Do You Know What Sage And Onion Have In Common With Shakespeare? By Danny Kemp

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This week, here in the UK, we celebrate the seven-hundredth wedding anniversary of Sage and Onion. 

The two were married in a cauldron when a banquet was being prepared for King Gareth-Barry of Wales, at Castle Dunsinane, when he was entertaining King Duncan of Ireland and King Cardun of Norway.

It was Garth-Barry’s turn to host this annual occasion and then to supervise the forthcoming….‘Face Powdering Contest.’

(Think about it, all three nations have strange peculiarities and it was 1314!)

The tournament was to be staged in the nearby tiny village of Macbethy, famous for its competitive pigeons!

In order to tenderise these tough but fit Welsh birds, sage and onion was smeared on the flesh and then added to the usual cooking wine in which they were to be poached.

At the end of the meal, which was enjoyed by all, both King Gareth-Barry’s son, Prince Carwyn and his Queen, Queen Faulkner died! (I know it’s a strange name for a girl, but that’s not my fault. Blame history) They had been using a forerunner to toothpicks, sharpened twigs, to remove the succulent remaining meat from the pigeons bones, but then swallowed them; whole! 

Garth-Barry blamed the cook and her maid. In a violent temper he burns both, scattering their ashes on a field normally used for growing daffodils.

HOWEVER…………………..Stay focused, I’m getting there.

An exact year from that tragic night a vast crop of aromatic sage, along with ripe onions, miraculously appeared from the hitherto barren ground. This sent the locals into a joyous dance of drunken merriment and glee. Such was their excitement no one noticed King Gareth-Barry fall from his horse, whilst riding towards the party, under a combined barrage of English, Scottish and Irish arrows. Annoyed at the noise, the neighbours had invaded!

Thus was the beginning of the legend surrounding The Powder Plot.

Now, every November 5th, bundles of dried sage with chopped onion are tied to fireworks and ceremoniously setoff, whilst facing in the direction of Wales, in a United Kingdom attempt at appeasing the wrath of King Gareth-Barry.

If, prior to reading this, you believed that Catholics or, perish the thought, Shakespeare had any connection to November 5th or Castle Dunisnane, you have now been enlightened!

© 2014, Danny Kemp. All rights reserved.

About Daniel Kemp

Daniel Kemp’s introduction to the world of espionage and mystery happened at an early age when his father was employed by the War Office in Whitehall, London, at the end of WWII. However, it wasn’t until after his father died that he showed any interest in anything other than himself! On leaving academia he took on many roles in his working life: a London police officer, mini-cab business owner, pub tenant and licensed London taxi driver, but never did he plan to become a writer. Nevertheless, after a road traffic accident left him suffering from PTSD and effectively—out of paid work for four years, he wrote and self-published his first novel —The Desolate Garden. Within three months of publication, that book was under a paid option to become a $30 million film. The option lasted for five years until distribution became an insurmountable problem for the production company. All seven of his novels are now published by Creativia with the seventh—The Widow’s Son, completing a three book series alongside: What Happened In Vienna, Jack? and Once I Was A Soldier. Under the Creativia publishing banner, The Desolate Garden went on to become a bestselling novel in World and Russian Literature in 2017. The following year, in May 2018, his book What Happened In Vienna, Jack? was a number one bestseller on four separate Amazon sites: America, UK, Canada, and Australia.  Although it's true to say that he mainly concentrates on what he knows most about; murders laced by the mystery involving spies, his diverse experience of life shows in the short stories he writes, namely: Why? A Complicated Love, and the intriguing story titled The Story That Had No Beginning. He is the recipient of rave reviews from a prestigious Manhattan publication and described as—the new Graham Green—by a highly placed employee of Waterstones Books, for whom he did a countrywide tour of book signing events. He has also appeared on 'live' television in the UK publicising that first novel of his. He continues to write novels, poetry and the occasional quote; this one is taken from the beginning of Once I Was A Soldier There is no morality to be found in evil. But to recognise that which is truly evil one must forget the rules of morality.
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