"40 Days of Rain?"
"If on St. Swithin's Day (July 15th) it dost rain for 40 days it will remain. If on the day it be fair, for 40 days will rain nae mair." I discovered the folklore of St. Swithin in 1977 and as noted in a previous column the Bishop of Winchester, a Benedictine monk, died July 2, 862. His deathbed request insisted that he be buried outside his cathedral so the rain would fall on his grave. Unfortunately, his intentions were not conveyed and he was entombed in a cathedral whereby a drought ensued. Once re-buried outside, the drought ended and the rain returned for 40 consecutive days. Renowned poet Paddy Shingleton writes: "If St. Swithin was planted here, wet weather would last for the rest of the year..."