Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Saxon England at the Olympics

I'm watching the Olympics coverage of the equestrian three-day event (recorded, as it was on in the middle of the night NZ time). It's one of the few events where New Zealand actually has some realistic hope of winning a medal, but the thing I'm enjoying most is the course! They have really pushed the boat out when it comes to designing cool-looking jumps. There is the 'Ancient Marketplace', complete with what looks like giant Roman amphorae and a very cute stuffed goat; the Tower of London, which is basically the playhouse of my dreams; and 'Over the Moon', a crescent moon on the top of a hill overlooking the city.

But my favourite feature is the 'Saxon Village'. Every time I hear the commentator mentioning it, I get this mental picture of an evil Norman knight riding his horse over a bunch of grovelling English peasants! I realise this picture is probably wildly inaccurate and you early medievalists will be bewailing my ignorance, but clearly I have seen too many dodgy Hollywood movies. (Also, it seems the organisers have no respect for Saxon culture either, because from what I can make out, the 'village' consists of a few piles of stone and what may be a midden...)

* Edited to add: Maybe I was a bit harsh about the little Saxon house. It actually has a red tiled (!?) roof.

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