Sometimes you need to clear your head and get out into some vague approximation of countryside and just kind of wander about a bit. Yesterday, childeric led _abby_ and I around a 26km trail from Pevensey Bay to Battle.
Now, when I set off I quite clearly knew that in 1066 the Normans (led by William) landed at Pevensey and went to Hastings and had a battle where King Arthur [EDIT: should be Harold, and the worst thing is, that wasn't even deliberate] was shot in the eye. This led to William becoming king of England. Then there was a bit of a break followed by the industrial revolution I think but that's another story. Our walk was to follow the route they took from Pevensey Bay to Battle.
The point is that childeric would enliven the walk with tales from history. The problem is that, really, having a historian around is not that much use. I mean, for a start, whatever is being asked it "isn't their period" (I think they must be allocated one year each by some central historical body and you're only really allowed to ask them about that year). Even if it quite clearly is their period then historians always introduce elements of doubt and uncertainty into the subject.
Now, after the walk I know that the Normans might or might not have landed at Pevensey (which is inland so, IMHO, makes it pretty bloody unlikely). They quite probably hung around a bit setting fire to things and then may have gone towards Hastings. They probably did not walk along the 1066 trail to Battle despite it being quite clearly signposted. There was quite likely a battle at Battle which is only near Hastings (apparently the Battle of Hastings was fought at Battle not Hastings at all). At Battle (not Hastings) Harold may or may not have been shot by an arrow in what may or may not have been his eye. I feel like I've had knowledge extracted from my brain and replaced by woolly, nuanced fluff. How am I expected to know things about the past when it keeps changing? I think I shall revert to my previous historical policy of impenetrable ignorance.
Still, it was a jolly nice walk and it does me good to doze lightly on a hillside instead of over a keyboard.