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:
The Handwritten text boxes titled Information Snippet add background details from the research work.
Yes this is what I have been busy with over the past months 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 a couple of hundred 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!
PPS Soon to become an epic poem, a poetess has commissioned me to illustrate.
When Othere took possession of his father’s sword he knew he held an oath. This finely engraved gift was his pledge to die for his father. By this very sword had Othere Ingulfrsson been allowed to accept the battle-surviving promise of his great father, and so it was that he would take the treasured weapon by the hilt and travel upon its chosen path.
If he did well in battle, as it was sure that he would, he would be in his father’s stead and ensure his name and fame and place beyond. If he were to fall in conflict it would be a step his father could travel along with. – If he were to maintain his stance his father’s heart could share and hold this fame. Either way Othere would return, as it was stated upon the blade.
A great ship depicted upon the blade was followed in a line of horses along the land to the shore, and so the ship would sail towards the point, towards the sinking of the sun, the journey across the sky, through each day.
With the strength of his sword arm and the purity of the blade he turned the fine edge – there riding below waves back along the blade was the returning ship carried by huge fish, the great snake and diving birds.
So it was that, having journeyed deep below the sea, the golden sun would rise again to rebegin. So it was that he was promised a return each day.
Either he would live and rise out of the dark to fight again; to gather riches and renown, to revisit home. Or he would see his essence rise and fly into the forever, taking Ingulfr his father with him to be greeted for his fame.
Either way the sword promise showed him in its fine lines that he would return home. The great lurs would play and announce his return – blade by his side in the perpetual play of father son destiny, fame springing forward through offspring after offspring.
Just as the rising of the sun, the returning of the vessel, the lifting to the light – This sword has forever as its gift.
My good friends at the Spiritualist Church in York, United Kingdom contacted me here in Green Bay, Wisconsin in the USA and asked me if I would take part in a service over Zoom. They commissioned me to create a reading. Here is footage of the reading I did and a written version which is more detailed (So therefor even more interesting).
The full story below includes Toad-in-the-Hole.
I’ve been thinking about messages. Different ones come to mind from throughout the years. The most stunning one I can think of came from the very well-known Steven Holbrook or rather from his guide. According to his biographer Steven’s guide died as an army corporal in the 14 / 18 war; that’s why Steven’s hand screws up when he starts. He also told me that the guide gets everybody lined up in spirit and orders them to have facts and figures ready.
My friend was also his promoter at the time and would arrange large venues. I am more used to the smaller environment of a spiritualist centre or church where you get to know people and visiting mediums give their time for a small fee to keep them in pocket. Steven is far more popular however so as well as smaller church services he travels widely filling large venues. I was asked to go along and help set up. This meant I was OK to be able to sit in on the evening.
The message I recall went something like this. “Is there anybody here who has a caravan?” He indicated an area of the audience and someone within those rows said yes she lived in one. (Steven always asks that people respond vocally a yes or no, so he can connect.) “Ah yes you live in the caravan with your parents who are sat next to you don’t you.” ‘Yes.’ “I have your husband here with me, he passed away following a car accident thirteen months ago didn’t he.” ‘Yes.’ (Steven then said the colour and make of car, but I can’t properly remember.) “He didn’t pass away straight away though did he, he died later in hospital didn’t he.” ‘No.’ Your parents were never happy about the two of you living together in the caravan with them without you being married were they.” ‘No.’ “So you got a priest into the hospital didn’t you.” ‘Yes.’ “And you got married the night before he died didn’t you.” ‘Yes.’ “But you didn’t have a wedding ring did you.” ‘No.’ “So you used a thin gold chain didn’t you.” ‘Yes.’ “And you have lost that necklace haven’t you.” ‘Yes.’ “There is a television in the caravan on a unit which has three drawers in it.” ‘Yes.’ “In the bottom drawer there are three photo albums aren’t there.” ‘Yes.’ “A red one, a grey ne, and a black one.” ‘Yes.’ The grey one is in the middle.” ‘Yes.’ “The necklace is in there.”
I told this story to a sceptical friend and she said, “And was the necklace there.” You can’t please everybody.
We engage with our spirituality at different levels as we go through this material realm. Presently I would say I connect with spirit; I have at times worked with spirit. Tea leaves, runes, crystal. People would say things like, “Have you been in our house!” – “How did you know what?” “Yes I am pregnant.” (I wasn’t to blame!)
A wonderfully detailed message I received recently about my father’s steam days memoires mentioned that my students had been colourising black and white photographs. One that was mentioned was a plate layers engine which put down new lines. There is a picture like that. I haven’t yet seen all the work the students of done, so although I didn’t know of such a B/W picture which has been colourised I took the information to take away with me. The next day I opened a folder of my old artwork and there were colourised images. I recalled that the medium had also said that my father had visited and liked my wife. I then remembered that she had talked about my line drawings and how I could use some in the railway book. She also said she had seen work of mine in my blog where I had colourized parts of each line drawing and that I should do that for the book too. Now I realise what my late father was referring to. He meant I had to do it.
On a past visit that evening’s clairvoyant medium came to me with detailed information. The only person it could be was my maternal grandmother. The medium said it was not something she had ever done before but that the lady in spirit insisted that she gave me a recipe. She then went on to not only describe the recipe for Toad-in-the-Hole (Sausages roasted in a large Yorkshire pudding) but to act it out as if she was making it. She laughed and said that she had no idea why she was doing this. Now they do say to not feed the medium. They don’t mean with sausages, they mean with information, but on this occasion I felt I had to explain. A week or so before this, I had held a barbeque in my yard at the mews where I lived. It had poured with rain and hardly anybody came. So I ended up with bags and bags of sausages. I froze them all, the freezer was jam-packed. Trouble was I couldn’t get near anything else in there, every time I opened it I thought, oh no not another sausage butty. One can only take so many sausage sandwiches. That was why my grandmother was teaching me to make a healthy filling meal.
I came here to the church one time when I was feeling really down and the medium said I was going to be playing guitar. No I said. He described my late friend who I often get messages from, who accompanies me to festivals etc. Your friend here in spirit has a guitar and he means, you are going to be playing a tune. The next day in Rotherham I was given all the difficult students to engage in poetry writing, they did brilliant. I was sent the appraisal forms afterwards; one of the students had written right across the form, “Adrian Rocks.”
I don’t really understand where that translation glitch comes from. We are all different and connect in many different ways. Yet sometimes the meaning becomes clear later. Sometimes the transition from spirit, through a guide, through a medium, through a church hall doesn’t always flow as clearly or as pointedly as intended. That is where we come in. We sit here with our hands palm up upon out knees and we engage with spirit. I believe that is our main role. It is not to sit and hope for a message, it is to engage with the great spirit. We are part of the conduit and we can strengthen the flow. Yes we might receive words and images with personal connection, we will. We will receive confirmation of the ongoing nature of existence. It is bigger than a personal thing though. We are in this together. As we are here together we become part of a greater story; the story of the ongoing existence of the human spirit. The connection between worlds. The hope and the love of a myriad of souls. We are one and we are part of that story. We listen and acknowledge. We empower. This is our connection and we are working together to make it as strong, as beautiful, as valuable, as meaningful as we possibly can. We all have something to take away from this with us – A sense of contribution.
My Mum Connie 93 – Her Stories and Poems part two.
Well done to my niece Bethany for filming and sending these (and for giggling in the background). It is especially great for me to hear these as I am so far away from home. It makes me feel like I am back there in Scarborough in Yorkshire, England listening to her wonderful wit.
You will all really enjoy these I am sure, so be sure to add comments below and share wherever you can. Then I can ring her and tell her she is an internet star.
A link to her book and to the first part of the series are below.
PS The cover photo is three generations of women. My elder sister on her great grandmother’s knee and at the back my mum with her mum.
Living in America Too. Oddities spotted along the way, and often I think, a display of my ignorance. You will probably enjoy this further glance into our life in Green Bay WI. Oh yes, and a trip round my mother’s garden back home in Scarborough, Great Britain.
Do forgive my silly approach.
Let’s start with Yard work (that’s gardening to you Brits).
I love Heidi’s Wood-burner and was real pleased when Dale and Lynn brought us along another stack of logs.
It might be a bit summery for lots of firelit evenings, but I do get to have a fire sometimes when the weather changes. While clearing out the garage I came across this pile of birch bark, and it crackles lovely.
Of course, hung up in the garage is all the flax, grown to turn to linen to weave to cloth.
While rummaging about in the garage or basement you do find some strange things.
I don’t quite understand the approach to recycling here.
There’s at least one thing me and Elvis Costello agree on.
It has been a good year for the roses.
And for hedges.
Not sure what they are, but they are beautiful.
“What’s that?” – “Ah they are Physiocarpus and Spirea.”
(Notice I am trying to coppice them, so they gradually intertwine. In a couple of years they will be a hedge.)
We bought some fairly expensive shrubs (Aren’t they always).
And found some old seeds in the garage.
Some might work.
We thought, lets feed the birds
And the birds are like, ‘Why didn’t you get one of these in the winter when we really needed it!’
This feller is waiting for me to clear the bed around the now planted shrubs.
Dwayne and Dian brought us these lovely flowers.
They brought them along on memorial day, to recall those who fell and those who came back broken.
This next feller has a tale to tell.
And see, I did get the shrubs in.
I told a friend about the above over the phone and I said it was a dwarf spruce in a weeping willy style. I don’t think I got that quite right.
(It looks like a bird’s nest by it’s finished btw)
This next little buddy will grow a bit taller so she will be hiding the gas meter.
And I am very pleased with my new toy. There is a lot to catch up on, don’t even get me started on buckthorn, so this is a way to catch up. I am hoping, once I am fitter that I can do most by hand. For now though, lets get radical.
And no I am not having a wee in this one.
I am going to need a big shovel.
Back to that hedge.
Shrubs to plant.
The rhubarb plant cost a small fortune but I feel I have done a good job of protecting it with potting soil, the a topping of cardboard covered in a home made mulch.
Same with the raspberry canes. they are out the back so didn’t need the fancy mulch stuff. And the rhubarb will serve as ground cover and the leaves as green manure.
Some days you really need to water, and others not so
We didn’t water this day.
The weather is changeable here in America, well OK I only really know about Green Bay. There might be a hint in the name though.
Now other people’s outdoor shots that have caught my eye.
I am not sure where I got this beautiful image from. If you let me know I will be grateful.
I don’t know where I half-inched this next one from either but it is of Njardarheimr Viking Town in Gudvangen, Norway and I feel homesick.
(I guess Green Bay is my home and my other homes are Scarborough and the home of my chieftain.)
Now come with us now on a walk to the hardware store (among other places).
I think we passed this house with a tower at just the right time, while all the folks with bows and arrows were on a meal break.
Then just down the road was an example of unrestrained novelty gardening.
The two big deep-voiced brusque blokes were huddled on the stoop deep in planning. “Do you think we should get another pink flamingo?” “Ah yeah, you can never have enough pink flamingos.” There is a lesson in life to be learned here.
We window shopped.
Then I got lost
The we passed the Hydrant Pizza place.
Come on, you can think of a better name than that. It is hardly appetising is it! And how are people going to find you? Where is that place? Oh it is by the hydrant.
If you need water to fill your hose there is a river nearby (I think it’s the Fox). It currently is in full spate. Spate is a thing you ever in fully, never in a mild spate.
As for this tree stump
I just like this tree stump. I have nothing to complain about it at all.
Now here is something I am very happy about. Tea grown in Yorkshire.
And no, you don’t ever have cream in tea.
These I was intrigued by.
It just doesn’t ring right. either it should be animal crackers or the crackers should be in brackets. Crackers!
Then to my horror I opened them. I had my cheese and chutney ready and my marmite. I was hanging back slightly though because I have noticed very small seashells to throw in your soup being called crackers, so they might not be big enough for my chunks of cheese.
I had after all heard the song; Animal Crackers in my soup.
After asking which animal was which I realised the great bounty I had discovered. I had to put away the cheese and chutney, for these were biscuits! Proper biscuits, like what we get in Britain. Not weird bread you put white sauce on and call it gravy. These were like Edinburgh shortcake. Wow I will be finding custard creams next.
We nearly went in here, for the free gifts.it is impolite to say toilet paper here, so people say TP. Oh I said it.
It is wrong to say toilet, but it is OK to say back-side. I am learning, I am learning.
I am not sure saying, you are going to need toilet roll, is a good way to advertise your food outlet.
We passed a jewellery store but I don’t think the decorations outside gave the right level of sophistication.
Plastic beads instore perhaps.
I don’t understand how making your religion part of your business sign helps keep the jobs coming in. Might other faiths be put off? And isn’t the main point good roofs?
The above reminds me of all the businesses in Britain who, as soon as we left Europe, put out England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Island flags. Less than thirty per cent of the voting public voted for it. Don’t they want those people in their pubs and cafes?
Rant over. (Rant one)
I didn’t understand this little garden ornament I saw for sale.
See nothing, Say nothing and Hear nothing. Or is the middle one Smell nothing?
What so everybody stops? I was stood here for ages.
Heidi was calling and calling for me to come on, but it said stop.
I told my pal Rob that he was welcome anytime.
When he heard about Gus’s Gun Bar he said he was bringing all the lads. Having eight pints of beer and then being able to buy an automatic rifle was their idea of a great night out.
(BTW I am thinking of going in this place and criticising their use of apostrophes, what do you think?)
Maybe I should just have a drink of water instead.
Is this outside the Waterpump Pizza place?
On our way to the hardware store I noticed this.
On our very first ‘almost’ date I walked Heidi into this. We made it to the store this time.
Now, I get very cross about the fact that it is called Martin Hardware, when it should be called Martin’s Hardware, but they do have a very nice little history section.
And as for Hardees.
Drainpipes aren’t the same here. They don’t go into the drains. so maybe they aren’t called drainpipes. Lawn waterers or something. I dunno. I do think this is a good use of an old paddling pool (there is one in the garage so I am wondering about digging a big hole).
We could get frogs. Maybe otters?
While we are on this walk to the hardware store I was wondering if we should get some vodka? For her.
At first glance she might not look thirsty, but she does come as part of a set.
Cone-cat survives the raccoon attack.
“Soon as I get this thing off I am sneaking back out there.” Mr Stumpy considers revenge.
But he does have delicate moments, he is seeking a lot of fuss and support.
Egbert is happy some of the time. Eggroll! Eggroll!
Or is he just trying to escape from Bumper-cone?
He has started using it as a battering ram to move everyone out of his way.
Did I mention revenge?
(We let him out of his cone for five minutes and he is ready to kill.)
His ‘girlfriend’ Giffa sometimes has to get away from him.
She stays away from him for a very long time.
Not sure where I got this pic (So am happy for comments and corrections) but I like these hog back stones.
The ones in the Yorkshire Museum in Museum Gardens in York are described as burial stones, but I don’t think so. Tell me if I am wrong but I reckon no bodies have ever been found under them; so they are memorial stones.
I will take advice on these too.
Can I cook them or burn them or anything?
That’s it for Vikings in this edition.
Heidi’s late husband Arnold designed this t shirt (and the album cover too) and I thought a few of you might have heard of the band.
That’s all the art I have for you this time.
Oh no hang on. I just spotted this amazing piece of art of a hero of mine. Such feeling and character. I hope my wonderful friend Linda doesn’t mind me sharing her joyful skill.
Now artwork from the family in the Zoom family quiz. We had to recreate some classic pieces of work with only as few minutes to see it and then sort it.
I pinched this one too.
Before the distasteful pictures of chicken’s feet etc here is a feature from Scarborough, Yorkshire, Great Britain.
No, before the garden, here are a couple of old family photos. Carefully preserved by my sister.
My Mum and Dad and Ginny my sister. Circa 1957.
From around the same period, four generations of women. Toddler, (Ginny), mother (Connie), Nana, (Mary) and my great grandmother.
(Oh yes and a duck.)
My Mum’s Garden
Ah, but first here is a pic I got from the Facebook page I Love Scarborough of way back when a whole hotel fell into the sea.
Stories are that they knew there might be subsidence so they charged the guests at supper time. Other’s say that guests were eating breakfast and were told the hotel was actually moving and people sat and finished their black pudding and beans etc before running for their lives.
A guy who used to drive me to the hospital told me he worked there and it wasn’t erosion from the sea it was subsidence from above. The beck or stream or creek had been built over and the water went down into the lime stone and eroded it from under the hotel.
Anyway my mum’s beautiful garden which looks up at the castle above.
I think there is a glimpse of the castle up at the top. There’s my mum’s palm tree behind her roses. This is the top rank and then there is grassland, then woodland, then the castle.
I am most pleased to see the marigold, I put seeds all over that wild banking and at least this one came up.
Note the bunting all over the gooseberry bushes, this is to keep the birds off the fruit.
These lilies were kindly planted in memorial for my father.
We get more every year.
This next plant is doing very well, and I don’t think mum is very pleased about it. It started off as a tiny rock plant when I bought it (For less than a pound.) and it turned into a monster.
I think we are indoors for this beauty.
This next one is adorable.
As is the whole garden (Well done Heidi Two, er I mean Kirsten. Mum gets their names muddled up all the time.) A great job Kirsten.
And this amazing shot from the Facebook page I Love Scarborough this amazing shot of just along the road from mum’s. the boat is just off shore from fifteen minutes walk away.
I think this was taken in Scarborough. this is an example of taking social distancing too far. You could never hit the pan standing that far away.
Below this link – The final section; the food section, perhaps needs to come with a warning. I’ve been trying some horrid food!
R. Buckminster Fuller was a 20th century inventor and visionary who did not limit himself to one field but worked as a ‘comprehensive anticipatory design scientist’ to solve global problems. Fuller’s ideas and work continue to influence new generations of designers, architects, scientists and artists working to create…