Had Adwick, Doncaster been at this latitude when I was growing up, today would have been our first glimpse of the sun. Doncaster doesn’t have our mountains. Nevertheless, although we shall have to wait another two days before we see it ourselves, it was for the first time this year visible on the highest ground. On the horizon yonder a golden fire radiated around the distant peaks that at least for now kept us in the shade.
There is tangible collective optimism when the sun returns. Some people suffer from seasonal affective disorder, and for these the polar night can be a long time. In many communities, like Finnsnes where our competing blog Arctic Organist gets written, they really go overboard with a celebration in the church to which most of the schools come along. Then again, being further North they have good reason: they won’t be able to see the sun for another two weeks!
My apologies for perfectionists like myself. Because I have been taking so many pictures in dark conditions, I had left the ISO-setting at 1600, meaning that the images are a little too grainy for my liking. Nevertheless, in accordance with the policy of this blog stating “Although we reserve the right to use colour photography, black and white shall be preferred…” this is one of the occasions, then, when colour gets to be used.
We shall be getting a new employee in our church here in Lødingen in just over a week. He’ll be living in the apartment immediately over mine. Coming from Örebro in Sweden, he is going to experience huge changes even though he has missed the polar night. When he arrives, the day will only be a few hours long; by the middle of April, the last traces of night will be disappearing! The polar night has of course its counterpart: in the Summer from mid-May to mid July, the sun never goes down, and there really is no night from the last week of April to the first in August.
If anyone wants to experience the midnight sun then the best time to do so is the month of June. If you come in July, it is true that we have it until the middle of the month; but because things change so quickly here, one notices that the shadows are already getting longer with every passing day. If you really want to know what 24 daylight is like, my recommendation is the first two weeks of June. Then not only is the sun out 24 hours a day (if it’s not cloudy or rainy of course) – but it is still getting higher in the sky.
I shall publish some links to places you can stay in Lødingen later on. Right now, it’s bitterly cold. You wouldn’t really want to be here!
Whatever the competition does at Arctic Organist, we’d better do even better….
So without further a do…. Jon posts pictures, so I’ll post video 😉
Happy New Year to Everybody!
(and of course to you Jon, whose competition keeps Yorkshire Viking Norway on its toes!)
Our sister blog www.cqd.nu has embedded the King’s New Year Address.
I have now placed my school tie back into its draw, most likely for another year. However, here is a tongue-in-cheek account of my tradition. I don’t want anyone thinking this is some modern nostalgia! Therefore, lest you should think it…. the whole (more serious) point of this, is that the tradition has not just occurred now that I have become Norwegian, but has been constantly in use since (at least) 1988.
It hath long been my custom (as I bare witness herein in mine aforementioned posts) to take up the colours of our school at Adwick in Doncaster, whensoever certain occasions have presented themselves.
Which tradition hath furthermore continued long after those hallowed buildings ever were occupied by an alien entity, and verily now after they in these latter days have been destroyéd by the same. And whereas (and lest) the minds of some slanderous folks should perchance question my motivation, that peradventure this be a mere vain invention of more recent times, it hath pleased me to go diligently unto mine archives for to prove what long standing my said tradition most surely hath.
Wherefore doe I present unto you this photographic evidence, taken in sundry years, that ye now may know the certainty thereof, and that this same childhood relic continueth in use whensoever it be meet and right for it to do…
And whereas the custom of this blog doth but permit the same school colours, and whereas these pictures are therefore published unto you in monochrome (save for any portrayals of this relic which by very nature thereof are herein permitted), thou mayest click upon each same to show it in original colour! Thou shouldest click upon the resultant picture once more if this breaketh the confines of thy computer screen forasmuch as the majority of browsers will then adjust it for thee! 🙂
And from these mine earliest times in Norway, I did take away my facial hair in 1994… pictured showing my resignation from my position on the island of Hitra. Ye that truly and earnestly make examination of the above picture shall be able to make out my first logo, that preceded that ye now see above my work, which I used from the year of Our Lord 1990 – until 2012.
Thus I stood that same day outside Fillan Church, forasmuh as the tidings of my departure had reached unto the local scribes who publish the tidings of that island, and there did wait upon them for that they wished to speak with me…
And so it was that in October 1994 I played for my last service in Nordbotn Chapel, on the island of Fjeldværøya, and there did give a farewell concert unto the residents thereof. Afterwards they presented unto me their tributes, with flowers and good wishes.
And thus I departed those parts, and came hither, unto this Arctic abode of Lødingen. Now in those days there was a military fort in these parts, and exceeding greater opportunities for employment.
And thus I began my service in Lødingen – both as organist and music teacher. Ye see me here even in the classroom. As for the occasion that surely did merit this tie I now wot not. It suffice to say that I have only ever used the tie for special happenings, and this must therefore have been one of such.
These were the first days I therefore platyed the organ in Lødingen, and at that time I should also travel to the nethermost parts of this great land to entertain others in concert…. So it was that, that same first Summer, I went on a tour in Trøndelag and in Møre and Romsdal. And it was from this time that the School Tie became a part of my concert routine. Before it had only been used at Yule.
The last of these concerts was at Rindal. Here I am pictured with the other musicians three. The tradition of the School Tie was therefore well established, ere ever our school had ceased to be…
Now I remember putting upon me this Tie in the year of Our Lord 2000, but two years later our old school was deposéd by a new. And all that which we once knew – which by then had waned so greatly that I had foreseen the end as early as 2000 (and had written in that year a great chronicle concerning the decline thereof) was finally lost to history. Peradventure I failed to observe the Tie tradition in 2002, knowing our Rome was sacked. Yet ere the new Empire of Wakefield laid claim unto its land, I restored the traditions in memory of yore! Here ye see me before I left Bergen in 2005!
Now this is the account of my Tie tradition, for those that would say it be a modern invention now that I have joined the Viking tribes, and made myself as one of them. Forsooth I say the Tie tradition goeth long way back, even unto my time as a student at Huddersfield. Even from there did this begin! And not even the great Arctic Organist himself hath ought quite like unto Þe Olde School Tie Tradition of mine that hath so greatly influenced the making of my Yorkshire Viking Norway Blog!
I intended to write this post yesterday. We put a lot more into our services on Christmas Eve than we usually do. Yesterday we therefore supplemented them with extra musicians. However, being as I wrote in yesterday’s post completely knackered afterwards, it will have to be today.
That’s not a problem though. In Norway it is Christmas Eve that de facto has become the day; Christmas Day itself has been very much overshadowed by that. I am not sure I very much like this development. How much the festive masses who now fill our churches on the 24th December actually remember and still less listen to what is preached remains a moot question. Today, which should be the most important celebration is something of an anti-climax, with almost empty churches.
Because of that and because having no family I don’t really bother with Christmas myself, I have a little more time to update the blog. I see I’m not alone. Arctic Organist has been doing the same. He has also linked to a very poignant Christmas letter from the Bishop of South Carolina. I recommend reading it.
In about half an hour, I shall be taking my telephone off by putting it into “plane mode” so that I can listen to the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s undisturbed. Internet is an amazing thing. I am able to listen to the same broadcast that used to be a tradition for my family when I was growing up in Doncaster, England. As noted in my previous post, I too have my traditions.
As you can see from the pictures, I have a very special one of my own only on the 24th December and occasionally when we have concerts. The Adwick School tie is in excellent condition, and I wish to keep it that way (it is now completely irreplaceable since the school no longer exists) , so it really is a self-limiting thing that cannot be done too often.
Tomorrow I shall be having my glass of port wine – another speciall tradition from my childhood. Then I shall have to start thinking about the New Year. The bishop will be coming to our parish at the end of January. So that means I must start trying to organise yet more musicians to add some extra seasoning to the services while he is with us.
I really had other things to do this last month than redesigning the logo for my twin blogs and avatar for Facebook and Twitter. However such is the silly world we live in – and copyright – that I was given little choice.
Firstly a word about the logo however. Before it was suspended at the end of October (for the aforementioned copyright considerations) some people threatened to report me to Facebook and the authorities on the completely idiotic assumption that it were a modified swastika! Nothing could be further from the truth. However in order to avoid (I hope) this situation in the future, this post tells you exactly what the logo is and how it has been derived.
My logo’s most important symbol is the historic raven symbol of the Vikings. It is this element there has been some question about the copyright. My original logo used a drawing taken from the Wiki Commons, which is a repository of images and media that are in the public domain. That drawing was subsequently withdrawn, after it transpired that it was probably taken from someone selling Viking flags in the USA (and consequently copyrighted as a derivative work). Either way, I decided to withdraw my own logo to be on the safe side.
The raven itself however is a thousand years old, and there exists a picture of it on a coin in the Wiki Commons. This picture is in the public domain. My new Viking symbol was traced on transparent paper from a print I made of it. Once I had drawn what was on the coin, I then scanned the image and superimposed it upon my logo’s other elements. As one further precaution to avoid confusion with anybody else’s product, I also reversed the direction of the bird’s flight. Consequently both it, and the resulting symbol I use it on, are my own derivative work.
The raven represents my new life here in this country of Norway, and can be understood in the context of this blog’s title “Yorkshire Viking Norway” a Yorkshire Lad Turned Norwegian. The other elements upon which it is superimposed are a Greek cross representing Christianity (my faith), and the defunct logo of the former Adwick School.
Both the logo and the twin blogs I use it upon maintain the strict colour code of the historic, now disused school uniform it has adapted. The school logo and the raven are black, while the Greek cross is green. White is given in the background they are drawn on, and this is additionally identical to the background of the old school badge.
That, then, is the origin of the symbol. It has nothing to do with any neo-nazi connections, and as far as I can now see is 100% legitimate according to copyright laws. If, however anyone still has objections, they may contact me by using the contact form on this website. Simply go to the “Lobby” at the top of the page, and follow the link from there.
I’m very glad and relieved when Arctic Organist laments the inclement weather. Not only is it true, but apart from enriching your experience as my blog reader (Jon really does take some lovely shots: I can only recommend you visit his page), quoting him gives ones own excuse credibility!
The fact is that we have had many a day you would not have thanked me for taking a picture. Not only are we in the Polar Night – and we actually are now even if our neck of the woods were completely flat – most of the last two weeks have been miserable and overcast. We have had everything from snow, sleet, rain, hail, gale force winds, cloud and everything nature can throw at you pretty much. When you consider that if it is cloudy, it is actually dark at midday now, that vastly reduces your photography options.
Otherwise, I am going to try starting on the logo. As many of you know, I was forced to remove the logo just over a month ago when Wiki Commons likewise was forced to remove one of the elements that make it up. It had been lying there “in the public domain”. Unfortunately someone disputed that, and for copyright reasons Wiki Commons removed its viking raven and I took down my blog logo.
I wish to assure you that I have not abandoned the logo. I am sticking with it. I do have a photograph, in the public domain, of the raven in question. I must now draw this by hand, and superimpose that drawing on the symbol’s other two elements. When that is done I should theoretically have a derivative work belonging to me alone. The problem has been getting the time to do this. I promise I shall try harder to find some!
After all, tomorrow is my December “day off”. And Jon Blamire is right about those temperatures – it’s a bit too nippy outside for anything else….
As the Polar Night draws ever nearer, we have now come to the point where the sunset is in the middle of the day! Where I live we are – to all intents and purposes – already in the Polar Night. Although the sun is still there, as you can see from this photograph, you have to get on top of the mountain to see it.
Our church is still lit by the sun midday, but even from here you will see that there is a difference between the maths of when the Polar Night begins and when it does in practice – if you look towards the sunset on this picture you will see the mountains on the other side of the fjord. These will in practice hide the sunshine from all of Lødingen from the end of November. That makes the maths that say the Polar Night starts on the 6th December academic.
The picture was taken at five to one this afternoon. The Polar Night has almost come!
This gallery contains 7 photos.
I see Jon Blamire is reporting the onset of the autumn in his Arctic Organist blog. Not to be outdone, Yorkshire Viking Norway follows up with this gallery of images from Lødingen!
Temperatures are certainly beginning to fall now although, as Jon also reports, they are still higher than normal. Today the weather has been very wet and windy. During a brief respite from the precipitation, I took myself to Nygård mountain where Lødingen’s main TV and radio transmitter is situated. This gives a wonderful vantage point for photographs of our town.
The really observant among you will have seen this picture – and some strange Norwegian – a few hours ago. Yorkshire Viking Norway is twinned with a Norwegian only blog, and I posted something meant for there here instead.
Since something actually appeared, albeit briefly, in this blog I shall explain what my post was about. I was writing about a Norwegian expression that has been lifted from the Swedish. There are differing opinions about the rights and wrongs of using this in Norwegian. Nevertheless people do use it, regardless of whether it is “right” by the rules of Norwegian grammar, and the expression has (I argued) a different meaning to that conveyed by the “correct” native expression supposedly for the same thing. Therefore for those reasons my opinion was that it were justified.
There is little point trying to write the expression in English. It is idiomatic rather than something I can translate word for word. Nevertheless, it functions very much as the adjective “present” in the title of this post. The implication is that the status quo may soon be about to change. That indeed is the case for the Municipality of Lødingen.
For demographic reasons it has long been accepted that our municipality – and many others – will have to be amalgamated. There is simply not the population anymore to justify their existence. However, now we have elected a government that has made doing this a priority. Consequently, the days of the Municipality of Lødingen are probably numbered.
Today I was out with my camera, and I decided to start documenting what is most likely to disappear within the next five to ten years. The picture shows the municipal boundary as you drive towards where I live. This will, of course, be taken down if the municipality is abolished and merged with its neighbours.
I shall of course continue to do everything I can as an interested photographer to document the changes that are likely to occur.
Today the king’s men returned! Once an important military town, we lost our fort eleven years ago. Today the best band in the North of Norway, the military “divisjonsmusikk” based in Harstad, visited Lødingen in connection with our Seafood Festival.
The band gave the public, who packed the tent down at the waterside, a free concert beginning at 12 midday. The schools had allowed their pupils to take time out of their lessons. Because of that, and because there fortunately were no funerals in the church either, I too was able to go. Indeed it so happened that my route to the festival crossed that of the hoards of primary school children who had already set out from the school.
While the band entertained us, we were served with fish soup. This was absolutely delicious. Nobody seemed too worried that “experts” now claim that salmon be dangerous. Apparently it can damage one’s IQ! Still the warning was only for women and children. There was nothing mentioned about us men, who one must assume are already too brain-damaged to notice any difference!
I think we must become acclimatized to living in the Arctic. Like a class of the youngest children, I found that it was far too warm for me – and had to stand by the tent opening in order not to be drenched in my own sweat. Even outside it was 23 degrees in the shade, and today has not been sunny.
Nevertheless, the concert was wonderful. For a few moments, one might have imagined Lødingen as it was in its heyday before the military left back in 2002.