I've wisely returned from a Day Out in York, at the Jorvik Viking Festival, and it's just as well because Ragnarök aka the end of the world is happening roughly now, according to Vikings (although for all my research I can't work out WHY 'everyone' is saying it'll be now as I'm fairly sure the Vikings never even made that prediction. They were really detailed about what was going to happen but there's nothing I've found to say when). I didn't think I was going to make it this morning, 'tbh'. I had a slightly sleepless night worrying about work, as is my current custom, and on rolling out of bed I was so much in blobfish mode that I really didn't want to go. BUT I FORCED MYSELF. I did not reap the rewards of my determination straightaway either. There were a couple of 'Viking markets', which I was really looking forward to visiting but one of them was SUCH BUSY in a tiny tent with a million very tall people all crowded round me.
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I got pretty stressed, especially when I realised I couldn't easily get out without barging past over a trillion Vikings. I had to get out fairly quickly because I was so mental and retreated to a cafe to drink some calming coffee. I considered leaving and admitting that I had pushed my fragile mind a bit too far this time.
BUT NO, I WAS BRAVE LIKE THOR. Plus, I'd prebooked the train and it would have cost me to change the time, and I wasn't due to leave till 6pm. I got something to eat, took things a bit more easy, and went BACK to that market TWICE. In your FACE, chronic severe anxiety. It was still horrifically busy, all over York, actually. But there were still loads of fun things going on. I got over the surrealness of groups of people traipsing around in Viking costume (the Brummie and Scouse Vikings probably delighted me the most). I felt calmer after lunch and even managed to follow the main march outside the Minster.
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I sheepishly bought some Vikingtat too. It's not quite as useless as the festival I went to on Lindisfarne (where I came back with a sword that is currently adorning my mantlepiece), but I bought: one Thor's hammer, one die (as in one of dice), a runic ring, a Viking/Lucet knitting kit, and a comb. It could have been worse, I was very tempted by an adorable furry hat, before it occurred to me that the fur was probably fur from something that had once lived, which, even though it's more authentically Viking, I can't really square with my beliefs. I've been inspired to try and knit a hat like this.
It's been a very tiring day, and I'm not going to troll back to York tomorrow for the last day like I'd considered – I saw basically everything I wanted to see today, I need to sleep, and also the world's ending in a couple of hours so there's no point in booking tickets, as the trains will be taken over by Loki (if they weren't already) in the new world. I picked up some Viking business cards (that is not a joke, I actually did. It's like a much less boring form of networking) and am going to drop GIANT HINTS about loads of VIKING STUFF that I'd like FOR MY BIRTHDAY which is in A COUPLE OF MONTHS.
It was a fun and successful day all round. I was wise to go to York. I even did 'book shopping', for I maintain that York is one of the best UK cities for bookshopping. My brain's still all like 'urghghghghgh' but I think a day's respite from obsessive worry will do it much good.

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