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Blog 100 - Magna Carta

I have searched for many months to find the right scarf to encourage my writing the final blog in the second series to make a grand total of 200. It has also taken me thirty three years living in this area to visit the National Archives in Kew for the first time. Two weeks ago I accomplished both. Little did I think a visit to see an exhibition entitled TREASON would lead me to the Archives shop and there I would find the perfect scarf.

Not only is it pure silk with perfect hand rolled edges, it has a very interesting design, showing the Magna Carta from 1215, with greedy King John astride his horse accompanied by dogs hunting deer, rabbits and the like. The Barons of the land were in revolt against his ever increasing taxes and their shields border the scarf. I study their names with my magnifying glass hoping to establish some links to my humble ancestors. Nought!

So, I will dust down the magic flying carpet and fly the few miles upstream the Thames to the meadows of Runnymede where King John had little option but sign the Great Charter over eight hundred years ago on that fine fifteenth of June summer day. The Barons had it in for him. I will get another look at the famous spot from a British Airways jet as I return from Corfu on the descent to Heathrow around that date later this year. I will wonder at the effect the Magna Carta has had on our lives. It ensures our human rights, democracy and free speech. If I commit a serious misdemeanour on my flying carpet, at least I am assured of a fair trial with a jury. I find that in 1641 the Magna Carta was used by lawyers in the struggle between Parliament and King Charles the First. In May this year, we will crown Charles the Third. He will not be able to raise our taxes….we have local councils to do that to mend potholes, a national Government to sort out our health service, help with energy costs, deal with illegal immigrants, strikes… say nothing about free speech, the BBC and football commentators! The Magna Carta still has relevance today.

My carpet is now hovering over Runnymede. I can see Windsor Castle in the distance, the Battersea Dogs Home country kennels where our beloved dog Moët boarded for holidays and an elegant mansion nearby where a dear Russian friend lived. (He gave my husband a bottle of 1900 vintage port sometime in the Seventies. As the Millennium approached, I encouraged my husband to auction the hundred year old bottle. It was worth a fortune. He refused. Friendship was more important…the bottle would be decanted and shared with friend Nicolai. Alas, the two aging men had diabetes and the sweet port was not good for their health!)

How my scarves bring back extraordinary memories. I hope my new scarf will make new ones by visiting Salisbury Cathedral over Easter and maybe later seeing Lincoln Castle. Why and how? you may ask. There are four copies of the Magna Carta, two in London, one in Salisbury and the fourth under the care of Lincoln Cathedral but housed in Lincoln Castle. I am also searching for a two pound coin from 2015 with a commemorative Magna Carta reverse. No luck so far.

I am glad I live in a democracy, have survived Covid and I am able to write this last scarf blog exactly three years after my first on 26th March, my wedding anniversary. The blog circle is complete. I have a barrister granddaughter should I need to face a jury, and I will try to avoid voicing my opinion on Royal squabbles, the price of postage stamps, or IT taking over my life. I may live more dangerously after my ninetieth birthday later this year! ……but TREASON, never!

Busy Bee, Scarf Face!

Series 2, Blog 100.

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