Yesterday the new Letter from Europe from Nicky and Susanne of Hidden Europe landed in my inbox, titled “Frisian waves”. As well as their wonderful magazine that explores the nooks and crannies of our fascinating continent, they send out these letters three times a month and they are always a treat. Subscribe to the magazine and sign up for the newsletter. You won’t regret it…
Dear fellow travellers
We map our way around Europe using antique guidebooks, just as we map our way through the year using long-obsolete ecclesiastical calendars. So we are in a small minority of Europeans who happen to know that today, 16 January, was long observed as the Feast of St Marcellus. Quite what happened to St Marcellus we don’t know, but it seems he was ousted from his January perch by this or that papal reform sometime in the last century.
We have been staying for a spell on the North Frisian Islands, a part of Europe where locals have good cause to remember St Marcellus Day. For it was on this day in 1362 that North Sea coastal geography was reshaped by the most terrible flooding. A fierce Atlantic storm caused inundations in the Low Countries, throughout the Frisian Islands and north along the coast of Jutland.