We are all well aware that the Egyptians thought of cats as gods while the late Medievalists thought of them as witches' familiars. But what about the Early Medieval period - Anglo-Saxon England? What side did they take then?
There is a farm in the valley where I live. When I first moved here in 1996, there was also a dairy farm but now there are only sheep and crops. I like the rural flavour that farms bring. The seasons are portrayed through the jobs: sowing, harvesting, hay stacks, golden fields of wheat and vibrant yellow rapeseed. And where would any of us be without farmers?
At school I remember learning about the Anglo-Saxons and Jutes but as I grew up I forgot about the Jutes and where they lived. Well into adulthood and research, they came back to me. They were the folk who inhabited the first 'Anglo-Saxon' kingdom (although they were not from the Angle nor Saxon tribes!)
Anything valuable should be kept safe. And so it was with Wulfhere, one of the younger sons of King Penda of Mercia. When Penda was killed in the Battle of Winwaed in 655, Wulfhere and his younger brother were hidden away in a very safe place. Usually, royal children were fostered by other royal households, but there is no evidence where Wulfhere was taken.
Full moon in May means rice pudding in our house. It is the Buddhist festival of Wesak, or Buddha Day, and rice pudding symbolises Buddha's first meal following his Enlightenment, which was a sort of rice pudding.
Every year there is a campaign from someone somewhere about Saint George's Day. Often it is about making the national day for England a Bank Holiday, or to extend the drinking hours, or, in some cases, to be allowed to fly the English flag as some exuberant councils think it is racist. Yes, really. Bizarre.
After a week that often includes Easter, April Fool's Day and the start of British Summer Time, it seems fitting that the Anglo-Saxons considered April to be the month of feasting.
In 1939, a self taught archaeologist, Basil Brown, said that he had made "the find of a lifetime."
He wasn't joking.
Most weekends we have sausage toasties for breakfast. Other times we have bangers and mash or sausage casserole. And of course, the classic full English breakfast. Sausages. They are so terribly British.