Based on actual events..........
It was my younger brother's behaviour at a party that first caused me to doubt my ancestry. Sitting in the kitchen, Richard, who has always truly been lion-hearted, flinched as he saw the hand appear through the doorway that led to the hall. But the simple appearance of a hand was not the cause of his instinctive reaction, it was the object contained in the hand that caused this particular blonde giant to attempt evasion, as a beer glass, full of cheap, warm, English beer was emptied indiscriminately towards the handful of people chatting happily next to the oven. Laughter from the group in the hallway immediately followed Richard's expletives as the majority of the liquid landed on his shirt front.
I was occupied in conversation in another room, but recognized the full-blooded roar that echoed throughout the house in the immediate aftermath. Richard in full temper is a frightening beast, anger shakes every inch of his massive frame, and once started, it has to go somewhere. He seems to grow significantly, his nostrils flare and his eyes become utterly focused on whatever has offended him. The word "molten" springs to mind, and not in the sense of languorous Meditteranean paramours, but more in the sense of a very angry mountain crushing everything in it's path. "Relentless" also springs to mind, but this time not in any other sense than in the sense of relentlessness. Remarkably though, Richard is one of the few people I know who can actually maintain coherence while angry, even at Force 11 (measured on the Beaufort Scale and defined as: "Violent Storm: Very rarely experience: accompanied by wide-spread damage."), and can conduct perfectly lucid conversations.
It was this ability to maintain calm, while being completely outraged, that was in evidence as I arrived in the hallway. Richard was negotiating with a group of chaps, (assisted by my elder brother who was also at the party), and was insisting on obtaining the identity of the culprit. Presumably, after identification, Richard had in mind a discussion between himself and the yob to arrive at a mutually satisfactory form of compensation, and knowing my younger kinsman, he was perfectly capable of letting the hoodlum escape with no more than having to forfeit the price of a taxi fare home and an exceeding long, angry, involved lecture, complete with diagrams, statistics and flip-charts, on anti-social behaviour(we Nykksun's are capable of out-pompous-ing a Church of England Bishop when we fell righteously aggrevied. And sometimes, even when we do'nt.).
Whoever the outlaw was, he was understandably reluctant to come forth and pay his Danegeld. I myself, if unarmed with the knowledge that the only price I would pay for my crime was surrendering a crisp fiver and getting lectured for a good half hour by a very angry, but otherwise perfectly harmless, large bear-like creature, would probably have likewise refrained from claiming the calumny as my handiwork, but to stay silent was nevertheless, a dubious act, when measured by the Drunk's Code of Conduct (Rule 3: Always 'fess up) or any other code of honour.
Which is how I found myself outside in the driveway, facing a drunken rugby team, accompanied by my elder and younger brother. Younger brother, his enquiries having been met with stonewalling, had decided that the whole hallway group, from whom the beer had undeniably originated, should all be faced with justice, and his logical investigations having failed, had agreed with the Captain of the rugby team that honour should be satisfied in a more direct fashion. Richard was in mid-sentence, apparently issuing a final demand , when from out of the Rugby crowd, a punch was thrown. He dived in without further ado, and quickly had two prop-forwards in headlocks, one under each arm. Peter and I watched with admiration, "Two-down" said Peter, "He's only got another thirteen to go", when Richard's battlecry, as he advanced on the hooker and the scrum-half, reminded us that the support we were supposed to be offering should be more than applause.
Fortunately for the remainder of the Rugby team, Peter and I were not called into action that night, because the commotion had attracted the attentions of a local copper, whose appearance defused the whole situation incredibly rapidly. "What's going on here, then?" the law-enforcer demanded. "Nothing Officer", someone said. "We were doing a conga and the lads bumped into eachother and fell over". The constable raised an eyebrow, and advised all the party was over.
On the way home, I glanced at my younger brother - wild staring eyes, torn garments, blood-flushed face, nostrils still flared and twitching. I'd always been admonished for bad behaviour by my mother with phrases like "You ought to know better, you're related to the Kings Of Ireland", but it was one of my father's expressions which probably reveals more about our ancestry : "I do'nt know what's wrong with you lot - have you gone completely berserk?".
This is by way of introducing my forthcoming website Sixglobal, which features another obsession - history and origins. I'm starting with my own family, but more than willing to investigate yours. Do'nt expect a complete family tree though, this is more about the occasional story, legend or travelogue. The story above is a sample. The new site should be linked to this page by the end of the week.
Recommended Reading : Viking's Dawn, The Road to |MIklagard, Viking's Sunset, all by Henry Treece.