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Dead Hyperlinks

All of this material you see on my blog archive has been moved from its original place. This means that whilst I have preserved the old blog, many of the links have been broken. In the course of time, these will be repaired. However, you will most likely be able to find articles that are linked by using the search function – since most of the broken links are internal links to Yorkshire Viking. So if you find, for example, that a link to the logo does not work, write “logo” in the search field. That may be a good temporary fix until the old links can be updated.

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Radio Revenge

Radio Sheffield

Video Didn’t Kill the Radio Star – listening to Radio Sheffield in Norway!

Remember the song Video Killed the Radio Star? The tables seemed to have turned. Today radio is making its comeback.

With me the catalyst was the Texan radio presenter Alex Jones. I’ve been listening to him regularly since 2006, apart from small breaks when he provokes even me. I still come back to listening though, after my sulks.

Of course mainstream media would have you believe that Alex Jones is simply a conspiracy nut. Whatever else you might think of him, he’s certainly no nut. The program is well researched, and nearer the truth than comfort. Nevertheless, I’m not writing about the merits of his program here. The one thing Alex Jones has done is to radically change my media habits.

Had you told me back in 2006 that not only should I listen to this program when it is live – peak TV viewing hours here in Norway – I should never have believed you. Had you told me that I should go days on end without ever watching a TV, I should simply have laughed. Yet the fact is that the TV is now so negligible in my life that I seriously considered sending my notice in to the licensing authorities that I no longer had one in use. My TV has been in storage since I moved to my apartment in April. I haven’t missed it, either.

Alex Jones must take a lot of the credit for this. In addition to his more controversial topics, he has spoken about how much better it is (intellectually) to listen or read. TV presents you with pictures of short duration; in radio the mind must make the pictures itself. I remember one program when Alex described this in detail. His vivid description of a pretty woman, and a situation she was in – was all the TV I needed in my own head! Alex Jones convinced me then that TV atrophies the grey matter.

Since 2006 the Internet has really come into its own. I know that many listen to radio online. In the case of the TV, there is a plethora of channels to choose from, but their interest and quality seem to be inversely proportional to their ever increasing multitude; in the case of radio, the opposite seems to be the case. The greater the choice, the more relevant a factor radio seems to be.

Pictured above is my new DAB-radio. In addition to the DAB channels that have just come on air where I live, which give me a rich choice, I can also listen to conventional FM (until this is turned off in 2017), or as I did today to Internet Radio. You can choose precisely the programming you yourself are interested in, and a lot of people are doing just that! Today there was a surreal feeling when I tuned in to BBC Radio Sheffield, broadcasting from the country I grew up in. My radio has a retro design as it is, and hearing Sheffield coming through its speakers, and listening to the news felt very strange indeed. The world has become a much smaller place.

There is sadly one threat to this new technology. I refer to greedy lawyers in various performing rights’ organisations. More and more stations are “geo-blocked” because of licensing issues. This defeats the whole point of buying an internet radio! The internet radio is the modern equivalent of those old fashioned short wave radios on which you could listen to the radio stations of the whole world. Like mine, some even look like them. If however, it becomes impossible to listen to radio stations outside your own country, you might as well not ever bother buying one.

As for my TV, I decided not to send in that notice. Since that meant that the licensing authority automatically deducted a lot of money for my license this week, I took the TV out of its hiding yesterday. I watched the evening news from the state broadcaster. I think there are three channels I can view (you can see how interested I am given I don’t know!), because I don’t have any subscriptions for the digital terrestrial network. The decoder has a lot of radio channels though!

When I was growing up I listened a lot to BBC Radio Sheffield. Undoubtedly, I should have heard them play Video Killed the Radio Star. As I placed myself today into surreality by listening again from Norway, I could not help but think that radio has finally taken revenge.

Assessment Report

School gone

Where Adwick School used to be. This is where the old main building was, looking towards the demolished 6th form and music block (where the trees in the middle are). Photo: J. Roberts

Before my school was demolished, a full record of the building was made for posterity. That was a condition before the demolition might go ahead.

There are some inaccuracies in this report. I believe that it is wrong in citing 1999 as the creation of Doncaster North Technology College. According to my sources, the former Adwick School applied for status as a technology college in 2001, and although I am only inferring this from the fact that I know the conversion to have been made by September 2002 – I believe that Adwick School must have continued nominally at least until July 2002. I base that on the time needed to put in the new dress code.

Other errors have also been pointed out to me too. If you find some yourself, do let me know either by commenting on this post or else by contacting me using the “contact” option on this blog (go to the blog Lobby and you will find it there). An option for feedback on the school report is not currently there, but I shall have it added shortly. Do not be afraid to use the form, in the meantime, for this purpose.

You can find the assessment report online, and there is a permanent link to it on the archive menu here.

Cookie Banner

Norway has now followed the United Kingdom implementing an EU Law concerning cookies. This is the reason you are now required to choose whether or not to accept them when browsing my websites.

Although the authorities are giving owners of websites a period of grace, we must eventually tell our readers if our websites use cookies. It is not enough merely to state that we use them. We are required by law actively to give readers the choice to approve or reject them. There are potentially severe penalties for non compliance. After the period of grace at the beginning, it is reasonable to expect that these will be used.

The Yorkshire Viking introduced the cookie banner earlier this year (in anticipation of the situation after the law was introduced in the UK), but because of the new law in Norway the Norwegian sister blog has now followed suit. As the blogs’ owner, I am none too pleased. Apart from the unnecessary and distracting pop-ups, my CQD blogs have a format and colour scheme that is quite unique. Nevertheless I have been able to find a plug in for WordPress that permits sufficient customisation so as to fit into this.

The colours of the website and the cookie banner still need to be “tweaked”. Both CQD and Yorkshire Viking Norway use a style-sheet based upon the uniform of the former Adwick School in England. The green colour still needs standardizing, and this is the reason the banner is a slightly different hue. This will be corrected in due course.

The King’s Men Return to Lødingen

Seafood Festival

His Majesty’s band (divisjonsmusikk) visited Lødingen for the Seafood Festival

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.

Tent

The tent down at the water’s edge was completely packed

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!

Seafood Festival

Lødingen Seafood Festival 2013

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.

Update

I received news today that the last building from Adwick School has now come down. I was waiting for confirmation of this before the launch of the third CQD Site at http://adwickschool.cqd.nu. In common with the existing twin blogs, the tribute site uses the Adwick colour scheme. However, the logo is in its original (school) form.

It Ain’t Half Hot!

Hot weather

The hottest on record here in the North of Norway!

Being something of a pedant, I had to grin a little when Jon Blamire reported Summer temperatures on his balcony. When I was a boy, meteorology was my hobby – indeed I got teased as “the professor” because of it. I am therefore very strict about my weather data, and if the thermometer is in the sunlight then that invalidates the result for my part.

Nevertheless, the weather really has become so hot. So hot, indeed, that I must now take my new KIA car to the garage as soon as possible. Today the unusually high temperatures seem to have triggered a fault. The motor began to “kick”, and once I had stopped the car to look at the owner’s manual I read that the air conditioning in extreme conditions can overheat the motor – with the exact symptoms I was experiencing. After allowing my vehicle to cool down, I experienced no further motor problems, but the air conditioning has now completely ceased to function!

That is a nuisance because it really “ain’t half hot”! Indeed whatever my colleague writes about this current heatwave, for once I must confirm the veracity of it. I have never known it so hot in Norway. The meteorologists tell us that May was the warmest on record. I concur.

Hot

A place just outside the city of Sortland. The temperature here was 28º!

While the fault on my car was forcing me to take a little driving break, I did have my camera with me. So I decided to put the time to good use snapping some pictures from the location I otherwise should have driven right past.

In most places, the temperature was a little under 30º, averaging between 27º and 28º – but as low as 26º on the coast. Yet there were “hot spots”, and when the temperature showed 30º (well, that only happened once), I just had to stop the car and photograph the reading!

All of these problems made me almost quite forget why I had driven to Sortland in the first place. A week ago, I had bought some fresh fish, and liked it so much that I had decided to buy some more. It is a type of fish that I had never eaten before called Arctic char. A member of the salmon family, it is really delicious.

First thing Monday morning I shall have to ring the garage for repairs to my car. I’m just glad it’s under guarantee!

Alas O Emerald Queen!

This poem was written as the last bricks of my school were being levelled to the ground. Adwick School is here poetically referred to as “The Emerald Queen”.

Emerald Queen

Alas thou mine emerald queen, whose royal robes were black, and white and green – whose Courts of great austerity were in those fields between, and wast of all with reverence seen, of whomsoever thine had been!
Alas! How thou art brought unto the ground, our palace ruined, thy name renowned! and nought is left of all we had: all is gone and where is found, that love and fear and awesome dread?
Alas, thou art gone, and thou art dead, despised of those who never knew thee then (nor us for whom thou wast our head)!

 

Our National Day


My last post in this blog was about something that happened on St. George’s, the national day of England. Here in Norway, we have ours right now – on the 17th May.

Naturally the destruction of my school made this year a little special. Nevertheless, I remember comparing the two national days when I first came here over two decades ago. At that time my father was still alive. He too was very impressed, and in those days Norwegians were – if this be possible – even more “over the top” on the 17th May; there were more flag poles with flags than there were street lights in the cities, and absolutely everybody held a flag of some size in their hands.

My father told me that, although the Norwegians might rightly claim how unique their day is now, that the day actually reminded him of Empire Day. Apparently there were children’s parades in England too at one time. A long shot from today, where some councils forbid the flying of the St. George flag!

However, here in Norway, the day is as special as ever. I myself make it an occasion to be thankful for my citizenship, and to remember those who for whatever reason have not been allowed to remain in this country. I am extremely fortunate to have landed where I did in life. The 17th May is, for me, an important day on which to remember this.

Norway has not one, but three national anthems. There is the one most people think of Ja vi elsker dette landet (Yes we love this country), which also is the usual one…. but there is also the royal anthem, which is identical to the British one. Lastly, there is the national hymn, Gud signe vårt dyre fedreland. That in my opinion, really is something… and is based on the biblical psalm 127 “Except the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain“.

Jon Blamire has often written some very interesting, and thought provoking reflections about what his experiences here in Norway mean for him – often from a biblical perspective.  I value reading them. However, on a day like the 17th May, perhaps I shall stop and pause to reflect that the builders of this country (alas, times have changed, and the church no longer has the sort of influence it did back then) founded their new country firmly on their Christian Faith. Although the national hymn is used much less now, for me it has one of the profoundest texts of all.

The hymn is, as said, based on Psalm 127. One verse in particular is almost directly lifted from it.

Vil Gud ikkje vera Bygningsmann, (If God will not be the builder)
Me faafengt paa Huset byggja. (we build the house in vain)
Vil Gud ikkje verja By og Land, (If God will not guard [our] cities and land)
Kann Vaktmann oss ikkje tryggja. (the guard cannot protect us)
So vakta oss, Gud, so me kann bu (So guard us, God, that we may live)
I Heimen med Fred og Hyggja! (at home in peace and comfort!)

Happy Constitution Day!

Arctic City

Sortland

Sortland, a small city in the North of Norway.

My apologies for not having posted in a while. I am in the process of moving. Hopefully that will be completed by the end of this month, but at the moment I am living among cardboard boxes and moving as many as I can to my new flat each day.

Once I am finished, and ready to move in to it, I shall then have to clean out the place I’m now living in – so all in all a lot of work. What is more it’s an expensive time. Last week I had to visit the small city of Sortland to buy some furniture and a fridge.

Sortland shops

Day shopping for what I need in my new flat.

Consequently, I was able to snap a few shots there. These were two of them. As you can see, we have a LOT of snow – and it’s only ten more weeks to the Solstice!