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New things

I'm back in London, finally, and won't be leaving the country again for a few months at least. For the first time in a year, I'll be fairly geographically stable.

I have a new computer and, thanks to crucial tip from medievalist, it's working just as it should be working! Instead of just being good for the PhotoBooth feature, it's now a usable replacement to my old laptop whose logic board is fritzy enough to not be usable for much anymore.

I left my jacket behind at Heathrow, and it never showed up in Lost and Found there - but I've replaced it now, and the replacement arrived.

The seacoast isn't all so far away when there's a car handy to see it in. We explored Maldon, a scenic boating town with a healthy representation of shops and huge numbers of takeways near the seaside park, this afternoon, and towns around it.

It's good to be home.

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
chickenfeet2003
Aug. 27th, 2006 11:24 pm (UTC)
We explored Maldon

Well I've sailed out of there but as a medievalist you should have been able to glean more significance than that.
owlfish
Aug. 29th, 2006 07:39 am (UTC)
I saw the battle site on the road map, no roads marked to lead there at that resolution, and we drove on by. There weren't any touristic signs on the road, to mark its direction, so I presumed there wouldn't be much to see at the site which would mean anything without more text at hand. The trip was fairly impromptu. I didn't track down the Maldon sea salt producing place either.
(Deleted comment)
owlfish
Aug. 29th, 2006 07:39 am (UTC)
Thank you! It's shiny.

I'm so excited you're coming!
fjm
Aug. 28th, 2006 06:17 am (UTC)
Welcome back! Will be at the BL on Thursday.
owlfish
Aug. 29th, 2006 07:40 am (UTC)
I can be there then.
fjm
Aug. 29th, 2006 12:34 pm (UTC)
2:30 in the courtyard?
gillo
Aug. 28th, 2006 11:04 am (UTC)
I hope you know all about the Battle of Maldon and that self-satisfied idiot Byrthnoth Beorthelm's son. Stupid git. I there a causeway there still?
chickenfeet2003
Aug. 28th, 2006 11:25 am (UTC)
I don't recall the causeway still being there when I sailed out of Maldon and Burnham but that's 30 years ago or so. It seems improbable. The channels and banks change week to week on the Blackwater. Over the course of a 1000 years not much is going to stay the same.
gillo
Aug. 28th, 2006 08:45 pm (UTC)
They've probably drained the channel and integrated the island into the main town. There ought to be a plaque to heroic idiocy up somewhere, though, really.
chickenfeet2003
Aug. 28th, 2006 08:49 pm (UTC)
Just checked. Northey Island is still basically mud, there is (kinda, sorta) a causeway and there is a plaque.

http://www.battleofmaldon.org.uk/
gillo
Aug. 28th, 2006 08:55 pm (UTC)
Interesting - thank you. If the NT has it, it's going to stay the way it is for a long time.

But I wish they'd have slightly less of the heroic and a little more of the total blithering idiot...

It was the first A/S poem I read in the original language. I much preferred The Dream of the Rood, though.
chickenfeet2003
Aug. 28th, 2006 09:15 pm (UTC)
But I wish they'd have slightly less of the heroic and a little more of the total blithering idiot...

I have heard it argued that the earl had to let the raiders cross to the mainland because otherwise he could not bring them to battle and they would just have sailed off on the next high tide to raid elsewhere in that complex of estuaries. I'm not saying I endorse that but it's certainly true that the Vikings in their ships would have had far better mobility than the earl's mounted thanes given the complex sogginess of the whole Blackwater/Crouch confluence.
gillo
Aug. 28th, 2006 09:21 pm (UTC)
Hmm. He didn't need to let them across and give them time to get into battle array. True they could have sailed away eventually - but not while the tide was that low, I'm guessing.

He was still a classical Brit famous for losing a battle. No-one cares about the winners - it's not as if they consolidated their victory or anything.
chickenfeet2003
Aug. 28th, 2006 09:26 pm (UTC)
It's true they couldn't have sailed away until the tide rose but it would have been as impossible for Brythnoth to cross the causeway in the face of opposition as it was for the raiders. Nobody expected the raiders to consolidate. They were a raiding party but the earl was faced with the very tricky problem of stopping them raiding at will. Who knows whether there was a lost sage praising the victors? The proportion of hack poet works that have survived is pretty damn small.
gillo
Aug. 28th, 2006 09:29 pm (UTC)
It's a pretty random collection, certainly, from an extraordinarily restricted number of sources. Someone valued the poem. I wasn't inspired, but then my A/S teacher was not an inspiring sort. He may well have been a friend of Beowulf himself, he seemed so old to us.
chickenfeet2003
Aug. 28th, 2006 09:28 pm (UTC)
BTW, I wrote a (not very good) short story told from the POV of one of the victors at Maldon for the 48 hour short story comp last year.
gillo
Aug. 28th, 2006 09:30 pm (UTC)
Interesting. Did he feel B was an idiot?
chickenfeet2003
Aug. 28th, 2006 09:37 pm (UTC)
Some silly sod must have spiked Byrhtnoth’s breakfast ale because after a while the old bastard moved his whole shield wall back away from the river. I knew we were for it then. Olaf had no choice but to deploy and fight on the ground the old bugger had given up.
owlfish
Aug. 29th, 2006 07:41 am (UTC)
I didn't know all about the Battle of Maldon, only that it was, and that it marked on the road map, although not very specifically. We hadn't decided exactly where we were going until we were already in the car. I'm curious enough now to read the poem.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )