Sunday, 1 August 2010

Happy Lammas Day

The above picture I took at a factory site not too far away from me. I hope they never need to use the gate in an emergency.

White rabbit, white rabbit, white rabbit. Here's looking forward to a warm sunny August and wishing these overcast skies would clear away for a while.

I've learned something new today and that's about Lammas. No, not a South American camilid (llama) but Lammas, the festival of the wheat harvest and the first of the season's harvest festivals. Today is Lammas Day.

The tradition was (and perhaps still is in some parts), to bring a newly baked loaf made from the new crop of wheat to church. In contemporary Paganism, the festival is called 'Lughnasadh' celebrating the reaping of the grain, a celebration half way between the Summer Solstice (longest period of daylight) and the Autumn Equinox (equal daylight and night).

There is an 'Ould Lammas Fair' held at Ballycastle in County Antrim in Northern Ireland at the end of August on the last Monday and Tuesday, which sells, among other things livestock and traditional foods. This fair is a remarkable 400 years old - well done for tradition, long may it last. It even has its own ballad written by the late John Henry MacAuley who, sadly, never lived long enough to enjoy its fame.

The other thing I've found out today, and this is closer to home, is that in 1833, the Slavery Abolition Act came into force and abolished slavery in the majority of the British Empire. The link to my area is that its chief mover William Wilberforce was MP for Hull and his former home in the High Street in Hull is now a museum dedicated to his fight for the abolition.

The way things are going in the public sector, I'm not sure I'll have a job this time next year, so I've been doing some work on interview techniques. Here's some things NOT to say to a prospective employer:

Who's the old hag in the photo frame on your desk?

I never work in the afternoon, I'm usually too drunk.

I'm only here because there's nothing good on TV.
Which route do the cashiers take to the bank?

The last six jobs I've had, I've walked out with £50,000 for wrongful dismissal.

Voices in my head told me to come for the interview.

So, dog breath, what sort of salary will I be on?

Where, in God's name did you get that bloody awful tie?

Was I supposed to declare my police record?

I'm here because I'd heard nobody does much work at this place.

Chat soon


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