Living in America for

only one reason; love.

For all of my friends in America; my pals Dave and Pauline in Britain sent this photo. This is how English people dress all the time, according to them.

The Hudson Family, York, Yorkshire, England, Britain. (Photo taken at Beemish)

Here are a few more snippets and pics of my times and travels (limited travels as yet).

I am happy here, and have adventures. The two of us together is the most important thing though.

This light-hearted blog is meant to lift the spirits.

Love and supportive thoughts to those who are in struggling times and may you feel safer.

There is a bonus feature on the Green Bay Viking House.

This is the fourth in the series, see links at the foot.

Watering the backside

Cuteness allows total clearance of desk-space. It all hits the floor.

At last, after many hours I got the cats to follow me.

Below is my last attempt to get Egbert out in a harness. He runs at full speed, then at the point of tension he leaps and turns around in the air with his paws tucked under his chin. He slides out ready to run.

Giffa settles…

And spins…

Giffa frequently gets trapped. Here is one of the simpler results.

They cost a fortune at the vets

Egbert got his tail tip bitten off by a chipmunk (or a slightly larger critter to be fair). Giffa chases them, so far the leash has let the little monkey-mice live. She hasn’t a hope of reaching the birds.

Oooops it’s a Woodpecker

Yes I say in the vid this is a Nuthatch when in fact it is a Downy Woodpecker. It was the first one I had seen. They are very common little birds around here. As are the Nuthatchs.

David and Nicole came to visit to see how I was progressing and I talked of the time I spend on the porch taking the air. I had noticed that the birds here are nearly all different to those in Britain.

The next morning a parcel arrived; Birds of Wisconsin. So I wrote them this poem.

Oh no, she’s had another cat delivered.

Maybe that is why Giffa is hiding in the shade.

Fortunately our long leash doesn’t allow enough to expand into the next door hunting grounds.

So all Giffa can do is look on.

Let us wander among the plantings

The no-dig flower bed


Bandanas and bananas

How the stoop started, it is full of great pots blooming with growth now. There is a gap up the middle for travel.

Heidi’s favourites; Sundials. Fresh flowers every day. White one day. Pink the next. Mixed the next.

We plan to put these all around each tree next year.

This is what they are called

This beauty kept getting dug up, so I split it into pots and they are doing great.

Maybe next year I can get it set up something like this.

“You are right mum, I don’t help Heidi enough, I will go in and do the dishes.”

In we go…

I found this old chest in the back of the garage. Things appear in that garage I swear, right in front of your eyes.

There is a rather grand very large, what I would call a, china cabinet in Heidi’s office full of delights. Here are a couple of views from among the many wonders.

We are glad to have you on board for this little tour.

The Japanese Stationary box

The Japanese stationary box

The garden travels inside with us.

Orange Lanterns

Another part of planning for next year

Fourth of July our neighbours had a party. The pics somehow fail to show a garden full of people and they had used up all the fireworks while it was still daylight. That seems to happen a lot here in America, I get confused by it – fireworks when it is light.

I took them some logs for their fire tub as they only had cardboard. They were thrilled and invited me over. These lovely Mexican people who hardly speak a word of English and get along with me very well invited me to their celebration of America’s independence little realising that I come from the nation America is celebrating independence from. I didn’t offer to take them any tea to their party.

Lets get out and go shopping

Need to get ready. Which socks to wear?

Should it be starry starry night?

Or the shepherd of sheep?

I try to obey the traffic signs here. For instance – For all my new bird spotting skills I haven’t taken any Jays out for a walk. There are limits to my obedience though. This one made me mad though. It is going too far.

Jeff’s Auto Repairs nextdoor seems to fix trucks using wood.

And the Folks of Quay street back in Scarborough might admit that the carrowaggon isn’t unique. Although this conversion jobs isn’t anywhere near as good.

I saw two of these passing our house recently, I didn’t get a pic but the two cute mail vans went by with the two drivers looking at each other and giggling. They were rocking back and forth as if to get their little cars to go faster. The race was a draw.

I am wondering if I should buy these succulents from Walgreens, instead of all these plants for the garden. These things don’t need watering.

Watch out for terribly deep potholes.

I started singing Suddenly Seymore when I saw these and we realised that life could not be perfect unless we had a little white picket fence all around the yard, no garden, no lot, no lawn – outside the house.

We stopped off at a smashing Mexican restaurant, it is next to the brilliant store. Such friendly places. This spicy soup was full of amazing seafood. I liked the tiny mussels which I haven’t seen before. The large prawns (in Britain shrimps are little things) and the crayfish were great too. This was the last meal out I could manage but things are improving day by day.

Free firewood.

People might do less gardening around here than they do in Britain, but I reckon they spend more on bits to stick in there.

There can’t be much crime here as they have very small prisons.

Dwayne and I went to a Garaga Sala. It was amazing to see. Many neat piles of designer clothes. There were racks of fantastic Mexican suits and loads of amazing boots.

We often see these signs and go to a fair few of these events. We often misread the scratchy signs. Give away prizes. Hugs Ale.

I only got a few bargains. Over the last few years, instead of individual presents at special times, a few times a year I do a hamper. Then they all have to choose what they like. Their autumn holiday (fall vacation) will be the next one. I will be posting a huge parcel, (or three), over to Scarborough in North Yorkshire and the gathering will spend an evening going through them. I got these.

Well, if that is all I’ve got I am going to have to crack on.

Note I broke my own rule. When shopping for gifts at charity shops if it is cheap I take the price sticker off, if it is pricey I leave the sticker on. In this case I was so surprised by the price of the hat I had to leave it on. Especially as it was next to $40 jeans

This looks like something surgical, but I am assured it is something collectable.

This is True!

We are but a jot from a Walgreens Pharmacy. It is kitty corner to us. Recently I have had cause to visit there quite frequently.

But it seems I have been promoted. Regarding this sign.

Oh yes, select narcotics indeed. One imagines now that I am elevated from the ranks of the brown stuff in a darkened room. I qualify for the very best and that I will be treated accordingly. “Ah, welcome sir, do walk this way.” I will indeed walk in the special way of one who is select. We will bow and scrape and I will back out of there with my parcel and a great show of gratitude, for I am now select.

Eventually our ramblings led us to our destination; Ralph’s Antique Store.

A woman runs the store. Apparently she is always there. (See opening hours) I didn’t ask her name. Perhaps it is Ralph.

A speciality of theirs is gramophones. They also stock those automatic pianos and their music. Here we have a special cabinet.

Yes it is full of those cylinders that music was once recorded upon, the for-runners of records.

There is more. More more more more more.

That set off memories.

Another area collected Coconuts.

Monkeys to Spooky

To the quirky

Bet they are thirsty, I know I was. Things would go better with……

There were lots of odd bits and pieces

We head west along the ridge

Heavy Amulets?

As George Harrison sang, back when we as FAB.

It was open. (I had to go back outside to the front window to double check.)


Heidi’s late aunt was a tractor designer. Perhaps the one below is a stage one model.

Now here was an eggsperience.

I should have got this hat.

I should have got that hat.

I thought this one was a prison hat

Spendlow Adrian Male Caucasian arrested for being too select

It turns out it is a railroad hat. So I think a visit to the National Railroad Museum is in order. Perhaps we should take the twins.

This young guy did not enjoy posing for this sculpture

This feller rises above the trials of others.

Our biggest bargains were an index card three drawer chest, Ideal for Japanese stationary and a large brown pot for putting kitchen utensils in. They cost a fortune.

The biggest joy though was from China.

As well as the Chinese scenario there is of course the two books. I am thrilled to be part of the Ripasso collection, Carol MacAllister is a great writer and a driving force of an inspiration. Cujo the Rap-Poet based in Green Bay is also a very encouraging inspiration and an uplifting performer.

This place was just across the road from Ralph’s. I took the picture because the Oval Office is a place of power.

Turns out it is an adults only club.

I have found another one of the monster plant. I have had to travel across the world to do it.

Back in Scarborough I bought a small plant for fifty pence. It said on the label, ideal for your rockery. It grew and grew. The last I heard It was nine feet across. Kirsten the gardener had to move it from the rockery to the top of the hill so it had its own space. Last I heard it was impeding the view of the castle. The label should have said something different…

The label should have said, keep it in a tub so it doesn’t take over half the nation.

Anyway I better get back to work

There are the screens to paint.

With a hope of sensible calm

The frames.

It takes longer to get the tape on than it does to get the paint on.

Time was I was searching deep for an ultimate truth, something so beautiful we would all be enriched in union. Nowadays I am learning to be more like Karate Kid, paint on, paint on. It is deep. The paint.

The Back Yard needs attention too

This is the fateful squash flower captured just before it was dashed to the floor

I am told that it is perfectly normal for the flowers to come off when being examined.

The theory proved to be true. (Does anyone know where I can get Humble Pie?) The male flower left us as the females took over. They have grown and grown and g (they are big).

A potato

Back to the grandkids

They are about grapefruit size now.

Getting the Garage in Order

A Spatchcock Chair

Someone else has been getting organised too. I guess it is the chipmunks. I must have spilt some of their food and they have made small order of (or is that short shift of) shelling and snacking.

As I step into the garage I either see a chipmunk on the top of the wood pile suddenly run away or I see a flying shadow zoom across the floor. There is one which is not so timid; the ugly woodchuck. He sets off to run, then he stops, half turns and stares at me with his sharp eyes from his long long face. He knows he is not like any other Chipmunk and he is the strongest. That look he gives me is mean, then he leaves entirely at his own pace. I feel like he is calling out, that it was him who ate the sunflower seeds.


The following two poem cards are inspired by the words of uncle Larry. Heidi’s uncle is a retired priest and a wonderful thinker. I have been receiving encouraging mail from my family in the US and my family in the UK and friends around the world.

There was a reason for this action, but I cannot recall what on earth it was. Perhaps you could all suggest captions?

Stop press – Edit – We have a caption suggestion –

Potato Cheek Johnny –

Uncle Larry tells me that Wulf used to tease Tony by calling him after the guy who found the biggest gold nugget of the Black Hills Gold Rush Potato Creek Johnny. Larry thought Potato Cheek Adrian but Johnny is a way of referring to an Englishman ‘Johnnys’ so I go for Potato Cheek Johnny. I imagine it is funniest for those who dont need the explanation!

I wish it was a gold nugget.

[Space left for further caption suggestions]

This is my son, the rapper Spee 69. He has helped me with my forthcoming blog on publishing music, audio and books. So I will include his Bandcamp site.

I guess I need a lot of looking after at the moment and Heidi is absolutely fabulous, but according to this advice from Carolyn I think I need to be pickled.

Before we went out I had cooked a snack for Heidi.

It was a magical talking egg. The egg said to me, ‘If you could have one thing what would it be?’ To have just what we have to now, we would like to keep this please.

Truth is I stole the pic from my lad Luke.

A lovely gift arrived for me through the mail.

Thank you Heidi

That isn’t the gift. That was just the wrappings. It came in that delightful box which I shall treasure

Rabbits you gotta run

Run rabbit run run run

Towards the warmth of the sun

Sitting in the bar and looking out Mark and I began to wonder about the building opposite. It looks like a Railway Station, or to be correct for where we are, Railroad Depot.

After a beer or three there was a thorough investigation.

It was the Packers Depot. Initially I took this to mean that the meat came in to the harbour here to go to the packing plants (of which Green Bay is renowned).

It is the Depot of the team, the thing that Green Bay is most famous for. Whenever I say in a chat that I now live in Green Bay, people all over the world say, ‘Ah The Packers’.

They toured from here. I want to see the train they travelled on! They played away across states from this very platform. Many thousands gathered here for their departures, they studied the game or the news until the results came in, then they gathered here again for the return. The Green Bay Packers.

Let us step back in time…

Here is my sister Ginny probably in the eighties

I shall take you back to my school days. Perhaps I will let you spot which is me.

My pal Paul Acton collected these pics and shared them to York Past and Present. Here are his words from there…

“Lowfields school 1967 or 68. My year group, but not my class. Although I left in 1966.

Bottom photo. Steve Gent, Chris Turnbull, Paul Lowther, Dave Hudson, Julie Thompson , and others.

Top photo, same as above , but also, Paul Burton, John Stone, Mick Hutchinson, Ade Spendlow, Paul Pittock, added to the line up.

I’ll leave the viewers to fill in the others.

All born 1953/4. Lowfields intake year 1965. B class, I think.

Sorry about the quality, but these were copied with a mobile phone from the originals, on a table during a session in the Cross Keys today. I’ll try to access the originals for a better scanning at a future date.”

Thank you Paul.

A British post box

Yes this is a British post box not a pillar box I will get a pic of one of those next I think. It has always been the royal mail in the past. It is a privatised company now I think. The letters are normally ER Elizabeth Rex. Mum always said it was Rex because that is the Queen’s surname and it means royal. I am not sure if that is totally correct in details and someone out there might want to help me. This one from somewhere in York is a little older and rarer. It says GR = George Rex.

When I ask for details I only want so much. This is a topic with a lot of interest; you can get guide books and an annual pictorial calendar and all sorts. Same with roundabouts and motorway junctions.

This is only the recent past. My mother’s house over in Scarborough, God’s Own Country (Yorkshire)

I think this is an Amaryllis

Amaryllis; a country girl, a mountain stream; A thing of beauty; A thing of its own; a thing of its own beauty; we are lucky to share

Another plant mystery. I call these Bellis Daisies. I think my mum says they are a dwarf aster or something. I know they flower for like ever. In Scarborough, as long as Kirsten keeps dead heading them, they flower from early spring right up till Christmas. There are three great big patches of them too.

No, these are out the front, so that comes to four patches.

Then there are marigolds. I cant find pictures of the ones we have. The ones which are popular in Britain. Di An gave me some marigolds and they are what I would call French marigolds. I also got hold of some as pictured here which are described as English marigolds. they aren’t the ones we have in Britain.

These are nearly them

That makes me think of bread. And it makes me think of Norway. There was a section of the bread aisle which was marked Loafs. I looked and it was all white bread. I asked the Norwegian friend I was shopping with and they said that loaf meant white. I couldn’t understand this. The nearest I can come to a meaning for loaf is lump! Basically Norwegians know that we British say bread loaf. They also know in their hearts that we British only eat white bread. So loaf must mean white. Hence the whole section of white bread marked Loafs.

Hang on me thinks it is the Norwegians who are eating all the white bread.

I think I got this old image from the Vanaheimr Vikings group, I just had to have it.

Back to my mothers, or perhaps away from my mother’s.

These are the famous Dog and Duck steps, down the side of my mum’s house. They lead up to the castle. You cannot see it, this photo was taken during lock down and everything is really over grown. The large banks of grass all along below the castle and the woodland are really over grown. What was grass is now six feet tall.

A glimpse into my past when I had my own place before I had that battle with cancer. This was my corner of my little home in the mews. this was the creative hub where everything happened.

The Viking House, University Wisconsin, Green Bay. New era feature.

My wife Professor Heidi Sherman as well as being head of history for UWGB is also the Jarldress for the Viking house. I have never thought of this before, but, wait for it, what does that make me!

She has created many events and developments around the house but of course it has all been on hold this year. We are just starting to get the place going again.

There are many who volunteer to help keep the place going and I have been along with a couple of good pals recently to make a start. So here is a feature on the place.


Dwayne is making a shield with his own design on to display and we are hoping to develop a collection of shields each linking to the house. We are hoping for donations of shields from other groups to add in and have a couple of contacts regarding this (see link).

Some Viking Shields

We also have a great idea for a design for a UWGB shield which another friend will paint for us once Dwayne has another shield ready.

For shields from away from the US I guess we will need to recreate them here. IE I would love a recreation of my groups shield from York University’s Viking group Vanaheimr.

A group planted Hops and I wanted to capture them flourishing so they could see what a good job they had done. Each year they will get more and more prolific.

Raised beds were in lock down.

You can tell the fire pit hasn’t been used in a while.

We need a clear out or a hiding place.

Ideally there shouldn’t be anything modern on view if someone comes to take a photo. The oven needs its cover though to protect all Dwayne’s hard work and we remove it as soon as an activity is prepare.

I can’t wait to get that oven going again and get some cooking done. We are still limited on events of course. I think it is a maximum of ten people, social distancing with masks and then by arrangement.

The current wood pile is mainly stuff which was too long for our stove at home, so I guess we will soon get through it and be looking for more.

This is the John

I am thinking we could cut some of the buckthorn to make our little fence out of.

Ah apparently the hawthorn is in invasive so we can cut as much of that as we like.

Just down the slope from us is the Frisbee-Golf

The grounds are beautiful

Owen and Elspeth are the lovely couple who made all of this possible.

I haven’t met Harry, but we are all very grateful that he found a way to make a difference to our Viking heritage here at UWGB.

(I would like to know a little more about the cookhouse too)

Maintaining a Viking House can be a Hornet’s nest

We came back again and had a bit of an inspection;


The full team inspection

The Parking situation

UWGB wildlife

After we left today we passed a few Heron, they were standing close to picnickers by the river and I was surprised at how tall they were. I guess at nearly five foot, Dwayne tells me they can reach six foot. The Heron not the Turkeys, or we would be having a good Thanksgiving.

Flax drying will make an interesting addition to the decor.

Then we could process it ready to spin into linen thread.

We have plans for wool too. Insulation.

The return and this time we are equipped.

We needed refreshing.

Refreshments were created by team host Jarldress Sherman

I will catch that frog


Let us be-strim

This is why we were here.

And we got the job done, well Dwayne did.

What’s next boss?

Art Promotes Health

I was encouraged to take part in art sessions but it is all closed for health reasons. So I was given a take home kits of a twizzle stick and paper ribbons.

I didn’t use them in the intended way.

Heidi’s sister Hilary and husband brought their lovely young twins along and they like ornaments. (one of them only likes blue.)

Here is my attempt.

One way of staying in touch across the world is the Zoom family quiz. One week a section was fast draw. I had to do a self portrait in thirty seconds.


Do follow the links below to the previous three episodes.

Just a simple blog like this takes me a few days to put together, please do encourage me by clicking the donation button

Living in America I

Living in America II

Living in America III

Living in America for

Living in America five

Living in America six

Songs of Odin

I have been asked to repost this to accompany an event which will occur in Njardarheimr Village.

If you look at the powers of Odin; at the songs and runes, you see a different image than you would imagine. His words, his gathered powers, are for the betterment of all.

(Filmed in the Viking town of Njardarheimr, Gudvangen, Norway as I walk towards the ceremonial area.)

Quay Street, Scarborough – Dramatic new story added

Quay Street, Scarborough

I have an interesting correction to make regarding the incident with the destruction of the old pub. A friend my mum’s from down the street, popped by to say he had just read my blog on the history of Quay street, and he had an amendment for me. See below for details.

It is quaint is Quay Street, let us hope I do it justice. I write this for a neighbour. For a short while back there she thought she had lost her family in that terrible night at Manchester Arena.

So for all those who did lose loved ones and for all of us who suffered through that disgusting tragedy this is a tribute, a sense of belonging, in the way of praise of; the street where you live. – For us, here, that is the historic easy-going Quay Street in Scarborough.

press old pic.jpg

The narrow lane of fishing boats and fisher people has widened along most of its length yet it starts and finishes as a cosy cobbled alley. Quay Street (Pronounced ‘key’).

Cobbled its full length still, set just a little back from the ‘Cobles’ in the bay.

harbour whale
That time a whale visited

We are the bottom-enders. There is a large grass bank behind us built up of the rows of fisher people’s houses; stacked rows of tightly placed dwellings all rubble now. Rubble.


Above the grass banks of long gone kitchens and bake houses is the most prominent feature of the town: The Castle.

Down below Scar’s Burg our row survives. The Bottom-enders.


I have stayed here on and off for many years with my parents; now, I live here, with Mum while I recuperate – stitch-knitting time.

Fishermen from the street told us when Mum and Dad first got the place of living here man and boy, as did their father before them and his father before that.

A house just a little further down from us still has its bake house out the back, (a few of them do). The lady there, three doors up from me, passed away recently and the moving eulogy to the packed church just up Dog and Duck Steps for here, a step beyond Paradise, spoke of her skills; smoking, baking and sousing the herring, roping the mussel, and dressing the crab; she could dress a crab in less than fifteen seconds.

neighbours garden.jpg

I chat across the wall to our neighbour, but she has another friend. Her back garden is in two levels; two walled terraces. Her new friend lives on the roof and spends his time on the top terrace – He is in love with her. He has built a nest and comes down to the upper patio to tap on the glass of the French windows with his beak to attract his love. He knocks very loudly. As loud as a large fisherman knocking.

She says it is not her he is knocking for. She says he is knocking for the love of his own reflection.

But you know what they say about albatrosses, perhaps it is true about seagulls too.

Her late husband was a Skipper, I am sure he has worked widely in the sea trade throughout a life of Scarborough, it is as a Skipper that I remember him. Skipper of the ocean-going pleasure cruiser the Caronia, or at other times the Regal Lady. Many a cruise with glass in hand and majestic creatures just off the bow I remember. Many remember and the fiddle plays in our souls as we think back.

There they await you among the 300 plus boats betwixt the three piers of no peer; Scarborough harbour. They have been called on from here before at times of great need as you will hear in the accompanying blog linked to below.

I awake early, it may be the sea birds, it may be the operation scars re-knitting, it maybe is the boot segs, ready to grip the sea boards, clattering the cobbles still.

I hear them I swear. For the street is narrow and the bottom-enders are an endless march along here all through time.

“My father before me, man and boy as I was, as his father before him: Fishermen.”

Yes they were, but something doesn’t quite ring true. After living here a couple of years my dad suddenly realised what was wrong with this claim. The hosues weren’t old enough; they were about 70 years old and the chap living in the one to our right was in his eighties man and boy.

quay photo 01.jpg
The Dog and Duck

Turns out, the fisher families have always lived here just not in the same building. When the old timey Quay Street was demolished, along with all the lines of houses along the bank above, this road was widened. All this side now housed luxurious semis and lots of the fishermen moved back in, back into a new house, back in to the very same spot man and boy man and boy.


The old street is still there, winding through the centre of the wider road; there are the cobbles.

carry boats 01.jpg

One can well imagine this narrow street filling as rowing boats are lifted off the bake-house roof and carried through the narrow passage and out onto the street towards the sea.

dan in boat.jpg

When I first came here I was surprised to discover that my neighbour at the other side of Dog and Duck Steps was the great uncle of a good friend in York; well-known singer/songwriter Dan Webster. He sings of his relatives: of his grandfather, “I have always loved the sea, but fishing not fighting was for me.” And of his great grandfather who bravely lost his life; Frank Dalton.

There are rumours among locals around the tea stall that when the seas are real rough and the life boat call comes some rotaed crew are hard to find; rumours. The older seasoned seamen are there and ready.

So it was with two who were in their late fifties and early sixties; Jenkinson Mainprize and Frank Dalton.

Thomas Jenkinson Mainprize was best known as Denk and was a relative of the Mainprizes who run a wet fish shop in Scarborough today.


He and Frank were the brave ones who went aboard. It was the Dutch coaster Westkust. The skipper had delayed accepting assistance and had survived eight hours in heavy swell before requesting assistance.

All of the crew were aided by our two heroes who lowered them all one by one down to the life boat deck.

frank hangs.jpg

Then Denk and Frank. They swung over the side. The Westkust rose up. Denk made the leap and was down safe. Before Frank could join him a huge wave parted the craft and he was left high up hanging from the Westkust. The coaster dropped, the life boat was pushed up and in, they met in a sickening crunch. The Westkust again lifted and Frank fell, to lay dying on the deck of the life boat.

At his funeral, well, just after his funeral, the Second Mate of the Westkust stepped alone from the crowd to stand at the grave.


He took off his cap and he knelt, “Frank Dalton, as soon as I saw your smiling face climbing over the side of the Westkust I knew we would be saved. Frank Dalton thank you.”

coble cropped.jpg
mutiny back

All the more reason for fellow fishermen the next day to have a Cobler’s  Monday. That is when there has been a hard time of it and just a weekend is not enough time to ‘recover’. So the crew of the coble agree between them they will all claim a sickie and spend the day ‘recovering’ together; most likely in the Golden Ball or the Newcastle Packet.

Scarborough is known: for these few old buildings here on Quay Street, for its two bays with its harbour between and of course being looked over by both Olivers Mount and the Castle.

It is the natural spring near the end of the south bay which brought people here; 3000 years ago this way a sacred spring was visited and adorned. It was much later that these waters caused an expansion of grand buildings. We came here to take the air, (we still do, just watch the walkers up and down), and we came to take the waters too. Spa town.

The Spa was built and people came in their droves to go down the steps to draw the magical waters.

Trains helped. Workers starting to get actual holidays also brought more trains and very busy patches.

There was another fame, a fish, a big fish which brought the rich. A tough fish: the tunny. Strongest fish in the sea so they say: the North Atlantic Tuna.

Not that there are many now; the mackerel and the herring runs diminished massively in the 30’s through to the 50’s as more intensive fishing techniques developed unchecked (before my 17 year old niece became the fear of the unwise and the inspector of nets).

Interest in the tunny was intense, but on a much smaller scale – Which is strange for such a very big fish.

They say now they are returning and are up to 500lb but the records say far bigger.

Very rich pickings indeed, for the very rich. They came in their droves, filling the best hotels, finding fame and indeed further fortunes.

tunny weigh

One poorer catcher of a tunny got rich by charging for photos with it.

Fame came with the danger, small boats, small crews and fishermen in ones or twos. Some fought for hours, only to lose the line and the monster in a sudden snap. Some might be relieved at such a result as the boats were hardly large enough for the big big strong strong fish.

The record holder wasn’t a rich visitor, well he was a Lincolnshire farmer, so he probably was reasonably wealthy. Lewis wasn’t a fisherman, he was taking a break after being discharged from the RAF and was talked into having a go.

Some say he doesn’t hold the record. He caught a fish a full pound heavier at 852lb than the previous largest but someone complained later that the rope was extremely wet. What a wet fish! What a slime! I say, “Pah!” I won’t have it, I hereby award the record to Lincolnshire farmer Jack Hadley Lewis for his amazing 852lb tunny.

Go see the impressive statue on the Northern pier.

Yes the rich and famous came here for the Tunny. Actor David Niven was among the many from Hollywood to come to fish. One of them was very famous indeed.

John Wayne fishing off the side of his boat, the Wild Goose. He loved to sail and often visited Catalina Island. — Photo; John Wayne Enterprises ©

Yes John Wayne caught a massive tunny fish here at Scarborough.

3 ms

You might try finding the entrance to the Three Mariners Inn while you are on your way from Quay Street.

mutiny pic.jpg
The Dog and Duck

This is the paragraph which Richard tells me is wrong (Read the update below):-

The RAF are responsible for one eyesore on Quay street between two of the three beamed buildings in the street; an ugly flat-rooved intrusion between the Mutiny (formerly the Lancaster) and the Three Mariners Inn. Them bombers they had disposable petrol tanks, like bombs attached to the wings. When they were empty into the sea they went. They weren’t at sea on this occasion, they were above a beautiful old building – gone now.

I think the horrid flat building should be covered by a commemorative mural.


As I have said in this blog (above), many others have too. That the building opposite our house was destroyed by a Royal Air Force fuel tank which was dropped from the wing.

This is not right.

Richard Oates who lives in Quay Street, tells my mum that he knows this is not what happened because he was there. We are going back to 1937, so pre-war.

The building in question was the Dog and Duck. If you look at the pub now, you will see the Mutiny, which was formerly the Lancaster. This pub runs from the seafront to Quay street. The part at the back is really old. Medieval. This was a different pub. The Dog and Duck. The steps down from the castle are called Dog and Duck steps, and the alley along the side of the Mutiny is Dog and Duck Alley. The Dog and Duck, Quay street. It was larger then too. Till the drop from the sky.

The King’s Cup Air Race September 1937. On the leg which flew over Scarborough on its way to York, then Dublin in Ireland for the last of the one-night stop overs the mass of planes formed an impressive view. Across the south bay to the castle to appear low over the castle for the thousands watching on the north bay.

Drawing of a similar plane

Two planes didn’t make it to that spectacle. All the airplanes struggled to make it over the castle as they hurtled with the wind behind them. As they approached at the risky low attitude the form of the peninsular caused a powerful force. The wind had hit here before them and continued to power into the castle rock. There was a huge up-wind. It hit them in the belly like a powerful punch. All the planes shot upwards, the pilots were out of control for a second. Many reported hitting their heads hard on the roof of the cockpit.

Two were less lucky, they were close to each other. The Miles Falcon GAENG met wings with the aeroplane of Wing Commander Sherren MC and both planes crashed into the castle in a massive roar of fire. Sherren and the pilot of the Miles Falcon, Wing Commander E G Hilton DFC would have died instantly.

As for Quay street down below. I can only presume that all the regulars and proprietors were outside looking up with horrified shock. Richard was among them, eighty three years ago. I guess he was quite young.

They got a full view as would all the thousands all along the promenade and hillside streets of the south bay.  That gullet punch had wrecked the underside of Sherren’s plane, releasing the ballast weights. They crashed down with explosive force and destroyed much of the beautiful old pub the Dog And Duck. Only a small part remains. As the Lancaster was developed the remaining old part of this quaint medieval pub was built in. If you go in the Mutiny as it is now called, although it has all been redesigned with rough timber tables and a mutinous atmosphere take your drink to the back to the cosy small snug, and you are sat in the Dog and Duck. Back in time as if nothing had ever happened.


The devil brought his revolution here. His Brigg at Filey pierced a ship or two. Perhaps it stabbed at John Paul Jones. The American revolution came to this coast and his sword was left here. So the legend goes. It is said that he ‘safe harboured’ at the Three Mariners Inn across from me. I’ve seen the sword, that missing sword. It was said to be his and I saw it when the oldest complete building in the area (circa 1430) was a museum.

What a cranky museum it was, everything was everywhere, stuff heaped up, jewellery, toys, weapons, clothes – piled on every surface.

Rummage away visitor, ride the toy vehicle children, steal away visitors. Well some did. The sword somehow went one day, that was the last straw for them and the museum is no more.

You might want to buy the house though.

Sit on the bed, look in the mirror. Well, that’s what my young daughter did. Incidentally there is a long running (now suddenly exacerbated) family argument about which daughter it was.

As we left she said, “I didn’t like the man in the woman’s hat.” I asked where this was. “When I was sat on the bed.”

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I was in the room, in fact I lifted my little girl up onto that bed. There was no one else there. So I told her I had seen no one. She looked up at me and with a serious face said, “Oh, you could only see him when you looked in the mirror.”

You might want to buy the house though.

I wonder if Dr Strange would? My mum has a claim to fame and I utilise it whenever I do publicity for my story-walks over in my home city: son of York’s first ghost-walker. It is true.

So it is a shame for her that after a lifetime of telling ghost stories, now in her retirement, she has to listen to loud ghost stories outside her window. Yes, Dr Strange of Scareborough Ghost Tour stops right outside to tell his screamer tale (which mum tells me is quite tall).

mums garden.jpg

There is another fame to be experienced in this street, and I don’t mean just international blogger Adrian Spendlow (me), There is a great fame in Quay street, wait for it; Quay street is the home of the most famous vehicle on Scarborough.

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The Carawagon.

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A truck and a caravan welded and melded into one stupendous vehicle. The ornate homely transport is to be home to some of my stories – the side opens to provide a raised patio stage; my stage.

We will be appearing at various venues with Travelling Tales.

As Anne said, and you may still hear her voice if you visit her grave just above our house, “But he, that dares not grasp the thorn. Should never crave the rose.”

Anne Bronte

From Scarborough with love

Ales and Tales stories from York pubs

Mum’s book

Cliffords Tower, York

dan tin

The Music of Dan Webster

Quay street’s famous Carawagon

cara 02


The Scary Faces in the Gravestone – plus wanders in hidden places of York

The Scary Faces in the Gravestone – plus wanders in hidden places of York

City of York pond in a park



Phenomena File

Phenomena File in honour of Charles Fort and the magazine dedicated to his philosophy; Fortean Times. Yes I am a big fan of this mag and urge you to subscribe (You get a mag by post and a digital version too.)

Subscribe to Fortean Times

Here are a collection of some of my fave bits from recent editions.

The Berenstein Bears never existed, there is no such thing.

This and other quandaries are solved at the foot of the page


I am guilty of a schema or two…

A schema is a collection of memories all viewed as one for easier management.

Your shovel everything into one event to make it easier to tell and recall.

I do this with anecdotes, for instance my dad’s tales about steam train days; I jumble them all into one and have them happen to the same engine driver over and over instead of remembering different names etc.

Memory Study

Studies show that when people confess falsely under pressure that aggressive thoughts are more easily placed, especially in aggressive people.


There has never been such a thing as Looney Toons, it does not exist.


‘To draw a circle one may start anywhere,’ Charles Fort


X Factor reality blip

Project blue book which collected reports of UFOs by the US Air Force from 1952 to 1969 site investigations by an FBI Agent called Scully. Yes unexplained phenomenon were actually investigated by an Agent Scully.


There is no such thing as the North Yorkshire Moors.


The Large Hadron Collider has caused much concern. Deep underground in Switzerland and operated by CERN it is even been blamed for the end of the world. Luckily it has also been blamed for starting the world over again, so that’s lucky.

Stephen Hawking said that if CERN found the ‘God-particle’ (which they did) it could indeed destroy the universe.

CERN’s own website states that one way of detecting alternative universes would be to create mini-blackholes. They do reassure us that if such events were to happen they would disappear quite rapidly.

CERN Computer Banks

Now I would refer you to Fortean Times for all of this, except this last bit I am not sure where I read it, or of I have got it quite right). When the thing broke down the scores of scientists working on it were asked to report and two separate employees, who did not work together, said that it didn’t break down, it worked for about 21 years, then it broke down. It the reset itself, but couldn’t quite get back to the beginning. We are therefore reliving the current 21 year period all over again (and that is why it is all going so weird?).

“People with a psychological need to believe in marvels are no more prejudiced and gullible than people with a psychological need not to believe in marvels.”

― Charles Fort

The Monopoly on Never Happened

The character on the Monopoly box, Lord Pennybags, never has ever had a monocle.

Zebra spotting

A recent article on the folklore of allotment gardening talked of Mother-stones. Deep down below the earth is the Mother-stone. If you have stoney ground she is definitely under there. And the more you dig the more you will dig up stones, unless, you dig deep enough to find the Mother-stone. As a gardener I am convinced that this is right.

‘None-existence of evidence is not evidence of none-existence.’ Charles Fort

C3PO was not all gold

Murmurations of a Sea-monster

The Fortean Times newsman Paul Seiveking recently retired and here are a few of his snippets of news from across the decades.

In 1993 a suspicious looking package was discovered outside the Territorial Army headquarters in Bristol and was reported to the police who called in the bomb squad. After they exploded the package they discovered it contained leaflets advising on how to deal with suspicious packages.

While on holiday in Tunisia Albert and Betty Cheetham were sat in their hotel next to Albert and Betty Rivers.  It turned out both couples had been married at 2pm on the 15th August 1942. Each had two sons born in 1943 and 1945 and five grandchildren. Mr Cheetham, 77, had worked in the railway coach building industry in Derby – Mr Rivers, 76, had worked in the same industry in Swindon, Wiltshire. Their wives had both worked for the post office and had lost their engagement rings and were wearing identical watch bracelet which had been broken and repaired at exactly the same point. They had booked their holidays at the same time and had flow on the same day.

Frank an off-duty policeman went shopping with his wife Carol in July 1996 in Liverpool city centre. Carol went to Dillon’s bookstore in Bold street and Frank went to to buy a CD in Ranalagh street. About twenty later he strolled up the incline from Central station to go and meet his wife and he noticed an unnatural quietness. The road was cobbled and people were wearing fifties clothing. He was startled by a large horn and box van sped passed narrowly missing him, it had the name Caplan’s painted on the side. Crossing the road he saw that in place of Dillon’s was a large store with the name Cripps painted over the double entrance, it was stocked with women’s shoes and handbags. He noticed a young women dressed in the style of the mid nineties – hipsters and sleeveless top, with a bag from Miss Selfridge. she entered Cripps and looked baffled, suddenly the whole street scene reverted back to 1990’s. He asked her if she has seen the same things as he had and she said that she had and appeared frightened. The story was later told on local radio and it turns out there did used to be a store called Cripps and several people came forward to say they had had similar experiences in that area.

A regular feature


They are called the Berenstain Bears!

It was Looney Tunes

The North York Moors are so called because they are North of York. Many official names of businesses and organisations have become Yorkshire instead of York. The moors are definitely called the North York Moors.

C3PO has a, no wait I am not going to tell you, find out for yourself.

 Subscribe to Fortean Times

(Check to see if the offer is still running)




Oski and the Amulet, revisited

Graphic novel originally commissioned by York Archaeological Trust for display at the Jorvik Viking Festival

text box 01
story box 01
in cave
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sssssh coloured 02
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halls and cave
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oski light coloured
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wall carve
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ana footer
ana footer
ana m baby thing
ana m bird
ana footer
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carved three heads painted
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amanda hall in pastels 01
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farm 02
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cellar colour
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mala 06 darkened
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oski head
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mum n dad coloured
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boat burial coloured
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boat burial coloured cropped
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guilty coloured
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mala swamp light 09 cropped
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oski small
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thunder goddess
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ana oski 04
ana footer
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nature girl 04
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forest healing
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creature spirits alarmed 02 coloured
flying horse ana
ana footer
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journey coloured
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falling flames 02 painted squared right 07
falling flames 02 painted squared up 06
falling flames 02 painted squared left 09
falling flames 02 painted squared down 08
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falling darkness 03 right painted
falling darkness 04 up painted
falling darkness 01 left painted
falling darkness 02 down painted
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falling into ice 01
falling into ice 02 slim
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falling into ice 03 short
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ice cities -01coloured
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ice cities -02 crop coloured
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ice queen on tower
ana m ice
anna m ice speaks
ana footer
story box 09y
oski away version one
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throng of frost 03 boo
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creature spirits alarmed 03 coloured cropped
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deep under 02 temp
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dwarf in ice 02
come with us
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animals push 01 temp
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dwarves anvil
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into light 02
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high seat 04
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amulet 03
help with bear
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path of ice 01 temp
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huge pit 01 temp
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huge pit 02 down temp
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blue bear
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oski do 02
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throng of frost 03 boo flipped
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amulet hook
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huge bear 01 temp
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bear free 01 temp
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falls 01 temp
must leap 01 temp
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fell fall
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grassy bank
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ana elf 02
ana footer
jul come
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elf table
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jul log
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song weaves
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edge of night song
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stepped darkness
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special one 04 darkened
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trees come
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fire wall
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carved three heads painted darkened
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tower dark enter
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door 02 coloured
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door open oski coloured 01
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rocky place
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oski halls 02
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stairs 01
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stairs 02
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distant door
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door flames
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mala sudden
mala at last
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mala swamp light 09
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mala stairs coloured 07
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mala n oski 03 cut
mala knew
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mala 06 darkened flipped
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mala to darkness
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have parents
have you
have amulet
what wanted
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mum n dad coloured
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oski light coloured
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ana oski cloak 01
ana footer
oski train 02 coloured
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amulet hook flipped
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so so long
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mala falls 01
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cellar colour
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her friends 01
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ana elf 02
ana footer
freinds along
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amulet 03
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her sword
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stands blow
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blade of light
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rise above
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into bones
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mala n oski 03
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mala falls 01
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mala falls 03 up
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mala falls 04 left
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mala falls 05 down
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mala falls 06 right
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mala falls 08 montage
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end 01
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in cave
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carved three heads painted
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thunder goddess
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