Ok, last night I watched the second of a series about the Normans. I had not, in all honesty, realised just how brutal, emphatic and long lasting the effects of the Norman Conquest were.

Today I journeyed through the New Forest (for anyone on the other side of the Atlantic, think New, think planted almost a 1000 years ago!). Never been before, delightful, in particular the ponies, who exhibit total disdain for the cars and simply stand on the road saying – ‘You want to get past, you drive round me’.

Went to Bucklers Hard, an example of a 19th Century shipbuilding village. Hmmm, I think disappointing is the best word to describe the experience. Lovely setting. Whether the current economics is to blame who knows but only two buildings open and a classic case of a site that promises much but underdelivers. 

It was William who left us the New Forest (though I suspect that wasn’t the top on his reasons for its creation agenda). William in his day was a feared, absolute monarch. Interesting that on his death (according to last night’s programme) his lords all rushed off to sort out their own survival, and the local poor came in and ransacked his body – end result, one of the greatest rulers of his time left half naked and deserted after death.

‘How are the mighty fallen’ – its from a Hardy novel…….

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