Day 33, and I’m sitting here, listening to pounding and scraping on the roof above my office. Why?

Torrential rains the other day revealed a large, most unwelcome hole, likely the route of the water I discovered on the floor a few days ago. A long period without rain meant that such a hole went undetected for some time. But water always finds a way to the bottom – just think of the Grand Canyon!

Leak in Roof (Rake to Give Perspective) (Photo credit: M. Bertelsen)

As a distraction from this most unpleasant event, I came across an interesting article on one of the many news site I obsessively check every day. My first reaction to the title – “Warming Climate in Norway Reveals Relics of Ancient Viking Trade Route” – was, “Oh, no, climate change!”

But then I fixated on the word “trade” and scrolled down. When I came to the link to the original research, I clicked on it and am I ever glad I did. Clear color photos of the archaeological finds and of the terrain fill in the blanks, visually answering my questions of “When?”, “Where?”, and “What?”.

Mountain passes have played a key role in past mobility, facilitating transhumance, intra-regional travel and long-distance exchange. Current global warming has revealed an example of such a pass at Lendbreen, Norway. Artefacts exposed by the melting ice indicate usage from c. AD 300–1500, with a peak in activity c. AD 1000 during the Viking Age—a time of increased mobility, political centralisation and growing trade and urbanisation in Northern Europe.

Butter from summer pasturage, barley, and dried fish during times of poor harvest came and went along this high-mountain trade route, along with many other goods.

What really struck me, though, was how people moved about quite freely in those days.

And now, I am not able to do that. And I wouldn’t violate the stay-at-home orders for anything.

Hedmark, Norway (Wikicommons)

But”Fly Away“, sung by John Denver, sums up many emotions in me these days, one being a longing to hike in the mountains of Norway.

All of her days have gone soft and cloudy
All of her dreams have gone dry
All of her nights have gone sad and shady
She’s getting ready to fly

Fly away fly away fly away

Life in the city can make you crazy
For sounds of the sand and the sea
Life in a high-rise can make you hungry
For things that you can’t even see

Fly away, fly away, fly away

In this whole world there’s nobody as lonely as she
There’s nowhere to go and there’s nowhere
That she’d rather be.
She’s looking for lovers and children playing
She’s looking for signs of the spring
She listens for laughter and sounds of dancing
She listens for any old things

Fly away, fly away, fly away

For now, testing recipes for my new book is as close as I’m going to get to fjords and lingonberries and reindeer.

Popovers – Day 33 (Photo credit: C. Bertelsen)

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