I wouldn’t like anyone to think that I haven’t had a single thought since April (it now being October) but it seems that way to me.
I spent a week in September parked on the seafront at Largs in Scotland being a Viking. I cheated, I slept in the camper, my days of sleeping on the ground are long over, but for most of the week I lived in a Viking camp, partly in a tent being an archer and partly in a wooden “house” being a weaver. We were very lucky with the weather, having only one day when we thought the tents might blow away and one really wet day. Not bad for Scotland in September, eh?
The stormy day I was sitting with several of the other women round the fire with a friend’s small child asleep on my lap when it appeared the awning was about to come down on us. The women grabbed the children and ran to the longhouse, and the men grabbed mallets and tent pegs to save the awning, and as I sat in the dark interior of the hut I thought, how very primeval and universal.
In this age of sexual equality (sort of) it was interesting to experience what happened in a moment of possible danger. I am not making any particular point here. I just wanted to share the thought that although I would like to think that given other circumstances I would have grabbed the mallet and pegs and it was only because I had a child already in my arms that I ran for shelter with him, nevertheless what I did was natural, maternal and elemental and in the circumstances felt entirely right and comfortable. And in a way, that surprised me.
An incident in the life of a Scottish Viking