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Aethelflaed – weird or strange?


If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I just write about whatever is on my mind on a Sunday morning. This morning it’s Anglo-Saxon history. I’m the admin now of the History of Wednesbury Facebook Page and so I have been researching our history. The early history was written by monks.


The monks didn’t get out much and so their account isn’t very accurate. The aristocrats also left us documents that give us some clues to our history. Today I found out something interesting about Aethelflaed, the Lady of the Mercians. The first part of her name meant noble, to signify she was of noble birth. We can find out a lot of history from names. For example Stafford was the site not only of a Anglo-Saxon fort, but of a ford across the river. They would have wanted to monitor and protect that. The Anglo-Saxons often drowned trying to cross rivers. The suffix bury in Wednesbury tells us this was a place where they built a fort or castle too. They probably built here because there was an existing structure and they built on the same foundation. They did that at Tamworth. The first fort they built was destroyed and so Aethelflaed built another on top of the original foundation; that was later turned into a stone built castle by the Normans. I’ve also researched the battle of Tettenhall in Wolverhampton. I’m fairly sure that Aethelflaed was the strategist who led the Mercians to success in that battle.


History can tell us a lot about our culture. The working class Anglo-Saxons ate thing like pigs trotters and delicacies like tripe that the upper classes wouldn’t touch. It was the same when I was young. I know I’m well past my sell by date now; but still going. I became a great great uncle again this week.

News from Columbia

Colombia’s government plans to carry out lie detector tests on senior civil servants who allocate contracts to private companies as it tries to clamp down on widespread corruption and embezzlement of public funds.

Polygraphy will be used initially to test executives in the 72 government departments that have so far signed up to a transparency pact. The executives will be tested before and after concluding contracts for provision of goods and services to the government.

We need that here. We need a machine that gives them a 500 volt shock if they tell a lie. What would you ask civil servants?

Is austerity really necessary?

Have you fiddled your expenses?

Do you know of any member of parliament or civil servant who is also a paedophile?

I think all members of the present government would get fried.

Saxon or Norman?

Which of these words would you most likely use:

smell or odour?

buy or purchase?

fall or autumn?

weird or strange?

forgive or pardon?

drink or beverage?

freedom or liberty?

If you chose the first word, you’re probably more Anglo-Saxon, the second word and you could be descended from Norman nobility. Me? I’m Anglo-Saxon when I talk and a member of the Norman nobility when I write!

I might be at liberty to purchase a strange odourless beverage later…

I have you ever noticed that the French ‘beverage’ Evian is Naive backwards?

That’s it for today. They have changed the weather forecast so it might rain later. The one day there is less traffic and I want to go out taking photos and it’s going to rain. I think I might dodge the showers and take some photos indoors.

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