Katla the hag and her magical breeches

Katla is a volcano in Iceland. It sits under a glacier: Katlajökull. It’s right next to Eyjafjallajökull  and there’s a pretty strong consensus that it’s “due a big one”. So yeah, enjoy that.

BUT, today I’m talking about stories. And Katla’s folklore is too good to ignore.

Visit Klaustur has a great rendition of the tale that almost exactly matches the version that I read on a tourist information board during my visit earlier this year.

As folktales go, it’s a real bingo winner. We’ve got:
– a witch
– magical clothing
– murder
– agriculture
– flooding

Anyone still hoping to cross off their square of “family feud” may have to wait til we move on to the Sagas…

I love the really specific folklore. None of this “Why are we here? Who made us? WTF is up with that half of the year where nothing grows?”

No, this story is literally, “gosh, that volcanic eruption sure did cause a devastating flood!”, “know who I blame? Katla. Nobody’s seen her since, and we all suspected it was her what done in Barði anyway. Reckon she sent a flood to cover her tracks and got away in those magical breeches of hers.” “Yeah, makes sense, that does. What a hag.”

Guards! Guards!

Terry Pratchett.  What a legend. I was working from home when he died, and the news broke on the radio and via my new app at the same time, and… reader, I cried.

I’ve read maybe half of his Discworld titles so far. We own a few of the recent (ish) reprints by Gollancz, which have revived my enthusiasm for the series. Continue reading “Guards! Guards!”

The Bricks That Built The Houses

Kate Tempest “started out as a rapper, toured the spoken word circuit for a number of years and began writing for theatre in 2012“.
She has a powerful, passionate and distinctive voice, and to see her perform is a breathtaking experience  – I’ve been in rooms with several hundred people, with the only sounds being her voice and the street/wider festival outside.

Continue reading “The Bricks That Built The Houses”