Rosie’s Ramblings - March 2020

As I put fingers to keyboard to write this towards the end of February, the sun is actually shining, though the news is full of dire warnings of yet more rain and serious flooding in other parts of the country. It’s hard to imagine the suffering caused by this flooding. Once the present waters have subsided, it will cease to be front-page news; yet people’s lives and homes will be devastated for many months to come.

My sister-in-law and her family were flooded out of their home a few years ago, and it was more than eighteen months before they were able to move back in. Even then they faced protracted battles with incompetent builders employed by the insurance company, who had completely bodged the work of making the house habitable again.

Knowing how much heartache and stress being flooded caused my own family members, my heart goes out to those suffering in the current situation, especially those whose homes are being flooded for a second time in a relatively short period. It seems to me that providing reliable flood protection should take priority over projects like HS2 and constructing a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland - but perhaps I’d better not get political in the parish magazine. Shut up, Rosie!

As March arrives, it’s to be hoped that brighter weather is on the way. The snowdrops in the churchyard will soon be giving way to daffodils. The daffodil is the second emblem of St David’s Day, which falls on 1st March. The first emblem was the leek - this was because St David advised the Welsh to wear leeks in their caps in battle against the Saxons, to show which side they were on.

I’ve just been making leek and potato soup, and the leeks I used were enormous, so it’s hard to imagine how they could be fastened to a cap for purposes of tribal identification. With regard to adornment for hats, the leek can’t compete with the daffodil - much more suitable for an Easter bonnet! However, it wasn’t until Victorian times that the daffodil became the second symbol of Wales. The leek still figures on pound coins, with the English rose, Scottish thistle and Irish Shamrock.

Talking of Shamrock, March also includes St. Patrick’s day, on the 17th. The shamrock also lends itself to being worn on clothing - better than the leek, I would suggest - and the custom of wearing it on St Patrick’s day has a somewhat more edifying origin. In contrast to leek-wearing for the purpose of promoting success in battle, St Patrick used the shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - to the pagan Irish in the 5th century.

Anyway, back to soup. On Thursday 5th March and the following four Thursdays, we have a Lent lunch in church, stating at 12 noon. A Lent lunch is meant to be frugal, but will be delicious all the same, consisting of homemade soup and bread. The lunch will be followed by a Lent Course - see details elsewhere in this magazine. If the evening suits you better, there’ll be another session on the same days at 7 pm. Please contact me for details of the venue - which is probably warmer than the church, but without the soup! In any case you can be sure of an interesting discussion.

Halfway through Lent, Mothering Sunday is on 22nd March, with a special family service at 10.45 am. All are welcome, from babes in arms to great-great grandparents. We’d love to see you at this, and indeed at any of our services.