Wild Sea Bream filleted and cooked by Anthony Sargeant for a September supper in Shropshire

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Alliteration is fun – but also the sea bream with crispy skin was delicious. Served on a bed of Sweetheart cabbage with a few crushed potatoes. Easy to prepare and inexpensive.

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‘Season of Mists and Mellow fruitfulness’ in Shropshire

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Anthony Sargeant took this photograph of an autumn sunrise from the bedroom window of his Shropshire home at 6.39am on the 28th September 2017. The glories of the ever changing English Countryside never cease to delight.

Etching ‘The Visit’ by William Strang RA in the collection of Anthony J Sargeant

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The etching is one of 24 by William Strang RA (1859-1921) in the collection of Anthony J Sargeant – this one is entitled ‘The Visit’.

During his lifetime, Dumbarton-born William Strang (1859 – 1921) built up an international reputation as a highly skilled and imaginative printmaker, portraitist and painter. His diverse subjects ranged from the fantastic to the very real, including uncompromising depictions of contemporary life and the effects of poverty and social injustice, landscapes, subjects from the bible, bewildering allegories, and narrative illustrations. He was also a prolific and highly successful portraitist.

Anthony J Sargeant bought this etching at Sotheby’s in the 1980’s

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‘In a Rose Garden’ was painted by Sir Laurence Alma-Tadema (signed Bottom Left in pencil) and the etching made by Leopold Lowenstein (signed bottom right). It was bought in its original frame from the Conduit Street, London sale rooms of Sotheby’s by Anthony Sargeant. The image measures 34 x 45 cm.

CONTINENTAL EUROPEAN HISTORY SHAPES THINKING IN A DIFFERENT WAY TO THE BRITISH

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In the early 1980s Anthony Sargeant had a lovely Hungarian girl friend, Judit, whose elderly parents during their lives in the 20th Century and living through two World Wars,  had had three different nationalities because of central European border changes: and that is not to mention the German Occupation during the Second World War.

Another example:  Strasbourg was German then French then German then French again (albeit now within the German dominated EU).

Going further back in history one might consider the changes, not to mention the devastation of the 30 years war.

By contrast the island of Great Britain was not part of these upheavals – and so it is difficult for the British to truly understand the psyche of Continental Europeans.

Another example: In the 19th Century the European Powers appointed a German, King Otto, to govern Greece after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire (Prince Phillip is of course a direct descendant). Curiously this ‘appointment’ was repeated in the 21st Century when the EU and European Central Bank effectively appointed an ex-Goldman Sachs Director as the Greek Prime Minister to enforce the ECB’s austerity requirements for the benefit of the Eurozone and thus the German economy.

Plus ca change …..

But one might also remark that in the 20th Century the Island status of Britain allowed it to stand alone against the overwhelming power of the German war machine. Without the English Channel separating England from Continental Europe the British would have been invaded by the Germans and would have become part of the Third Reich. The result would have been the murder of more European Jews as well as all British Jews and other ‘undesirables’. By standing alone and with great sacrifice of British civilians and military personnel (my own grandparents were killed in the London Blitz (25th May 1941) the British enabled Europe to escape the murderous regime of Germany’s Third Reich holding out against all the odds until the USA joined the war after Pearl Harbour. Perhaps some Europeans now forget the debt they owe the British which debt was incurred in my lifetime.