Review: ‘Life After Life’ by Kate Atkinson

This is the literary novel as computer game: your protagonist gets killed; you bring them back to life and try something different next time; repeat. Full marks to Kate Atkinson’s novel Life After Life for doing what it says on the tin. It tells not the life story but many life stories of Ursula Todd, […]

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Olav, Norway’s Arthur – Trondheim’s St Olav Festival

He’s ‘Norway’s Eternal King’, the Rex Perpertuus Norvegiae – and he reminds me a little of King Arthur, our own Rex Quondam, Rexque Futurus, ‘Once and Future King’ (why do these mystical titles always have to be in Latin?). But Norway’s Saint Olav has a rather more robust historical existence – and under Norway’s 1163 […]

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‘Ice, mast-high, came floating by’: the beauty of berg-watching in a whiteout

And now there came both mist and snow, And it grew wondrous cold: And ice, mast-high, came floating by, As green as emerald. Well, it’s blue as Bombay Sapphire, actually, but otherwise Coleridge’s description of floating bergs in ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner‘ is pretty accurate. Coleridge’s poem tells of a disastrous voyage south […]

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Aalborg: the best little city in Denmark?

Is Aalborg the best little city in Denmark? I’ve only been in the country a week, but it’s getting my early vote. If you can ignore the McDonald’s and Burger King on its central pedestrian drag, then central Aalborg is a dense little dollop of Scandicharm with a fabulous fjordside location, some striking historical buildings, […]

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The creation of the world in 7 courses: food-storyteller Jesper Lynge

‘The guy who makes this won’t tell me how he does it,’ says the man in chef’s whites unscrewing the lid of the jar and passing it over for me to sniff. ‘But I’ll tell you one thing, he’s very interesting. He was the first to get permission to marry according to the rites of […]

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