We seem to be letting the side down. Although few and far between, bicentennials hit a seam on xx15 …
1015 – or there aboooots, Knut*
1215 – Magna Carta
1415 – Agincourt
1615 – Apparent dearth of excitements
1815 – Waterloo
…. and yet what is there in this, still relatively fresh, century to rattle the viscera?
Take this as a clarion call: we need to stir the stumps from beneath ourselves and Do Something for its own sake. It’s purely prudent, in virtue of consequential rosey ripples that wash onto emotionally intelligent shores.
Be kind to a stranger, tell the truth to a friend, smile at yourself: smile at a stranger, be kind to a friend, tell the truth to yourself. Many and often: small acts of kindness
* he splooshed over to England in 1015 but wasn’t crowned until 1017
A man of so little imagination he married successively two Countesses both named Isabella, King John seems England’s unwitting bogey man ever since Robin-Hood-Robin-Hood went Riding-through-the-Glen.
Today marks the anniversary of an event beside the Thames which occurred 800 years ago. The Cookham-Windsor-Runnymead stretch of the River is ridiculously lovely. Bucolic, gentle, evocative of the intoxicating romance to which we attribute notions of heraldic heroism and courtly charm. Is it fanciful to suppose John’s sealed assent demanded by the Barons would have been so markedly forthcoming had not they been beguiled by their surroundings? [’ Course it is, Ed]
Six hundred years [and three days] later, across la manche one can ponder how dearly Wellington’s men would have chosen a bloodless meadow over their Belgium bog to magnify with honour their louder claim to a just cause.
Why trouble us with this, we hear you wail?
Well, it is to reflect in what way our surroundings inform action. Could there exist a causal connection between nature’s grace and natural co-operation? Were we to spend more time in the open air of a sunny day, would it recycle our hot air and ventilate thinking more usefully?