155. Let us rogate…

I don’t know about you, but what with trying to catch up on Thursday night’s sleep; and with the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth; and with the resolution to treat the result as a personal call to arms, I’m right behind with my Rogation Sunday shopping. So here we are again, Rogation Sunday morning and I’ve barely bought my cards, let alone sent them.

Don’t you think it comes around quicker every year?

When I went to Exeter, communication from the outside world meant a letter (in an envelope with a stamp on) or a phone call (from a telephone box – like the Tardis but red. No? Google it.) Checking at the Porters’ Lodge for post – twice daily, and once on Sunday – was a focal point in the day. And what excitement when, in May, my pigeon hole contained Rogation Sunday cards from all my family! Mind you, it took a bit of explaining to my Uni chums.

At some point in my teenage years, Pa felt like icing a cake. As you do. He’s a whizz with icing, is Pa, having worked in his youth as a bricklayer and therefore being nifty with a trowel. He iced both my and LittleSis’s wedding cakes and they looked pretty darn good, and robust to boot as he didn’t scrimp on the mortar. Anyway, on the day in question, he was looking for inspiration for his icing and hit upon the fact that, according to the kitchen calendar, it was Rogation Sunday. So he iced the message ‘Happy Rogation Sunday!’

The following year brought not only cake but also cards. And the year after that, a party; the highlight of which was when assorted Aunts, Uncles and Cousins-Once-Removed circled around the pond chanting ‘rogate, rogate’. No doubt if there had been a wicker-man to hand, we’d have burnt him, just for the hell of it.

In all these years, I have never found out what Rogation Sunday is actually all about. It has a vaguely agricultural sound but perhaps that’s because it rhymes with ‘rotation’. On that basis, we intend to bless the allotment, on which we are currently growing sag-aloo and onion bhaji.

When we started the whole shebang, the only sources of reference in the house were a fairly elderly Pears Cyclopaedia and a Guinness Book of Records, both peculiarly silent on the subject. Now, I could look it up in a matter of seconds. But I’m not going to. Partly because the actual derivation is irrelevant; to me it’s to do with being part of a clan. But also, I am pushed for time, as I still have cakes to make and cards to write for this afternoon’s celebratory tea.

So, if I don’t see you later, have a lovely Rogation Sunday and may all your Rogations be fruitful.


It’s been a Parkie intensive week, with a trip to the Royal Free to participate in a Tracking Study (funded by Parkinson’s UK) and a meeting at the Cure Parkinson’s Trust to look at some up-and-coming initiatives. I was immensely cheered by the news that the CPT is to help fund, among other things, a further trial of Deferiprone – the drug which I was involved in trialling for six months. I strongly suspect that taking this drug contributed to my continuing good health.   It was encouraging to hear of other treatments, too, which seem equally promising.

So, if you’ve been contributing to the Cure Parkinson’s Trust or to Parkinson’s UK, then thank you for making this research possible. I know it can be a bit of a bore, remembering to log on to Give As You Live, rather than going straight to Amazon or EBay, but it is really and truly worth it. Moonpig are part of the scheme too, so if you buy your Rogation Sunday cards from them next year, at 11p donation per card, we’ll have this thing cured in no time.

2 responses

  1. Oh no – I have just made the mistake of looking it up. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it is a day of prayer and FASTING. Still, on the plus side I will happily help you to get rid of the cakes if you want. Happy Rogation Sunday to you.

    1. Phew, I’m glad I didn’t know that before we started on the cake. My brother in law also looked it up and came across something involving sacrificing a dog to ensure a good harvest. None of us have a dog, so we made do with picking up snails and putting them in the green waste.

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