waiting for the kids to get ready for bed i caught five minutes of david starkey’s series on henry viii. it made me wish i wasn’t eschewing television at the moment. it was a great five minutes. henry and francis i of france were to meet for the very first time. henry, a young king, wanted to prove himself. this meeting would set the tone. it is to take place on english occupied land outside calais. like the crystal palace, festival of britain in 1951, or even the bird’s nest stadium in beijing, henry pushed the boat out. there were 10,000 nobles and acolytes assembled. he arrived with a retinue of 3,500. his wife with 1,100. the field was full of brightly coloured tents, all trimmed with gold. it has become known as The Field of the Cloth of Gold. the centre peice was a vast palace of brick, timber and canvass, before which were two fountains. all were to last just two weeks. it was all just to demonstrate power, influence, and taste. if you had a time machine it would have to be on the itinerary.