Every year the conversation goes like this:
Child - "Santa isn't real, he's my dad!"
Me - "Wow! Your dad is Santa? How cool is that?"
Probably the most successful English king you have never heard of.
The Battle of Hastings, where King Harold lost his life and the war against the Normans, forever remembered.
Sometimes nice people really mess things up. The simple act of being inoffensive can cause so much irreversible damage that it would be better if they had avoided diplomacy in favour of a whole load of aggro. Much better in the long run.
My daughter had to go to hospital for major surgery a few years ago. Naturally, as a parent, I was very worried about her. What if something went wrong? Of course I trusted the doctors, surgeons and other medical staff. I knew that they were the best in their field. But I needed more than that. I needed some kind of special divine power to intervene.
A few years ago, the school I taught in decided to change the history curriculum, which meant that the Year Seven children would not be studying the Battle of Bosworth in the summer term. The consequence of this was that the annual history trip was no more. I was very sad, and especially on the anniversary of the battle, 22 August (1485). The significance to history is that it was the start of the Tudor Dynasty, which led to the break with Rome, hence the birth of the Church of England. Children need this visit.
The great thing about half-truths is working out which half is the truth and which is the embroidered part. Of course, the fancy bits take a run-of-the-mill story and make it a legend. And Dark Ages England was full of them.
There is a farm in the valley where I live. When I first moved here in 1996, there was also a dairy farm but now there are only sheep and crops. I like the rural flavour that farms bring. The seasons are portrayed through the jobs: sowing, harvesting, hay stacks, golden fields of wheat and vibrant yellow rapeseed. And where would any of us be without farmers?
Anything valuable should be kept safe. And so it was with Wulfhere, one of the younger sons of King Penda of Mercia. When Penda was killed in the Battle of Winwaed in 655, Wulfhere and his younger brother were hidden away in a very safe place. Usually, royal children were fostered by other royal households, but there is no evidence where Wulfhere was taken.