Cold Roast Beef, Chips and Salad

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Anthony Sargeant cooked small joint of beautifully marbled beef earlier in the week. Quickly sealed in a hot pan then into a fan oven at 60 degrees Celsius for an hour and a half. What was left after the first meal was very thinly sliced and served cold with chips (french fries to Americans) a salad and a few spicy stuffed red peppers.

Scottish ‘Independence’

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As a sympathetic Englishman I understood the emotional and sentimental appeal of Scottish independence in the referendum of 2014. Indeed if I had been a Scot I might have voted in favour of independence given the economic and political circumstances at that time. But times have changed.

Notwithstanding that original sympathy I am perplexed by the action of the SNP in seeking a new referendum on leaving the Union. If they won a majority for ‘independence’ from the historic Union where would that leave Scotland? Ultimately, with Scotland having a population a little larger than Lithuania, perhaps as a minor province of a federal European Superstate dominated and controlled by Germany. This would hardly amount to ‘independence’ and seems a far worse option in terms of having control over the economic, political and social fabric of Scottish society compared with remaining part of the United Kingdom. Furthermore the time to negotiate and achieve that subordinate role in a European Empire would be measured in many years not months as is obvious from previous EU trading and membership negotiations  (not to mention the vehement opposition of Spain to any deal). During that time Scotland would be adrift on its own without any trading agreements, without access to the single market, and without the economic support which EU membership might possibly confer.

As oil prices collapse once again and thus with reduced income and necessarily a new interim Scottish currency until the possible adoption of the Euro as a precondition for EU membership, what would that mean for Scottish Society, for schools, social care, health services and all the rest? The resultant massive deterioration in social infrastructure would surely not be compensated for by eventually becoming a minor ‘subject’ nation within the European Empire, riven as it is with its own internal schisms and problems especially within the Eurozone.

It is clear that there is a sense of ‘now or never’ for the nationalists but the consequences of leaving the United Kingdom seem dire and the exact opposite of what the nationalists are calling for, that is “independence”, because the end result would be subjugation and loss of independence and national identity within a European Superstate.

 

February Snow in Shropshire

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It has been a mild winter with very little snow this year and not so many serious frosts as normal. Anthony Sargeant took this photograph from the bedroom window of his Shropshire, UK, home at about 8.30 am on Saturday 11th February 2017. The few flurries soon ceased and the snow melted away.

Traditional Haggis served up with Mashed swede and potatoes

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Burn’s Night is the 25th January. This is the haggis seen in the previous post now sliced and served with onion gravy made by Anthony J Sargeant as an accompaniment along with the  traditional mashed swede and potato. It tastes better than it looks says Tony – It is after all Peasant food.

Etching titled ‘Hirondelle’ by Denise Brown – (born 1911 – died ?)

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Anthony J Sargeant bought this super etching titled ‘Hirondelle’ at auction last year. 5th impression of 50.

Denise Brown, was one of the few printmakers still to be practising the art of original etching in the traditional manner as late as the 1980’s. She learned her skills under Malcolm Osborne and Robert Sargent Austin at the Royal College of Art in 1935. She was awarded a scholarship from the Royal College in 1936 and by 1940 she had produced around 100 original etchings; she went on to be elected a full member of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers