Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Why is it when Odin appeared as a Buzzard, Loki as a fox, that Thor comes as an old boat AND a mini steam engine?

Well I'm baaaack! Back from my northern family's annual invasion of Wessex to visit our Anglo-Saxon kin, recieve tribute in the form of fine food and drink, go exploring and raiding with them around their Dorset lands and then return back to our northern stronghold with lots treasure and memories.
This all happened after celebrating my 25 winters on this earth and what better way than to have a nice cruise down the river Ouse on a "longboat" towards Acaster Malbis, raid their pub for a tasty meal before returning to Jorvik on the water to see it all lit up in the night.
Heading on boat towards Skeldergate bridge, which is an old norse name for street of the shield makers
Jorvik lighting up the night upon the rider Ouse.
For my 25th birthday my mum got me this beautiful Wade longboat. Now all I need is a mini sail and a mini crew to explore the seas and maybe raid a pixie village hehehe. I love it though :)

Who will come gain fame and glory upon this fine vessel?
Now returning to the points mentioned in the title of this post, it refers to something I only discovered upon reflection today regarding any nordic sights during my travels on holiday. Sadly I didn't see many viking historic sites or monuments etc (plan is next year for a boat cruise from Pool Quay to Wareham -which did burn under a viking raid- and a trip to Winchester Cathedral to pay homage to the old bones of King Cnut and Queen Emma).

BUT I did witness manifestations of THOR 
on 2 CONESCUTIVE 'Thors'-days!! 

To begin with he appeared on the night of my dinner cruise on the Ouse which was the 9th of August, the Thors-day before my birthday on the 10th. He appeared as an old tug boat and I go so excited I couldn't help but photograph him...
THOR! As a boat Thors-day 9th August 2012
Then the following week when on holiday he appeared again on his name day, as a mini steam train. Didn't see it physically but at the mini station where we had a ride on such an engine there was a notice board up with proof he had taken such a form - again I took a photograph for evidence.
THOR! As a mini steamengine train 16th August 2012
Pretty wierd and COOL huh?

I did see a few other steam engines with historical names:

An age old King of Mercia who built a large Dyke earth wall between his lands and the start of Wales, the remains which can still be seen and dominate the landscape in that area. This was actually the train me and my family had a ride on.
The first reported King of England once he'd fought off most of the vikings in each old saxon territory.
And that sadly is about it for any cool historical stuff I came across on my holiday but as I mentioned earlier we've planned lots more on our 2013 raid and pillage trip to Wessex.

However, that's in the long term plans - for the short term plans I have got some very interesting Vikingy events coming up soon in September which you may also want to note for your diaries. Click on the link for more details.

Eating through the ages - Roman and Viking food and drink - 22nd September @ St Sampsons Square, York *Part of the York Food Festival


Fulford Battlefield Walk - 23rd September @ Fulford

Viking-Age Sculpture: an introduction with author and history professor V M Whitworth - September 24th @ Valhalla exhibition, York

Monday, 6 August 2012

Visions of Valhalla, Terry Deary and talk to come from author V M Whitworth

Well I feel I should share with you all the sights I beheld at the Jorvik Valhalla: In search of the Viking Dead exhibition which opened at the end of July and will stay open until the 4th November.  It is a combination with York Minster and the Ilse of Man, Manx Museum. It is a display of elaborately carved gravestones, grave markers and covers and features the bodies of a man and woman discovered buried at Hungate in York during the excavations there. Whilst I was looking at one on of the guides on hand told me the woman was of noble birth due to her arms place across her chest but in particular the fine condition of her teeth. The man was of lower standing as his teeth had a lot of a damage. Apparently if you can afford liquorice sticks to brush with you will have finer teeth than those who don't.

Woman discovered buried in the Hungate excavation at York.
My favourite peice of stonework at the Valhalla exhibition - look at the craftsmanship and the detail in the deisgn! Amazing!

I also had the pleasure of meeting author Terry Deary (yep the guy behind the Horrible Histories books and tv series) at the event. He was signing any and all books and selling his Tales story series with several set in different eras of history, Roman, Celt, Knights and VIKINGS! So I bought myself all four of his Viking Tales books and got them signed with my Vicious Vikings books.
Me and author Terry Deary.
He was very charming and funny and commented 'my you have a lot of reading to do' when I passed him all five books to sign. I told him I love to read anything to do with Vikings even though I'm a bit too old for these. He replied 'well you know these aren't meant to be read till you're 85? So you have another, say, three decades before you can even open them?' I just laughed and said that's fine, I'm sure they will be worth the wait.

If anyone has yet to see the exhibition or is even more interested you might like to meet the woman who wrote the words behind all the displays (as well as a great book The Bone Thief) VM Whitworth will be giving a talk on the scultpure of Anglian and Viking York on Monday 24th September, 7pm at Jorvik Centre. Keep checking on her website for more details nearer the time as I don't know if it's ticketed yet or not but I know I will be definitely tagging along.

To end this experience of all things Valhalla like I discovered this fantastic animated short made by a York animation company on the Jorvik website and it is really good and displays a great vision of Valhalla. Just click play and enjoy!


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