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Longbow – a very one-sided love affair

I fell in love with the longbow on the battlefield near Hastings where the Norman invaders settled the course of English history 950 years ago in 1066. I had turned up in 1989, a little after the event, to cover a medieval festival for the local newspaper.

Your Girl Reporter was earnestly taking notes while a big fellow in chainmail explained in some detail the intricacies of recreating the armour and weaponry of Ye Olden Tymes. “And it’s heavy too,” he said as he stuck his broadsword into the ancient turf with a manly smirk. “Go on, see if you can lift that.”

I obliged by failing to budge the thing an inch and that would have been the end of it except for the arrival on the scene of a man in Lincoln green. “Hey Robin, show the Girl Reporter your longbow,” he said and then, in case I was expecting an effete experience, “you have to be really strong to use one of these.”

Well, Gentle Reader, I surprised us all that day.

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One more thing

  • Your Girl Reporter blogs fortnightly on the past, present and future of journalism – from growing up in Hong Kong, to working in the UK and now observing the state of the world from my native Australia. Don’t know where to begin? Let me recommend some stories my father told me here.

Once I was a girl reporter. Now I’m an interested observer

Covering the past, present and future of journalism. The views expressed here are entirely my own, as is the content except where expressly credited or linked to the original site.

Sally Baxter was a girl reporter who appeared in a series of books published in the 1960s. She inspired me to become a journalist, if that's any recommendation.

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