St Andrew’s Day

St Andrews Day

Amanda Edmiston Botanica Fabula: Posted on 30 November 2015 20:50

It started with me imagining it was stir up Sunday…it wasn’t, I was a week late, not the last Sunday of November but the last Sunday before advent…I was a week late…I’d also not soaked the fruit long enough.

I dug out Marian McNeills “The Scot’s Kitchen’ it held no clues…hmmm…

I went off to research stir up Sunday further and found it had no links to early nutritional info as I’d hoped. No fanciful hedge lore, no poetic rhymes … it was in fact most likely a tradition of the church brought about by a combo of needing fruit puddings to mature and the Bible words for the day that state: ” Stir up , we beseech thee O Lord”.

I wanted to soak my fruit in my ‘Auld Alliance Love Potion’ tincture: May flower, Hawthorn berries and Damascus Roses infused in good Brandy and a spiced rum based tincture I made a few years ago. Bother to stir up Sunday, baking Tuesday will do I thought and watched the birds roost, as the sky filled with snow instead.

It was going to be one of those dozy, lazy, freezing Sundays, you could just tell…

Then the email arrived, one of those well done, but you didn’t win the trophy emails…but it didn’t matter, I knew the meaning of the piece was a little obscure and it was the first time I attempted 50 word flash fiction.

The subject had been St Andrew’s Day, I’d based the piece on a legend of St. Andrew’s origin as Scottish patron saint and Scottish history, the origin of the Saltire:

It is said that in around 800A.D. King Angus of the Picts, facing a large army of Saxons at Athelstaneford in what is now modern  East Lothian, was awoken by an incredible light the night before the battle and  had a dream. The dream conveyed a message, it told him he would see a cross in the sky foretelling a his victory over his enemies. In the morning his dream was proven true. From that day on St Andrew became the patron Saint of Scotland and the saltire became the national flag. I wrote 50 words, my take on a picture prompt depicting a castle ceilidh…a short story based on a modern party with ancient roots.

Angus danced as November ended, the morning’s planned fight with Edmund’s brother forgotten. Traditionally replaced by ‘stovies and sair heids’ at day-break at castle parties like the distilled juniper that fueled them.

As a fresh Fife morning dawned only dusty armour watched, as clouds silvered patterns onto frost blue sky.

Ach well, I’d not won, but maybe referring to Aethelstane as Edmund’s brother and resetting it at  drunken modern knees up was a little obscure!

But it’s now St. Andrew’s Day winter is here, tomorrow will see cake made and the gorgeous online calendar for children’s charity ‘It’s Good to Give’ with The Museum of Childhood begins tomorrow, it’s lovely click on it join in, share the beautiful short sestudes and blogs and memories of toys with your children it might have been a slow Sunday but it’s going to be a great week!

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