My Viking Travels
By Katla Þorgeirrsdottir
(But really Kate Burnham!)
Hi! A short history lesson about myself: my dad is Þorgeirr Mikjállson. He grew up on his family farm north of the Wirral in the Kingdom of Jórvík. Until we had to leave, he, my mother, Jorrun Roidatter, and my siblings Eskil, Oli, and Gyða worked the farm with my uncles and their families and traded leatherwork, woodwork, cloth, and cheese in the city. Last spring, we fled to Dublin and thence to Iceland in pursuit of a new land and a freer life. When we arrived, my father said that there was no good land to be had and was persuaded that Greenland held greater promise. We were conned: Greenland is nothing but ice, grass and bugs. This is how I find myself in Vinland after we moved on, again, or so the story goes, and this is what happened when I got there.
Day 1 (Wednesday)
Today was very long and tiring. We were setting up camp at the L’Anse aux Meadows site. It was very rainy, so my mother, Jo, Kari, Paul and I went back to the cabins where we were dry. Since I didn’t really have anything to do, I went to the cabin next door to chill out with Elizabeth and Bronwyn. In the meantime, my dad didn’t know that I was at the cabins so he was looking frantically all over site for me. Eventually, when he came home, he found me in Elizabeth’s cabin. There’s not much else to say, so I’ll see you later!
Day 2 (Thursday)
Today was the first day of re-enactment. We spent the majority of the day entertaining the little boys playing things like “hunter and prey” (a form of tag: the hunter is something big like a bear that chases everyone, there is one that is both hunter and prey, like a fox and prey ,like a bunny)and “1 caribou” (like sardines or all-for-1 hide and seek). We climbed on the roof for a little bit, but then we got in trouble. We also went out to pick some bakeapples (cloudberries) and partridgeberries (lingonberries), but they weren’t ripe. Then we had lunch which was soup. The rest of the day was pretty much the same as the morning.
Day 3 (Friday)
Today I proved my literacy in runes by teaching them perfectly to some tourists. I wonder if I could be a skald one day. Of course, only if there are female ones. A skald is a singer of songs, a teller of tales, a reciter of poetry, etc. Rig is one. He sings a lot. I guess that’s part of being a skald. We had soup again for lunch today. Speaking of food, I’ve got to go to dinner now. See ya!
Day 4 (Saturday)
Today wasn’t much different from any other day. We got in trouble for climbing on the roofs again. I don’t know why we do: they’re 6 feet tall & 6 feet thick and so there’s this big flat bit, so it’s not like we’re on the actual roof or anything. I still don’t know why we get in trouble. We had soup again.
Day 5 (Sunday)
Today I was the only kid there. It was terrible. I had to help with the cooking, the story telling, the trading and the smithing. At least I got to make clay pots with Kadja. All of mine survived the fire: YAY!!!!!!! I made one coil pot that was the right size for a drinking cup, one coil pot that you can only fit your pinky finger into and a bead with various designs such as sea coral, seaweed, ring dots and leaves. Lunch today was soup. Again.
Day 6 (Monday)
I think lunch is getting a little too repetitive: soup yet again. I don’t know why mum hasn’t come up with anything better. Have you noticed yet? Day 1: soup. Day 2: soup. Day 3: soup. Day 4: soup. Day 5: soup. Day 6: soup. Days 7-10: most likely soup. SO REPETITIVE!!!!!!! If I were cook, I’d make something more interesting like roast Elche or flat cakes. I am so glad we get to escape to Northern Delight in the evening to eat mussels, home fries, and ice-cream floats. Hope you have something interesting.
Day 7 (Tuesday)
Today was the same thing but we went swimming in the ocean. It was so cold!!!! My dad practically dragged me out into the water. I wore my thick-ish linen tunic so my (modern) yellow panties wouldn’t show. After my very cold and salty swim, I rinsed myself off in the brook. After that, I got changed right there on the beach with my dad. Thankfully, no one was looking. If some one was, oh, I don’t even dare think about it! Bronwyn (i.e., Emma) and the little boys went too, but the boys didn’t actually swim. They just played with their little wooden boat. Lucky them.
Day 8 (Wednesday)
Today, like most days, my mum wanted me to sew. I was hiding all day to avoid it and other work. Eventually, they got some work out of me though. And by some, I mean lots. Their excuse is “you have to be a good housewife so that we can marry you off”. Huff.
Day 9 (Thursday)
Today was our day off. Totally unrelated to D.A.R.C., so tune in later.
Day 10 (Friday)
Today was so sad!!! I had to say goodbye. I am absolutely terrible with goodbyes, you should know. Although D.A.R.C. is amazing, I’ll still miss my friends and the people who work at the L.A.M. site.