Black Swan, Charity and Tattoos

Watched Black Swan t’other night. We failed, twice, to see the 8.20 showing because of my stupidity – I left my phone, no, not in the washing machine again, but (safely) next to then house phone. So we ended up at the 11.00pm late showing, and hell, am I glad we went for that one. We were, practically, the only people there. I love being able to choose exactly where I want to sit. Anyway, enough about that and onto the film. Rating? 5/5. It was exquisite with just the right amount of psychological horror and mind messing without going all ‘naff.’ It could have been a silly, ott film, but no. It was perfect. Natalie Portman was fantastic as the lead role of Nina Sayers, the ballerina selected to play the role of both the black and white swan. Directed by the same bloke who did the excellent Requiem for a Dream, it was obviously going to be great. You don’t need me to tell you the story, just go and see it. Go with the flow and you’ll love it.


Only a few days left until I haul my books, music and writing desk back to the North East. My walls are stripped of pictures, photographs, postcards and kroner and this little room feels bleak and sorry for its self. (Yes, I stuck Norwegian kroner on my wall.) Not having great luck with removing the blu-tack stains. I have managed to get rid of bag and bags and bags of stuff. Honestly, I must have sent about £300 worth of clothes to the charity shop the other day. (I’m utterly useless at trying to sell stuff on-line. Although, I did put a beautiful red Laura Ashley dress on Freecycle and someone in Carlisle came to pick it up last night. They sent me a text saying how much they love it this morning. Which was nice.) I do feel much better for it and hopefully the rest of the beautiful velvet dresses and such like will find the homes that they deserve. I’d really like to think that someone comes along and is delighted to find a dress that will be perfect for their…well, whatever. You get the picture. The same with my books. I hope they are found by people who will enjoy and cherish them. What is the point of holding onto things you don’t need when someone else could gain much more pleasure from them? Unfortunately, all of this moving has meant my writing schedule has been dead chaotic, and often, nonexistent. And I guess it’s going to be another week or so before everything is sorted and I can untangle myself and my work and get back to putting my nose to the grindstone.



I love them.


I’m addicted



and I’ve decided my next one will be the Windir logo. This is what it looks like…




Now, I know that many, many, many people aren’t that keen with getting band logos as tattoos, but I’m all for it. In my situation, one of my designs (the biggest one on my back) was an illustration by Swedish artist John Bauer, but more people will be familiar with it as Mortiis’s logo. Now, I had that tattooed on me for various reasons. Firstly because Bauer is one of my favourite artists, secondly, because of the impact that Mortiis has had on my life. I’ll never stop enjoying the music or appreciating the band as people. And fucking hard working, determined, lovely people at that. I could go on as to why I got the tattoo, but I’m primarily writing this little thing because of my new piece. Windir are an extremely special and influential band to me. The lead vocalist Valfar (Terje Bakken) died, tragically, in a snow storm in 2004, bringing an end to Windir, but opening up the door to numerous other Sognametal (yes, Windir coined the term Sognametal. Now, if that isn’t influential I don’t know what is) bands started up by the previous members of the band. Vreid, Mistur and Cor Scorpi to name but a few.


Windir, using Sognamål, a Western Norwegian dialect which is used in the district of Sogn, blended Black Metal and Folk music so seamlessly every album was, and remains to be, an absolute pleasure to listen to. I have been to Valfar’s home town Sogndal twice now; something keeps on drawing me back. I’ve talked to people who worked with him and met members of the band; I’ve experienced the mountains and landscape which inspired the work of Windir but which was also the early demise of such a talented, young musician. I’ve visited Valfar’s grave.


It wasn’t difficult to find in the small cemetery in Sogndal. I was overcome with emotion and could only stay there a few minutes. I’m getting the tattoo as a mark of respect for Valfar, for Windir for Sogndal and everything around the Sognafjord which inspired the music and the life of one of Norway’s best bands.