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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“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

The Horned God and the Wild Hunt – Some great new stuff – and loads more to come – Viking Comic Inc. II

Click here for a more recent version

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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.

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“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 Ceremony photos and footage

Aurland Photography

2015 Opening Speech (more moving)

Skaldic Pieces

Future Skaldic Plans

To Become a King

Saying Thank You

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OldMan II (Mini) – Story walk for blind ex-service people

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Saying Thank You

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Click here to view OldMan 01

Click here to view the Indoctrination poem

Click here to view Lives of Creatives

Click here to view OldMan 04 – Star Trek

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

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

Click here to view OldMan 08 – Socks and Slippers

Click here to view OldMan 09 –  Fame At Last It Beckons

Click here for OldMan 10 – Battle of Hastings Revisited

Click to view OldMan 11 – This Time It’s Personal

Click to view OldMan 12 – Bob’s Life

Click to view OldMan 13 – Guadeloupe

Click to view OldMan 14 – Magazine Feature

Click to view Hobb and the Normans at Cliffords Tower

Click to buy The Guy Fawkes Audio Book

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

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

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

Visit Fortean Times

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I am Celebrating – three thousand views since I started blogging – here are some highlights

I am Celebrating – three thousand views since I started blogging – here are some highlights

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The wonderful wonderful experience of my Viking Comics Inc. first publication – The Hammer Flies

Strange Jobs

I released my first singleam

cloud worldI previewed my Greek Myths CD

I was very pleased to see my pal Georg has started a blogEvening Trail

Viking Comics Inc. Two – The Horned God and the Wild Huntseeress toni

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Viking Comics Inc Volume Three

Model-making Done for the DAyA new regular feature – Grumble Monthly

I declared a Kingsea king

I tried artwild creature

wizardTen years a storyteller

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A plan to conquer the Viking world I am going to Gudvangen

I play with toys

Toys

I did poems

I was things

I planned a fishing trip and saw mooseelk 03

(You gotta look at that one, it’s my fave)

I cut out dollies

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I ranted

I cookedme n amanda

12049342_495805563939884_3566201213765577221_nI got spooky

I opened a festival (on TV)

I discovered whole worlds

News of Faeries (btw I am about to prove that little people exist)

Stay close

There is so much more x

Saying Thank You

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Watch It Norway – It Is Ten Thousand Years Today

Watch It Norway – It is Ten Thousand Years Today.

Yes,

It is ten thousand years today since the whole edge of Norway actually dropped off.

Had quite an effect on the world.

Made Britain separate from Europe.

Destroyed whole townships along where the English Channel appeared and along the North Sea

Not to mention making Norway quite thin.

I am hoping it isn’t a regular event.

Because it is due in the morning.

(I am sure quite a few of you are too.)

Cos if it does happen again in the early hours.

It will cause quite a few problems.

Norway would be like a ledge.

The people from over in Sweden will be calling over, “Hey are you alright over there!”

And all the Norwegians will be like lined up with their backs to Sweden (Yes I know that tends to happen anyway) edging along an, erm, well, edge.

They will be balanced on their heels in a long thin line holding hands.

They will call over their shoulders, “Yes we are fine thank you.”

“We are edging our way upwards this week and next week we will be working our way down south again.”

“That’s all we can do really, shuffle upwards or shuffle back down again.”

“The government told us we will all be alright as long as we hold hands.”

“And we always do whatever the government tell us to do whatever party is in power cos we are like that.”

“Right everyone shuffle right.”

(Whispered, “And try not to think about personal space, but rather think about Norwegian Arms”.)

I know I know this wont be funny if it really happens in the morning.

And possibly isn’t funny at all anyway.

But I dreamed it, and it seemed funny then.

Just thank god it didn’t happen to China, cos then when they whispered messages along the line it would all go wrong.

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Saying Thank You

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Life Changes

Life Changes

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I had a sleepless night.

And I have made 147 changes in my life.

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I didn’t make them all last night.

Because I couldn’t sleep I got thinking.

It is true, I totted them up.

I suppose it all started when I stopped smoking.

Over this long long winter, I have made changes in my life, lots of them.

147 in total.

Well, since the end of summer actually.

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Some were quite important and some were quite minor; some would seem major to others and were minor and simple to me while others would be straight forward to many and were really major to me.

Like changing my phone, a real big thing to me and took ages to get round to.

Another big one was getting the hang of being brave enough to talk on the phone to strangers – a real biggy that.

From stopping taking sugar in my coffee to planning to move, I’ve made changes.

I’ve joined a society, been honest with myself for the first time truly. I have been honest to others. I have proclaimed. This is who I am and this is how much I want to help others. I have fallen in love (ah, nothing new there then).

I have severed ties with the damaging and draining. I have found time for old friends and rekindled loving connections which I had gradually isolated myself from. I have made new friends, in some exciting new circles and with a vastly wide set of skills and interests.

Learning to be alone and to experience and grow and be content come along in there somewhere too.

There’s been lots of healthy stuff, new items of diet, developing a revolutionary daily health tonic, hitting habits and slowly becoming healthier, even a couple of physical routines.

I have discovered we are fourth dimensional beings, developed distance healing, meditation, even looked at my connection to the global consciousness.

I have, wait for it, engaged a team to work full time to further my political objectives – no really.

I have been to lectures, learnt skills, been on a course, cooperated in cooperative courses, benefitted from informal ad hock training.

I have engaged, artists, composers, learnt to rap, lots of new skills, learnt software, net skills, design, PR skills, – I am an editor.

I have changed my job and my way of working, worked on increasing my income, lowering my outgoings, developed a pension plan.

I am better equipped for travel, for outdoor pursuits, and for personal survival.

Exciting new job opportunities are set in process in, another town, another country and across the world.

There are plans on where to live; with another, in a creative commune, in a historic setting, in another town, in another country and / or closer to loved ones.

I am developing a mobile workstation – Spendlow Studios, and contemplating a nomadic life.

I am recording, filming, drawing, setting up Spendlow TV.

I have developed a new way to tell ghost stories, a new form of storytelling and completely re-envisioned the Viking belief system.

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I have co-wrote with children, worked on songwriting, skaldic verse and I have proclaimed a king.

(Quick rethink – no, three new physical exercise routines in total, not including producing more of my own food naturally.)

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I have learnt to write blogs which, although true, seem unbelievable and make the reader wish to know more. *Sly smile*.

Cooperative, creative, pro rata profit shares are the fulfilling way forward.

147 changes.

So, have I become that ‘better person’?

Ah,

It was a long sleepless night.

I also thought of 47 things I need to change.

What are they?

You will have to wait till my next sleepless night to find out.

Saying Thank You

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

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Grumble Monthly – A new magazine series to join such as Poem Pics, Chatty Mag and Rant of the Week etc

Grumble Monthly – A new magazine series to join such as Poem Pics, Chatty Mag and Rant of the Week etc

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I am updating this page and re-blogging it with loads more new stuff in it, cos I had this idea that I might be funny. My mate tells me I am not all that funny usually. Except – when I bitch-slap.

Get me mad or give me a platform to grumble and then I am entertaining. That’s what she said any way.

So you are going to have to put up with it right.

Well only once a month or so.

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I will collect up all my grumbles and put them altogether into a themed magazine issue (just one of my many threads oh yes).

(People who see my posts on Facebook will be breathing a sigh of relief at this point, “Oh Thank the Gods, we don’t have to see his miserable posts three times a day.)

Super –posters are going to be the subject of my vitriol quite soon I can tell you. Ah, no, it will have to wait till next month and I will have to be nice in between times.

Mark My Words I will be jotting it all down and saving it up, so watch them posts of yours, cos I am…

Poundshops. They sell me far too much stuff. It is ridiculous. Oooo a fly swatter, I would like one of those. No. You get five. Five. What on earth do I want with five fly swatters!!!!!!

Lobster pots, they get me mad. There you are having a nice walk by the harbour and there are loads of them piled up (I actually think fishermen/fisherpeople are lazy as them pots are always there on the harbour – they ought to get out fishing more often). People wander by and they go, “Ooooo look lobster pots.” Have you looked at the seafood stalls! Loads of crabs, and like, two lobsters. They are crab pots, crab pots, what are you calling them lobster pots for! That’s why I am cross about Lobster Pots.

Oh no I have gone and called them that now.

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Allotments. The committee have gone and put up a map board – ‘You are here’. It is rubbish, well for most of the year anyway. It is only actually accurate in mid-winter; the rest of the year it means nothing. Nothing.

Or.

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It could be they have just recently repainted the notice board. So no one is putting notices on it in case it gets spoilt.

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Yes that’s it, look, cos next to it there is a really old one and people are putting their notices on that.

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And that Michelle, (not that I should really grumble about my wonderful friend), but what a rubbish greenhouse you have. Admittedly it has been in her shed for years unopened. So I borrowed it, and took it to another friends allotment to set up for our mutual seeds (don’t read anything into that phrase this is not a social networking pop up ad.)

But look at it.

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Note the bag of pegs
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I opened the packaging and it exploded, shot up in the air and became an instant greenhouse.. But what good is it ! There is only room for one plant. You have to peg it down to stop it blowing away. There isn’t a hole anywhere or a lid or anything. How on earth are you going to give it any water! They do need that you know. I hope it blows away.  Someone else can put their plant in it only for it to die.

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So I built one from bits laying about.

If you look closely at any of these pictures you will probably see some Mares Tail / Horsetail Fern. It is everywhere. And its roots go down to Australia. Turns out, one of the allotments is rented by the local horticultural college and about thirty years ago, they came and said, look we have a revolutionary way to get rid of Horsetail Fern. Can we come and work on the finer details in tests on an allotment? They planted the whole allotment with the stuff. Then. The tests failed. They didn’t have solution after all. Now. All two hundred and fifty allotments (vegetable gardens), are full of the stuff.

Look out Australia!

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Jocular yet slightly racist ignorance helped position this image

Whenever I am on a train, I look out at some point and there is a BATA. It says it is a country store and everyone is welcome. What the hell do they sell? I’ve never been in one. They are plonked out of the way by the railway and you never ever pass one by any other means of transport. Welcome? Pah!

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Two pouts and you are out. My mum says you can’t trust anyone nowadays cos everything has been taken over by spammers and tricksters and all the cowboys she sees on them programs she watches that warn you about stuff. Well. She is right. I get at least one friend request a day. When you go on to look, they have nothing on their page at all. Nothing except their two pics, one for the profile, one for the cover pic. They are wearing a short shirt, they have big eyes and they are pouting. Remember my rule to get you through life –Two Pouts and you are OUT.

(btw I did have a genuine friend request one time fairly recently I am sure)

Spoiler alert –

This next bit is going to spoil a film for you, so scroll down past it quick.

Castaway.

Six long years he was there on that island. He could not escape because no boat with just oars would ever get over the great big reef that goes all the way round his tiny little miserable island. He crashed there with a huge pile of parcels he was supposed to deliver. He was going to deliver those parcels. He was going to get away from here and get home and do his job. He would. But one by one he opened the parcels, and each time it was something useful that saved his life. His long miserable life dreaming of the woman he loved who was now with someone else (A dentist!). When he eventually gets home he personally delivers the last parcel. Very emotional.

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It is a true story. I recently, quite by chance, met the actual woman who received the parcel. (btw if you scrolled down a paragraph to avoid the spoiler it is in this one actually.) I actually met her, the real woman. I asked her…. What was in the parcel? The answer… Loads of bedding and a tent.

(Six years)

(Did ‘six years’ over egg the joke?)

I hate Kinder Ninjas. It has been driving me mad. Ages trying to work out what to do with it. But I did it. I have one on my key ring and I am ready…

Is there a message in random happenings? I have just counted up, and I have been given or had bought for me 11 suitcases. Is there a message in this for me?

Random equals synchronicity. I see it in everything. I believe in it. There is always a message. Then I read Jung. He says, there is no such thing as synchronicity, yet there is great power in it.

I like that. I like that.

Then. I read an article by some psychologist. He says random events are random events. There is no meaning in them happening at the same time. By their very nature random events are random. They are not evenly spaced because then they would not be random. So, they are bound to cluster. That is their nature to randomly appear and sometimes to randomly appear all at once. That is random.

I do not like that at all.

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and that Vikings Uncovered thing on the telly – they ought to rename it – Myth Busting for Idiots (that’s my mini review)

Is it just me, or when you go on Facebook right, there is scroll along bar of recommended friends for you – How come every one of them looks like an absolute fruit cake.

And any of them social networking sites or twenty funny pictures pages n stuff, how come all the adverts down the side are always for really weird kinky strange stuff!

[blog update – ah, I’ve just been informed the adverts on pages you visit are tailored specially to you and relate to your search interests]

That Alan Sugar (I think it was him, but it might have been some other guy), anyway them queues in the garage – btw when I say garage I mean the shop where you go to pay for your petrol and buy stuff like flowers cos you forgot to get someone a present (see below).

You are in the queue right and the adverts are put on just for you, that guy, or maybe someone else I forget, right, made millions out of it, well a bit anyway. All they did was, went to a software company and said invent this please. There is a camera looking at you and it is linked to face recognition software. And it assesses the people lined up and determines their age, gender and stuff. Then it works out the majority profile and puts ads up about things they like. Loads of old ladies in the queue? = Ads for denture baths and elasticated hosiery. That sort of thing.

When I was in the queue the ads were all sorts of weird strange things!?

Norwegians (in my opinion) don’t learn English, they learn American English. So a garage is a gas station or a petrol station. Stuff like that. There’s loads more but I will grumble about it in another blog. No. Wait. I am getting radged now. Candy. Candy!!!!! It’s sweets.

Aeroplanes. They can’t have very good engines on these things if they have to put you in the dark by turning off all the lights before they can take off.

Ads for dating sites. They are always on saying our site will get you the right person you don’t want to be going on those ones that just ask about a couple of things about you.

What if I wanted to go out with a camel!

Thought: The chaos of the universe is mine and I should just do what I do. Accept my faults and failings and live. Lord knows there is love and acceptance there for me. I am damaged goods. Sometimes I forget the happiness, the sharing, the affection others bring. Thank you to all those who see the brilliance shine. I might just have a light in me.

Somewhere.

Shopping online with a friend is faster and easier or so I read – I don’t understand how the world works any more I don’t.

Buses. When you leave the stop before yours, press the bell. Then the driver knows she has to stop at the next stop in plenty of time. Do not sit there with your finger on the bell looking out all anxious and press it just as you get to the next stop. Don’t do that.

Don’t talk to people either. They don’t want to know. Woman in front of me the other day, she looks at the (slightly large) woman across from her who has a pushchair and says, ‘It that your granddaughter?’ No. It wasn’t. The poor woman looks round and says, ’It’s mine.’ All choked up she was. She actually got off a few stops early and walked so she could have a cry. As she got off the bus the woman in front of me says, ‘Nice talking to you’. No it wasn’t.

And another thing, that democracy. It is all well and good having democracy but the trouble is, there are some horrible people out there. How come they get included in the right to vote!!! It just doesn’t seem fair to me.

Junk mail goes in a folder marked junk mail, but some junk mail goes in your inbox marked junk. It’s like that advert where some people are allowed in the park and others aren’t. Junk! Why does it do it! Does it forget its own rules sometimes? Or does it think, oooops I’ve put that in the inbox and now I’ve decided it is junk, better mark it quick so I don’t look daft? Does it think?

And I will tell you another thing

[You have exceeded your space allowance for this month, please try again in a few weeks]

Part I

We must never join in my friend. We must be what we are and do what we do. We must never join in my friend. It takes so long. No one notices what we do, but we are in on the zeitgeist, we are the past and the future and often not quite the moment, we are what we are and believe; we must never crumble my friend. Nothing is ever the end. Except the end. And that is a temporal thing beyond this existence. Try stepping into how other people live. No. this is not us. This is not us my friend. We live in dream. Only dreams. Only dreams of what we can say. Of what we can do. Of what we can make be. And we sing brother. Oh my god how we sing. Let your visions be. Let your software searches be a thing of the long long moment. Watch those blue bars pass. Edit the moment again and again and again. Dive into excitement. Dive into possibility. Be. Just be. Because you are just perfect as you are. And we are in this totally crazy forever forever moment forever. Never doubt. Who out there is the same? Who of the people we meet could be us. Never doubt. Be. Never doubt; be. Because. Because of a thousand things you hold in your heart. All of it is bursting out and will be seen. Will be experienced, in the heart of others, it will, it will. My crazy friend. My crazy friend.  My friend.

Never doubt.

gra

I wrote the above after I realised I had joined the world of editors, sitting in a little corner watching blue bars go by. I once told Gramey that everyone has a destiny in life and a purpose and that his main quality was an ability to watch blue bars go across the screen. He reacted as if I had placed a curse on him! Now I watch them. We are in fact The Blue Bar Boys. Not that they are always blue of course. I have been watching the black line one on my editing software a lot lately. One observes stuff which seem so of interest at the time. IE It takes longer for the bar to go from 99% to 100% than it does to get from 1 to 99 altogether. And the first 45% goes by in a flash. I don’t suppose there is any use for this information but it seems important when you are watching it.

Does watching the bar go by help at all? I feel like I am helping it along when I sit there. Sit there staring. Then when it clicks through to completed and I can at last start work again, what do I I do? Get up and go and make a coffee. Why on earth didn’t I do that when I was sat doing nothing!

What I endure is nothing to the time Gramey feels he loses. I felt he might need a reminder that there are usually beautiful outcomes to all his hard work.

Saying Thank You

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Bits – an anniversary, a call for poets, a call for artists and a confession

Bits – an anniversary, a call for poets, a call for artists and a confession…

shakey

The Anniversary

As I respond to requests for books and CDs and bank the cheques, (on-line buyability coming real soon), I see on the list a request for Road To Ragnarok. This is a book of action poems from way back. The actual performances were in 2005 it seems, and were perhaps the best shows I have ever done. When I go to print the book to pop in the post, I see that it was published in 2006;  that was the last show I created which was poetry based. I became a storyteller as a result of this project.

I went to my monthly poetry show and said it is all stories tonight.

So,

It is the tenth anniversary of my becoming a storyteller.

Advice on charging for e-books and sound-and-image downloads greatly appreciated btw

There is a snippet from Road To Ragnarok below….

Ten Years.

Call for Poets

I was inspired in my latest Blog – https://adrianspendlowblog.com/2016/03/02/hey-ive-done-it-ive-remembered-the-first-poem-i-ever-wrote/

I have been inspired again as a result.

First Poem Ever

A monthly blog of first poems. Your own and those of famous people you admire. Join the amazing experience and offer your poems (this is just for fun at the moment but may lead to a profit share publication in the end). I look forward to seeing your offerings.

PS If you have never written a poem., all the better, do your first now!

(adrianspendlow@gmail.com)

Call for Artists

The Horned God and the Wild Hunt – Viking Comics Inc. are leaping into their second publication. Join us by offering the art work to be part of things.

We need over a hundred drawings. This will be a blog and then later a downloadable display for presentation at, markets, festivals and museums and for sale on line as a profit share. Maybe even as an actual book too.

Here is the blog so far….

The Horned God and the Wild Hunt

Start talking to me now….

Now…

For the confession…

bigfoot

I may have caused my family trouble, and all mums visitors too. Everytime I am over there and mum says can you fetch me a paper I buy two. I am not keen on her getting all her news from a tabloid, so I’ve tried everything; i, The Telegraph, The Yorkshire Post. She is sticking with the Mirror. So this time I was over, I thought I would try something else. What did I buy her? The UK edition of National Enquirer (“The truth is out there, but sometimes it is hard to find”).

I didn’t tell her that its all made up. I am already imagining the conversations.

four legs
I might get her this next?

So this morning when I rang her I asked what she thought of that new paper. She really liked it, a real good read.

Be ready to hear that Elvis is alive and the second world war never ended, or that martians have landed in Scunthorpe.

saucers

But then again, she will love the celebrity stuff.

the sun
But not this

Here’s that snippet from my book…

Out of Chaos Can Come Life
The magical Seeress in the gruesome start of this adventure shows us the way to the start of all time and the birth of the very angry Giants. Your first chance to play all the parts.
Soon-grown Norse, we gather in the company of the Seeress
Dark dark this earth-smell fusty low-roofed home
Choking smoke weaves, fills, to cause a tear
As crackle fire builds, dazzles, “See in the flame” she says
Flickering flare it builds to glaze; to change the mind                      See the Scinn-beings climbing to your eye,
by Wiccecraeft spell”
The whole of story of the Norse,
the Viking-gone, the rich-return
All the stories, tales so old-old old-old old, we know
So long told we know, and hold in hearts/In soul.
They tell us how, and who, we are.
Be. Believe. Drink, juice of berry dark -in true-carved cup. See.
Hints of creatures;
writhe about; in all we see. Supernatural/freestyle
Wild-Charging from the thicket of this plate
Leaping at us fierce, so full, from all that’s carved
Curling up so sinuous/sly throughout the very foliage we hold
Up from eye-glazing flame spout creature/spirits to fill
To fill us, fire us, blind us to all fear or doubt
A badger in the soul, A wild cat in the spine
The rise of wide ‘splade wings inside the eye
Serpent, fierce rodent, bragging stag, bulbous bull
Experience the essence of fierce animal within us all!
We feed her, the tall fine seer all dressed in rarest fur
Gluttonous yellow glob of goat’s first-ever uddermilk in lump;
Beaten brass spoon is soon unwrapped, – a Walrus tooth to hold
Still pulsing pulled is beating heart of wolf that howling dies
Obsidian blade that glistens raised – stabs-out a pumping chunk
She, Thorbiorg-girl, throws off her sable mantle. She is beautiful.
Clinging-smooth: all precious glittering stones,
she reaches into low-slung Tinder-belt
Then scattering blasts of magic, be it bones or skin, “Draw in!”
“And so we know,” she says, “the Gods are deep inside”
“May we have: The far-sight of Heimdall”, Hush, listen, hear.
Nod to know all knowledge, as wise good Balder
Feel thrumming thrill of calling on the thunder-power of Thor!
By the wealth of all you feel: You truly are. “Go Viking!”
“Dare now: For all the world will end – in Ragnarok
And as you quest, as I send, let all spirit make you brave
Huge walrus ring, Bull rush bracer – intertwined with spidertwine
Helm n cloak n belt n gown all inter-wound with power divine
“Worlds will end! Or we at least will slow!”

Try my very popular news blog There Are Such Things As Elves

The Chatty Magazine Issues – Sparkling WordsBits Holiday Issue

Saying Thank You

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

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