For so our Lord was pleased when He Fishers made Fishers of men; Where (which is in no other game) A man may fish and praise his name. The first men that our Saviour dear Did chuse to wait upon him here, Blest Fishers were; and fish the last Food was, that he on earth did taste. I therefore strive to follow those, Whom he to follow him hath chose. W. B. (from "The Complete Angler 1653" by Izaak Walton) Today is the feast of Saint Andrew, fisher, Apostle, missionary, martyr, patron of Scotland. Izaak Walton was the first biographer of George Herbert, whose poetry we read yesterday. Jesus also chose a civil servant in the person of Saint Matthew, and he 'hath chose' you and me as well, so let's enjoy the light-heartedness of this verse!
Tag Archives: fish
30 November: Blest Fishers
Filed under Advent and Christmas, Christian Unity, Daily Reflections, Mission, poetry
27 September, Season of Creation: Joys not Promised in my Birth, Izaac Walton.
This is from earlier in the Compleat Angler. Piscator lands a trout, his protege, here still called ‘Viator’ or Traveller, is treated to more of his master’s observations and praise of creation.
Piscator: here is a Trout now, and a good one too, if I can but hold him; and two or three turns more will tire him: Now you see he lies still, and the sleight is to land him: Reach me that Landing net: So (Sir) now he is mine own, what say you? is not this worth all my labour?
Viator. On my word Master, this is a gallant Trout; what shall we do with him?
“But turn out of the way a little, good Scholar, towards yonder high hedge: We’ll sit whilst this shower falls so gently upon the teeming earth, and gives a sweeter smell to the lovely flowers that adorn the verdant Meadows.
Look, under that broad Beech tree I sat down when I was last this way a fishing, and the birds in the adjoining Grove seemed to have a friendly contention with an Echo, whose dead voice seemed to live in a hollow cave, near to the brow of that Primrose hill; there I sat viewing the Silver streams glide silently towards their centre, the tempestuous Sea, yet sometimes opposed by rugged roots, and pibble stones, which broke their waves, and turned them into some: and sometimes viewing the harmless Lambs, some leaping securely in the cool shade, whilst others sported themselves in the cheerful Sun; and others were craving comfort from the swollen Udders of their bleating Dams.
As I thus sat, these and other sighs had so fully possessed my soul, that I thought as the Poet has happily expressed it: I was for that time lifted above earth; And possessed joys not promised in my birth.
(from “The Complete Angler 1653” by Izaak Walton)
Filed under Daily Reflections, Laudato si', PLaces
Meat free Lent XXIV: Potatoes and Beans and Sardines
Helen Rose and Gerardo Calia – St Dunstan’s Church
Here is a meat-free recipe which you might like to consider for the 40 days of Lent. We like this one because it is full of flavour and cheap.
500g small new or salad potatoes
200g French beans, trimmed
120g tin sardine fillets (or pilchard fillets) in olive oil
A good squeeze of lemon juice
A little extra virgin olive oil (if needed)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Cut the potatoes into 2 or 3 pieces each. Put them into a saucepan, cover with water and add salt. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 6-10 mins until tender.
2. Meanwhile, cut the French beans into 3-4 cm lengths and add to the pan for the last 3-5 mins – they should still have a bit of crunch when cooked.
3. Drain the potatoes and beans well and leave to cool until warm, or at room temperature. Tip the sardines (or pilchards) with their oil, into a large bowl. Add some salt and pepper and the lemon juice, then use a fork to mash the sardines to a rough puree.
4. Tip the cooled potatoes and beans into the bowl with the sardines and toss thoroughly so that the vegetables are well coated in the fishy dressing. Taste and add more salt, pepper, lemon juice and/or a little extra virgin olive oil as needed, then serve.
Plus one: Try stirring a handful of roughly chopped stoned black olives into the mix.
Plus two: A hard-boiled egg or two will add further to the salade niçoise effect.
Swap: If you can’t get French beans, this salad is also lovely with Little Gem lettuce hearts. You could shred the lettuce or just halve or quarter the hearts.
Filed under Christian Unity, Laudato si', Lent
Meat free Lent XIII: a few favourites.
From Chris Todd – St Dunstan’s Church
My children always liked Cheese & Potato Pie with Baked Beans. Just mash the potato with grated cheese mixed in. Grate cheese on the top and bake in the oven.
My grandchildren like Pasta with Red Pesto mixed together with grated cheese on top.
Also, a favourite is Jacket Potato topped with Tuna and Mayonnaise with Salad.
There is always the best: Fish & Chips!
Especially beside the sea! WILL T.
Filed under Laudato si', Lent
19 May: Environment Novena – Day VI
Today is the sixth of nine days of prayer called by the Catholic Bishops of England & Wales and Scotland to seek wisdom to know how to restore our environment. The full post can be found here.
Bless the Lord, you whales and all creatures that move in the waters, sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever. Daniel 3.
Filed under Interruptions, Justice and Peace, Laudato si', Mission, Pentecost
29 September: Creation Season I, Our Stour
The Stour is the river that flows through Canterbury in different channels, including this one, from which L’Arche Kent draws the water for its garden project. When I looked at the photo on a large screen I almost discarded it as it shows more of the flats opposite than the river. But the river is healthy, as the weed shows, and this is confirmed by a survey a friend took part in, counting the different micro-organisms at various sites along the river.
It was not always that way. In the 19th Century Ashford’s sewage went into the river, not good for Canterbury or the schools built near the river (in those days, going downstream, St Mary’s, St Thomas’, and St Peter’s). But Canterbury tossed in sewage as well, and worse: opposite us here, where the flats now are, was the tannery, source of industrial pollution.
That has gone, the river is clean enough for trout and eels to thrive; we’ve seen both on this stretch. This would not have happened without dedicated and focused hard work, continuing to this day with the Our Stour project.
One way to help is to use water wisely; Our Stour provide some good advice for gardeners. This is part of our responsibility as stewards of creation, something to consider in this season of Creation proclaimed by Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis.
Filed under Daily Reflections, L'Arche, Laudato si', Mission
5 July: Satisfaction and things.
As our means increase, so do our desires; and we ever stand midway between the two. When we reside in an attic we enjoy a supper of fried fish and stout. When we occupy the first floor it takes an elaborate dinner at the Continental to give us the same amount of satisfaction.
From Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow by Jerome K. Jerome. The attic, of course, held the pokiest, worst-planned rooms in the boarding houses where the relatively poor Jerome was living at this period of his life. I trust he could still have enjoyed fish and chips from Peter’s Fish Factory in Margate. The 5,000 were content with bread and fish by the lakeside – but not for long! Let us be grateful for what we have been given, and always thank God for our food, spoken or silently.
Filed under Daily Reflections, PLaces
June 23, Intergalactic exploration XXXV: The best of all possible worlds?’
Downstairs in a pandemonium of claws then out into the spring sunshine. T had hardly noticed the weather, being absorbed in collating a report on Random Acts of Kindness between Earthly Species. The chihuahuas had contributed to the field-work, or rather park-work, that lay behind this thesis. They maintained, from a canine perspective, that when a dog looked at a human eye-to-eye, with tongue at half-mast in what some people called a smile, it was the dog initiating the exchange of kindness, not the human who scratched the dog between the ears or under the chin.
It was well drilled into the chihuahuas that they did not enter Peter’s Fish Factory. ‘After all’, said T, ‘You never went near the kitchen in Ossyria.’ ‘As if anyone ever would!’ retorted Alfie. ‘I never knew where they were, and I never wanted to.’ He broke off as T entered the shop, then turned to Ajax. ‘Well done, getting him out of the apartment. He’s spent too long on that report that will never be read. Even if it gets back to Ossyria, it will be suppressed. Random Acts of Kindness would upset the whole system. What’s the point of them in the best of all possible worlds?’
‘Best of all possible worlds? I don’t quite believe that any more.’ Ajax would have said more, but T had come out of Peter’s carrying a big paper bag with a blue fish printed on the side. ‘Beach steps or Winter Gardens?’ asked T. ‘Gardens’, came the reply. Aggressive, hungry gulls were intimidating to lowly chihuahuas, and there was more cover in the gardens. If necessary, a dog could hide under a bench, though not too close to another dog who might fancy the same morsel, or receive a larger whitebait.
Filed under corona virus, Daily Reflections, PLaces
22 June, Intergalactic Exploration XXXIV: What became of docility?
The Ossyrian virtues of docility and self-sufficiency had worn thin during the trio’s extended stay on earth. Self-sufficiency, Alfie the Chihuahua reflected, was always an illusion. Back home he had stayed in his pod like a good citizen, accepting without complaint the ten day week’s rota of meals as they arrived through the serving hatch, but with little enthusiasm except on Ninthdays when there was a dish he could actually taste. He was reminded of this flavour when he ate a bagful of cheese and onion crisps, but he very soon realised that the crisps had more taste than ‘Welpow Pie’, and furthermore, that Cheddar cheese was much nicer than the crisps, if bad for a dog’s digestion. A sore tummy once in a while was a price worth paying for getting away from endless grey mush. Alfie, despite being no more than 5% of his Ossyrian stature and weight, was happier living as an earthly dog, even with that annoying Ajax.
Neither of them showed much docility towards the other, T felt. Before the Ossyrian apocalypse he had hunted and eaten many a mongoose-like creature. In a bad light he could almost imagine that a chihuahua was … but he would not let his mind wander too far down that alley, if only because they would read his thoughts.
‘I’m hungry. What about a walk to Peter’s Fish Factory, T?’ projected Ajax. T shuddered; that was a close call! Next time he felt murderous one of them might read his thoughts more clearly. But a walk along the beach promised to be a positive distraction from snarling and knocking into the furniture. ‘I must buy Mature Doggy Megabytz next time’, he promised himself.
Filed under corona virus, Daily Reflections, PLaces
28 April: In sure and certain hope.
Our constitutional today led us to Harbledown, once home to Canterbury’s lepers, but we took an old sunken road that led us to the parish church, not the lepers’ one – which is now an almshouse. We spent a few minutes checking the gravestones for passion flowers. I would have said no joy, but these modern carvings were little joys, and each of them an Easter image.
The daffodils are often part of an Easter garden, and then the salmon: didn’t the risen Jesus accept a piece of grilled fish, since he was no ghost, but still human, still able to fancy food. And didn’t he barbecue fish for the disciples up North in Galilee? I don’t suppose they have salmon in the Jordan, cut off as it is from the ocean but surely he’d have caught the best in the lake? That would be salmon in England.
As for the boat (a Mirror dinghy if Agnellus is not mistaken) let it remind us of that lakeside morning, the shared meal, the reconciliation, the commission: feed my lambs, feed my sheep, feed my ewes. Let us share our Easter joy in this lockdown time!
Filed under Daily Reflections, Easter, PLaces