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February 2022

February

This year, perhaps, February brings fewer notable dates as the lateness of Easter moves Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday into March so the romantics will be left with St Valentine and in the Church calendar with 2nd February as Candlemas or the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, 40 days after his birth; perhaps the latter is why February is derived from the Latin word for Purify.  2nd February is also known as Groundhog Day particularly in North America and the date also is associated with weather lore such as ‘if Candlemas be fair and bright winter shall have another flight’. Although some weather lore is based more on superstition than fact  this particular statement has a basis in the statistic that February can be a less changeable month than other winter months although the impact of climate change and its unpredictability are only too evident nowadays and even the sentiment from Flanders and Swann ‘February’s ice and sleet, Freeze the toes right off your feet’ may seem somewhat dated.

Deep down, many of us are creatures of habit and routine and can be challenged by anything that brings uncertainty and it is a particularly English quirk to talk about the weather and its uncertainty allows a little more to discuss!!  The epidemic of the past 2 years or so has indeed been challenging and many have found hidden resources as they take on new tasks and lifestyle changes as well as coping with sadness and loss. I once came across that statement that change may improve things, have no effect or make things worse which is 2 to 1 against change!!  But sometimes it is possible to look back on coping well with times of change with a sense of strength and achievement.

The reality is of course we live in a changing world and it is up to each one of us to do what we can, however little, to direct such change in a positive direction, sometimes to bring improvement for others rather than for ourselves.  It may affect our financial resources, our energy use or the way we choose what we buy, reuse and recycle. Even the smallest changes when multiplied by the same mind in others can make a significant difference to improve the world which we all share.

Charles Hill (LLM)

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