I am very proud to be an Ambassador for World Animal Day and to promote the special day for everyone who cares about animals. The mission of World Animal Day is to raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe. Building the celebration of World Animal Day unites the animal welfare movement, mobilising it into a global force to make the world a better place for all animals. It is an opportunity to speak up for those who have no voice.
Whilst I haven’t organised an actual event for this years celebrations, I am using this opportunity to encourage you all to consider the welfare of all of our animals and to do whatever you can to help those in need. Of course whilst the 4th October is regarded as the celebratory day, it is crucial to continue to improve animal welfare every day.
As Mahatma Ghandi advised, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
You can find out more, including how to get involved and volunteer at the World Animal Day website.
Within the world of Folklore October does not resonate with joy, happiness and expectation. In October it is said, “the days shorten and the clocks go back; battles are commemorated, fire celebrations begin and Halloween sees ghosts and witches at large all over the country.”
One of October’s flowers is the calendula, which symbolizes grief, despair, and sorrow. But a Wican chant about October reassures us, “Corn and grain, corn and grain, all that falls shall rise again” providing a slightly more optimistic view of the month in the sense that the fruits of the harvest will produce new fruits.
Now I am not a financial whizz kid – despite the adage that gardener’s are always ‘raking it in’- but I was interested to learn there is also a theory is that stocks tend to decline during the month of October. The October effect is considered mainly to be a psychological expectation rather than an actual phenomenon and in the world of investment, investors may be nervous during October because the dates of some large historical market crashes occurred during this month. Black Monday, Tuesday and Thursday all occurred in October 1929, after which came the Great Depression. In addition, the great crash of 1987 occurred on October 19, and saw the stock prices fall about 20% in a single day.
I don’t think it will affect my bank account too much; I will still be outdoors every day raking it in!
Folklore tells us, “When berries are many in October, beware a hard winter”. And, “If wasps build nests high – the winter will be long and harsh.” The only wasp’s nests I have seen this year have been in the ground! So those two predictions indeed point toward a harsh winter and I also follow a guy who predicts the weather purely by nature and who is also predicting a hard winter. (‘Tentatively, at the moment’, he hastened to add when I spoke to him). His October prediction is for a cold dry start to the month – possibly a frosty weekend this weekend, and a very stormy end to October.
A little more randomly he told me, “I forecast a frost on the same date in October as the first August fog, which will be 17th October. That will then herald the start of St Luke’s Little Summer which is a traditionally a sunny and dry week or so, around the 18th. But the month will end with severe and destructive storms.”
On October 27th 1913, a 660 ft wide tornado snaked from east Devon to Lancashire and the destruction was greatest at Edwardsville, near Merthyr Tydfil where a Miner ‘was carried 1300 feet, dashed on the ground and killed’.
Another five people died throughout its path – the highest ever death toll for a British tornado.