Suomenlinna

During @WorldCon75 I played hookey for a day to go to Suomenlinna, the island in Helsinki’s harbour with my friend and ‘borrowed cousin’ Laura. It was a beautiful day, but as I got to the harbour I saw there was a thick bank of fog over the water. It made the day a little more…

My Schedule @Worldcon75

WorldCon in Helsinki is coming up shockingly soon. Hope to see you there. I’m unlikely to have much time to post while I’m there, but I’m sure to be tweeting. I hope to meet up with a lot of friends I’ve not seen in a while (relatives, too!). My schedule is conveniently grouped for single…

Under My Skin

A week ago — a momentous time for so many reasons — I whacked my knuckles on the book case in the conference room outside my office at the end of a day meeting students for advisement. I’ve done it before: those of you who know me well will not be surprised. Head in the…

Louhi at @FolkloreThursday

My introduction to Louhi, witch of the north in The Kalevala, appears at @FolkloreThursday today. Folk familiar with my work know that she appears in my stories in Dream Book which were inspired by Finnish mythology in both The Kalevala and The Kanteletar. Some helpful links: The best translation of The Kalevala; the only English…

Finns in Edinburgh: St Giles

Laura and I wandered in to see the Thistle Chapel at St Giles and managed to catch one of the tours. Chivalry at its most ceremonial. And I couldn’t resist a chuckle at the Albany Aisle. Silence please!

Finns in Edinburgh: Canongate Kirk

Of course I was mostly interested in the cemetery — me and the magpies! The poet Robert Fergusson is buried there. While Laura and Risto looked around the church, I wandered among the gravestones. Lots of history here.

Idleness

I know it appears as if I am doing nothing at all, but I promise there is a lot going on behind the scenes — much writing, some news to share soon, and more background on Finnish myths and folklore for Dream Book. It’s true too that there has been much time for amusement and…

TOA/V: Bear Feast Polska

I love this version of the Bear Feast Polska by Rymäkkä. It captures the mythic heart of the song. ‘Karhunpeijaispolska’ is one of the first songs I learned to play on the kantele. I imagined cheery bears frolicking in the woods to the jaunty tune, which of course I figured out eventually had nothing to…

Magic Music

One of the important themes of Dream Book is the music of the kantele. Long time readers of this blog know well the Finnish lap harp. I have a couple of five string kanteles, a ten string made by Gerry Henkel that’s waiting for me in Dundee and a fifteen string one that I got…