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August Pieces Of My Mind #1

I just meta-mimed singing into my electric shaver. I wasn’t miming singing. I was miming someone in a movie who mimes singing. Family spooked at one in the morning because a burst of engine noise has been heard. Have burglars arrived at the island? Nope, no strange boat at the dock. Investigation reveals that Jrette…

The Lovecraftian Horror of French

I bought a used copy of Maurice Lévy’s Lovecraft ou du fantastique (Paris 1972) at the Fantastika 2016 scifi con, and now I’m picking my way through it with the aid of a dictionary. S.T. Joshi has published an English translation, Lovecraft: A Study in the Fantastic (Detroit 1988). Here’s how little of Lévy’s literary…

July Pieces Of My Mind #3

Excavation finished, team scattered. Now for three weeks’ vacation! This Walter Jon Williams story has two Andean pan pipe bands and a Californian figure swimming troupe that all operate as secret intelligence agents. Interesting jetsam around the shores of the island today. The flip-flop was pretty good. But the rifled camera bag was exceptional. It…

Detectorist John Kvanli is the chairman of Rygene detektorklubb and one of Norway’s most prominent proponents of collaboration between amateurs and professionals in field archaeology. Of course he has a tattoo! It’s an Urnes brooch from c. AD 1100, in the final exquisite Christian style of Scandinavian animal art. John tells me he has found…

I wonder what motivates people to start companies that make or provide boring stuff. What causes a person to devote decades of their life to an organisation that manufactures soap or installs archive shelving? It doesn’t surprise me that people take boring jobs: everybody needs a job and most jobs are boring. But what makes a…

Our second week at Skällvik Castle proved a continued small-finds bonanza, and we also documented some pretty interesting stratigraphy. More of everything in Building IV. In addition to more coins of Magnus Eriksson, dice and stoneware drinking vessels, we also found a lot of points for crossbow bolts. It’s starting to look like the castle…

July Pieces Of My Mind #2

Stoner dude got kicked out of our Christian abstainer hostel for eating our food and waddling around baked out of his noggin. And we found half of the bikini. A good thing about never having been in particularly great physical shape is that you don’t really notice becoming middle-aged. Stoner dude refers to excavation team’s black…

The famous royal castle of Stegeborg sits on its island like a cork in the bottleneck of the Slätbaken inlet (see map here). This waterway leads straight to Söderköping, a major Medieval town, and to the mouth of River Storån which would allow an invader to penetrate far into Östergötland Province’s plains belt. The area’s…

July Pieces Of My Mind #1

Had dinner in Ryd shopping centre outside Linköping. My falafel came covered in this shocking purplish pink sauce. I said, “Oh my, what sauce is this!?” Replied the waiter, “It’s pink sauce”. (Turned out to be the standard white garlic sauce with colouring, possibly beetroot brine.) Movie: Ant-man. Superhero action comedy. Grade: Pass. Jrette liked…

We spent Thursday afternoon backfilling. As I write this, only trench G remains open, and the guys there expect to finish soon. Here’s some highlights of what we’ve learned during our second week at Birgittas udde. Trench A in the outer moat demonstrated that the moat had a wide flat bottom, was not very deep…