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 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 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!   


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

  2. nice idea.. thanks for sharing.

  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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