Some Viking Shields

Some Viking Shields – the start of a collection.

uwgb viking house
UW Green Bay Viking House

I am gathering information for Dwayne to utilise for creating shields to hang within the UWGB Viking House, and now I am also sending the package to Professor Katie Walkner, of UWGB Manitowoc for a project one of her student is creating.

There will be plenty of great images and links out there which I don’t know, and I would be glad to hear from you the reader.

eric in action
Eric strikes

Many of the action images come to us care of Eric De Bernardi of Vanaheim Vikings who are a part of Vikings UK. long sheildLots more images and info on their page – https://www.facebook.com/vanaheimyork/

vanaheim flag
The Vanaheim flag

 

from eric
Eric sent me this one

The Regia Anglorum image comes to us courtesy of Līga Supantīsaūli Gūlbs.regia shields from liga

https://regia.org/

 

intertwined
A Vanaheim skirmish

I am proud to be a member of Vanaheim the York University Viking group.long line up Which makes me think of connections and affiliations. Wouldn’t it be great if each shield we display has a story to link it to others we are connected to. Toby of Balagard – Viking-age Finland made this suggestion. balagard shield

toby
Toby survived

Tim of River Ravens also suggested it would be good to have their image on a shield to show our connection.river ravens banner https://www.facebook.com/FMRiverRavens/

river ravens team
The River Ravens sack the tiny portable stave church at the Devil’s Lake Sons of the Norway Norse Fest. — with Tim Jorgensen.

Eric recommends contacting Roland Warzecha, aka Dimicator c/o – https://www.facebook.com/Dimicator-266934476773420/

dimicator
Be sure to mention Eric when you get in touch

Eric also thinks that Roland will probably direct you all to Asfolk Viking Martial Arts in Minnesota.cropped-Asfolk-Logo-Xtra-Small https://www.asfolk.com/

georg
Georg

My great chieftain Georg Hansen of Njardarheimr Viking town, Gudvangen, Norway sent me some real good links too.
Interesting article
http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/manufacturing/text/viking_shields.htm
and an interesting blog post
https://sonsofvikings.com/blogs/history/the-viking-shield-a-historic-look?

georgs shield
Georg’s shield
opening ceremony
Gudvangen Market Opening Ceremony (No shields, I am just showing off)
njardarlag with flag
Gudvangen’s Njardarlag at Borre with their flag
shield and throne
The shield above the throne

Sigourney of Origami Llama has offered to paint, in particular a Viking-stylised wolf or ouroboros. – https://www.facebook.com/theorigamillama/

dragon

plague doctor
Origami Llama’s Plague Doctor

Professor Heidi Sherman is also working on some designs.
https://cahsseffect.org/favoritespace/my-favorite-space-dr-heidi-sherman-and-the-viking-house/

laughing
Heidi at the house
the vikings uk inspection
Inspection time
the vikings uk
The Survivors
vanaheim go to war
The war
vanaheim sheild fallen
The fallen

 

Way of Living – (Dedicated to Njardarheimr, Norway)

Way of Living – (Dedicated to Njardarheimr, Norway)

We have our land. We go raid no more. We here have plenty. Do not take like before.
In our hearts we are Viking. People of Iron. In our town we are Viking. Viking Town.
Shipbuilders come here. In iron nailed hulls. Bringing sightseers to us. They help at the sculls.
Season by season. The world comes stay here. The reason is Vikings. They hold us dear.
Our chieftain welcomes. His word is enough. We stay just as strong. Strong of love.
Chieftain he speaks. “Piracy is gone.” “No need to go plunder” Being here is strong.
Warriors a plenty. No need of an army. You come to us. We have no enemy.
All here are welcome. Whoever the world will bring. All here are welcome. Except the unwelcoming.
Come join in the building. The building of kinships. The skill and the interest. This town equips.
Ancient crafts abide. Use needle and hammer. Clothe us, shod us. Be potter, be carver.
As you sit you are of us. Viking by fire. Cook, drink discover. Be thirsty, aspire.
Remember to believe. Believe in your heart. We have games to share. Here we shall start.
Be in his team. Tell stories that last. Live here in the now. We bring you the past.

Adrian Spendlow – from the words of my chieftain
(NB the R in iron is silent)

From York’s Medieval building Barley Hall I bring you – The Nosegay Blog (My first ever blog)

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We are safe here at Barley Hall, my nosegays will stop you turning purple, and my visitors will keep me informed. Fore-armed is fore-warned and I sought to defend my position with knowledge. There was little need, for every visitor had something to impart. lyndsey and bruniYes I did have plenty to say at the start of my summer holiday stint but this was nothing to the array of facts and anecdotes. Soon I was passing along the wisdom of one to another and I will gather here some of the best of this.wizard

Some of my newly gained knowledge is debatable; this does not mean it is necessarily untrue, just that there will be debate. The very room I am in has become a convoluted topic. Refer to the notice boards for what is perhaps the definitive answer even though many in the discussion would disagree. Even the name, “No, it is not a parlour” – A solar; sit in there in the sunlight and treat this place as a retreat. A place to craft for joy, a place to make all which is beautiful: here you can write and some say learn.

jewelsA few have disagreed that the parlour was a place to receive visitors. Although another interjected that one visitor would be invited in here among the family; the tutor – here we would learn our letters and our lessons. Rhetoric, logic and astronomy are among the topics which would be enabled by this. nasaBut nay, this was not the reception say many who contributed to this on-going discussion. The way in was the proving point of this camp of thought. You entered via the stairs; from there you would be in Lord Snawsell’s bed chamber. Here in, it has been read, was his office and softer furnishings.

candle
Me at Murton Park Viking Village, York (Photo by Andraea)

So therefore this is where he would meet with you. The logic of this is in the access and the fact you would feel you had been welcomed whilst at the same time you would be aware that by being in his realm he retained power. There is logic in the aspect of access too it is argued; from there to get to the parlour one would have to go through Lady Joan’s personal chambers and then get in the way of the busy journeyman all down the long hall.

Not cb 03everything I hear, as I say, is definitely right and some things I hear are definitely wrong.

Barley Hall is loved, many revisit, many discuss, many compliment and recommend, but not all feel this way it seems. A passing hen party definitely didn’t like the look. As I was returning from a visit to DIG my way into the alley was blocked. I stood back to allow the party-wear ladies to leave the alley and they stopped suddenly. Looking up the street, “Oh we’ve been this way” – “We’ve been here before” – “We’ve been up there” – “We’ve been up there” – “We don’t want to go that way again” – “We’ve been this way”. Eventually they turned back and I had a path ahead of me, a slow path.

Barley-Hall window view
The view in the window (minus the peacock)

As they noticed the large window into the hall for the first time there were sounds of disapproval from one of these revellers. “Oh dear, I wouldn’t want to go in there” – “And I wouldn’t want to eat that” – “No, it looks awful in there” – “Ancient!” – “It’s like a museum”

Although most people are entranced by the peacock upon the table, the hen party in search of a meal and another drink were not the only ones to not fancy eating a bird which had been cooked and then repacked in its raw skin. “Never do that” visitors inform me, “Never mix cooked and raw”. “They certainly hadn’t heard of health and safety!”

Nosegays keep us safe, or at least perfumed. Gay meaning ornament back in the day; they were about the smell. Many report on the vast amounts of information on the medicinal, spiritual and nutritional uses of herbs; that is not a major concern when it comes to nasal orientated ornaments. It is all about the smell, the logic I am instructed, is that if the smell carried the disease you didn’t want it up your nose. The miasma must be refused access and to follow logic, if your nose was full of sweet smells then how could the horrid miasma get in! So visitors tell me it was not just about masking the smell, it was about keeping you safe.

If you wanted to be really safe, what better than a plague doctor mask. Fill that with herbs and strap it on. While you were feeling ultra-safe as a result of this constant experience of the sweet and beautiful you might want to go all out and get yourself a job.

plague doc 01 close up
thats me that is

Plague doctors are in demand it seems. An explanation of this which was given to me was that all the doctors were gone – in one way or another. It was a well-paid job I am told – while it lasted.

Not much in the way of skills was needed, according to some, all you needed was a stick, a big stick. With your mask on off you go, and prod people. Then all you had to do was tell them whether they are going to live or die (if in doubt go for the die option). The strange thing is, whatever the answer, they would thank you. I considered these offerings and discussed with other visitors. It is not so strange when you think, as I was asked to do, on the history of medicine. Throughout Europe ‘knowing’ was often more important than helping. ‘How long will they be?’ – ‘Will it be quick?’ – ‘Have you anything to make it easier?’ Another suggested this was still the main focus in many tribal cultures around the world.

pegs 01
These ‘sticks’ are actually hand-made tent pegs found in the woodpile at Gudvangen, (Photo by Tove Gulbrandsen), put you could prod with them

I decided there and then, that once all my visitors had made a nosegay I was off to get a stick; the income would be most welcome – while it lasted.As not everyone wants a nosegay I will be here a while yet. Not that they are to be sniffed at, if you see what I mean. Much a sniffing and a pondering has there been.

me quirky
Thats me sniffing that is, honest

Deciding of what aroma, of what herb one is holding a bowl of. Lavender is spotted by most, thyme only by a few and lemon balm by only one chap. Rosemary is spotted on sight by most, although one or two, including a rosemary grower, thought it was pine. The one which is most evocative is actually a flower rather than a herb as such. Some love it, most are reminded, reminded of something. A Greek flower which is gathered as a healing tea, camomile, just flowers, childhood memories, the bottom cupboard next to the pans; we were taken places. I was put off this bowl for quite a while when a girl said it smelt of hamster bedding. This smell was removed for me a little later by the power of suggestion; a lady said it made her think of her grandfather’s pipe tobacco. Now, whenever I hold the marigold bowlMarigold_AAS_1989_Golden_Gate in front of me I am transported back to my childhood and the hint of sweetness within a heady aroma which would erupt into the room when granddad opened his pouch to stock up his pipe with baccie.

So far there are no reports of the plague coming to me from my visitors. No one has been spotted to be turning purple, well except for Mr Purple himself, but he is upon his bicycle platform out of the way anyway. bike theif 08 14The next edition will feature live frogs, alternative universes and elephants tusks among many other oddities of conversation. Remember when recalling this blog so far, it is all absolutely true – that people have told me these things.

Your tales and opinions can be added into the mix for discussion too. Be in touch.

Adrian

Here is the link to the exciting second half…. Nosegay Blog Too

 

 

Setting Out from Heidi’s

Setting out from Heidi’s – some of our travels in America

Alright, this one is ridiculous…

I was fascinated by a mid west wedding…

They just fell out of the pack that way, honest. So, in Britain we have sweets and chocolate, is that right? And in the US they have candy. Plus! They sell bags especially for Halloween, how about that! We call them bite size.

Bring back Marathons I say.

Now back to halloween, or should I say Hallowe’en?

The above was part of the display at Sons of Norway, Green Bay (mostly daughters).

Dwayne and I went in the Goodwill Store (Charity shop)..

They say everything is bigger in america, it is definitely true abput the charity goods stores…

Oh, and here are model ships in Scarborough, Yorkshire – in a much smaller store…

I thought this tree was beautiful…

The amazing Scandinavian festival in Minot, North Dakota where I met the rope making team…

I was quite taken with the town of Scales Mound. We were on our way with Nathan, Heidi’s cousin to her aunt’s funeral and suddenly realised we were where her auction house was. This is where Heidi and Arnold got married and as well as an auction house it is an opera house. Now don’t ask me why, but as much as I loved Scales Mound, it also reminded me of the Q continuum in New Generation Star Trek…

Ah, here is, the auction house itself – Dr Woodchucks…

We went to Johnny Pamcakes while in Rockford, but mainly because Mark wanted to look at the Harleys…

There were bus journeys through the wild…

Cold stuff…

Alien abduction during my time at Pepper GB, WI, USA…

OK, back in Scarborough we don’t get the huge amounts of snow, but we do get heavy rain….

Mum has been helping prepare for the wedding. the theme will be quaint and quirky British history. Heidi wants to wear jet, aint none o this jet I don’t think, but there is some beautiful stuff here….

We have gift shops here in Scarborough.

And clearly we do get the sun.

Here is where the evening wedding is…

Sigrun Design…

 

Stories and Snippets from my Travels in the US of A

 

Historically Reenacted Battles, (to the best of my ability)

I shall be returning to The Norwegian, Rockford, IL, USA for a couple of gigs this spring, and perhaps this isn’t the best example of my work…

Lady Freyja snippet from the Irish club, Green Bay, WI, USA…

Snippet from Veikko’s Quest, as performed at Hostfest, North Dakota, USA…

Veikko’s Quest snippet from University Wisconsin. Green Bay…

Bit more from the Hus…

Dwayne volunteers here feeding the fish, but actually it is a hydroponics bay…

Cujo and Tree’s open mic at Pepper GB in Green Bay USA

Another one from Pepper GB…

And a scary one to finish…

giddy viking by danny

Wander with Winnie

Wander with Winnie

We wandered wide in ancient woodland

Small snowdrops shine among the binding wynd

With Winnie’s spirit; see she skips

And happy meadow memories shine

Inside the ageless dusk of eye

The eye inside – as night time chimes

Holds steady gleam of darkness time

And in amid the blackness looking at us

is the sparkling line of far stars light,

Orange, blue and emerald green

Flickering their colours at us

Only wild stars above the wood tonight

And look, look up, look

This one; this one is mine

 

AS

 

 

 

Gods and Goddesses of the Greek Mythos Continued – Hermes the Babe

Gods and Goddesses of the Greek Mythos Continued – Hermes the Babe

Here is another of my characterisations of Gods and Goddesses, this one written while I was in hospital having the cancer taken away (nil by mouth for 19 days).

In this case though although it is an interesting storyline the God (if he is a God) Hermes is at best an anti-hero with the historic crimes division after him probably. There are those who leapt from Olympus rather than him turn them to ever staring stone.

Hermes – Cairn-man – Pillar of Stone – Toddler

This man is not a god he is a pillar.image An offspring of gods yet was born as an embodiment of an orgiastic pillar. Dance near him if you dare. Hermes is Priapus the totemistic virtue of a phallic pillar or cairn no less.

His mother was Maia and if there was such a thing as fatherhood back then we would be saying his father was Zeus. Maia met Zeus because she was the daughter of Apollo then afterwards being with child she had a score to settle with her father for mistreatments.[!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]  Gods being gods they grow fast, and Hermes grew fast, very fast, especially in intellect. By seven months he had mastered the bow and invented many things, then Themis gave him nectar and ambrosia of the gods or should that be Nectar of the Gods and Ambrosia of the Gods; and he was ready to   adventure. image.jpgReady for that vengeance from beyond the womb.

He was followed by a gathering band of nymphs they made a wicked wilful travelling party. wild band.jpgHe was befriended by Cyllene. They played and sang and laughed. Cyllene showed off her enchanting musical ability and Hermes claimed he could make something far more mystical than that. Cyllene bid him to show it was true, Hermes said he would need some cattle hide to make the strings. Then when Cyllene told him of Apollo’s herd he knew he could get his revenge and build his instrument, he knew so much more too. Well well before we discover how great he is, he knew.

Yes this merry band agreed that little Hermes and they could smuggle the herd, but Apollo would simply follow and they would be found.

Hermes bid them cut large patches of bark from the Fallen Oak and to cut long grass to bind into cord. From these he showed them how to fashion shoes for the cattle and away they were led along a trackless path.

The cattle were gone.

Apollo was livid.

Apollo he searched but there were no tracks.

Then, by chance in his raging stampede around the land he found the Satyrs, led by the rogue Silenus they were greedy for reward, great reward, for Apollo was angry, very great reward.

Eventually, in Arcadia, the Satyr gang heard something unusual, unique in fact; strange music like no melody ever heard before yet dulled and distant. It seemed to be coming from far away and yet from everywhere. It seemed to be coming from below the earth and yet, – no it was, it was down below, it was. Eager as they were they could not help but dance. Dance, as they hunched and sniffed and searched

Tnymph.jpghen suddenly they noticed a little way ahead by a gateway in a leafy copse the sultry, haughty, Cyllene idly taking the air. The music led them towards her.

It was louder behind her and there at the back of the glade was a cave; the music was coming from there. “What is that music of the nymphs we have never heard before?”cave.jpg

Cyllene swung gently round towards them, “No nymph plays that marvellous tune upon that unique instrument.”

“No one can play better than the nymphs, no one has a better instrument than they.” The satyrs gaggled together in panic behind him, staring in quizzical fear.

“Hermes does.”

“Who is Hermes?”

“Hermes is a babe.”chain babe.jpg

The Satyrs stood mesmerised as Cyllene gracefully articulated the story of the babe who was born within this cave. He who had adventured across the lands at so young an age, who had acted with great skill and created a marvellous lyre like nothing ever heard before. Silenus enquired what this lyre was like and Cyllene told him how it was shaped like a tortoise because he had fashioned it out of a tortoise and cow hide twine. “So where did he get this twine?” “Are you calling him a thief!” Just as a fierce argument sprung up a few things happened at once.crane.jpg A great long-winged bird landed in the glade; this was the Sacred Crane sacred to Hermes and because of Hermes. Silenus glanced his eyes around the glade and there were two cow hides stretched between branches to dry.hides.jpg The grandfather of the babe of course had known that the crane was sacred, sacred to Hermes, and had followed it; Apollo suddenly appeared.

Silenus pointed at the hides, thus establishing himself a right to the reward, then to seal the deal he pointed at the cave.

Apollo strode in and down with a procession following. There lay Maia sleeping deeply a bundle in her arms. “Bring me that quickly grown man Hermes now,” shouted the mighty Apollo, “For he has stolen my cattle and shall be made to bring them back to me, at least all that live.”

Maia threw back the covers and revealed a babe still in its swaddling bands and wrapped in a large leather hide. “How could it be that a babe such as this has done this thing you say?”image.jpg

“I recognise the hide!” boomed Apollo and he snatch up the child and fled the cave.

“Father of Heaven,” (and father of the babe unfortunately), cried Apollo as he bent to his knee in front of Zeus, “I accuse this babe”, (the bundle unrolled from his arms as did the other two hides from the glade), “of theft of all my herd.”z 01.jpg

“Zeus looked down to Hermes, “I cannot believe that you did such a thing and I ask you to plead not guilty.”

“Well I did,” confessed Hermes standing proudly for all his small size, “and I am sorry. I shall return all that live and tell you of the flesh of the others”

Apollo stood looking dazed, enraged and confused.

I divided the flesh of each dead beast in to twelve pieces each as sacrifices to the twelve gods.”

“Twelve?” questioned Apollo, “Who it the twelfth?”

Bowing with a smirk the tiny Hermes said, “Why it is I”.chain babe

How Zeus laughed.z 02

Hermes continued, “A twelfth of the flesh of each of the beasts I ate for I was ferocious hungry the rest I burned. Thus I have invented the first ever flesh- sacrifice. Now I shall give you recompense, follow me.”

He led Apollo in a flash back to the cave and he retrieved a bundle from beneath a sheepskin. “What have you there?” asked Apollo.

Hermes held up the tortoise-shell lyre in display and in the other hand held a plectrum, “This I also invented.”

The music was mesmerising, the singing was praise worthy; it was full of praise also. Praise of Apollo, his nobility, his dignity his grace, his intelligence and, of course, his generosity. It worked, Apollo forgave him and nevertheless little Hermes led him to Pylus, playing all the way, to the cave he had hidden the cattle.image.jpg He released them to graze and offered the Lyre to Apollo, he took it and thankful he said as I keep this so you keep the cattle. Hermes held up his tiny tiny hand and Apollo solemnly shook.

From the distance they heard the mountain top laughter of Zeus as he watched all Hermes’ antics.

As the cattle grazed Hermes gathered long grasses and wove them into a pipe. He played and he declared, “This is the shepherd pipe that leads any sheep to you.”

“If you will let me have this pipe I will trade you my golden cattle-herding staff; it also has the power to send the spirits of the dead peacefully to heaven.”

“I accept, in part, for the reedpipe is worth far more than the golden staff and I will accept the deal if you also promise to teach me the power of augury.”

The distant laugh of the onlooking Zeus could be heard again from afar.z 03.jpg

“I cannot but my three nurses the Thriae can. They will teach you on the isle of Parnassus to read the flowing pebbles in the swirling bowl.”pebbles.jpg

“This is indeed a very ingenious, eloquent and persuasive Godling.” Chortled Zeus.

Upon their return Zeus bellowed at tiny Hermes, “You must promise forever from now respect the rights of another’s property and never tell utter lies.”

“Then make me your herald great father, and I will never tell lies, although I shall not promise to always tell the whole of the truth in every detail. Furthermore I shall protect and preserve all divine property in your honour.”ribbon stick.jpg

(Apollo was chortling now.)

“You shall be my herald then, and you shall in that duty guide the dead to the underworld, oversee all matters of business, all treaties and all rights of way.styx

Even furthermore you shall teach us the twirling of sticks to make fire you shall assist the Three Fates (this he did and invented the knuckle bones, the alphabet, astronomy, boxing, the musical scale, gymnastics and weights and measures. He also learned the tree alphabet.)

Thus it was Zeus who chuckled quietly now for he had honoured and empowered him in such a way that he would forever be too busy.

So it was that the now growing Hermes was presented with the adornments of Herald and proudly stood in the round hat of rain protection, the fast flying golden sandals and the beribboned herald’s staff which commanded respect from all when Hermes was engaged in matters of administration, (of which there were many).admin babe.jpg

Thank you Robert Graves

 

 

Recent blogs include from the Greek Myths, Athene , The Fates and Pan.

Behold the God-slayer Typhon – Doom of Zeus – Graphic Novel First Draft

Ales and Tales around York pubs.

and more as the Skald to the Chieftain inspired by Georg and Gudvangen.

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