Sunday, October 27, 2019

October obambulation...

Weekend wandering. England, England, England. October 25th was - as you all know (ahem) - the anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt. The [in]famous two-fingered salute (V sign) is 'said' to have come from English longbowmen but according to Wiki "no written historical primary sources support this contention"...except (Wiki goes on...) "Medieval illustrations and tapestries, however, depict English archers giving the sign, as do tapestries hanging in Angers Castle, home of the Angevin (Plantagenet) dynasty." Hmmm, seems like there may be some 'primary sources'. That said, maybe it was just the V of Henry the Fifth (Henry V), what would have been had it not been for his 'unexpected' (convenient?) death...

Anyhoo...on to October 26th and the Rugby World Cup semi-final between England and New Zealand's outstanding All Blacks. The V sign makes its return (image)! Best England performance EVER...and that's in 50 years of watching although early on in the 1960s I could hardly understand what was going on.  Love this: “New Zealand lose occasionally but they are never crushed. So this was a glorious first. Forget the scoreboard. They scored one lucky try and for the rest of the evening, they looked like little boys being bullied outside the sweet shop. They were lucky not to lose players to the bin and there was a time when Marius Jonker, the TMO, was a far bigger danger to England than the opposition." Stephen Jones for The Times quoted in Rugbypass. [my emphasis]

And so onto today, 27th October: the 100th year anniversary of the first performance of Edward Elgar's last major work, the tear-jerking Cello Concerto in E minor. "Most concertos take a little time to come to their main point. if they don’t make you wait until the slow movement – and many do – for their crux, they at least keep the listener waiting through a short orchestral introduction. Elgar was having none of it." [sic] A bit like England XV yesterday. [edit] And another V image - obviously the player makes the difference!

Unfortunately we won't have an all BREXIT rugby World Cup final but if it were so who better than Elgar to provide some Pomp and Circumstance.

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