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

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

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

Keep scrolling down here for all the fun movies.

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

Things are Happening at the Viking House.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dwayne and I

Our Affiliations

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

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

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

Njardarheimr Viking Town, Gudvangen, Norway

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

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

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

Six feet apart

(Dress for the weather.)

Example of inappropriate attire

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

Let us know that you are interested.

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

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

Da Boss

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

I serve Vanaheimr

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

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

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

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

Hello Adrian,

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thank you Tim.

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


Here is the River Ravens site…


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

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

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

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

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

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

Answers on a postcard please.

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

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


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

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

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

Raised beds were in lock down.

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

We need a clear out or a hiding place.

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

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

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

This is the John

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

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

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

Just down the slope from us is the Frisbee-Golf

The grounds are beautiful

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

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

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

Maintaining a Viking House can be a Hornet’s nest

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


The full team inspection

The Parking situation

UWGB wildlife

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

Flax drying will make an interesting addition to the decor.

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

We have plans for wool too. Insulation.

The return and this time we are equipped.

We needed refreshing.

Refreshments were created by team host Jarldress Sherman

I will catch that frog


Let us be-strim

This is why we were here.

And we got the job done, well Dwayne did.

What’s next boss?

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

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

For sale on Bandcamp my amusing yet informative history of the Itchin bridge.


For sale on Amazon my very first book, The Cakes and Tea Collection – a mix of short stories and poetry.

On the US Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FP5NLLK

On the UK Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08FP5NLLK

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

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

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

Living in America I

Living in America for

only one reason; love.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watering the backside

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

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

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

Giffa settles…

And spins…

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

They cost a fortune at the vets

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

Oooops it’s a Woodpecker

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

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

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

Oh no, she’s had another cat delivered.

Maybe that is why Giffa is hiding in the shade.

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

So all Giffa can do is look on.

Let us wander among the plantings

The no-dig flower bed


Bandanas and bananas

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

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

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

This is what they are called

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

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

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

In we go…

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

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

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

The Japanese Stationary box

The Japanese stationary box

The garden travels inside with us.

Orange Lanterns

Another part of planning for next year

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

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

Lets get out and go shopping

Need to get ready. Which socks to wear?

Should it be starry starry night?

Or the shepherd of sheep?

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

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

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

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

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

Watch out for terribly deep potholes.

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

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

Free firewood.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is True!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is more. More more more more more.

That set off memories.

Another area collected Coconuts.

Monkeys to Spooky

To the quirky

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

There were lots of odd bits and pieces

We head west along the ridge

Heavy Amulets?

As George Harrison sang, back when we as FAB.

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


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

Now here was an eggsperience.

I should have got this hat.

I should have got that hat.

I thought this one was a prison hat

Spendlow Adrian Male Caucasian arrested for being too select

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

This young guy did not enjoy posing for this sculpture

This feller rises above the trials of others.

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

The biggest joy though was from China.

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



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

Turns out it is an adults only club.

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

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

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

Anyway I better get back to work

There are the screens to paint.

With a hope of sensible calm

The frames.

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

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

The Back Yard needs attention too

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

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

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

A potato

Back to the grandkids

They are about grapefruit size now.

Getting the Garage in Order

A Spatchcock Chair

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

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


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

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

Stop press – Edit – We have a caption suggestion –

Potato Cheek Johnny –

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

I wish it was a gold nugget.

[Space left for further caption suggestions]

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



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

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

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

Truth is I stole the pic from my lad Luke.

A lovely gift arrived for me through the mail.

Thank you Heidi

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

Rabbits you gotta run

Run rabbit run run run

Towards the warmth of the sun

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

After a beer or three there was a thorough investigation.

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

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

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

Let us step back in time…

Here is my sister Ginny probably in the eighties

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you Paul.

A British post box

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

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

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

I think this is an Amaryllis

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

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

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

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

These are nearly them

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Some Viking Shields

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

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

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

Raised beds were in lock down.

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

We need a clear out or a hiding place.

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

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

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

This is the John

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

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

Just down the slope from us is the Frisbee-Golf

The grounds are beautiful

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

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

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

Maintaining a Viking House can be a Hornet’s nest

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


The full team inspection

The Parking situation

UWGB wildlife

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

Flax drying will make an interesting addition to the decor.

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

We have plans for wool too. Insulation.

The return and this time we are equipped.

We needed refreshing.

Refreshments were created by team host Jarldress Sherman

I will catch that frog


Let us be-strim

This is why we were here.

And we got the job done, well Dwayne did.

What’s next boss?

Art Promotes Health

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

I didn’t use them in the intended way.

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

Here is my attempt.

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


Do follow the links below to the previous three episodes.

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

Living in America I

Living in America II

Living in America III

Living in America for

Living in America five

Living in America six

Twenty five things you didn’t know

1. I was brought up right next to the railways lines, with a brick pond (a brick pond?) at one side and a slaughter house at the other.

2. People shout Beautiful Lady when they walk past me.

3. I have given many thousands of injections.

4. I have three kidneys,

5. and three kidney stones.

6. I had a friend who worked undercover for the MI5.

7. My favourite movie is Bandits. Did you know?

8. I saved thousands of people from slavery – this is not a joke.

9. My first job was in catering.

10. I have no phobias

11. I am guest speaker for the Oddfellows

12. I always wanted to be an inventor.

13. I have a spirit guide called Alpha.

14. I am a dreamer. You knew that.

15. I got my sense of exaggeration from my mother.

16. When I was born no one would come near me until I had been taken into a church.

17. I want to stage the original Dad’s Army scripts.

18. I love using stickers.

19. I think I have just worked out what Downtown means.

20. I have thousands of ornaments and they all have personalities and a life story.

21. I stole all my ghost stories from my mother.

22. I used to be an entertainments officer 

23. I have a ghost cat who follows me and another which hangs around in the haunted pet shop.

24. I have wonderful children.

25. I say ‘Crikey’ far too often

Go write a list

Viking Foods – a collection of handy links n chat

Viking Foods – a collection of handy links n chat

I was sent an interesting link and asked for more. Lots of friends sent me information on Viking foodstuffs, so I thought I would put all the links and chats together in one place. I am always glad to hear more.

I pontificate quite a lot so more rigid findings will be found in the links supplied and the future links and information you send me. Here you will find me ruminating like an ungulate.

Trine at Njardarheimr

I asked around about information of foodstuffs and a good friend Leah mentioned hearing of work by the York Archaeological Trust in York, Britain. Lots of bone and poo. Here are couple of things I ‘picked up’ from the conversation. Professor Terry O’Conner of University of York said that cattle were at the heart of daily lives. Although they were quite small compared to contemporary cows they were used for many things, leather, horn, meat, fat, dairy products and of course bone carving.  

For some great bone carving skills, and indeed leather working, do visit Peter Merrett on his Facebook page.



Old bones is what were found mainly I understand, and this seems to indicate that the cattle were used for labour. They would be hauling things, carts and ploughs and such I guess. Dairy products would also be another reason for keeping the cows longer.

A couple of things came to mind, I would love feedback on these thoughts. Were there young male bones? Did they kill off most of the bulls and keep a few for breeding? Perhaps they hadn’t thought of that. If haulage was so important then bulls or steers would be useful.

I have heard Viking presenters describe the slaughter of animals in the early winter or late fall. They say that you tally up how much animal feed you have for the winter, calculate how many animals that will feed and then work out how many you can keep. So presumably there was a great working of animal materials at this time. Drying and working.

Preservation of food stuff is a thing I would like to hear more about. The communal gathering of wild flora for instance. The ways to keep meat. The equipment used. They must have been a lot of that going on. Where did they get the preservation materials? Lye, smokehouses, salt, vinegar, fermentation, honey boiling. I don’t know but I want to.

They would have course eaten lots of fish. There are remains to show so. I understand millions of oyster shells were found in the Coppergate dig in York. I imagine these were mainly fresh-water oysters. I wonder if they found pearls?

The sea isn’t far away (along the Humber) and Scandinavia isn’t that far away, especially if you think of preserved fish.

Trine Volder

There are two rivers in York. The folks of Jorvik would certainly have noticed them, because they come up to visit you on a regular basis! Eel come to mind, I have seen reconstructions of eel catchers.

Holger’s eel catcher

I have also seen coracles. Again, I want to hear more.

That dig in York found bones of an odd selection of creatures. As well as all the likely suspects when it comes to eating meat and fish there were also birds, frogs and mice bones.

Holger’s pic of Njardarheimr’s chickens

What, I wonder, about the bones of animals which provide fur. There is a controversial thought. They are not mentioned here. Did the Vikings hunt for fur to wear? They traded it yes.

Cooking methods are also pointers, cauldrons, flat stones, griddles possibly, spits and pits.

When it come to the analysis of poo (coprolite?) another surprise food ingredient was discovered. Grit! They ate a lot of that, especially the poor. It got in the flour and wore away the teeth. The teeth were a limitation on life.

Thank you to Fiona for sending me a link to – From Loki to lipids: Using modern biology to discover Viking culture


So the above is looking at, among other things, the residues and fats within utensils. Looking at artefacts to see the logistics of eating.

And an interesting link to Yule in an interview with Dr Ashby…


I didn’t notice any reference to alcohol.

I was intrigued by the longstanding connection between Scandinavia and the Arctic.

And here is the Melting Pot site…


A great links page, and I like their blog the best.

Some other thoughts…

We can also look to the sagas and the stories and poems for pointers.

I hear talk of ballast plants, you fill the ship with stuff to sell, you trade for lighter things, you need ballast. Loads of soil and rock perhaps. This needs emptying out when you get home. So does all the animal waste I guess too. There are seeds in there. Stuff grows. I have been told that oregano grows in Norway because of this factor. So I hear.

Some common-sense thoughts (ramblings).

The placing of settlements, and marker stones point to foodstuffs. What is available in an area and what trade routes could have been established.

The availability of materials. Did the Icelandic people eat rotten food because they didn’t have any trees?

My pal Holger from Germany who I know from working with him in Njardarheimr Viking Town, and his wonderful crafting skills, posted this link to our group chat. This is the piece that got us all talking about other information and links.



I can’t help but disagree with the idea that Vikings lived from hand to mouth. You only survive long hard winters if you plan, work hard and work together.

Otherwise it is great.

Sea-leeks is interesting. Odin’s brothers planted them at the beginning of the world! So they must be important.

Mind you, there is also plenty of talk of snakes. Whole pit-fulls. Would that be true?

I would love to see all the veg and herbs we see planted out. The Viking house at Green Bay USA could have a go at a garden from these links in this blog.

Njardarheimr in Gudvangen would be really enhanced by gardens. There is talk here of plots and gardens.

Some of the Gudvangen Vikings hanging out after work.

I am sure I have seen other references to plots and lots. There was mention somewhere of the idea that they improved the land. They must have used compost.

Quite a bit of talk of cultivation too, especially onions.

As for plants Leah mentions someone who is involved in Historic England


by Chris Evans

Hayley McParland their science advisor. She has written on the findings at the site of the Jorvik Centre ride in York.

The majority of plant finds seem to have been grasses, certainly on a microscopic analysis level; these were most likely oats, rye, wheat, barley and other grain producers. I guess these were mainly for flour, but could also have been for brewing (especially if they found Yarrow?).

Ah, there were lots of archaeobotanical remains which showed the culture, diet and crafts. I don’t have specifics though.

The methods of dying material could be tied back further towards plant cultivation, awareness and gathering.

Dying, Needle-binding and photography by Līga Supantīsaūli Gūlbs

I haven’t so far on this quest discovered any links to medicine, folk-medicine, folklore or beliefs.

Leah suggested that if you were visiting the Jorvik Centre you pre-book a copy of the Jorvik Centre Companion Guide to be waiting for you on arrival. I see you can mail order a copy but it seemed to be way more expensive that way.

Real nice to see a friend in this video for the York Archaeological Trust on our topic of Viking foods.

Viking Food and Cooking with Leoba

Ah thank you Zoe, at last talk of cooperative gathering and preservation.


And remember to spit.

It was also nice to see Fiona portraying Wulfruna demonstrating the related topic of pottery.

I have enjoyed spending time with culinary archaeologist Daniel Serra, here is a link to a wonderful book – 


Please use links above

Let me take you now to University Wisconsin Green Bay’s Viking house.

It was built by the amazing couple Elspeth and Owen Christianson


Do visit the Facebook page for the Viking House which is managed by Jarldress Professor Heidi Sherman-Spendlow with the assistance of Jarldress-in-waiting Mariah, the building skills of Trodin Hegn (Dwayne) and many others.


The grounds, buildings and events have pretty much been on hold as things have been everywhere.

The future is ahead of us and will blossom deep into the past.

The Society for Creative Anachronism have a group in Green Bay and they are a great bunch of active reenactors of history. They get well involved with the development of ‘the house’.

Now let’s go to amazing star Alda Raven. As well as her work as a singer and creator of Gods Bless Ya! she also hosts the culinary creative Viking Kitchen which features Viking and Vikingesque cookery.

Here is her introductory feature…

And her visit to the Viking Village of Njardarheimr in Gudvangen, Norway where she works with Viking cook Trine Volder.   

We loved dining with the Green Bay group of Sons of Norway. As well as a whole array of wonderful food from Scandinavia they had asked me to bring along a contribution. I realised all was planned so I thought I needed to create a dish no one else would think of; hence – Gas Station Delight!


Gas Station Delight

And the wonderful array of delights from Sons of Norway GB…

Here is Trodin’s oven at the Green Bay Viking House…

Then we got the big fire going…

Here Heidi interviews Trodin (Dwayne) as he builds the oven…

He and I cooked up for the wonderfully entertaining Telga Glima…

Now over to Norway to visit the chieftain’s recreated kitchen…

To finish this is not cooking and not just Viking, but this is worth a search for on Facebook; Medieval Makers – re-enacting the medieval daily life; ace site.

That’s episode one of Viking food links and chat.

I am no expert, in fact even worse, I am a storyteller. I am interested, and I am even more interested to hear more. Do please send links and suggestions (Please don’t tell me off).

Zooming to Spiritualism

My good friends at the Spiritualist Church in York, United Kingdom contacted me here in Green Bay, Wisconsin in the USA and asked me if I would take part in a service over Zoom. They commissioned me to create a reading. Here is footage of the reading I did and a written version which is more detailed (So therefor even more interesting).

The full story below includes Toad-in-the-Hole.

I’ve been thinking about messages. Different ones come to mind from throughout the years. The most stunning one I can think of came from the very well-known Steven Holbrook or rather from his guide. According to his biographer Steven’s guide died as an army corporal in the 14 / 18 war; that’s why Steven’s hand screws up when he starts. He also told me that the guide gets everybody lined up in spirit and orders them to have facts and figures ready.

My friend was also his promoter at the time and would arrange large venues. I am more used to the smaller environment of a spiritualist centre or church where you get to know people and visiting mediums give their time for a small fee to keep them in pocket. Steven is far more popular however so as well as smaller church services he travels widely filling large venues. I was asked to go along and help set up. This meant I was OK to be able to sit in on the evening.

The message I recall went something like this. “Is there anybody here who has a caravan?” He indicated an area of the audience and someone within those rows said yes she lived in one. (Steven always asks that people respond vocally a yes or no, so he can connect.) “Ah yes you live in the caravan with your parents who are sat next to you don’t you.” ‘Yes.’ “I have your husband here with me, he passed away following a car accident thirteen months ago didn’t he.” ‘Yes.’ (Steven then said the colour and make of car, but I can’t properly remember.) “He didn’t pass away straight away though did he, he died later in hospital didn’t he.” ‘No.’ Your parents were never happy about the two of you living together in the caravan with them without you being married were they.” ‘No.’ “So you got a priest into the hospital didn’t you.” ‘Yes.’ “And you got married the night before he died didn’t you.” ‘Yes.’ “But you didn’t have a wedding ring did you.” ‘No.’ “So you used a thin gold chain didn’t you.” ‘Yes.’ “And you have lost that necklace haven’t you.” ‘Yes.’ “There is a television in the caravan on a unit which has three drawers in it.” ‘Yes.’ “In the bottom drawer there are three photo albums aren’t there.” ‘Yes.’ “A red one, a grey ne, and a black one.” ‘Yes.’ The grey one is in the middle.” ‘Yes.’ “The necklace is in there.”

I told this story to a sceptical friend and she said, “And was the necklace there.” You can’t please everybody.

We engage with our spirituality at different levels as we go through this material realm. Presently I would say I connect with spirit; I have at times worked with spirit. Tea leaves, runes, crystal. People would say things like, “Have you been in our house!” – “How did you know what?” “Yes I am pregnant.” (I wasn’t to blame!)

A wonderfully detailed message I received recently about my father’s steam days memoires mentioned that my students had been colourising black and white photographs. One that was mentioned was a plate layers engine which put down new lines. There is a picture like that. I haven’t yet seen all the work the students of done, so although I didn’t know of such a B/W picture which has been colourised I took the information to take away with me. The next day I opened a folder of my old artwork and there were colourised images. I recalled that the medium had also said that my father had visited and liked my wife. I then remembered that she had talked about my line drawings and how I could use some in the railway book. She also said she had seen work of mine in my blog where I had colourized parts of each line drawing and that I should do that for the book too. Now I realise what my late father was referring to. He meant I had to do it.

On a past visit that evening’s clairvoyant medium came to me with detailed information. The only person it could be was my maternal grandmother. The medium said it was not something she had ever done before but that the lady in spirit insisted that she gave me a recipe. She then went on to not only describe the recipe for Toad-in-the-Hole (Sausages roasted in a large Yorkshire pudding) but to act it out as if she was making it. She laughed and said that she had no idea why she was doing this. Now they do say to not feed the medium. They don’t mean with sausages, they mean with information, but on this occasion I felt I had to explain. A week or so before this, I had held a barbeque in my yard at the mews where I lived. It had poured with rain and hardly anybody came. So I ended up with bags and bags of sausages. I froze them all, the freezer was jam-packed. Trouble was I couldn’t get near anything else in there, every time I opened it I thought, oh no not another sausage butty. One can only take so many sausage sandwiches. That was why my grandmother was teaching me to make a healthy filling meal.

I came here to the church one time when I was feeling really down and the medium said I was going to be playing guitar. No I said. He described my late friend who I often get messages from, who accompanies me to festivals etc. Your friend here in spirit has a guitar and he means, you are going to be playing a tune. The next day in Rotherham I was given all the difficult students to engage in poetry writing, they did brilliant. I was sent the appraisal forms afterwards; one of the students had written right across the form, “Adrian Rocks.”

I don’t really understand where that translation glitch comes from. We are all different and connect in many different ways. Yet sometimes the meaning becomes clear later. Sometimes the transition from spirit, through a guide, through a medium, through a church hall doesn’t always flow as clearly or as pointedly as intended. That is where we come in. We sit here with our hands palm up upon out knees and we engage with spirit. I believe that is our main role. It is not to sit and hope for a message, it is to engage with the great spirit. We are part of the conduit and we can strengthen the flow. Yes we might receive words and images with personal connection, we will. We will receive confirmation of the ongoing nature of existence. It is bigger than a personal thing though. We are in this together. As we are here together we become part of a greater story; the story of the ongoing existence of the human spirit. The connection between worlds. The hope and the love of a myriad of souls. We are one and we are part of that story. We listen and acknowledge. We empower. This is our connection and we are working together to make it as strong, as beautiful, as valuable, as meaningful as we possibly can. We all have something to take away from this with us – A sense of contribution.


How to do just about anything – the secret is out

How to do just about anything – the secret is out

How to do just about anything (2)

Yes at last I can reveal it all. This blog will release a multitude of possibilities for you. It will enable you to achieve and achieve and surpass your wildest dreams. Yes, within this blog is the answer to everything you ever wished to learn. This is the blog that will show you how to do absolutely anything. From the merely mundane to the amazingly miraculous. You can build it. You can memorise it. You can master it. You can remove it. You can invite it. You can buy it. You can sell it. You can publish it. You can stand up there and be counted. Here is how to learn how to do absolutely anything. (Just about).

The secret is out (2)

Get ready, all you have to do is scroll down to discover this world changing technique.

The secret answer…

the secret answer (2)

Feel free to share this wisdom, but only with people you believe are ready for the truth.


Living in America

Living in America – A pictorial guide – My sister asked me what it was like where I am living, so here is my attempt to sum it all up.

Welcome to Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Also features ‘Cooking with Lu’ making Egg Fried Rice

One of Heidi’s lovely lamps…


A beady lamp, this must be the sort of things Americans use I think…


The house is over a hundred years old and the original room divider is still fitted. There is a display cabinet attached at each side…


The divider goes up and over…


The other side is a fitted cabinet too. Full of beautiful things. Sewing kits and all sorts…

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This is a beautiful lamp. It has three bulbs with separate chains to pull to turn them on which is a bit of a pain, but it is worth it…


Always wear a mask, but I find it difficult when we are eating.


A small part of Heidi’s decorative tape collection. They are in pristine condition.


I was feeling left out so I have stated my own tape collection…


The original sink…


The Butcher’s Block


This is what cupboards are like in America…


Or like this…


No here is a completely different type of cupboard, wait for it, this is a pie cooler. How ‘cool’ is that! I hope these were proper pies, ie with pastry underneath and pastry on top. If it doesn’t have a pastry top it is a tart, just so you know. There is a good name for one with only pastry on the top, that is a pot pie. I might even forgive a pot pie for being just a casserole or pot roast with a pastry top. There is one other rule I intend to ensure the globe (or disc if you are  flat earther) comes to learn, it should be short crust pastry not flakey. Lesson over, mark my words well.


Not everything here is over a hundred years old.


Giffa gets behind the wood-burning stove where she is really really warm yet safe from flying logs…


I thought a good way to make use of my time was to make magazine racks for filing my paper work. I am hoping to make a dozen by the end of next week…


I decorated them. There are  enough for Heidi to store all her stationary…




Little Shop of Horrors…


Banker’s Boxes…




That one’s going to take a bit of filling…


The flax hangs drying, the mice climb and dine. Twigs, bits and bark partly fill paper bags to make fire-starters or firebombs. The log was all cut shorter than usual especially for our small wood burning stove…


I need help with this thing. What is it? What is it for? How do I fill it? –


What’s in the jug? How do you know how much to put in?


There’s a lovely expression here in the US of A; Kitty Corner. There is a Walgreens kitty corner to us; diagonally opposite. All of America is square, I’ve worked that much out. It is all blocks. As we walked home in Scarborough in Yorkshire in Britain we went down a steep narrow hill and as we turned a tight bend and looked down at the seafront promenade below, Heidi turned to me and said, “Ah, you were right, Britain isn’t all built in blocks is it.”

Walgreens is like Boots, it’s a chemist but with beauty products and stuff. It also sells tinned food, snacks, frozen food and alcohol. Wine, beer and spirits. Each state seems to vary on this. Some you have to go to a separate shop. Others like Wisconsin you have to show ID so they can log your DOB into the computer.


Every house has a porch or a stoop. I guess this is a porch and it is ours. I plan to sit there whittling. We are last but one of our street with an auto repair shop at the end.

You get S for such as South Bay Street, that’s how they write it. There are cross roads everywhere. If you were able to get a bus, as it approached, a machine would call out something like, ‘Howard and Mason’. then you would know to get off, except I couldn’t work out how to use the doors.

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I kind of understand why they say yard instead of garden. Nobody seems to do any gardening, except for sticking in a few bulbs and riding round on a grass cutter. (This one below is about the most floral I’ve seen.)

I plan to change all that one garden at a time till I’ve gone coast to coast.


The windows are kind of double glazed. This is a survival necessity when the snow gets to about eighteen foot deep. or so I’ve been told.


Then you unclip them and replace them with screens. This is to protect against things called mosquitos, but quite how such creatures survive here I am not sure.


This is the neighbour’s place and beyond are the newly built apartments. They were built by the local church on what used to be their garden and are described as affordable housing.


This is our back yard. You can see the Buckthorn beyond the fence on the strip of land which is ours too. Now they tell me that birds eat the berries of the saplings and then poop out the seeds. They sit on the fence to do it. So as I understand it, every fence in America is lined with hundreds of Buckthorn on either side. Well, ours was. I cut back all the one inside, and I will be working on the outside ones too.

There is a dead tree on our land just beyond the fence. Well, it is half dead, but all the way down to the ground so could go at any moment. I found a chain saw in the garage and I have never used one, so I thought I might give it a go. what do you think?

Ah, Heidi is reading over my shoulder and says I can not, I repeat can not do it myself. We need to get a tree feller feller in. Not three tree feller fellers, one feller should do it.

(And not three smart fellers either.)


Here is where I cut a load of Buckthorn back, but it still needs clearing…


And all along the fence is roots lurking…


Oh no, here they come…


This is the half dead tree… (Whoever cuts it down I hope we get to keep the wood.)


I think this must be Wisconsin… (There must be a lot of Latvians live here or something.)


Hewey and Lewey must be confused…


Vintage bathroom fittings…

(It’s not just Britain who don’t know what mixer taps are it seems.)


There is an attic, apparently, but I have never dared go up there…


There are many things about America which frighten me. This house has a basement! I am going to be sucked into a swirling hole. Aliens are trying to break the gratings. I shouldn’t have gone off on my own wearing just T shirt and Jeans when there is a killer around taking us out one at a time. I have seen too many movies. I think that American movies (Yes there are other types) are more scary if you are not from America. If you are American watching a film, you are like, oh yeah its a basement. You all have them. They are a far less common commodity in other countries.

Lots of thing scare me. UPS vans. I am not even sure which film it was where one kept appearing and you start thinking, he turns up every time there is  a disappearance. Those traffic lights which go over the top of the road, I expect a gang with bandanas to turn up next to our bus and shout, drive or are you chicken!


Everyone in America collects novelty spoons, or everyone in my experience anyway…


My pal Judson asked me to get him a Green Bay Packers cap; I think they play some sort of game or something. Most people seem to have heard of them though.

I am having trouble with communicating over here. Oscar Wilde said Britain and America are two nations divided by a common language. It seems he was right. Back to those Buckthorn roots. I spent several hours searching for a place which would hire us a piece of equipment that would destroy them there pesky roots. I was looking for a rotavator. I stated that I wanted a hand-held one. It turns out, what I need was a stump-grinder. A walk-behind stump-grinder. Hours.

My pal Dwayne is on the case and once he finds one which will fit through our gate to the yard and isn’t $200 dollars a day to hire (no really) he will be out there turning them woody critters to dust.

Why I mention this here, I tried all sorts of phrases in my searches. At one point my attempts to hire garden equipment resulted in a whole page of links to the Green Bay Packers. What on earth they have to do with yard work I have no idea. I mentioned this to one of the students I am working with, (on line), he said, You are in Wisconsin, any search will end up going to the Packers.


The place we pass by at a cross roads, at some point of the compass, which seems a vital method of giving directions here, which is a problem for someone who has no idea which way is which, any way; the big sign says Trucks. I don’t think any of them are trucks. They all have a flag on top. That is several hundred flags. I would stick a for sale sign there myelf, but hey ho.


When I asked a lady in Minot what this was, in the picture below,  she said she was of a family of farmers and their main cop was flax. I said how Heidi had grown this and then I went on to demonstrated how it was worked into fibres. She said, we use a big machine, it’s a lot quicker.

On the large crate below this hanging flax were tons of little brown round things. I asked Heidi what they were and she said they were they flax seeds which had fallen off. They are all over the garage so I investigated. No they weren’t. They were very light and empty. Mice had climbed up the wall along the barn and down the corn sheaves. They had taken one seed at a time and carefully opened it. Then dropped the outer casing. These were empty little packets which once held a seed each.

I told my pal Greg of the Lakota, who is now connected to the corn-growing Oneida tribe, and he told me of how they grew corn. They hung it from beams in the barn, but they created bowl-shaped wrappings that went around the corn just above the cobs. When you turned the light on and went into the barn there were all these little mice faces looking down, obviously thinking, How do we get down there to that tasty corn?


Every month a box turns up full of Japanese stationary. This is a very exciting time and involves shrieking. They are treasured and kept forever…


Not more decorated boxes!


Yes more…


Just how many does one household need? Many…


Here these are known as biscuits. I was wonderfully excited to find some actual biscuits recently in Walgreens; Biscoff. Ooooo, said Heidi, Cookies. No, I said if they bend they are cookies, if they snap they are biscuits. Biscuits are not sweet, you have them with gravy. The gravy is white!


They come in a pretend tin made of cardboard…


Them aint biscuits. We didn’t make white sausage gravy, whatever that is, We had them split and hot with lashings of melted butter.


We found a great store Nearby. A Mexican store. It is great to be able to get fresh produce just around the corner. There are a few interesting things worth a photograph. Pork Scratching warning. Now this is an enormous scratching. Bigger than an American football…


Now some really horrid produce. (I am going to post a tin to Martin, anyone else want an order?) –


Beautiful Icons…




Do you want a cigarette? There’s plenty here…


The owner makes this. It is raw and needs cooking. We asked if it was spicy. We were told no. – It wasn’t hot and tasted like chorizo…


I may spend a lot of time looking out. I do practice social distancing though. I particularly wanted to distance myself from this feller…

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I think he was collecting scrap. That must be what they do in America. Oh no. he’s coming over!


We have stockpiled to a degree…


I can think of nicer things to make cough syrup of…


My daughter Lucy’s ‘how to’ on making egg fried rice

And if you click here you can see the second in the series of Living in America with more quirky photos.

Click here for two fun videos are in Living in America 3


Footage collection with Adrian, friends and family

Footage collection with Adrian, friends and family – Yorkshire Culture, UWGB, Lucy Spendlow, Egg Drop Soup, Frode Tufte, Njardarheimr, Alda’s Viking Kitchen, Lamb Stew, Steam Tales, Daily Distraction, Skipping Day, Scarborough, Georg and the Rooster, Sigrun Design, Alda on Top of the Pops, Real Good Time, Latvian Vikings, Dan Webster Band, Nisswa Viking Festival, Society For Storytelling, Jamie Cooper, Natcha Dauphin.

An audio only set first. I was commissioned by Professor Rebecca Nesvet, Assistant Professor of English at University of Wisconsin, Green Bay to create a presentation on Yorkshire culture. This was recorded by Kate Farley, Instructional Technologist at the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning.

Next I am very proud to show you one of the cookery programs from top chef Lucy Spendlow; Egg Drop Soup.

Here is a visit to the sadly missed Njardarheimr Viking Town in Norway to see our CEO Forde Tufte walking the sheep. I hope we can join you soon. https://youtu.be/TGJBjUIpZII

Alda’s Viking Kitchen presents Lamb Stew.

Snippets from my forthcoming book Steam Tales, written in collaboration with my late father Ronald. This was presented as a ‘daily distraction’ via UW-Green Bay College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. I am proud to be assisted on this publication project by the History team of students while working with Professor Heidi Sherman.

Skipping Day in Scarborough.

My chieftain Georg blesses the God statues while accompanied by the Njardarheimr cockerel.

Top displays at London Fashion Week and very much in demand; Sigrun’s Viking fashions are modelled well, but never as well as now. Here is your chance to see me in my Viking Shirt from sigrun.co.uk

This is Alda with her hit from Top of the Pops revisited

Heidi filmed these two wonderful Vikings from Latvia, Līga Reitere and Zane Danoss, singing to the very essence of nature and the power of the light.

The brilliant Dan Webster Band performing Sand.

The Viking Era Was Brought To Life During First Nisswa Viking Festival, (Nisswa is a city in Crow Wing County, Minnesota) – Thank you to Trodin Hegn for this link…

Members can post events in here, so I guess it is worth a look…


Wonderful guy Jamie Cooper with a wonderful rendition of When the Swallows come back to Capistrano

Captivating song from Natacha Dauphin, Je Pars (Poor Patrick). Subscribe to her channel.



Stories and Snippets from my Travels in the US of A

Historically Reenacted Battles, (to the best of my ability)…

I shall be returning to The Norwegian, Rockford, IL, USA for a couple of gigs this spring, and perhaps this isn’t the best example of my work…

Lady Freyja snippet from the Irish club, Green Bay, WI, USA…

Snippet from Veikko’s Quest, as performed at Hostfest, North Dakota, USA…

Veikko’s Quest snippet from University Wisconsin. Green Bay…

Bit more from the Hus…

Dwayne volunteers here feeding the fish, but actually it is a hydroponics bay…

Cujo and Tree’s open mic at Pepper GB in Green Bay USA

Another one from Pepper GB…

And a scary one to finish…

giddy viking by danny



My favourite ‘shorts’ from 2019

My favourite ‘shorts’ from 2019

Jamie Cooper – When Johnny Cash Saved Christmas

egyptian cat

Scary Faces in the Gravestone

Cheese on Toast

My Jokes for Kids Collection

Peppa Pig and Mr Men Sampler for little ones