My favourite month is April, not because it is the month I was born, but because it is a month of promise. The nights are lighter, the weather is warmer and there are signs of new life all around us. It is the month when we start sorting out gardens and allotments and expecting much brighter skies, and as the song goes “When April showers they come your way, they bring the flowers that bloom in May.”
Then I started wondering what was the origin of April Fools Day, 1st April. There is no explanation where this came from, and we are told if we try to find out it would take such a long time and we would be on a fool’s errand. When we were young we were told it only lasted until 12 noon, and after this if you tried to trick somebody, you were the fool. I have never heard this, however, except in our family.
When I fetched the dustbins in the other day, I couldn’t believe how much rubbish we (everyone) throws away. When we were young we only had one small metal dustbin. Of course we never had many tins or cardboard as everything was fresh and also seasonal. We burnt small pieces of paper on the coal fire and the “Pig Man” as we called him came round and collected potato and vegetable peelings. We used the newspaper to light the fire and we had a boiler in the kitchen which burnt anything and everything. I can never remember our dustbin being full to overflowing. The motto in those days was ‘Waste not, want not’ and we could say we were better at recycling than anyone today.
When I saw the devastation of the earthquake in Turkey, where people’s lives were shattered and they were sitting outside the ruins of their homes, I wondered how they coped and if they were able to save some memories, like photographs, or like my mother during the war who took her tin box down the shelter containing birth certificates, insurance etc. I hope they saved some precious items.