Monday, June 13, 2011


It was a total Thor weekend. Not the epic adventure directed by the fabulous director Kenneth Branagh. (Though of course he's allowed over my place anytime to direct Cy's socks to the washing machine.) More in the way of a Viking party on Saturday night followed by a Big Thaw on Sunday. (Sorry, bit of a tortured play on words I know.)

The last couple of months has been rain, cold and thunder here in Oakland and I've worn my Uggs - and ski jacket! - most days. Yesterday the sun came out and I actually burnt my nose. (Photo not available).

The Viking party was a fundraiser for the kid's school. One friend says the parents at our school get dressed up more often than their kids...and that's what I love about it. Usually we love to rumble around charity shops get out the spray paint and double-sided tape and assemble something dorky. But this weekend we ran out of time and just did the store-bought thing.

Grrr! (What is Kevin doing?)
The horns on my Helga costume drooped immediately providing me with the allure of a 50's football player only heightened by the fact that I might have overdone the mineral-based bronzer (surely worn back in the 8th century?) More floppy than fierce, though my research shows the Vikings were a misunderstood bunch. Rather than being filthy savages as they were later portrayed, they were actually considered at the time to be "excessively clean" by their neighbouring Anglo Saxons, because they washed once a week. Other cultures though noted Viking men all used the same vessel and water to wash their faces and blow their noses. A technicality.

Look behind you!
We were in for a night of skul-ing Carlsbergs and seemingly harmless clear liquids from Scandinavia while locking horns with spray-painted football helmets, burlap with safety pics and a ton of shedding faux fur. I got given the nametag "Freydies" (Fertility goddess) and Kevin got  "Zinger" (Swinger) so we were well-matched.

Monica, Sally and Me
Our party hosts told us was 90degrees in Sweden as we braved the freezing Californian outdoors to stage a log-throwing competition -  emulating that famous Norse tradition - as a whole family of neighbours watched terrified - well, laughing - from their upstairs room.

Let the games begin!
For once we left early. Kevin’s experience of living in a fraternity house for three years in college had prepared him for the consequences. Leaving a party early, especially one where people are dressed in costumes and drinking shots, is always precarious. Arriving home, Kevin methodically locked all the doors and windows before we retired – at 10pm. Sure enough, three hours later the first faint sounds of Viking war songs were heard in the distance...Kevin rolled over and said, groggily, “They’re coming.”

Suspected leaders of late night marauding party
The remnants of the Viking party had decided to go marauding and had wandered down to our house where they demanded to be let in, fed and watered. "Let them do their best" said Kevin. "It's cold out there, we can outlast them." After a half hour of door bell ringing, knocking and calling out, the explorers wandered off down the street, singing and laughing, content to delay their conquest for another day.

More Norse God-like figures in our weekend. On the way back from Cy's soccer in West Oakland, I had came across these ancient-seeming figures at The Crucible, an ironworks artspace.

The Crucible

Next day came the Big Thaw. Finally the sun came out, the plants stood up and smiled and I bought my two favourites summer things... gladdies and watermelon.

Our front garden
Our kitchen
Any Viking shenanigans over your weekend?


  1. I cannot say that we had any Viking shenanigans- or any shenanigans of the sort... Just a few cocktails, X-Men (in love with Magneto, I must add), a couple of shopping trips, and a few good meals.

    But I do wish I lived in your neighborhood (have I told you that yet??) :).

  2. I am so jealous of your viking party. For my funeral arrangements (many, many, many years from now) I have I unofficially requested that I be placed onto a pyre on a viking longboat, set adrift and then ignited with flaming arrows. Not very eco-friendly but what a brilliant way to go.

  3. This is beyond adorable! I am an X-Men fan!

  4. Sound such fun but I can't believe how coldk it's been with you guys we've got a drought in Suffolk and it's pretty much always in the 70s every day at present. I know we Brits moan a lot about the weather but we sure could do with some rain!

  5. Never done anything like that. Looks like tons of fun!! Hope you have a great week.

    I've been meaning to write you. Your Coach wristlet is soooooo handy. I take it everywhere with me! Thanks so much again.

  6. Umm, in comparison I will submit: my weekend was rather boring - family and the beach. No vikings. No late-night visits from drunken neighbors.

    You look darling as a warrior!

  7. A viking party sounds so fun! Your weekend sounds more exciting than mine!

  8. Marauding Vikings, indeed! But at least you had a good time.

    Our weekend was Thor-oughly quiet. I guarded our daughter's house and dogs while she was in the eastern part of the country. Nary a marauder to be seen. Suited me just fine.

  9. surely that's a photo of our brother trying to be me - with long red locks??? incredibly weird... the vikings, or wikings as we think don't our part of the world its pronounced, were actually baddies, rape, pillage, smelly, the whole shebang. but the headresses!

  10. what a fun bunch. I can't believe they showed up at your house....don't they know what the swinger and goddess of fertility are doing?......

  11. this looks like so much fun! i've never heard of a viking party!

    also, the pic with you in the background is hilarious!

  12. What a great idea, I need to throw a Viking party, had never thought of it! Love theme parties, looks like a blast ;)

  13. Now I'm not sure exactly what that viking party was for--I got excited by the title and skimmed down looking for big vikings {my type}. If you find any extra ones, please send them down to Laguna!

    xo Mary Jo

  14. KIA ORA - thanks for your comment again on my journal, totally makes my day, I love that you love my photos, I hope it brings inspiration to you when you see them :)

    Of yes, colleen. Well, flying is a small world. The world seems even smaller though, when you're a flight attendant. I don't miss working on the planes, but I do miss some of the people and situations. It was great while it lasted, but I'm having an even better time on the ground. Living, loving and enjoying my life to the fullest. Earth is so much more interesting than the skies.



  15. nope, no viking shenanigans over here, but now i wish there was. ;)

    <3, Mimi

  16. The thing I love about Americans (one of the many things actually) is their sheer enthusiasm. Over here in Blighty, it would be a tough job to get people to join into that extent. Looks like you had fun!

  17. Replied on my blog:

    "Kia Ora! First of all, Paris – in one week? For how long? – Meaning: How long are you in France for? Let me know if you drop by Bordeaux. I’ll be away traveling in Italy, but if you’re around when I’m here, and you have free time, a glass of Bordeaux rouge would be awesome. Secondly – Thank you so much for the compliment! I hope you find inspiration through my photography and journal. Ha ha – noon, well, of course not too early! My father starts at 10 sometimes… Did I really just admit that? I’ve been on a vino break for the last week or so, after a few dizzy nights, here and there. Enjoy the rest of your week Jody! "

  18. Your Viking party looked hilarious! That is so great!!

  19. This looks super fun!!! I love the outfits. You guys are adorable.
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  20. the crucible is awesome. I wanna be there! :D

  21. Oh my ... everyone's Viking costumes rock the house! It is like you all just got off the war ships :) So authentic. Love Kevin’s "muscle" love ... I hope you don't have to compete for his attention with his own bicep ;):)

    ♥ Cat brideblu

  22. Yay Vikings! There's just not enough Viking action these days. Even if they did go to bed early!

    That bit did remind me of my 21st birthday party that my house-mate convinced our next-door-neighbours to hold. After a while us lot decided to skulk back to our own patch and had to hide behind the settee with the lights off for hours. Nicked all their beers tho'.

  23. That is just one cool party! I love theme parties and wish I was invited to more! LOL! And those sculptures are amazing! Happy weekend!

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