Weather news is rarely interesting unless it messes with history.

Once when I went for a haircut at a new salon with which I was unfamiliar, I walked in and cracked myself up by telling the owner, “I almost got my hair done at the dog grooming place next door!”  I was informed, with withering sarcasm, “Oh, I’ve never heard that one before.”  hmm.  Really?  I was not original?  (or funny?)  The reason I mention this account not related to England OR education is because I am about to make another obvious observation that will already have been commented upon by millions.  However, since most of those folks probably live in England, I think I can go ahead and try it for my US readers.

Breaking story in the BBC on-line news: Rain Cancels Battle of Hastings.

A re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings on what is believed to be the original battlefield has been cancelled because of torrential rain. English Heritage said for safety reasons the event could not go ahead because of unacceptable levels of mud on the battlefield and public areas. Sunday’s re-enactment marked the 946th anniversary of the battle when William the Conqueror defeated King Harold.

Apparently it is the “unacceptable levels of mud”  that caused organizers to cancel this event which makes commemoration of the history changing clash of 1066, when William the Conquerer, Duke of Normandy overtook King Harold of England.  And of course:  I thought:  wasn’t the original Battle of Hastings most likely a messy, muddy, weather laden, blood letting mess  of an event?  In my seven months in the UK I must boast a bit that I never allowed climatic conditions to dissuade me from a plan.  The following photos do not come with wind chill factors, but I can attest that I was fairly miserable with wet and cold when I took these pictures:

Eyam, Derbyshire. May. Pouring rain. 9 degrees Celcius.

London. Boat parade on the Thames. June. Pouring. 12 degrees.

Oxford in June. Pouring rain. 10 degrees Celcius.

Zero degrees. February.

So forgive me for this most un-unique thought, but here it is:  when you cancel a reenactment of a battle that was brutal and history making because someone might slip in the mud, have you just gone a little bit overboard in the protection of your citizens?  Now the souvenir shop wares make sense!  For every castle in the UK boasts a gift store where not only can you purchase princess tiaras and dragon stuffed toys, but also a super-safe arsenal of foam weaponry and armor – and that, friends, invites a battle re-creation in which no one gets hurt!  Cheers!

Don your protective gear and fight your enemy fair and square!


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