Gertrude: “What’s all that noise out the front dear?”
Arthur (looking out the window): “Ahh!, it’s those damn Vikings again! They’d better not trample on my rose bed or there’ll be hell to pay!”

It was a little odd, I must say. Sitting in a nice quiet tea-shop in yee ancienty city of York, sipping a cup of Lady Grey whilst nibbling on a scone (thant’s ‘scone’ like ‘own’ not ‘scone’ like ‘on’), watching hundreds of Vikings march past the window in full battle dress!

I must admit, it was a more than a little odd, it was decidely worrying, so much so that I feared for my *Cough’s* life should the Vikings decide to stop off for elevenses. There was nothing for it, I had to get myself armed and ready for battle. Thankfully, the shop next door had just the thing I needed – and it was on sale too!

Only 750 quid? A bargain! I thought I’d best get my lady a little protective gear as well…

Oh, woops, wrong photo…

Now clad in full body armour I marched, well, sort of staggered actually, it was bloody heavy, down to the plain where the battle was to take place between the Viking warriors and the local troops.

All four of them.

Of course, I did the thing that any noble warrior would do when faced with such a suicidal challenge (i.e. big Viking army against me and four toddlers) – ran away, leaving the vikings to complain to a local news team about how they’d come all the way from Norway only to discover that the opposition whom they’d been looking forward to engaging with in a gallant battle to the death had a combined age of 14.

All in all, it was a jolly good day out, despite the fact that the streets of York were filled with people who really should have grown out of that stage about 40 years ago. One wonders what their homes are like, whether they force their children to eat raw bison meat or whatever it was that Viking’s ate. We actually stumbled across a “Warrior Market” in the old town hall; the place was packed with warriors selling all sorts of things, from huge great horns (to make battle cries with) to leather underwear, whole suits of chainmail to wee little handmade knives for skinning wild animals. One would think it quite amusing to find one or two stalls selling Viking nik-naks (no, I don’t mean out-of-date crisps), but to find so many people involved in what seemed like a thriving trade – well, it came as a bit of a shock to know that this sort of undercurrent exists in British Society. It got me thinking, How many of my friends are secret Vikings? I know some of them have a tendency to wear rather ridiculous cats ears – an anime thing I think XD XD (oooohhhhh miow!!) – but maybe, just maybe, they also wear chainmail to class…?

Something for us all to think about, I’m sure you’ll agree.


I’m sure that Thomas and all his friends are on something. I mean, whenever you see them, they have the same innane fixed grin on their faces – as demonstrated here by Percy whom I bumped into at the weekend. I bet they don’t even flinch when they hit a bluetit at 30mph on their branch line.

Mind you, if I was to be constantly told what to do by a Fat Controller who was clearly made out of plastic I think I’d need some strong narcotics to stop me going completely off the rails.

Back Up

Apologies for the short outage folks. Still, we’re back online, and I added another 7 posts whilst the line was down …oh, and 191 photos have appeared in this month’s album, which is in the usual place (they’re yet to be labelled though, so just use your imagination!)


I went on a Shinkansen yesterday!

Ok, so considering that Joseph Tame is very much Japan-orientated, this should not come as much of surprise.

Except that I’m in the UK.

Ahh, natsukashii. This Bullet Train may have been an old model (no longer in service in Japan), but still, it did feel rather real in a funny way.

Amazing what you come across when you go in search of vikings.

(Here, *Cough* does something that very few Japanese have done – touches the nose of a Shinkansen!!)

[what was even more surprising than finding the Shinkansen was finding a photo of Yokohama station in 1964. It’s basically in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by rice paddies!! Quite unlike the huge city that it serves today.]