St Swithun's day if thou dost rainAccording to the Royal Meteorological Society,
For forty days it will remain.
St Swithun's day if thou be fair
For forty days 'twill rain nae mare.
The St Swithun's Day legend is an old one – the earliest surviving written reference dates back to the 14th century – although its roots are much disputed. St Swithun (or Swithin) was an Anglo-Saxon bishop of Winchester who died in around AD862. The clergyman requested that his remains be interred among the common people outside the church, but in 971, after he had been made patron saint of Winchester Cathedral, his body was dug up and moved to a new indoor shrine. According to some writers, this caused sufficient displeasure in the heavens for a terrible downpour to strike the church and continue unabated for 40 days, hence the legend. The only problem with this theory is a complete and utter absence any evidence, with no early account of the reburial mentioning the slightest drop of rain.It may seem a little odd for me to be writing (even if it is mostly copied from elsewhere) about St Swithun's Day given that it is 15th July but the 40 days finished on Sunday. Since then it has done nothing but rain in this neck of the woods! The weather during the preceding 40 days was much the same as on 15th July: mixed.
There is a strong whiff of wet dog in the house. Those raspberries that have ripened in the garden have been smashed to pulp. Yesterday the water was spouting up out of manhole covers and on Monday, south-east England had more rain in 12 hours than it receives on average during the whole of August.
Does anyone know the steps of the Stop Raining Dance?