Viking Beastie Settles In

Viking Beastie Outside

Well, it’s been a week since I found Viking Beastie wandering the streets that once formed the heart of Viking-era Dublin, and he’s adapting surprisingly well to the 21st century. He’s even agreed to pose for some photos to show off all his spiffy Viking accessories, in the hope of starting his own ultra-retro fashion blog… What do you think?
Viking Beastie Full Ensemble
Let’s start off with a full-length portrait, showing all of Viking Beastie’s kit… horned helmet, round shield, woollen trousers, sword and EPIC beard. His magnificent face fuzz is naturally curly, and since it’s made from alpaca yarn it’s also surprisingly soft!
Helmet and Shield
Alas, there is no concrete historical evidence to support the popular image of Viking raiders in horned helmets… well, apart from the fact that Viking Beastie is wearing one. The shield, however, is an essential accessory – according to tradition, all free Norse men were required (yes, required) to own weapons, and they were permitted to carry them all the time. Although wealthier folks would flash their cash by accumulating status symbol weaponry such as helmets, swords or battle axes, even the average farmer would have owned a round wooden shield.Viking Beastie Sword
But Viking Beastie is most proud of his sword. Forged from the finest weapons-grade felt, it bears the maker’s mark “+ULFBEAS+T” on the blade – a striking parallel to the prestigious Ulfbehrt human-sized Viking swords which have been found across Europe. Ulfbehrt swords were made from high quality crucible steel – this means that the metal was produced at extremely high temperatures, which reduced impurities and upped its carbon content, giving a blade that was stronger, more flexible and less brittle than anything else available at the time. That, as well as their scarcity, made them highly desirable objects – the Rolls Royce or Birkin bag of Viking weaponry! So sought-after were Ulfbehrt swords that there may even have been a hearty trade in cheap(ish) knock-offs… archaeologists have found several similar-looking swords bearing the distinctive mark “+ULFBERH+T” that turned out to be made of inferior metal!

Viking Beastie will be continuing his travels around Dublin later this week, when he makes his way out to Dalkey to join some of the other Beasties who are currently holidaying in the Creative Collective shop. He should fit right in there, since Dalkey also has Viking history… in the early 900s, following a defeat at the hands of the locals, the Vikings were forced to retreat and regroup at Dalkey Island, which they also used as a holding place for slaves. In fact, in Victorian times, a hoard of Viking coins was found in Castle Street, which is where the shop is located! If you can, why not drop in and pay him a visit?

 

Liebster Award – it’s like Oscars Night all over again! (Sort of)

Well, a little exaggeration never hurt anyone… Many thanks to lovely Roma at Cottage on the Green, who has nominated me for one of these:

Liebster Award logo

If you have a minute, check out her blog – it always makes me smile!

Anyway, it seems that I have some work to do before I can swan off down the red carpet and start swigging champagne like it’s going out of fashion. Let’s start with some rules… the first rule of Liebster Awards is that you do not talk ab… no, that’s not right. The rules are:

*Thank the person who has nominated you and link back to their blog (by posting a link on yours).

*Copy and display the award in your blog post available from here

*Answer the 11 questions about yourself, which are given to you by the person who nominated you.

*Write 11 random facts about yourself.

*Nominate 5 – 11 blogs/bloggers that you feel deserve the award. They need to have less than 1000 followers.

*Think of 11 new questions for the bloggers you have nominated and write them in your post.

So, it looks like you’ll be finding out more about me this week. Here goes…
1) Where would you most like to visit?
I’d love to travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway. Not really a destination, but never mind.
2) What item do you treasure most?
It’s a tie between my spiffy fabric scissors, the bookshelves my Dad made for me and the toy monkey I got on my first Christmas.
3) What craft do you admire most?
All of them. Seeing a skilled craftsperson at work is the most fascinating thing, whatever they’re doing.
4) What is your favourite meal?
Pie or sushi. But not together.
5) What is your favourite TV program?
Murder, She Wrote.
6) What makes you laugh?
My boyfriend.
7) What is the best time of day?
MEALTIMES.
8) Who is your favourite author?
Truman Capote.
9) What is your favourite flower?
Cactus flowers.
10) What must you do before leaving the house?
About six entirely unnecessary things.
11) Do you wear a watch?
Yes.

11 Random Facts About Me
1) I can sleep anywhere, apart from on long-haul flights.
2) I hate getting up early, especially when alarm clocks are involved.
3) I brew my own beer.
4) I once worked on a commercial pig farm for a week, to learn where sausages come from.
5) I have flown a plane, but can’t drive a car.
6) I am unbelievably, hilariously bad at singing.
7) I need at least 2 cups of tea a day to function.
8) I still listen to cassette tapes.
9) I would never go to the cinema alone.
10) I don’t really understand the appeal of Twitter.
11) I find it incredibly difficult to compile lists of information about myself.

I’d like to nominate:
Monster Maven

Make + Do

Strey Creative

Manon’s Maze

CultureGeek

A Wandering Teacup

…And my 11 questions are:
1) Where would you most like to revisit?
2) What’s the most useful thing you own?
3) What’s your guilty pleasure?
4) Do you tend to arrive late, early or on time?
5) What’s your hot drink of choice?
6) Where is the scariest place you’ve been?
7) What makes you nostalgic?
8) What annoys you?
9) What was your favourite childhood TV show?
10) What item of clothing do you most regret wearing?
11) Yippee! You have an unexpected day off! How do you spend it?

Thanks for reading! To wrap up, I’ll include a picture of some Beasties with the giant box of tea (“Knitting Fuel”) I was forced to buy yesterday… it was either monster-sized Lyons or any other tea, so that decision pretty much made itself.
Beastie Tea Party