It’s St. Swithin’s Day today and we’re about to tell you something that’s really going to put a dampener on your day.
Or should we say the next 40 days.
St. Swithin isn’t exactly the most well-known of saints and that’s probably because he hasn’t got a lot of positive things to shout about. Yes, he was the Anglo-Saxon bishop of Winchester and subsequently the patron saint of Winchester Cathedral, which is all well and good, but his historical importance has been somewhat overshadowed by his reputation for “posthumous miracle-working”.
You might very well be thinking that “posthumous miracle-working” doesn’t sound like a negative at all. especially when you think about all the miraculous acts he could be pulling off, right?
Well, here’s what St. Swithin’s Day really means.
According to ancient weather folklore, should it rain on St. Swithin’s feast day – 15th July – then it will continue to rain for the following 40 days, but on the flip-side, if it’s dry and ‘cracking flags’ out, then that fair weather will subsequently continue for the same time period.
Have you put two and two together yet? Yes, it’s unfortunately raining (or at least has been raining) across Greater Manchester and much of the UK today, and if this bit of folklore is anything to go by, it won’t be stopping any time soon.
So much for summer.
Why is this the case though? Where did this tale of legend come from? What’s the history behind it?
To sum it up briefly, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica, when St. Swithin passed away, he was buried at his request in the churchyard of Winchester Cathedral in a location where rain and the steps of passersby might fall on his grave.
After his body was moved inside the cathedral on 15th July 971, a “great storm ensued”.
The first textual evidence for the weather prophecy appears to have come from a 13th/14th-century entry in a manuscript at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Although, as weather frequently changes around midsummer, it’s believed the tradition that this day can influence ensuing weather may stem from earlier, possibly pre-Christian, beliefs.
The British weather folklore proverb reads:
St Swithun’s day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithun’s day if thou be fair
For forty days ’twill rain nae mare
Another well-known variant states – “If on St Swithun’s day it really pours, you’re better off to stay indoors.“
It’s not all simply folklore though, there is apparently some scientific basis to the weather pattern behind the legend of St Swithin’s Day.
Around the middle of July, the jet stream settles into a pattern which, in the majority of years, holds reasonably steady until the end of August. When the jet stream lies north of the British Isles, then continental high pressure is able to move in, but when it lies across or south of the British Isles, Arctic air and Atlantic weather systems predominate.
So, there you have it.
Cheers St. Swithin – it’s a good job us Mancunians are used to it.
Sir David Jason set for TV return in Only Fools and Horses documentary Christmas special
In a surprise bit of festive news, the only and only Sir David Jason is returning for an Only Fools and Horses Christmas special this December. Lovely jubbly!
The best-loved and most-watched British comedy of all time will be back on our screens in documentary form this festive season, with Del Boy himself David Jason revisiting the iconic comedy character after 20 years he last played him on screen.
While the legendary sitcom was broadcast on BBC back in the day, the highly-anticipated Only Fools doc will be airing on Channel 5 right before Christmas as a special one-off programme.
Looking back on the show’s incredible run on UK screens over seven series and the several ‘Christmas Cracker’ specials, specifically, the latest Only Fools and Horses documentary will see Jason and a number of other guests appearing to chat about the legendary show.
While it’s still unclear how many of the original cast will be appearing, Jason’s on-screen wife Tessa Peake-Jones (Raquel) is confirmed to be appearing along with other special guests including newscaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Bendiorm‘s Sherrie Hewson.
Sadly, a full theatrical reunion just isn’t on the cards following the deaths of Roger Lloyd Pack (Trigger), Kenneth MacDonald (Mike the Landlord) and Buster Merryfield (Uncle Albert) in the 30 years since the show ended its run.
Only Fools writer John Sullivan also sadly passed away aged 64 in 2011 and fellow co-star Nicholas Lyndhurst, a.k.a. Rodney Trotter, told Metro: “We can’t. John is no longer with us. John was the driving force of the show and we have also lost quite a few cast members now.
“I don’t think I could do it without them and I certainly couldn’t do it without John. At the risk of depressing everyone, I think the last two times I’ve seen David has been at funerals.”
Simply entitled, ‘The Story Of Only Fools And Horses At Christmas’, the 90-minute special is yet to have its broadcast date fully confirmed but you best keep your eyes peeled on the TV guide — we’ll let you know as soon we do.
Jason, 81, has only just recovered from hip surgery earlier this year, so it’ll be nice to see his familiar grin back on our screens.
Right, we’re off to binge a whole series on UK Gold.
Scott McTominay jokes he’s ‘fuming’ he didn’t score a hat-trick against Chelsea as he reflects on Man United’s mentality
Scott McTominay has joked he’s “fuming” with himself after failing to score a hat-trick in Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Chelsea on Wednesday nightand shed some light on the mentality around Old Trafford.
McTominay starred in the Red Devils’ win over Mauricio Pochettino’s side on a cold night at home, managing to bag a brace with a goal in the first and second half to get his squad over the line, but he himself said he could have had more.
Speaking to MUTV after the game, the 26-year-old said he and the squad knew they needed to drum up a reaction after the Newcastle disappointment, adding that contributing more goals is something he wants to keep working on and insisting that plenty of people back him to do so.
Confessing that his mum, dad and grandad have all been encouraging him to “get in the box” and that he just needs to “believe in [him]self and go for it”, the Scotsman did go on to quip he was “fuming” to not grab a third as he shook his head went on to shake and reveal a wry smile.
Commentator and presenter Stewart Gardner went on to list McTominay’s impressive stats this season, having now scored 14 goals in his last 33 appearances for club and country. A seriously good rate from a midfielder typically entrusted to help link play and break things up in the middle of the park.
Now boasting half a dozen goals and an assist across all competitions so far this campaign, he sits as the club’s leading goalscorer in the Premier League with five finishes to his name — with only Bruno Fernandes having contributed more (five goals and five assists) — he’s genuinely become one of Man United’s main goal threats.
While he recently rubbished talk that he played as a striker regularly coming up through the youth academy, simply having been deployed for the odd game in reality, he has always had a shot on him and it isn’t the first time he’s bagged a winner or a big goal for the Reds. This wasn’t a bad one either:
Chatting with the pundits on Amazon Prime Sport, he reiterated that he could have had “one or two more” on another night and agreed that the performance against Newcastle in the previous fixture was “pretty abysmal”, holding his hands up to admit that it was “no way near good enough”.
Reflecting on the later chance he had to seal the hat-trick towards the end of the game, he said he simply needed to “calm down on the last one”.
As for the mentality to get the result during a difficult period where the club remained under a lot of scrutiny from pundits and fans alike, McTominay went on to say that the manager is responsible for the way they played and some “lighter training sessions to keep energy levels up” definitely helped.
Regardless, he was sure to not get ahead of himself and assured ten Hag‘s team were still taking things a game at a time. You can watch the full highlights from Manchester United vs Chelsea down below: