Wednesday, 26 September 2012
It's Vikings all over at the moment. The excellent Neil Oliver was on the box last night with the final chapter of his three-part history called, with unerring accuracy but little imagination, Vikings, and he was filmed rowing a reconstruction of a Viking ocean going ship designed for exploration rather than war.
The ship is shorter and beamier than the long, sleek warships, to cope with Atlantic swells. Still had the shields hung on the gunwales, though.
I suppose it is a bit much to expect an academic on a punishing film schedule to get in a boat and row with perfect technique, and Oliver was disarmingly willing to be caught on camera clashing blades with his neighbour. "Hold on!" he shrieked. "It's all gone terrible!"
But the rest of the crew were no better. If they want me to go to Bergen and give them a few pointers, my rates are very reasonable.