Thursday, 5 April 2012

Excess Baggage and Paris in the Spring

In February, Sandi Toksvig and BBC Radio 4's "Excess Baggage" team turned up in Iceland for a few action-packed days. The resulting travel programme (produced by Harry Parker) was aired last Saturday morning and can be listened to again online here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01f1k9z. There's a nice mix of modern and medieval; I had the pleasure of accompanying the team to Þingvellir and I talk a bit about the sagas and the most important rock in Iceland, the law-rock at Þingvellir, towards the end of the programme.

Other fun sagasteads-related news is that over the weekend, I attended the European Independent Film Festival's screening of Patrick Chadwick's film about my project ("Memories of Old Awake", online on Vimeo here http://vimeo.com/29594820). It was fantastic to have the chance to admire Patrick's work on the big screen and particularly to listen to the audio (the birds, and the wind and water). A member of the audience made an interesting point in the Q and A session afterwards: "How is it that when the sagas are so full of graphic violence, you have made such a serene and peaceful film?" One of the intriguing aspects of last year's travelling was, sometimes, precisely the disjuncture between the peaceful atmosphere I experienced in certain places, and the brutality of events described in the sagas said to have happened there. Something I will think more on.

Paris on Sunday, with its tulips, bright green chestnut trees, and children sailing boats in the Luxembourg Gardens pond, is a little ahead of Iceland on the spring-front. Crocuses, snowdrops, daffodils are emerging from flower beds in Reykjavík front gardens though; gleðilega páska!   

7 comments:

  1. Your writing is wonderful; not the least bit contrived! I am looking forward to reading more (and going to Iceland in June).

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  2. nice idea.. thanks for sharing.

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  3. Hello Emily--I just finished the Eyrbyggja saga and chanced upon your blog while searching for more info. I'm going to Iceland for the first time in July for an all-too-brief hiking trip. Do you know of any internet sites with audio to help with Icelandic pronunciation? Your project is fascinating--I'm really looking forward to the appearance of your book.

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