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With One Final Finger In Dane's Dyke

Upon this pebbled beach is where our story ends.
This is where I hang up my langseax knife.
Now am I housecarl. Now have I earned mine spurs.
July 1066 was a cruelly hot summer by all accounts.
July 2008 has proved itself to be anything but.
Yet we have persevered. Yet we have remained resolute.
Men of great spirit stand either side of me.
These proud men of the Shires. These plucky sokemen.
This brave Band Of Brothers beneath the banner of the wyvern.
No hairy star hangs overhead this night. No portents of doom.
Only a silvery Hay Moon rising high above the salty whale-road.
Illuminating the great chalk spur of Flamborough Head.
Reflected in the faces of those warmed by campfires.
I shall fight to the death for my king.
If my king or my earldorman shall die,
I shall take his place and fight
just as he would have fought.
If any man here see me taken with weakheart,
and run away, he shall remind me of this pledge
made here before my kith and my kin.

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Now Then Now Then (But Not Just Yet)

When I was small, I wrote to Sir Jimmy Savile three times.
I asked him if he could fix it for me to play drums with Adam & The Ants.
I asked him if he could fix it for me to pilot the Millenium Falcon.
I asked him if he could fix it for me to visit
the offices of Marvel comics in New York City.
Sir Jimmy never wrote back.
I don’t hold it against him though.
He was a busy man. He had shellsuits to dry-clean,
Cuban cigars to smoke and lank hair to get platinumized.
A member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
and a Knight of the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory,
Sir Jimmy is an esteemed Friend Of Israel,
an Honorary Royal Marine Commando
and a Freeman of the Borough of Scarborough.
He claims to have invented both hip-hop and rap music.
He also claims to have raised over £40,000,000 for charity.
Which, whatever way you choose to look at it, is a lot of sterling.
On Boxing Day 1994, Chris Morris
announced live on BBC Radio One
that Sir Jimmy had collapsed and died.
As it happens, it wasn’t true. It was just a joke.
And to this day, Sir James Wilson Vincent Savile
remains the only still-living person in the free world
to have a commemorative bench dedicated to them.
Seriously, how’s about that then?

Sir Jimmy Savile: "I Invented Zero Tolerance" clip



Greetings From The Grand Hotel Scarborough

The term “Faded Glory” probably
best sums-up Scarborough’s Grand Hotel.
Its austere brickwork the colour of nicotine.
Its mismatched carpets pre-decimalisation.
Completed in 1867, it looms large above the seaside town,
casting long shadows over the harbour and the South Bay.
The Grand boasts 2 Restaurants, 3 bars
and the most cases of food-poisoning
of any hotel in the North Yorkshire area.
Its 4 towers represent the 4 periodic seasons.
Its 12 floors represent the 12 months of the year.
And its 52 chimneys represent the 52 calendar weeks.
Jack Torrance, an aspiring playwright, is in the room next door.
Marion Crane is taking a shower in the room right across the hall.
The emergency number to contact reception is 6666.
(The Number Of The Beast, plus an extra 6 for good measure).
I’m trying hard not to think about how many people must
have died in the bed that I’ll be sleeping in later tonight.
Check-out, it’s worth noting, is 10am sharp.



Vivat Harold Rex Anglorum!

The world sure is a big place;
full of many people seeking an escape
from the pressures and anxieties of everyday life.
Some choose to play World of Warcraft.
Some choose to learn Klingon (or tlhIngan).
Others still choose to dress in chainmail
and spend their weekends bashing 57 shades
of Living History hell out of each other
in muddy fields the length-and-breadth
of this Merry Olde Kingdom Of Enga-lond.
With a worldwide membership of around 600,
Regia Anglorum are one such organisation.
They're like the Sealed Knot "on acid". Or maybe bogmyrtle.
There’s Nigel and Roland and Big Joe.
There’s Johannah and Christine and Grace.
There’s Mike the field-archaeologist from South Wales.
And there’s Wōden-lookalike Kim, their self-appointed Eolder
(who doesn’t fight anymore, but takes 40% of all earnings).
Head shots are strictly banned in re-enactment combat.
As are all strikes to the hands and the feet and the joints.
When not skirmishing, members like to whittle wood,
drink mead and sew inside seams and undergarments
in a manner entirely appropriate to the period.
The gentleman playing King Harald Hardraada of Norway
is a systems-analyst from Nuneaton back in the “real world”.
He’s taken the day off work today.
Platted his hair before calling in sick.
Painted the skin around his eyes black with grease
whilst drinking a cup of tea from a polystyrene cup.
He’s promised to take a look at the stunt coordinator’s
broken laptop when we break for lunch.
But first, the small matter of the Battle Of Stamford Bridge...

Join Regia Anglorum