Turning Points in Life’s Journey

Turning Points in Life’s Journey

We looked at turning points along the journey, we created maps of our road ahead; here are a few of mine. It is a pleasure to be working for York Stars as part of Action Towards Inclusion.

Of course being in a theatre group massively changes your life and changes you too,,,

opening tonight

Getting through ordeals and having hope for the future helps a great deal…

doc

There were turning points in the path of Captain Cook when he ‘discovered’ Australia. Alright so the map isn’t accurate but he really did go round in those circles, so I guess he didn’t really know where he was going on his life journey.cooke cropped(NB he didn’t die in Australia either, but that drawing of mine could be of anywhere!!!!)

Yes I was thrilled when I discovered that my blogs were read all over the world (except Greenland)

world stats

I have a claim to fame; “Son of York’s first ghost walker.”ghost

You can also see the exciting images of Action Towards Inclusion The Blog here

Or for other blogs by Adrian try Quay street, Scarborough

 

Plus the links…

Click here to view OldMan 01

Click here to view OldMan 02

Click here to view the Indoctrination poem

Click here to view Lives of Creatives

Click here to view OldMan 04 – Star Trek

Click here to view OldMan 05 – Missing Time

Click here to view OldMan 06 – Back When I Was Abducted

Click here to view OldMan 07 – Pickles from the Polish store

Click here to view OldMan 08 – of Socks and Slippers

Click here to view OldMan 09 – Fame at Last

Click here to view OldMan 10 – Battle of Hastings

Click here to view OldMan 11 – This time it’s personal

Click here to view OldMan 12 – Bob’s Life

Click here to view OldMan 13 – Guadeloupe

Click here to view OldMan 14 – Ms May was away

Click here to view – This party political message was brought to you for kindness in the UK

Click here to view – Action Towards Inclusion

Click here for Viking Comics Inc.’s latest project – The Horned God

Click here for the completed Viking Comics Inc. graphic novel The Hammer Flies

Click here for Viking Comics Inc. graphic novel for older children Oski and the Amulet

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LH – Living History characterisation tips for re-enactors

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LH – Living History characterisation tips for re-enactors

Living History is fun, it is exciting, it is valuable, the more we do it the more we want to be involved; to deepen the experience.

As a member of Vanaheim, the University of York Medieval Society Viking group, within the Great Britain-wide group The Vikings, I have gathered together ideas, particularly for Viking encampments. shoppingEncampments which in British groups and in UK attraction / museum work are generally referred to as Living History, and I guess, without properly realising this, I have written this for my mates! Not consciously, but with them in mind.

They say write about what you know, so hopefully I know enough to be of help.

There should be helpful ideas here for anybody making some sort of history come alive for any period, (anywhere and anywhen), so not just Vikings.

To keep everyone else reading this then I guess it will be a lot of fun.

Beside many of the followers of this blog read it cos they want to know the details of my complex life (again mainly for the fun of it).

There is a lot in here, but it breaks down into two or possibly three basic concepts – get a grip of them and you are on your way to being dynamic.

There is also a Golden Rule, well actually there are about six Golden Rules, each of which is the most important one!intent

As for what Living History is…

Well it’s a tent innit.

The front is open and we are in ‘fancy dress’ looking out being hopeful.

Fancy dress is actually a terrible insult and bodily coverings and adornments are generally referred to as KIT.

Bumper stickers are known to exist stating, re-enactors do it with their kit on.

I prefer to think of it as ‘becoming’.

In Norway they have the expression, ‘Naked’ (in Norwegian). Being a Viking in Scandinavia leans more towards being a life-style choice. There is a whole lot more living in their living history in my experience. To the degree that if they agree to meet up without their ‘kit’ they say they will be naked.

For me, if I am caught leaving anywhere in modern day clothing I say I am dressed up as a person.

Anyway…

That tent.

If you are setting up a Viking encampment at a generic festival or a museum event type thing, you tend to be there sort of nine to five. There are artefacts and they are discussed and interacted with. There can also be reconstructions of life-style, often with drama involved.

If you are away for a weekend at such as the Battle of Hastings you will be living in the tent and some will be life-style, some will be presentations of interesting stuff, some will demonstrate skills and some will be selling from a stall. A combination of the lot is also good.

Ah, the other thing one is often doing, is preparing for the battle or for a show.

All good.

Oooo I forgot one, making things. That happens too.staring

I do feeling that we do better at these things if we get there early. If there are a few days to set up and live there before the public come in their proper numbers we settle into it more. This, in fact, is my first proper bit of advice, the longer you have been settled in and striving to live as a Viking where others can see, the happier you feel. There is a feel for visitors when they arrive that this is ‘real’ and you are living there.

If you are living for a week at a time or even for a couple of weeks at one event, or even if you are doing the whole season and travelling from one thing to another, spring to late summer, then you are probably in Scandinavia.

There they have markets, not battles or festivals, but markets.

People live in tents, they run courses, they sell items, they foretell, they hang out, they trade, they cook, they serve, they tell, they train, they watch or take part in entertainments, shows, battles, skirmishes. They wrestle and they scream out Galda.

Ah, perhaps more importantly, they sleep.

I am more accustomed to this environment, as you probably know. Spending a week or two at a time mixing between my shows and activities. I cook for a dozen, I do readings, I mix and I laugh. We learn from each other as we go.

As an honorary member of Njardar Vikinglag (But not Njardar Vikingslag) and as a privileged accompaniment of Bjorgvin Marknad I have lived. But that is all history. Always. History I shall live again and again and again. We are our experiences and we echo through time.broth

I guess the more one can experience this, the better, the settling into it. Once you have been around a bit you can do that anywhere, for any length of time; with a cape and a hat or with an enclave of enticement.

We all learn from our experiences and our repeated experiences. As Skald to the Chieftain at Gudvangen Vikingby in Norway I find ideas can take a year to develop into a reality. I do the activities I did the time before but with subtle additions, adapting to the needs of the environment. Then when we are relaxing over mead new ideas spring from our sharing and the next year they come into being.

That happens to all of us. It happens from listening and chatting with visitors too.

There will of course be environments and activities which I have missed out, do please let me know of these.

leahAs with the ideas and suggestions below. You will no doubt bounce off and adapt – I want to know.

Now here is Golden Rule no. 1 the most important one: be brief.

The first major concept: They are going to want to ask a question.

Golden rule no. 2 the most vital of all: There will be a point to it.

The other major concept: The vast majority of things you are doing, thinking and chatty about are appropriate.

There is going to be a whole lot more on these below and no doubt I will think up a few more concepts and golden rules as I go along in my erratic way. For instance Golden Rule no. 3 the only one you need to know: People don’t buy anything until they have bought something.

Right let’s start with that one, but don’t let it put you off; because I got this idea at a car boot sale (so don’t talk about it loudly in camp!).  There are lots of things of interest, there are lots of things we would like, we are not sure we have enough money, there is a whole weekend ahead. We might come back on Sunday. Then we spot something that we really want and it is cheaper than we expected. The excitement of that purchase means that in the next ten minutes we are far more susceptible to purchases. There will be a bag full, and we will need to buy a proper bag.

Well that was a really bad start because it was digression for the proper topic, before we have even got started too and to make matters worse here is another one. There are a few things on your stall they like the look of but don’t really want. There is one thing they find out the price of and it is far cheaper than they expected. Suddenly all the things on that stall are wanted and we want to grab them. This is a bargain stall, grab stuff.

Right back to Vikings

And tents.

That Golden Rule no. 1 – yes this is numero uno. Be brief.

Yes there are lots of tents and events and loudspeakers. presenter-for-the-rockfestPeople are roaming and trying to get a taste of it all or just trying to find their pal. As well as moving on shortly they have something to say. They are wanting to chat. They are unlikely to join in with the characterisation.

If you say, “You look like the son of royalty, will you marry me?” They will laugh as they approach but they are unlikely to bend to one knee for you. They are more likely to ask about your pommel. (I am not sure what one of those is so I hope it makes sense.)

And that main concept; asking a question. They have one; mark my words. They are an early-retired professional who reads the Independent And they have been thinking long and hard about their question. They brought it with them – on the tip of the tongue. Some might have a few, but mainly they have one that is so good that everyone is going to want to be asked. So that’s where this dialogue is going. Swiftly away from drama. Swiftly away from the many things you want to talk about. Nowhere near all the things you are desperate to show. This is moving directly to The Question. They, of course, did a degree in history or the arts or something and never got to use it in their career so they are trying to make up for lost time by impressing you. So hence The Question.

And now look at you. You are trying to answer that question aren’t you. You are giving it a very good stab. You are honestly thinking that they want the benefit of your knowledge and are intrigued to hear. They are hardly listening. As soon as you finish, they have another question to fire at you – but this time it is a rhetorical question. “So how come they didn’t pick their berries with a…” “So why haven’t you converted to Christianity?” “Have you ever thought that they would have known each other well?” “You do realise they must have buried more in the area too don’t you?” Those sorts of things.

tradeThis is because. They have A Point. Yes the Golden Rule of pointed golden rules; they have a point. Point. And they are going to make it, At every tent.

This is clearly something that is definitely right, (‘It must be’), but nobody in the history of historical researchiness has ever thought of it. (I know this to be true because I do it all the time.)

They will point downwards towards you in a jiggerly way, ‘Ah ha hah hah hah hah hah, ah ha hah har har har.’ They will do this with a knowing look until you nod in forced agreement. You may even have to smile in admiration of their wisdom before they will move on.

So yes, when it comes to the being in character bit, be prepared to be brief.

Take that as a warning, before we move on to the bits that are actually useful at last. Well hopefully they will be.

That other major concept: you are appropriate.

You are there and you are doing it. I’ve been there I’ve seen you.

I was inspired by my pals in their pre battle mode. There was all the when will we meet, where, where are they. Look you can see the smoke from their encampment. It doesn’t take much. Do you see, do you see.

You are the timeless entity that is history and are living it.

Just a little switch.

I saw the sweat and the tension. To be really honest the battle parts of it are not really my thing. But I felt part of it especially the prep. They were tense.table-01

Then they were gone. We don’t know if they will come back. We don’t know if we will be safe. The children watch them go. No one looks back.

Well this is LH let’s not get too carried away.  We got to chatting and living and forgot about them. We were in a summer village in our ship-tent long away from the farm or the winter dwelling.

There was earlier we talked about that. We were calm and not worrying. Purposefully. There had been the panicers and the gossipers and the worriers. “What are we going to do about the wounded?” ”There will be prisoners?” “Who among us will be prisoners?” ”Some will be dragged out in front of the lines of enemy in tearful chains!” that sort of thing. Actually this was the planners an coordinators who make it all happen and look for volunteers. But it doesn’t take much. Does it.

We looked back in that way and busied ourselves. We cooked.

Reality was we are playing. They real cooking would be afterwards, when the dead returned. There would be slices of cured pig which we would grill on the fire, small loafs cut and filled with fat from milk another farmer had churned far far away from battle (hopefully). Right now we played.

The small celeriac we had procured were perfect for roasting, they were hunter – gather size. There was garlic, there were onions, there was Viking Rice. Sorry that is a modernism; it was pearl barley. It was cloggy, I nearly put the fire out by tipping the pan badly, and I needed much supervision. It was nearly ready. There was bread awaiting cutting. The fighters came back.

They were alive. No battle. They had mustered. They hadn’t skirmished or raided. But they were ready. They were tense. They didn’t have long.

They didn’t talk or acknowledge us. They ate. The fervour of battle was upon them and I will never forget. We were providing, fulfilling a timeless wild need. Then. They were gone.

And that. Is why. I am writing this.

It was real. We can take that reality and spread it across what we do. 90% . Maybe 95%, yes 95% of what we do is living history. You just have to realise that. Talk aloud, slightly louder than you normally. Bit of feeling there. And it is alive (until we die).

End of blog.

Ah no sorry, I got carried away, that moment lead to all sorts of ideas and, at last, we are there and I am just about to write a blog on how to bring more characterisation into your Living History experience.

It has started.pan

Well, I digress a little, for instance, what was the other 5% about? Metal.

So.

Moving on to section c, d or is it five, I forget how many there’s been.

These are the bits, the bits section. A breakdown.

The Overheard – The what we are doing part

You are being in yourself. Like what we just said about 95%. We are just doing it a little bit more louder. It only needs to be of short duration and occasional. A bit like throw away humour I suppose. We know they are there and we were going to say this any way so we might as well make it into a bit. (See Lenny Bruce below.)

These are the things that you do turned into statements and vocal displays slipped between things which are real any way if we choose to look at this way.

Start that way.

“I worry about you in your pink leather hat. With this helm I am far safer.”

Then build.

They arrived gleaming and now they are dead and a new foe arrives.

That bishop of St Albans started this, just because we are clean and popular with the women. He stirred them up to kill. Women in pits with dogs upon them, children in the gate hinge. We have to kill and we are here and ready.

Talk about the season, the ritual, the moment of the year.

Preparing for death.

Act drunk, or use other emotions or attitudes.

Be overheard.

Then turn round and smile and welcome them.

“When are we changing into our Berserker outfits?”simen

Activity – The things you are practicing or working on.

You will be training, so do a dialogue. (I hate the word but…) simples.

While cooking ask, “Have you got anything salty?”

Have you any honey from Manuka? No maybe not.

Turn things you do into drama in an understated way. “We shall try this again my son, if you do not react properly and yet again I have to hold back my blow I shall disown you.”

“Watch the way my grip changes as I move.”

“Be careful with those onion skins they don’t grow in the ground you know! Every little bit needs to go in that pot of pee.”

Calling out – just moments that can sometimes lead to an afternoon (or a life together)

Try introducing each other ie have back story.

If we talk about our back story we sound like ourselves.

If we introduce another it sounds more real.

Be sure to have something to say in response mind.

“Let me introduce our greatest fighter, you can tell by the cut of his ‘thingy’ he has travelled far. This bead here; Icelandic.”

Build them, back stories. Try and have items upon you support this. Or the way you do things. Me? I am Hiberno-Norse settled in Jorvik after much travelling as a teller.

“He says there are little people in the mountains” “No in the woods, the ones in the mountains are big.”eric-socks

You probably have one of these built in your imagination, imagine more and build. Then of course ‘share’, so your team know you. Pretty soon the passers-by will know you too.

Get them to sit down. A wonderful Viking woman in Gudvangen Market does this. It should perhaps be a golden rule for it is a very powerful tool if done right. Not as a big thing, almost throws away that invitation. She sits there as part of the scene she is living and being, (because she is enjoying it), she looks around slowly and smiles, for a little too long. Then she pats the stool. “Sit a while.” Thats it, she doesn’t say anything.

They do. They belong.

Try using a reason to get them to sit down, “We will have reason enough to stand against another soon enough.”

“Join us or be against us.”

Act as if passers-by are real! Ask them questions. “Who do you fight for today.”

“Are you the Glima wrestlers we are expecting?”

“We want to make a new hat how should we do it?”

“Come here and settle an argument…”

“What do you know of the situation in Norway?”ritual

Comment as they pass.

“Much strength to your arm.”

“Do you know any good Galda?”

We will take one of your children. You shall take one of ours. The peace and understanding will come from the way they learn. Bring them back though, when they are grown.

If they speak badly of you they will know all the ways into your home.

(They did it then, it was still happening (as a one way only trade) to Roma in the eighties in Norway.)

Quote lines. This is a trick. Think of a line from a movie, a book, a game, a wise person, a saga, one of the clichés you all repeat. Rework them. Vikingize them.

Betrothals. Seeking such agreements from those walking along.

“Today is a good day to die.”

Skol!

Prepare lines in other languages (not Klingon).

Complain about the next tents philosophy.

Set up dialogues with opposite encampments.

Have you got any salt?

Would your daughter be interested in my son?

Insult the person next to you to the passer by.

stage-01Where are you camped?

You have come on the wrong day, talk of what will happen tomorrow or yesterday.

We haven’t got a storyteller, do you know the one about the…. ?????

It is my matrimonial day tomorrow, (pause for congratulations) I just need a partner.

The witch told me that…….

What We Do – The 95%

Talking about what has happened; just slightly louder. You will get in the habit of it. Setting the scene, as if living life live, and remember that is real.

Be there longer than the battle come before. Feel you are living.

Yes Keep it brief, and as they are passing is a good time.

Just be a little louder and be over heard.

Mainly just be because you are actually living it.

And remember they really are only wanting to ask questions so that you will get to listen to their valuable point!

Demonstrate your skills – yes – but also try training a fellow in your skills in a slightly louder way and dramatise. “No! you will be banished if you fail to learn this time my son.”

Props in your pocket: walk forwards from the group as if it is a secret and show them something so only they see.

Remember, your authentics pouch doesn’t have to be fastened (unless there are sharps).

Conversational impressions; doing the other voice,

“I heard the bishop say…”simen-02

“It is lavely to have you all here, I know your king said you would be beheaded if you didn’t join us, and I know all your places of worship have been burnt down but it is still laverly that you decided to cam, laverly.” (The vicar out of Postman Pat gave me an idea for a voice.)

Describing what you are doing, ‘I am bringing forward the sack of gathered barley’. ‘I am cupping my hands into the barl…’

‘Do not invoke the old ways, do not speak in the old style. These are new and different times.’

Research – Go look at stuff. Go look at the stuff in your head.

Many of you will have seen my Hobb character; he is Hobb the Pigman and yet he has all sorts of adventures (see links below), he has done battle and had historic encounters but from his point of view, the view of an ordinary person, never forget it is a lot different than the important person’s record of events, a totally original perspective. You can view ‘your’ world that way.

I had an interesting insight into perspectives recently; German medieval societies mainly drink and fight, but because that is historically accurate. I am not suggesting you adapt this into early medieval living history, but it gives us ideas of ways to be from the known values and behaviour

Gift. Give a gift. This is an onerous responsibility for the recipient, for they must find a way to gift, a gift to you of equal value. If you give then a horse they will be trying to pay you back forever.

So rune readers say. Look at the runes generally for ideas of values.leah-left

Draw runes. Defence; “I give you this sign but I fear it will do you no good”.

Get thinking on this. Contemplation of the runes will bring you many inspirations. (or the bible.)

Magnar I hear spoken of; Far better to have ridden on the dark-side and then decided to ride into the light than to simple have been good all your life. Far better.

Not sure the four horsemen give the same sort of message.

Death, birth, blessings, belief, what are you going to next? – or would have been going if you hadn’t died?

Talk about your death and what will be said of you when you are gone.

Where are you going?

How do such topics of contemplation effect the way you live generally.

(These are the sort of powers which make me the storyteller I am btw.)

There are snippets you know that you can bring alive, like that thing about eating garlic and onion porridge so if you are stabbed it will leak out and smell…. (fill in the rest of the story yourselves.)

Talk about the past. Your forefathers gave you wisdom. They shared stories. Taught you.

Like a bird building a nest you have those inbuilt skills of you past.

Your journey here, give us details. Share and ask.

Look stuff up, traditions, customs, use them. They are the stuff of life which shapes the skull.

Ooooo make cards to hand out secretly to fellow members so it is a game…

Acts against Humanity, barrels of doom.

Talk to larp people and dnd people.

Think of lines from films, books, sagas, change them a little and quote them.

Stones. The power of stones. The Hiberno-Norse came here to Yorkshire and they brought a huge leap in creativity with them. They had mixed and shared and in the mix was the stone carving vision of the pasts that came through the Irish contingent. All that they had learnt they shared with their off spring; the Hiberno-Norse. They came here.

Jelling holds beautiful carving upon a stone, the stone carving these later visitors brought here shared the actual stone. The Kirklevington cross stones share stories and images. They are story Use images to ‘convert’ onlookers.

Think of ways belief, ritual, folklore may have affected the way people act and talk. Note that this bit is not specific; it could fit anywhere, anywhen.

So yes, talk about the season, the ritual, the moment of the year.

Think on them too.

Bits – Like what you have bubbling around inside too

Aim for half a dozen times a day you are doing characterisation.

Draw on your own experiences larp drama etc.

For me happenings in DnD spring to mind: They hated each other but the witch poured a love potion over his sword. He grabbed the sword to kill, he swung it over his head, he fell in love, he dropped the sword behind him, he leant forward to kiss his once enemy, the sword was no long in his hand, he hated him, he grabbed the sword, he swung it over hi… You get the idea.

A bit silly I know, but there are transferable models in everything, everywhere.

Hey, relax and have a laugh, much will spring from it, as ideas burst out of your gob.

I suppose I was a bit glib and critical when I desperately sought to drag humour out of all this and went on about visitors and the points they have to make. They are not all like that. Not by a long way. Many are totally different. They are complete idiots!!!!

Sorry no, the term for them is tourists.

They have very vivid imaginations.

That Viking woman in Norway I talked about. She went for a walk. Not far. Just out the gate of the camp and sat in the sun by the Fjord waters. You can see all the camp but there is a fence around it, this is to keep out the non-payer. Not all visitors realise this though, one of these walked up to her and asked in a concerned voice, “Do they treat you well?”

If visitors can believe you are encamped in a reservation then they can believe anything.

Play on that sense of imagination.enjoying-the-show-with-friends

If I can have ideas so can you. Sorry to sound pompous and patronising, of course you can, all you have to do is let them free. They roam around and pop about in thought and conversation, now there is a place for them.

I mention back story. Mine is Hiberno-Norse, and travelling storyteller, so my kit is eclectic.

I was inspired deep within my heart, (and in my roots?), by the idea of Norse venturing into Ireland, mixing, consorting, (finding and raiding monasteries together), planning, trading goods and power. They came here! (York that is, I live in York.)

They settled.

The other bit: by the gods I am a great storyteller so that is reflected in my back story and in my ‘kit’. – The pinks would have been very expensive, so obviously I told stories to Queens. Either they loved my tales and gave me a gift or they hated them and as I ran I stole them.

My back story was further empowered by a purchase from Swanhildas Sweets (on Ebay). Viking trade route jewellery. A total inspiration. A necklace of stones that reflected my life path.

I have since demonstrated this jewellery in Scandinavia with amazing results.

It makes people who they really are.

I told a Canadian guy that currently he felt he was a Canadian who dressed up to be in the company of his partner who was a ‘real’ Viking as a Norwegian. I pointed out that jasper had been found in digs off the coast of Canada and had proven to be the equivalent of flint and had been used by Vikings. If he bought the necklace he would become a Canadian Viking!!! He bought it and bought it.

A Norwegian lady whose father had been adopted from Thailand when tiny had become a Viking and was interested in materials from the silk routes to help her draw in her real heritage. She looked at the stuff and changed her mind, “I am going to be Irish.”

Real stuff comes out too, a guy told me how he hadn’t told anybody else, even his girlfriend yet, but he had been adopted at birth and given to a Christian family. He hadn’t discovered this till he was forty, when his real mother, (a Roma, found him and told him of the abduction policy of the Norwegian government. They were actively Christianising in this way right up to the late 90’s.)

Real stories come out when you inspire people.

So.

Go out and buy stuff.

Back story stuff.

Being in character may be a way to deal with awkward or critical people. Plan an All Ting.

“We are putting holes in the ground like they do in Iceland to get the same space next year.”

Grapes? Think routes for conversations.

Have you had quirky thoughts lately use them.

Open your mind to the idea of interaction bearing in mind your own interests and deeper thoughts.

There is something you can say that has great challenging depth.

My quirky thinking, I like to come up with possible new understandings of how things were from piecing things together. Recently I found myself wondering what Thor’s second name would be? Thor Odinsson!!!!steak.jpg

Developing Drama – chunks of this stuff could go together

Perhaps there can be plays come of this or a mini drama by piecing bits together.

The highly controversial comedian Lenny Bruce talked of putting bits together. His act would be different every time, as he made his mind up all along. Sometimes though all the old bits would come rolling out in a new order and people would say what a great new set, all highly original. I really identify with this idea of bits from my own stuff (even though I am not funny). Ho wofeyen hbv eyou heard me say, “And now you have an opportunity to see my great acting ability when I say they were…”

You already have snippets and bits like this. They will slot in anywhere. They will bolt to new ideas. They will intersect with another. They will join with the bits of others (“Steady now at the back!”), and they will become something bigger (“I said steady!”). The next thing you know -You have a piece to perform with (I said stop it at the back).

He also talked of the room, less useful here maybe, but interesting. Everywhere he performed was a ‘room’, TV studios (well they never asked him back), stadiums, anywhere. It is the room. The room shapes your material, the room has a personality. You have to know the room. You have to know where to put yourself in the room. The room –wait for it – wait for it – is a field with tents in it.

Be ready to sense and to adapt.

It could be simple – That thing what you do. A great guy I know told me of going to a Wild West ~Weekend. There was a guy booked, (and paid), to entertain and all he did was sit in a hut. A shack, the door was open and you could see him there sitting sipping Bourbon straight from a bottle. Bottle after bottle. All he wore was dark pink dirty all-in-ones, with one button missing at the back so you could see half his bum. He had something laid across his knee. My pal was curious and stepped forward to go towards him. The thing on his knee was a shot gun, it was up in my mates face and his life was being threatened, loudly! My pal ran. He ran to the others. They all came over, and then ran.

That man was a star, and here we are still talking about him.

Allting. Spell it how you like. There seems to be plenty of variants. From land to land. This is governance. We gather. We sit. We hold parliament. Hold one now.

From an unobtrusive circle around the gap between your tent and the one opposite, with a couple of seats missing at each ‘end’. When people walk through pull in stools. They are part of the circle which suddenly comes into being. Announce the topic of debate and let them know they are most important and are invited to join the discussion.

Land and folks will die upon you decision.

Golden rules – I missed a few out

Don’t enjoy it that much you turn clique I am sure you have in jokes.

It is not about costumes and fight skills – or points.

Almost everything you think and say and hear is a role play statement, it just needs reworking a little.

Make your friend laugh by turning things you know into a role play

Ie think about what you and your mates say, and make it of the time.

Hey, we are living it already.

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Living the Viking Way

My Performances at Gudvangen

The Battle of Hastings – this time we win

Hobb and the Normans

God’s Bless Ya 03 – Ragnarok Mythology Festival, Denmark

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God’s Bless Ya!!! 03 – Ragnarok Mythology Festival, Denmark

(for bookings visit our site.)

God‘s bless Ya!!! – These are the stories for the show, when you come to see us you will experience the amazing music and song that these tales introduce; you will hear Alda!alda-sing-01

You will also see the stunning Goddess costumes created by Alda Raven‘s sister Sigrún Björk Ólafsdóttir as an integrel part of our show featuring myself with Alda and our stunning models we present costume, music, song and story for a Goddess experience.me-n-models

These costumes will be woven into the story by our talented actress / models as they were at our showcase event for Jelling Mythological Festival.title-screenstudio

The Creation Of The Cosmos – Before anything there was nothing but darkness; the black abyss of emptyness: Ginnungagap.

Yet far far away to the North there was a land. A cold unforgiving land covered in frosty black ice, with a freezing fog that slept on the land with sharp icy thorns. This was Niflheim.  A world of frozen hell-like misery and darkness.falling-into-ice-02-slim

Far south of Ginnungagap was another land; Muspelheim,  and it was a complete contrast to Niflheim. This land was a burning hell hole where lava-demons and fire giants spew flying fire-balls into the air like shooting stars of death.

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Artwrk by Chloe Anderson

With time the lands of fire and ice got closer and closer until one day the fire balls shot so close that the ice started to melt – drip drip drip.

The creation of the universepic 029 movie footer.jpg

From a giant’s bloody corpseme-meaning-it

His blood filled up the oceans

The mountains are his bones

(For the fuller version of the above – Come and see the show!)

Water of the well of Urd is carried by the Norns, the destinies, to nourish the ancient tree. Here, where the gods gather each day in council, reside the three Norns, the women of destiny. Dressing the tree, they heal its wounds, they advise the gods and they twist and shape your lives. They look down now; Urd, Skuld, Verdandi. Fate, being and necessity are but twisted twine to their wise eyes. pic-09Bringing new born creatures to the worlds, casting monsters to the deep, they peer and see what you deserve, judge you by your inner thoughts to turn your wishes into deeds. These fine three weave the threads of your life, twisting, tightening, loosening, colouring, blanding, paling – they are shaping your lives, wild and exciting or bland and drab; you had better hope they favour you, but not too much.

As the three wise old Norns weave the threads of your life far above upon his great high seat sits the All Father himself Odin, looking out with his one eye, from here he can see everything; the nine known worlds and all the other worlds as well.pic-03-movie-footer-in Upon his shoulders sit the ravens, Huginn and Muninn; wisdom and memory and he sends them out into the world where they decide what is important, remember and return to whisper in his ears. As they fly he worries so, for he sees many dangers.

They fly over Sif. She is stepping out anew from her chambers for the first time since the evil Loki played such a cruel trick on her. sif-stepsHe cut off all her hair! See her now as beautiful as ever, as beautiful even as Frejya. Pure gold her hair. Fashioned by the Dwarven smithies with their magic it grows each day and brings her riches.

The ravens saw the cruel deed and now Loki seeks them, in his eagle skin he flies high and is yet another danger for the ravens. Odin loves them both yet favours Munnin, he worries so and wishes their return.

Beware, for here walks Goddess Skadi, wild huntress of the far north. skadi-lake-01Beyond the blue crevasses, far over highest mountains, far beyond the loveless lava-flows, there is her abode; where stones crack, there stands her towering halls upon dark rock heights. For the full Skadi story see – God’s Bless Ya!!!! 01

Look to the skies, for life is a battle and a goddess is looking over you, Brinhildr the Valkyrie. valk grrr 02.jpgHer winged helmeted deities fly over you seeking who to choose. And if they choose, as the raven would eat the heart of the victim so they will wish for your heart. They wish for your death. We wish to be chosen, for we are glad to die, we want to die, we laugh at death. We wish to go to Valhalla to feast and fight forever. Choose me. Choose me.

Brinhildr tired of this way, of being perfect and she wished to breathe and be mortal and truly alive for a while. She threw off her shapely armour, her warrior attire. In Freyja’s swan-skin she flew down here. There by a lake she threw off the feathers and dived lady-naked into the

waters.valk-peer-01 A man stole her feathers. She was trapped. He would let her go if she would change the fate of a battle for him. She looked down from a hill upon a huge field of armies and she chose his enemies to die.

How Odin was enraged to hear of this; he cursed her.

“You are cursed!” “Cursed to die into loveless sleep forever.” “Encased within a ring of fire.”door-flames Odin cursed Brinhildr and she fell into lovelorn sleep. He entombed her, just as she was, upon stone, within a tower, upon a mountain, he surrounded her by jagged rock which he set to flame. In this burning ring she would lay.

The dragon slayer was riding that way, Sigurd, with his curse ring of death in his pocket and his other booty from the slayed dragon’s hoard. He rode upon a horse which was afeared of nothing. This horse leapt from the top of a mountain, across the sky. It leapt through the flames and through the window, to land beside the stone slab bed. He dismounted and touched her upon the shoulder, as soon as he did he was deeply in love. meIt was this love which woke her. She opened her eyes and looked into his. Their love was to be forever. As she rose up he fell to one knee and placed the ring upon her finger.

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Born of a giantess who loved the unfaithful-one she was taken away because of her monstrousness. Hel’s mother Angraboda was bound in her sleep by the Gods who despised her, and so hated her daughter. Hel is a putrid thing, half dead half alive. See the full Hel story at God’s Bless Ya!!! 02  …awaiting the battle, the final battle to end all battles where everybody dies: Ragnarok is coming and you dark-hearted ones are ready, to rise up, rise up, rise up…hel-by-egil-lake

For the full Skadi story see – God’s Bless Ya!!!! 01

See the full Hel story at God’s Bless Ya!!! 02

all-at-end-02The next God’s Bless Ya!!!! blog will be all the footage, pics, dates and links so venues can book us and for people who want to book to come to see us.

And for the last word on the matter (for now) this lovely letter from Sigrún Björk Ólafsdóttir:

siggy-by-ship

It has been an absolutely incredible journey and the 11 days spent in Denmark were nothing but amazing. There are so many highlights that it is impossible to simply choose one but one thing they all have in common is the incredible group of people I have been blessed with meeting during this trip.

This was the first time that Adrian Spendlow, Alda Björk Ólafsdóttir and myself worked together like this so it was reassuring to learn that we work really well together and are all on the same wavelength. It will make our lives easier as we continue to work on the full show God’s Bless Ya!!!.all-at-end

If it hadn’t been for the generous and hospitable people of #Jelling Heritage, Flemming Midtgaard, Ole Grangaard Olesen and Bjarne Taudal @ #CafeSejd, we wouldn’t have been able to experience this amazing journey so to them I’ll be forever grateful and they can always rely upon my support and friendship. I’ll come back anytime they want me!

The same goes for the wonderful photography and modelling team. Jimmy Frisk turned out to be an absolute diamond who didn’t just take amazing photos of both the opening ceremony and the God’s Bless Ya!!! show but he provided the perfect locations for some nature shots, drove the team to the locations, provided images to display my creations with the mannequins at the week-long gallery show, provided images of the girls getting hair and makeup done which was donated by a hugely talented and brilliant team at #FrisorLyhne (thank you Marie!) but he also provided us with lots of laughs and support throughout the week.

We also could not have done all this without our stunning models Eydís Ósk Jóhannsdóttir, Anna Csukás, Tine Nyborg Jensen, Emilie Johansson and Tanja Thomsen Andersen who took to their characters with passion and made me proud that such stunning girls want to wear my creations. Each of them got to know their characters and took active part in the creation of them. We were also very lucky to have Egill Egilsson on-board with us as he tirelessly helped to sort out models and MUAs and who made a long journey for the opening ceremony, just to be a part of the team and took fantastic video footage, not only from the actual ceremony but he interviewed the girls, documenting this mind-blowing moment where the 3 Nordic goddesses and their Valkyrie Warrior Maiden, walked down the stunning old Viking UNESCO heritage mound. What a moment! How privileged are we to have the opportunity to do something so amazing! It humbles me. I cannot wait to see the final product he produces! He also took some fab photos during our shoot and I am grateful for his support and contribution.

On a personal level, the time spent with Perry Stenbäck was very precious to me and I would have wanted to spend a lot more time with him. It is hard to catch up with 30 years in a few short moments but even more precious is the new memories made. To be able to hear his band play at a random house in a random place was nothing but fantastic and I strongly urge everyone to check out #Bragr on YouTube. Even better was a proper Danish lunch that he prepared for us in his magical forest house where we ate some beautifully prepared Danish Smorebrod (I need the recipe for the remoulade and the svampthing) and were introduced to some award winning Danish ales. I personally really liked the liquorice ale! Yumm! This was the moment when we then got to hear him play the old traditional Swedish Viking instrument, #Nyckelharpa. There is something very magical about meeting an old friend and realising that although 30 years have passed, their fingerprints were embedded in your heart for a reason and that you will be friends forever, no matter how time passes. Perry – I love you.

A very sweet moment was getting to know Eydis and her twin brother Jóhann Pétur Jóhannsson. I had never met them before but they are my little cousins and from the moment I met both, I felt as if they were mine to hold and to protect. I guess you could say that motherly love came over me and I am ecstatic over having been able to spend some fantastic time with them, getting to know them – and finding out that they are so much like us that the family DNA cannot be denied! My family just got a bit bigger and better and my heart has two new fingerprints on it.

I was also left deeply humbled by the fact that 5 members of my family, Esther Gudjonsdottir, Joi, Ingvar Jóhannsson, Ragnheiður Hallgrímsdóttir and Guðjón Jóhannsson who live in Iceland, made the journey across the water and came to support us. These beautiful humans, whom I am proud to call my cousins, have supported me throughout my creative process and provided me with materials I would be unable to get if it wasn’t for them. It is because of them that I was able to create Hel’s headpiece for instance. I cannot thank them enough for believing in what I am doing and for their support. I love you all!

The support we received didn’t stop there. Mum Svanhvít Erla Hlöðversdóttir and Dad Ólafur Þór Tryggvason and Andres also flew over to offer their support and again, I am utterly humbled! I owe so much to these 3 people. Andres has provided me with a space to work to create and cut patterns, he has tirelessly been available when I needed him and he has sat at a sewing machine and helped me sew when the task of these outfits in this short space seemed daunting.three-and-ship

My mum and dad have given their all in support to these creations and my mum has spent weekend after weekend with me here on my patio, teaching me the craft of tailoring and sewing in a way that she was taught by generations older and so forth. She is an endless fountain of knowledge and her patience whilst I stumble, make mistakes and have to re-do tasks – again and again, never faltered. My dad, never complaining, has been at hand at all times to drive back and forth, fix my dishwasher, set up a cover so we wouldn’t get rained on whilst sewing outside, installed a watering hose outside for me so that I could save time watering my plants and when the sewing machine fell apart, he, with his engineering genius, sat and repaired it until it was as good as new. The fact that these 3 were able to see the show that they have so much a part in, was the sweetest gratification there is. This was their show. I can never thank you all enough!

Thank you all!

Sigrún

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Artwork included comes from the Hammer Flies

If any photography requires crediting, please do let me know.

God’s Bless Ya 02 – Hel – Ragnarok Mythology Festival, Denmark

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God’s Bless Ya!!! 02 – Hel – Ragnarok Mythology Festival, Denmark

(for bookings visit our site.)

Hel

As part of our show featuring myself with Alda and Sigrun Bjork Olafsdottir and our stunning models we present costume, music, song and story for a Goddess experience.

Here are poems inspired by Lady Hel herself, ruler of the dark lands of the in-valiant dead followed by my narration for the cat walk and the stunning Hel costume designed by Sigrun is elegantly shown for us by our talented model displaying for you to the unique magic of Alda’s composition.hel

The Hel Poems

Warning; Enter if you dare – here is contained the Viking history of belief in death, suffering and hell.

Read on only if you are of strong mind, will and maturity.

Ride beyond Modgud the bandaged and bleeding one if brave enough to cross her chasm path.

See eyes in the dark as growls rumble; guard hound Garm will let you in – yet will never let you out: see fire-eyes, hear blood drip as you slide by.

Hear forever screams from the long long long drop of the worthless as you leap the abyss.studio

Hel Poem 01 – What is Done Can Never Be

Born her of giants,

their shape-changer essence perverted her form

Until she matured monstrous

Living and dead

Rotten and luscious mixed

Yet somehow alluring

Empowering

Attracting you into her power

Commanding in presence

She pulls you into her will

You forever admire

Beg to endlessly serve

Wise Norns spoke of the danger of her

Born of beings of evil

Begatted by badness

The evil pretender god

With the hulking death volva

She was destined toward greatness

Forever to be fearful

hel press

Hel Poem 02 – Kenning

Stronghold-builder

Greif-giver

Tear-bringer

Flesh-rotter

Death-perpetuator

Glad-torturer

Witch-burier

Decrepit-concealer

Beautiful-enchanter

Toxic-user

Hel-builder

Coward-welcomer

Truth-despoiler

Serpent-inflicter

Balder-hater

Loki-daughter

Volva-loin-springer

Deathship-constructor

World-ender

Scream-mother

God-stealer

Light-hater

Hermod-scarer

Wolf-sister

Gloom-harbourer

Harm-danger

Cursed-leader

Misfortune-sleeper

Nightmare-enterer

Corpse-mother

If you wish to share,

Hel is just down there…

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Hel poem 03 – Go Now Down

To where the cursed one fell

Ride nine days down

The north beneath the north

The world beneath the worlds

Hel’s citadel in hel,

Her Niflheim

Built forbidding from her mighty will

The darkest of powers of construction

Power out of destruction and death,

Here recreated from dread essence

Built of bitter cold,

The unending nights very core

All that remains of the dust of suffering

These her tools

The falling screams

Welts poisons spray cements and bonds

And builds

Take not your toe nails with you long

Naglfor is rising in the rising sea

To fly to war, to death of all

Oath-breakers island over rivers of spears

Living serpents bind and twine,

to bite the liar encased within

Niflhel her misty hel

Her towering walls are thrusted

Meer strength of will these gates forbidding built

From living witches buried deep

There grows the putrid plants of undead sustenance

Hel built all this

From dastard whim

falling darkness 04 up painted.jpg

Hel Poem 04 – Enter Forever

Doors open for you

To cavernous hall

Countless faces turn to you

Slowly the new dead turn grey face

The rotting and green see you

Further in the darkness,

are the less flesh than bone

Hear a drip drip drip

Watch your footing as you walk

Welcome to the land of the dead

Of the waiting

Lives of the countless

The pitiful, the unanswered,

The resigned and the scowling

Here are the leering, the most treacherous

You are stared at by the murderous

Feel if you can for the agonised

Beyond them the angry

Eyes only for you

Speak not to the dead

For then they can all speak to you

All, all at once

In their many moods and wishes

Many broken sounds.

From her glimmering veils of misfortune

She steps dangerously forward

Mottled and mouldering

Be caught in a tear fall forever to have seen her

Cry now

To be doubt-filled, untrusting, contrary to the full.

This is a testing, so beware her

Let all weep for your passing

Or scream silently forever in living hungry death

Shades in the shades see you

She holds the very god of light and beauty in her power

Weep;

Your tears melt the rime, these are meltwater tears

Beware her lest she summons her father

In his shape-shifter form he will remove all your hope.

She has you under her power

Will feed and keep you, all bedecked in gold;

Except witches,

those of you who see yourselves witches or herbal

Prepare to whimper under deep dark earth buried forever

Enter all

You are summoned

Weep now

Weep till you weep dry tears

Hel Poem 05 – Witch Burier

Rust Red the cockerel awakens the dead

There is one who has not slept

Hel’s Mother

Alive she is buried

Buried by Hel,

Daughter of Angraboda, born in Jotenheim

Here in Niflhel she buried her witch mother

Aware under there

So she Angraboda will know forever

That she is dead

Summon her from the earth if you dare

She will answer three questions

Yet all she wishes is,

to return to her dark earthen misery

She will take you with her too if she can

All she needs to know is your true name

Down you will go

Hel Poem 06 – You Cheater

If you spat in barrel,

and then broke your word

Then yes you shall go to her

Are you a liar?

All oath-breakers travel to her

Worst of the worst is the unfaithful

That is a promise which must not be broken

Meer human you have faults

So hence you will go to her

You know in your hearts

You are unfaithful; a liar

You cheat and you steal

And the tower awaits you

Step now though the waters

The icy waters of the river

The fast flowing river

Forged only of frozen

Each of the ice parts

Is formed as a spear head,

A seaxe or a dagger point

Bleed as you scream as you wade

Do not hurry though

For a torture of forever is waiting there

A tower of serpents

They will bite you forever

They will burn you with poison

Forever is forever

Oh how you will scream

Hel poem 07 – To Dream of Hel as Balder Did

Escape dark shapes in nightmares if you may.

For she will call for you

And oh yes, you will offer to go

As now each night in readiness she grooms

She brings you the despicable. Yes,

Gasp and moan. Be in half light, turn grey.

Whitening to the emptiness of the whitest weed

Feel not the sun’s warmth ever,

even when you walk awake

Seek deeper sleep…

Shadow skulkers shapeless now

Ghostly skull guests creep

Monstrous forms will snuff you

Thrash and kick all you will

Oh hope your screams will wake you

The lingering feelings will remain:

Naked doomed fear has grasped the living

As she was hurled into mist and darkness

You too now yearn for the world beneath worlds

Odin’s curse Hel wishes to share

And you,

are falling and falling

Hel (Prose) Poem 08 – Half Dead She Will Kill US

In her home beyond the sheer rock, she still hears the curse words,

“Share all that you have with the dead, adorn them in gold and feed them your putrid foods”

Her brother encircles the world.

While her other brother above bound to earth howls to be rescued.

One day her father will howl out in agony with hope in his dark heart that his offspring shall aid him, vengeance will be theirs together; Oh yes.

Capable of great structures, dark creation, from dark materials.

She has a ship readying, a dread vessel filling with undead.

Her Man-servant Ganglati and Maid-servant Ganglot they move so slow as not to be seen, until they are upon you; like weeping dark angels of stone.

She eats from Hunger with her knife Famine thinking only of the moment.

Sleeps in Sick Bed, her bed curtained by Glimmering Misfortune.

She dreams of the death of us.

Vengeance shall be theirs, Oh yes.

Hel

The Catwalk Talk

Born of a giantess who loved the unfaithful-one she was taken away because of her monstrousness. Her mother Angraboda was bound in her sleep by the Gods who despised her, and so hated her daughter. Hel is a putrid thing, half dead half alive. They cast her to Hel as her home down below us. As she fell and fell through the misty dark gloom the words of Odin echoed through her. “You are cursed, in your half-rotten half-beautiful self you are fitting only for death, live the forever death building cities for the dead.”

As she fell, as she landed, as she built, she swore her revenge. Oh how the world will end. Her great halls are filled with the myriad dead, only those fallen, who lost badly or while running, none of the brave go there. Die well my friends or you will join her. She looks at you now and feels the lies in your heart, the fears from your dreams and she knows. Your twisted dark desires glow out from you like a punishment, you have it in you to be one with her. For yes Hel is beautiful, entrancing, but once in her power when she turns to her other side there is the putridness you will worship forever. Oh yes, she knows. She knows you will be coming to her, you will feel the call in your nightmares and then forever in her halls hungry and bitter, awaiting the battle, the final battle to end all battles where everybody dies: Ragnarok is coming and you dark ones are ready, to rise up, rise up, rise up.

See also God’s Bless Ya!!! 01 – Skadi the Huntress

Thrilled to be asked to be part of the Diverse Festival, Bridlington, UK – Interested?

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posterdateshow caseinfotop

For those of you who are too far away from the region to take part, there may be other ways you can contribute – please do contact me directly.poster

Nerd in Norway; A Spotters Guide – It is actually a report on my performances at Gudvangen Viking Valley, Norway.

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Nerd in Norway; A Spotters Guide – It is actually a report on my performances at Gudvangen Viking Valley, Norway.

sign 01I am looking at the stories I didn’t tell and wishing I had fitted them in. But there are other times of course and I am thankful of the times, the many times, I was able to tick a tale off the list.

Ticks, lists, statistics, I am getting into these. Nerdy I am. Becoming a spotter. A lister. A ‘tick-er-off-er-a’.

Long journeys listening to the sixties and memories.foxglove love

Looking out and listing waterfall world; shadow waterfalls, gentle waterfalls, rainbow waterfalls, multiple waterfalls, tiny waterfalls… I list and tick.

meThe times of tears might be listed soon. This is a place of many strong emotions – emotions amplified. Moving yes, but everything inside, everything discovered, everything listened to, everything experienced: amplified.

It might be the water. It is everywhere.

As I overheard, “They have water here,” says the tourist on the bus, “all kinds, rain and waterfalls and all kinds. It is like a great big island with sea all around it.”

Now – 61, 78, 30, 2000 (est.), 30, but more on these later, stay tuned. I bet you just can’t wait.

But at last you will get down to where you will read what this blog is actually about – make a second coffee.

whale spouts

A whale

I creature spotted – I cheat – I award points for imagination, molehills count (as definitive proof of the existence of a mole), as do beehives and woodworm holes. I play alone and only cheer internally. So that is alright then.

Interlude: A tourist at the hotel sat next to me has a sandwich, a baguette actually, she is eating it with a knife and fork – it is not going well. Wait, (this is my live-feed happening as I am writing), her husband is opposite, (they are old so I guess they are married), he has a suggestion, he is thinking she might do better by picking it up off the plate to eat, she is asking if he means with the hands, and he does, so she is trying it.

I hit sixty! Sixty different creatures. Yes. It included reindeer, firefly, alpaca, llama (duplication cheat), and I saw a thing climbing.

village

Not actually a photograph of Georg

I didn’t count the enormous statue of Georg, (hours away from Gudvangen and surveying a valley where thousands of deer can gather some mornings). That goes on a list with a Roman Villa, hundreds of pre-history pictograms, standing stones, Half-Dan the Blacks funeral mound, concrete bunkers, winged horned gods, actual horned helmets too (oh yes), rock falls, trees on rooves (I gave up at 178 of them), ‘Danger Falling Rocks’ signs – extremely rare here for some unknown reason which I will probably blog about at some point, large fish rings, organic vegetable gardens (sadly a rare occurrence apparently), drummer boys, huskies pulling a white van and sounding like geese, iced coffee to die for, Godt og Blandett Frukt Salad (a must have), salty liquorice fish, trees in rivers, quadrillion-bends, ‘Deer Crossing 0.2 kilometre to 1.3 kilometre’ signs (go figure), naked wrestlers (no she needs to be on a later list which is chiefly flesh-related, as do arm-slings), bear-hunting dogs, armed seven year olds (I will document this more fully I promise), M. Thatcher pictures thanking her for Soft Ic, Pagans, Asutra, twins (no there’s loads), sausage boutiques, and

(Sorry I fell off that list.)

Btw the lady did manage to get most of the baguette in.

Btw 02 if you are someone who puts ‘of’ when you mean ‘off’ I actually hate you, quite actively, vigorously. Just thought you might like to know.

Tourists who are between coach and ferry and stand without looking up at the host of waterfalls.

No stop, don’t even start that list. ‘Tourists’ can wait.

I could write a list of the times people have told me of fearie things – a long list

(Please note; fearie is the topic, the place, or an actual list, not a being or thing.)

of the number of times people have approached me and insisted upon the existence of such and their observation of same. Usually just after I have done a silly story and have danced and pranced.di happy

I know I am neither dancing or prancing in this picture, but I like it

They are very insistent.

I shall list this visit’s oddities.

There are several. Read on because you might be on this list.

The winged-thing will be listed last (damn I have just listed it). There was a drone. I have seen them before over Viking camps, once I saw one shot down by an archer, there were cheers. This one looked like one, but acted funny; shall we say impossibly.

I saw a brown blob. I am almost sorry it wasn’t black – then it would have been an ABB – Alien Black Blob. As mentioned often in Fortean Times magazine. They are officially what you get if you try and take a picture of an oddity. Always. Flying saucers, puma, yeti, troll, big foot, naked huldra; try it, you click, you look later – it’s a blob.

slender

Artists interpretation of something completely unrelated to this story

I cannot do other at this point than to instruct you to buy Fortean Times. If you are in the dark on this one search for Charles Fort; “Nonexistence of evidence is not evidence of nonexistence.” etc

My blob was brown, it was moving, it was far away, it was high up, it was climbing. I estimate bear-size.

Mine was above the Georg statue, Alan’s was above Goerg’s house. It was witnessed by many. I will not bother you with the photos of it, they have a distinct element of ABBness.

They watched it though. Crikey it was large. Gosh it was something other than is known. Wow are the hairs going up on our necks as we hear about it. It was tall as a hang-glider, slim as a snowboard, as quick as a skier, it disappeared as quick as a base-jumper. It is documented here, so it is true. There are photographs. It is true about Alien Black blobs too.

Calm down the hairs on your neck a little and read on.

There are wasps.small wasp

And this is the interlude where you get to listen to a story. A story. The thing I actually do. Yes, a story.

It involved Anders. He is cool. He is Viking. He talks steady and slow. We listen.

When I talk of the wasp I dance, I do voices, I comb my hair in a beautiful way, I get cross. I am wasp.

Anders simple says

“They are spirit.”

That is why he jumps. This is the only time his smile leaves. The only time the cool goes.

The deep dark growling drawl which is only just within the range of the human ear stays – so listen with your bones.

“They are spirit.”

big waspThis is why we should be frightened of them. This is why to be fearful of their sting. For they will sting. It is their intention. To sting.

The spirit which once was and now is wasp, is angry.

Imagine. If you will. To be of another realm. Where all is magical and – kind of – wispy. Then, you human being people stopped believing. Stopped sending all that belief in the magical to the realms around you. They dwindled. They faltered. They ceased. They died.

It is your fault.

The fairies died.

Spirit of fearie is part of this life and is subject to the same lore of living as us – reincarnation.

wasp changesThey reincarnated.

As wasps.

Can you imagine how cross they are.

Every single morning they wake up, the eyes are glazed as yours are, the brain is slow the same; thinking isn’t easy: “Oh a new day. Which frock shall I wear? I think I will choose a long flowing frock, and then I will comb my long flowing hair, add a few flowers. I will sing to myself blissfully as I skip toward the flowered meadows – and then I will  – dance!

Sh*t!

I am a wasp!

I am a bl**dy wasp!

No wonder they are angry.

Get ready to be stung.big wasp flipped

That may be the end of the story, but not of the list.

There is one more. I can see it. I can still see it. So can the man who told me. I didn’t see it. Neither did he. It is in our mind’s eye. It is about to enter yours. Alan went on the Viking ship. Down to where the fjord walls are tall and close. It is quiet down there. The skipper is quiet; a quiet man. As they flowed, so did his words. To a quiet crew. “Out there it was. By the side of the wall, and only just above the water. The dark thing with wings. I have sailed this way, and other ways, many times. I have never seen such a thing as this ever. It was slowly flying with large angled long slim wings; a suggestion of shape, a definite shape of wing. A timeless slow sense of flying. I don’t know what it was.”wingedI don’t know what it was.

61, 78, 30, 2000 (est.), 30.

Yes here it is. The time. The point of the blog.

I held a story circle each evening and sixty one people came and listened. Some of them popped in briefly, some came every time. Some of them said ‘awesome’ in a quiet voice. Some made tricky suggestions.

I felt young.

My main audience were 15 to 21. I am honoured to be listened to by such. For up to three hours at a time. I still see the faces.

From 61 to 78. I performed alongside others. Vikings flocked to take part in my stories and talks or to join our parade. 78 of them, yes, I worked with 78 co-performers. Some of them, I admit, are duplicates. When someone drummed and marched one day and then acted another day I count them twice. It is still a whole host of willing Vikings.

Each day my chieftain (Olafr Reydarsson, we call him Georg) and I led a group of musicians around the camp inviting everyone to join us. Lars Magnar of course was beside me. We stood upon the holy hill. Our rune-lore master, our Glima lord, our mythology study, our wise scholar of all of the once was, he stood among us, we called upon him, and he unleashed the ancient, the returned, the spiritual, powerful, Galda. That screaming call. It changes your understanding of what it is to be alive.galda

We welcomed, we warned. We stood upon the stage and we informed, we made fun, we celebrated, we shared, and a host of people from Anabel to T’or Eric filled the floor with their re-enacting. Mainly. We laughed.opening

We celebrated and laughed with the mayor, with the team who are building our Viking Town, with crafts people, with entertainers, with spiritual leaders, with the dead, with the children who crawled and climbed to be part of this.

And most of the tourists survived.

There were presentations on the new Viking town we are building.harbour

T’or Eric carried a dead body across (Daan) and Anabelle wowed the crowds with her product demonstrations. We even had a guest spot from Lady Shaga and a couple of guys carrying a plank. Vibeke and her team fought to the death and Kjell robbed them.

We even had a slave team run screaming through.

Every day we lined up and were multi-national. The pic below here shows most of the people involved, but one or two weren’t there that day. We had many languages and many accents, including, Scooohtish, posh, New York and Minnesota.multi

I spent thirty hours in performance. I estimate that two thousand people watched us and I probably spent about thirty hours planning it all.

That’s it.

No, hang on.

I am wrong. I am wrong about the 78. I forgot about the one I wasn’t at. As Holger had been in the news we thought it right to redress the balance and have him kidnapped as a slave. I put the word out through Karyn who whispered while she was braiding, and over thirty women turned up to clap him in chains and wrap him in a net. He didn’t fetch much though.

One more number to finish. As I walked back from the bar I counted 31 waterfalls within sight of the camp.party

And an enormous thank you to Angela and Georg for putting up with my trying ways and for making me feel so at home.garden

Strange, – the things you do when you are in theatre

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Strange, – the things you do when you are in theatre

Yes, strange,

mort tarot 04

I have just spent a whole evening making a set of tarot cards

And

They are all the same.mort tarot 02mort tarot 03(You need to get yourself over to York, UK to see this.)Mort picmort tarot 01Next job???

Proper Chips wrapped in newspaper