Tuesday, 16 June 2015
Magna Carta World Exclusive! They got it all wrong.
You'll have certainly guessed by now that I'm no fan of the Magna Carta and the celebrations around the 800th anniversary of its signing but I've enjoyed some of the local celebrations. That's been more about peoples aspirations than the reality of the deal that was done in 1215.
But as the date got nearer, the Big State became involved and I bowed out. Todays kings and barons celebrating what their ancestors got up to doesn't interest me.
But I couldn't really escape it.
On Sunday Robyn was out for the day so I had the chance to get up to some mischief. Luckily she won't realise; in the afternoon I went for a really, really long walk with just walking sticks!
I walked into the village, through the churchyard and across the historic fields of Ankerwycke. The bellringers were ringing out a massive peal of bells and big crowds were walking home from watching the flotilla of boats that were marking the anniversary on the river.
I was a lot more interested in the Brambles which are coming into flower now.
So were all the insects; here's a bee with her sacks bulging with pollen for the hive;
Even the poor old bumbling bumble bees were trying to get in on the act.
On Monday I wasn't feeling so well and all the roads were going to be closed for the queen and Cameron at Runnymede anyway.
So I got up late and then late morning I went out to stand in the sun for a few moments - it was nice.
Then suddenly I saw a spitfire and a jet fly over and then seconds later the full Red Arrows display team roared over the house leaving red, white and blue vapour trails on their way to the royal celebrations.
The thing is; The Magna Carta may have been signed on 15th June 1215 but in 1582 Pope Gregory XIII reformed Julius Caesar's calendar and replaced it with 'The Gregorian Calender' we still use today.
It took us a while but the UK introduced the new calendar in 1752 and because it reduced the number of leap years to make it more accurate, our time 'stood still' for 11 days that year to start the new calendar off on time.
Since then, the Gregorian Calender has moved even further away from the Julian Calender it replaced and it's now 13 days adrift.
Which means that the 800th anniversary wasn't actually on the 15th at all - it's in 13 days time on the 28th of June.
So they are going to have to do it all over again, I guess.
(a don't stop till you drop production)
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