Jogging Along to July!

In Britain, when we think of July we think of  summer, as it’s generally the warmest month of the year, in common with the rest of the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, July is the equivalent our our January: in other words, it’s a winter month. In Britain the six week summer holiday for schools starts sometime around July 17th – 22nd (dependent on the area and/or individual schools) and we all start thinking about enjoying some sunshine. Unfortunately, we’re often disappointed in that. Our maritime climate can be very mean to us at times. Some of us will head off to the seaside towns; others choose a quiet – or sometimes a ‘sporting’ – break in the countryside. Some of us fly off to some sunny destination overseas.

Summer is a time for summer dress, barbecues and outdoor living in general. There’s always something special about summer music, too: it has such a lighthearted appeal. In 1970, this song by Mungo Jerry could be heard blasting out all over the place. It sounds so dated now, but back then it really got people singing along with it. The hairstyles are a scream and some of the lyrics are questionable today. The video was uploaded by Carlos Fracoso on October 4 2010.

So what else is interesting about July? Here are a few facts:

  • July is the seventh month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars and is one of the seven months with thirty one days. It was named by the Roman senate in 44 BC in honour of the Roman general, Julius Caesar.

  • Prior to that time July was called Quintillis as it was the fifth month of the Roman year, which then started in March. (Quin means five in Latin – as in quintet and quintuplet.)
  • Until the 18th century the word July in English had the stress on the first syllable and rhymed with duly or truly.
  • The Anglo Saxon names for July included Haymonath, referring to haymaking activities at that time, and Maedmonath, referring to the flowering of meadows.
  •  July starts on the same day of the week as April every common year and January in leap years.
  • July’s birthstone is the ruby. The flower is the water lily:

And these are a some facts from folklore. All three are about the weather:

  • ‘If ant hills are high in July,
    Winter will be snowy.
  • ‘If the first of July it be rainy weather
    Twill rain more or less for four weeks together.’
  • St Swithin’s Day is July 15.  If it rains on that day, it will rain for the next 40 days.

St Swithin of Winchester from the Bendictional of St Aethelwold illuminated manuscript in the British library. 10th century. Author: Monk. Public Domain

Many anniversaries are celebrated in July worldwide and I was hard pushed to pick out just a few as examples. These first few are British:

  • July 25 1586 First potatoes arrived from Columbia
  • July 28 1901 First fingerprints used for identification
  • July 2 1928 Equal voting rights granted to women in Britain
  • July 1 1937 999 emergency service introduced
  • July 3 1938 The Mallard broke the speed record for steam engines by reaching 126 mph.

The Mallard at York Railway Museum. Author: PTG Dudva Creative Commons

And these are a few non-British anniversaries:

  • July 1  Canada Day (obviously in Canada) and International Joke Day
  • July 2 World UFO Day
  • July 4 Independence Day, USA
  • July 6 International Kissing Day
  • July 14 Bastille Day in France
  • July 21 1968 Apollo 11 landed on the moon. Neil Armstrong became the first man on the moon.
  • July 29 International Tiger Day

The lanes around our village have taken on a different look since the spring blossom died off. Now autumn fruits are developing, cereal crops are ripening and summer flowers are blooming.

In our garden the fruits are swelling nicely and are the most noticeable feature at present. The first flush of roses have almost all gone, most totally bashed by the heavy rains of last week. We should see a second flush around late August. But other flowers are adding colour to the garden, in the flower beds as well as the hanging baskets. These are a few photos taken earlier today (July 1st):

To finish with, here are some short poems about July:

The glowing Ruby should adorn
Those who in warm July are born,
Then will they be exempt and free
From love’s doubt and anxiety.
― Anonymous

The Summer looks out from her brazen tower,
Through the flashing bars of July.
― Francis Thompson

‘A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay.
A swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon.
A swarm of bees in July is not worth a fly.’

‘Hot July brings cooling showers,
Apricots and gillyflowers.’
– Sara Coleridge, Pretty Lessons in Verse

(Gillyflower definition: any of a number of fragrant flowers, such as the wallflower or white stock.)

*****

About milliethom

I am a reader and writer of historical fiction with a keen interest in the Earth's history and all it involves, both physically and socially. I like nothing better than to be outdoors, especially in faraway places, and baking is something I do when my eyes need respite from my computer screen.
This entry was posted in Month by Month and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Jogging Along to July!

  1. leggypeggy says:

    We’re in winter now in Australia. Last night was -8°C. Adding another layer of thermals. Brrrr!

    • Minus 8 Peggy!!!! Time to move to Qld…. wanna swap? It was plus 9 last night and everyone was complaining.

    • milliethom says:

      That is very cold, Peggy. Do you live in the Snowy Mountains? I’ve hear it can get pretty cold there. Perhaps it’s time for you to head off on another of your treks – to somewhere nice and warm (if you’re recovered after the accident in Brussels, that is). Take care.

  2. Such a beautiful post Millie. Gorgeous photographs and fascinating trivia. It is July here in Fl. Hovering near the 100 F degrees but our hottest month is August and early September in Florida. We don’t really cool down until Nov. we are subtropical. Lovely lovely text and pics. Thank you Milie. ❤

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you so much, Holly. I can understand why so many British people fly over to Florida in late autumn. November here can be a dreary month. July is generally nice and warm here (to us, that it. It would probably seem freezing to you after the temps you’re used to. 😀 Hot weather must be conducive to writing lovely poetry. Yours is wonderful! ❤

      • Millie, I live in Germany for two years and found the seasons delightful. It was never too hot int he summer though the winter took some getting used to. We have many European and Canadian tourists in Florida, they are more welcome than the sunshine! ❤

      • milliethom says:

        I remember you telling me you lived in Germany for a while, Holly. The winters are much colder than British winters but so beautiful. I can imagine how they took some getting used to for a Florida girl. ❤

      • Lol! Yes. I once was locked out of my apt the dead of winter and couldn’t waken landlord. My neighbors took me in …finally. ❤

  3. Joy Pixley says:

    Your garden is so beautiful, I’m impressed! What lovely fuchsia, and what a great variety of fruits and vegetables for your harvest. You must have a wonderfully green thumb!

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you, Joy, but it’s my husband who has green fingers. I enjoy gardening, too, but never find the time. We’ve always grown lots of fruit and vegetables – a necessity with six children to cater for. At one time, Nick had a couple of allotment plots as well as the garden. He’s also a bit of a fanatic about fuchsias and has grown some amazing standards in the past.

      • Joy Pixley says:

        Having a spouse who gardens is even better, I’d say! Hm, maybe I’ll add that to my wish list. 🙂

      • milliethom says:

        Oh yes…my gardener knows his place. Lol Nick’s an outdoor person and has always loved to have a nice, colourful garden. His lawns never have a weed in them. Dandelions and mosses daren’t show their faces. I’d say a gardener’s a very useful person to have around, Joy, so keep a sharp eye open. 😀

  4. Such a wonderful post I loved it 🙂
    Love the garden, I wish I was any good with plants, lol.
    For me, summer is hell. I tend to go to a lot of appointments with my mom (during the summer) and the weather is almost always above 110 F (40+ though mostly it’s between 45-48 degrees).
    Can’t wait for Fall 😀

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you, Galit. 🙂 I’m so sorry you have so much on your plate, and can only hope your mom is doing much better at the moment. I know it’s been a long and difficult road for you all.
      I’m not sure how people in Britain would cope with such high temperatures. Although we love the sunshine, most people moan if it gets to 30 degrees, let alone 48! On the other hand, so many of us find the high temps ‘abroad’ wonderful! ‘Hot’ in Britain is often very muggy. 😀

      • Thank you so much hun, mom is still very weak from the last Chemo, but I’m sure she will get better and better 🙂
        Well I only been in London when it was fall (September) and it was still rather hot, but it also had a very nice evenings which made going for walks very nice ❤
        I really want to go and visit again ❤

  5. draliman says:

    So much going on in July! Happy UFO Day to you and yours 🙂

    • milliethom says:

      I found that one really funny and can’t help wondering how people celebrate it. In the US there are several days to celebrate different flavours of ice cream. I’d know exactly how I’d celebrate those! Yum!

  6. Interesting facts about July, that I was unaware of, Millie. You always have something interesting on your blog. Combining history trivia and lifestyle!! Oh that Mungo Jerry song brought back memories of a teenager with a trani… battery operated transistor in her ear listening to the Top 40 hits when I went to sleep on a Saturday night. I always woke up in the morning with the trani still in my ear and flat batteries!!!!

    • milliethom says:

      I had a transistor for years, too, Amanda, and many young people used to carry them around with them. It really annoyed the older folk. I didn’t do that but, like you, I had it on every night in my room. The Mungo Jerry song sticks in my mind because it was out the year I got married. The song was ridiculously popular but it was such a fun sound. I still think of it once (make that ‘if’ in Britain) summer arrives. Thanks Amanda.

      • Oh I wish that the summer sun appears for you today Millie. I think the song sticks in everyone’s heads but it must bring back fond wedding year memories for you.

  7. MG WELLS says:

    Thanks, Millie. A delight to read. Enjoy the day.

  8. Singledust says:

    have a lovely July and all summer too Millie! This was an awesome post, so much I found so interesting. From dates, to events to poems, really amazing and thank you for putting it all together for us.

    • milliethom says:

      What a lovely comment, Gina. Thank you! I hope your summer is wonderful too (although I know you’d rather have snow!). 😀

      • Singledust says:

        yes I would rather have snow, but my summer is looking very good right now, lots of warm sunshine and good company. thank you Millie, I appreciate your thoughtfulness all the time.

  9. anroworld says:

    Your garden looks lovely! There is so much interesting about July. I met the 1st of July in the countryside at my granny. Here in Ukraine, in capital city summer is already in full swing. We have gone through high temperatures and no rain. Yesterday, there was a hurricane with thunderstorms and heavy rains. Unfortunately, weather is not the best for harvesting and Ukraine suffers from global climate changes. My country is agricultural and we eat mostly what we grow. So, prices this year are pretty high. Certainly we should not complain and found something positive in such hot summers. For instance, Ukrainians are going for vacation to countryside houses or seaside. This is the best period to relax and gain something positive!

    • milliethom says:

      Thunderstorms and heavy rains are certainly not good during the harvest, Ann, or even in the weeks leading up to it. I suppose many countries will soon be feeling the effects of climate change and it will take some time for them to adapt to it. I can see how they would affect a country dependent upon agriculture, like Ukraine. I hope you manage to have a lovely summer and manage to get away to somewhere you love. Your country has so many beautiful areas, as I’ve seen in many of your posts. Thank you for liking my post. 😀

  10. Fascinating Millie, really enjoyed learning so much about July.

    • milliethom says:

      Hi Suzanne. It’s lovely to see you again and I hope all is well with you and your kitchen! I know you aren’t keen on the hot weather, and remember you saying you couldn’t wait for fall one year. As you know, it rarely gets too hot here. We’ve had a few years which break the norm (like 1976) but they’re few and far between. We all moan like mad if it gets too hot – or too wet – or too cold. We’re never satisfied.
      Every month has interesting things associated with it. This is the third month I’ve written a post about and I hope to carry on, if I can.Thank you for reading this one! 🙂

      • I have to go back and read the others. Yes you are right I dislike summer heat and it’s always miserably hot in NYC the only thing I like about summer is the produce😂 I have been without a computer over a month now so have fallen behind badly on reading other blogs and posting on mine. My new computer will be arriving this week. Have a great week!!

  11. That’s a lovely, skilful, canter through July, Millie; thoroughly enjoyed it – and didn’t know about 80% of it. Fun to see and hear the Mungo Jerry clip – how time flies! Those sideburns…! And it seems they filmed it on the side of Park Lane; I wonder why??

  12. milliethom says:

    Thanks Mike. Yes, I’m exhausted after cantering through that lot. 😀 The Mungo Jerry song sticks in my mind because it was out the year I got married and it was a lovely summer. All I know about Park Lane is that it’s on the Monopoly board and is an upmarket location. I’m guessing the reason for filming there was to illustrate that now-frowned-upon line ‘If her daddy’s rich take her out for a meal’ etc. To be honest, I hadn’t even realised it was filmed on Park Lane until you mentioned it. I really need a holiday in London!

  13. delightful facts and our weather is fickle here on the west coast of Canada too!! But we’ve been lucky this month, sunny and warm for the most part.

  14. Norma says:

    That’s a wonderful post Millie. I loved your garden. It’s really green and blooming with flowers and fruits.:) I have planted a few flowering plants and waiting for them to bloom.

  15. reocochran says:

    Millie, I really liked your July calendar! Can you believe this? I used to include the monthly flower, gem and poetry in 2013 and 2014. There was a month I featured Scottish and English news since a friend from blogging was there on your side of the pond. 🙂
    I liked the Sara Coleridge quote a lot and all your gorgeous plants, vegetables and flowers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s