Fifty four Bucks WI members and friends enjoyed a really interesting visit to the British Museum today to see the exhibition on the Vikings.The coach driver did some excellent fast thinking when we came up behind 10 miles of traffic jam on the planned route in to London: we had to be taken rather a long way round but arrived in time for our viewing slots. The exhibition was beautifully staged in the new Sainsbury Wing and although it was quite crowded we were able to see everything at our own pace.I must admit that I was surprised by the beautiful craftwork and its delicasy of workmanship on show. I had no idea how far the Vikings spread across the world i.e. from the Canadian coasts to Islamic settlements as far distant as the Caspian Sea. One of the footnotes about a highly decorated battle axe said that it was thought to enhance the warrior's reputation when seen on the batlefield but I couldn't imagine the victim having the time to appreciate its beauty as it descended on to his head.We are always told about the blood-thirsty forays of the raiders but not about their lovely gold and silver filigree work.There was a lovely quote from a bard about the gods, Hoder, the god of Thought and Mimir, the god of Memory---"Every day Hoder and Mimir fly across the empty ground; I am anxious about Hoder returning but most of all I worry for Mimir". So obviously the fear of Alzheimers is over 1000years old!
After viewing the Vikings we had time for lunch or to view another room of exhibits. A lovely day so all thanks to the Art and Craft sub-committee for making the arrangements.
The local WI Book Group has been reading a Philippa Gregory novel, "the Lady of the Rivers" which was a popular choice. Some readers criticised the use of the first person narrative and perhaps its length but it is a very gripping story and it gives a real feel of the life of the times. It is a different picture of Richard III too but what dreadful times to live in: one never knew whose side to be on as the court was riven by different factions all trying to manage with a king who was away with the fairies for long periods of time. Philippa Gregory does a lot of research and most of the time seems to be historically accurate. Actually a true account of that period is dramatic enough anyway but she makes the characters interesting and believable.The conflict between religion and witchcraft was fascinating as too the differing opinions on medicine and witchcraft.
We went off on our sponsored walk for ACWW this morning. It was very pleasant walking 3 miles along beside the river Ouse through Stony Stratford. We were joined by some members from a neighbouring WI. I know we were about 3 weeks late for the actual day for Women to Walk the World but we will have raised some funds for the cause and that is the object of the exercise.
Two of us from the local WI attended the Croquet event at Stony Stratford this evening. There were people of different abilities present, about 30 in all and we were able to have instruction or just enjoy a couple of games. The weather looked very threatening but we managed to escape the rain and thunder and even sit about enjoying the delicious refreshments prepared by the non--playing members of one of the town's WIs.A very pleasant way to use a break in the clouds.