Tag Archives: vikings

And came down on us like it had been rehearsed

1. September is turning out to be a big month for me. In two weeks I’m going to Gozo, hooray! …With my parents! …OK! My parents are pootling around in Paris at the moment, sending cute selfies from the Louvre and hopefully not being too inconvenienced by France being even more take-to-the-streets-y than usual this week. (I imagine that French poster paper manufacturers must drive around in gold-plated Rolls Royces.) They’re going to Provence next, then Malta for a few days, where I’ll meet them and we’ll catch the ferry to Gozo.

I haven’t been to Gozo in, what, eight years? and I can’t wait to see it again, even if the coolest bit has crumbled into the fucking sea. Fuck you, erosion! Anyway, as long as I get to swim, I’ll be happy. I haven’t been swimming since I went to BC last year, and swimming in the warm inky-blue Mediterranean is the best.

2. Also booked in for September: a new tattoo! Hell yeah! Totally normal and non-desperate behaviour for a 39-year-old woman! Yeah! I’m due, though. I haven’t had a new tattoo since before I left Canada, and that is a lot of years ago now. I came across a photo of this ornament from the Sutton Hoo ship burial recently and was like GET ON MY ARM:

The academic types who are supposed know about this shit don’t know with any certainty what the image represents (what do we pay you for, Poindexter?), but I’m choosing to believe that it’s Odin with his wolves, Geri and Freki, which is probably as good a guess as any, and anyway who cares it’s fucking cool. I adapted the design a bit, and I’m getting this guy to tattoo it for me. Photos to follow.

3. Speaking of Viking geekery, I finally went to the Jorvik Centre in York last month. It was a bit more for kids than I was expecting. The main attraction is a ride through a recreated Viking village, with life-size animatronic villagers moving endlessly and terrifyingly through their slow cyclical butter-churning purgatories; I’ve seen horror films, and that shit is seriously not going to end well. Then they have a collection of artefacts recovered from archaeological digs in York. I was expecting some full-on swords and helmets and elaborate jewellery, but it’s more like “this decrepit rusted-out hook was probably used to hold a cooking pot!” I was a tiny bit disappointed. I think after going to Uppsala and the touring Viking exhibit at the British Museum (FULL. SIZE. VIKING. LONGSHIP.) I’m a bit spoiled for Viking stuff. Still, it was fun and I’m glad I went.

And York is gorgeous, although I didn’t see as much as I’d have liked as it was sluicing down rain the entire day. Like being under a garden hose. So it was a lot of navigating winding cobblestone streets with wet feet while trying to avoid the biggest puddles and simultaneously dodge tourists’ umbrellas.

Hey, I knew what I was getting into when I moved to England.

4. Some recent time-wasting Photoshoppery:

Everybody won’t be treated all the same

1. It’s summer, which mean that the office air conditioning wars are ON. Even though my office is one huge undivided room, the air conditioning manages to leave certain areas stuffy and hot while turning other parts into tiny localised arctic ecosystems, like, so cold that people wear their jackets all day, in JUNE, which is pretty amazing if you think about it. So all day long the people in the Siberian-tundra areas sneakily turn the air-con off and then the people in the tropical-jungle areas sneakily turn it back on and the temperature veers excitingly all over the place. It’s like a preview of going through menopause! So that’s fun.

2. The Vikings exhibition was MAYZIN. Truly. I deliberately went on a weekday to avoid the worst of the crowding, but man, there sure are a whole heck of a lot of people who seem keen to huddle around and peer at cloak pins. And I get that, obviously! But possibly don’t bring your tiny, easily-bored children? I was sooo giving the non-parent-stinkeye to one couple with three kids who were just SCREAMING the whole time like precision-crafted German-engineered screaming machines. Mummy and daddy want to absorb a little culture, fine, but these kids were clearly not into staring at piles of dented coins and amber beads, so maybe next time ask grandma to take the offspring to the Trocadero so everyone else who paid £16.50 to get in can read interpretation boards about early medieval trading routes in peace?

3. Speaking of offspring, my sister went and popped out a kid back in May. LOOK AT THIS FACE:


I am all about getting in good with this little chica, because by the looks of things she is going to be the one who has to take care of me when I am inevitably poor, alone, toothless and wetting myself, like ten years from now.