Saturday, 15 August 2015


Depiction of harvesting in the August calendar page
 of the 
Queen Mary Psalter (fol. 78v), ca. 1310.

August is an unsatisfactory month. Summer at one end and strong hints of autumn at the other, it always feels a little half-hearted to me. The weather is often fine enough, so summer doesn't actually sneak off without saying anything, but memories of the fireside are in the air even though it feels far too early to inspect the logs.

Trees are a duller shade of green and faintly dusty, as if already prepared to dump their leaves. There are still plenty of flowers around, but these are the late arrivals, welcome enough but not really as fresh as spring flowers. The nights are drawing in too, and soon enough there are suggestions of autumnal dew in the early morning.

Not that there is anything fundamentally wrong with August, it is harvest time after all. Although the peasants in the Queen Mary Psalter don't seem to thrilled about that, but most of us don't do much in the way of harvesting these days.

However, in spite of August's deficiencies we shouldn't go all modern and urge the government to ban it. August isn't irredeemably crappy like February but I'm sure it could do better.


Michael said...

I always remind myself that August can be pretty warm by recalling Neil Diamond's 'Hot August Night'!

A K Haart said...

Scrobs - it can be warm and summery, but for me there is always something else in the air, a cooling of the summer spirit.

Sackerson said...

Isn't depicting people smiling and laughing a relatively modern thing, except in pictures where they're drunk?

A K Haart said...

Sackers - it seems to be. Some medieval stone heads seen both inside and outside churches seem fairly cheerful, but would they be drunk in such a location?

Sackerson said...

Some very ripe things found carved on churches, e.g.: