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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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.

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

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.
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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.

big hat smilesHe 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.
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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.

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.

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My full blog selection

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There are such things as elves

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There are such things as elves

Yes there are, and they have been seen – elves. Little childlike figures with elven faces skipping around a waterfall, appearing and disappearing. Credible sounding witnesses too. This, I am sure, will be great news for many of my readers; for the many who have approached me to tell me of their experiences. I now wish I had interviewed lots of you personally as it may well have been worthy of an international news feature as in the case of this latest sensational sighting.

Now. I tell stories, and often silly stories, so I am perhaps not one of those credible witnesses, but I am, it seems, a credible pair of ears. I skip about trapped in a fairy ring turning my hat inside out and people come up to me afterwards and tell me very serious accounts of their experiences. Trolls in particular, the littler variety usually; giggling and peeping and following and such (and turning up again later somewhere completely different to remind you); other creatures too, some quite large and all are not humanoid. These tales are most often told to me among the heady environment of Gudvangen in Norway by my Viking friends or by passing tourists, but I do hear tales of places elsewhere; small people of Iceland and the alternative world human sized helpers who wait for you to step through for instance, or the nature spirits fluttering to follow the song-lines of Aboriginal lands. There are lots of sizes and types I am told.

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Well. Do any of you identify with the latest creatures to be reported in the news? If any globetrotting fairy searchers are reading this and already have their bags half packed (I am serious for I know a few like this) hold fire. Do not head off to Gudvangen, well do by all means it is a magical place, but read on; we are heading to a far different part of the world.

The reason I was prompted to write about the beings from the Americas is my surprise reaction. I was scared! I am not sure if that feeling will transfer to you as you read on, but you have been warned. There are surprises in store for you, that is for certain.

Yes the Americas, the middle strip. Head there with me now for a few encounters.

The ‘children’ the account of which scared and excited me were spotted in a storm in a national park. They are not the only mystical creatures to be reported credibly in the region however. As well as these particular playful little people there are many reports of ‘Duende’, fantastical spirits or elves, and of course there is folk-lore; long long have people talked of these beings, most often as household spirits, very similar to the Hobb of Yorkshire farms. These creatures are most often talked of in their rural areas, but ‘Duende’ can be complained of in town houses too. They tend to frolic though often cause mischievous disruption. Things go missing, there are sudden bangs to wake you up or right behind you. They are cheeky to say the least. They are no doubt blamed for many a thing which is amiss and unexplainable. Not actually spotted that often, when they are they are described as elf or gnome like and wearing green, sometimes with a red top or cloak.

So it is with the being seen in the nearby Bijagua de Upala who was wearing a red cloak, almost covered by it in fact; a child-like being sat upon a rock by a volcano. Officials from the park say many report being worried for the welfare of this little guy all alone smiling away in the middle of nowhere. The latest sighting of beings cause greater concern.

Although people seem unsettled and challenged when reporting these concerns, there is far more fear associated with the very many reports of Duende visitations. The military academy of La Glorieta has catalogues of sightings and reports with a great deal of fear and worry among the officers and men. This highly respected institution based in a large old castle has the goal of instilling civil, moral and spiritual values. They are connecting with the spiritual certainly!

Reports from all grades are starting to be made public and there are many who fear the guard duty of the early hours, with some quite disturbing repercussions. Residents and guards alike hear whisperings behind them, see objects moving about, and are suddenly touched by unseen hands. Cadets report a heavy and intense atmosphere throughout the area, from the river bank to the depth of the castle. Sudden apparitions. Los Duendes.

Eufronio and Jhonny sat listening from their guard station to bangs and the sound of picks down by the river for long moments, then all went quiet. Then there was the sound of something being dragged towards them. They reported that they knew they should have investigated (one of them is now of the rank of Captain) but they felt such unearthly fear that they hid under blankets. Presently they felt the heavy chains being dragged over them and they lost consciousness.

Not too pixy–like perhaps but the worlds of fearie hold many beings of many forms and motivations. Some are seen. Walter a cadet officer at the time reports small figures appearing, sometimes floating, shadows of smaller beings in dark corners. Talcum powder left sprinkled reveals very small foot prints. Objects appear from nowhere and are missed in another part of the castle. The lightning flashes! This is dreaded. For when there is a storm and a flash of lightning comes, small figures are seen. These figures carry swords.

Mainly they are diminutive but there is also a womanly figure which floats right through you in a long flowing gown; a queen of the fairies perhaps. These are not glimpses into a magical world where one might be enchanted; these are terrifying to the beholders with a real sense of intimidation. This phenomenon is intensifying over recent years and one cadet was admitted to hospital following seizures and talking in a strange language.

We shall put this place behind us, yet for those of you who perhaps would like to know more I refer you to the writings of Alan Murdie in the magazine of those interested in the philosophy of Charles Fort – Fortean Times (you might well read elsewhere, but this is the account I recommend).

Let us move now to somewhere beautiful, to the place I actual intend to report upon; the pathway by the waterfall on the Rio Celeste. Come with me now to the Tenoria Volcano National Park where guides and officials and visitors have had some very magical experiences. Giggling small beings, holding hands and skipping and dancing. They are dressed all in green, bright green, with little dark green hats. The torrential storm and the wildness of the area had no effect upon them, they were happy and lively and going about their own experiences. They were seen and then they were gone.

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Gone from sight of humans at least, it seems they are still there living their way in their world which overlaps our own. They step through into vision for many, and there are some among us, I know for a fact, who see such beings more clearly and constantly. I await feedback from my readers who are of this persuasion for further details of these creatures way of life and demeanour.

Yet I should not encourage visitors there. There is another side to these visitations. A chilling aspect. No contact has been made, not even eye contact or acknowledgement of our existence upon this plane, there are interesting reactions however from those privileged to witness.

There is an atmosphere, it is as if you know you should not be part way through to their world. An unaccountable feeling of fear. This feeling comes on before you are witness to the other lives. Homer, one of the guides who has walked that fearful trail tells us how chilled and frightened he felt. He didn’t know quite why he felt this way, but he was shortly to become rooted to the spot. There had been a sudden storm and he had advised his party to join him in taking a short cut at the end of their trail to enable them to return to base quicker. The rain came sudden and heavy, they were instantly soaked, so they went with him, some slightly ahead of him, down a little used path. There is an old path which traverses the bushy growth and comes very near to the entrance to the waterfall where a darker area can be seen within.

He was trying to catch up with the tourists who had got ahead of him when he saw other movement. He stopped, he stared, he could not move. Those before and behind him were also fixed to the spot. Some remembered nothing of this experience whilst most had detailed accounts. It was strange. It should not be happening. It was from somewhere else and yet from right here.

How incongruous to see happy small people in such a wild place and especially in such torrential weather. This environment was not affecting the beings at all. Party members Jennifer and her mother found it strange that a group so small should be alone and unaccompanied. They leaped and skipped as they moved, you could see that they were very very happy. This was not the feeling of the viewer however, especially when one looked into their faces. These were not the faces of children, they were gnome like, like dwarves, beautiful yet ancient in appearance. Her mother later said that a chill had ran through her body for the brief while that she watched these entities traversing the path ahead of them. They were there, they will always be remembered, then suddenly they were gone.

I will not be visiting such a place, but if you do I look forward to hearing from you upon your return.

And to my friends who are spotters of the world of faerie, I am on my way to interview you now…

 

Now try my Haunted House blog