These academic diaries always came to me courtesy of my parents. I think they were from Mrs Nunn, but I can't be sure, because both of them worked in education, and all we know for sure is that one of them was a big fat thief who raided their workplace's stationery cupboard in order to purloin one whole academic year diary for me each year for me to swottily note down my prep. No wonder the country's in deficit.
These diaries were unremarkable. Churned out for Leicester county council, they were crammed full of
They had bank holidays noted, but were in no way religious - no religious festivals (other than Christmas, Easter and perhaps All Saints' Day) were noted.
Apart from one.
Every year, without fail, the county council diary would mark February 3rd as St Blaise's Day - Patron Saint of Sore Throats.
Why this information was vital (on an annual basis) to the people who worked for Leicester County Council, I have never known, and I have always wondered. I liked to imagine some sort of East Midlands sect gathering to perform a hooded ceremony involving some scarves and a packet of Lockets.
And if anyone ever says to me, "Yes, do come to our party on 3 February," I always stop for a second and say, "Oh, that date rings a bell. Let me think... Oh no, that's fine, I am free. It's just that day is St Blaise's Day - Patron Saint of Sore Throats. You know."
I don't get invited to many parties. In February or otherwise.