Wednesday, 9 February 2011


I suppose that there can be few things worse than wronging somebody unjustly. Thinking ill thoughts of someone and then discovering that they were entirely innocent of your false accusations is most unpleasant. Thankfully though, if you are big enough to admit your failings, an apology will usually put things to right.

It's a bit tougher if you suspect that they knew nothing of your bad view of them but I have got past such situations on occasion by making a joke of it. However, "I used to think you were such a bore - but now I find you really interesting" probably says more about you than about them.

Toughest of all though are those of whom you had negative feelings but who have now dropped off the perch. Sadly I have today discovered that a man who I thought to be a vain fool may well have been nothing of the kind. I refer to the late King Canute who reigned over us and much of Scandinavia between the 10th and 11th centuries.

It may well be that you, like me, believe that his self-belief in his own power was so warped that he sat on the beach and commanded the waves to stop advancing. Presumably this was until the water reached his mouth when he gargled his command.

Well it seems that King Canute was cuter than this (sorry - irresistible). He was actually demonstrating to his fawning courtiers that he was not as powerful as they reckoned him to be. My apologies then dear Canute both for having thought bad things about you and also for not using your true name (Cnut) throughout this piece for fear of accidentally misspelling it.

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