Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Lewis Chessmen

Just having spent a few days on Harris ( in case you think you might go there, don't - unless you really like walking, and then only on roads or beaches as the hills are liable to swallow you in the bogs) I spent a while looking at the remains of the Lewis Chessmen.
To be more exact, the house where we were staying had a set laid out.
I'm not sure they are exact replicas, but a couple of the pieces certainly looked as if they were taken from the life of the relevant era.
The Queens were clutching drinking horns, showing an early predilection for the alcoholism commonly associated with the Outer Isles.With a hand up to their cheeks, and very worried expressions on their faces, they looked dead ringers for matrons from Tonbridge Wells.
The Kings, on the other hand, were looking extremely grumpy, clutching swords across their knees in an attempt to ward off the next potential assassin. Their raping and pillaging days were clearly over, which is why they looked grumpy I imagine. They probably had to keep awake in case they were set on in the night, I suppose they couldn't even have a decent drink either.
So my view would be they deserved each other, these Kings and Queens.
At least, if I lived out there, I would definitely be both grumpy and an alcoholic.

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