Hellebores in the April sunshine

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Hellebores in flower in the garden of Anthony J Sargeant in Shropshire, England. Among the first of the spring flowers that have a occult quality in the way the blooms dip their heads.

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Aerial view of Naarden in The Netherlands – a classic star fortress in Het Gooi

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aerial of Naarden

Anthony J Sargeant had a home just outside the fortress which he bought in 1985. It was a three storey wooden house built at the end of the 19th Century. At that time only houses built of wood were allowed outside the fortress itself. In the event of war those houses that might provide cover for an enemy advancing on the fortress could be burnt to the ground to give the guns a clear field of fire. It was a wonderful house where his two children spent the early years of their life.

Rain in Shropshire leads to flooding of the water meadows around the River Corve

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Anthony J Sargeant took this photograph from a bedroom window of his Shropshire (England) home on the 31st March 2018. The view is towards the east and the normally gentle River Corve has burst its banks and flooded out across the low lying meadows that flank the rivers normal course. Normally the river cannot be seen from the window it lies in a river course that runs along the line of the bushes going from right to left about a third of the way up from the bottom of the picture.

Flooded Fields in Shropshire photographed by Anthony J Sargeant

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March 31st 2018: After heavy rain overnight and this morning the very small and normally tranquil River Corve turned into a torrent and burst its banks close to the home of Tony Sargeant. Flooding across the fields just below his Shropshire home. The normal river course is at the top line of trees parallel with the road and then coming across the very top of the picture from right to left. This morning the River Course could not contain the water draining off the Shropshire hills and overflowed the banks and across the fields

Easter in the Christian Calendar is a ‘Moveable Feast’ – but public holidays should not be moveable

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Calculating the date of Easter was from the earliest centuries a source of schism between the Western and Eastern Christian Churches. But the inconvenient fact is that however calculated it is a ‘Moveable Feast’ which in the Western Christian Church means that it can occur at any time between 22nd March and 25th April.

Anthony J Sargeant notes that in 2018 the Church of England will celebrate Easter on 1st April while his Greek Orthodox friends will do so the following Sunday.

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The Resurrection of Christ (which is celebrated on Easter Sunday in the Christian Church) by Murillo

There is no particular problem with this, people are free to celebrate festivals of any religion or other mythology that they choose to follow whenever they so choose. But there is no convincing argument for having a public holiday on Easter Monday, a day which has no religious significance in itself. It is simply ‘the day after Easter Sunday’. (N.B. The sensible Scots do not have a public holiday on this day – though they do on the preceding ‘Good Friday’)

After all there is no longer a public holiday on ‘Whit Monday’ (that is the day after Whit Sunday,  another ‘moveable feast’ related to Easter).  That public holiday was transmuted into the Spring Bank Holiday and that always occurs on the last Monday of May.

Thus if it is thought desirable to have an ‘Early Spring’ public holiday why not have it on, let us say, the first Monday in April? It could also be associated with a public holiday on the preceding Friday (replacing ‘Good Friday’) thus creating a long weekend at a fixed point in the calendar that could be more easily be scheduled into business and educational timetables.

To reschedule public holidays in this way has no particular religious implications. Those who so choose can still celebrate Easter (or any other festival) whensoever they choose.

 

 

So simple – but such fresh quality with the exceptionally large wild Sea Bream caught in UK Territorial Waters by a Cornish Day-Boat (cooked by Anthony J Sargeant)

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Tail fillet of a very large wild Cornish Sea Bream on a bed of leeks with chilli enhanced potato patties

It may be that the British will come to appreciate the fantastic quality of the fish stocks which we have in our territorial waters after Brexit (and by the way let us be clear – territorial waters means exactly that – UK territory – it makes no more sense to allow the EU to annex our fisheries than allowing the Germans to annex The Sudetenland in 1938, or next year letting the EU annex Cornwall because Europeans like Cream Teas!).

Oh yes fillets of Cornish Wild Sea Bream served on a bed of leeks with some potato patties enhanced with a little chilli.