Monday, 29 August 2011

Food and Drink - A True Story - flash fiction biography

Food and Drink: A True Story - A Flash Fiction Biography

It was Sunday and Mum has yet again set the table fit for a banquet of fifty not a small family of five, three members sat at the table, whilst two were absent. One being upstairs still sleeping through the daylight hours and the other had long vacated from the house to one of their own.
The souls of several hundred cooked garden peas drifted away in the streams of steam coming from each of the small, round, green bodies. Their flesh so tender they burst their guts open upon the lightest prick of a fork. Almost mimicking the similar explosion of flavour you get when eating fresh raspberries or ripe grapes. Roast potatoes glowed with their golden, crispy tan in the bowl next door. The only garish feature of the table was the bright orange of the carrots, although I guess it would have been worse if they were the vivid purple some people claim they can be. The slabs of lamb meat upon my plate were a deep brown which looked more appealing when I had decorated them with large dollops of moss green mint sauce and then soaked them in delicious bisto gravy. To accompany this feast I required a large tumbler glass of water, mainly due to the overdose on mint sauce which always made me thirsty.
The man whom I call Dad, but acts nothing like him, prefers to choose this meal time to open up a bottle of red Shiraz to wash his food down. He opens the bottle with a loud pop, as the cock jettisons out. Allowing him to pour the ruby liquid with a slosh into his large glass. He offers Mum one out of some small decency. She politely refuses. He simply shrugs and claims it for himself.

One plateful and three large glasses later the so called man of the house proclaims himself full and abandons the dining table for his prime seat in the living room. The half drunken bottle of wine goes with him to sit on the coffee table at his side. I am left to help Mum box away the left overs and deal with the washing up.

Only a few hours after six Mum and I say our brief and casual goodnights to him and escape to our rooms. The man is left with the TV remote in one hand and a new glassful of wine in the other.

The ten o clock news has been gone when I wake up suddenly in the night, for that is when I recognise him slowly making his way up the stairs, one creaky floorboard at a time, accompanied with a deep and weary sigh when he reaches the landing. I peer through the hinge gap on my bedroom door just as his teetering figure begins to make its journey to bed, from wall to wall. For that split second I spot the familiar oblong shape in his right trouser pocket, I can hear the tell-tale splish and splash of the bottle he is escorting to his bedroom. It is his only company these nights for Mum departed his bedroom many months ago and has claimed my brothers has her own.

Come morning two bottles stand empty on the kitchen side. Two more bottles that we add to the almost full glass recycle box outside. As I watch them collected to be reused I know it's my parts of my Dad's soul they are taking away also, constantly given in exchange for the deceitful poison we all know as alcohol.

Flash Fiction Fun - can you guess who/what it is?

At one of my writing group sessions we were discussing the theme of light and had to come up with a common phrase and rewrite it in an original way.
One member gave me the line "the furnace burns bright" which of course made me think of one type of person who features quite often in norse myths and legends. From the flash fiction below can you guess who I'm describing?

"Flickering flames crunch and crackle through the pulsating glowing coals, casting a spall of heat and light onto the cylinder being held above. Creating the enchanting lure of gold under the watchful eyes and steady hands of the tamer of fire."

Becky Bookworm Book Review: Magus of Stonewylde by Kit Berry

Magus of StonewyldeMagus of Stonewylde by Kit Berry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book may at first reading seem to be directed more towards the teenage reader but it deals with some deep adult issues of power, ove, freedom, rules of society, right and wrong and more importantly childhood. This of course is all discussed through some very fascinating characters (although having read first person narrators for so long it took me a while to adjust to this omniscient narrator) and set within the 'backwards' seeming village society and reclusive world of Stonewylde. A place set in the Dorset countryside with all the majestic beauty and dark magic that lingers within the New Forest today. A place where the powers of the early druids still rule the hearts and minds of the villagers and Hallfolk (the aristocracy of Stonewylde) today.
The entire story was captivating right through to the end and I finished it within five days eager to grasp my hands on the three books which follow this wonderous tale. If you love the old ways, star crossed lovers, twists and turns and ancient powers and a web of secrets in a world set within our own but follows the ways of centuries past then you will LOVE this book as much as I did.

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Becky Bookworm Book Review: A Brief History of the Vikings by Jonathan Clements

A Brief History of the VikingsA Brief History of the Vikings by Jonathan Clements

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a suprisingly pleasant read and although it says Brief History on the front it doesn't feel like it. Each chapter gives enough details, dates, key characters, key locations etc that you are left satisfied not disappointed when it's time to move onto the next one. I am paritcularly impressed by the second to final chapter he's devoted to a key character not discussed in other history books I've read, Harald Hardrada. It allows you to follow him from his childhood through his years abroad gathering glory and treasure until he finally claims the throne of Norway and is lured to England with the death of Edward the Confessor. The other goods things are it of course looks at the Norse myths and gods and the influence on the Vikings, the Vikings impact on an international scale from the various countries they raided, fought in or discovered and settled. Whether this is a passing interest or a research project, you can not fail to learn a lot and have a developed understanding after reading this if you are interested in the vikings culture and history and people in any way at all.

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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Becky Bookworm Book Review: Fenrir by MD Lachlan - Sequel to Wolfsangel

Fenrir (Craw Trilogy, #2)Fenrir by M.D. Lachlan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

MD Lachlan is proving to have as deep an imagination as Tolkein showed in Lord of the Rings, with his mind blowing sequel to Wolfsangel with Fenrir.

The sequel may still feature more brotherhoods of Vikings but he has taken the reader into the world of the early medieval French dukes, knights and princesses and most notable of all, monks and prophets. But to add a little to the rabble of viking armies around Paris MD Lachlan introduces some fascinating characters of Munin and Hugnin, a brother and sister who worship the All Father and his madness through some very dark magic.

The over all story is riddled with patches of shadow, twilight, horror and glorious blood but in such a way as to not be overwhelming but always used to make particular characters at particular moments in the plot develope into something the reader never ever expects. And that is the true beauty of this dark tale of mad gods, powerful runes and never ending love - that even though the reader may think they know how things will work out having read Wolfsangel but Lachlan always proves those expectations to be false. The reincarnations of the two brothers, one wolfman, another werewolf are never who you expect them to be and in this one we get the suprise of the original Witch returning in a very unlikely place and it goes even more so for the form Odin chooses to live and die by.

My favourite parts of this new blood fuelled saga has to the scenes where certain character evoke the power of Odin's runes. Lachlan describes them so beautifully I can't help but wonder that the way he describes them is the same magic that flows within his imagination. The way the runes are called upon and used seems so natural it strengthens the readers mind view of the scene. And what makes it even more special is that such runes weren't used in such ways in the first book but in this sequel it seems all aspects of the doomed gods and lovers and the magic that binds them together has increased ten fold with dramatic and stunning effects in the ficitonal world and upon the reader.

And on that note the only thing left to say is that MD Lachlan has succeeded in making a sequel that dwarfs the original, showing the strength of his imagination in more ways than one. And making it a good bet that the third in this series will undoubtedly be fantastic.
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Saturday, 6 August 2011

Birthday Books: Vikings in Paris, Cleopatra isn't dead and a pagan adventure in Dorset

It may come as a suprise or a shock to some that it is my birthday this Wednesday. I'm not going to say old I am, instead I will say how old I feel which is still just about 20 hehehe.

I'm not doing very much for my birthday this year, sadly I'm too old for bouncy castles and party games and I'm too sensible to get drunk but I can still do a good job at getting very silly when happy. What I am doing is going home to spend the day and the rest of the week with my family (who are sadly going through some very stressful and painful periods due to one serious health problem or another with certain close relatives). Then we're all off hopefully on our annual family holiday to Dorset from Saturday 13th. So as of Wednesday morning I will be locking the blog doors and galavanting around on Twitter to let you know all know what fun I'm causing down in the lands of the Saxons hehehe.
However I can reveal that I am already aware of not one but THREE birthday books I will be getting from my lovely partner of nearly 5 yrs (yes I know, I don't know why my viking madness hasn't scared him off either). If only because I picked them in the bookshop because he couldn't find anything he liked on the same offer hehehe. All the more books for me then. These will also be the three books I will be reading from my birthday until the end of my holiday and I'm so super excited about them that I'm certain I'll have at least 2 of 3 finished by the time I'm back in the good old Danelaw.

First off may I introduce you too the sequel to the fantastic Wolfsangel by M D Lachlan is.... 

Fenrir (Craw Trilogy, #2)

What more can a girl ask for her on her birthday than more Vikings, a big dollop of Norse Gods and all set in the romantic medieval town of Paris? Yes the master of historical fantasy is back with even more bloodshed, darkness, fate-torn characters and of course some strong northmen!

Second is a book which is remarkably similar in its story idea of gods, history and fantasy but this time set in the far distant, hot and dusty lands of Egypt, and with perhaps the most famous female egyptian of them all....Cleopatra! 

Queen of Kings

This is a new and possibly competitive tale (when set against Wolfsangel/Fenrir) written by another author mixing history and fantasy into one compelling story - Maria Dahvana Headley. It is rather odd of me to find this book A) on the same day I decide to buy or have bought Fenrir by MD Lachlan and B) After I have just had a go at writing a short story set in Ancient Egypt where the Egyptian Gods do make their presence felt amongst the select few.

Last is a story set a little bit closer to home, and ironically where I have my family holiday each year except this author is bringing back the magic and mystery of paganism in a little reclusive village called Stonewylde....

How can an admirer of anything remotely pagan and based in England, with the constant possibility of norse influences, not be grabbed by such a cover. Not only are there standing stones, a broody male on the front and mysterious title with enticing blurb on the book but any Norse fan will proudly take it just for the Raven on the front! Can't wait to dive into the magical and almost local world Kit Berry has created.

There you have it, three hopefully wonderful, exciting, page-turning books I can't wait to read for my birthday treat and holiday pleasure! Roll on Wednesday I say!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Twilight of the Gods - An Egyptian Tale

In my local writing group HAC (Huddersfield Authors Circle) our annual competition theme is Light and me being a person with a keen interest in history and mythology have ventured off vikings a little and delved into the Egyptian pantheon and lands of Pharaohs. During my basic introductory research I came across the historical life of the one and only heretic Pharoah, Akhenaten, formerly known as Amenhotep the Sixth. He was a heretic because upon the fifth year of his relatively peaceful reign he embarked on a major spiritual revolution across his kingdom. Now the Egyptians had many if not more gods than the Vikings, each with their own animal mask, powers and purpose to the daily life of average egyptians. What Amenhotep did is do away with his name with originally meant (Amun is pleased) - Amun being the God of Pharaohs - and rename himself Akhenaten (Satisfier of the Aten). Now the Aten was the Sun Disk, a small god in its own right, being Egypt its hardly unlikely for the people of those hot desert lands not to associate anything with the Sun, but Akhenaten believed that Aten was the most powerful and most benefical of all the other Gods. So he changed his name, the name of his Queen, Nefertiti too, to link with the Aten and then sent teams of soldiers and masons out across the land to excise any and all mention of the other gods from monuments, statues and temples. He was effectively doing what Christianity did to Astaru (viking pagan beliefs) which took centuries, but over a few years and upon his own people. Akhenaten even went as far as to build a whole new capital city for his kindgom in a virgin peice of land in the desert and name it and build it in honour to the Aten. So not only did an awful lot of people have to adjust to new beliefs being enforced upon them but a lot also had to move several hundred miles away!
I can reveal however that this new religious regime only lasted as long as Akhenaten was alive, as soon as he died the whole system was reversed under the reign of the even more famous reign of Tutankhamun (he also had a former Aten-styled name but changed it to the one know in order to distance himself from his father's past - yes Akhenaten was his father, Tut's mum though was probably one of his many wives.)
It made me think what would it be like to be a Priest of one of the many gods to awake one day and find you have to renounce all your beliefs and worship a new god? Would you be able to go through with it? Would you be happy with it? What would be the reaction of the local people? Or maybe how do the soldiers feel about carrying out what seems to be sacriligious acts?
So I had a go at writing a short story about this dramatic shift in religious and political power with my usual mix of mythology and history. I don't think it is yet totally finished but I have just about got it under the 2000 word count. Hope you enjoy this little detour into history and do please tell me what you think - any thoughts and ideas are greatly encouraged and welcomed - be it good or bad. It is still a rough draft so I have probably made many mistakes be it with cliches, grammar, punctuation, spelling, lack of tension etc. Hence why I would like feedback.

Twilight of the Gods: The Reign of Pharaoh Akhenaten

Rasui found himself far from his bed, far from the Temple and far from the Nile. Yet he wasn’t afraid, for Amun-Re was with him.
The man with a falcon-head stood still, in the same pose of his statue in the Temple Sanctum. The God wearing a double plumed crown held the life-giving Ankh in his left hand and rulers crook in the right, both arms crossed against his bare chest.
Rasui placed his body flat upon the warm sands, palms up to the skies and the Gods.
    “Hail Amun-Re, King of Gods and Father of Pharaohs’. What do you command of your servant?”
Rasui could feel his heart pounding as loud as the drums on festival days, as unseen hands touched his and gently guided him back to his feet. He kept his face lowered, awaiting command. He felt another hand cup his face, although he could see none were physically touching him, but he allowed it to return his eyes upon the God he had devoted much of his life to.
Amun-Re had remained in the same pose but he no longer carried his divine Ankh and kingly crook. The God’s arms slowly unfolded and his right hand pointed to where his human ears would be and his left pointed to his glimmering falcon eyes.
Rasui nodded and kneeled in acknowledgement of this command. It was the one Amun-Re always gave to him when they met. It was very simple and clear to understand. Rasui was to watch and was to listen.
Amun-Re clapped his hands loudly to his left, then above his head and to his right. There was the roar of thunder and before Rasui now stood not Amun-Re but three Gods of old. Aten, the sun disk hovered and throbbed with light and warmth. Amun, a man wearing a double plumed crown; and Re, the body of a man with the head of a falcon.
The three divine beings joined a crowd of the other Gods and Goddesses, all with their own unique powers, roles and animal guises, who were sat feasting and drinking. Rasui watched in awe as the Gods and Goddesses he worshipped acted as a large family around the table.
Then something new and unexpected occurred upon the scene Rasui was watching. His cousin, the Pharaoh Amenhotep the Sixth, whom had continued his father’s peaceful reign the past five years, walked into and amongst the crowd of Gods and Goddesses. The divine gathering halted in their actions and watched, almost nervously, as Pharaoh Amenhotep walked towards the seat of Aten. It was only when Pharaoh Amenhotep bowed in homage to Aten that Rasui noticed the large basket of fruit and pot of wine which his cousin carried. The Pharaoh placed his offerings directly beneath Aten, whose glow turned to that of molten gold in acceptance. Pharaoh Amenhotep quickly began to take food and drink from the table and placed it on and around Aten’s seat. The Gods and Goddesses shook their fists, banged the table and spat in the Pharaoh’s face. Aten grew in size and brightness as his seat became covered in offerings. Soon there were just crumbs and spilt wine left upon the feasting table and Aten hovered above all the mess, as large as the temple columns.
A new sound then broke the eternally silent scene. Pharaoh Amenhotep, unharmed by the harsh light and burning heat of the large form of Aten, scrambled onto the table and became a blurry silhouette against the sun disk.
    “Pharaoh Amenhotep the Sixth is dead!  All Hail the Aten!” He cried out, the power of his words pushing the overthrown pantheon to cower in the sands.  “All Hail the Aten!”
    Something hit Rasui across his face.
    “Rasui! Wake up! Please!”
It took another slap before Rasui was released from the dream vision. The panic in his Priest’s eyes told him the chaos had only just begun.
    “Oh thanks be to Amun! Rasui, the Pharaoh’s guards, they are here to destroy the temple! They...”
    “Take me to them!” High Priest Rasui staggered out of bed, still haunted by the vision he had witnessed. His heart racing with anxiety and disbelief. He could hear the moans and yells of his small retinue of Priests quarrelling with the group of guards standing in the Temple hallway. “Who is your Captain?” Rasui commanded in his strong and booming voice.
    A member of the guards stepped forward. “I am High Priest, my name is Bomani. I have been commanded to lay claim upon all the statues of the old gods in temples in this district. Pharaoh’s orders.” He handed Rasui the small piece of papyrus scroll bearing the commandment of the exact same words. But there was a set of marks in the command that Rasui did not recognise.
    “This is not Amenhotep’s seal, whose is it?”
    “Pharaoh Amenhotep has been reborn by the glory of Aten. He has taken upon the name Akhenaten; he is our King and Pharaoh.”
    “Only Amun can give Pharaoh’s rebirth!”
    “Amenhotep’s gone mad!”
    “We will not forsake Amun!”
The gathering of priests shouted in defiance and horror at this sudden change from the one man with enough power to be closer to the Gods then they were.
    “Hush brothers, Captain Bomani is only doing as he is being commanded. He knows not to question the Pharaoh’s orders or pass judgement on his decision. Hanif, please escort the guards through to the feast hall and give them drink, me and Captain Bomani have matters to discuss before anything is handed over.” Rasui gave Hanif a comforting grip on his shoulder and gestured for Bomani to follow him along the open walled corridor towards the temple lake.
    Now it was quiet Rasui could allow his heart beat to subside. In the tranquillity of the stars and the Moon, upon the undisturbed surface of the lake, Rasui felt a touch of peace and calm. He glanced over at Bomani more closely by the light of burning braziers and could see dark stubble around his face making him re-estimate the captain’s age. He noticed how Bomani clutched his spear close to his body and wouldn’t look at Rasui as they walked. To Rasui it meant three things. Either Bomani was nervous being around a High Priest alone or Bomani was nervous of not achieving his Pharaohs’ commands; or better yet, that Bomani feared the dramatic shift in power, not just with the emergence of Akhenaten, but the overthrow of the Gods themselves. It showed that Bomani was very aware of how dangerous his actions might be if he defied the new Pharaoh or the Gods he still undoubtedly believed in.
     “Tell me Captain, when was my cousin Pharaoh Amenhotep the sixth reborn as Akhenaten?” High Priest Rasui asked gently, slowing to a stop close to the water’s edge, its form a black obsidian oval in the shadows of the night.
    Bomani seemed to take confidence in being spoken to using his official title. “Yesterday at sunrise I believe, at least, that was when the stone workers came to change his name mark upon the palace walls.”
     “What of Queen Nefertiti and her daughters? Has this new Pharaoh accepted them as the royal family?”
    “Queen Neferneferuaten as she is now known remarried the new King only last night. The palace household have all renewed their vows of allegiance and loyalty.”
    “This just leaves the kingdom’s masses to appease with this change. I, myself am pleased we still have a Pharaoh, regardless of name; it means the Gods haven’t entirely deserted us yet, but why does he wish for their statues to be removed? Have his own Priests not warned him about such action?”
    “Pharaoh Akhenaten will only listen to those who follow and worship Aten. He has already issued by royal command that no more offerings should be made to any other God but Aten. It is Aten, he says, that gave him a second life, not Amun-Re, despite what we have all been told.”
    “The people will find this very hard to accept, let alone priests of the other temples, such as my own. You saw how angry they were when you arrived; I can’t say many others will be as kind to as merely hurl words at you. Some may not even believe you. The common worshippers may well revolt over what you and your men do tonight. And I must say I do not know how this new Pharaoh intends to insure everyone worships only Aten. Some may well resort to doing it in secret regardless of how many statues you seize.”
    “The Pharaoh knows about that and he has already made plans.” Bomani sighs long and deep, casting a look of sadness and regret to Rasui.
    “What does he plan to do?”
    “He’s been shown a vision by Aten. In that vision was a city which will be named in the Gods honour. That city will become the new capital of Egypt. Several teams of builders and workers have already been sent to the location to begin work on the new royal palace.”
    Rasui shivered as the madness of his cousin was revealed to go deeper than he thought. “That will take at least two seasons to build let alone any new temples or noble houses of Thebes. What disciplinary rule does he intend to use in the meantime to insure worship of Aten?”
    “Besides removing statues from all major and minor temples, masons will work across the lands from the next sunrise to excise their names and images from any visible stonework. They will also create new images of Aten showing his blessings upon Akhenaten and his family.”
    “Reminding us all that the true way to the Gods is through the Pharaoh. I can only pray that Pharaoh deems that the service of my brothers is still needed.” Rasui turned and grasped Bomani’s hands and felt them tremble. “Where are the God’s statues being taken to?”
    “To the Royal temples at Thebes, I’ve heard that they will be remade into the image of the Pharaoh and then Aten’s High Priest will bless them again to be fit for temple worship once more.”
    “Don’t fear me Captain; I will not hinder your tasks set by the Pharaoh. I wish no one hurt during this awkward time. Everyone has got many new changes to adjust to and I know it won’t be easy for many. You and your men can escort our Amun-Re statue to Thebes. As for the other holy items, inform the new Pharaoh’s overseer that I will present them to him myself.”
    “Thank you High Priest, I will make them aware of how much you are co-operating with us on this matter and I will guarantee that my men will not desecrate the statue on its journey.” Bomani smiled with relief as the prospect of having to use force faded from his mind. He saluted Rasui and turned to march back to his men, he paused at the entrance to the Temple building. “Is what the Pharaoh claims true? Is Aten, the most powerful of all the Gods?” He hesitantly asked, not meeting Rasui’s look.
    “I don’t know Bomani. All the Gods have their own powers and own purpose in the world. The reign of this Akhenaten will show whether it is best to worship one and not all.”
    “What if....”
    “Our new Pharaoh is wrong? It is possible, although his soul is sent by the gods his mind is still that of a mortal man. But if the Pharaoh has made the mistake I fear he has, then keep prayers to the Gods in your heart. That way they may still bestow small blessings upon you and you may just avoid the vengeance they perform when and if they return to the heavens. They will undoubtedly punish all that have renounced them for the sun.”

Monday, 1 August 2011

Every Good Viking has a Good Hoard of Loot - My Nordic Treasures

We all know Vikings liked a bit of what we may now deem as 'bling', although they didn't just like a nice bit of silver around their neck or fingers, they loved the shine of strong and sharp metal from a deadly sword, axe or spear, they admired the strength found in good shield design and of course the security found in a good of armour be it a well made peice of mail or a resilient outfit of padded leather.
I too, more due to being a girl, have my own collection of treasured items, all with their own nordic qualities and unique meaning and worth to me. So for this week I am sharing my hoard with you and their story in my life.

My Petite Hoard Chest - bought at Festival of History 2011 - not entirely sure the style of the engraving but I like to think it's Norse. Let's open it up and see what is inside.....
It isn't exactly full but it sure has plenty of trinkets, charms and secrets to show and tell. Let's begin....
Norse Talismans - From Left to Right: My first Pewter Thor's Hammer (Jorvik Viking Centre) bought at my first Jorvik Viking Festival 2008, Valkyrie in Pewter (Jorvik Centre 2009) taken from a viking stone picture carving in Sweden I think, bought as a personal treat for completing my degree, Moon Gazing Hare (Jorvik Viking Fest 2009, medieval market) which is a animal and symbol linked to Freya and Travellers in Ship pendant in Pewter (Jorvik Centre 2010).
Special Charms - On the left is the hand-made runic snake pendant made and given to me by Runemarks author Joanne Harris when I entered her Fan Fiction competition in Summer 2009. The rune on the blue cube above the snake is Tyr (imagine a small arrow pointing upwards), on her note she wrote "Perfect for a Valkyrie". On the right is a Valkyrie Feather pendant hand-made by good and wickedly crafty friend Julie.
Viking Broaches - On the left is a Raven bannered longship, can't actually remember where or when I got this, probably from the Jorvik Centre many years ago. In the middle is a green Baltic amber celtic swirl broach I treated my cloak to at a hand-made fair at Castle Howard (vikings loved amber as much as silver, it was thought to be the tear drops of Freya). And on the far right is a new broach bought from the Runesmith stall at Festival of History 2011 which explains this to be an "Clonmacnoise brooch, from a 10th century Irish design of the Crucifixion. A decoration from a Bible, the original was made into jewellery by a pagan viking raider."
Runic Pendants - Good Luck Shield (Jorvik Viking Centre) and another nice talisman from the Runesmith stall in 2009, Rune Circle although I'm not sure if it's the sun or a flower in the middle but it does display the spiritual runes I'm familiar with.
Runic Pendants - Runed Purple Valknut, is the symbol of Odin, the Knot of the Dead is is also know by but this one is extra special not just in it's colouring but the way it has runes engraved within it which links to the story of Odin hanging himself in order to gain the knowledge of the runes. The rather well worn pendant on the right is a Silver-coated Bindrune of Creation, this was a very special birthday treat from my great and fantastic relatives who got back from an Icelandic cruise. This is what the creators, a company called Alrun, had to say about this particular bindrune: "The Icelandic word Skapa translates as Creation. Skapa can refer to a view of the world that is large in scope, but it can also represent a personal creative vision. This symbol is for those who carry within them the impulse to create, and those who wish to recognize the creative forces active in the world."
Runic Pendants - Runic Celtic Cross, bought from Runesmith stall at Festival of History 2011, created by Nordic Lights/Eastgate Resource, here is how they explain the charm of this unique blend of design and runes: "An ancient Cross of Celtic origin encircled by Viking runes, the nine stars represent the nine nights Odin hung on the World Tree to learn their secrets. This symbol was worn for knowledge and magical ability."
Runic Pendants: Front design of a Bronze Traveller's Charm, made by St Justin group, taken from the Lillbjar's picture stone found in Stenkyrka, Gotland, Sweden, which dates back to 8th Century BC.
Runic Pendants: Back of Traveller's Charm - the runic inscription on the reverse translates as "Venture forth, safe from harm."
Runic Torque - specially commission from Runesmith, stainless steel sadly as silver was a bit too expensive when I treated myself to this during my first year at Uni. The rune inscription along its length translates into "Frigg Guide Me, Freya Guard Me."
And there we have it, a photographic show and tell of my prized norse hoard.

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