I wonder how many of you recall the history story about King Canute? Actually there are two versions of that yarn, or at least of its outcome. Canute was the second son of a king of Denmark who defeated Ethelred the Unready, the king of England almost 1000 years ago. Canute, after a couple of other historic ups and downs, inherited the throne of England in 1017, when his conqueror father died suddenly... but a history lesson is not this blog's intended purpose.
The photo below, instantly brought to my mind the story about Canute requesting that his throne be moved to the edge of the ocean to demonstrate his ability, or inability, to command the tide to reverse its flow. Obviously he failed in his experiment, and depending upon the version of history you prefer, (and there are indeed many versions of history, each largely dependent on the story telling ability of one particularly historian... or his political persuasions or those of his boss) this was either:
a) To demonstrate to his flattering courtiers, who had tried to convince him of his God like power to stop the incoming tide, that he was all too well aware of their flattering ingenuity.
or b) Perhaps it was that he had simply succumbed to his own over-inflated ego, or alternately, had foolishly started to believe the news media rumours of his remarkable prowess.
Anyway, it is not my intention to presume to resolve this age old quandary, although, having spent many years in the real estate development wars, I have met my share of ego-maniacal individuals, and consequently rather prefer the plan b) propositions.
Summer fun, or a historic mistake?
Whatever Canute's motivations were on that historic occasion, I doubt that the family in today's photo had any such illusions of some amazing power. What is rather extraordinary, however, is that the lady on the left appears to be holding an Amazon Kindle, or Sony, or some other make of electronic reader. And I rather doubt that any of these modern miracle appliances is built to float, or survive a salt water dunking... or posses the Canute sought ability to reverse the incoming tide.