Tuesday, December 11, 2001

All quiet on the blog-front...
For the next few days, I doubt if I will be blogging. No, I DON'T have tendonitis! What I do have is two days of assessing oral exams at the college, ending Thursday with a "Christmas Table" (julebord), the traditional Norwegian way of eating and drinking too much, with often disastrous effects for careers, work-relationships and marriages.

It's the closest thing we come to a "blot", the original norse celebration of the turn of the sun-wheel (Christmas is called Jul in Norwegian, which incidentally is almost the same word as for Wheel). The vikings would slaughter a pig to prepare for Jul, brew beer, bake, clean, visit the sauna and generally prepare for the darkest night as a celebration of life, wealth, fertility, warmth and light. In a good Norwegian "Julebord" you can see the same thing with a modern twist. We might wear heels and have showered rather than rolled in the snow before racing back to the sauna, but it's still a preparation to meet the darkness of winter, gathering mental strength to survive until the days grow longer and warmer.

So if I survive, and we haven't sacrificed a horse and gotten arrested for putting up a nid-stake, I'll be back in a proper Christmas mood.

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