So I Can Read Minds

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So I Can Read Minds

(Interesting to look back at this blog from five years ago to see the sort of things I was up to.)

You can read minds, I am told, but only because I brought coffee at the right moment. Yes actually I can. I don’t, well, not generally, but I can. I wonder if I should. If I key in I can, and if I am asked. Then again I think perhaps I can only do it if it is team work; my spirits teaming with your spirits to your benefit.

I think that is how it works, then only if I have some sort of device; some artefact to rely on. This sort of thing gives me permission I think.

I hadn’t thought of it like this until it came up in conversation, but once I had thought of it lots of examples came flooding back to me.

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“There is a pregnancy here but I cannot be quite sure who it is… it is like it is both of you.”
“How on earth did you know?” “Ah, but it is not you though is it.” “No, but I have been going through her symptoms with her as if it was me too.”

Actually that was before I had got out the usual runes and crystal ball; that is an exception though.

Often I don’t see all that much, or say all that much. When I said at a venue in South Yorkshire that I saw two men interested in her but she was unsure about one of them. The lady said, “Ooo yes, should I go back to him?”

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I said I didn’t feel it was up to me to make such a decision for her but that I would look. There in the crystal ball was a firework crossing the sky. So I simply asked, “What happened on bonfire night?”
That’s all I said, for now anyway. Turns out they had been walking his dog on November the 5th on a moor in their area. He had let the dog off the lead, despite her concern and, of course, the dog took fright and, er, took flight.
He did not have time to search; his program was due to start. So he left her to it. Nearly two hours it took to find the poor terrified creature. She knocked on his door, he opened it, pulled the dog in saying, “My program’s still on” and slammed the door.

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I did say more, I couldn’t help myself, “And you want to know if you should go back to him!?”

I often see things; I think it is their loved ones trying to prove they are around them. I recall describing a vintage coat that would never be worn taking up a third of the wardrobe: It was the young woman’s late grandmother’s.

Exclamations often come, “How do you know that!” – “Has he been in our house!” The latter being when I was reading tea leaves and described a shelf full of Chinese ornaments. I also at that session asked someone, “Have you been planting a tree this morning?” They had.

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In the next session I recall seeing the broken umbrella a daughter had thrown in a bin before entering the hall. She turned and asked her mum if she had told me.

I have taken care to be sure no one can be identified in this blog; the following recipient will probably recognise themselves however…

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With some of the things I’ve mentioned one might wonder what use they are but the following snippet was reported back to me later as being very useful.

I had seen details of a few things in the reading but promptly forgot all about it until my friend said, “You do remember how we met?”
I did I had done them a reading. I was reminded of what I had said, “Go in the marquee! – you are not supposed to but go in anyway.”
I had gone on to say they were looking out of a window of a big old building and there was a marquee in the grounds. As they were stuck for something to do they should go in. Apparently they did, it was some sort of amateur archaeology club and as my freind seemed interested they were let in.
There was a lot to be interested in and it was a long pleasant visit, so when a raffle ticket was offered it was seen as a way of making a contribution. It was a winner – the prize? A two week holiday.

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At first the holiday was quiet. Everyone else staying there were in couples. Two other singles turned up though and the three of them got on great. My friend told them all about their book and it turned out these two new friends were publishers. They liked the sound of the book. They published it.

“So, thank you Adrian for your reading, I would never have gone in the marquee otherwise and I am very glad I did.

Perhaps I should do this sort of thing more often.

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Footnote:
I’ve not gone into details here of the woman who changed her sexual preferences (in a sudden realisation of love) during the course of my reading but let’s just say that the woman she had arrived with thanked me as they left with a backwards glance and a very big smile on her face and both thumbs up in the air.

Click here for a ghost walk for your group

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http://www.adrianspendlow.co.uk/paranormal.html
Includes live footage

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Ghost stories – http://www.adrianspendlow.co.uk/ghoststories.html

and all the blogs – https://adrianspendlow.wordpress.com/

I’ve added this in as an update, as I was so pleased to receive it;

Hi Adrian,

The blogs great, didn’t realise you’d been so prolific! I often wonder what would have happened if I’d gone in the third Marquee, oh well too late now! I tend not to pass them now 🙂

Cheers!

Nick

Saying Thank You

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

$3.00

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

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Opening Ceremony 2016 Viking Valley, Gudvangen, Norway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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georg

“Me too.”

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

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

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

“Can we ask where you are all from?”

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

“Ah, those are the places we robbed.”

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

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“Hey, stall holders, lower your prices.”

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

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

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

“What is an oath?”

A promise; and a promise is a promise and…

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“Don’t start that again.”

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

“Spit?”

Well we skipped that bit.

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

No sorry. No spitting. The barrels are fine!

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

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

Or until Ragnarok; the end of the world.

“So we keep our promises; enjoy.”

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

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

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

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

The word is…

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

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

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

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

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

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Here is the first of the timber being delivered now…

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

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With hardly any risk to yourself….

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Hear Galda upon the holy hill…

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

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Visit Lady Chaga…

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

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

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

“Oaths”

Don’t spit when you speak!

Oaths. Off.

Vikings will become Vikings again.

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

Then you will be welcome.

“Welcome.”

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

“Don’t tell them Adrian.”

No, we must.

“There is a rumour.”

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A terrible rumour.

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

We are now going to deal with that rumour.

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

Never.

“Never.”

Never

“It is true!”

Never seen again!

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

“Now we must warn you.”

This may happen to you.

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

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This we must warn you of.

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

Yes.

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

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

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“Terribly, terribly sad.”

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

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“We will be opening the market again tomorrow.”

And this worries me greatly.

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

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

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

What kind of warriors?

“Berserkers.”

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

“A small fur collar.”

And that’s it!

“Yes.”

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Right I will have to get my outfit ready then.

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

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

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

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

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They will run.

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

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We now declare the Viking Market open!

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

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

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naming

Naming Ceremony photos and footage

Aurland Photography

2015 Opening Speech (more moving)

Skaldic Pieces

Future Skaldic Plans

To Become a King

Saying Thank You

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

$3.00

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

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

(for bookings visit our site.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Artwrk by Chloe Anderson

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

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From a giant’s bloody corpse

His blood filled up the oceans

The mountains are his bones

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you all!

Sigrún

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Artwork included comes from the Hammer Flies

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

Saying Thank You

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

$3.00

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

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Opening Ceremony 2016 Viking Valley, Gudvangen, Norway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

poster norge
georg

“Me too.”

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

pot

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

ship head

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

“Can we ask where you are all from?”

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

“Ah, those are the places we robbed.”

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

stall 01

“Hey, stall holders, lower your prices.”

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

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

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

“What is an oath?”

A promise; and a promise is a promise and…

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“Don’t start that again.”

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

“Spit?”

Well we skipped that bit.

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

No sorry. No spitting. The barrels are fine!

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

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

Or until Ragnarok; the end of the world.

“So we keep our promises; enjoy.”

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

ravens
warriors

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

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

big

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

The word is…

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

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

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

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

hut

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

timber

Here is the first of the timber being delivered now…

glima
wrestling

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

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With hardly any risk to yourself….

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Hear Galda upon the holy hill…

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

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Visit Lady Chaga…

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

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

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

“Oaths”

Don’t spit when you speak!

Oaths. Off.

Vikings will become Vikings again.

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

Then you will be welcome.

“Welcome.”

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

“Don’t tell them Adrian.”

No, we must.

“There is a rumour.”

kurs group

A terrible rumour.

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

We are now going to deal with that rumour.

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

Never.

“Never.”

Never

“It is true!”

Never seen again!

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

“Now we must warn you.”

This may happen to you.

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

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This we must warn you of.

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

Yes.

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

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

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“Terribly, terribly sad.”

elf table

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

opening flipped

“We will be opening the market again tomorrow.”

And this worries me greatly.

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

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

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

What kind of warriors?

“Berserkers.”

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

“A small fur collar.”

And that’s it!

“Yes.”

helmet.jpg

Right I will have to get my outfit ready then.

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

fight

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

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

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

berserker me

They will run.

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

opening

We now declare the Viking Market open!

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

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

parade 03.jpg
naming

Naming Ceremony photos and footage

Aurland Photography

2015 Opening Speech (more moving)

Skaldic Pieces

Future Skaldic Plans

To Become a King

Saying Thank You

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

$3.00

As I approach a thousand views I thought it would be a useful idea to do a blog summary

As I approach a thousand views I thought it would be a useful idea to do a blog summary, so you can browse through the blogs so far. Catch up and enjoy…

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The Nosegay Blog


The many interesting things told to me while I was working at Barley Hall.

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The Nosegay Blog Too
The nosegay experience continues, and as promised in the first instalment, we will be visiting alternative realities, plus jumping hoops and drinking mud (participation is optional)

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No Title
A haiku which perhaps isn’t a haiku

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Poem: For someone close
Intended to inspire, encourage and praise; perhaps it will affect you too?

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There are such things as elves
Exciting news featurecosta-rica-national-parks-rio-celeste-waterfall-1024x652

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Poem – For a friend and realisation

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Recipe blog – The Courgette Bake Recipe
By popular demand

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New Viking Heaven uncovered
Big news! (and I’ve discovered three more since.)

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Gudvangen Opening 2015
A very proud moment in my life.opening 2015
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Be Our Statesmen
A plea for a peaceful Politian

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Pancreatic Blog – a travelogue reblog
Quite comical if you like to read about me panicking.

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Memory of Otternesimage
A truly wonderful experience

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A Glimpse (poetry)

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Reaching out to my own heart in art and poem

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Introducing Farmer (Adrian) Giles
I think this might be my fave.image
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Will Not Do (The World)
You have been warned; I plan to move out
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Sparkling Words: A call for artists, a call for artistes and for Vikings plus recipe tips what more could you want? Oh yes, and free books.

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No no no this is my favourite!
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And it was dance
An inspiring memory (actually I was listened to at The Cavern as a result)

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So I Can Read Minds

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All about my secret powers!!!!!

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The Dress
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Thought it was time I added a short story for a change.
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Squash in a Recipe Adrian, Add a Dash of Mystery, then Feed Vikingsharl side label
Yes it is a mystery.
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Salt Rant

Perhaps this counts as part of my recipe series, perhaps.

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chloe back
This is not a Blog – it is a practice – and a call for artists too
Gosh this one is exciting and it is my most recent blog. Oh no. This is my most recent blog.

Saying Thank You

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

$3.00

Viking Comic Book update – Very Exciting – (but it is still not a blog)

header 01

(The above is very definitely a draft)

News Flash- The final graphic novel is on this links page

(And the next one is on there too)

A wonderful progress report.

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will grow 01

The birth of the project is covered in my wordpress blog

I have added in pictures done so far, in most cases they are very not the final image or a good copy even. They give a very good idea of how we are progressing.

The end layout will be comic book style and I am researching and seeking guidance to make the space as comic booky as possible.

There has already been a suggestion that I create a banner display to exhibit at woodland festivals.

Artists and contributors will always be credited of course.

Page 1

thor less flash cropped
mjolnir 01 text box

(Above by Chloe)

ruins text 01

Page 2

The below is a fun temporary image from me – utilising anna’s hammer (which will be part of the montage)

m flies on adrian 01
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Jackie of Swanhilda’s Sweets on ebay who does Viking Trade Route jewellery is doing the above.

Page 3

mjolnirweavesthrough jh
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(Above by Jude)

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Page 4
Page 5

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By Tove Diving into the wisdom of the Well of Urd

Page 6

bursting adrian 01
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don doing above one

Page 6b (temporary)

Struggling through the topical slime-filled waters of a typical Norwegian Fjord…

slime

Page 7

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Chelsea

Page 8

trees annaanna

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Page 9

chelsea 02
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Above by chelsea

Page 10

spinningthroughthegreatdarkness

jude

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Page 11

(temporary picture by me)

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(Above picture to be replaced by Vibeke’s)

Page 12

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long drop a
long drop b
long drop c

Two from Helen, one from me and another to come from Tove I hope. But. For the digital version it could be really really long.
No, really really.

Page 13

fire hammer chloe

chloe

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Page 14

Here is a very temporary image from me unless I dont hear from gramey – then it stays!

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Gramey replacing the above

Page 15

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Adrian – (more to do)

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Page 16

This one has a temporary image from me for now….

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undead me

Olivia doing the above (or rather, replacing the above)

Page 17

absorb final final

Chloe

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Page 18

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Now, this is the one I did……

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But I think I better replace it with the one below from Keiran….

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Page 19

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gap ade

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Page 20

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Helen

Page 21

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tove

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Page 21B

Temporary Picture

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Tove replacing the abovemjolnir 021b text

Page 22

light tove 03Tove

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Page 23

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tom

Page 24

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My temporary fun image….

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laura replacing this one with hers

Page 25

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Page 26

I will be adding this image in elsewhere….

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mjolnir 026Anna

Page 27

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mjolnir 027 textAdrian

Page 28

Across the cosmos

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Page 29 – ade

BACK

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BACK

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BACK

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Back

Page 30

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chloe back

by chloe

A huge thank you to all – all this is draft – and will grow

(read my blog from the very beginning)

Saying Thank You

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

$3.00

So I Can Read Minds

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spooky tab.jpg

So I Can Read Minds

You can read minds, I am told, but only because I brought coffee at the right moment. Yes actually I can. I don’t, well, not generally, but I can. I wonder if I should. If I key in I can, and if I am asked. Then again I think perhaps I can only do it if it is team work; my spirits teaming with your spirits to your benefit.

I think that is how it works, then only if I have some sort of device; some artefact to rely on. This sort of thing gives me permission I think.

I hadn’t thought of it like this until it came up in conversation, but once I had thought of it lots of examples came flooding back to me.

wizard

“There is a pregnancy here but I cannot be quite sure who it is… it is like it is both of you.”
“How on earth did you know?” “Ah, but it is not you though is it.” “No, but I have been going through her symptoms with her as if it was me too.”

Actually that was before I had got out the usual runes and crystal ball; that is an exception though.

Often I don’t see all that much, or say all that much. When I said at a venue in South Yorkshire that I saw two men interested in her but she was unsure about one of them. The lady said, “Ooo yes, should I go back to him?”

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I said I didn’t feel it was up to me to make such a decision for her but that I would look. There in the crystal ball was a firework crossing the sky. So I simply asked, “What happened on bonfire night?”
That’s all I said, for now anyway. Turns out they had been walking his dog on November the 5th on a moor in their area. He had let the dog off the lead, despite her concern and, of course, the dog took fright and, er, took flight.
He did not have time to search; his program was due to start. So he left her to it. Nearly two hours it took to find the poor terrified creature. She knocked on his door, he opened it, pulled the dog in saying, “My program’s still on” and slammed the door.

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I did say more, I couldn’t help myself, “And you want to know if you should go back to him!?”

I often see things; I think it is their loved ones trying to prove they are around them. I recall describing a vintage coat that would never be worn taking up a third of the wardrobe: It was the young woman’s late grandmother’s.

Exclamations often come, “How do you know that!” – “Has he been in our house!” The latter being when I was reading tea leaves and described a shelf full of Chinese ornaments. I also at that session asked someone, “Have you been planting a tree this morning?” They had.

tea leaves

In the next session I recall seeing the broken umbrella a daughter had thrown in a bin before entering the hall. She turned and asked her mum if she had told me.

I have taken care to be sure no one can be identified in this blog; the following recipient will probably recognise themselves however…

candle

With some of the things I’ve mentioned one might wonder what use they are but the following snippet was reported back to me later as being very useful.

I had seen details of a few things in the reading but promptly forgot all about it until my friend said, “You do remember how we met?”
I did I had done them a reading. I was reminded of what I had said, “Go in the marquee! – you are not supposed to but go in anyway.”
I had gone on to say they were looking out of a window of a big old building and there was a marquee in the grounds. As they were stuck for something to do they should go in. Apparently they did, it was some sort of amateur archaeology club and as my freind seemed interested they were let in.
There was a lot to be interested in and it was a long pleasant visit, so when a raffle ticket was offered it was seen as a way of making a contribution. It was a winner – the prize? A two week holiday.

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At first the holiday was quiet. Everyone else staying there were in couples. Two other singles turned up though and the three of them got on great. My friend told them all about their book and it turned out these two new friends were publishers. They liked the sound of the book. They published it.

“So, thank you Adrian for your reading, I would never have gone in the marquee otherwise and I am very glad I did.

Perhaps I should do this sort of thing more often.

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Footnote:
I’ve not gone into details here of the woman who changed her sexual preferences (in a sudden realisation of love) during the course of my reading but let’s just say that the woman she had arrived with thanked me as they left with a backwards glance and a very big smile on her face and both thumbs up in the air.

Click here for a ghost walk for your group

paranormal

http://www.adrianspendlow.co.uk/paranormal.html
Includes live footage

ghoststories

Ghost stories – http://www.adrianspendlow.co.uk/ghoststories.html

and all the blogs – https://adrianspendlow.wordpress.com/

I’ve added this in as an update, as I was so pleased to receive it;

Hi Adrian,

The blogs great, didn’t realise you’d been so prolific! I often wonder what would have happened if I’d gone in the third Marquee, oh well too late now! I tend not to pass them now 🙂

Cheers!

Nick

Saying Thank You

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

$3.00

Sparkling Words: A call for artists, a call for artistes and for Vikings plus recipe tips what more could you want? Oh yes, and free books.

sparkle
spooky tab.jpg

Those Sparkling Words
Tove Gulbrandsen says of Adrian Spendlow:
Your trademark: Constantly flowing river of interesting, important ideas. Funny, silly, crazy. And delicious overwhelming deep thoughts about the most important stuff in our lives. Always from a surprising angle. That is you. Your gift. Your ideas will never stop. You lift them out; serve them – to let everyone receive your gifts. That is why I want so many to be a part of these treasures you are giving us.

Recipe Tip
A great and handy tip for improving your life with a slow cooker which is really simple is to go through all your cupboards looking for anything you don’t really like and your fridge and freezer too (No really, this really works and you will be totally surprised at how much better things are for you once you do this). Tip them in and mix them all together, take the slow cooker and throw the whole lot in the bin!

wheelie-bin

To really really improve life from the inside out take a dozen gadgets from the hidden depths of your kitchen and throw them as well.

I could write you a list, but basically, if it feels tacky at all – it goes.

Don’t be slow.

One of my real recipes

Comic Turn
I am looking for contributors to a Viking comic book project. I have the text and the storyline and thought it would be exciting to ask artists to take part. The original mini adventure was created for the Jorvik Viking Festival for the Jorvik Group and I would like for it to gain a wider audience. Initially it will be just for fun as a blog. Although there is the possibility of future publications as a profit share. If you would like to hear more please do message me (adrianspendlow@gmail.com). Working title; The Hammer Flies.
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(Art by Gramey Smith)

Friends all over the World
But you get those friend requests, and go over for a look. (Ever done this?) You are not so sure. They don’t look that genuine. I will just have a look at their pictures and see if they look real and active and genuine and things. I click, I’ve clicked confirm by mistake. Ever done this? I have.

freinds

You Are Guilty
Yes, you are one of them. Have a look. Your social networking sites. You don’t look genuine. If you are one of those who hardly have any pictures of yourself. You haven’t put anything up but emotive mottos and wisdoms with rainbows and waves. Impersonal stuff. You don’t look real. You are a cat. Even worse, I clicked through to a friend request’s page and they are a sheep. A sheep! Turns out I have met them loads of times, but I didn’t say yes cos they were a sheep.
bae

Rant over.

Well the rant on that one.

The World and I
You may have read my prose poem blog (World) where I decided that the world as it is just will not do. I thought you might like an update. You are still not doing very well; the place is a right mess. Can’t you all just get along or something” I am totally fed of you all. I am giving you a last chance. If you don’t sort it all out or at least make some progress towards being ok with each other I am off. Off. I am going to find somewhere else to live. This is your last warning World. If you want me around start doing things a lot better. I am packing as we speak.
worlds

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Swan Girl and Other Fortean Stuffs
Forts
I am a Charles Fort fan… “I conceive of nothing, in religion, science, or philosophy that is more than the proper thing to wear for a while”.
Convinced, or want more… “I believe nothing. I have shut myself away from the rocks and wisdoms of ages, and from the so-called great teachers of all time, and perhaps because of that isolation I am given to bizarre hospitalities. I shut the front door upon Christ and Einstein, and at the back door hold out a welcoming hand to little frogs and periwinkles.” – that’s got yer.
I will give you one more shot and if you aren’t a fan by then I abandon you… “If there is an underlying oneness of all things, it does not matter where we begin, whether with stars, or laws of supply and demand, or frogs, or Napoleon Bonaparte. One measures a circle, beginning anywhere.” Anywhere! Crikey Moses I am a fan (am I alone in this?).

Just What I Fort
‘You’ll need a sense of adventure, curiosity, natural scepticism and a good sense of humour.’ Fortean Times

Fortean-Times-issue-184-J-015

Back to the Present
I have had a bit of back trouble lately, a rare thing for me, but I have done some heavy lifting lately and yet I leapt out of bed this morning. It was agony. I trunched down the stairs and as I did my phone alarm went. It was on the table downstairs, and it was going like mad. I went to it, turned it off and went back up to bed. As I went up the stairs I thought to myself, that’s why I went downstairs, but, it hadn’t started till I was halfway down. In Norway this is part of the culture of Vardoger (English spelling) according to a harbinger feature in Fortean Times.

You and the Yew
There is a conspiracy. There has just been a new way of looking at the ancient yews. Some of them may well be up to five thousand years old. They are effectively immortal. Some have been proved to have been alive when ancient sacred tree groves were referred to (“Remove the idols but do not destroy the ancient trees as believers will come to see them and you can seek to convert them”) so if they were alive then, they were possibly ancient even then. There has been a sudden appearance in Welsh churches (where the most clearly defined ancient yews are visited very often by visitors from around the world) of official looking certificates stating, ‘The yew tree in this church yard has been proved to be 500 years old.’ IE there seems to be a conspiracy to prove that the trees were planted after the churches were built. Are these certificates a holy lie?

Swan Girl
Just reads a great story of an actual young woman who disappeared in strange circumstances; not in Fortean times this time, but in an exciting looking blog MacCreig – The Encyclopedia of Fantastical Anomalies. Go have a look. I am looking into this story further and plan to tell a version of it at gatherings, with thanks to MacCreig. Great story.

Advertising Rant
Just passed a dentists and they had a huge hoarding outside: Buy our invisible braces – well what a waste of time and money, I’ve never seen any, have you!?

Uther Pendragon at Barley Hall
As a follow up to my Nose Gay Blogs I thought I ought to give Uther a mention. It was great fun working on the Nose Gay project and I met some amazing people. This older guy in particular; a slight even frail looking chap who came to visit turned out to be not frail at all and very active.

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He saw my selection of herbs and said he would return with a bunch from his garden for me to display in a vase. So I asked him his name, he bowed and proclaimed, ‘I sir am Uther Pendragon’ He bid me farewell after telling me of his life as a Viking and then saluted; he did first world war stuff too and all sorts of eras.
When I returned to work a couple of days later there was a vase of herbs on my table.

Loony Old Witch
Talk of being medieval reminded me of the wonderful times I had as part of Robin Hood as the Loony Old Witch; here’s some fun footage.

Bee Spelling
I am a fan of i before e. I reckon it works fine, on words what I use anyway. There is a move against it however; it seems there are far more words that it doesn’t apply to than it does. Then I realised, we don’t need such a thing anymore, it is from a bygone age. Now I go for
Red line underneath – Let your software be believed.
Write any old rubbish it’ll put it right. Anything else is simply nuggets! (Ah sorry that was predictive text.)

Spendlow TV
Exciting times as I hear from a production company who want to make a pilot for a forthcoming television series – Spendlow TV!!!!!
They have received interest in the project and are making the pilot for presentation. Part of the series will be live shows coupled with interviews and we will be presenting a double bill with a different act each time. In the first show Legendary (myself and Celtic-Folk artist Olivia Jayne Newton) will be teaming with another act to put on an evening in a cosy York venue.
Legendary-1

Tales from Older People
The Read All About It project for York Stars was a joy to experience and I was honoured to be Project Manager and to work with such a great team.. There are still some of the books left and I would be happy to send you a copy for free (Message me on adrianspendlow@gmail.com although I will charge you £2 for postage) or ask me at forthcoming performances.
Or read on line – The StoriesThe Images

Here is one of the stories:
One of the people with connections with Norway is a lady by the name of Haldenby, who tells us that of the places she knows in the land of fjords there is a town to which she felt an affinity; Halden. Intrigued by this link, this link to the Vikings, the origins of this surname brought interesting results. There is a small Lincolnshire town called Haldenby, which suggests her family may well have come from there as surnames were often descriptions of origins.

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The ending ‘by’ or ‘bi’ was used by the Norse settlers to mean settlement and Halden originally meant half-Dane. Given that all Vikings were often referred to as Danes it seems that descendants of Haldenby, such as this lady, were from a group made up of Vikings and local people who had mixed, worked and live together as a harmonious community, perhaps even with links from before that with the Norwegian town of Halden. A presentation was made to Miss Haldenby for her to display and share with others.
See also Gudvangen Viking Valley or Viking Heaven

Forthcoming blogs will cover; The Famous Marrow and the path to Scandinavia (a recipe blog), Reading Minds, The Dress (a short story with art) and of course the Viking Comic strip.

My full blog selection

Saying Thank You

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

$3.00

New Viking Heaven uncovered

New Viking Heaven uncovered

Yes there is another place to go when you die. It is real. It was believed in. It has come from my imagination. Shall we say; it has been posited so therefore it was so.

I do a story, ten places to go when you die, in fact contributions from onlookers has increased the number. I think we came up with fourteen at one course session (over a beer). There is another one. I may be the first to document this, or make it up if you prefer. Logic has it though.

Let us call this Viking heaven The Hunting Lands. A believed in land or island across a great sea. Here there were mountains, rivers, lakes, forests, dwellings and loved ones.

How do I know this when it has never been mentioned by anyone before? There is evidence. There is proof. The boat burials make it so.

You are put in a boat so you can rise up and sail to somewhere. The contents of the boat show what you are expecting to find when you get there.

jewels

You are all dressed up in your finest with your wealth adorning you; so there will be people to meet you. They most likely will be your family and loved ones. There will definitely be friendly people awaiting your arrival because you are carrying gifts of fine quality. There may be others who are not so friendly because you are wearing your armour and weaponry.

If you are well respected for your skills you will have your tools and equipment with you so you can continue crafting for the others who are there.

Longboat Gudvangen

You will be in a dwelling and trading and visiting others, you will be living. You are going to need your servants to look after you and there they are rising up out of the boat alongside you. You may need your warriors so their essence has been brought along within these servants; presumably to rise up alongside you. We do after all, in the Viking belief system, have multifaceted souls, some of which stays in those left behind, some of which goes back to the animal it was from, and some is you up there in the afterlife (or down).

What will it be like upon this coast? There are wild lands and waters. You have your sledge, your boats and your hunting dogs. You will be sitting upon your horse and racing after wild and dangerous creatures with your hounds running along. You will travel far in snow and rain and through deep forests. You will camp and sail and ski.

Evening Trail

The Hunting Lands are where the boats were built for. They were equipped to go there. The souls were believed in and expected to rise up.

The Hunting Lands.

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The Nosegay Blog

The Nosegay Blog

lyndsey and bruni
wizard

We are safe here at Barley Hall, my nosegays will stop you turning purple, and my visitors will keep me informed. Fore-armed is fore-warned and I sought to defend my position with knowledge. There was little need, for every visitor had something to impart. Yes I did have plenty to say at the start of my summer holiday stint but this was nothing to the array of facts and anecdotes. Soon I was passing along the wisdom of one to another and I will gather here some of the best of this.

Some of my newly gained knowledge is debatable; this does not mean it is necessarily untrue, just that there will be debate. The very room I am in has become a convoluted topic. Refer to the notice boards for what is perhaps the definitive answer even though many in the discussion would disagree. Even the name, “No, it is not a parlour” – A solar; sit in there in the sunlight and treat this place as a retreat. A place to craft for joy, a place to make all which is beautiful: here you can write and some say learn.

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nasa

A few have disagreed that the parlour was a place to receive visitors. Although another interjected that one visitor would be invited in here among the family; the tutor – here we would learn our letters and our lessons. Rhetoric, logic and astronomy are among the topics which would be enabled by this. But nay, this was not the reception say many who contributed to this on-going discussion. The way in was the proving point if this camp of thought. You entered via the stairs; from there you would be in Lord Snawsell’s bed chamber. Here in, it has been read, was his office and softer furnishings.

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Me at Murton Park Viking Village, York (Photo by Andraea)
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So therefore this is where he would meet with you. The logic of this is in the access and the fact you would feel you had been welcomed whilst at the same time you would be aware that by being in his realm he retained power. There is logic in the aspect of access too it is argued; from there to get to the parlour one would have to go through Lady Joan’s personal chambers and then get in the way of the busy journeyman all down the long hall. Not everything I hear, as I say, is definitely right and some things I hear are definitely wrong.

Barley Hall is loved, many revisit, many discuss, many compliment and recommend, but not all feel this way it seems. A passing hen party definitely didn’t like the look. As I was returning from a visit to DIG my way into the alley was blocked. I stood back to allow the party-wear ladies to leave the alley and they stopped suddenly. Looking up the street, “Oh we’ve been this way” – “We’ve been here before” – “We’ve been up there” – “We’ve been up there” – “We don’t want to go that way again” – “We’ve been this way”. Eventually they turned back and I had a path ahead of me, a slow path.

Barley-Hall window view
The view in the window (minus the peacock)

As they noticed the large window into the hall for the first time there were sounds of disapproval from one of these revellers. “Oh dear, I wouldn’t want to go in there” – “And I wouldn’t want to eat that” – “No, it looks awful in there” – “Ancient!” – “It’s like a museum”

Although most people are entranced by the peacock upon the table, the hen party in search of a meal and another drink were not the only ones to not fancy eating a bird which had been cooked and then repacked in its raw skin. “Never do that” visitors inform me, “Never mix cooked and raw”. “They certainly hadn’t heard of health and safety!”

Nosegays keep us safe, or at least perfumed. Gay meaning ornament back in the day; they were about the smell. Many report on the vast amounts of information on the medicinal, spiritual and nutritional uses of herbs; that is not a major concern when it comes to nasal orientated ornaments. It is all about the smell, the logic I am instructed, is that if the smell carried the disease you didn’t want it up your nose. The miasma must be refused access and to follow logic, if your nose was full of sweet smells then how could the horrid miasma get in! So visitors tell me it was not just about masking the smell, it was about keeping you safe.

If you wanted to be really safe, what better than a plague doctor mask. Fill that with herbs and strap it on. While you were feeling ultra-safe as a result of this constant experience of the sweet and beautiful you might want to go all out and get yourself a job.

plague doc 01 close up
thats me that is

Plague doctors are in demand it seems. An explanation of this which was given to me was that all the doctors were gone – in one way or another. It was a well-paid job I am told – while it lasted.

Not much in the way of skills was needed, according to some, all you needed was a stick, a big stick. With your mask on off you go, and prod people. Then all you had to do was tell them whether they are going to live or die (if in doubt go for the die option). The strange thing is, whatever the answer, they would thank you. I considered these offerings and discussed with other visitors. It is not so strange when you think, as I was asked to do, on the history of medicine. Throughout Europe ‘knowing’ was often more important than helping. ‘How long will they be?’ – ‘Will it be quick?’ – ‘Have you anything to make it easier?’ Another suggested this was still the main focus in many tribal cultures around the world.

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These ‘sticks’ are actually hand-made tent pegs found in the woodpile at Gudvangen, (Photo by Tove Gulbrandsen), put you could prod with them

I decided there and then, that once all my visitors had made a nosegay I was off to get a stick; the income would be most welcome – while it lasted.As not everyone wants a nosegay I will be here a while yet. Not that they are to be sniffed at, if you see what I mean. Much a sniffing and a pondering has there been.

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Thats me sniffing that is, honest
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Deciding of what aroma, of what herb one is holding a bowl of. Lavender is spotted by most, thyme only by a few and lemon balm by only one chap. Rosemary is spotted on sight by most, although one or two, including a rosemary grower, thought it was pine. The one which is most evocative is actually a flower rather than a herb as such. Some love it, most are reminded, reminded of something. A Greek flower which is gathered as a healing tea, camomile, just flowers, childhood memories, the bottom cupboard next to the pans; we were taken places. I was put off this bowl for quite a while when a girl said it smelt of hamster bedding. This smell was removed for me a little later by the power of suggestion; a lady said it made her think of her grandfather’s pipe tobacco. Now, whenever I hold the marigold bowl in front of me I am transported back to my childhood and the hint of sweetness within a heady aroma which would erupt into the room when granddad opened his pouch to stock up his pipe with baccie.

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So far there are no reports of the plague coming to me from my visitors. No one has been spotted to be turning purple, well except for Mr Purple himself, but he is upon his bicycle platform out of the way anyway. The next edition will feature live frogs, alternative universes and elephants tusks among many other oddities of conversation. Remember when recalling this blog so far, it is all absolutely true – that people have told me these things.

Your tales and opinions can be added into the mix for discussion too. Be in touch.

Adrian

Here is the link to the exciting second half…. Nosegay Blog Too

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Saying Thank You

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

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