Only distance divides us.

I am sitting in a cafe in Brussels contemplating the nature of things…

While writing this, my faithful friend, the motorsailer ‘Free’, lies in frozen slumber in the north of Sweden, far, far away.

Locked in frozen slumber.

Locked in frozen slumber.

I am so fortunate to have such good friends in Borka to watch her for me, and to let me know with photographs such as those featured in this post. Eva, tirelessly reports to me with the affairs of my favourite Swedish village and her hospitable, kind folk, and Kjell-Arne, whose photograph you can see above, keeps me informed about the weather and Free’s condition. I thank them both and wonder how I can ever repay such a debt?

A viking splendour: Another beautiful photograph from Kjell-Arne, showing why i love Borka so much.

A Viking splendour: Another beautiful photograph from Kjell-Arne, showing why i love Borka so much.

We take so much for granted when the winter descends upon us. In fair England, it so often passes unnoticed as folk busily rush through their days, stopping to complain about the rain or the wind. Central heating, plentiful food and electricity have made us soft and complacent.

But just suppose…

Just suppose that the sun never came back and that Ragnarök came upon us? The twilight of the Gods, or whatever metaphor comes to you? What then? How fragile our survival hangs in the balance; just how long would we survive without our sun and her warming power?

Scandinavian winters are able to focus our attention on that narrow thread of survival and for those of us that believe, gratitude for forces unknown that allow us the glory of life.

Life hangs in the balance as winter's grip tightens.

Winter’s grip tightens.

I write not to alarm you, but to remind us all of the fragility of our beautiful planet and how much we depend on her in this savage cosmos, where elements are so precariously balanced. The old Norse myths certainly promote the great harmony of the elements and teach what happens if they are abused, I’d sooner trust the old gods than those rapacious politicians whose lust for profit and expansion at all cost continually plunges us closer to Ragnarōk by the day.

'Hanging in the balance'. Wild life takes refuge in Borka. Eva' son Mikael's lovely photograph.

‘Hanging in the balance’. Wild life takes refuge in Borka. Eva’s son Mikael’s lovely photograph.

Although warm here in my cosy little Brussels cafe, I am never distracted from remembering the distance we are apart. What awaits on my return? Have the Ice spirits been kind? And what of those residents of Álfheim, the elven kingdom? So much is unknown despite science’s pragmatism.

Here in the warmth of civilised Brussels, it seems ridiculous, but up in frozen Sweden?

Hmm… I wonder!



About Viking Queen

I am a sailor and I live on my boat 'Free'. I have no home but originate from Tyneside. I have no allegiance, just a desire to do no harm and live with courage and an open heart.
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25 Responses to Only distance divides us.

  1. Hariod Brawn says:

    Hi Poppy! Could Free be harmed in any way by a severe winter?

    • Viking Queen says:

      Hello Hariod. Most definitely… If she collapses on her cradle, or if i fail to drain all the water from her engine cooling system (that without anti freeze, of course). I can never take anything for granted.

      • Hariod Brawn says:

        Oh, weight of snow(?) – I hadn’t thought of that. Just 50 pages to go on your book and I’m totally into it – bit desperate for some accompanying maps and a glossary of nautical terms though!

      • Viking Queen says:

        Yes, truly! Thanks for the feedback on the book! I tried not to ‘drown’ the reader (sorry about the pun!) in nautical mumbo jumbo as the experience was my aim, if it were ‘snapped up’ by a publishing house, then no doubt they would ask and I would provide! Sorry!

    • Hariod Brawn says:

      Just finished Tickling the Eagle this evening and am really sorry that I have. It is a wonderfully paced adventure Poppy and I am left in awe at your stoicism and courage – truly I am. I will say a few words on Lulu about it if I may. H ❤

      • Viking Queen says:

        Dear Hariod, coming from one as erudite as you that is praise indeed. No flattery intended, I have rarely encountered such prose as I find in your work, so thank you. Please feel free to comment, I need as much support as I can, to reach those boneheaded publishers out there, who either fail to read my work or genuinely disagree with folk like yourself. Truly, I thank you. This gives my confidence a great boost.

  2. tengeru says:

    A beautiful article Poppy, as always. Thank you.
    Being away from our boats is like being away from an old beloved friend. I hope the winter Gods are kind to you and yours.

  3. rollinwithcarro says:

    Free will be safe Poppy 🙂
    so many boats I had during my years in Sweden. the guys up there knows what they are doing.
    I miss you over here and you are so nearby now.

    • Viking Queen says:

      Thanks for the encouragement, Carro. I’m sure Micke’s work will hold up. And if it doesn’t, I know where he lives! (only joking). Yes, I miss you too. If only we could turn back the clock, but the Gods have their plan and a Viking’s reputation is everything, even in modern times. Bless you.
      Ha det bra.

  4. cornishtim says:

    spot on as usual – ( I write from the comfort of my log fire! )

  5. stswan2014 says:

    Beautiful photo’s. We lived in Minnesota until taking Adventure south to relocate to Florida. Both my wife and I are of Norwegian decent. But are giving up the cold.

    • Viking Queen says:

      Thank you, I hope my Swedish friends read your comment! Minnesota, a truly nordic state! Ha det bra, or whatever the Norwegian equivalent is! Enjoy your next adventure, I await your next blogpost with pleasure!

  6. This is why I so look forward to your postings – and why I miss them when you are busy!
    Best of best wishes.

  7. Loco Steve says:

    Hello mate i’m in Thameside at moment. Joosep was here for a couple of days when i arrived and we got on great He is such an adventurous guy for his age, anyway he has gone home now for a while… My Motorbike is terminally ill at the moment and i am hoping to wring a couple of days more work out of it until i start hiring a small van next week and driving around in the warm. But it is an adventure so thats alright. Ha Haaa I’m Loco.. Missing ewe already Baaa…

    On Wed, Feb 4, 2015 at 2:33 PM, A Viking Saga: Choose love and live your

    • Viking Queen says:

      Hello you old hobo! Sorry about the bike. Talking of which how are the pedal bikes going? Take care Baaa! From Poppy; but then ewe probably guessed!!!!

  8. Anne and Chauncey Bancroft says:

    We are divided from you by quite a distance! We left the 4 feet of snow in the state of Maine & are at the moment cruising on a ship from Tahiti to Australia (via Moorea, Bora Bora, Tonga, Fiji, etc.). We will eventually be in Perth. 50 years ago I spent part of a winter in Brussels after crossing the Atlantic on a ship for the 1st time. Now we are crossing the Pacific for the 1st time! Not quite like sailing across in a small boat…as you, being a bit more adventurous, will probably do one of these days…but afraid we’re not up to that anymore. But we are seeing interesting places…and it’s warm (a little too much sometimes…34 degrees!)
    Chauncey & Anne
    Date: Wed, 4 Feb 2015 14:33:39 +000

    • Viking Queen says:

      Hello my fellow peregrinos! Yes, you are no stranger to mammoth snow fall in your beautiful home state! Lovely to know you are squeezing so much out of your lives. You are an inspiration. Enjoy the sun!

  9. Gawjass photos, Poppy! So serene – makes me pine for the north of Sweden!

  10. beliefpatrol says:

    You are one brave soul 🙂

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