Way of Living – Words of our Viking Chieftain turned to a poem by his Skald.

Way of Living – From our Viking Chieftain

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)

Dedicated to Njardarheimr Viking Town in Gudvangen, Norway.

(Check before visiting for opening hours over this winter.)

Just creating a poem and a blog for it can take quite a while to bring about…

Saying Thank You

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

3.00 $

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

(Also available on Kindle)

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

My DIY Indie-publishing self-help guide for audio and printed matter

My DIY Indie-publishing self-help guide for audio and printed matter

Yes this is my DIY Indie-publishing self-help guide for audio and printed matter. I don’t know anything. I am trying to find out. Heidi says this is my Research Progression. I am taking you with me on a journey. A journey to the end of the blog. It is my hope that by we get down there to the bottom of blog we will have learned a great deal. You and I are on a journey of discovery together.

I have started already. My first step was to enquire of the hive mind. I asked my friends. I posted on social media and I got responses. Tons of suggestions, examples and encouragements. I have even started to collate them. I have no idea what most of their suggestions mean.

It is a sort of DIM blog = Do It Myself

Let’s find out.

Working titles seemed a good start. So I have put everything in lists according to what I think they are. What they are used for. Tips in sections.

It gets better and better as it goes along!

Here we go.

Previous

Yes I have got previous! I am published.

What is ‘being published?’ As I understand it the meaning is really just ‘made available’. Something created for others to absorb.

Therefor I have dozens of books. At one time I created a small book for every show I did and for every project. So out there somewhere are copies of dozens of little books.

Here is the Poetry Pirates Publication I did.

I might re-release that via Amazon, or possibly on adrianspendlowblog.com or 

https://www.youtube.com/user/AdrianSpendlowWriter

That would be published. I am starting to think that publishing has evolved. There is a whole new way and the new way is hybrid. The indie-publisher can utilise a whole host of presentations and formats it seems.

There are five years of my blog out there and there are indeed ways for such to earn income.

I understand that the same can be said of YouTube. That I am less sure about.

I will look into both as I go along with this.

Amazon of course will also be looked at. It was my first thought when it came to getting books and comic books out there. (Maybe audio too I don’t know yet.)

Many years back Ure Poetry Press published a collection of my poetry; I guess it is long sold out.

My double CD Anvari’s Gold sold well for several years, perhaps I ought to see if I could get a copy to re-release.

Targets

I have primary targets however:

The Boat Rises, an audio show with a Viking theme is being edited for release as we speak.

Steam Tales is written and partly illustrated and ready for formatting.

Here is a gathering of images I may be using…

https://adrianspendlowblog.com/2020/04/15/railway-pictures-from-steam-days/

Then illustration sourcing for this poem

https://adrianspendlowblog.com/2017/11/29/the-little-isle-an-illustrated-tale-of-faerie-first-draft/

Here is one of my drafts…

Draft example for the Artist

The Viking Comics Inc. blog The Hammer Flies is a collaborative arts project and I would like to release it as a scrolling feature.

The Hammer Flies

https://adrianspendlowblog.com/2016/09/19/the-hammer-flies-reblogged-to-promote-our-presentations-across-the-viking-world/

There will also be an audio book with scrolling images of Alda Raven’s Gods Bless Ya! Music and story presentation with images from Sigrun.co.uk

Look for Viking Sisters on YouTube.

Listen to Alda here…

See Sigrun’s fashions here…

As advertised by me…

Sigrun and I are also working on a photo book of goddesses from the Norse beliefs.

I am also co-writing an album with Alda.

Project pages

Following the developments of this blog I will be creating a project plan for each publication.

Seeking advice

This whole blog is developed from the advice of friends who are collaborative colleagues. I will learn from them all as I write.

You too can get in touch. Message me on Facebook (I am the only Adrian Spendlow in the world according to FB).

Promotion and Sales bits

WordPress

Let’s see.

My blog is set up to make money. I get a percentage of the revenue from ads. More on this below.

https://adrianspendlowblog.com/

I am now set up to receive donations so people can show their appreciation for my creative efforts and send me a small amount of money. I just ask for $3 then people can click it whenever they feel. I am very glad and grateful that this brings in support.

Saying Thank You

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

3.00 $

I’ve just discovered that I can also add this sort of feature as a widget IE it will appear at the side or below the blog etc. To add a widget, go to My Sites/Design/ Customize/menu/Widgets

As for other bits:

You can add a block ‘Recommend a friend’ to your posts –

http://wordpress.com/refer-a-friend/1AlpggxCPWGGvLAEGxlo

You can set up a premium content email so people can sub to get regular extras. That sounds like a lot of work. I need to keep getting stuff on to my blog to keep up the interest, without holding stuff back.  Guess it might be worth it if you have a huge following and are A list or something.

You can now get credit card and PayPal payments. You can sell stuff and post it, sell downloads, you can offer services (?) – I suppose I could get paid for a gig that way, I suppose. WordPress don’t charge for this – PayPal does as normal.

I have just asked the help chat and under my premium plan I can send downloads personally through email once they have paid, and I can post books etc. There isn’t a download service available to me at present though.

To connect with a site which sells the book or download for me it seems I need a WP business plan. So sales will have to be high enough to fit with a sizeable monthly payment for the business plan.

They also have WooCommerce an online store service, so you can set up shop and sell, post and receive payments for goods globally. (Downloads happen automatically as they check out.)

I will wait till I am selling loads more I think.

The selling and posting and emailing options might be for me as soon as I have the products ready. Might be.

As with many services if you are already selling loads it is worth taking up their selling service, but you are doing OK without it by then,

I need to look at using WordPress as a website as well as a blog, so they link together. More on that in the future.

Yes I said I would talk on revenue from ads. The donations block works well for me. The revenue comes from the number of clicks through on adverts on the blog, so the more followers / readers the more you earn.

I am happy with this but am hoping for a nice break which gets me attention.

I recall Bjørn telling me a few years back that his blog had been featured on a Viking sales website and he got a quarter of a million hits in one day. That’s the sort of thing you want to happen. I guess he has even more followers now.

Bjørn Andreas Bull-Hansen – https://bull-hansen.com/

Bjørn also does well as a YouTuber, so I thought I would have a look at that.

YouTube – I am just not popular.

To be eligible to apply I will need another nine thousand plus subscribers and another thirty thousand for a full package.

I don’t think I will be selling product for quite a while, and getting kick-backs from views is way way off.

Unless you recommend me to all your friends.

Yes you.

I tell you what I like about YouTube. It is easy. Anyone can make a film on their phone and post it up there. Anyone. That’s why you find it hard to get the numbers up. No, the benefit. The thing I really like is that they are easy to upload on there and easy to link to. So, if I put a link on, say, WordPress, not only is it easy, but when the reader of my blog looks there it is well displayed. When they click to watch and listen it doesn’t take them away from my blog. They watch it on my blog.

WordPress could learn from this. I can’t see a way to link to one of my other blogs without being taken away from this one.

YouTube could do to have the creative donation button option like what WordPress has now.

MeWe

https://mewe.com/

I am going to talk about the use of Facebook below so it only seems right that I mention other social networking sites. After all I am looking for places to develop my market. I don’t quite get though, how a social networking site can market itself as giving you masses of privacy. I want to share my information. I want to network. I want to be out there. More than that, I want to know about you. What have you got to hide? I don’t trust you if you don’t share. You might not even be real.

I will give it a try though.

Facebook

Social networking (as well as being super fun and a great way to keep in touch) is real good for getting your blog out there. I get far more response from posting my blog on my Facebook than any other outlet.

People help me create content. It is ever so rewarding to create collaborative content.

Blogs such as my one on Viking shields are a masterpiece of teamwork.

https://adrianspendlowblog.com/2020/03/11/some-viking-shields/

The latest collab is on Viking food…

https://adrianspendlowblog.com/2020/07/12/viking-foods-a-collection-of-handy-links-n-chat/

Blogging a bit more

Problogger seems to have ways to capitalise on a blog.

https://problogger.com

One thing they talk of is Indirect Income. If we are looking at income rather than creative outlet, this is where I benefit from blogging the most. It gets me out there and people notice and pass me about. I would not be performing in America if it were not for my blog.

Auto-sharing

I mention sharing to Facebook. When I hit publish on my blog it automatically shares to other places IE Linkedin.

I don’t auto-share to Facebook though. It always looks wrong. I manually share it by copying the link into a post and writing what I want t to say.

I can then go on to share to other people or to groups.

Blogspot / blogger

Now several people tell me you do better with Blogspot. Traffic builds faster so you get more revenue. That’s what people tell me.

Most say you need a website too.

I might start posting my WordPress blog to Blogspot too?

Anyway that’s enough about blogging

Soundcloud

https://creators.soundcloud.com/guide/videos/monetizing-your-tracks

Sound cloud is for music. I wonder if I should cut my audio drama into tracks and put them on there? Once you are on Premier and have applied to be monetized you can earn income from listens. I guess you have to work hard to get them listener numbers up. So it’s for the future. (They do feature spoken word)

Spotify

You sign up for a TuneCore account and you can get your music on there and get revenue. It lists spoken word stuff too.

There’s another way to do it. See Spee Six Nine’s feedback in the Distrokid section below.

Itunes

Same as Spotify. Go through TuneCore. You can get spoken word on there too

Adsense

This is a set up that allows you to earn money from ads on your website. It can also be used for blogs and apparently for YouTube. I guess that last one depends on numbers of subscribers too.

The above are ways to promote what you have. Now let’s see about getting that stuff you have available to the reader / listener.

(They are all about giving it away and hoping for revenue I guess too, Building an audience for that company’s outlet)

We are all tools on the promotional environment of this world we live in. Check your stats, check your stats.

Publishers and outlets

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing – I think this the big hit for me, but I will work through the other stuff first.

Netflix

Alda Raven and I are working on an audio-book of Gods Bless Ya! with slide-show images of models from Sigrun.co.uk – As soon as it is complete Alda plans to sell it to Netflix.

I will save results on that to a further blog.

Gramey of GSmithMedia

https://www.youtube.com/user/gsmithmedia

had a few suggestions to make. One of which was that to arrange a download to sell you could set it up on one of your webpages, but do not link the page to any of your other pages. Then it cannot be accessed without the address. Then you send the link.

Ah, here’s a thought. This might be a good way to present a manuscript or a pdf version of a book you want to move from print on demand to a print-based publisher.

Freebie extras too.

Ingram Spark

https://www.ingramspark.com/

Sharon of Dryad Publishing pointed me in the direction of Ingram Spark. I have had a look and you can publish through them for print on demand and kindle for a current fee of $49.

They also do a distribution service, but I haven’t looked into that yet. Apparently they will get it in bookstores.

Please be aware I hear they will avoid books already published for print on demand with others such as Amazon. So look into them first before going ahead with Amazon.

There is tons of information on their site. Indeed you can download the whole self-publishing guide for free.

They distribute via Amazon, Apple, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble.

I haven’t looked any of them up yet. I will get on to it lower down.

ISBN

Books need an ISBN – a number on the back of the book.

I understand that if you publish through Amazon or Ingram Spark you get one free, but it is only of use through them.

Otherwise you will have to buy an ISBN.

If you want your book to be available in bricks-and-mortar bookstores, you’ll need a barcode in addition to your ISBN. Some ISBN services sell barcodes, as well as ISBNs, but you can use Ingram Spark’s book cover template generator to get a free barcode.

ISBNs are sold by country: In the U.S., ISBNs can be purchased from Bowker directly through your Ingram Spark account for $85 each. You can also buy a block of ten ISBNs from Bowker for $295. In the UK, you can buy them from Nielsen Book, while Canadian publishers get ISBNs for free. A full list of ISBN distributors can be found on the International ISBN Agency’s Website.

Merc

Something to consider with regards to ISBN and print is merchandising. Are you going to be doing readings or performances? Then you will want copies to sell. Do you plummet in now and get the bought ISBN and maybe the bar code too or do you get published with a print on demand set up and then move on later?

A sea of self-publishing

I contacted Sharon Emery of Dryad Publishing for further info and her response to my project was, “That is fantastic, such a generous blog project!”

https://sites.google.com/site/dryadpublishingservices

You have to get with the right agency for you. There are lots of organisations offering help. They vary from super encouraging and offering to pay for absolutely everything – Ah sorry that is only in Canada!

The other extreme is vanity publishers who just want your money apparently.

You want one who will work alongside you, ‘doing for’ when needed, supporting your actions when you are capable.

There are a vast number of self-publishing organisations out there, you will have seen. So I understand.

Sharon has in the past been to the Self-Publishing Conference in Leicester – They come under the umbrella of Troubadour who are maybe the best.

https://www.troubador.co.uk/

“It is very exciting and motivating and worth attending.”

ALLi

Sharon also says, ‘I would definitely recommend the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), which is a professional organisation and worth being associated with.’

Apparently – ‘They have a fantastic directory which you can download, so any service which isn’t in your skillset you can outsource, knowing it’s reputable’:

Sounds good.

Membership is around $119 per annum n doofers all sorts of independent support and guidance. I will look at joining once I have finished this blog for you.

I kinda love that auto correct blooper, but of course it should have read *and offers

(Once you are a member you can access that Approved Services Directory – and maybe even get yourself in it if you offer a service.)

Fiverr

Then there is a recommendation of Fiverr – Sharon seemed to think I would have heard of them, so perhaps you already have.

‘For the cheaper version of any service you might need, proofreading, formatting, book design etc, there is Fiverr.com, which you will have heard of.’

https://www.fiverr.com/

I searched it for proofreading and editing and got over 30,000 ads for people who work cheap. $5 to $100 a time. I am unsure how you know to trust and respect a freelancer from an online ad, but as Sharon says, ‘If money is tight, it’s a great option’.

Dryad Publishing

Dryad Publishing look very impressive, ‘Preparational Development’ seems to be their strongest skill. They are great at chatting it through in one on one emails, to help you decide.

They have some interesting projects, both published and forthcoming too.

Write Your Story

The Creative Writing Facilitation arm of Dryad Publishing.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/writeyourstory

Back to those ISBN

Bowker seem to be the place for ISBN and bar codes of you are in the USA.

$18.99 for one and cheaper for larger numbers.

The Nielsen ISBN Agency for UK & Ireland

They supply the British and Irish market. One ISBN is £89 and ten are £164. Bar codes are £15 each.

https://www.nielsenisbnstore.com/

International ISBN Agency’s Website

If you are not in the USA or Britain or Ireland then check through this site for a relevant ISBN.

https://www.isbn-international.org/

Apple books

A picture of apples

I had a quick look and you go through Pages. It prefers you to use an Apple device it seems but you can load up through icloud online. The first thing I saw was that you have to have a US tax ID. If you don’t have one it doesn’t seem to be any good for you. I went through the ‘how to’ process and it didn’t tell me anything about what will happen to it once it is published and more importantly it didn’t tell me what the financial deal was. I don’t want to publish and find out the cost afterwards.

If you want to look into it further then here is a ‘how to’ link from a separate site.

Ah, this says you have to have a Mac. I wonder if you have to have a Mac to get the books as well. As I read this it makes it clear that Apple Books is about eBooks. The Apple Books site didn’t tell me that. I believe this whole AB thing is a bit smelly.

I do read on here that Apple Books is very popular for publishing audio books. So it might be worth me going back to it at a later date once I am rolling with my Audio stuff. I will be very cautious if I do.

Your eBook would end up available in iTunes in the books section. It is good to know there is a books section in iTunes. I will need to look at that too.

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/

It looks like a fairly easy way to get your book up as an eBook. They are not exclusive so you can publish elsewhere. They get it in lots of online stores. They focus on making it sound easy, so I didn’t seem to be able to sort out how much they take until I had leapt into the process.

Barnes & Noble

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/

Like Kobo above the focus is on being a bookstore, you have to scroll right down to get to publishing your book. It also is not exclusive, which is good. They show you the costs. Expect about $3.00 royalties on an average price book (That is my wild guesstimate, look on their site for proper details). They do print on demand.

Might be worth a go.

Reedsy

According to Dryad Publishing there is a ton of useful information on the Reedsy site.

First thing is a pop up offering a free download guide to marketing.

But yes, it is a great set of blogs. Loads of useful.

https://blog.reedsy.com

Patreon

https://www.patreon.com

OK I might need help here. I look at the site and it tells me I can make videos, podcasts, music all sorts and then I get a following. People subscribe to my monthly outlet. It looks easy enough to set up. Trouble is I can’t see any of them. I can see the idea. I can see an invitation to become involved. I can’t see any of the videos, podcasts anything. Where does it go out to? I don’t get it.

Podcasts

https://www.podcasts.com

This looks easy to set up. It seems people listen to them. It gets syndicated to iTunes so you get people buying into it I think. You then get subscribers. So I guess it could earn money.

Podcasts are basically episodes of chat or spoken word. I think my audio show would be too long, unless I cut it into episodes. Even then it would not be quite the right place.

Bandcamp

That’s it I’ve done it. I’ve signed up to Bandcamp. I have put a spoken word piece up there. It is only $2 too!

http://adrianspendlow.bandcamp.com/track/itchin-bridge

https://adrianspendlow.bandcamp.com/

I posted up the first recording I found on my laptop just to see. It was this quirky unusual piece.

It was a practice to see if I could handle it.

I then went in stats and it said I had one fan. So I messaged them. I got an email, I had welcomed myself.

So I have more to learn.

You need to be a follower to be able to get other people’s music.

It was easy to get started. I think I will improve as I go. I didn’t have artwork ready. I haven’t done a bio. I found sharing it to other sites and networks had a few teething problems which could have been made easier for me.

I will definitely be using it. Whether it is the place for my audio-show I am still unsure.

It is fine for spoken word stuff so that is a plus.

Might there be better ways of getting an audio drama out there though.

There are size limitations. This is not a problem for music generally. Audio books are longer though.

The limit is 291mb per track going up to 600mb which is plenty for a music track. I will have to rethink for the audio though. If I am putting The Boat Rises feature-length Viking drama up there I will need to have it cut into tracks.

It is a two-hour show so it is probably going to be about 900mb.

There is no limit to the size of an album, just the tracks within it.

I found out about Pro once I was started. It is $10 a month.

You get better stats. You can add video to your tracks. You can upload stuff in batches rather than one track at a time. There is other stuff including private streaming (I may be wrong but I think that means you can’t stream someone’s music to listen to it without buying it, otherwise it’s an option).

This sounds the way to go once you are making enough sales.

https://bandcamp.com/about

In their ‘About Us’ it says – Bandcamp’s mission is to create the best possible service for artists and labels to share and earn money from their music, and for fans to discover and enjoy it.

We believe that music is an indispensable part of culture, and for that culture to thrive, artists—no matter the size of their audience—must be compensated fairly and transparently for their work. Without this belief, our mission would be meaningless, and it’s why we’ve built our business around a model that puts the artist first.

When you buy something on Bandcamp, whether it’s digital music, vinyl, or a t-shirt, ticket or cassette, 80-85% of your money goes to the artist, and we pay out daily. The remainder goes to payment processor fees and Bandcamp’s revenue share, which is 10-15% on digital items, and 10% on physical goods.

Sounds workable – if you work at it. Or are very very popular.

Olivia Graham tells me she also uses Bandcamp and is about to add more tracks…

https://oliviagraham.bandcamp.com/releases

Distrokid

A good pointer for Audio publishing.

Spee Six Nine got in touch about Distrokid among other things.

Here is a track from Spee and a link to his channel on YouTube…

https://www.youtube.com/c/SpeeSixNineYouTube/featured

Spee has an interesting approach to getting music out there. He has got his sounds available anywhere possible, then revenue and followers come in from all-sorts of angles.

He does Bandcamp where people can buy his stuff directly.

https://spee69.bandcamp.com/

You have to use the platforms.

“I use a company called Distrokid and they get all my music on sites like Apple Music and Spotify.”

Most platforms it works out around a pound from about a thousand streams.

Spee tells me it is £30 per year and they get you out there.

I had a look – https://distrokid.com/

DistroKid get music into Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Tidal, TikTok, YouTube, Apple Music, Pandora, Instagram, YouTube, iHeartRadio, Deezer, plus a ton of other stores & streaming services.. I haven’t yet looked up Tidal or TikTok etc, but maybe I don’t need to if I join up to Distrokid. I still need to know if they deal with spoken word.

They don’t take a cut from sales. The intro says pay just $19.99.

This guy below got his spoken word stuff on Distro apparently – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xj_k1_SEzOA

As for me – I am thinking of ways to promote my audio-show, the Viking drama, so I checked on length limitations for distro; this is what I found – ‘The maximum size that DistroKid will accept is 250MB. If you have a track that’s larger than that, consider converting it to FLAC format before uploading to DistroKid. FLAC is a beautiful, lossless format (same audio quality as WAV) but the files are relatively small’.

(DistroKid says they have limitation to the maximum length in minutes that a track can be, but that seems to conflict with the above.)

Apparently FLAC format drastically reduces size without limiting quality. I will give it a try. Even so I am probably still looking at cutting the show into tracks.

Spee;

“Like I said, most of my cash from online music comes from a load of random places and I depend on live shows and selling physical copies of my music as much as online.”

Pixabay

Jamie tells me they are great for free footage. He has made some great videos using their services. I will have a look for an example.

www.pixabay.com

BookBaby

Well respected author, (and good friend), Carol MacAllister says, “The only DIY publishing that I suggest people use is Book Baby. They are wonderful to work with and take care of every facet you want to basically pay for. The cost is quite manageable.”

http://www.carolmacallister.com/About.htm

Two of her books are through BookBaby; the excellent poetry collection RIPASSO, and a book which stays in my mind long after reading – MAYAN CALENDAR REVEAL.

Another publication from Carol…

https://www.bookbaby.com

Am just looking now, it seems they focus on printed books rather than print on demand, and, as Carol says, they are good at marketing.

You get good advice and you can have a one-off copy printed and sent to you for $39 so you can see if you have done right.

Ah hang on, they say, “We are one of the only companies around that covers all your needs – eBooks, printed books, Print On Demand, global distribution, direct-to-reader sales, as well as design and creative services, plus marketing help.”

I popped in details of a mid-sized book with 25 printed copies and all the other goodies that are part of the package and it was around $800.

Another service Carol used came out well but didn’t do the all important follow up of marketing.

She has heard good of Amazon from other writers and she also says there is nothing wrong with building a book yourself.

DIY – Very handy to make books to hand out or to send as manuscripts, there might even be better full colour options. Speciality artwork books with a higher price may be worth making yourself too.    

Radio

Back to audio drama, I need to look into selling to radio stations. I think I will go for the hybrid publishing angle IE getting it out there for sale and also offering it to radio stations.

I came across this site –  https://radio-locator.com/

And this one for US Radio and other media – http://archive.mrc.org/MediaAddresses/mediaaddresses.asp

There must be agents out there for radio drama work.

Selling Audio CDs

Both of these sell CDs (an dshould sell downloads)…

https://thevikingdragon.com/

Gramey of GSmithMedia recommends Opus –

http://opusindependents.com

It looks a really interesting project, might be worth checking out.

And Vimeo

https://vimeo.com/home

Ah, that one is a video chat platform.

Dover Publishing

https://store.doverpublications.com/

Carol recommend them especially for my Steam Tales publication.

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing

https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/

This is the big one. All pointers point this way (for written word publications).

Dryad Publishing have had good experiences with them.

Sigrun.co.uk publish through Amazon too.

But I see she has also built a sales website with the help of Shopify. It looks very good quality. I haven’t looked into how Shopify works, I will find a link though.

Adrian on Amazon

I feel really guilty. I shouldn’t, it is downright silly, but I am writing this as I learn. Typing as I go. So, when I got stuck on publishing on Amazon I felt like I had held you all up.

I am going for it with Amazon KDP. I am putting books out there with it. It is hard work though. I guess by the second attempt it will be easier.

It does seem a bit silly of me because it is all laid out for you. Lots of information, plus the dubious claim that you can get a book up for sale in five minutes flat. I am at a week now and still working.

Stuff is here and there. Now looking back I can see how it can flow along nicely. I didn’t know where I was a few times. I downloaded the ‘how to’ for creating your book in Word. There is lots to it. All the time I was doing it I was unsure whether I should put the text in first then do the formatting or the other way round. So I was wondering if I was wasting my time all along. I was.

I then discovered the templates. So doing it step by step had been a waste of time. It was after I had been working with templates (with quite a few struggles) that I discovered that it was handy to click Bookshelf. That is where you put your books as you are building them and once they are ready too.

The template had a few quirky quirbles too.

Why do I think it is the way forward? Amazon is where you think of books being. It is where people look. I also do think I will get the hang of it.

I think I will sell well. When you look at it you can’t tell the difference between a book someone did themselves (if I work hard at professionalism) and one by a major publisher.

I am currently stuck on covers. I am about to buy a PDF maker and am unsure which one. Also do you pay monthly like for ever, or do you buy one as a one off?

I got past all those hurdles and got the book out. It is so pleasing the feedback and responses. People with a fond connection, either who I am in touch with all the time, or those it is wonderful to be back in touch with. Thank you all, for not just buying the book, but for letting me know all about it.

I have started a Supporters Club. If you have bought my single, my book on paper or kindle or if you have donated to my blog your name goes in. There it is at the bottom of every blog. Thank you all.

https://adrianspendlowblog.com/2020/09/17/adrian-spendlow-a-selection-of-stories-to-see-and-hear-revisited/

I then looked at Kindle. I had a few unsure moments, but I got through them, IE when it asked for a cover do I put in the front and back type cover I used for the book? Or do I cut it to just a front? If so how big? Once I post it up can I change it? I didn’t really get any answers but I went for it and managed OK. (It is front only.)

As I was setting it up on Kindle I discovered that if you do Kindle first it is easy to then convert it to a book. I would have liked to have known that first.

Anyone who has used Amazon to publish will look at my comments and think what is he on about it all flows easy. The information is all there but it isn’t easy to go along a steady path. Once you’ve done it you forget. So get to it and crack on I say.

Do a practice book like I did. It really surprised me how popular it has become.

Now I can crack on with Steam Tales – plus several other books I have in the pipeline.

Now to master adding footnotes.

Oh and finding a cover picture.

Authors Abroad

Once you are published try Authors Abroad to get you loads of performance work.  Guess you will sell books while you are there.

https://www.authorsabroad.com/

I am looking forward to feedback and further help for us all. Thank you for being part of this.

Even a simple blog can take half a day to put together, this one took over a week…

Saying Thank You

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

3.00 $

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

(Also available on Kindle)

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

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

.

.

Saying Thank You

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

$3.00

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.

Living in America Five – Now here is a challenge for you.

Living in America Five – Now here is a challenge for you. It is your turn to send pictures. You all know I have been doing a series of picture blogs of my time in America; unusual things I have spotted that sort of thing. Well, I want you to shape the next blog.

For those who haven’t seen the blogs there are links below, (and the rest of you might enjoy another look too), I seem to make fun of everything, but mainly I make fun of my own exaggerated ignorance and funny way of seeing the world.

Send me interesting pictures from throughout the Americas. Let me know what you think about them, and the blog series will go wide open.

This time it is you!

Private message me on Facebook or email me adrianspendlow@gmail.com

(Keep it family friendly and quirky.)

Captions and stories make the thing.

Click a link…

Living in America

Living in American two

Living in America three

Living in Americas Four

Editor has the final word (Professor H Sherman please note).

Do follow the Adrian Spendlow blog, and browse the offerings below

Just a simple blog can take me a few days to put together, please do encourage me by clicking the donation button.

Saying Thank You

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

$3.00

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, Spee 69, Oyvind, Ginny, Maureen, Lillian, Margaret, Pam, Lucy, Michelle, Sarah, Obie, and Heather.

A Special Feature for the Friends of UW Green Bay Viking House

You all are welcome to enjoy this blog which I hope will bring many of you to go and click to be a friend of our wonderful project.

Click and like – https://www.facebook.com/UWGBVikingHouse

Keep scrolling down here for all the fun movies.

Those of you who are already ‘following’ and may have been to events in the past will be pleased to see here a gathering of films and photos of our progress at the house.

Things are Happening at the Viking House.

This beautiful place has been awaiting us for so long. Many have asked and are interested in being actively involved. Of course the world has been in lock-down and the house is a very small part of that.

It is the time to start looking at what we can do to re-celebrate the place; to tidy and renovate and to decorate. We wish also to be able have things happen there.

What is the Viking house? There is a whole series of films and photos here in this blog about our house and our plans. Let us tell you now though that it is a rebuild of a house from that age and is in the grounds of UWGB. The university in Green Bay, Wisconsin is the home of this great feature. The ‘Jarldress’ or perhaps keeper of the house is Professor Heidi Sherman who is head of history for UWGB.

When I say that she is responsible we are talking about a budget-free situation. So anything that happens here is down to our Jarldress to make possible. For us to appreciate.

Who am I? And who are the others in the films below? There are lots of groups and individuals who are willing to take part and to arrange events. The three of us in the films below are volunteers.

I missed the house being open over the summer, for as well as wanting to help out, I miss being the storyteller for the house. Here now I can say I am just a volunteer though acting out of good will. I do happen also to be Professor Sherman’s husband which could be seen as an advantage or a disadvantage. We turn to her for guidance, permission and often for funding.

Trodin Hegn (Dwayne) and Di An are two other active participants with exciting hopes for the future.

Dwayne and I

Our Affiliations

Celebrating the Viking house will be timed nicely with the making of shields. Trodin is making shields for decoration.

Sigourney has designed a UWGB Shield image and we hope to be taking her two of Dwayne’s shields for painting. One with her design, and one with Dwayne’s (Trodin’s) own personal image (Sigourney will this be OK and fit in with your plans? – I would also love to see your other Viking design idea and see if we can use them in some way).

Dwayne and I have plans to invite gifts of shields and flags etc to show affiliations.

Njardarheimr Viking Town, Gudvangen, Norway

A Presentation Day will invite people to visit and make a gift as they walk through. This could be a decoration for the Hall made specially for the day or a ‘blessing token’ selected on the day.

We will have selection of tokens to pick from; simple things such as stones, beads and feathers and we would be glad to hear from people who wish to make or offer decorations suitable for the Viking ages such as tablet weavings or utensils. While arranged outside folks can talk about the donations and the work of others.

There are of course severe restrictions and we will plan within these. IE masks must be worn, people must gather with six feet apart in the area of the Viking house and then parade through the hall slowly with a maximum of ten people in there at any one time. This will include the presenters and hopefully a small film crew.

Six feet apart

(Dress for the weather.)

Example of inappropriate attire

This event is planned to take place on Saturday October 3rd A provisional date. from one o’clock onwards. We will publicise once it is confirmed but for now please ‘pencil’ it in and start thinking ahead. Exciting times.

Let us know that you are interested.

As for those affiliations, this will be groups or festivals which we have connections with. We will be glad to hear from you about connections we have with you. To date we are approaching five different groups we have affiliations with.

As Skald to the Chieftain of Njardarheimr Viking Town in Gudvangen, Norway I will be approaching my chieftain (my blood brother) for a flag of the Njardarheimr symbol. No, I will ask now – Dear Georg is it possible that you could arrange us a flag of the town or a banner for the town for our display? I will be glad to pay if needs be.

Da Boss

I am also a member of The British association The Vikings through their group at York University; Vanaheimr. I am a member of this dynamic group from the university and will be asking them for a flag or banner for us to display. I will ask them now too. Dear Jarl please could you arrange a symbol of our affiliations?

I serve Vanaheimr

I say hi to Tim Jorgenson of Viking Connections, the coordinator of Viking events for The Historical and Cultural Society for Clay County.

Tim I am pleased you are ‘cogitating’ upon the idea of sending us an affiliation item. We will be displaying our pride in connection with River Ravens upon our hall walls in the near future I hope.

I interviewed Tim for a project I was involved in prior to the Covid catastrophe. Here is the interview. Although almost everything was cancelled for all of us in 2020 I am hoping that most of the things mentioned will reappear in a new guise in 2021.

Stop Press – I’ve chatted to Tim and we are saving a space for a shield and he will be making us one especially later in the year.

Hello Adrian,

My present title is “Director of Viking Connection,” although I’m also known as a general coordinator of various Viking events in our region, as well as a hobbyist blacksmith and woodworker. Viking Connection (www.vikingconnection.org) is an outreach program run by the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County, Minnesota (HCSCC).  We are housed in the Hjemkomst Center, in Moorhead, home of the Gokstad Viking ship replica Hjemkomst, that sailed to Norway in 1982. HCSCC also interprets a Hopperstad Stave Church replica, a reconstruction of the Viking-Age stavkirke still standing in Vik, Norway. Viking Connection is a natural extension of HCSCC’s on-going work to preserve and present Viking-Age folk art in the Midwest.

We invite artists specializing in the Viking Age crafts of Scandinavia to teach and tour in the states of ND, SD, MN, IA, WI, and the UP of MI. We also offer an apprenticeship program to send dedicated students from the Midwest to study their chosen craft with a master artist in Scandinavia. Lastly, we offer a database of international artists interested in networking with each other.

Together with fellow Minnesotan, Kyle Jameson, we started a Viking living history group called, “River Ravens” (www.riverravens.org), largely as a way to have a name for our group when we are hired to provide an encampment, crafts, or entertainment for events in our area. We joined up with UK-based, Regia Anglorum because we really enjoy the authenticity policy they have in place, their research, and their continuous efforts to stay up-to-date with recent archaeological findings. In all, we participate in between 5-10 events annually, the largest being North America’s largest Scandinavian festival, Norsk Høstfest, in Minot, North Dakota.

[Sadly the next paragraph covered plans which were cancelled due to the Covid thing, so I have cut the details, but I am sure there will be another exciting program in 2021 with a Viking skill being brought back to share around festivals and events here. – Ade.]

One of the exciting things to look forward to in 2020, is the Viking Connection apprenticeship. Each year we send a student to Scandinavia to learn from selected artists with the goal of learning new skills or advancing pre-existing skills with a Viking Age craft.

I’m continually being contacted by different organizations interested in creating Viking Age events, or adding a Viking presence to a broader-themed event, so keep an eye on the River Raven’s and VC websites for 2020 opportunities.

Tim

Thank you Tim.

Visit the site for The Historical and Cultural Society for Clay County…

https://www.hcscconline.org/

Here is the River Ravens site…

https://riverravens.org/

We had a wonderful visit to Balagard the Viking age Finland festival in Hancock, Michigan. A great town and a great festival. This is a bi-annual festival so the Covid epidemic probably wont be an effect and then this exciting event will be back in 2021 as planned.

Toby of Balagard was saying to me about the idea of links between groups and how it would be good to have a story linking each shield or item to the group it was from.

I ask now, ‘Hi Toby, can I ask if it is possible to have a shield or item representing your group for our house in Green Bay?’

Here is their FB page – https://www.facebook.com/Balagard-Viking-age-Finland-304102503794434/

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

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

Answers on a postcard please.

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

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

Welcome.

Dwayne is making a shield with his own design on for the display with our collection. We are hoping for donations from other groups and other individuals (you) of samples of their craft.

My groups shield from York University’s Viking group Vanaheimr.

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

Raised beds were in lock down.

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

We need a clear out or a hiding place.

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

I can’t wait to get that oven going again and get some cooking done. We are still limited on events of course. Let us look ahead though.

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

This is the John

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

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

The box fence is our next project. We are hoping for a bit of help, and to have it finished before the decorations day.

Just down the slope from us is the Frisbee-Golf

The grounds are beautiful

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

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

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

Maintaining a Viking House can be a Hornet’s nest

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

Sorting.

The full team inspection

The Parking situation

UWGB wildlife

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

Flax drying will make an interesting addition to the decor.

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

We have plans for wool too. Insulation.

The return and this time we are equipped.

We needed refreshing.

Refreshments were created by team host Jarldress Sherman

I will catch that frog

Gorrit

Let us be-strim

This is why we were here.

And we got the job done, well Dwayne did.

What’s next boss?

Do follow the Adrian Spendlow blog, and browse the offerings below.

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

Saying Thank You

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

$3.00

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, Spee 69, Oyvind, Ginny, Maureen, Lillian, Margaret, Pam, Lucy, Michelle, Sarah, Obie, and Heather.

Click and like – https://www.facebook.com/UWGBVikingHouse

https://www.facebook.com/oralstories

Facts & Fiction is a quarterly magazine devoted to the art of oral storytelling. On this page you can find and update events and news between issues.

My blog; some Viking shields – https://adrianspendlowblog.com/2020/03/11/some-viking-shields/

Living in America I

Living in America for

only one reason; love.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watering the backside

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

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

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

Giffa settles…

And spins…

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

They cost a fortune at the vets

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

Oooops it’s a Woodpecker

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

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

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

Oh no, she’s had another cat delivered.

Maybe that is why Giffa is hiding in the shade.

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

So all Giffa can do is look on.

Let us wander among the plantings

The no-dig flower bed

Dolphins

Bandanas and bananas

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

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

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

This is what they are called

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

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

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

In we go…

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

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

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

The Japanese Stationary box

The Japanese stationary box

The garden travels inside with us.

Orange Lanterns

Another part of planning for next year

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

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

Lets get out and go shopping

Need to get ready. Which socks to wear?

Should it be starry starry night?

Or the shepherd of sheep?

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

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

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

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

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

Watch out for terribly deep potholes.

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

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

Free firewood.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is True!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is more. More more more more more.

That set off memories.

Another area collected Coconuts.

Monkeys to Spooky

To the quirky

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

There were lots of odd bits and pieces

We head west along the ridge

Heavy Amulets?

As George Harrison sang, back when we as FAB.

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

Tractors

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

Now here was an eggsperience.

I should have got this hat.

I should have got that hat.

I thought this one was a prison hat

Spendlow Adrian Male Caucasian arrested for being too select

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

This young guy did not enjoy posing for this sculpture

This feller rises above the trials of others.

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

The biggest joy though was from China.

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

https://cujohiphop.bandcamp.com/

http://www.carolmacallister.com/Author.htm

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

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

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

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

Anyway I better get back to work

There are the screens to paint.

With a hope of sensible calm

The frames.

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

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

The Back Yard needs attention too

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

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

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

A potato

Back to the grandkids

They are about grapefruit size now.

Getting the Garage in Order

A Spatchcock Chair

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

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

Bits

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

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

Stop press – Edit – We have a caption suggestion –

Potato Cheek Johnny –

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

I wish it was a gold nugget.

[Space left for further caption suggestions]

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

https://spee69.bandcamp.com/

https://spee69.bandcamp.com/album/cherry-pie

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

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

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

Truth is I stole the pic from my lad Luke.

A lovely gift arrived for me through the mail.

Thank you Heidi

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

Rabbits you gotta run

Run rabbit run run run

Towards the warmth of the sun

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

After a beer or three there was a thorough investigation.

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

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

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

Let us step back in time…

Here is my sister Ginny probably in the eighties

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you Paul.

A British post box

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

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

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

I think this is an Amaryllis

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

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

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

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

These are nearly them

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome.

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

Some Viking Shields

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

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

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

Raised beds were in lock down.

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

We need a clear out or a hiding place.

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

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

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

This is the John

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

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

Just down the slope from us is the Frisbee-Golf

The grounds are beautiful

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

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

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

Maintaining a Viking House can be a Hornet’s nest

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

Sorting.

The full team inspection

The Parking situation

UWGB wildlife

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

Flax drying will make an interesting addition to the decor.

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

We have plans for wool too. Insulation.

The return and this time we are equipped.

We needed refreshing.

Refreshments were created by team host Jarldress Sherman

I will catch that frog

Gorrit

Let us be-strim

This is why we were here.

And we got the job done, well Dwayne did.

What’s next boss?

Art Promotes Health

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

I didn’t use them in the intended way.

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

Here is my attempt.

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

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Do follow the links below to the previous three episodes.

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

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Living in America I

Living in America II

Living in America III

Songs of Odin

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

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

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

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Quay Street, Scarborough – Dramatic new story added

Quay Street, Scarborough

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

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

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

press old pic.jpg

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

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

harbour whale
That time a whale visited
bank

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

castle

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

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

sunhouse.jpg

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

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

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

neighbours garden.jpg
seagul

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

quay photo 01.jpg
The Dog and Duck

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

cobbles.jpg

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

carry boats 01.jpg

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

dan
dan in boat.jpg

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

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

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

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

lifeboat

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

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

frank hangs.jpg

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

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

grave.jpg

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

coble cropped.jpg
mutiny back

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

tunny weigh

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

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

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

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

Go see the impressive statue on the Northern pier.

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

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

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

3 ms

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

mutiny pic.jpg
The Dog and Duck
bomb

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

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

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

Update:

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

This is not right.

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

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

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

Drawing of a similar plane

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

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

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

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

battle

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

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

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

You might want to buy the house though.

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

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

mirror man.jpg

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

You might want to buy the house though.

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

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

mums garden.jpg

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

cara 01

The Carawagon.

carawagon.jpg
cara 02

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

We will be appearing at various venues with Travelling Tales.

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

Anne Bronte

From Scarborough with love

Ales and Tales stories from York pubs

Mum’s book

Cliffords Tower, York

dan tin

The Music of Dan Webster

Quay street’s famous Carawagon

cara 02

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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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Phenomena File

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

Subscribe to Fortean Timeshttp://subscribe.forteantimes.com/

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

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

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

Schema

I am guilty of a schema or two…

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

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

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

Memory Study

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

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

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

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X Factor reality blip

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

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There is no such thing as the North Yorkshire Moors.

LHC

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

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

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

CERN Computer Banks

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

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

― Charles Fort

The Monopoly on Never Happened

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

Zebra spotting

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

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

C3PO was not all gold

Murmurations of a Sea-monster

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

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

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

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

A regular feature

So…

They are called the Berenstain Bears!

It was Looney Tunes

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

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

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