The Folklore of Fossils by Hobb the Ploughboy – a read aloud version of my show at the Scarborough Fossil Festival at the Rotunda Museum 2017.

ammonite pencil flipped

The Folklore of Fossils by Hobb the Ploughboy – a read aloud version of my show at the Scarborough Fossil Festival at the Rotunda Museum 2017.

Oh hello everybody. I am Hobb. Hobb the ploughboy. I’ve been a boy for forty five years, boy and boy, ever since I was a boy.

Ploughboy. It is a very scary job.

And I will tell you what I’ve got. I’ve got a stick.

hobb stick flipped

It is my prodding stick.

hobb stick

What I do is this (*Jiggle, prod*) then I go along a bit, like this (*shuffle*), then I do this a bit (*Jiggle, prod*).

cairn

You’ve got your field right and you’ve got your ploughboy. I work the fields up along the top of the cliff and it is my job to clear away the stones before the plough comes so they don’t break.

So, I am going to sit down and tell you all about stones

There are big stones and there are little stones.

That’s it. That’s all there is to tell.

Well alright there might be a bit more.

The big stones are easy. And the little stones are SCARY.

I get my stick and I go like that there that there… Oh I’ve done that bit.

I find a big stone. The big ones (*clunk*) are much easier, you just have to pick them up and carry them to the edge of the field, easy. Then they are all lined up along the edge of the field and then you can tell where the edge of the field is. You will have seen them. Ah, no, in youradays, not in myadays but in youradays you have things called a fence, don’t you! Well we had stones, big ones.

The little stones, they are the scary ones.

cairn

I get my stick, and I go like that there like that there… Oh I’ve done that.

And I find a small stone, I pick them up, carry them to the corner of the field where there is a mini-mountain of them, (that’s called a Cairn that is). They have scary things. You have to be careful. Sometimes they slip off the top and slide down and crack in half at the bottom – “Aaaaaaargh!”

ammonite alive flipped

Terrible things, terrible monsters, terrible lizards – well bits of them. Therapods, that’s monster’s footprints. Something very scary has been creeping about here.

So, anyway, I get my stick, I go like that there like th… Oh. I’ve done that bit.

holey

And sometimes, I dig out a stone, a perfectly ordinary looking stone. I go over to the pile, turn it over and – Aaaaaargh! – there is a hole going into it.

I go like that there that there and… I’ve done that.

I find a stone.

holey flipped
wiz and holey

Aaaaaargh. It is stuck on my finger. Help Help pull it off (a child does so after much resistance). It has holes going right through it! That’s magic that is! Ooooooo Witches and wizards do that magic stuff they do. Ah, of course, this is in myadays, not in youradays, in youradays they will say oh no there is no such thing as magic, there are no witches or wizards, that is science that did that. I don’t even know what science is but they go on to say that what actually created the holes in the stones was creatures eating it – THAT’S EVEN SCARIER!!!!

Well thank goodness the wizards turned all the scorpions to stone, that’s all I can say.

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shells water colour
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Now this scares me. Look at this. Seashells. Do you know what is scary about these? Look how far away we are from the sea. How on earth did they get all the way up here?! And what is really scary is – what was it that ate them???

ammonite wc left

And then there is these things, I ask what it is and the answer I often get is ‘Annomites’.

I know what these are. Imagine we are at the top of the cliffs in Whitby up by the Abbey. There are fishermen, there are priests and there are monks, and they are shouting, “Get out.” – “Go away.” – “You are not a saint.” – You cannot be a saint – because – you – are – a woman!”

At this point I got to play the saint herself Saint Hilda (to quite mixed reactions), “Yes, I am a woman.”

world poem lady close up

“And I am a saint”, she said. She went on to say, “I shall prove it to you, by the power of the four horsemen of the Lord and the Holy Ghosty Spirity Thingy (Well it went something like this I think), and by the power of the mother of the blessed babe – and all the cupids and cherubim’s as well – I shall make all Whitby safe; safe forever and for all time.

The grass was moving! There was a slithering, a shining, a weaving, a glistening, a wending, a bending, a lifting, a slithering – The whole of the field was moving. It was… It was… It was snakes! Millions of billions of zillions of lots of them. Snakes. Did I say? There were snakes.

world poem lady cliff top

Her arms were upheld and she prayed and every single snake slithered off, slithered off the cliff.

They went down and down and down and, (is that enough downs or should there be more? “More!”) down and down and down and (is that enough downs or should there be more? “More!”) down and down and down and (is that enough downs or should there be more? “More!”) (How about on long ‘down’ all together? “Doooooowwwwwwn”)

As they fell they coiled up, as they coiled up they turned to stone ‘Aaaaaaaaaargh!’

ammonite wc left flipped

In youradays, not in myadays, in youradays you will say they are ammonites (or you might be one of those that says annomites), but I will tell you something you didn’t know, what they did in myadays and what they still do in Whitby in youradays. And this bit is true, it might be the only bit that is, this bit is the truth. A Whitby person, a fisherman or someone who lives there like, they are walking along the beach, like this…. And they spot an ammonite, what they do is they pick it up, get out their knife and they cut a mouth and two eyes in. Then it looks like a snake and they put it back on the stones for all to see. Then me, or you, are walking along, like this…. And we are like, ‘Look it is a stone snake, it must be true what they say about Saint Hilda after all!’ Well that’s what we are supposed to say anyway.

That still happens today.

ammonite pencil

The Vikings are scary. But they were frightened of snakes. Frightened of ammonites. They would see snakes on the beach and in the sea but they would also see them in the sky; in the night, in the north, in the winter. They would see the twisting green writhing around the night and they would say, “Look, it is Jormungand the serpent!”

He was huge. He would crawl around the land, biting people’s heads off! Crawl about the land biting people’s heads off! “Would anyone else like to volunteer to have their head bitten off? Many volunteer.

Even the gods themselves were frightened of him, well fed up of him anyway – biting people’s heads off!

So the big boss god of all the Viking gods, Odin he was called, except we don’t say it like that in my stories we say Ooooooooooooodiiiiiiin. What’s he called?

He was right fed up, so he went and he grabbed Jormungand and he held him up in the air and he went to the sea and he threw him in!

Splash.

He grew so big that he went all the way around the world until he met his tail. Now they do say that he swims around the world with his tail in his mouth like this….

But I say that is daft. He would swim around with his head above his tail, like this….

Then he can look around and see what he is doing.

Let’s say there’s an elf on the beach. There’s an elf on the beach. There.

“Ooooo hello, I  am a little elf it is nice to meet you,” he squeaks. Grumpth Gruffle Gulp. Gone.

See, a lot more sense.

(this next bit is actually an outtake from the show, so I have put it back in here as an easter egg – a special gift for you.)

Then sometimes I pick out a rock and there is a tooth in it, a huge great big tooth, a tooth from a black panther. “Aaaaaaargh!”

Technically, actually, they are a puma, but there are hundreds of reports of Black Panthers a year in Britain. Some say it goes back to when we hid in trees. You are up at the top and you are look out and along comes a black panther – “Aaaaaaaaaargh!”

Everyone hears and climbs the tree, (if they don’t then – “Aaaaaaaargh!”)

panther

Nowadays in youradays when people see shadowy shapes the mind turns the shapes into a black panther so we can scream out a warning just to be on the safe side. So they say don’t worry if you think you have seen a black panther you have just seen shadows. That means to me that when you go out if there are any shadows whatsoever, which of course there will be, then you will definitely see a panther – “Aaaaaaaaaargh!”

But really it is a Belemnite they say, which means that it isn’t a tooth at all, it is just a seashell, that isn’t exciting at all is it, just a great big granddad winkle.

Others though say it is an elf bolt. That it fires from the elf’s bow and when it hits you – you fall in looooooove.

devil

Then there is the devil’s toenail. If that is what it is. I didn’t know he had such big feet.

But I did know he has a big thumb. When he built Filey Brigg he dropped his hammer and picked up a haddock. Filey Brigg is a long sharp rock that sticks out into the sea. The devil built it, it should have been three times as long. Then it would have stuck out into the sea and speared ships. The devil was hammering away and he dropped his hammer. He reached into the sea quick to grab it and grabbed a haddock by mistake. If you go look at fish you will know which is a haddock because you can clearly see a thumb print on it (this bit is true). Look at that thumb mark and think to yourself, it is right about the devil dropping his hammer! “Aaaaaaaaargh!”

buried

The Vikings loved a good fossil find, a sign from the gods if ever there was one. The Vikings long long ago, in theiradays not in myadays or in youradays carried them about. And sometimes as you know the Vikings would go to war. Sometimes, as you know, they would die. When they did, as you know, they were buried. Sometimes, as you didn’t know, they were buried in a ship. With their fossils and all their weapons and everything.

ghost ship

Well, they said that the ship would rise up, into the air. Yes it was a gggggggggghost ship; a ghost ship. There might be one underneath you right now, right where you are.

If you do find one in the ground ever, the Vikings in it wouldn’t look too good. They would look like that Gristhorpe man, and bits of the wood that were left would be petrified. And that is your ghost ship so now I am petrified.

The ship rises up into the sky and flies all the way up to the holy mountain up there look. No don’t look, unless you have washed your face.

The dead Vikings land on the holy mountain and come back alive in a ghosty kind of a way and walk down the mountain, like this….

They travel through the hunting fields and all the way to the Viking heaven – What’s it called? Yes that’s right – Valhalla.

To the big boss god of all the Viking gods, what’s he called? Ooooooooooodiiiiin. Yes that’s right.

And they fight all day. Yes that’s what Vikings think of as heaven; fighting. All day, “Hey you’ve chopped my arm off, never mind, carry on.” “Hang on you’ve chopped my head off I will just balance it back on.” They go on like that till teatime, and then they have fish and chips or something and they get better ready to start all over again tomorrow.

They go on like that till the end of the world. What’s that called? Ragnarok. Yes that’s right.

(Gritting of teeth is required during this next paragraph.) – The gods and the monsters rise up against each other and they fight and fight until everybody is dead, dead. (ungrit now.)

yggrassil falls

The seas rise up and wash everything away. Lightning strikes the great tree and it will fall, eeek creak eeek crash! Fall, bumphf dumphf boom boing dumphfffft.

Splash.

Just one branch remains, sticking up out of the sea. The debris of the old world will gather around the branch and form a new land.

From the branch will climb down Lith and Lithrasia to start the world anew.

From the edge of the sea the power of the old gods will rise up like a globe of light and the world is alive.

Listen, listen for the healing songs of Odin.

Ooooooooooodiiiin.

ghost ship

What if there is one of those gggghost ships right underneath us right now? – “Aaaaaaaargh!”

But Ragnarok hasn’t happened yet. What hasn’t happened yet? Ragnarok.

iggdrassyl

You can still see the tree, look up, with your eyes in a certain kind of a way, look, a huge tree with a different land along every limb. That’s what the Viking say.

I went to a Viking camp. Not in theiradays, in youradays, yes not in myadays, in youradays. A Viking camp.

I bought this amber, this is amber, real amber, it cost a lot of money. This is very special amber, so the Viking market man with a Viking market stall told me. He said that these are the actual tears of Frejya. I paid fifty pound each for them.

Freyja is the goddess of loooooove. What is she the goddess of? Loooooooove. That’s right.

There she was at the top of the tree and she was, in a live performance you would get to see what a good actor I am, because she is beautiful!!!!

I possibly do better at acting the next role, because she met a handsome man….

She fell madly in love with him, she said, “I have falling madly in love with you and I want to be with you forever.” He cleared off and never came back.

freyjas tears

They do say that if you listen carefully you can still hear her crying now. Because, yes, she started to *cry* and the tears rolled out of her eyes, dripped down her face and fell all the way down through the sky into the sea, turned into amber and get washed up on the shore. Then that Viking market stall Viking man gathers them up and sells them to fools like me, I mean people like me!

Who believes me? Are you do believe me that these are the actual tears of Frejya. I might get some of my money back. Who would like to buy a piece? It is £55 each. £60. £65……………..

A huge thank you to Libby and Wendy and the team from Create, and to Julie of the Fossil Festival for putting the fantastic Scarborough Fossil Festival together at and around the Rotunda. And of course to Tim the Geologist who supplied just the right fossils and really got the idea of what I was doing. Thanks all for doing the lifting and shifting too.

I will see you all there next year.

Oh yes and to the highly imaginative participants, I reckon around a thousand people saw my show and contributed with comments, input, reactions and feedback.

See also

Pied Piper Show for Rollercoastical Festival Scarborough

Quay Street a history

Viking Sagas in a Nutshell

Hobb the Pigman at Cliffords Tower

Saying Thank You

Your donation of $3 will encourage me to continue in my creative efforts.

$3.00

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

See fourth draft here

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Some dark satisfaction comes from the destruction of all that offends him.(wrong image?)

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It is a satisfaction tainted with anger. These stupid mortals, these rebellious Gods, Slimy Giants, these ravaging Titans; they must be watched.

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They never learn.

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Zeus had already destroyed humanity three times, he killed Titans here and there, Cyclops fell on a ferocious whim, Goddesses lost loves, teachers lost livers.

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He fumed. He hardly even was aware in his mighty rage that he was hated. What did the dissatisfaction of others matter to the one who was all powerful! – Master of the Earth.The Earth Mother Goddess.She mattered.

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The Earth Mother Goddess.

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The Earth Mother Goddess, the Mother of the Earth, the Earth itself, some call Eurynome; creation from chaos: She mattered.

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And she was a mother – the Mother!

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“Zeus killed my children

and I shall revenge.”

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“Let my earth bring its very bones to life and bring forth to birthing my rage. For a huge child, has been born to me.”

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“Typhon”“Typhon, my child, my monster, my destructive force personified.”He darkens the sky. Largest monster ever born.“Let him rise,” he is too giant for the earth.”My Typhon” His very thighs are snakes writhing across the world beneath him.

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“Behold the God-slayer.” Each arm a myriad of snakes; in their multitudes, they stretch across the very heavens.

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“Burn him, crush him, poison him.” His eyes are fire.

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“Shatter his bones to feed me” From the bellowing maw of his huge mule head burst mountainous boulders; deafening, crushing.

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“This is my son.”

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How Zeus laughed to hear.

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How Zeus quaked to see.

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How Zeus screamed.

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The Goat-god Pan he screamed.

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All the gathered Gods – they froze in fear.

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“Change shape! Be monstrous. Save us.” “Mighty mighty Zeus.”

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A lion. A thunderbolt. An eagle. A quail. A wren. A sheep.

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They all became sheep.

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He ran.

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And as is the way with sheep, they all ran.

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Panic flicker-flashed across their psyches, multitudes of animal images blasting out of sheep-skin into other beings.

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Meanwhile, in sumptuous splendour lay Athene; pampered, petted, soothed and bathed.

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These beautiful handmaidens were nothing as beautiful as her. This sensual existence is far too ecstatic for a mere mortal to bare.

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Look on Athene!

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While far far away

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Rubble roared, bellows broke the peacefulness.

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Athene heard.

Athene flew.0034 ships a fly

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Raced across the wide seas in the very first ever ship. Her crafted craft. The ship.

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See the peak of Olympus.

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Rising up, flying, over the fires.

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To the meadows far beyond.

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She lands among the May flower and bee song to see fields of sheep silently grazing.

She sees one sheep.art 0060 d bx

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She stands beside it.

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“I know who you are beloved King of Heaven.”

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“See over flaming mountains; the creature will seek you.”

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“Die sheep or become brave.”

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Quail, wren, serpent, thunderbolt, eagle.

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It is Zeus.

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“Fly high our beloved god, for you must defeat him.”

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Rising up to his mountain. Almost returning to true form.

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The thunderbolt flies.

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The great beast is engulphed in a cataclysm of lightning.

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Out of the fiery storm burst mountainous boulders.

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Zeus is knocked backwards, flattened as

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the monstrous Typhon bellows boulder after boulder.

Hermes bursts out of his ovine masquerade and lets fly towards Zeus his sharp and powerful flint sickleart 0028 c bx

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to spin through the air.

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Zeus slices through the stone, the boulders split and fall.

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Zeus stands to slice again.

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Burning eyes fire down upon him.

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Zeus falls in faint.

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Typhon looms above him; scooping him up in hundred league snake arms.

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Then like wind of thunder, a hurricane of heat, he rises flies, blows fierce…

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Gods and Goddesses look on in horror at Typhon disappearing across the sea.

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High among the mountains, bellowing, Typhon stands.

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Zeus’ sickle in his hand he swings high to cut.

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Down the sickle sinks into wrists and spine.

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Zeus’ very sinews are exposed.

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A myriad swarm of snake limbs grapple as teethed maws snatch.

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His snake arms pull.

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The very sinews from inside Zeus’ limbs.

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Deep into a cave he throws these strings.

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Doll-like dead-limbed Zeus is laid in powerless torment.

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As jelly laid in stony dark.

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“I Delphyne sister-monster guards.” The voice it echoes out from cave to across the seas.

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All Gods lay and wail in writhing pitiful despair.

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“The world is ending while you wail!”

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“This darkness will take us all, he will not rest at Heaven’s Father, the universe shall squirm.”

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Hermes and Pan they clutch at each other and terrified towards the chariot they step.

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The dark cave below.

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Great Goat God leaps; from chariot to deep within.

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Delphyne is waiting; serpent sister she has poisons ready see she writhes.

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He screams. Pan screams.

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He screams his terrifying paralyzing scream. Pan’s panic scream.

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As poison drips from massive teeth Delphyne is catatonic gripped.

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This is the moment Hermes needs. He leaps.(Above to be replaced)

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And from the cave with Zeus to drag.

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The sinews gathered drape across the lifeless God.

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The chariot flies.

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“We have him,” Hermes cries, “Be ready, run, run gods hide.”

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Between them Athene strides.

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“Zeus must save us, sew him, thread him, string him, stitch!”

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The God of Heaven stands again; uncertain stands, at centre of his universe he stands.

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He backwards falls.

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Athene has lead his chariot behind him, and into this he falls.(Ade – import art 0029 b bx from PC)

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“See great Father God, you simply need to stand.”

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The Thunderbolt he suddenly clasps, the sickle once again; the glistening flint.

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He takes the reins.

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“Fly Father God, Great God, fly.”

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“My spirit flies with you,” cries Athene, “As I am all the Fates I fly to aid.”

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Upon the highest mountain amid enormous range it stands.

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The Fates attend him. Flying to him.

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He is besotted by three beauties bringing him rare treats.

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“Behold our exotic fruits.” “With these we bolster you.” “Great strength we promise.”

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“Typhon we love you.”

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The beast feasts. Now…

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Typhon has a whole huge mountain in his arms.

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A tiny chariot high in sky as monstrous mountain flies.

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The chariot tilts up and wide and fires a firebolt down.

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The mountain bursts aside.

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A mountain flies

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The chariot climbs.

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The thunder bolts.

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A mountain flies

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The chariot climbs.

(this may move)

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The thunder bolts.

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A mountain flies

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The chariot climbs.

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The thunder bolts.

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Mountain after raging mountain, Typhon is unstoppable.

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The final summit is his to wield now – Vesuvius.

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The great Vesuvius, yes, this beast is monstrous strong.

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The fates look on as he only just can throw this thing.

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“We loved you,” whisper Fates from far cave, “we loved you and we strengthened you, but only for a short time. See you falter, weaken now.”

Zeus is higher now than even the stars. And flying down hard.art 0013 a bx

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Gigantic Vesuvius is hurtling right at him.

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“Let Heaven and Sky and Fate empower me!”

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Fire thunderbolt, thunderbolt on thunderbolt on thunderbolt. All God’s energy is spent on this last mighty blast.Vesuvius repelled it falls.

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Down with such increasing speed.

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It hits the beast. Down

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Down still through the earth it crushes down.

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Typhon’s fiery rage it burns and builds and climbs. See the fire near as Typhon strives.

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The very Vesuvius it burns because of him.

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Very nearly he is out, he fights it still, see mountain rage.

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Vesuvius volcano is his rage, and Typhon he may yet one day succeed.

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Listen, hear his bellowing.

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I have done a great deal of research in the build up to turning this very strange and ancient tale into a graphic novel so that it is all based on history, (unless it was the morphine). Some of the research work helped me create the individual features linked to below:

Athene

Hermese the Babe

The Great Goat-God Pan

The Three Fates

Doom of Zeus – the Making of

Creation Recording

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Yes this is what I have been busy with over the past several weeks while in and out of hospital and beginning my long recuperation by the sea.

I came up with the idea of developing a graphic novel around a Greek myth earlier in the year and an independent publisher is now on board with an interest in hybrid publishing (that’s when you publish online and with a major distributor too).

It has been a dream for many years to do something with the quirky and strange Typhon and the terrible Zeus; their battle suited my online graphic novels perfectly.

We are probably hundreds of hours from the ‘for sale’ version, but I shall update here as pieces and text boxes are completed.

Please do share with friends as we will be asking for help shifting the finished product later in the year.

PS the first graphic novel from Viking Comics Inc. The Hammer Flies is almost ready for release as a slide show presentation – my first movie!

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Introduction to the Discworld of Terry Pratchett. What was I doing! My beloved friends ‘We Are Theatre’ invited me to audition and here I am writing Fan Fiction!!!!!!

Introduction to the Discworld of Terry Pratchett. What was I doing! My beloved friends ‘We Are Theatre’ invited me to audition for their forthcoming production of Maskerade (the play of the book by Terry) and here I am writing Fan Fiction!!!!!!

Or possibly summarising the work of a great writer in a few paragraphs is the greater crime of plagor…

Let’s not go there.

I am a big fan though. When I was asked to audition (and quietly knew I would be in there somewhere) I felt a synopsis of the whole world of Terry P would entertain and slightly redirect their approach to his work……

(So I wrote it on the train with all its inaccuracies)

Welcome to Budapest, I said walking in the door with a leaflet in my hand, “He’s started!” “Wait hang on, we haven’t sat down yet.”

buda

The great city of Budapest was originally two towns; the two towns of Buda and Pest. Buda was very poor and filthy and Pest was filthy rich. Hang on, that’s not right, that’s Ankh Morpork!

Ankh was filthy and Morpork was filthy r…, well you’ve got the idea.

Terry stole it off there.

Two towns and they grew and grew till they came towards each other and when they became connected by a bridge they became a huge city.

Long ago that was and new folks come along of all types all the time; if you want to be in the city you build in the city, so folks built on tops of old buildings. There are several layers of buildings sinking away below what you see. Many of those layers far below (shiver) are still lived in.

The city is protected though. It has the Watch. It needs protecting because everything in this world was stolen; stolen by the master storyteller himself. The very Terry who robbed from history, folklore, religion, tourist guides – and they call this comedy.

carrot

We are safe though. There is the Watch. The honest one on the Watch is Carrot; the huge strong tall leader of it all these days; he is huge, strong, tall, proper and slowly steady. He could keep the whole city in order on his own.

dwarves

He is six foot eight and he is a dwarf. They found him when just a babe with just his regal sword by his side and raised him as their own. When he no longer fitted in the cave without a double stoop they felt he ought to venture into the world of those, er, other, er, folk…..

The Watch, yes that was it, the Watch.

There is a lot to be said for the highly untrustworthy Corporal Nobbs. Nobbs. Nobby Nobbs for short; he is short, and ‘technically’ human. You can trust him to find the thieves though, because he is very interested, in a personal way, in the things which they took – he will find them.

colon and nobbs

The night shift is also the best place for his boss Captain Fred Colon many decades he has been on nights, his wife is on days, any other arrangement would take the romance right out of it.

vimes

Commander Vimes, who married the lady of the manor, puts on his old ‘copper’ boots and comes back to help out in a crisis, these old boots have huge holes in the soles which he has lined with cardboard. You can feel the cobbles under your feet and you know just where you are.

kings

He probably got involved when the Kings Head was demolished over night, but it was rebuilt in minutes early in the morning. Soon as Tiffany found out.

Yes, you knew it, it was the little, blue all over guys with nothing but a kilt and a very very bad attitude, (and mouth).

kings

They got in a fight with the landlord and demolished the place.

tiffany

Yes, Tiffany the girl witch of merely eight or so, “Hag o all hags yer ken,” she knew.

“Ok nay., she’s makin of the folding of the arms, she will be doing the tapping of the foot…..”

They ran back down there and rebuilt the Kings Head in minutes, trouble is they built it backwards. Now everyone has to go in through the back way – so, they don’t call it the Kings Head anymore…

dibbler

You are safe in the city, well unless you buy a sausage. Cut My Own Throat Dibbler is out there hollering his wares and if you are to buy one of his so-called sausages you will soon begin to understand why the River Ankh is almost possible to walk across.

You would be safer doubling up your expenditure and buying his top of the range product, the rat on a stick – at least you would know what it is.

All stolen, even the disc; if you peer over the edge of this round flat world you may see that it rests on the back of four elephants, they in turn stand upon the back of A’Tuin the giant turtle. A’Tuin is on a galactic mission, flying through space to meet another turtle with a disc on its back – to mate.

turtles

The worry is, is A’Tuin a male, because we will probably be all alright then. Or, is A’Tuin a female, in which case when they meet up we are all in trouble.

You may wish to be rushing back to the city nearer the centre of the disc, for there behind you is the great mountain. You may need to pray to a god for protection. If you want to please one you will need to eat a lot of broccoli, to please another you will need to eat a lot of chocolate – I cannot influence you too much, it is your choice in the end, broccoli or cho……

If you are wanting to get away with things you may wish to choose Blind Io.

patrician

There they all are on the mountain above Ankh Morpork which is ruled with an iron fist of subtle manipulation by the Patrician.

drag slay

Carrot of the Watch should be the ruler, he has the royal sword and the birth mark and just might go about killing a dragon, but if he does everyone will have forgotten by morning.

the theives
assasin
theif

He does his best against the Thieves Guild. But the gentle Patrician, who is only standing in till the real king is found, has the guild organised. If you are robbed they will take eight per cent of your current monthly income and they will utilise half of this to employ the Assassins Guild to remove from the city any unregistered thieving types.

You are safe here though. Across the gulf of the Ankh is the great bridge, and, looking out forever upon the sea, from this bridge are huge great brass hippopotamus’.

hippos

If ever there were to come, it is said, foreign enemy fleets from the seas toward Ankh Morpork the hippopotamus’ would be the on the bridge looking out, they would see the enemy and they will come alive and – promptly run away – this is the nature of this city.

You are safe here, until a dark figure is cast in a role and walks into a dark theatre with a dark mask upon his face and audiences are entranced; when I played him in audition he fell below the casting table and stretched back up with a mask upon his face, “You call this a comedy!”

See Maskerade in the Upper Theatre of the ancient Black Swan Inn 26th to 28th February 2018

We Are Theatre

Saying Thank You

Your donation of $3 will encourage me to continue in my creative efforts.

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Three Norns Go Denmark

Three Norns Go Denmark

new hat

The best of times the worst of times, this always seems to be the way for me. So it is on this trip to Scandinavia. Yes my health seems to have taken another of its backwards steps whilst I am supposed to be getting better each day a bit at a time.

I have been saying over this ill health year that there are good patches every day (my pal Donna wants to know where I buy these patches) I cannot even say this at the moment; no, no good patches but good people. Good people here every day and we feel like being here every day. So if you never see Sigrun, Alda and Svanhvit again it is because they have stayed here with me in ‘Wolf Town’ forever. Well, either that or their car fell completely apart on the way home. It started on the way here, and quite frankly there isn’t much left – except super glue and Gaffer tape.

learning to weave

I can be ill here and still happy, I would be just as poorly if I was at home and I am surrounded by laughs, love and ‘loveliness’ yes.

royalty
3 norns

The Norns. We are the three Norns and life is only perfect when we are united. Oh no, they have their mum with them! So I have promoted her to the position of Norn – where does that leave me? I guess I am the devoted follower; a bit like the besotted, squirmy, devotee you see with vampires. I am the Norns assistant.

I got here though – we are back in beautiful Denmark; last year I did a review, with a main feature on Danish design: It is rubbish! Unless it is eggcups of course, they are good at them.

Not that you can tell they are eggcups by looking at them. If you were out shopping for them you would probably pass them right by.

eggcup

So, if you see something and you don’t know what it is, buy it, take it home and stick an egg in it.

When I say design what I mean is; if you build a thing you have built it, but if you spend time beforehand thinking not only about whether or not it looks cool but about whether or not it will actually work, or even better finding ways it will work better and in new ways – then – it has been designed.

That isn’t how it works here, well not in my experience last year, admittedly my very limited experience of just one apartment; a grannie flat actually.

Converted from a cellar and retouched recently to be lettable to mugs, sorry I meant tourists.

tiny loo

The loo was under the stairs in a miniscule cupboard where you couldn’t even stand up at the sink, yet the bathroom was gigantic. One of those semi basement places where there are huge windows all along the back wall with no nets; this is all over looked by a children’s play area for the people upstairs. Needless to say, the second time I went in there I wore clothes, at least till I got the curtains closed.

The water from the shower hit the back wall of the bath and followed a runnel around under the shower heads. I realised as I got out it was flying to the tiles like a waterfall. I mainly discovered this by stepping into the lake my clothes and towel were in.

The dining area was in my bedroom, the couch and computer desk were in the other bedroom. The wardrobes had been newly painted and were sealed shut as a result.

The kitchen was minute; a short passage with a narrow cupboard by the window. A mismatch of tiny pottery hung on a rack and the one cupboard held the fridge (which ripped your skin off every time you opened it). When you turned on the really high tap the water hit the tiny round sink in such a way that it turned into a geyser which visited the electric hob in torrents, (most of us survived intact).

When we discovered the final straw of opening the window we were almost glad that is was impossible to close again because it was out of reach so at least the owner would understand that fault.

Don’t even get me started on shopping in Velje!

But no it is this year and that is all behind us. The 2017 review. This time it is Ryanair.

The engines are not powerful enough to be able to keep the lights on during take off. If they didn’t make us all sit in the dark we would never get off the ground, well not all the way up anyway. Similarly make sure you turn everything off when about to land or the engines will never get us to the ground.

Magazine racks are an optional extra same as tickets and seats are.

As for passengers, I don’t think it is just my mood but everyone travelling with Ryanair is really irritating. It is urgent to get to the plane as soon as possible. Some race across the runway to get to the back steps before you, even at the expense of a young family member, only to discover she has the now needed boarding passes and is at the bottom of the steps behind everyone. Hah hah hah hah haa.

Hah hah hah hah oh I have to wait until she can bring them till I can get past them.

Yes I know the boarding passes were checked at the boarding pass checking gate before we set off down towards the plane so don’t need checking again now we are all passengers getting on the same plane I know, I know, I know.

They lied about extra leg room, I didn’t fall for paying for extra leg room; it turns out what they really meant was actual leg room.

Flying Ryanair without paying for all the extra extras is like being in a plaster cast – and I had to share!!!

They brought me wine, though things are not what they were, one glass and I fell asleep.

That’s where I got to dream that there were two rival singers running airways; Ryan Adams and Brian Adams. I was lucky to be on Ryanair. Brianair is even worse, “Every breath you take, every move you make, I’ll be charging you.”

Let not my whole review of our holiday in Denmark be critical and bad I shouldn’t poke fun all the time.

log pile

The cabin is fantastic – cheap too. Here in Ulfsborg we are in the depth of woods and I am the log man.

There would be no kindling without me without me there would be no kindling. The fires they burn because of me because of me the fires burn.

I have another important job too, that of fire monitor.

It might be worth noting that I have a specific walk for each of these important tasks, so the mere girls know what it is I am about.

I may have failed occasionally, when one of the ‘girls’ points out that a fire is getting a bit low. What they fail to realise is that they real man fire monitor has an inbuilt sensor and was just about to get up and add another log. Chop chop.

The area is beautiful. I admit Norwegians are wrong; whenever you say to one of them, “What’s Denmark like?” They reply in the same way every time, using the one word, “Flat.”

They are right yes, but they are quite condemning when they say it, dismissive, they cannot bring themselves to say more, for indeed there is nothing left to say.flat map

In future I may respond with, “And happy!”

It is not quite as flat as they say, not like in totally. It is beautiful with much nature (Beaches are hard to get to or even see without owning a holiday home among the private dunes) but there is so much protected wildness.

sacred me and serpent

I have enjoyed: thatched rooves, wooded estates, gladioli (so yes it is beautiful), lille frogs, lille cakes, sporadic songwriters, antiks, crafts, fleas, fungi, pagan sacred areas, sculptures, sand sculptures, marinades, free vodka, fish cakes, Asatru forests, carved gods and goddesses, mother goddess shaped sacred areas, recovered long-ships, towers of hope, mjord, home-baking, proper bread, fired steak, thatch dryers, lille horses, bus shelters, everything.

posing

We have planned: future trips, future residences, bake houses, barn conversions, Jorvik shows, poodle tales, Hastings, graphic novels, fan trips, London fashion week, TV series, rock opera, Vegas trips, tunics, wood carving, Greek myth shows, book launches, landscaping, stalls, food festivals, story shares, sock making, everything.

We look around, everyone looks happy, really happy, as we sit with chocolate Soft Is (not me thank you), they smile, as they pass they are so so happy – I hate them!

This is the happiest place to live in the world – How irritating!

Oh if only we had so much spare time. As we sat in Sandwichvej, Holstebro thinking of our drive back to Klitvej Cabins it wasn’t like we were on holiday at all all of a sudden. We looked around at a happy happy people who have half a vacation’s worth of time off every week of the year (I swear they retire at twenty nine and a half) it as like we were already halfway back to Drudgevej, Taskmadby.

They are so relaxed they don’t even realise bicycles are for exercise, (actually they are not, they are for getting from A to B cheaply and in a hurry, but there is no way on earth they would get that idea) they are a gentle occupation of the ‘occupy your time’ generations of this Nordic land.

They walk like they have those bouncy blades Paralympians use strapped to their feet, but not to hurry at all, oh no.

Slow cycle, slow, we have a lot of time to fill, a lot of time.

They haven’t rushed since they leapt off the Viking long-ships and charged into your land roaring.

Ah, all of those guys stayed in Iceland, Belfast or the Gorbles. These are the descendants of the remainder.

Not a lot of these oceans of spare time are spent on appearance; utility is the only option – and hairdressers for women must only possibly survive if they charge an immense amount per cut to whip it all off. Not one woman in Denmark has long hair. Boy cuts. Dead straight forward boy cuts, but hey ‘we gotta get out there and cycle slow looking happy’.

‘We are so relaxed we can not even be bothered clapping singer songwriters why should we have long hair?’

‘What do you think we are – Vikings?’

Hang on – there’s a fashion statement – there is someone coming up the street in a T shirt – with something written on – it says – it says – Let’s Party and Dance. They even need extra instructions on how to party!

Here on the way home I reflect in a more serious mood on how nice everyone was and what a great time we had.

I sit now with my sandwich of bacon, wettuce and what-once-was-tomato and recall the beautiful scenery. The forest deep in the centre of the country was my favourite part. The centre should be designated an area of outstanding unflatness as it is less like Bonnie and Clyde land and more like Yorkshire with extra wildness. It rolls.

We got lost. All we had to look out for was a particular tree but it could only be seen from the west of the trees and we were driving from the east (I think). My favourite part of the trip, of the whole holiday in fact, was getting lost in the wrong forest. I don’t think the three drivers were as chuffed, indeed I guess, Jonas wished he had come in his truck. It was magical nonetheless; and we did eventually find our sacred forest with its large carvings of the old gods and goddesses.

We will be going there again – by a more direct route.

I almost forgot – I am a Viking Chieftain!

We dressed up – no we didn’t – ‘we became’. Off we went to the meandering magical village of the ancient Danes.

guide
Our guide

This village has been built so well, modelled on dwellings and arrangements of the area and on buildings from other regions of the Viking empire such as Iceland.

The variation added to the natural appearance of the village which rolled and wandered just as if it had gradually developed.

captain

Now, when I go back to Norway I have sailed the sea in many ships over in Denmark as soul command.

three in hut

Christian (Schuetz) the storyteller from Germany was so impressed with my interpretation which cannot be described as untrue that he invited me to the long house to sit upon the tall imposing chieftain’s throne. This I did and promptly declared myself chieftain. I can tell you that I addressed my subjects and all those around me obey my every command; wave I command and they wave etc.

In this land where I sailed those ships I had sat as chieftain yes.

And if you want to prove wrong my cheeky descriptions of boring unimaginative Danish people then go to the marvellous Café Sajd in Jelling and their highly exciting Mythological Festival. – http://www.cafesejd.dk/mytologiskartfestival/

That Viking village in Denmark

Gods Bless Ya!!! Our Rock Opera in Jelling

My Viking Saga in a Nutshell

My Viking town link – Gudvangen

thorsmind
Yes these are the things Thor has on his mind
klit
pixie

Image from Jelling Mythological Arts Festival:-

tellers hut

All photos by Sigrún Björk Ólafsdóttir

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Saying Thank You

Your donation of $3 will encourage me to continue in my creative efforts.

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