My Gudvangen Dream Life as a Viking – Dream-time III

My Gudvangen Dream Life as a Viking – Dream-time III

I am already there, stood between Patrick and Bjork-Mari, in Njardarheimr in Freyr-Anders’ Gudvangen Village of the Vikings. I am there in my heart. I am already there and in this dream.

My Gudvangen Dream Life III sees me already in the Viking-style life ahead of me in Gudvangen where I will be living (and blogging) as Skald to the Viking Chieftain in Njardarheimr Viking Town in Norway. Stay in place as followers to know what happens next; beware, nothing is made up, yet most of this is dream.

NB The fictitious names are taken from those I have known but the characters added to them are based on other people I know.

PS The innocent will be protected until the group decides upon going to war. (The time is now.)

PPS You can become part of this by sending me thoughts and ideas adrianspendlow @ gmail.com or by commenting below (as if you were there).

Strongly recommended: Start with Viking-dream I and Viking-dream II

 

Dream-time III

In the mist-morning when the thumps of white are so dramatic forming shapes balanced in the air; blink and the solid realness of it is, over there. It was here. It was this shape. It is, *blink*, up the mountain, down the path, here in the garden.

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It is morning I think.

I still hear trees creak. Waterfalls thrum. Even shadows cast an echo.

And this is war. Today we shall go to war.

We wake for war.

The thick lamb broth of the yesterday is still warm we won through there.002

Breakfast is thick and fast and hot. The breath steams.

We don’t wish to have to tell you how to feel but a raven flies in.

Siw-Alfadis thinks they see a raven out to sea coming this way.

“It can’t be a raven,” says Olafr-Andreas, “that’s an omen”.

“And a myth,” rejoins Blathnaid-Brigid.

“Do not say Odin’s ravens are a myth,” gleams Siw-Alfadis, “for the two ravens watch us”.

“Not the two ravens,” recounters the Irish born maiden, “the three”.

“The three, the three, the holy three,” dances Janne-Annhja.

“We are before your holy ghost and the Draugen still climb from the sea in fear of Ran and her nine waves,” Bjork-Mari leans seriously forward fixing the eye.

“It is the nine,” intones Siw-Alfadis.

“The nine,” is the stern echo from Teresa-Linn.

“The nine,” we all confirm in solemn depth.

“The nine!” a thin voice cries, and a nine-pointed star shoots from the hand of Bjorn-Ole into a doll hung upon our sacred dressed tree.006

We all laugh at the leap and throw, of the far-travelled adopted one who took a name and life in service, “Nine not three”.

“Two not three for that is the number of the ravens,” claims Blathnaid-Brigid, “The stories they tell us of the ravens”.

“I know of the three ravens for I am from the new lands where they still tell the old tales.”004.jpg Johnson doesn’t rise for his scraping-sheet is upon his knee and the sharps hurt the feet of the one to follow there where they fall.005

“Wise is the chap who cages three ravens. For such a karr will have their guidance. When one has sailed beyond the fjords and heads out south…”

“No, no, one should never leave the fjords”, proclaims Tor-Gunlodd, “Yes, I know Bjorn-Ole is from far away but that was over land; I know Blathnaid-Brigid is across the seas, but surely just in sight and not that far, for all she is a Celt.

“There are lands a year from here and many drown who seek to come from there and many more who seek to leave here,” insists Johnson.007

“To be sure you are all wrong, wrong for there are words of marvellous lands far far beyond the lands of my home, beyond the green. Magical lands we can never enter at all at all at all”.

“Stop it now Patrick,” laughs Teresa-Linn.

“Enchanted isle beyond enchanted isle forever ever ever on.”

“You stop it too Blathnaid-Brigid,” scolds Freyr-Anders with a smile, “Well just for now sweet wild thing. Let us hear of the ravens of Jorvik”.

“Not of my lands at all,” says Johnson.

“Not at all at all at all at all,” chips in Patrick.

“Stop it I said,” laughs our Chieftain.

“Not of my lands, not of the lands of ice, or the further lands of ice which lie to us by saying they are green.”

“Send you poor farmers to Ireland and you rich sons to Jorvik we know we know we know,” says Patrick.

“No there are further lands.”

The circle hush.

“How dare one say such a thing,” queries Frode-T’or.

“There are the old tales,” whispers Tone-Irene.

“They sailed,” says Johnson, “or so it says, the word. Take three land birds of the feather dark with you and guard them well. After a few days let one go. It will wing back to where you came from and you know you will still have far to go.

Let out the second later and there is still no land, it circles. You know you have come so far. It settles on the mast. There is no land for it to fly to. A few days of hopeful sailing later you let go the third. Oh how we rejoice, it flies forward. It smells the land, a new land and new place, a new found land”.008.jpg

“This is where I say the tales are wrong, you don’t need three,” stands Blathnaid-Brigid, “The one on the mast would smell the land ahead and fly forward. All you had to do was feed it now and then, to keep up its energy, and it would fly. You don’t need the third”.

“So it is all stories,” wonders Leif-Lasse.

A raven lands at their feet.

Siw-Alfadis looks down with a slight tremor of the face, “Methinks this was the blink of dark of shadowed sky I spied a while back flying in, it traversed the walls of high stone over fjord waters and I say it came from sea; it is an omen.” She turns to look at us.

“A warning,” agrees a serious-faced Bjork-Mari.

“The enemy are coming,” resolutely Frode-T’or states.

“See how it pecks of the remains of another bird which died, the entrails of a smaller thing are no longer on the wing yet take shape,” says fixated Siw-Alfadis.

“Ooooooh, oooooh,” shamanic-like Linnea-Ingeborg foresees, “Raven is a warning as it flicks at guts of littler dead thing. It says they, the unknown, sail this way”.

“The enemy,” repeats Bork-Mari.

“Yes, yes, yes – Prepare for war!” cries Lars-Eirik.

“Visitors come, stands Freyr-Anders, “it is true, but from within the lands they come to see. To see how we live and eat and fayre.”

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“Then let us go about our lives,” says Brinhild as she starts to walk.

The sweat lodge beckons.010.jpg

“I have kept great stones hot,” quiet Kjell-Toffe guides.

Clothes are falling as we walk behind him.

Behind the blacksmith’s near lowered bathing bank an entrance beckons. Before this leathered structure a fire; it burns long and slow and all since yesterday. Broad, lasting, logs, so slow are cossetting the dampened stones. Huge stones. They are dry now, hot, extremely hot; long strong poles await.

We do not follow commands from Krell-Toffe, in words; in strong actions, he leads, we follow. An arm jerks here, and stern look there, we follow. Grasping those poles and as with his poised strength we bolster, lean and slowly keen the stone from burn. They roll at last the stones. Bigger than a sheep, heavier that our heaviest man. Kjell-Toffe heaves now and we follow lead. The stones lead on and roll into the delve, they roll right within the lodge.

We dug here, set stakes around the shape of egg and laid damp wood shapes around the curve. The bending of the stakes a roof formed to leather clad. A carving of the centre forms a station for the in-rolling stones. They roll there now.

We are naked and we form a shape of egg around as we sit. The stakes above are clothed. The tent hut of skins surrounds and darkens. A leather kettle is dipped into and a churn of water dampened stones.011.jpg The effect is immense. We are bathed. We are boiled. We are cleaned. We are naked. We are babes. We are calmed and quietened.

Gradually we share out quiet thoughts.

“So when the war comes, who will wield what? Wonders Frode-T’or.

By we leave we are battle ready.

The visitor they did come.

They sit upon banks and await amusement.

“Welcome but stay safe,” in our language and their own calls the statuesque Tone-Irene.

“Yes stay back and stay safe,” repeats Bjorn-Ole in our words and then in his mother tongue, “for one of you could be my mother”

Youths and maidens refresh them.

Our great chieftain Freyr-Anders seeks to quieten them. They see. They see into his beautiful dark eyes, he raises an arm. Then. Upon his hand lands. A raven. 003

From the sea another one. We turn to run.

We turn to run for arms.

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For look, see sails.

They are close. The harbour they can have. Too late to set the fire lines. The harbour they can have. Their ships can land.

Those who ran far and fast now return with arms.

We stand between the boat houses, between the high fences.

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Bjorn-Ole the far-child trade-swap from a land of silk he says he is not of the size to wield a shield or long long spear; as they near he lifts his chosen weapon from his ancestry, a slender spear-shaft he has crafted to a slim long curve-sided blade. “Stand in your lines, with this I raise.”

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“I too have slashing blade,” our chieftain proclaims, and it is raised. “From a king of long gone.

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This is my king blade, but I will take a shield.” A shield so large it rests upon the floor, he reaches over, wielding slashing blade and hopes for war.

Upon his head the helm of boar.

A wildness over comes us.

“Take up your stand of arms and form a line,” he commands.

Johnson of the madness still has no clothes. He takes a shield and axe and says his head is dead and he will surely soon be, “Let it be a glory morning”. His skin is blue.

Nils-Harold wears fur, I need no shield but I will bare upon command. “With this blue board and this sharp steal I stand here. Rooooar!”

Brinhild will not stand with shield. “And I too frail,” states Ingerlill-Nairaa, “so we will stand at spear”.

“I stand nearer,” cries the tall strong blond Tone-Irene and takes a shield and large axe.

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Thirteen stand at front; fifteen behind.

Axe and flat of sword are banged at shield, “Ooooodin”. Feet are stamped in surety, “Ooooodin”.

“Come on invaders.”

“Come on in, if you can.”

Bang bang – Bang bang.

They land, unboard, do not take a charging course.

They disembark some more.

“They, have horses,” spies Inga-Idunn.

Mounting now they ride this way.

Behind us children cry.

Smokes fly wisping hints of home at us.

We are firm and fierce and yet afeared.

“We die today!”

“Yaaaaaaaay!”

“Oh Yaaaay!”

Tone-Irene, Lars-Eirik, Kjell-Toffe, Siw-Alfadis, Olafr-Andreas, Patrick, Lief-Lasse and Nils-Harold form to either side of the chieftain; his wall of blonde strength. Fire and raven-haired fill the ends.

Behind them fourteen take up long spear, they raise, they place a foot upon the base and lower slowly to shield bearer’s free shoulder.

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Man and horse is each like a single monstrous beast, long shining claw of steel once waved is set back in sheath. As they ride a bow is lifted from side. They charge up close.

The long spears run in until each wielder is right behind their shield-bearer.

The horsemen stop just short of spear heads; their arrows fly.

Beaded jewellery shatters as Inga-Idun drops stiffly backward, Kjell-Toffe screams as chain links of shoulder shred and redden, and in the centre, the dead centre, an armour piecing arrow splits the largest shield and chieftain cries; pinned to shield and propped there while a pool forms round his boots.

His shield wall freezes in dread and are falsely cheered, are fooled enough to rally, by, the dying words of Freyr-Anders, “We stand and fight”.

The enemy reach for a second arrow. A stone is hurled, the central rider is now faceless under helm.

As Bjorn-Ole switches back to his curved blade-stick rest of riders turn and flee.

Only to re-group, draw hand weapons and charge.

Long spears laying flat to the ground, as the horses near are suddenly raised.

They stop in time, all but one. Tove-Maria hits home., the rider dies, the horse twists. Tove-Marie sets both feet but she is dragged, gripping every slip. She is through her fellow fighter’s wall and in the middle of the field.

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At last she lets go as a dozen arrows fill her young frame.

They turn and ride upon us once again. As spears raise you can see they pull back; a false charge: except for two they increase in speed – an axe in one hand a smaller axe in the other. The long spears stop their beasts the riders release. Dead horses stop in their tracks, riders fly on. Through the air they go, swinging down with their axes, hitting shield tops as they arc down. Two shields, one on each side of the chieftain, are pulled forward and two of us are now bereft of shield. These two of us are crushed by flying warrior; Siw-Alfadis and Lars-Eirik are broken.

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As one axe -man swings into the thigh of Janne-Annhja, Bjorn-Ole pierces him with his slashing stick. Janne-Annhja, close to death, snatches the curved sword of her up-propped chieftain. Freyr-Anders, (thus realising he is dead and held in place by arrow through shield), and in the moment of her own dying kills the second axe-man; she has time for last words, “Our chieftain…..”

Two figures dash screaming through the shield wall, one naked-blue one draped in furs, out into the field; Nils-Harold and The Johnson pull down three from horse back to kill them before being stripped of life themselves.

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Jan-Robert and Brinhild take up fallen shields; the wall still full. They may not hold for long the full charge is racing in. Our six remaining spears are raised, and hit! Each has boot against the base and their long spears as levers lift the enemy to the sky.

A heavy screech of noise and impossible flight of thrashing limbs hovers momentarily, for the soon to die below – it darkens.

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The many are dead, it is like a new dawn for the stunned laid around, then one horse pitifully tries to rise.

All remaining horses run, in search of goat path, a few take riders with them.

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Two are sliced into by high leap from silk-road child Bjorn-Ole before another makes him into two.

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Patrick lifts his defence rune shield, “A last stance.”013

Linnea-Ingaborg runs, “Come run.” Ingerlill-Nairaa follows her.

When Bjork-Mari sees they run to the fire she understands and follows too.

Not the youngest of our fighters survive, but the biggest, strongest, most experienced do; Kjell-Toffe, Olafr-Andreas and Loke-Daan run to Patrick’s call and in a circle facing outwards with two weapons each foresee one last fight.

Bjork-Mari follows the lead of the other women by taking up a firebrand; she runs after Linnea-Ingaborg to stand on harbour, torches high.

The last mob of axe men angered, mad, encircle our small group and weapons clash.

Three torches high, “Leave us with no further fight or see ships burn”.

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“Fight on, fight on!”

Ingerlill-Nairaa leads the women now, “Then let this burn”. Torches tip into the nearest ship as warrior smites at warrior.

The ship bursts faster, higher, than expected igniting our unused defence; the fire-lines. The harbour burns.

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Three women aflame are falling, screaming, drowning, gone.

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The flames race on, backwards to the way of their plan. Right back to boat houses bursting everything in flames. The boat house each, the warring parties each in one mad burn.

All are dead, the city falls. Nothing is left. Amid the blackened field the figure of the dead chieftain grimly stands.

All are dead, the end. Dream-time recollections end.

And in the sweat-lodge I, Add-ri-An, awakens. Gentle noises all around. I run out of the hot dark to look upon the field of death.

Within this dream the tourists on the bank stare on, awaiting spectacle. The boathouses and the harbour pristine stand.

Snoring from behind me makes me realise my comrades slumber on, and it is all a dream – a dream within a dream.

A raven lands.

The chieftain joins me and raises arm, a second raven lands upon his hand.

“An omen,” Siw-Alfadis joins them.

“The enemy,” calls Bjork-Mari.

There in sight on fjord water sail in ships; the ships of war are coming here.

The wild blonde shield wall forms, the sides are filled. The long spears lay upon their shoulders.

From the ships come foreign axe men, they lead off horses. They mount and form a massing line.

Our chieftain steps forward to the centre of our shield wall to address one and all, perhaps for one last time, “I, Freyr-Anders, chieftain of Gudvangen,” he raises his sharp curved sword, “I bid you,” we all can see the shine in those darkly commanding eyes, “Welcome! Welcome, welcome, welcome.”

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How the horse men laugh and ride about us grasping raised arm after raised arm as they slowly pass. Kjell-Toffe and Inga-Idun are each clasped by arm by riders, who firmly grip and swing. Then suddenly their two lead figures have a standing friend upon the horse with them. Kjell-Toffe and Inga-Idun arms in air stand as their mounts encircle, echoing words of our great chieftain, “Welcome, welcome.”

 

Viking-dream I and Viking-dream II

 

(and here is the Ghost walks of York series)

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My Gudvangen Dream Life as a Viking – Dream-time II

My Gudvangen Dream Life as a Viking – Dream-time II

I am already there, stood beside Bjorn-Ole, in Njardarheimr in Freyr-Anders’ Gudvangen Village of the Vikings. I am there in my heart. I am already there and in this dream.

My Gudvangen Dream Life II sees me already in the Viking-style life ahead of me in Gudvangen where I will be living (and blogging) as Skald to the Viking Chieftain in Njardarheimr Viking Town in Norway. Stay in place as followers to know what happens next; beware, nothing is made up, yet most of this is dream.0175 gud

NB The fictitious names are taken from those I have known but the characters added to them are based on other people I know.

PS The innocent will be protected until the group decides upon going to war.

PPS You can become part of this by sending me thoughts and ideas adrianspendlow @ gmail.com or by commenting below (as if you were there).

0012

Dream-time II

We sun-down sat and shared our thoughts and sometimes-news. We brewed this filling of the horn which refreshes when tipped. We clink and watch the fjord walls as shadows fall. “It is alright to compost guys.”

We are greeted by this as we clink because time is fluid here; both in the moment and within the greater context. We are living Viking-style.0095

As perfectly as maybe, research however nods its head in the far ahead in when we came from. ‘It’s alright to compost.’

We have gardened and consulted, learned and conferred. In the dream-time reality of a future T’or-Gunlodd relates how a Culinary Archaeologist tells of little gardens; hut-side herbals: Vegetables adjacent and the soil was different. The soil was different.

We pledge, as of tomorrow, to start a compost heap.vine

We start now in celebration to mark the storage spot by standing there to relieve, (Tove-Marie squats higher up the bank), “Aaaaaaaaah,” sighs Bjorn-Ole for all of us.

Jan-Robert makes a ritual of this by his jocular ritual statement, “We moisten this pit for future growth and state the place to heap”.

As for what they determined was growing in that rediscovered composted hut-side little garden; it was turnip. We will not grow those. (‘Call them turnip, swede, kohlrabi what you will, no’, says Olve-Jeppe.)

This Viking-style reality would be just a bit too gritty a reality if all we had to eat was turnips.

Eel, we are excited about. (Lars-Eirik and T’or-Gunlodd are the most excited and early rising on this.)njord.jpg Eels we want, and other hunter’s produce brought to us. We will make a stew of pine tips once we are made sure of safe types by Tone-Irene.

For this homely garden though we will start with Olve-Jeppe’s herbal plants.

I am already there, stood beside Bjorn-Ole, in Njardarheimr in Freyr-Anders’ Gudvangen Village of the Vikings. I am there in my heart. I am already there and in this dream.0141

My tribal associates don’t seem to mind bees, (a part of their modern minds tells them there should be more of them), but not wasps. We run in fear of these. Well, most of us, I don’t. I watch as they jump and dash with hands fast flourishing.

“I must be mad”, Olafr-Andreas sternly tells me, “or not from here.” he laughs.

“How could I be the Skald and not know about the death of Fearie?”

“The death of Fairy?”

“Of all the Fey; the world of Fearie.”0048 (2)

Nobody believed in them anymore so they dwindled.

I do not believe this myself because I still believe in them and often see them, as does Tone-Irene.

Not enough believed in the long-ago though and all Fearie dwindled badly, especially the little cute gossamer-winged stereotypical ones. Gone. Dead.0113 ev dies 01 flipped

Or as good as dead.

Their spirit moved on. Lived on. Befitting their wishes went on. Went into another creature.

Every reader knows what is coming next.

A wasp.

Whenever you see a wasp you are seeing what once was a fairy.

Every morning a pretty little fairy gently wakes. sol.jpgHe / she is so so glad to be alive, so happy, quite giddy, excited; Oh sweet plans to fly around and frolic. Maybe paint some pansies, have a dance, – Oh how happy to be a fairy. Wait, there is no longer such a place as faerie. There are no longer fairies. What is this thing I am! It suddenly realises it cannot do any of those things it planned. Not a fairy, no – A wasp – Oh it is very angry.

Very, very, angry, always will be – that is why they sting.

This all may be a dream but I don’t make stuff up, I hear it from the eons since of old tales.0135.jpg

Kjell-Toffe the rock breaker returns from rolling giant stones into the sweat-lodge. Newly built, it is for him and Lis-Ravn to try it first. We all shall try it in a future dream-time. For now it is the place of the lovers to explore.

As moon-shone silverfish entwine they are star-struck, with their love moments living on in the vividness of all their neighbour’s knowledge, dreams and imagination. Oh how they love.0107 kiss - Copy.jpg

The faces in the fjord walls change at night, Blathnaid-Brigid tells us. moon.jpgThings appear which were not there at day. The faces become quite stern and angry in the winter time, but now they are just a little more mischievous. There are caves up there that haven’t been up there before.

Loke-Daan tells us there is a path up that steep side; the goat-herder’s path, but most of us would rather not try it. As he drops his heavy load of chopped logs besides the slowing embers he agrees that we are all probably best staying right here this evening.night.jpg

Tove-Marie finds the driest and slimmest of the logs to rebuild the fire for supper-time and mentions the bounty in the sack she has besides her.augelmir.jpg

Brinhild opens her wicker back pack028 sadlebag and with a proud smile opens a muslin wrap to show an enormous fish, “One of the local fishermen gave me it.”

Loke-Daan tells Add-ri-An he now knows what we are having for our well-earned supper

“More wine?” shouts out Siw-Alfadis.

No, his plans are for us all to share the huge fish given to us by the gods.

Tove-Marie jumps up from her task at the fireside, “You haven’t seen what I have yet.”

A leg from lamb still hung with tatters of smoked meat, the one left from the hanging Fenalår.

Loke-Daan comments, “You have had many visitors.”0120 sun 04 The leg of cured lamb which can also be cold smoked to add to its storage duration in these warmer climes of the southern half of this long thin nation, is hung at the tent flap ready to welcome callers.great feast.jpg

Each passer by is welcomed to call for a slither of the chewy tasty meat.

“We have the bone now,” says bright blonde Siw-Alfadis raising her drinking horn in confirmation.

Which of these foods would the party rather have, the bone or fresh fish? It is decided to crack the bone and boil it. The thick dark broth will be very warming and filling. There will be more than enough for us all to feel full and still enough left for breakfast. Later there will be an attempt to build the charcoaled logs around it so it is still warm for breakfast, but that is a task which is not always won.

“What of the fish?” asks Linnea-Ingeborg, “The fat fresh fish”.0054 (2)

I will be delighted to leave it to rot,” exclaims Brinhild.

She shall make Grav Fisk.

It has been gutted to avoid expansion of the juices within and she has rewrapped it in the muslin. “I have a marker over there where the last fisk was buried. I shall bury it there for three months to rot.”

“Lovely” exclaims the whole camp at once.

The previous burial will be ready to dig up and we can dig that out in a few nights time.

Bones tonight, rotten fish at the end of the week, it is a rich time we have,” laughs Bjork-Mari.

So, we shall be digging up some of the older Grav Fisk in the next dreamtime as well as exploring the sweat-lodge and building a Viking Dream long ship, or at least starting upon it, or at least starting to plan for it.

 

Stay tuned.

 

In the meantime, look back at other V-blogs

Dreamtime I

Viking Dreamtime III

Storytelling is…

Viking Gods and Goddesses

Mini-Saga

Dream Village of the Viking Lore

Dream Village of the Viking Lore

I never imagined the darkness of this wooden house when I first dreamed myself here; in this night now of being here I never expected such a dread as there is – frozen to the edge of a bench bed. No sleep. No waking. No listening. I know the sounds are there and I know which beings reside in my mind.

It is morning. I am spinning from the bed and bouncing towards the new light. Hrimfaxi’s dew wetting my feet as I drop clothes down to the waist and drench myself in the mountain’s waters. They well back up naturally from this man-drilled hole. Dark depths echo in the torrent I bathe with. I am awake in this ancient life force like I never have been in wakefulness. Beings sent me these feelings and I am braver in a day.

I shall leave the embrace of being a Viking in the Viking hut in this Viking market in this Viking village in this Viking history. Leave the sense of becoming for a while and go dress up as a person. Adrian is going fishing, a strange mix I have planned of this dream in this moment. Not being a fisher before I have planned yes, for in the store back in the real Scarborough was a telescopic rod and reel which would fit in a suitcase easily; the collection of additions life-collected by my brother-in-law who has neither never fished either are with me in this adventure too. With thanks to him I pick up my knapsack.

I have walked this riverside path of the steep-walled fjord before in a realer reality and in this there was more light then than in imagined semi-anxious realities of now. Then I had walked high from the surface along cliff edges and looked down. There was a ripple in a circle as if a fish had jumped, this was a powerful ring however, it had a white water wave as a wall, ever growing across the waters, until the whole circular wave was as wide as the wide river itself. There was something large down there. There was somewhere very deep where something lived and breathed. There was a very real creature in here.

I headed there now, if one looks back at this point they see along the line of the slender river with its clearer shallower waters that feeds these deeps that there in this world and not so is the serpent being. It drifts in and out and weaves in and among and looks at me from its slow journey down wall-side way and knows I recall its visitation to my mind. When a winged serpent speaks inside your brain you recall well its words that I would be safe, safe within my very real fear; well-deserved fear would serve me well but I should not yield to it for I would return from my adventures with success in my heart. “Go young soul,” the wyrm bellows, “Go hunting deep.”

So it was that modern man me journeyed some way from sight of dwellings, away for sounds of morning, away from this dreamed up reality of Viking worlds and before anything of man could sail its large journey up these fjord waters I had them all to myself – and it was fearful.

Others have clambered down this narrow rocky cutting to be closer to the waters and others had seen the depths. I was in timelessness and sat upon a rock.

I decided to dredge-fish, this was a term I probably had dreamt up, but I wanted something big. I telescoped out my compact fishing rod for the first time and the line spun up along its length as it stretched and hung there ready. I drew out quite a length and fixed a sizable lead weight to the line. Then at the very end I tied a lure; a large plum creature of rubber with its curled barbed teeth of hooks – sizeable indeed. I was after something large. Something fat. For I had myself to feed and I had people to greet and welcome. For serpent whispers had foretold that I would return.

I held on to this prediction for the fears of my imagination were welling up from before time and threatening to become real for me.

I cast. There was a dull thrum as if Nidhogg’s entourage were driving the air with their wings. Ploop. The line was far from me and it drilled down. When I felt that it was at mid-depth I started to steadily wind. The strong weight held the line at this depth and the lure was moving.

There was movement, there was impeding darkness, it was a gloom of age and ancientness not of anything of difference between day or night. This was a thickening of the air a density of existence and I was engulfed.

Substantial silhouettes were forming in the drowning flow and things were coming up towards me. I felt a presence behind me. Huge stretched high-eared shapes were mixing around each other and lankily looking down towards me in awareness. Live stone was thumping the path and filling all senses. They were right behind me. The water broke.

Mantatee creatures were milling in the water, filling all space. In my mind they were climbing and changing as they rose out. Bellowing painfully to the ears and opening toothed maws these Draugen-beings were filling my awareness. The stone things pressed from behind. There was one short moment of life left to me in which both sides considered their actions and their reactions to each other when snap the rod twitched suddenly and dove downwards. Another reality of dream was with us; the catching of the fat thing from the depths.

I was alone in my battle, and battle it was, I feared I may lose the rod, or the fish at least.

I had to let it swim, let the reel spin. I slowed it, held it, reeled it, let it spin. I slowed it, held it, reeled it, let it spin. As I tired I felt the beast did.

Oh how the air burst as it was filled with fish. The thoughts of the presence of other beings was dispelled and I was along in a battle of death.

It was round and tall and fat and golden green in a pale sheen. Even its exhausted flips in the air were almost enough to pull me from the rock. I flipped back and it shot over the rocks to land in a hollow a mere rock away from the waters. Thrashing it was. With line still attached I dripped my rod to the bank and hurriedly put on my strong thick gloves.

I grasp its gill. My Njardar knife is in my hand and I stab downwards, the neck is pieced, I twist down and sever the head.

As I got the thing I consider using these remains for deeper fishing bait to catch an eel to later jelly. I decide this is for another journey.

Partway back along the ledge I think to stop and hide the thing. I return in Viking garb and travel back to the village with it hanging over my shoulder.

There is a crowd round as I fillet. Half is hung over the fire to smoke and the other two fillets are in a pan to cook.

Will there be more I am asked from the crowd. I tell them, as I also tell you, that yes. The bees crowd around my head and whisper darkly that I must share with you all again and tell you of bees and beings and life in the dream of being a Viking in a Viking hut in a Viking village.

For it will come to pass.

Viking Dream life II and Viking dream Life III

Storytelling is…

Viking Gods and Goddesses

 

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Bits

I am fed up that everything I tile is collected by auto-chicken.

I realise now that my mistake was probably that I tried to type auto-check instead of auto-collect.

But it has been collected.

There is obviously a fault. At least with the auto-correct but possibly worse than that. So while we are stuck here I might as well carry on.

There’s the joke of the year from Edinburgh Fringe by Ken Cheng,  “I’m not a fan of the new pound coin, but then again, I hate all change.”

Well, things were different before the changes.

A previous year Tim Vine won with “I sold my vacuum cleaner, well it was just gathering dust.”

My son in law Spee tells me that Norwegian ships have a bar code on the side so they can Scandinavian.

On to my new look with the curls.

Now that it has grown back the way it has I don’t remember what my hair was like before I had radiotherapy, but I am sure it didn’t make mature women giggle like girls.

One Direction, they went their separate ways.

Away from humour and on to poetry with this corker from Ralph Bear (thank you ever so)

For Adrian

Me pen and paper

Me sword in hand

Me march off to unknown lands

Me get me got

Godspeed I trot

Me pen and paper

Me sword in hand

                        Ralph Bear

Here’s my big lad who has hit the big time…

This popped up again recently, created by Olivia Jayne Newton. As a promotion for the first ever stage production I’ve been in.

And my dream:

I dreamed that in the olden days what people who had excess limbs did is they joned the navy. Navy surgeons are renowned for cutting off limbs so sooner or later it is bound to happen. Neville had three legs so he joined up and a couple of years later there was an incident and sure enough the surgeon sawed one of his legs off. So he was able to come home with two.

When Mervin, (who had five arms) saw him returning looking so well balanced he too decided to go away to the navy. Eight years he was there, then sure enough there was an incident and they sawed off one of his arms. Trouble was, they sawed off the right arm, which was the only one he had at that side and left the other four he had on the left side as they were.

There is a moral to this story, or at least there was a moral to it in the dream.

NASA announced lately that they had discovered a planet that could harbour life, but it couldn’t be guarenteed that there was intelligent life there; of course there is, who do they think built the harbour.

I blogged a collection of poetry recently.

On the 27th of October I shall be performing in Scarborough Art Gallery Hobb the Night Guard and the amazement of museums. Here is Hobb’s recent stories for the Fossil Festival.

Viking Comic Inc rereleases include Oski and the Amulet, The Hammer Flies and the Greek myth of Zeus and Typhon.

There’s my travelogue of Denmark.

Turning Points in Life’s Journey.

My multi-national performances in Gudvangen, Norway; Viking Sagas in a Nutshell.

An dof course my very popular Cancer Care Capers.

For any of you who haven’t heard, I was given the all clear last week.

Feedback on my Discworld Blog;

“And, oh my! what a joy to receive your narrative on and your utterly delightful drawings of the most marvellous place to be in in the entire Multiverse.  (Tho’ I can’t help thinking your portrait of C.M.O.T. Dibbler is just a little too flattering; “unsavoury”, after all, is not just a word that applies literally to his wares, it also applies metaphorically to his person.)” Julie Speedie

Discworld blog

And here is the last magazine type blog I did…

Do buy the guy

guy-link-board

 

 

 

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

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Opening Ceremony 2016 Viking Valley, Gudvangen, Norwaytitle box squashed

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.parade 02

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.stage combo.jpg

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

stall 02

oski small

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

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

poster norge

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

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

me solo 02Look at me. When I am at home I am a wild, dangerous, rampaging mad thing.

“Me too.”georg

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!axe.jpg

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. potWe will enjoy showing you; try not to be nervous when you generously show your appreciation.

Yes, we have sailed to many nations. ship headWe 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.

“Hey, stall holders, lower your prices.”stall 01

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.”

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.me solo.jpg

“What is an oath?”

A promise; and a promise is a promise and…

“Don’t start that again.”story rc 07 j pic

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.barrel

“Spit?”

Well we skipped that bit.

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

No sorry. No spitting. The barrels are fine!

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

serpent tower.jpgOath-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…

ravensA 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.warriors

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!

bigWell, 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.”

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

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

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. harbour.jpgNow. As you step through these gates you are stepping into our future.

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.hut

Here is the first of the timber being delivered now…timber

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

With hardly any risk to yourself….dead

Hear Galda upon the holy hill…galda.jpg

Learn leathers skills with Hamish, or buy his bags from Anabelle…leather.jpg

lady shaga.jpgVisit Lady Chaga…

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

And it is no use complaining, we know that now. male slave one.jpg

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.

group 02You 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.”

A terrible rumour.kurs group

“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!

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

“Now we must warn you.”

This may happen to you.

story one mp 01a.jpg“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.”

group 01

This we must warn you of.

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

Yes.

“If you do choose to leave here you will regret it forever.”me solo flipped.jpg

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

guilty coloured.jpg

“Terribly, terribly sad.”

“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.”elf table

“We will be opening the market again tomorrow.”opening flipped

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.”helmet.jpg

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.”

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.”

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

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.

They will run.berserker me

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

We now declare the Viking Market open!opening

“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.jpgnaming

Naming Ceremony photos and footage

Aurland Photography

2015 Opening Speech (more moving)

Skaldic Pieces

Future Skaldic Plans

To Become a King

Nerd in Norway; A Spotters Guide – It is actually a report on my performances at Gudvangen Viking Valley, Norway.

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Nerd in Norway; A Spotters Guide – It is actually a report on my performances at Gudvangen Viking Valley, Norway.

sign 01I am looking at the stories I didn’t tell and wishing I had fitted them in. But there are other times of course and I am thankful of the times, the many times, I was able to tick a tale off the list.

Ticks, lists, statistics, I am getting into these. Nerdy I am. Becoming a spotter. A lister. A ‘tick-er-off-er-a’.

Long journeys listening to the sixties and memories.foxglove love

Looking out and listing waterfall world; shadow waterfalls, gentle waterfalls, rainbow waterfalls, multiple waterfalls, tiny waterfalls… I list and tick.

meThe times of tears might be listed soon. This is a place of many strong emotions – emotions amplified. Moving yes, but everything inside, everything discovered, everything listened to, everything experienced: amplified.

It might be the water. It is everywhere.

As I overheard, “They have water here,” says the tourist on the bus, “all kinds, rain and waterfalls and all kinds. It is like a great big island with sea all around it.”

Now – 61, 78, 30, 2000 (est.), 30, but more on these later, stay tuned. I bet you just can’t wait.

But at last you will get down to where you will read what this blog is actually about – make a second coffee.

whale spouts
A whale

I creature spotted – I cheat – I award points for imagination, molehills count (as definitive proof of the existence of a mole), as do beehives and woodworm holes. I play alone and only cheer internally. So that is alright then.

Interlude: A tourist at the hotel sat next to me has a sandwich, a baguette actually, she is eating it with a knife and fork – it is not going well. Wait, (this is my live-feed happening as I am writing), her husband is opposite, (they are old so I guess they are married), he has a suggestion, he is thinking she might do better by picking it up off the plate to eat, she is asking if he means with the hands, and he does, so she is trying it.

I hit sixty! Sixty different creatures. Yes. It included reindeer, firefly, alpaca, llama (duplication cheat), and I saw a thing climbing.

village
Not actually a photograph of Georg

I didn’t count the enormous statue of Georg, (hours away from Gudvangen and surveying a valley where thousands of deer can gather some mornings). That goes on a list with a Roman Villa, hundreds of pre-history pictograms, standing stones, Half-Dan the Blacks funeral mound, concrete bunkers, winged horned gods, actual horned helmets too (oh yes), rock falls, trees on rooves (I gave up at 178 of them), ‘Danger Falling Rocks’ signs – extremely rare here for some unknown reason which I will probably blog about at some point, large fish rings, organic vegetable gardens (sadly a rare occurrence apparently), drummer boys, huskies pulling a white van and sounding like geese, iced coffee to die for, Godt og Blandett Frukt Salad (a must have), salty liquorice fish, trees in rivers, quadrillion-bends, ‘Deer Crossing 0.2 kilometre to 1.3 kilometre’ signs (go figure), naked wrestlers (no she needs to be on a later list which is chiefly flesh-related, as do arm-slings), bear-hunting dogs, armed seven year olds (I will document this more fully I promise), M. Thatcher pictures thanking her for Soft Ic, Pagans, Asutra, twins (no there’s loads), sausage boutiques, and

(Sorry I fell off that list.)

Btw the lady did manage to get most of the baguette in.

Btw 02 if you are someone who puts ‘of’ when you mean ‘off’ I actually hate you, quite actively, vigorously. Just thought you might like to know.

Tourists who are between coach and ferry and stand without looking up at the host of waterfalls.

No stop, don’t even start that list. ‘Tourists’ can wait.

I could write a list of the times people have told me of fearie things – a long list

(Please note; fearie is the topic, the place, or an actual list, not a being or thing.)

of the number of times people have approached me and insisted upon the existence of such and their observation of same. Usually just after I have done a silly story and have danced and pranced.di happy

I know I am neither dancing or prancing in this picture, but I like it

They are very insistent.

I shall list this visit’s oddities.

There are several. Read on because you might be on this list.

The winged-thing will be listed last (damn I have just listed it). There was a drone. I have seen them before over Viking camps, once I saw one shot down by an archer, there were cheers. This one looked like one, but acted funny; shall we say impossibly.

I saw a brown blob. I am almost sorry it wasn’t black – then it would have been an ABB – Alien Black Blob. As mentioned often in Fortean Times magazine. They are officially what you get if you try and take a picture of an oddity. Always. Flying saucers, puma, yeti, troll, big foot, naked huldra; try it, you click, you look later – it’s a blob.

slender
Artists interpretation of something completely unrelated to this story

I cannot do other at this point than to instruct you to buy Fortean Times. If you are in the dark on this one search for Charles Fort; “Nonexistence of evidence is not evidence of nonexistence.” etc

My blob was brown, it was moving, it was far away, it was high up, it was climbing. I estimate bear-size.

Mine was above the Georg statue, Alan’s was above Goerg’s house. It was witnessed by many. I will not bother you with the photos of it, they have a distinct element of ABBness.

They watched it though. Crikey it was large. Gosh it was something other than is known. Wow are the hairs going up on our necks as we hear about it. It was tall as a hang-glider, slim as a snowboard, as quick as a skier, it disappeared as quick as a base-jumper. It is documented here, so it is true. There are photographs. It is true about Alien Black blobs too.

Calm down the hairs on your neck a little and read on.

There are wasps.small wasp

And this is the interlude where you get to listen to a story. A story. The thing I actually do. Yes, a story.

It involved Anders. He is cool. He is Viking. He talks steady and slow. We listen.

When I talk of the wasp I dance, I do voices, I comb my hair in a beautiful way, I get cross. I am wasp.

Anders simple says

“They are spirit.”

That is why he jumps. This is the only time his smile leaves. The only time the cool goes.

The deep dark growling drawl which is only just within the range of the human ear stays – so listen with your bones.

“They are spirit.”

big waspThis is why we should be frightened of them. This is why to be fearful of their sting. For they will sting. It is their intention. To sting.

The spirit which once was and now is wasp, is angry.

Imagine. If you will. To be of another realm. Where all is magical and – kind of – wispy. Then, you human being people stopped believing. Stopped sending all that belief in the magical to the realms around you. They dwindled. They faltered. They ceased. They died.

It is your fault.

The fairies died.

Spirit of fearie is part of this life and is subject to the same lore of living as us – reincarnation.

wasp changesThey reincarnated.

As wasps.

Can you imagine how cross they are.

Every single morning they wake up, the eyes are glazed as yours are, the brain is slow the same; thinking isn’t easy: “Oh a new day. Which frock shall I wear? I think I will choose a long flowing frock, and then I will comb my long flowing hair, add a few flowers. I will sing to myself blissfully as I skip toward the flowered meadows – and then I will  – dance!

Sh*t!

I am a wasp!

I am a bl**dy wasp!

No wonder they are angry.

Get ready to be stung.big wasp flipped

That may be the end of the story, but not of the list.

There is one more. I can see it. I can still see it. So can the man who told me. I didn’t see it. Neither did he. It is in our mind’s eye. It is about to enter yours. Alan went on the Viking ship. Down to where the fjord walls are tall and close. It is quiet down there. The skipper is quiet; a quiet man. As they flowed, so did his words. To a quiet crew. “Out there it was. By the side of the wall, and only just above the water. The dark thing with wings. I have sailed this way, and other ways, many times. I have never seen such a thing as this ever. It was slowly flying with large angled long slim wings; a suggestion of shape, a definite shape of wing. A timeless slow sense of flying. I don’t know what it was.”wingedI don’t know what it was.

61, 78, 30, 2000 (est.), 30.

Yes here it is. The time. The point of the blog.

I held a story circle each evening and sixty one people came and listened. Some of them popped in briefly, some came every time. Some of them said ‘awesome’ in a quiet voice. Some made tricky suggestions.

I felt young.

My main audience were 15 to 21. I am honoured to be listened to by such. For up to three hours at a time. I still see the faces.

From 61 to 78. I performed alongside others. Vikings flocked to take part in my stories and talks or to join our parade. 78 of them, yes, I worked with 78 co-performers. Some of them, I admit, are duplicates. When someone drummed and marched one day and then acted another day I count them twice. It is still a whole host of willing Vikings.

Each day my chieftain (Olafr Reydarsson, we call him Georg) and I led a group of musicians around the camp inviting everyone to join us. Lars Magnar of course was beside me. We stood upon the holy hill. Our rune-lore master, our Glima lord, our mythology study, our wise scholar of all of the once was, he stood among us, we called upon him, and he unleashed the ancient, the returned, the spiritual, powerful, Galda. That screaming call. It changes your understanding of what it is to be alive.galda

We welcomed, we warned. We stood upon the stage and we informed, we made fun, we celebrated, we shared, and a host of people from Anabel to T’or Eric filled the floor with their re-enacting. Mainly. We laughed.opening

We celebrated and laughed with the mayor, with the team who are building our Viking Town, with crafts people, with entertainers, with spiritual leaders, with the dead, with the children who crawled and climbed to be part of this.

And most of the tourists survived.

There were presentations on the new Viking town we are building.harbour

T’or Eric carried a dead body across (Daan) and Anabelle wowed the crowds with her product demonstrations. We even had a guest spot from Lady Shaga and a couple of guys carrying a plank. Vibeke and her team fought to the death and Kjell robbed them.

We even had a slave team run screaming through.

Every day we lined up and were multi-national. The pic below here shows most of the people involved, but one or two weren’t there that day. We had many languages and many accents, including, Scooohtish, posh, New York and Minnesota.multi

I spent thirty hours in performance. I estimate that two thousand people watched us and I probably spent about thirty hours planning it all.

That’s it.

No, hang on.

I am wrong. I am wrong about the 78. I forgot about the one I wasn’t at. As Holger had been in the news we thought it right to redress the balance and have him kidnapped as a slave. I put the word out through Karyn who whispered while she was braiding, and over thirty women turned up to clap him in chains and wrap him in a net. He didn’t fetch much though.

One more number to finish. As I walked back from the bar I counted 31 waterfalls within sight of the camp.party

And an enormous thank you to Angela and Georg for putting up with my trying ways and for making me feel so at home.garden

Where We Were – So Spoke the Skald 05

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Where We Were

Walk close to the past

For it brings you who you are

Gives you a place to live

A belonging; A sharing

We walk together with love

Authentically care

Paths chosen

ASAdrian in the Norwegian theatre hut cropped

….