Ne’er cast a cloot ’til May is oot

The title is the Scottish version of an English phrase “Ne’re cast a clout till May is out” or in plain English – “Never take off a layer of clothing until the end of May”.  It is an archaic phrase, probably from medieval times, and there are similar phrases in France and Spain.  I was tickled by the Spanish phrase “Hasta el cuarenta de Mayo no te quites el sayo!” “Until the 40th of May, do not take off your coat”.  Every May, even here in the sub tropics in south east Texas, we always get a wee cold snap.  In April our temperatures were heading up to the high 80s and I started thinking of getting the summer clothes out.  On May 4th (Star Wars Day) the high in Houston was 90F/32C and on May 5th it was down to 63F/17C – no wonder I had to wear my favorite fleecy cat socks.  If you live in Canada or Scotland, you might be cursing me, “63 degrees sounds like summer to me…”

It occurred to me that I have very few summer clothes despite where I live.  In Scotland I had a tiny box of summer vacation clothes that lasted for 20 years.  Everything else was clothes that could be layered along with a few polar jackets/sweaters.  Our neighboring village had snow one June – WTH?  It was a cold snap and we lived on a high plateau with nothing between us and the Arctic.  At least our clothes dried quickly – sometimes hard frozen.  My body temperature runs cool like a really good car – the temperature in the house is 76 degrees and I am wearing a light sweater but my feet are cold.

I love warmth but not really strong sunlight.  Living in a forest helps because in tree shade the temperature can drop by 20 degrees.  We have a pair of beautiful water oaks who live in the reserve but their canopy covers our deck giving us delicious shade.  I thank them by spraying them up and down with the garden hose.  I swear that the Live Oak in the front trembles with pleasure when I hose her down on a hot day.  Teddy and I enjoy sitting in our rockers under the Water Oaks although I am always afraid of a Cicada falling on my head.  Their song is wonderful but they give me the jitters.  So, so glad that we don’t live in any of the States who are about to greet Brood X 2021.  For non-Americans, there is a type of Cicada that emerges every 17 years in Ohio and neighboring states.  If you don’t like Cicadas it is like Hitchcock’s famous horror movie The Birds.  In the next few days 1.5 million per acre will be emerging – that is BILLIONS of them. Apparently they taste like shrimp when cooked – I will never know…

Graph courtesy of USDA Forest Service and VOX


The Brood X has been delayed a few days by this cold snap making the anticipation even greater.

29 thoughts on “Ne’er cast a cloot ’til May is oot

  1. 63 degrees? That’s ‘Taps Aff’ in Scotland. Swimsuits and beach as well as ice cream.
    I’m always reasonably warm but feet often cold x

    Liked by 2 people

      • I thought Donald Trump was from New York? And Bush …. the one that wanted a war and got one was from Texas? Maybe it could be Bush’s looming bad years that’s created climate change. Burning Bush!!! 😀

        Either way, they are silly politicians.


  2. Yep – around here it’s been 70 degrees one day then dropping to the 40s the next! Crazy Midwest. We’re right on the border of Brood X, so we’ve been wondering how that will turn out for us. Only time will tell!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am so used to the ever-changing Irish weather yet the recent wee cold snap took me off guard. I was cycling to work and had to wear my winter hat and glows, brrrr. Let’s hope we get to see more sunshine from now on. Cheers and have a good day. Aiva 🙂 xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw why – that’s Scots for everywhere! I lived in Glasgow until I moved to Edinburgh at 21. Then we moved to England and Wales. We returned to north of Aberdeen (oil industry) and lived in villages in Buchan.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That expression speaks to me! It has finally stopped snowing (although you never know). Now we have wide temperature swings – 50s or even 60s during the day, 40s or a dip into 30s at night. Enjoy the warmth! And I do love those cozy socks.

    Liked by 1 person

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