Monday, 27 January 2014

Dead Blog Day.

I’ve been trying to think of something suitable for a post all day, but…

Who wants to know that I’m £220 poorer as a result of having to replace the thirteenth item of equipment in the past three years?

Who wants to know that I got a bit interested in Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians, because some of my ancestors probably fought the Danes under her command in the 10th century?

Who wants to know that I got a rare wave (and smile, I think) from HT54 today while I was checking that the recycling bins at the pub really have gone?

Who wants to know that I regard the removal of our recycling bins as another example of favouring the cult of the personal over the value of the communal?

Who wants to know that I’m fast wearing out my relatively new wellies because the Shire is such a wet and muddy place this winter?

And who wants to know that I’m spending more time at the moment sitting by a warm coal fire re-reading the ghost stories of MR James than I am sitting in a lukewarm office writing this pesky blog?

See? Nothing to write about. Maybe later.


Della said...

I just watched a bbc documentary about Aethelflaed (tricky spelling there) in fact, so would like to know.

I'm not crazy about the show's host, whose name escapes me, but enjoyed the documentary otherwise. Nice to know there are other, flesh and blood women in history whose names and deeds have survived, besides those in the mists...

JJ Beazley said...

Michael Wood? Probably the same one I watched. I quite like his presentation style actually, but I can see why somebody wouldn't.

Yeah! Go Aethelflaed! Some woman, eh? She wasn't a Mercian herself, of course, but a Wessex woman, daughter of Alfred the Great. But who's splitting hairs between Angles and Saxons?

My home county is Staffordshire which was the heart of Mercia, so although the male line on my dad's side probably came over from Ireland, I expect most of the rest were probably Mercian.

Della said...

That's fascinating – I watched the documentary with full concentration wondering who-the-heck the Mercians were in the first place and then noticed from the map they showed, that it was more or less mythic Avalon country (or no?). So that's where you're from? I'm so amazed how diverse the UK is historically, with the onslaught of the Romans, Angles, Saxons, Vikings, etc., over the centuries. It's no surprise I don't understand a word of Old English – though what I do hear is the occasional touch of German or gutteral Dutch (I used to live in Holland).

Anyway, I'm glad I watched the documentary (I only saw half of the first one), in spite of Michael Wood's gleeful approach – ha. Maybe, being an expatriated American, I've grown allergic to enthusiasm, I don't know. I have the same reaction to Brian Cox, bless him.

JJ Beazley said...

Oh, Della. Not our Brian! He’s our baby faced boy with the encyclopaedic knowledge of everything. Choose a dot at random:

‘What’s that?’


‘How far away is it?’

‘7½ million light years.’

He’s dead good is our Brian.

My own favourite presenter is Neil Oliver, my most disliked the insufferably pompous David Starkey.

I’m afraid Mercia wasn’t the mythic Avalon country. The south west of England is generally credited with that honour, particularly the counties of Somerset and Dorset. That’s the western side of Wessex. Mercia was approximately what we now call the English Midlands. I doubt any of my ancestors knew Lancelot personally.

And you’re not alone in hearing Old English as a foreign language. Learning Old English is strictly anorak country.