folklore

Of ancient sprites and how to bribe them

Midvinternattens köld är hård Stjärnorna gnistra och glimma Alla sova i enslig gård Djupt under midnattstimma Månen vandrar sin tysta ban Snön lyser vit på fur och gran Snön ligger vit på taken Endast tomten är vaken Right: How many readers are still with me after that opening, hey? Now and then, though, I must …

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Of unicorns, powdered horns and Danish tusks

On misty mornings, when the fog curls lazily along the water’s edge and brushes gently over trees and shrubs, the grazing horses can, for a moment, be taken for something else: sun filters down to make their damp hides shimmer, and when the large blue roan turns this way, one can for an instant see …

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Of tangled webs and maybe-ghosts

Every picturesque ruin need a ghost or two, preferably with an intriguing and gripping backstory. Rarely do people who die peacefully in their sleep or due to an overconsumption of cake become ghosts. No, ghosts tend to be the impressions left behind by people who came to a violent end. Really good ghost stories also …

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Of Easter witches and dire death

I just spoke to one of my colleagues who asked me if I was already comfortably seated on my broomstick. “Not yet,” I told him. “Some hours to go before the annual get-together:” “Ah. And do you use GPS or a more traditional compass?” I snorted. “I just point the broom in the right direction, …

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When Christmas looms – of decorations, traditions and short stories

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Big, big thing in Sweden. In fact, it is probably the only Sunday of the year when our churches are full, the congregations adding loud and enthusiastic voices to psalms most Swedish people over the age of thirty know by heart. (The younger generation is a lost cause …

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Saving summer in a bottle

Today, Sweden celebrates Midsummer’s Eve. (Being a pragmatic people, we decided quite some years ago to always celebrate Midsummer on a Friday, no matter when the solstice actually happens) All over Sweden, people will be gearing up for one of our favourite holidays, albeit that very often the hoped for sunny weather doesn’t make an …

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When history and legend collide – or what happens when you're stuck in the Dark Ages

Today, I have the honour of inviting Mary Anne Yarde to my blog, hoping she will share some insight into the background of her intriguing series The Du Lac Chronicles. Part fantasy, part history, this series transports you to a time when Britain bowed under the weight of the Saxon invadors – always, IMO, an …

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Of uncommon heat, eels, fairies, and trolls

September (and by now we’re in October) in Sweden should not be like this: week after week of glorious sunshine, temperatures that call for shorts and t-shirts, for sandals and sunglasses. Global warming, some say, and there are days when I am prone to agree, because seriously, a five-week heatwave in Sweden is MOST unusual. …

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