26 January 2009

Runic Rescue

A long train journey recently gave me a good excuse to read S.J. Bolton's Sacrifice. It's actually a very readable thriller, and I do recommend it. However, to enjoy it Vikingists will have to forgive the author's rather obvious lack of either knowledge of or love for Shetland, where the book is set. She also needs to do a bit more homework on what she thinks of as 'Viking runes', especially their forms, their names and their functions! I don't particularly mind the New Age-y interest in runes, though I wish those who take an interest would at least inform themselves about the differences between the various alphabets, and find out which ones are 'Viking' and which are something else. Ralph Blum (Bolton's only source) has a lot to answer for...

04 January 2009

Tinfoil Thor

Yesterday's Guardian reports a curious story in which a party-goer dressed as Thor returned home to terrify a burglar with his tinfoil and red-cape outfit.... There is a small picture of him in the print version of the paper, and quite a glorious one in the online version of The Sun (not a paper I normally read, of course). Both papers (and probably many others, too) indulged in bad puns ('Thor blimey', 'Thief Thor-ght it's hammer time'). The costume may be a bit curious, but it is good to see that the No. 2 god is still doing his job of protecting all and sundry from the depredations of the Other.