In the Middle Ages the Menologium recounts that winter begins on the 7th November and ends on the 6th February, we are in winter and its too cold to make pots, our ancestors must have made most during the summer.
The annual flu season began about November and carried on until February for some. I look on it in the past tense as I was too ill to write anything sensible. Winter’s flue and a variety of infections, one after the other swept over many of us in the village. Again we shy away from close contact to avoid infecting others and ourselves. We hear on the news about crowded hospital wards and corridors and are advised against making the journey unless its an emergency.
Over the counter flu remedy’s are in short supply and we get the masks out with memories of covid years, an all too vivid reminder of the eerie silence of lockdown and isolation.
The similarities with covid are evident, both silent in the outside world, inside hospitals the wards and corridors were filled with the heart wrenching sounds of distress, confusion and tears.
Whereas Advent was usually enjoyed with Carol singing and lit candles in cold churches, this was a semi delirious dream state of coughs and disease and trudging around rain soaked fields with the dog. At times it was hard not to experience it as reimagined life in the fourteenth century time of plague which raged around towns and villages.