Adrian Spendlow – A selection of stories to see and hear – Revisited

Adrian Spendlow – A selection of stories to see and hear

 Beevis and the Dragon – (Pretty sure I’ve spelt it wrong)

 The Folklore of Fossils by Hobb the Ploughboy

Veikko’s Quest – A Finnish folktale

Red

I was inspired to remodel this old tale and soon as I thought of it I got it down, it might be a bit scary so listen to it without kids first).

Old Land – Modelled on a ninth century Irish Ode

Georg and the Dragon – a rework of an old tale with my chieftain’s name replacing the original character, (I dreamed this).

Brynhildr (and Swan Love)

Sigurd and Fafnir

Norse Creation Tale

 Idunn’s apples

Why Americans Speak English

The Walls of Asgard

When the Gods Ran Out of Beer

 

Rail interview

 Link to Alvis and the Troll

 Prose Poems of the Gods

Storytelling is… – A series of blogs to empower you to tell stories

Link to the read aloud version of Hobb the Ploughboy

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Saying Thank You

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

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For sale on Bandcamp my amusing yet informative history of the Itchin bridge.

https://adrianspendlow.bandcamp.com/releases

For sale on Amazon my very first book, The Cakes and Tea Collection – a mix of short stories and poetry.

On the US Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FP5NLLK

On the UK Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08FP5NLLK

Supporters Club; Dwayne, Adam, Sharon, Sigrun, Holly, Carol, Connie, Sarah, Spee 69, Oyvind, Ginny, Maureen, Lillian, Margaret, Pam, Lucy, Michelle, Obie, and Heather.

The Chanters Stool – Part 2 of the Spendlow Lectures on How to be a Storyteller

Storytelling is… #6 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Chanters Stool

with snake

Storytelling is… #6 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Chanters Stool

Right, I am going to get strict now.

Storytellers must always tell traditional stories which they have learnt by listening to another storyteller. They must sit and not move and they must never ever utilise items – the sinful prop! Sit still and tell old things rigidly.

Well there we have a whole set of rules to be broken. I certainly break them all. It is a school of thought though, an old school of thought.

There is a vision of the teller in a big chair and everyone hushed and still looking up in awe. It does happen. These are moments to cherish.

My first thought would be, where to put that chair.

Space.

Put yourself in your space. Find the place where you feel right.

I like to get there early. I step into that school hall and I guess I am getting the vibe, I most usually walk straight to a spot, “I would like to stand here”. It isn’t always where they expect you to go.

It is the same on a ship, in cave or on a stage. Put yourself where you need to be.

“Can you put my chair here please?”

“And my table here if you are using ‘the dreaded prop’.

The inner translucent layer of a mammoth skin has been draped across near the rear of this cave, with a small fire behind, you step out of a hidden side alcove when they are distracted and you beat a hollow log with your talking staff; you are suddenly there, a misty figure in front of them.

And you have your place.

Your place in history.

Step around into the open and stamp your white staff to the ground. Stay silent for a moment while they take in the carvings and the natural twist leading to the gleaming crystal.

Play a little on your cave harp.

Or say but three words then lift up your bone flute.

If you are more modern than this you may be wishing to commune with Odin. Your fur-covered Chanter’s Stool is brought out for you and you flick your cloak as you sit.

The large seat.

The shamanic drum.

The soft toy – well, that is me.

Rocky the Dragon gets very sad because he never gets any kisses.

I might be better getting a white wood staff.

And so to sit.

Or stand.

Or both. I tend to be out of my chair most of the time but starting things off sitting seems to work for me. I am a bit all action and cannot keep still.

Silliness seems to happen. In among the gripping and the scary a bit of silliness too.

‘I have lived in the land of fairy – and I have never been the same since.’

Being trapped in a fairy ring causes one to have to dance and for all people laugh they are intrigued. For all the silliness of stories of meeting and even marrying beings from the realm of the Fey I tend to attract people who hang around to tell me of their real-life experiences of meeting or seeing creatures from the mystical lands.

You have to remember who is out there. I will look at the idea of being a ‘Skald’ in a little while, let it be said there is always a sense of ceremony. The way we conduct ourselves, be it at a ritual or on the content of our set lists should always seek to be inclusive. In your audience is someone who happens to have come along, a tourist who wants to see how we do things, a historian, an Odinist or Asatru who follows the ways of the old gods, a person of another religion.

Respect. Respect mixed with entertainment.

Art is always a compromise. There is the viewer the one experiencing the art. They are to be considered. And yet one must maintain their own integrity.

Yet you must always do what it says on the tin. If it says chocolate milk we don’t want root beer coming out into the glass.

Many circles are spontaneous of course. Chiefly though, you have been invited. The audience have come along because of what the publicity said.

The publicity has been written by the inviter, they wrote it after talking to you, but they also put their own needs into it.

You must try and fit with this description.

You might always try and describe yourself slightly differently from the last time.

What does it say on your tin?

We have talked a little of the oral tradition; that the content and possibly style of our ‘show’ come from the past.

If we talk to a ballad singer, someone from the folk world or perhaps a shanty singer, we will come across the school of thought; traditional means that nobody wrote it. An old song has gone through so many singings, been passed from one singer to another, that the version we hear now is no longer anything like the first song which somebody actually wrote.

The shanties or other work songs have been created by the group to fit a rhythm or a need so have really evolved and developed.

We do live in a modern world where information is available to all. So it is possible to go back to the root or at least dig deep.

We are also freed up a little by this information availability. We can ‘tell’ in our own way. As long as we are respectful to the story.

Some of the records of folklore etc are a little clumsy, they are a record for posterity, not a classic novel.

This is where that second storyteller by the universal fire comes into things. Making the story better, more fun, gripping, relevant to the original concept, getting it all across is a skill. A developed skill. This is just as much a tradition as passing along the accuracy of the tale. We are all somewhere in the middle of this quandary, this long drawn out ‘story’. That innovative storyteller is a tradition.

Take the responsibilities with you but bring that tale alive. It deserves you. It deserves you to be your very best.

Embrace the past in your own way.

Where are we in the timelessness of storytelling and can we become our self back then as if we are there.

There are old stories. They were not always written down, as they are now, yet they survived. The enjoyment of them survived. So, although we can be glad of those who recorded them and of those who share them today, it was never meant for such a rigid thing as text. Never let it be so.

Tens of thousands of people may have told of that dugout canoe the first people survived in before and spider taught written signs to any tribe.

(I am not too sure how the canoe got to every single nation in the world – but I have heard of it wherever I go!)

I cannot tell you what to do. I don’t know how your mind works. I do know one thing; every individual’s mind works in a different way.

Go with your failings.

Mine is names. So I allow myself to forget. I think of ways. His brother. The tall giantess. With a flick of her hair. You know; avoidance, distraction.

You might want to force yourself to digress. Or to get back onto topic quicker.

I’ve talked of being a collector. Here is an aspect which can make the whole audience die of groaning or can fill hearts with soaring fire, (not to be sexist, but I think I am talking blokes); details.

Factual information. I struggle here in the same way as I do with names to be honest. I did, however, experience a split of reactions recently.

My father drove steam engines. You can already see where this is going. I have told great stories from his experiences for many years. Before a recent performance I thought I should have a refreshing look through his book. There was all that information; fourteen-foot fireboxes, that sort of thing.

Then here among it all was, 40302.

Engines always had a number like this. To me it is just a number. Then I read in my own father’s book that there is a reason behind this number; a sense to it. It refers to the wheels; 40302. There are four axles, a space, three axles, a space, two axles.

I look quickly now at my (currently virtual) audience and half of them are raising their eyes at an obtuse angle and half are achingly keen to hear more of such things which will fill them with inner bliss.

Where do you sit in this factual quandary?

How are you going to challenge yourself!

(Or cope with yourself.)

To be fair to myself I managed to play on that division within my audience and they laughed as they re-enacted their reactions.

I actually challenged an audience member, (it was in a chatty circle event were sharing was encouraged – and there was beer.), “How can you be so sure?”

“Oh,” he replied, “I file all my memories in date order”.

We are all different.

Shout out a date, another friend of mine can tell you not only what day of the week it was but every little thing about what happened. I gave her a date from the seventies and she described the embroidered flowers on my yellow large-lapelled suit jacket.

Another friend cannot pick and choose she has to scroll. She can recall every single thing which happened to her from the age of three, every feeling, every sound, smells, the works.

Will your mind allow you to be spontaneous?

Find a way.

The Skalds did poetry. Bards too. Many say poetry is a means of remembering something. I say do not memorise poetry. It will rattle along like a maraca in a samba band.

Poetic works need the meaning emphasising not the rhythm, beats or rhymes.

For me, I have written thousands of poems, I have two I can do from memory.

Set me on with storytelling though.

I have worked a full week of six hour days and finished the story just in time to clock off.

(It was a queue constantly streaming into a museum so I had to be sure and make every element work alone.)

I am quirky.

Not being believed is another failing of mine. The whimsical way I portray tales makes people think I have made it all up, I think it is my cheekiness. The fact that I have spent hours on research and finding new ways to think are lost in the gag.

“You have made that up.”

We are quirky.

You are and you need to deal with it alright.

Reinterpret, research, reconsider, posit, discover.

Hours of research go into one snippet; a gag from hours.

This is a concept I have real difficulty explaining. There must be a word for it. There must.

Like there is for what Jung did. To posit. He explains how he was asked how the brain worked and he didn’t know. So he said there were two parts; the conscious and the unconscious. Now there is. There really is. He posited.

Say how something is and therefore it is forever so.

Edward De Bono reckoned that we posit all the time; especially politicians.

It is one aspect of what I mean.

I’ve described this idea in detail to someone whom was writing a thesis for academics to assess and she said what I meant was historical research.

That doesn’t seem quite right to someone plodding along in their own way hoping for the best.

If you talked to anyone going to a museum they would describe it as ‘the point’ because every single person who goes in an old place has a point to make. It is more important than looking to see what is in there. They have researched. They have thought. Here is the thought!

I am full of such thoughts.

(I try to address my stories with such things.)

I slip them in. I am the only person in history of Vikings to give the Gods surnames. Well, Patronyms. It took me ages to think about it and then I do a story and say Odin Borrsson and nobody notices. ‘Ah yes, that is his name.’

This is an inspirational talk so you can go away and not be motived either.

Yet…

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Saying Thank You

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

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Storytelling is… #2 The Show

Storytelling is… #3 The Bio

Storytelling is… #4 An introduction to Adrian Spendlow (me)

Storytelling is… #5 The Spendlow Lectures Part 1 The Chosen

Storytelling is… #6 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Chanters Stool

Storytelling is… #7 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Being Skaldic

Storytelling is… #8 The Techniques

Storytelling is… #9 In A Circle

Storytelling is… #10 The Links

Storytelling is… #11 The Poem

Storytelling is… #12 The Skald

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

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Saying Thank You

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

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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
pic-footer-camp-01
story box 02
sssssh coloured 02
story box 03
halls and cave
story box 04
oski light coloured
story box 05
wall carve
pic-footer-camp-01
story box 06
roam
mouse
ana footer
parrot
ana footer
an
ana m baby thing
ana m bird
ana footer
story box 07
carved three heads painted
story box 08
amanda hall in pastels 01
story box 09
farm 02
story box 09b
cellar colour
story box 09c
mala 06 darkened
story box 09d
oski head
story box 09e
mum n dad coloured
story box 09f
boat burial coloured
story box 09g
boat burial coloured cropped
story box 09h1
guilty coloured
story box 09h2
slaughter
story box 09i
mala swamp light 09 cropped
story box 09j
oski small
story box 09k
thunder goddess
story box 09l
ana oski 04
ana footer
story box 09m
nature girl 04
story box 09n
forest healing
story box 09o
creature spirits alarmed 02 coloured
flying horse ana
ana footer
story box 09p
journey coloured
story box 09q
fire
story box 09r
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
story box 09s
falling darkness 03 right painted
falling darkness 04 up painted
falling darkness 01 left painted
falling darkness 02 down painted
story box 09t
falling into ice 01
falling into ice 02 slim
story box 09u
falling into ice 03 short
story box 09v
ice cities -01coloured
story box 09w
ice cities -02 crop coloured
story box 09x
ice queen on tower
ana m ice
anna m ice speaks
ana footer
story box 09y
oski away version one
story box 09z
throng of frost 03 boo
story box 09za
creature spirits alarmed 03 coloured cropped
story box 09zb
deep under 02 temp
story box 09zc
dwarf in ice 02
come with us
story box 09zd
animals push 01 temp
story box 09ze
dwarves anvil
story box 09zf
into light 02
story box 09zg
high seat 04
story box 09zh
amulet 03
help with bear
story box 09zi
path of ice 01 temp
story box 09zj
howling
story box 09zk
huge pit 01 temp
story box 09zl
huge pit 02 down temp
story box 09zm
blue bear
story box 09zn
oski do 02
story box 09zo
throng of frost 03 boo flipped
story box 09zp
amulet hook
story box 09zq
huge bear 01 temp
story box 09zr
bear free 01 temp
story box 09zs
falls 01 temp
must leap 01 temp
story box 09zt
fell fall
story box 09zu
grassy bank
story box 09zv
ana elf 02
ana footer
jul come
story box 09zw
elf table
story box 09zx
jul log
story box 09zy
song weaves
story box 09zz
edge of night song
story box 09zza
stepped darkness
story box 09zzb
special one 04 darkened
story box 09zzc
trees come
story box 09zzd
path
story box 09zze
skulls
story box 09zzf
dare
story box 09zzg
fire wall
story box 09zzh
carved three heads painted darkened
story box 09zzi
tower dark enter
story box 09zzj
door 02 coloured
story box 09zzk
door open oski coloured 01
story box 09zzl
rocky place
story box 09zzm
oski halls 02
story box 09zzn
stairs 01
story box 09zzo
stairs 02
story box 09zzp
distant door
story box 09zzq
door flames
story box 09zzr
mala sudden
mala at last
story box 09zzs
mala swamp light 09
story box 09zzt
mala stairs coloured 07
story box 09zzu
mala n oski 03 cut
mala knew
story box 09zzv
mala 06 darkened flipped
story box 09zzw
mala to darkness
story box 09zzx
have parents
have you
have amulet
what wanted
story box 09zzy
tricked
story box 09zzz
mum n dad coloured
story box 09zzzb
brightly
story box 09zzzbc
oski light coloured
story box 09zzzd
cloak
ana oski cloak 01
ana footer
oski train 02 coloured
story box 09zzze
amulet hook flipped
story box 09zzzf
so so long
story box 09zzzg
LBSword
story box 09zzzh
mala falls 01
story box 09zzzi
frozen
story box 09zzzj
cellar colour
story box 09zzzk
her friends 01
story box 09zzzl
ana elf 02
ana footer
freinds along
story box 09zzzm
amulet 03
story box 09zzzo
her sword
story box 09zzzp
fwooosh
story box 09zzzq
aside
story box 09zzzr
unstoppable
story box 09zzzs
stands blow
story box 09zzzt
heap
die
story box 09zzzu
forever
story box 09zzzv
blade of light
story box 09zzzw
powerful
story box 09zzzx
rise above
story box 09zzzy
into bones
cannot
story box 09zzzz
story box 09zzzza
story box 09zzzzb
story box 09zzzzc
mala n oski 03
story box 09zzzzd
gloating
story box 09zzzze
limp
story box 09zzzzf
cracks
story box 09zzzzg
mala falls 01
story box 09zzzzh
mala falls 03 up
story box 09zzzzi
mala falls 04 left
story box 09zzzzj
mala falls 05 down
story box 09zzzzk
mala falls 06 right
story box 09zzzzl
mala falls 08 montage
story box 09zzzzm
story box 09zzzzn
scream
screaming
end 01.jpg
end 01
story box 09zzzzo
in cave
story box 09zzzzp
carved three heads painted
story box 09zzzzq
orphan
nothing
text box 01
story box 09zzzzb
story box 09zzzzr
creak
story box 09zzzzs
parents
story box 09zzzzt
holding
story box 09zzzzu
thunder goddess
story box 09zzzzv
text box 04
text box 05
text box 06
text box 07

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Saying Thank You

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

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Way of Living – (Dedicated to Njardarheimr Viking Town, Gudvangen, Norway)

Way of Living – (Dedicated to Njardarheimr, Norway)

We have our land. We go raid no more. We here have plenty. Do not take like before.
In our hearts we are Viking. People of Iron. In our town we are Viking. Viking Town.
Shipbuilders come here. In iron nailed hulls. Bringing sightseers to us. They help at the sculls.
Season by season. The world comes stay here. The reason is Vikings. They hold us dear.
Our chieftain welcomes. His word is enough. We stay just as strong. Strong of love.
Chieftain he speaks. “Piracy is gone.” “No need to go plunder” Being here is strong.
Warriors a plenty. No need of an army. You come to us. We have no enemy.
All here are welcome. Whoever the world will bring. All here are welcome. Except the unwelcoming.
Come join in the building. The building of kinships. The skill and the interest. This town equips.
Ancient crafts abide. Use needle and hammer. Clothe us, shod us. Be potter, be carver.
As you sit you are of us. Viking by fire. Cook, drink discover. Be thirsty, aspire.
Remember to believe. Believe in your heart. We have games to share. Here we shall start.
Be in his team. Tell stories that last. Live here in the now. We bring you the past.

Adrian Spendlow – from the words of my chieftain
(NB the R in iron is silent)

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My Mum Connie 93; her stories – part three

Mum reading a further selection of her work. Thank you to my niece Bethany for making this happen.

Saying Thank You

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Mums stories part one

Mums stories part two

Navy Blue Knickers

The History of Quay Street

Railway pics

Living in America

Poem Pics II – The Jacobs Well Project with Mary Passeri

efforts

Lovely to rediscover this sensitive thoughtful art-work

Poem Pics II – The Jacobs Well Project with Mary Passeri

As we have plans afoot to build a forthcoming exhibition (or two) I thought it would be a good time to share the poems and artwork created during our projects with older people.

Artist Mary Passeri especially invited those who endure dementia problems and their loved ones to meet with us; initially at Space 109 and then a whole series of gatherings at the beautiful old Jacob’s Well, both in York.

Here are some of the pieces created and some of the people involved.

Poems and art from this project were published and distributed around relevant centres within York and Leeds.

camp words
Mary’s art with my words
gift flower
Poem by Adrian
barbara thoughtful lightened 01
Barbara being thoughtful
barbara poem
For Barbara by Adrian
barbara poem 01
crafted gift
bickie pic poem
crowns n coppers lightened
blessing
Thank you Carol (background by Adrian)
together
kid 01
going back
tales upon arrival
Tales Upon Arrival
gloves lady
Image creation by Adrian
gloves lightened poem
Words by Adrian
mother
Her son’s words upon his return
stephies flowers
Stephies Flowers
pledge
respite conversation
storms
barbaras collection 01
The Team: Stephie Jessop & Ilaria Passeri
cap 01
was
mellow tomorrows
99
Words Adrian – all art by Mary unless said otherwise
two kids 02
sadie
Word and image by Mary
nightie
Word and image by Mary
couple
Thank you Mary
camp 01
Artwork by Mary Passeri

Mary Passeri

(If I have used the work of others without crediting you in error do please let me know.)

Saying Thank You

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

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With thanks to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation for making these wonderful experiences possible. https://www.jrf.org.uk/

You will also like my Nose-Gay blog on the history of Barley Hall

Or you might just want a recipe for a change

Poem Pics Part I

Amoeboid Journey and other exciting pieces with GSmithMedia

My first single. Thrilled to see this production for GSmithMedia out at last. With the late Dave Restless, Gramey Smith of GSmithMedia and Adrian Spendlow.

And

The legendary….

…. Legendary!

Before my story here is the beautiful Magic Ball Man with music from GSmith Media…

And me a while back hosting a fashion show…

Our wonderful Hansel and Gretel show for Musicport World Music Festival…

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GSmithMedia

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Saying Thank You

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

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and  a call for artists

Viking Comics Inc.

Opening Ceremony 2016 Viking Valley, Gudvangen, Norway; Live! – Revisited

title box squashed

Opening Ceremony 2016 Viking Valley, Gudvangen, Norway

parade 02

Welcome, welcome, you are all welcome. So good to see you all gathered here for the opening ceremony of this the 14th Viking Market here in Gudvangen Viking Valley.

stage combo.jpg

You are safe here, welcome; you can relax and enjoy yourself, even though you will be spending the day among huge, hairy, heavily armed Vikings.

barrel

We are glad to have you here eating our food, drinking our mead, looking at our stalls.

stall 02
oski small

Yes welcome, so relax you will be safe here – it is when we visit you that you need to worry.

“And we won’t be emailing, there will be no polite email asking if it is OK to visit. We will suddenly be there but you will know straight away. You will be well aware we are among you.”

This is a very special place; there is something magical about this valley. Everyone says so. You begin to feel the effect of being here straight away.

These Vikings here, as soon as they step off the ship they calm down, which is unusual I assure you. All the time they are here they are friendly, easy-going and peaceful – well most of the time.

me solo 02

Look at me. When I am at home I am a wild, dangerous, rampaging mad thing.

poster norge
georg

“Me too.”

axe.jpg

You will enjoy yourselves! Do you hear what I say, and can you see the shine of sharpness along the edge of my axe. You will enjoy yourselves!

pot

Besides, we have many things on our stalls which we want you to buy. We have been to many lands and learnt many skills; old, well-tried, traditional skills. We will enjoy showing you; try not to be nervous when you generously show your appreciation.

ship head

Yes, we have sailed to many nations. We have landed on a wide range of shores, seen people of many types – and robbed them, traded with them, I mean traded with them, yes, traded.

“Can we ask where you are all from?”

“Spain.” “Poland.” “Canada.” “Ireland.”

“Ah, those are the places we robbed.”

That’s where we got all these things we are selling.

stall 01

“Hey, stall holders, lower your prices.”

Yes visitors we will sell your things back to you quite cheaply.

“And you will be safe here. Adrian remind them how welcome they will be, and how safe.”

me solo.jpg

Yes, yes, safe, yes. We have sworn an oath, an oath. We wanted to reassure you so we oathed an oath, and when a Viking makes an oath they make an oath and the oath that they oath is an unbreakable oath which we have oathed; an oath is an oath is an oath. Let it be known that we have oathed.

“What is an oath?”

A promise; and a promise is a promise and…

story rc 07 j pic

“Don’t start that again.”

barrel

No, right, of course, but we did; there is a ritual and a belief. To make that oath the first thing you have to do is – spit in a barrel.

“Spit?”

Well we skipped that bit.

“Yes well we are selling lemonade and mead to you. So we thought it best not to spit in the barrels. Or talk about it even…”

No sorry. No spitting. The barrels are fine!

A promise is a promise though, and it has to be kept. We worry about where we will go when we die.

serpent tower.jpg

Oath-breakers have to walk through a river of gushing ice. This ice is formed into axes, spears and knives – then, you step out – to be kept in a tower made of living serpents. Bitten and sprayed with burning poison for ever and ever and ever and ever.

Or until Ragnarok; the end of the world.

“So we keep our promises; enjoy.”

If, you enjoy hearing of the old mythos – watch out for the ravens…

ravens
warriors

A shadow will flicker over you. As you look up, the second raven will fly in from the world waters, by you see the third raven it will be too late. There it will be upon the mast of an incoming ship; a ship so terrible you will quake at the sight of it. The Vikings are coming, and they are no ordinary Vikings. These are Njardar. Njardar Vikingslag.

We are coming to you and charging onto your land. Hear the roar. See the gleam. A huge army of huge warriors are upon you. These are the best (the Mayor of Aurland himself said that we were second in exports and visitors and soon to become first, so it must be true). It is like the sky itself is filled, and they wait, with weapons high, only for a command to charge. Step forward the chieftain; Olafr Reydarsson. When he speaks we listen. He is big! Very big!

big

Well, his beard is big anyway. He will give the command; the word and we will all, roaring, act upon that word.

The word is…

“Welcome; you are all welcome to come and visit us in Gudvangen. Everyone is welcome, except those who do not make others welcome. Come visit.”

tents drawing

And so they do, in their thousands, from all over the world.

We have had a battle though, a long, hard fought battle – a battle to build.

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As you step though those gates into the fourteenth Viking Gathering here at Gudvangen you step back into the past. Now. The long battle is over. Now. As you step through these gates you are stepping into our future.

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By the fifteenth Viking Gathering there will be a Viking Town. It is a two year project with the first row of Viking houses ready by May – I have put my name down for one of these already.

timber

Here is the first of the timber being delivered now…

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wrestling

You will be able to take part in the Glima wrestling…

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With hardly any risk to yourself….

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Hear Galda upon the holy hill…

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Learn leather skills with Hamish, or buy his bags from Annabelle…

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Visit Lady Chaga…

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Be warned; slavers are in the area and you are at risk…

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And it is no use complaining, we know that now.

But no, no, no, do not worry, as we have promised, you are completely safe here, well, until six o’clock. Once the market closes at six all promises are off!

“Oaths”

Don’t spit when you speak!

Oaths. Off.

Vikings will become Vikings again.

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You will be greatly at risk – unless you buy a tunic and a pair of boots and stay here.

Then you will be welcome.

“Welcome.”

Before we actually open the market and get on with selling you your treasures back, there is one rather tricky thing which must be dealt with.

“Don’t tell them Adrian.”

No, we must.

“There is a rumour.”

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A terrible rumour.

“It has been whispered over and over as people come through the gate.”

We are now going to deal with that rumour.

“People have been saying that they have heard that a group of tourists with plastic wrist bands came here to visit and were never seen again.”

Never.

“Never.”

Never

“It is true!”

Never seen again!

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They bought Viking outfits and became part of this marvellous experience.

“Now we must warn you.”

This may happen to you.

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“This valley is such a wonderful, unique place that once you have visited you never wish to leave. Many choose to stay and be here forever.”

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This we must warn you of.

“But there is a greater risk, a great and terrible sadness and yearning which may come upon.”

Yes.

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“If you do choose to leave here you will regret it forever.”

You will always feel that you are not where you belong and will feel terribly, terribly sad that you did not choose to stay.

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“Terribly, terribly sad.”

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“Now, finally, we welcome you with one piece of explanation about what you might expect here, here is the secret – it is all about love.”

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“We will be opening the market again tomorrow.”

And this worries me greatly.

“I will be wearing my helmet. It was a wonderful gift to me and is an accurate reconstruction of a Viking age helmet.”

And why does it have a figure of a boar on the top?

“This is to signify that I command a team of specialist warriors.”

What kind of warriors?

“Berserkers.”

And you are wearing it tomorrow? This worries me greatly. I have pledged to always stand by your side. To dress appropriately and be there in the way that you need me whatever you ask of me. What does a Berserker wear?

“A small fur collar.”

And that’s it!

“Yes.”

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Right I will have to get my outfit ready then.

“It worries me as well, I don’t think I will be standing next to you tomorrow.”

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(“And if you blog about it tomorrow Adrian, do not do a drawing.”)

Thinking about it, I will make a great berserker. If you put all the fighters and all the wrestlers in the field ready I will be able to beat the lot of them, I will clear the field.

If I come screaming across to them wearing nothing but my berserker outfit they will scatter. I will see off the lot of them.

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They will run.

“So will I!” “Enjoy yourselves today, because tomorrow is berserker day.”

opening

We now declare the Viking Market open!

“This is a marvellous experience, with Vikings and visitors from all around the world, none of the differences you might notice elsewhere matter at all here, all beliefs, all life styles are for elsewhere; here everyone gets along and shares the wonder which is Gudvangen.”

So it is spoken by Olafr (Georg) and this is the world.

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naming

Naming Ceremony photos and footage

Aurland Photography

2015 Opening Speech (more moving)

Skaldic Pieces

Future Skaldic Plans

To Become a King

Saying Thank You

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

$3.00