YAY! It's my favourite time of year again - can you guess what it is?
No not Christmas.
No it's not my birthday.
NO not Easter although I do like chocolate a bit too much.
You guessed what it is yet?
It's the JORVIK VIKING FESTIVAL!
Held in York annually (this year being its 26th) It is a great melting pot of history buffs, history authors, archeologists, history enthusiasts and of course a whole lord of the rings cast size of men and women wearing traditional middle age viking clothing and armour and walking in the footsteps of the ancestors of this great city of the north when it was under Norse Rule and formerly known as Jorvik. It just so happens to be the place of my birth hehehe.
There will be important historic conferences, guest history authors from the realms of fiction and non-fiction, birds of prey displays, medieval markets, viking contests (including one for the best beard) and the cherry on the top is of course the many displays of viking warfare and combat. Which reaches its peak at the Finale Battle, fireworks and boat burning display on Saturday 26th.
I've been attending for five years now and I have loved every single moment of it. I have met my favourite authors, made some great friends and had unforgettable experiences. The pictures beneath will show it.
All taken from the Festivals in 2008, 2009 and last year 2010! Can't wait to add even more for 2011!
The first event I am attending is Eirik Bloodaxe with Gareth Williams - this man is from the British Museum and is the latest to write a biography on this famous yet little known about Jorvik King who met a bloody death through betrayal. Can't wait to get my hands and imagination into it to feed my viking passion and maybe influence events and characters in Soul Chaser (here's a secret - I was thinking of having Eirik and Cnut be guardians of Odin's Raven Flag which is buring in a hogstone grave beneath York Minister).
The next time I'll be around good old Jorvik is the peak of the festival Saturday 26th - I'll be around from early morning to late evening enjoying all the activities to offer such as Tenth Century Traders market and this year will buy something from the marvels on show as for once it's pay day! I'll stop by Coppergate Camp to see the traders and discoveries there - may yet even go to Jorvik Centre as I haven't been since the revamped the entrance to show the true archeology beneath your feet! Visit the Guild Hall for its medieval market and Living History activities and then I'll be trooping aroud Museum Gardens with the might norse warriors as they march to battle and maybe getting my hair braided viking style in my own preparation. Then I'm trekking in a taxi to the Race course for the Battle Finale Show!!
BUT the BEST BIT I think will have to be meeting up with my new favourite historical Viking author Giles Kristian at his encampment in Waterstones from 2pm.
If you like anything about Vikings then RAVEN: BLOODEYE and SONS OF THUNDER are MUST READS! Why not pop along, meet the fantastically cool and friendly author and get your book signed in anticpation! I'll be there garaunteed as I'm Gile's unofficial slightly mad friendly stalking fan :P
SO basically Wednesday's trip out is a starter to the Viking FEAST I will enjoy on Saturday.
Now because I'll be at home (where we have no access to internet because our old laptop broke and brother wont share his so he hogs the www to himself basically) and signal is a bit dodgy out in the north yorkshire countryside I won't be tweeting as much or blogging until I'm back at Huddersfield the following week basically. I will tweet occasionally (@valkyrie1008) when I do get signal just to let you know i'm alive in the twitter verse, what I'm up to and how excited I'm getting hehehe but unless you tweet me directly or DM me I won't be following Twitter as above explains so I won't be seeing what the rest of you are up to or if you around the festival too unless you tweet me. Of course when I'm in York with plenty of signal I'll be tweeting with each new jolt of viking madness I get hehehe.
Ultimately this is me signing off for a brief time from twitter and blogger until I return from my annual viking pilgrimage to Jorvik. So until I make it back on an all time high take care, stay safe and have fun! My half term starts here! YIPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!