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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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).
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.
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)
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.
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.
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).
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
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.
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