30 August 2015

Norse Mythology Skis into Nottingham

As summer fades, more quickly than we would like, our thoughts naturally turn to winter. While many find winter irksome, those of us of a northern disposition rather like snow and ice, and all that goes with them, such as skiing, and especially those deities of skiing, the god Ullr, and the giantess Skaði, who qualifies as a goddess through her marriage to the sea-god Njörðr. I've written about Ullr here before, though I don't believe I have had cause to mention Skaði yet, though she was enthusiastically name-checked in my first book, several aeons ago.

So, naturally, I am delighted to read in the local rag, the Nottingham Post, that a new Nottingham-based fashion company has named itself 'Ullr & Skade' after these mostly-neglected members of the Norse pantheon. It's hardly surprising, though, since they specialise in ski wear. Their inspiration from Norse mythology is explicitly acknowledged on their website and it's great to see them raising the profile of these deities in my home town.

Admittedly, their grasp of the etymologies and spellings of their patron deities, of runes, and of Norse myth generally, is a wee bit wonky, but hey, they're fashion designers, not Old Norse specialists. But next time, guys, give your friendly local Viking specialists at the Centre for the Study of the Viking Age a call! In the meantime, I do hope business goes well for them.