Sunday, 12 August 2007

Festival of History

Hoozzah! One of Grit's highlights of the year! The English Heritage multiperiod event where lots of reenactors up and down the country go into some fields and have a big punch up. And if I have to dump the kids like in 2004 and go on my own, I jolly well will do so.

As it is, the junior Grits are now much better at history than they were in 2004, when they were aged four and only interested in ice cream.

First up, the medieval knight skills, with Grit shouting about Edward III in the rain so that she can show off her garter knowledge. Then we find a bloke who makes ropes and off Grit goes again rattling on about ships of the Phoenecian traders and the pirates of the seventeenth century. Then it's a spot of Tudor dancing and Shark refuses to join in, even though I have started tugging at her clothing and threatening to cry if she doesn't be my partner.

Then we're off to the Romans. I like the Romans. And the Celts. A few years ago I drove for miles in the middle of nowhere to get to the Iceni Museum and see the tailor's dummies propped up in the round houses. I would have stayed too, even with the whiff of Top Shop hanging about the place, had not Tiger got scared about the heads on poles and forced an untimely exit.

Anyway, no-one's going to stop me by the time we see the Saxons who look like the Normans who look like the Vikings, which sets Grit off again lecturing about the importance of chronology in the teaching of history. By the time we get to the seventeenth century, Shark has legged it with Dig, while Tiger and Squirrel are refusing to be with me unless I walk several paces behind them.

Well that suits me fine, I say. Because I'm sure I've just spotted Shackleton and must go over and discuss sugar lumps. But not before I've parted with a huge load of money for a Viking braiding disk I need, and popped in for a word with a commander in the Napoleonic wars to tut about the folly of the Spanish campaign.

But by then, Tiger and Shark and Squirrel are running off to find Dig. I was just about to lecture everyone too on the rise of Parliament from Simon de Montfort onwards. Never mind. They're probably hoping to tap him for a Cornish wafer.

I'll get them on the car journey home.


Marcus said...

Just wondering... Why do you think the Spanish campaign was folly?

grit said...

Hi Marcus! From the French pov.

Wasn't this the one called the 'running sore' since it drained so much in men and time? it's like present day iraq. no matter how many men are thrown in, they can't suppress guerilla tactics.

from the uk pov; as a naval might they had a lot of portugal to aim ships into. and geographically, the french, better at feet than ships, could only go back to france.

and for the spanish pov it seems to have been at huge cost, economically & culturally.

hmmmm... there must be a history discussion list somewhere... i'm minded to go off looking now!

HelenHaricot said...

I loved it. maybe next year i will carry a hE flag, and we can say hello. if we've not managed to meet at something before then

HelenHaricot said...

oh and poor simon de montfort. what a story

Marcus said...

I agree it was a disaster from the French PoV - from the UK PoV I think it wasa neccessary stand to make - strategicly and from the perspective of supporting the only ally they had left in that part of Europe.

Might see if I can find a discussion list as well!

Michelle said...

Marcus - You don't need to spend time looking for a historical discussion list. Weren't you supposed to be clearing the utility room?