Of all the months of the year this is definitely the one to say “white rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits!” It is the month when we all need good fortune. It was the month that many a mother dreaded in times gone by because it is renowned for bringing pains and ill health to the family.
Many of the old sayings that were often linked to October have long since been forgotten. People’s way of dressing and eating have changed so much in the last sixty years or so that we no longer recognize the threat the tenth month of the year poses.
As a child there would often be elderly folk, leaning on walking sticks and grinding their teeth that would come out with sayings that were never said at any other part of the year. It is easy to forget the menace of October with central heating being just a flip of a switch away … but perhaps, knowing that all of us eventually go outside of our warm buildings, should take heed.
Here are a few distant sayings from the past … think very, very hard and you may just remember either every phrase or just the odd word or two from your childhood:
“Nurture the soul – let us be clear, take care of yourself – October is here!”
* * *
“Keep your pennies in a jar over the fireplace.”
* * *
“A cold caught in October leaves a sore chest until the Spring!”
* * *
“Aches that are born today remain with the body all Winter through.”
White Bryony – a perennial creeper of England – the first picture shows the lush green leaves that are plush with scarlet berries. The second shows the creeper dying back but still bejewelled with ruby red berries. In the Spring, the plant has pretty tiny white star-like flowers.
Note: In years gone by it was the custom to lay someone out in the front room or parlour until funeral arrangements were sorted. One penny was placed onto each eye in belief that this would pay for a person's soul to reach Heaven. Hence 'Keep your pennies in a jar over the fireplace or mantelpiece' to make sure if unexpected death occurred there would always be enough pennies to ensure safe passage to Heaven.