Bring Out Your Dead

UK Column alerted me yesterday to What Do They Know and its collection of over 700,000 Freedom of Information Requests. There is a tranche of recent replies from UK city, borough and county councils giving the annual totals of people buried and cremated in the six years from 2015 to 2020.

Graphing the data shows quite clearly the devastation wrought by the terrifying SARS-CoV-2 virus in the Plague Year, 2020. Below is the chart for my home Borough.

Oh! Maybe it’s not as bad as the BBC is telling us.

Flower 22 · Shepherd’s Purse

VN: Mother’s heart. Shepherd’s purse gets its English name from its heart-shaped seed-cases, which resemble the little purses or pouches which were worn by medieval peasants, hung by draw-strings from the belt. The similarities with a purse don’t end there: when they are fully ripe, the pods will break in two, and spill out pale copper seeds. There was a rather cruel game, played in Germany as well as Britain, where one child would persuade another to pick a ripe shepherd’s-purse seed-case, and, when it broke, say the child had broken his or her mother’s heart.

Flora Britannica, Richard Mabey

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