Saturday, 19 August 2017

Viking Scotland III

Alba is the Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland. Historically, the term referred to Britain as a whole and is ultimately based on the Indo-European root for "white." I would guess the white chalk cliffs had something to do with it, plus when viewed from the north coast of France, or the sea, the island is often under a layer of white cloud. Scottish Gaelic speakers used it as the name given to the former kingdom of the Picts around the reign of king Causantin mac Aeda (Constantine II) from 943–952. The region Breadalbane (Bràghad Albann, the upper part of Alba) also takes its name from it.
The name
There is no precise Gaelic equivalent for the English terminology 'Kingdom of Alba' since the Gaelic term Rìoghachd na h-Alba means Kingdom of Scotland. English scholars adopted the Gaelic name Alba to refer to a political period in Scottish history that existed between 900 and 1286.
The land
The territory of Alba extended from Loch Ness south to the firths of Clyde and Forth while The Hebrides, Orkneys and Shetlands, together with much of the mainland north of Loch Ness, remained under Viking control. Southwest Scotland (the Kingdom of Strathclyde) suffered under the same Norwegian Vikings who settled in Dublin. In the southeast, Lothian, once part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria, lay under the control of the Danish Vikings who settled in York
The people

The people of this period in Alba were mostly Pictish-Gaels, or later Pictish-Gaels and Scoto-Norman, and markedly different to the period of the Stuarts, when the elite of the kingdom were mostly speakers of Middle English, which later evolved into Lowland Scots.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Viking Scotland II

Early History
The tribes to the north of Hadrian’s Wall were largely undisturbed by the Roman occupation of Britain. A Roman document of the 3rd century mentioned the Picti, a new tribal group that had established a dominant position in the country. Scholars suggest this was a Romanised version of a tribal name, or that they tattooed their bodies (picti is Latin for 'painted people'). They are thought to have been an indigenous people with a non-Indo-European language. They were later subdued by Celts - not from within Scotland, but from overseas. In the 5th century a Celtic tribe from Northern Ireland settled on the west coast of Scotland.

The Scots
The invaders were called Scots. (Yes, the original Scots were a tribe from Northern Ireland). The Scots established the kingdom of Dalriada in both what is now Northern Ireland and the south west of Scotland. By the 9th century the Irish Dalriada succumbed to Viking raids, but in Scotland the Dalriadan kings established themselves and withstood constant Viking pressure from all sides.

The Vikings
Monasteries of the time owned sufficient wealth to attract Viking marauders. Lindisfarne on the east coast of Northumberland was raided in 793 and Iona, on the west coast of Alba, three times in a decade (in 795, 802 and 805). Even monasteries which seemed secure on inland rivers fell victim to longships rowing upstream. During the 9th century, the raiders settled in the Scottish islands and the Isle of Man and seized territory on the mainland of both Britain and Ireland. In 838 Norwegians captured Dublin and established a Norse kingdom in Ireland. From 865 the Danes settled in eastern England.

The MacAlpin line
A recognizable Scottish kingdom had appeared by the mid-9th century. Some suggest the year 843 to be the important date, but it was Kenneth MacAlpin, king of the Scots since 840, who won acceptance as king of both Picts and Scots. The MacAlpin kings took Strathclyde and Lothian into Scotland and Kenneth's male descendants provided kings for the next two centuries. The separate Pictish kingdom disappeared. All that remains are the beautiful carvings of weird beasts.


Monday, 14 August 2017

Viking Scotland I


When writing historical novels with Vikings as central characters there is much scope for where to place a story. I like to place them in the north-west Highlands because I have enjoyed so many holidays there. Vikings settled in the northern and western isles and along the coastline of Scotland from Caithness to Argyle during the early part of the ninth century. By the middle of that century a Viking kingdom had been set up.
I soon found that research in this area is sketchy and conclusions were hard to come by. For example, Laithlinn was the Viking name for Scotland. Laithlinn is also written as Lothlend, Laithlind and later Lochlainn, and not all scholars believe the name refers to Scotland. Information in the Irish Annals, the Icelandic Sagas and Norse histories of South West Norway often contradict each other. Old languages present further problems and to add to the confusion, writing itself was not the precise thing it is today. Spelling of names was inconsistent and punctuation often absent. There are also all the problems of who is writing, who paid him to do so and how one-sided was the view put forward. In all of history it is usually the victor who dictates the story.

Scholars continue to argue about terms such as Dane, Norseman and Viking, who they were and where they came from, but proof is sadly lacking. Viking itself isn’t really a name, but a verb; to go “a-viking” was to travel by ship in search of adventure and reward. It is easy to see how the term became a description of a shipload of hungry men waving axes.

The first systems of writing developed and used by the Germanic peoples were runic alphabets and the runes that were carved in stone still exist. Paper evidence of the period is almost none existent. When Edward I invaded in 1296 he ordered all the symbols of Scots nationhood removed to London. A treaty provided for the return of the records but they remained in London until 1948. Only about 200 documents remained.

The archives had an unlucky life. The records that built up after Edward’s time remained safe in the Castle until its capture by Cromwell's army in December 1650, when they were removed to Stirling Castle. When Stirling fell in 1651, the records were carried off by the garrison, or sent to London. Some were returned in 1657, other were sent back in 1660, but the 'Elizabeth', one of the two ships carrying the archives, sank in a storm off the Northumbrian coast.


The surviving records were deposited again in Edinburgh Castle then transferred in 1662 to the Laigh Hall on the Royal Mile. Damaged by damp and vermin, the great fire of 1700 saw them removed to St Giles Church. Eventually they were given a safe and permanent home, but early records pre 1296 are almost non-existent. The King lists survive, but little else.

Friday, 11 August 2017

A Poldark Moment

There are several marriages portrayed in the Poldark series currently airing on tv. The third  element of series came to an end last Sunday, so it seems to good time to look back on the entire series so far. The prominent couple, Ross and Demelza,  is shaping up to be a match of equals in spite of her having been brought into his house as a lice-ridden kitchen maid. Ross acknowledged that he needed a wife who could skin a rabbit as well as wear a pretty frock, and Demelza fits that very well. Perhaps even Ross didn't expect her to be capable of taking on the running of the farm and the mine as well as the kitchen and the family. Because she has the intelligence to do that, she is slowly starting to come into her own, accusing him of not asking her opinion of anything. She is beginning to think like a modern women. 

Then there’s Elizabeth and George. He has loved her since forever and tries to woo her still with expensive gifts of jewellery that she knows are perfctly vulgar in their situation. She manages to  accept them without wearing them, which takes some tact on her part. I’m not sure what Elizabeth feels for George, just as I was never sure what she felt for Francis. I know she loved Ross, but that turned to hate for a while, and then simmered down to match his fondness for an old love. Perhaps she’s a pragmatist and makes the best of what she has -money, power and positon in society. It is interesting that she is old Cornish gentry and he is a self-made millionaire.

Higher in society we have Caroline Penvenen and Dwight, with no worries about money, power or position since she inherited money and estates. Separated first by Dwight being considered unsuitably lower in rank, and then by his terrible time in a French prison, I think they know how lucky they are to be reunited, and they too seem to be equals, but without the problems that face Ross and Demelza. Perhaps it is their honeymoon period. Her  recipe for a happy life appears to be bon bons, kisses and lots more lying in bed, and nice as that is, it surely can't last. The  poor little pug has his nose well and truly out of joint now that Dwight is home.


As for Morwenna and Oswald, we have an arranged, one could say a forced marriage where the husband is a bombastic, insensitive brute (even though he is a vicar) who drives his wife to threaten the life of their child rather than submit ever again to his demands for sex. Dangerous stuff. The vicar is just the kind of man who would, with tears in his eyes,  have her whipped off to Bedlam. There is no hope for happiness for Morwenna unless she can somehow return to Drake Carne. George, of course, was to blame for forcing Morwenna to marry by threatening to have Drake Carne sent off to prision if she refused.

Morwenna's sister has somehow persuaded the red-headed librarian to aid and abet her plans to wangle money, that will allow them to marry, out of Ossy by blackmailing him over his liaison with her. One wonders if the librarian knows the full extent of her cunning and determination. 

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

On the road

I'm so deep in edits that I can hardly think of anything else, which means I don't have anything memorable happening in my life. I have a few pics of my French holiday as yet unseen on here, like this one. I often take them from the car as we journey along, and sometimes they are clear and sometimes they're just a blur, but with modern digital cameras this really doesn't matter. If I get a good pic, I'm happy and if I get a blurred one, I simply delete it. (I did not do that in the days of my old Olympus and film!)

This is another house in France - they're all so different - and one thing I notice is that the French are not fussed about wires trailing over their heads. I think almost every pic I have has a telephone/electricity wire in it, mostly with a pole right beside the house.


Sunday, 6 August 2017

Alba is Mine

I’m close enough to publication of ALBA IS MINE to reveal the cover. I think it is wonderful and I hope it encourages people to take a look and – who knows? – buy. 

It will be available only on Kindle, as I’ve found that for me, sales of paperbacks are not worth the effort it takes to get them out and I’ve never ventured into Smashwords or Nook. Keep things simple is my motto.

I’m looking to have it available by 1st October, so in order to make that happen, I shall get to work right away. The printer died on page 29, but when the new one arrives (any day now) I shall have a fourth edit ready to print out and read through. By then it should be good to go.

Most of you will know that Alba was the ancient name for Scotland at a time when Vikings and various other peoples fought for supremecy north of the border. 

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

The Journey

Tuesday 25th July
Awake at 5am and it is hardly light, but we rise even if we don’t shine. Tim has been getting steadily more anxious over the last few hours. He trots after us, crying, as we move about, his nose only inches away from me. Showers, breakfast on the run. Tim would not go for his walk because he wouldn’t leave Bill behind. (I suspect he thinks Bill will disappear again for 5 weeks as he did in March to go to Australia) As Bill was busy stripping the bed, he didn’t want to come for a walk. Anyway, we were ready to leave by seven, bang on schedule. We stopped in Brantôme because Tim was shrieking in the back of the car. I thought he wanted a poo, but when we opened the boot, Tim shot out and raced around the car park barking at the top of his voice. How French residents of the town must have loved us, with a beserk dog being very naughty. Still it wasn’t that early, perhaps 8.30 by then. When I say Tim is in the boot, he has plenty of room and windows he can see out of to each side as well as the big window at the back. He has water there, biscuits and his quilt that he leep on every night.


It seemed a long trek to Abbeville, where we had booked in for the night, and we had several more Tim stops on the way. When we got there our plan to have dinner outside on the patio with Tim came to nought, for the weather was too chilly. The waiting staff told us to take him into the restaurant. In England this would never happen, so we walked in very slowly, checking to see that we were welcome. We chose a corner where he had the window and a wall behind him, and he sat beside me very quietly and watched everyone come and go. He was big enough to see everything on the table, and was fascinated. Of course, he got “perks” from me, which helped to keep him attentive. The only time he barked was when a small white poodle came in. The poodle owners quickly vanished behind the wall into the larger part of the restaurant, and all was peace once more. Then a quiet night upstairs in crisp white sheets, and an early start the following morning. 

Monday, 31 July 2017

The great packing

Saturday 22nd July
Last weekend. So a general tidying up and a sense of doing things for the last time. Bill cut the grass for the last time of this holiday, I trimmed a few branches I’d missed earlier – though some I could not reach, not even if I stood on the pool house roof! We didn’t actually do much after that, just sat in the sun, which was finally at a pleasant temperature. We don’t have much to show in the way of suntans, for many days it was just too hot to sit out in it. In between times we wandered about the fields with Tim and played with him.

Sunday I spent sweeping, hoovering and wiping down sinks and stuff. I did two stints of editing that day, and finished the last page at about 6pm – just in time to make dinner. So I can go home with an edited manuscript to look over yet again.

Monday 24th July
Drove into Vergt and visited Monsieur le vet for his exit examination. We can't get back into England without it - or at least Tim cannot. He gets weighed and then the nurse gives him a big wodge of chocolate-looking stuff laced with the worming ingredient. He loves it, woofs it down and looks for more. Then we wait and the vet comes and checks his eyes, ears, skin, teeth, listens to his chest and manipulates his abdomen and undercarriage. Tim doesn’t seem to mind. Then we’re good to go – except for a small payment – 58 euros this year, up slightly on last year.


Then back to the mill and the dreaded packing begins. Not only for me, but for Bill and Tim, too. Things get scattered all over the place in six weeks, so it takes time to track it all down. 

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Lost in France

Thursday 20th July
On Tuesday saw a single deer leave the sweetcorn and bound up the bank! Seems like it’s a deer thoroughfare. The heat is ramping up again, 38 degrees according to the thermometer in St George in the afternoon. We bought what we wanted at Madam’s little shop but decided it was too hot to walk around so we headed straight back home – and enjoyed the car’s air conditioning! It was cloudy all day and so hot we slept downstairs in the mill room that night. A violent thunderstorm woke me, and I watched the sheet lightning through the glass doors.

Wednesday night it got cooler after six, so we slept back upstairs and left the windows open. (We’ve tried all tactics – windows open, windows shut, shutters closed and windows open, everything at half-mast but nothing is ideal. It stays uncomfortably hot until about three in the morning and then the temperature plummets to about 16 degrees. That’s when I wake up feeling cold. In the morning we count our insect bites. I’ve been thinking of a mosquito net over the bed, but there’s nowhere to hang it. Perhaps more garlic is the answer!

Friday 21st July
Lamonzie Montastruc
A lazy morning and down to Lalinde in time for a longer walk by the canal – yes, it is a canal – le canal du Lalinde and then into the square for lunch. Bill ordered bavette, which turned out to be Charolais steak and I order the mushroom omelette. Both turned up with not chips but sliced potatoes with their skins on, curled up and slightly brown. Like chips, but not chips. Not fried. We think they must have been done in an oven, and will experiment when we get home. Tim liked them. Eight euros cheaper, even with the beer, than the other café we tried last week. On the plus side they brought water for Tim, but none for us. Today we received chilled water in a thermos bottle, but not for Tim, so we gave him water in a clean ash tray. We felt the first few drops of rain as we walked back to the car, and raced the black clouds all the way home.


The journey was longer than anticipated because instead of following the sat nav we disagreed with it and took the route we knew. Fine. But then Bill pointed to a sign for Banueil and said Shall we go that way? In the split second of decision time I said why not. Big mistake. We saw a few pretty villages, some old, one very modern, but ended up back in Lalinde. Well, no, not quite. We came out on the Porte de Cruz on the canal and had to drive nearly all the way to Bergerac before we were reasonably sure that a right turn would take us home. We ended up joining the D21 at Lamonzie. From there, a straight run home, a quick walk with Tim and then we got in and hunkered down, because the rain came down. Real rain.
On the Dordogne


Thunder and lightning, too. I went and had a nap.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

French adventures - a continuation

Sunday 16th July
(Quick note: I was unable to keep blogging, but now I'm back home again I can load the later blog post of my holiday)

The hot weather is back again, so I’m up early in the morning to walk Tim before it gets too hot. After our disaster yesterday (Tim found a deer leg and ran off home with it, leaving me in the field looking for him) we walked with him on a lead this morning and headed up towards Fouleix. It was early, the sun was pleasant and with a ten or twelve foot bank on my left I happened to be looking at it when two deer appeared. They were large and golden brown, running as if they would have bounded down the bank, across the road and into the sweetcorn field on my right. On seeing me they wheeled about and disappeared. So quickly, and so silently. It was hard to believe they were there.

I’m watching Poldark even though I’m recording it back home. (one never knows when a recording is going to fail for some strange reasons.) The story follows Demelza more than Ross in series three, though George Warleggan featured very strongly in tonight’s episode. I seem to remeber the second volume was actually entitled Demelza. Poor Morwenna has been forced to wed the slimy fat man – very much a fate worse than death.


Some other thing I notice – Demelza, Caroline, and Elizabeth – even Morwenna – they are all so skinny a puff of wind would blow them away. The men wear shirts, waistcoats, jackets and even overcoats and yet the women swan around in silk and linen gowns cut so low they must surely have caught a chest infection. Strange. 

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Lunch out

Friday 14th July
An even bigger trip today. We drove to Lalinde via St Foy where there are roadworks. I mention them because the traffic lights display the time you have to wait before it is your turn to drive off (which I think is a very good idea and worth adopting in England) We arrived with a couple of minutes to wait, and the car before us in the queue had roared by us several miles back! He must have waited maybe four or five minutes..

It was a perfect day for walking Tim along the canal with its huge trees – I’m never sure if it is a river or a canal. There are lock gates, but it also seems to be an off shoot of the Dordogne which is not 500 yards away. The sun was shining, but the heat was not as excessive as it has been lately. We chatted with a lady who turned out to be one of a group called Les Temoins de Jehovah. Of course, Tim was the attraction.

Then we turned back into town and headed for the market square. Lunch service was beginning, so we chose a quiet corner by a pillar under the old market hall (called the Halle) roof and sat back to enjoy the surroundings. http://www.northofthedordogne.com/lalinde.php

We knew it was Bastille Day, and were not surprised that the shops were closed and a band struck up the Marseilais (must check the spelling!) by the town’s flag draped war memorial. The pompiers de Lalinde made some kind of impromptu parade – or maybe they were just passing through and decided to open their windows and yell something en Francais!

When we order our food and drinks, the waiter, unasked, brought a bowl of water for Tim and he very nearly drained it. Bill ordered a wild mushroom omelette and I chose Fish and Chips. Yes, I know,, but I wanted to see how it would be presented. We waited a long time for it. Pizzas came out faster for people who arrived after us, but there was no hurry. My fish was very white, tasted lovely, and had a very light batter. Frites in a cone came with it, plus a single carrot served with its stalk stub, a little green salad and thinly sliced courgette and lemon, plus a herby sauce. Delicious. I ate every scrap except for feeding Tim a few frites. It kept him quiet instead of threatening to pounce on the pigeon that wandered too close to our table.

We walked down to the river, which is running faster than we’ve ever seen it in many years of visits. Usually there are sandbanks and lots of weed clumps, but right now the water is flowing very fast bank to bank. Lots and lots of swans on the opposite bank where the trees swoop down to the water – a whole flock of swans - maybe fifty or seventy, just cruising the shallows. 

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Discoveries

Thursday 13th July
Tuesday we finally made that trip into Vergt, primarily to make an appointment with the vet for Tim’s exit examination. It has to be within 72 hours of getting back to England, so we prefer to book ahead rather than risk the vert being out on a house call or something other animal emergency. Though I suppose if it were an emergency, he’d still go and we’d have to wait!)


We walked around, discovered there’s a circus in town and spent a good half hour over a drink in the café in the square.  It is decorated and there is a large banner proclaiming Fete du gras et truffe (if I have correctly remembered the French!)

When we set off for home, we took a new route through Fouleix, and discovered a huge hole in the ground being dug. As big as an Olympic swimming pool, if not bigger. It is the same shape as the “irrigation ponds” we see in the fields, but a whole lot bigger. It deserved to be called a reservoir and it seemed as if the men of the commune were doing it themselves. The odd thing is the position of it – not in a valley as you might expect, but on the top of a hill. The region is famous for the strawberry, and over the years we have been coming, the strawberry fields have expanded enormously. Perhaps their demand for water has necessitated the construction of the new water reservoir. It’s a theory, but I can’t substantiate it!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Bones in the field

Wednesday 12th July
No editing for a couple of days. Not a deliberate decision, but it just did not happen. Other things have got in the way, that’s all. On Sunday we noticed that Tim kept disappearing into the hedge that borders the field side of the mill stream at every opportunity, and when I say disappeared, I really mean it. The “hedge” is taller than me and who knows how wide? To follow the small tunnels made by foxes and the like, I’d need a machete to slash through the bramble spikes and thorn bushes, and a plastic suit to prevent the poison ivy stings. Then there’s the stream in the middle – how deep? Deeper than wellies? Or just mud and sludge where the reeds have taken over?

A day or two before this I walked Tim around the wilderness corner of the garden near the bonfire. It is the other side of the hedge I have just described, and because two streams meet there it is often too wet and muddy to risk bogging the tractor down when the rest of the grass gets cut. So he stood there in the long grass like a pointer, staring into the far corner where the streams meet. Then he barked. Long and hard. He wouldn’t go near, so being me, discretion took over and we retreated.

So to Monday afternoon and our walk around the lake. Coming back to the house, Tim suddenly races off and does a right turn into the farmer’s field which is greening up nicely after the hay has been cut. Races alongside the hedge and then turns sharp left and out into the middle of the field,  flops down and all I can see is his head and the line of his back. I whistled. I called, he ignored me. Was he hurt, injured? Had a snake bitten him? (There are snakes. Tim disturbed one in a ditch once and it lashed out and bit Bill in the calf, but with no dire results.) Thinking an adder might have bitten him, or he’d broken his leg in a mouse hole, I set off across the field in my wellies.

Two hundred yards later, when I was within ten yards of him, he looked up, a bone dangling from his jaws. Then he leapt up and danced away from me, flopped down again. I followed him. Same thing repeated. Again and again, he ran ten yards and went back to eating. 

Furious calls of "Tim!" brought Bill, who approached from the other side but with the same result. What looked like the leg of a bird – duck, chicken, heron? – had evidently been killed, possibly inside the hedge and now foxes were carrying the bones onto the field to eat them. Tim was scooping up the still bloody left overs. We couldn’t catch him, and there's nothing more annoying than a normally obedient dog who comes when you call than a dog who wilfully disobeys you; we got so annoyed and frustrated we abandoned him and went back to the house. Within two minutes of our disappearing from view, I heard the tinkle tinkle of his name tags as he raced back across the field towards home.


We kept him on the lead for the rest of the day, because he has figured out that he can escape from the enclosed garden by going up the steps, along the garden strip above the pool and down and out through the gap at the other end. Then he’s free to explore all of France if he fancies it.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Strange creatures

Saturday 8th July
Quite busy editing – a good chunk done, and an emotional one, not easy to do in case the whole thing is ruined. But I think it is tighter now and better for it. I’ve deleted upwards of 40k words, so if I feel the story needs a little more exposition or internal dialogue, I add that. We’re hovering at 103k words now for the whole thing, which is about where I want to be.

It’s been a cloudy morning, and I walked Tim on the road, on a lead, up the hill towards Monsieur Lambert’s farm. The farmers have suddenly sprung into life around us and they’re nipping about with small tractors spiking a couple of hay bales from the field and chugging off down the road with  the bales held before them. When the sun is out and its over 34 degrees, the whole valley is silent and still.


I’ve been curious about something that wanders about the area. Animal, since it moves. Strong enough to dig a hole about the size of a tin of Heinz baked beans in the hay field and then crap in it. Perfect aim. Dark coloured, with lots of cherry stones. I recognise deer poo when I see it, but deer don’t dig holes and anyway it’s a different shape and consistency. I found another hole, near the little stone bridge, as I walked up to the farm this morning, Fresher, with no cherry stones. 

So I came home and googled for info, not really expecting anything to come up in answer to “animal that digs holes to defecate” but right away the answer came back: a badger. I’m relieved. I had been worried it might be wild boar and I didn’t want Tim (or me) to suddenly come face to face with one of them. Surrounded as we are by miles of woodland, they are bound to be nearby, but I’ve never seen one. The hunters go out after them in the autumn/winter season. There are tales galore about more hunters being wounded by gunshot than boar being killed, but I don’t know how true they are.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Ants and prize money

Wednesday 5th July
You should never complain about the weather. Today was uncomfortably hot and tomorrow promises to be the same. 35 degrees is forecast. I don’t know why, but we don’t stand the heat as well as we used to. Perhaps being down here in the valley, where we rarely get a breeze, has something to do with it. On the coast or the hills there’s usually a wind, but not here. Tim lolls about like the proverbial loppy dog. (Not that he is loppy, naturally.)

Last evening we came indoors because there was a plague of flying ants dive bombing the pool and surrounding area. Today watching Wimbledon, what do I see but flying ants? Sam Smith commented that when the queen leaves the nest they all go walkabout, but I don’t know how true that is. Is it possible they’re all in tune with one another? They’re here on Monday evening but by Wednesday those that didn't drown in our pool are causing havoc at Wimbledon.


So happy to see Rafa through to the third round, but not pleased with these people – 8 of them – who went into their matches knowing they carried an injury and would not complete the match. Klizan has had the same injury for 2 months, and one woman played while four and a half months pregnant. She didn’t tell anyone until the match was over. They must be doing it to get the £35,000 prize money, which they may very well need, but the people who have queued for hours and paid for their ticket are being cheated. Centre Court hosted two of the biggest names, Djokovic and Federer, and both of them faced players who quit early. How can they deserve the prize money?