Viking Christmas — Bryn Donovan (Reblog)

How did the Norse Yule turn into a Viking Christmas celebration? In 940 to 961 AD, Haakon the Good was the king of Norway, and during his reign, the English court introduced him to Christianity. Haakon then tried to convert the rest of Norway. It must’ve been such an interesting time, with Viking Yule (or […]

Viking Christmas — Bryn Donovan

Edmund: In Search of England’s Lost King out in paperback — Francis Young (Reblog)

Today is publication day for the slightly revised paperback edition of Edmund: In Search of England’s Lost King, my book about St Edmund of East Anglia and the hunt for his mortal remains published by Bloomsbury. The book has been updated to reflect the most recent developments, including the removal of the tennis courts behind […]

Edmund: In Search of England’s Lost King out in paperback — Francis Young

*Today is Saint Edmund’s Day. King Edmund of East Anglia was murdered by the Vikings, to become England’s first Patron Saint.

THE RUSSIAN VIKING

Great stuff here and fascinating

Zoolon Audio

tree‘My Family Tree’

A few weeks back I got my father, and fellow blogger Mike Steeden a DNA testing kit for his birthday. I thought it would make for an unusual present. He takes a saliva sample and the kit gets sent off to the lab in America, Texas I think, and there they conduct an analysis of his DNA and end up telling him his origins. He’s always presumed he was probably ‘Norman with a hint of Anglo-Saxon’ – his words.  He tells me the results have just come in. How wrong he was. Rounding the numbers up, he’s 75% Northern European; only 15% English and 10% Scandinavian.

So, he’s now proudly claiming that he must be – his words – ‘Viking with a goodly chunk of my beloved Mother Russia’. He’s thrilled about it. He’s got a Cossack hat already so he’s looked the part for ages.

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Poem ‘Weapon Take’

Weapon Take

No rusty blade
ever turns up here,
no shadow of a ship
or bejewelled belt;

no iconic helm
to add credence
to our wounded identity.
Not even signs

of a mystery hillock
rising in hugging mists
to excite or intrigue
those metal detector men.

Merely one vast industrial
scar, scoured of feature,
almost of life, tamed,
or destroyed,

depending on your view,
turned inside out
by Angevin priors
and inscrutable Dutchmen.

I come from a long
line of diggers
and dark-eyed women,
grown out of this morass,

hardened to sweat
and pitiless Ural winds.
People who made-do,
though never in

any doubt they
were the subjected
men of their Hundred,
the brave new Wapentake,

where the councillors
still speak in a
double-Dutch behind
tall, timbered walls.

poem and image © copyright dfbarker 2012
*poem first published in collection ‘Anonymous Lines’, available at amazon.

** Wapentake was the Danish word for the English Hundred (a small, political unit, originally meaning a hundred homes). This word is still used in the ‘Danelaw’ counties of eastern England.