I'm just back from 5 glorious days of half term camping with the Kane clan in Wooler, in the north of Northumberland. We did the usual things – climbing Humbleton Hill (above), wandering around Wooler common and eating loads of food (also see above). I'm always pleased the way the kids switch from touchscreen-addicts to outdoor enthusiasts (and back again...) so easily. I meanwhile assumed my position at the camping stove and/or BBQ, glass of beer in my hand, cooking al fresco.

All around us were battlefields from the days of war between England and Scotland, in fact the land is soaked in blood with the Battle of Flodden Field claiming somewhere between 5,000 and 17,000 lives, including that of King James IV of Scotland, in just one day. What surprises me in reading about this carnage is the pretence at the code of chivalry – the time and place of battle was arranged beforehand (although there was some bickering over the details), yet thousands were being sent to the slaughter. "Yes, we did the honourable thing before spearing each other with pikestaffs."

It kind of reminds me of all these ethical 'codes of conduct' that organisations and individuals sign up to beforehand. Tick the box and all's well, no matter what actually transpires in practice!

 

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