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.

See the source image

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

I just posted a long article updating my alien space wonder wanderings on this site’s sister site fmpoetry, including more on the Mesopotamian Apkallu featured on this site before. Along the way I found this artist’s interpretation of how ancient humans used to gYgPOP (greenY[ellow]greyPinkyOrangePurple) before the www!:

242 Mirror Poems and Reflections by [Latham, Marc]

Iceland Travel History Article Published

An article I wrote about my January trip to Iceland has been published on travelthruhistory. In the article I remember my original Beat inspiration, going against the grain by stressing the journey experience, and I think being innovative by including what I’d have liked to have done or seen but missed; partly as consolation to the good people who think I do and have done too much, and have it too easy. Stating I thought I was mostly lucky counters those who think and hope the opposite for me. Here’s some more photos from my time in Reykjavik:

Laugarnes Park (first afternoon/evening)

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Tjornin (the Pond) (next morning)

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Viking Statues (and Hallsgrimskirkja church) (afternoon)

new non-human friend reminded me of a special old one

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Loki the Pearl (Loki café and Perlan)

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http://www.travelthruhistory.com/html/exotic120.html

Spring Equinox International Day of Happiness and mistYmuse End Eve

The northern hemisphere spring equinox is today, at about 1600/1700 in the U.K., so it’s quite easy to celebrate the International Day of Happiness. However, it must be harder for people in the southern hemisphere, with today marking the beginning of autumn, and the end of the warmer months.

March equinox illustration

Happiness is Relative

There are a lot of people who find it difficult to be happy in the northern hemisphere too, and that’s where things like society and culture make a difference. Iceland is one of the ‘happiest’ countries despite being one of the coldest.

That’s mostly why I set up the mistYmuse (Midwinter Ideal Sunrise Times and Midwinter Until Spring Equinox) to bring some happiness to the most difficult months, covering November to March.

I could have been saying it was timed right this year (although not the day, as it falls on the 20th this year, rather than 21st, as it sometimes does), with a mini-freeze just ending in time for today, but I just saw another one is forecast for the Easter weekend in a couple of weeks. At least there’s more light than darkness now, with more chance of warming sun when it’s shining through the cloud.

Happy Guilt

U.K. comedy great Ken Dodd passed away recently, and one of his regular topics and subject of a song was happiness. I was thinking then that I would probably be happier if I focused on entertainment, instead of feeling obliged to write about the negatives of the world, mostly due to having been to university and studying politics and international communications, and wanting to ‘make a difference’; knowing I can only try and slow the planet’s decline down, due to human overpopulation and consumption; which brings me into direct conflict with the general theme of global human happiness… in the short term anyway… as future generations will be happier if they have a cleaner planet with lots of other species!

Stephen Hawking, who of course inspired the greenYgrey parody comedy science correspondent, Stephen Wolfing, also passed away recently. He seemed happy, having fought against the most debilitating illness, showing there are different ways to find happiness, and sometimes adversity provides the opportunity for personal greatness… as in Buddhist enlightenment or Nietzsche’s superness, which can provide happiness whatever the situation.

Comedy Philosophy

Anyway, I have become too greenYgrey, and will leave you with some Ken Dodd happiness to enjoy the special day, in whatever way, wherever you are. In the obituaries I was also reminded of Dodd’s 1960s (my birth decade) Knotty Ash Diddy Men, which could have been an early influence on my greenYgrey fantasy fiction, although I didn’t remember them at the time!:

Wikipedia: The Diddy Men have a song, once released as a single, titled “The Song of the Diddy Men”, sung in a high pitched, chipmunk style voice. It includes the chorus: “We are the Diddy Men, Doddy’s dotty Diddy Men, We are the Diddy Men who come from Knotty Ash”. Another song “Doddy’s Diddy Party” featured the refrain – “tonight’s the night the Diddy Men paint the town, we’ll lose our blues, and let our Diddy hair down”. There were several other songs including Diddycombe Fair – a spoof of the well-known West Country song Widecombe Fair.

Reykjavik Arrival Sunrise Photos

I saw the hotel I’d booked, the Capital Inn, from the Straeto local bus I took from the airport, after buying four tickets for the four zones of travel (same system throughout Iceland, with Straeto running city and national bus routes) from the airport arrivals shop/café.

I think that’s a good example of why you should continue looking around, observing and analysing everything like an intelligent wild animal instead of a brainwashed docile prey, and not be cowered or shamed into looking away, down or into social media all the time.

Techno Society

I saw that the powerful were trying to make citizens look through the world through their media appliances instead of using their natural senses in a David Icke presentation, but had thought it myself. I don’t know if it is intentional or conspiracy; just the way technology and society are going, but it does seem to be happening.

I’m using it now, so I am not totally rebelling against it, and rely on it a lot, and think it’s often better to find your information than have a conversation, but I do try to get away from it, and balance it with nature. As I did in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Morning Beauty

Travelling on a night flight in mid-January I didn’t book a hotel for the first night. There was a storm off Scotland we flew into, and quite heavy snow in Kevlavik airport, Iceland’s international airport just south of Reykjavik. However, we landed on time. There was no sign of the Straeto bus, so I ended up staying the night in the airport.

Finding the bus over by where the courtesy buses for car hire and hotels are, and are signposted, at about 09.30 in the morning had a nice bonus, as it was just getting light, and the trip to Reykjavik was a like a winter wonderland, full of thick snow.

Moreover, when I saw the Capital Inn and got off the bus, I spotted the telltale twilight colours of pinky, and took a few photos of the sun rising on the eastern horizon, despite being quite disorientated from a lack of proper sleep and the early morning cold, as well as arriving in a new city and only luckily finding my hotel. I walked up onto another road and had to walk back down through thick snow to get back on the right road; well, I don’t know if I had to, but that’s what I did anyway!

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Dream Wife Iceland Music Video Fire Light Evidence

I’ve previously blogged about how a golden circle appearing in an Icelandic selfie of mind reminded me of Bjork’s Utopia and The Gate videos, and I just found new evidence of that Icelandic belief in Dream Wife’s great greenYgrey Fire music video:

I was first alerted to Dream Wife in a Classic Rock review of their debut album.

My photo:

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I’ve blogged a bit more about Bjork, pronounced Be-yerk, and wrote a little poem about how to pronounce her name based on how I’ve always heard it, before learning it was wrong, on the fmpoetry website.

Selling Snow to Norway, Iceland Fjord POP

Selling snow to Norway isn’t as easy as I thought. It’s like selling greenYgrey to Blighty! It might be easier now Team GB is in most places under the snow King Harald and Queen Sonja sent back, saying ‘If you’d read the article properly, you’d have seen that we want more Winter Sport competition, so we want you to have more snow, and practise your slippery surface movements!’

Return to Reykjavik: Iceland Football’s Debt to Me (83 meter rhyme parody)

Yes, that opening paragraph scored 98% on the all new for 2018 parodymeter. So with no offers for outsourcing Norway Winter Olympics victory celebrations it’s back to Reykjavik, and my detour after getting a little lost walking back from the Mjodd bus station.

After Iceland football success went through the stratosphere during and after the writing of XaW Files: Beyond Humanity I was interested to walk past a football stadium. I just found out it’s a multi-purpose venue, including hosting Breidablik men’s football team, who finished sixth in the Icelandic league last season.

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Finding Huldufolk and Fjord POP

With time and relative safety it was a joy to walk in Reykjavik, and that’s how I’d like Blighty to be. It’s the same for being online, just rambling while wandering wondering. whY, just now while searching the Kopavogsvuller stadium I found out the area is a hotbed for huldufolk elves, which has relevance for XaW Files, which ended in Iceland of course.

Funnily enough I reached the west coast at a fjord inlet. I thought it was the one below my hotel at first, until working out it wasn’t by the planes taking off from the local airport; I’d walked along that fjord inlet to the airport the second day in Reykjavik.

I was glad I’d gotten a bit lost when the sunset made the horizon PinkyOrangePurple (POP):

Moreover, I got into a little hot water… in a good way, finding some of Iceland’s famous hot water from geothermal activity:

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As I headed north, feeling chuffed with myself for finding the way, with the help of a city map information board I should add, I was thrilled to find myself in a Christmassy scene at the top of Kopavogur, near the art museum, and with a church beyond the fairy lights.

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Iceland keeps their winter celebration decorations up until the end of Thorrablot in mid-February… nearly as long a winter celebration (survival) as my mistYmuse, which lasts until the spring equinoxY time March 21st.