Book Review: Names for the Sea by Sarah Moss

*contains a few spoilers (sorry I couldn’t resist) Iceland has always held a unique fascination for me. Driven by a love for Sigur Rós and Björk, along with the vague romance of going to a remote and icy place. In Names for the Sea by Sarah Moss, you get to actually explore the nuts andContinue reading “Book Review: Names for the Sea by Sarah Moss”

Ancient Word of the Day: Thule

Thule or Tile is a legendary island in the North Europe, which was first written about by Ancient Greek Explorer Pytheas of Massalia during his travels between 330-20 BC. Later, a Roman citizen named Strabo wrote about Thule in his treatise named Geographica c. 30 AD. Thule – is the great unknown. The land ofContinue reading “Ancient Word of the Day: Thule”

Book Review: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

* Contains no spoilers 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 This is a book to devour in enormous gulps. When you do come up for air, fill yourself with black tea and then settle back into your armchair, to be borne aloft once more. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent is a bittersweet and melancholy tale of a woman named AgnesContinue reading “Book Review: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent”

Film Review: Cornershop (Kjötborg)

This feel-good documentary is set in Reykjavík, Iceland on corner of Ásvallagata and Blómvallagata streets. Where there is a little unassuming grocery store called simply Kjötborg or Corner Shop. Two brothers own and run the local shop, which they inherited from their parents. This is the last bastion of stores like this, as many othersContinue reading “Film Review: Cornershop (Kjötborg)”

Ancient Word of the Day: Reave

Reave A long and low boundary wall or bank, found especially on Dartmoor and in Devon, mostly now sunk back into the landscape. Also, as a verb, to tear, split, divide or cleave. Rof/rifa An Icelandic word meaning to rip or tear something. Rof á landi refers to the rupture of the top soils ofContinue reading “Ancient Word of the Day: Reave”

The Viking Imagination: Medieval Cartography of Scandinavia

Just because I love cartography, here’s a couple of remarkable Scandanavian medieval maps. Note the dominance of several kraken and sea monsters off the Norwegian coast and how each country is barely hanging on by a thread because of these menacing beasts. Here be magic, Vikings and mysterious beasts. Velleius Islandia by Abraham Ortellius (1603)Continue reading “The Viking Imagination: Medieval Cartography of Scandinavia”

Arctic foxes are the artisans of their own vibrant gardens

Beyond cutely frolicking through meadows in Iceland and Scandinavia, arctic foxes are also aiding the local ecological balance in the way they keep house underground. Their dens are often a century old and topped with lush gardens and dune grass. The domains of arctic foxes are a splash of colour in an otherwise dull brownContinue reading “Arctic foxes are the artisans of their own vibrant gardens”

Medieval Icelandic Sagas: Tales of Blood Feuds, Dangerous Women and Warriors

In this series of podcasts, Australian writer and broadcaster Richard Fidler and his friend, Icelandic writer Kári Gíslason travel to Iceland to regail us with the stories of the ancient Vikings; tales of blood feuds, dangerous women, fugitives and warrior poets. They also go to the windswept country to discover more about Kari’s own mysterious origins.Continue reading “Medieval Icelandic Sagas: Tales of Blood Feuds, Dangerous Women and Warriors”