle Jack as well. We had no Tesco's about then to feed the family most things came from the land we grew up on. a thing that everyone would like to go back to, but don't realise the work that this involved

I Remember Mothers Pantry

Mothers pantry six great long shelves, beams held bacon pair of hams,
At far end was safe for beef joint, above was shelf for all the jams,
Kilner jars both empty and full, filled top shelved four jars deep,
Bread in bin held six loaves, lid on cheese and butter to keep.

She picked and peeled the fruit she needed, all the summer long,
The pears she quartered packed in tall jars, always with a song,
Sugar syrup was poured over, till jar it over flowed,
The tops new seals were tightened lightly, only till they're boiled.

Plumbs and damsons as they came ready, they were done the same,
Birco boiler with false bottom, all the jars to steam,
Six inches water turned on full, fifteen jars it held,
One hour simmering lifted out, lids firm on as if to weld.

When they cooled the lids were tested, lose ones she re-boiled.
On the shelves she did put them, with all the jars she'd toiled
Onions beetroot eggs and gherkins, also cabbage red,
All the shelves were filled to bustin, right up to the bin for bread.

Sunday morning father lifted, down his twelve bore gun,
Down far field he was looking, for a rabbit run,
Just disturb them in the long grass, let them have a barrel,
Pick it up and gut it, dove tail back legs, it won't quarrel

Hang it two days to let meat set, mother skins it like a vest
Head and feet off for the pan, quartered all the rest,
Short crust pastry then is rolled, to fasten down the top
Blackbird pie vent then is fitted, poured down its beak the stock.

Rabbit pie hot for dinner, or its better cold,
With bread or taters it tastes good, crust all big and bold,
It should be served along with what, all rabbits love to eat,
Carrots cabbage turnips sprouts, peas and lots of leeks

When it come to chicken, or its more likely an old hen,
Mothers really mustard , as she walks around the pen,
Looking for the one, that's not broody or in lay
The poor old thing, ring its neck, without undue delay.

When it comes to geese and ducks, they're delt the same,
Dressing them as we all watch, the cat from outside in she came,
Neck chopped off she would remove, the wind pipe from the duck,
Then to her mouth she put and blew, out came a startling quack.

On the geese removed the feet, at knee joint half way up,
The sinues had to be pulled out, or leg they would be tough,
On handing us the feet with long, sinues hanging out,
We pulled and made webbed stretch and close, causing us to shout.

The butcher came to kill the pig, upon the bench he put him,
Scalding water washed all over, scrape hair up to his chin,
Lifted up to highest beam , his guts they did remove,
We kids learnt more of what to store, of this we did approve.

Some pork was given out, to whom killed pigs at different time,
Shoulder sides and hams were salted, fat was rendered down,
Loved the scratching nice and crispy, lard stored all in jars,
Hams and sides covered in muslin, hung in pantry by my pa.

Pastry she did make on Sat dee, while we kids could help to taste
Mince pies jam tarts large and small, we always rolled what's left,
Dried currants by the hand full, spread on just half the doe,
Flapped over rolled and pressed, in the oven would go.

It always gained some colour, the pastry in our hands,
Hands got cleaner, with the rolling - cutting with the bands,
Out of the oven, each of ours did come, 
Eaten as they hit the table, never left a crumb.

A mouse trap fully loaded, behind the pantry door,
With lump of stale cheese, standing on the floor,
It was always at the ready, in case invaders came,
They never stood a chance get fat, always us to blame.

Mother tected pantry door but never it was locked,
We always knew what she had got, hidden neeth the jars she stacked,
So all my life the pantry loaded, to the gunnels' high,
We lads we never felt pain of hunger, like mouse that we deny.

Owd Fred


This is a quotation by J G Holland----
God gives every bird its food, but he does not throw it into its nest