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You came in at 1015, an urbane Dane,

          and it was all over

by 1035. Royalty. Blink and you’d miss it.

          You landed at Sandwich

and fought your way up the estuary,

            cutting out the white van men

with the dodgy flags. You went to the seaside

            to paddle your feet

in the briny surf. You were Danish,

            like local bacon. The tide

disobeyed you, that was your point.

            Nobody got it.


But thanks for the history lesson, mate:

            it was peaceful, they say,

Vikings settling down, not too much tax,

            no bother with imminent elections,

merely a quick invasion, some decent pastries,

            and time for a trip to the January sales

with your brother Fcuk.


Click here for a Telegraph article:


Click here to buy a copy of Bill’s poetry collection Ringers

Click here for Bill’s New Statesman research project





English Heritage is to celebrate 1000 years in 2015 since Cnut landed in Kent (surely not Wessex, as the Daily Telegraph suggests) in 1015, although it was 1016 or even 1017 before he overthrew the Saxons.

Happy New Year.

31 December 2014


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