Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

A Method for May

On this day in 1937 the Bradford Observer ran this little piece in the paper’s  ‘Yorkshire Gossip’ column1Yorkshire Gossip. | Bradford Observer | Saturday 01 May 1937 | British Newspaper Archive. [online] Available at: https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0003150/19370501/193/0008 [Accessed 1 May 2022].:—

A Method for May.

Were you up at 4 o’clock this morning, gathering green branches, rehearsing the steps of your morris, ” feateously footing the hobbyhorse,” and washing your face in the dew ? Perhaps you did not because your mother omitted that essential part of the programme about ” calling you early.”

Anyway, as you realise, it is the first of May, the beginning of the “merry ” month—which means pleasant and nothing more vivacious than that. At the your family was Saxon, this was tri-milchi, the time when cows benefited from the spring herbage to the lactic extent suggested. This has been an unhappy month for marriages, according to old sayings if not to practice, ever since the time of the Romans, from whom comes tile present natme—a tribute to the majores or senior senate.

This is the time of May goslings (which are something like April fools only a bit different) and of floral games and dances which are pure pantheism, anyway. All that remains to mention is that Mrs. Pepys believed in May morning’s dew as a beauty treatment at a nominal charge of early rising alone, that the May-thorn isn’t in bloom yet but only in bud, and that your maypole should be made of a birch pole and garlanded with sycamore buds in first leaf. Now proceed !

The article refers to various customs associated with May-day — a beauty treatment, morris dancing and hobby horses, and the Anglo-Saxon practice of milking dairy cows could three times a day during the month of May.

May Gosling Day has now been lost to history. It was particular to Yorkshire,  and it entailed hoaxes or pranks being played on the unwary in a similar fashion to April Fools Day.  All tricks had to stop by twelve noon otherwise the taunt was:—

May Goslings dead and gone,
you’re the fool for thinking on!

Today’s photo is a field of rape-seed field off Cross Lane in Little Ayton.

I heard this morning that rape-seed is extremely poisonous to dogs, and found at least one website to support this2Joyner, L. (2021). Stay clear of rapeseed fields when walking your dog, experts warn. [online] Country Living. Available at: https://www.countryliving.com/uk/wildlife/pets/a36324941/rapeseed-fields-warning-dogs/ [Accessed 1 May 2022]., but another which says it’s untrue3Holmer Veterinary Surgery. (2021). The truth about the possible effects of Rapeseed on dogs – Holmer Veterinary Surgery. [online] Available at: https://www.holmervetsurgery.co.uk/2021/05/27/the-truth-about-the-possible-effects-of-rapeseed-on-dogs/#:~:text=The%20posts%20suggest%20that%20Rapeseed,which%20can%20be%20treated%20symptomatically.[Accessed 1 May 2022]..

More internet misinformation, one way or the other. Maybe dogs shouldn’t be running through a crop anyway.







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