British Summer Time

Hi Everyone


I hope you're keeping safe with the current corona virus pandemic.


In the U.K. the clocks go forward 1 hour at 1am on the last Sunday in March, and back 1 hour at 2am on the last Sunday in October.


The period when the clocks are 1 hour ahead is called British Summer Time (BST). There’s more daylight in the evenings and less in the mornings (sometimes called Daylight Saving Time).


When the clocks go back, the UK is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).


Have a great week and take care!


Kind regards



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The Art of Cooking

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all safe and healthy. 
Did you know, Fannie Merritt Farmer significantly influenced the way Americans cook? She was from Boston, and she was born on March 23, 1857. By standardizing measurements in her recipes, Farmer guaranteed her readers reliable results. The Fannie Farmer Cookbook became a classic kitchen text. Now in its thirteenth edition, the cookbook remains a popular home cooking reference.
While a young woman, Farmer enrolled in the Boston Cooking School. After graduating in 1889, she became assistant director of the school. Within five years Farmer took charge, and, in 1896, she published the first edition of The Boston Cooking School Cookbook, today known as The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.
Making, serving, and sharing food is an integral part of many cultures. How has cooking been influenced in Japan over the years? It's something to think about!
I hope you all have a good week. 
- Laura
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Dissolution of the Monasteries

Hi Everyone


I hope you're all healthy and safe following the current pandemic.


The Reformation in Tudor England was a time of unprecedented change. One of the major outcomes of the Reformation was the destruction of the monasteries which began in 1536.


The Reformation came about when Henry VIII wished to divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, who had failed to give him a male heir. When the Pope refused to grant the divorce, Henry set up the Church of England. The Act of Supremacy in 1534 confirmed the break from Rome, declaring Henry to be the Supreme Head of the Church of England.


The monasteries were a reminder of the power of the Catholic Church. It was also true that the monasteries were the wealthiest institutions in the country, and Henry’s lifestyle, along with his wars, had led to a lack of money. Monasteries owned over a quarter of all the cultivated land in England. By destroying the monastic system Henry could acquire all its wealth and property whilst removing its Papist influence.


The idea was not new. Thomas Cromwell had already helped Cardinal Wolsey dissolve monasteries in the past. First of all, a dossier was presented to Parliament outlining the corrupt morals of the clergy. Henry’s chief minister Cromwell then introduced the ‘Valor Ecclesiasticus’ to find out just how much property was owned by the Church. He sent out royal commissioners to all the monasteries in England, Wales and Ireland.


This led to the Act of Suppression in 1536 whereby small monasteries with an income of less than £200 a year were closed and their buildings, land and money taken by the Crown. The Second Suppression Act of 1539 allowed the dissolution of the larger monasteries and religious houses.


Monastic land and buildings were confiscated and sold off to families who sympathised with Henry’s break from Rome. By 1540 monasteries were being dismantled at a rate of fifty a month.


After the disposal of their monastic lands and buildings, the majority of monks, friars and nuns were given money or pensions. However, there were some abbots and religious house leaders who refused to comply. They were executed and their monasteries destroyed. Thousands of monastic servants suddenly found themselves without employment.


Many people, particularly in the North of England, were against the Dissolution. Here the old Catholic faith remained especially strong. In October 1536 a large rebel army of over 30,000 people marched to York and demanded that the monasteries should be reopened. This march became known as the Pilgrimage of Grace. The rebels were promised a pardon and a Parliament in York to discuss their demands, and they disbanded. However they had been tricked; Henry gave orders that the leaders of the rebellion should be arrested and around 200 people were executed.


So what were the immediate effects of the Dissolution of the Monasteries? Firstly, vast amounts of monastic land, gold and silver plate were transferred to the Crown. It is said that the King’s own treasury profited by about one and a half million pounds. However a great deal of the wealth Henry acquired through the Dissolution was spent on his wars with France and Scotland. The gentry and rich merchants who bought the land also prospered.


One of the saddest legacies of the Dissolution was the loss and destruction of monastic libraries and their precious illuminated manuscripts.


The nursery rhyme ‘Little Jack Horner’ is believed to be connected with the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The story goes that Thomas Horner was steward to Richard Whiting, the last abbot of Glastonbury. Prior to the abbey’s destruction, the abbot is said to have sent Horner to London with a huge Christmas pie which had the deeds to a dozen manors hidden within it. Apparently during the journey Horner opened the pie and stole the deeds of the manor of Mells in Somerset. The manor properties included lead mines, and it is suggested that the plum in the rhyme is a pun on the Latin plumbum, for lead. Records confirm that a Thomas Horner did indeed become the owner of the manor, however this does not confirm the legend.


“Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
Eating a Christmas pie;
He put in his thumb,
And pulled out a plum,
And said ‘What a good boy am I!”


On 23rd March 1540, the Waltham Abbey was the last religious community to be closed during the Dissolution of the Monastries.


Hope everyone has a marvellous week!





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Saint Patrick's Day

Hi Everyone


I hope you're all in good health. Tomorrow happens to be Saint Patrick’s Dayfeast day (March 17th) of St. Patrickpatron saint of Ireland. Born in Roman Britain in the late 4th century, he was kidnapped at the age of 16 and taken to Ireland as a slave. He escaped but returned about 432 to convert the Irish to Christianity. By the time of his death on March 17th, 461, he had established monasteries, churches and schools. Many legends grew up around him—for example, that he drove the snakes out of Ireland and used the shamrock to explain the Trinity. Ireland came to celebrate his day with religious services and feasts. Enjoy!


Kind regards



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Hi Everyone


On March 2nd, World Teen Mental Wellness Day aims to raise greater awareness of mental health issues among teens, as well as provide education about removing stigmas surrounding preventative mental health.


According to the American Psychological Association, Gen Z (born: 1995 – 2012) has the worst mental health of any generation. However, teens are dedicated to making a difference. According to YPulse, 64 percent of Gen Z say they want to achieve a healthier lifestyle for overall happiness, including a stronger self-care routine. Also, 94 percent consider mental health very important to their well-being. Ultimately, raising awareness about mental health and the importance of self-care can help improve an entire generation’s mental wellness.


Teens around the world are encouraged to use March 2nd as an opportunity to practise self-care and silence their self-doubt – whether that’s through exercising, meditating, listening to music and more. Taking care of one's body iis important but don't neglect your mind; be well!





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Sakura Season

Hello everyone!

Cherry blossom season is almost here! I'm excited. The flowers are so pretty to look at. Will you go to look at the cherry blossoms this year? Looking at all of the sakura-themed items in the shops reminds me that spring is coming soon, along with the increasingly warmer weather. Are you ready for spring? I am! 
- Laura
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Hello everyone! 

We have a new school in Yamaguchi now! Isn't that cool? It's a very cozy place. It will be wonderful to teach classes there! I look forward to seeing what kind of students we will have. 
I hope you are all doing well. Luckily, the weather has been getting warmer. I can't wait for spring to be here! Do you like spring? What's your favorite season? 
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