Red Sky at night – The book of lost countryside wisdom.  By Jane Struthers

Before you even pick up this book the first thing that you notice is the front cover. It’s soft colours and pretty design, evoke a feeling of peaceful summer evenings when times were simpler and the pace of life slower. It couldn’t be more perfect if it tried.

The book is all encompassing and covers all aspects of rural life. My favourite chapter has to be superstitions – although I did study ‘how to make a fighting conker’ with perhaps more interest than a middle aged woman should.

As I read, I was filled with fondness and nostalgia, and I was reminded of things that I had long forgotten from my childhood growing up on the North York Moors. It’s a simple yet fascinating book which is full of traditional tales of legend and interesting facts. Who knew that the collective noun for peacocks is ‘an ostentation’ and that bees were once referred to as ‘little servants of God’.

I found this poem about the months of the year, courtesy of George Ellis (1753-1815), just delightful:

Snowy, Flowy, Blowy
Showery, Flowery, Bowery
Hoppy, Choppy, Droppy,
Breezy, Sneezy, Freezy.

I look forward to reading Jane’s other books –  this one really made me smile.

About the author: Jane Struthers lives in rural East Sussex.  The author of 20 books, she shares her 17th-century cottage and organic garden with her husband and two cats.

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