Dunoon Afternoon

We had the afternoon in Dunoon, base for the coach holiday. It seems a nice chilled out town on the Clyde, and also had the bonus of seeing a rabbit.

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Tighnabruaich great greenYgreyish

On the morning of our final day, we travelled west to Tighnabruaich, which is kind of pronounced tea-an’-a-brew-ish, which was apt, because the region had a lot of nice cafes etc. The island of Bute is across from the mainland town, beyond Loch Riddon in the patch of sunlight on the horizon photo and the Kyles of Bute in the green park close-up. The other photo is of a loch while travelling west.

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Sunnymoon is Over, Honeysunny Time in Loch Lomond

The sunnymoon period was over the next day, visiting Loch Lomond, but it was dry, and atmospheric. As in Norway where the narrow fjords with steep mountains are the most spectacular, I think lochs such as nearby Loch Long and Loch Awe are more picturesque in places, but Lomond is nice too, with several islands, and a visible mountain line dividing the Highlands and Lowlands going through it. As the biggest freshwater body in Britain at about twenty-four miles by five, it also has been-there-and-done-that value.

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No O Ban in Oban

As we headed farther north-west, I thought we might face questions about our human-star mixed relationship, but I was relieved to see there was no O ban in Oban, and my beloved star was able to shine as brightly as possible in the lovely coastal town facing the island of Mull across the Firth of Lorn.

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Sunnymoon Full Moon Coincidence

I didn’t know it was a Full Moon yesterday when I wrote of going on a honeymoon with the sun, calling it a sunnymoon. The first I knew of the Full Moon was when I saw it shining very brightly; with its shine a reflection of the sun.

Seeing the orca in the Clyde made me think they look like aquatic pandas, and could be derived from a common ancestor called a pandorca: originally from Majorca.

Sunny Inverary

We continued our sunnymoon in historic Argyll and Bute Loch Fyne (also a restaurant chain!) fine sunny Inverary.

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Orcas Late for Sunnymoon

I have never
written fiction
I just transcribe
musec into words.

Listening to Klaus Schulze ‘Timewind‘.
Music is derived from the ancient Greek muse: Origin Middle English: from Old French musique, via Latin from Greek mousikē (tekhnē) ‘(art) of the Muses’, from mousa ‘muse’.

After the Sun and I’s marriage at Gretna Green we travelled north on our sunnymoon. Three orcas were supposed to escort us, but they spent too long enjoying Orkney, feeling at home, so they didn’t make it to the Firth of Clyde until five days later; a day after our return journey on the Gourock-Dunoon ferry.

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Orcas in the Clyde.

a bird swimming in water
© Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

Gretna Green Sun Marriage

I returned north of the border last week on another Urquart coach holiday, about three years after the first to the Highlands. After first stopping in Skipton we then stopped over the border in Gretna Green, famous for conducting marriages for runaway couples. It was a sunny day, and a marriage had just taken place.

I didn’t see a vole there for a love anagram, but there was lots of lovely greenYgrey, and bright sun creating a Scottish flag sky!

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Viking Pagans Were of their Time, Monotheists Worse in More Recent Times

If I.S. have done one good thing for humanity and the world it is to show the horrors of war; of course, they weren’t meaning to do good for humanity and the world. As Simon Schama pointed out at the start of the Civilisations programme with the account of the killing of Khaled al-Asaad, 82, at Palmyra, for refusing to reveal the whereabouts of art pieces, they were doing it to intimidate and threaten, using new information technology.

Art of the Vikings

My interest in Viking culture (500-1100 AD) was inspired by The Vikings movie (1958), and when I was young it was all about their scenic sailing warriordom; as I was intrigued by wild pagan Native American horseriding culture from Hollywood movies.

However, in modern times; I intended starting my travels by taking the ferry to Bergen, Norway, but then changed them as I waited for the Monsters of Rock in late August, and so headed south straightaway, before reaching there for the Midnight Sun Marathon in 2007; I admire Scandinavia for its democratic civilised qualities and environmental initiatives.

In the latest NASA’s Unexplained Files I liked the story of the skydiver seeing a rock fall near him, causing a year-long search. When a NASA worker worked out it must have fallen from his parachute, the Norwegian investigator said he thought everybody would be angry, but they were all happy and congratulatory, because they’d been honest, and science had worked. That’s the kind of scientific ethos I try to have with my writing and research.

In Secret Knowledge: The Art of Vikings I liked the jadeYgrey Buddha statue they found some Vikings had from the 6th Century Swat Valley in the heart of Asia, which was then Buddhist (about 14 minutes of the documentary).

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Then just after about 20 minutes of the 30 minutes documentary, Dr. Ramirez says she thinks one of the main interests the pagan Vikings first saw in the Christian religion was the part played by fish, as they were a part of their natural folklore too, and they valued living things the most. This thirty-five piece gold, silver and bronze (me: Olympic medals relevance?) Viking fishtail necklace shows their respect:

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Vikings in Historical Context Compared to Monotheism

Inquisition Documentary Shows Christian Horrors

The Yesterday channel series about the Inquisition has showed the horrors of the Christian church in Europe from the 11th Century to the 19th, with the last episode focusing on the British witch trials. Thousands of people were killed, with most being women who were the community healers; or victims of grudges and land grabs. Britain wasn’t as bad as continental Europe, and one man called Matthew Hopkins killed the majority of victims in a three years period 1644-1647.

Muslim Pirates Acting Like Vikings Until 19th Century

Barbary pirates were raiding Europe as the Vikings had done up to the 19th Century, capturing victims for sale as slaves, until European nations united to repel them. Over a million Europeans were enslaved from 1530 to 1780. Some of the enslavers were European ‘converts’.

When I was reading about Iceland around my January visit I saw that it suffered horrific such attacks in 1627, with hundreds of victims killed, and hundreds forced into slavery. (Wikipedia).

Conclusion

I’ve grown out of my childhood and youthful Romantic Viking Hollywood movie inspiration now, and relate more to Odin than Loki of the Valhalla pantheon; wisdom over trickery; especially after seeing the Valhalla Rising film featured heavily in the Scandinavian section of XaW Files!

As Dr. Ramirez pointed out at the end of her Art of the Vikings documentary, the battles for ‘England’ in 1066 were basically a Viking civil war, with the Normans (Norsemen) Vikings who settled in northern France, and those already resident in ‘England’ having strong Viking links after hundreds of years of residency.

I updated my thoughts on the Americas migration, and its connection to the Middle-East, last night on fmpoetry.wordpress.com, arguing that what is most amazing about it is that the Mayans featured similar structures and symbols (500-800 AD) about 20,000 years after their ancestors must have left the Middle-East to start the migration to the Americas, and where the Mesopotamians would signify the importance of the bag-carrying Apkallu around 2500 BC.

200,000 Years of Human History and Art

Writing about the Atacama skeleton that has been thought could be alien or a hybrid alien, the pyramids of the Middle-East and Americas and the debate about whether Europeans known as Solutreans crossed the Atlantic during an Ice Age 20,000 years ago on my fmpoetry.wordpress.com blog recently reminded me of watching Simon Schama provide a good ancient art summary in the first episode of the new Civilisations series, and I thought it was more suited to this blog, as it involves time and travel.

World History

The Earth (Wikipedia link) is supposed to have formed 4.5 billion years ago, and life started in the first billion years. Evidence of human culture starts about 100,000 years ago in Africa.

About 77,000 years ago ochre diamond patterns are the first known art.

See the source image

There is evidence from 37,000 years ago in French and Spanish caves of hand outlines and animal images. The latter showed they had the ability to represent and create with planning from memory. That is the same area the Solutreans inhabited 20,000 years later (to give an idea of timescale, historic Britain started 1000 years ago really).

See the source image

With relevance to my previous thoughts about the Middle-Eastern and American pyramids and how they are so similar, those types of cave art travelled to the east and west, with evidence found in Indonesia and Argentina.
Legendary Spanish artist Pablo Picasso thought that Paleolithic art was never bettered, and he created many similar pictures, especially bulls.

See the source image

From around that time in Germany, the first known statue was created, and it has a special interest to me and my decade-long greenYgrey concept: a werelion, head of a lion on the body of a human.

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The first known human figures were found from the same culture; fertility statues that  Schama considered to be the start of paganism.

Bringing it back to Mesopotamia, Schama featured an intricate statue of a ram amongst vegetation from their civilisation about 4,500 years old; over 70,000 years after the first art that still survives and has been discovered!

See the source image