Hello peeps! Today I’m quite enjoying the sensation of being the only person in the house without a hangover. It’s a trade off, you see. In return for not dancing on the tables at a party, I enjoy being able to see and do things without my hands shaking for the next three days. My hangovers are EPIC and to be avoided if at all possible.
Getting roaring drunk and spending New Years Day in a haze of pain and aspirin is a tradition almost everywhere but in Wales we used to have something else to make the season jolly. Look at these two young folk:
They are carrying ‘calennings’ a name derived from the Latin ‘kalends’ meaning the first day of the month.
Looks just like a hedgehog on a stick with a holly garnish doesn’t it. Maybe they are waiting for someone to come with the brandy and set fire to it too.
The calenning is made from an apple pierced with four sticks and stuck all over with oat or wheat grains, if poor, or cloves, if rich, and dressed up with greenery. The young lads would carry them from door to door wishing neighbours good luck and begging for pennies by singing this cheery little song:
Dydd calan yw hi heddiw,
Rwy’n dyfod ar eich traws
I ofyn am y geiniog,
Neu grwst, a bara a chaws.
O dewch i’r drws yn siriol
Heb nesid dim o’ch gwedd;
Cyn daw dydd calan eto
Bydd llawer yn y bedd.
This translates as “Today is the start of the new year, and I have come to you to ask for money, or pastry, or bread and cheese. O come to your door smiling without waking anyone up; Before the next arrival of the new year many will be dead”. This coupled with their facial expressions gives you an idea of how much fun Victorian Wales was.
But I am going to have fun today. I have a copy of Blessed Isle by Alex Beecroft to read and a box of delicious sugar dusted rose and lemon rahat lakoum to eat. Later I am going to edit A Taste of Copper then see if I can find a home for it.
Best wishes for the new year my dears. May 2013 bring you everything you could wish for and a whole bunch of goodies that you haven’t even begun to imagine yet.