Thursday, 26 July 2012

Confessions from my inner child - Thor, Disney's Tangled and another princess who didn't have her happy ending...

Now if anyone reading this or following my blog ALSO follows me on Twitter you will think that I've officially lost the plot recently and all over a certain Disney film which I FINALLY got round to watching this last weekend.
Yep I fell hook, line and sinker for the delightful, funny, clever and often moving film that is.......


 Yes, I can hear you're gasps of shock, horror and maybe a few thuds from people fainting.
How can a girl like me who is obsessed with strong, muscular, blood-thirsty, brave and even terrifying Vikings EVER become enchanted by a Disney film?

Well the truth is that despite being WOWed by the Vikings with all their history, sagas, culture and impact on history and people around the world...

I am still a girl at heart and I always keep my inner child alive and well with my imagination and romantic tendancies. And I am sucker for a good fairy-tale - with this one having an interesting twist it made me even more susceptable to its charm.

And with the charismatic, cheeky, lovable rogue of a man that is the handsome Flynn Rider he really was the icing on the cake (although his real name is....nope I won't say it might spoil the surprise in the film if anyone dares to watch it hehehe) ...and yes he does prove to be worth a 'swoon' or two at the end.
See even my new favourite Disney characters love books!
Plus I also heard the name of a Norse God in the film although why he's been linked to flower arranging I will never know but at least he doesn't have a horned helmet hehehe. Oh he only appears for a split second half way through a sing-song called 'I have a Dream'.

All the songs were brilliant, including the love song and I've been singing it to myself a lot recently so I've actually proven how much I loved this film by ordering the sound track so at least I can sing along to actual music and not just play it in my head. 

Anyway, I confesss to watching 'Tangled' repeatedly each evening from my favourite parts being the scenes where love finally blossoms and the ending which ....well... I daren't say too much about that either but I think it was a really heart-felt genuine ending that actually moved me emotionally.

Yet a little bit of a clue is in this rather clever and rather funny video I discovered courtesy of the 3D World magazine. For this poor princess may get her lover but she doesn't get the happy ending that Rapunzel did. Enjoy!

Friday, 20 July 2012

Vikings and Flowers at the RHS Flower Show @ Tatton Park

Vikings and flowers. Two words you wouldn't really ever think of in the same sentence. After all, the Vikings aren't known for giving flowers to their neighbours.

Yet you'd be as suprised as I was when I was channel flicking on the TV last night, stumbled into the RHS Flower Show on BBC 2 and heard the name King Cnut/Knut/Canute mentioned and how he was going to be incorporated into a flower garden. Of course the main source of the idea is King Cnut and the tide. Which is a scene used as the main logo image of Caldwell's Nursery, there is also a reference to Knutsford which legend has it that King Cnut visited there.

Click on this link to see the short episode clip on this interesting mix of viking/english history and garden design.

Time and Tide: Caldwell's and Canute - Silver Medal Winning Garden

Becky Bookworm Book Review: Lord of Slaughter by MD Lachlan - The Return of the Wolf....

Now every good viking loves battle, blood and death and so every good viking fan must read this blood-fuelled, battle-filled and death on a scale never seen before, series by MD Lachlan.

It begins with the magic of Wolfsangel, followed by bloodshed of Fenrir and now it blossoms in the horror and beautiful deaths in Lord of Slaughter.

Click on the book cover to learn more about a norse fantasy series with a dark side that will reveal to you the madness of the hanged god Odin, the eternally damned fates of a man, his lover and a certain wolf.....

Lord of Slaughter   (The Craw Trilogy , #3)

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Becky Bookworm Book Review -Special- A forgotten Queen from a forgotten period of history... Queen Emma and the Vikings

Now when you think of the 8th-10th century, of vikings and of memorable historical figures you'd be unsuprised to hear the mention of names such as King Alfred, The Great Army, Guthrum who then became Athelstan, Ivar Longbroke, Harald Hardrada, Harold Godwineson and perhaps even William the Conquerer, Duke of Normandy.
You would be suprised if someone mentions these names, King Ethelred the Unready (Ill-Counciled), King Swein of Denmark, King Cnut/Canute/Knutr, Edmund Ironside, Harold Harefoot, the young Prince and then King Edward (later known as the confessor).
But the real name which would make you blink and ask 'Who?' belongs not to a man, as all the above do, but to a woman.
A woman who not only led a remarkable life, but was Queen of England not once, but twice, and proved to be a formidable Queen Mother to the two sons who reigned after her (in life and in death).
Her name is .... Emma, of Normandy, but in English historical records she is noted as Algifu (for the Saxons found it hard to pronounce her Norman name).

Emma's historical and very personal story, woven into the ruling foundations of this country and her connections to the Vikings of Denmark, are so complicated and span so many years that I find it hard to even summarise it all in just a few simple paragraphs.

It does best to say that Emma, as a young Queen twice over, Widowed twice over, has a son from each of her two marriages die (one murdered by Harold Harefoot's men and another who did become King then suffer a drink induced stroke), and a King's Mother twice over, faced more life threatening political agendas and social falls and rises, than Queen Elizabeth the 1st and even Queen Victoria combinded. Yet her survival skills through cunning diplomacy, political tactics of alliances and influential social positioning kept her within a great deal of power for the majority of her lifetime at the English court right up until her death possibly in her eighties/nineties which is a tremendous feat just of longevity in a world where most didn't live past their forties let alone enter their fifties.

If you wish to learn about this truly amazing woman, who should be remembered for what she lived through, I highly recommend the book below which revealed her to me if only because I read about her second husband King Cnut/Canute/Knutr first, but her life story eclipsed his remarkable tale.

Click on the cover to read my review.

Queen Emma And The Vikings: The Woman Who Shaped The Events Of 1066

Monday, 9 July 2012

Have a good summer's raiding (despite the rain)! - Viking themed events Summer 2012

I've been planning what to do with my few weeks of summer holidays and I'm proud to say that I've discovered quite a few fantastic Viking themed events happening right up until September/October!
So here are my top picks for Viking fanatics and some of the one's I'm going pillage and plunder for knowledge and entertainment: Links take you to the Events page at the Jorvik Viking Centre website.

  1. Vikings at the Halifax Festival - When? = 14th July  
  2. Valhalla: Search for the Viking Dead Exhibition - When? = 21 July 2012 till 5th November 2012
  3. Terry Deary's Vicious Valhalla - Author Appearence, book siging and chance to purchase his 'Viking Tale' books - When? = YORKshire Day 1st August
  4. Yorkshire Medieval Festival - When? = 4th August till 11th
  5. Fulford Battle Walk - the place where King Harald Hardrada of Norway had his final victory before finding defeat and death at Stamford Bridge, 1066 - a place worthy of remembrance - When? = 23rd September 2012
  6. Stamford Bridge Battle Walk - the meeting place of the two Kings, Harald vs Harold - Hardrada vs Godwinson - here is where the pages of history were written in blood. Highly Recommended. When? = 30th September 2012
I personally will strive to attend the Valhalla exhibition, Terry Deary event (always pillaging for viking fiction) and the Fulford and Stamford Bridge Battle Walks. I have yet to see Fulford so that would be a real treat. I have been to Stamford Bridge before, in fact only this spring did I go there on a private outing with my Mum and we did have a good time, to see photos to get a taster of what you might experience without the use of an experienced guide or historian on the area click here to see my personal photographic tour.

Hope to see many Viking fans in attendance of these events. Do let me know if and where you can make it!

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