Happy Imbolc

This is traditionally the beginning of Spring for Pagans and Heathens in the northern hemisphere, so even if you are neither, I send greetings and blessings. The old seasonal celebrations were lunar-governed rather than stifled by the Mathematical, Church-influenced Gregorian calendar that we adhere to these days; thus the real Imbolc should fall on the New Moon next Monday the eighth of February.

Slightly puzzling was the appearance of Snowdrops before the end of December, one of the markers of Imbolc, reminding us that our planet is in dynamic flux, for sure. Mankind has always been trying to mould the Earth to his way; I guess he’s slowly succeeding. Is winter on its way out? No snow in Sweden until December… No snow in Britain these days either, except for the odd flurry.


For the Vikings, such a time must have been very welcome after the awesome power of the winter finally began to relent; certainly I felt some of that relief with my old boat Free still struggling to survive her icy grip. A series of storms have played havoc with the tarpaulin that I covered her with before leaving Sweden last October. My dear friend Kjell-Arne sent me a salutary reminder of the Nordic winter with a photograph of the damage after the most recent storm cut a swathe through Borka.


Free’s tarpaulin has been ripped by a series of storms.

Once again I am reminded of my April return to Scandinavia and hope that poor old Free can survive the remainder of the season; so, in a strange way, I send her Imbolc greetings too, coupled with a prayer to Odin for protection:

            “It isn’t long now my old friend, until I will be with you again.”

Free is never far from my thoughts in absence although I rarely mention the fact to my friends during my ramblings from hostel to hostel, and country to country. Since the Yuletide, this old heathen has graced Liverpool, London, Kent and Lille in France. Now she finds herself boat-sitting again for James and Tara back on the River Thames while they jet off to foreign places for a well deserved holiday.

Lille et la belle vie!

Entente Cordiale… Relaxing with my old Friend, Mike, his son Miko and French friends, in beautiful Lille. Oh la Belle vie!

On the water again, flirting with Old Father Thames at Wraysbury; a repeat of last year and a welcome break from the stunted hostel lifestyle, where sleep is intermittent at best and non-existent at worse! Ah well, I chose this life so the rough always comes with the smooth…

Let’s not wish winter away too early, folks. The glory of the British seasons are what makes old Albion so unique. There’s nothing I like better than sitting around Bilbo, my old wood-burner listening to the rain rattling against the roof whilst munching hot muffins…

Not forgetting, of course, a lovely cup of tea!


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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21 Responses to Happy Imbolc

  1. RollinwithCaroline says:

    Hey Poppy!! I am back with the blog 🙂 Miss you loads

  2. christian says:

    Thought i typed a message early hrs this morning, looks like didnt send.
    glad you got there safe and enjoying a cup of rosie lee.
    sure Free is fine a bit of wind wont hurt her
    re the snows coming late will it still be there when going back, you never know we might have some here still got March & April
    speak soon

    • christian says:

      ps miss Bilbo

    • Viking Queen says:

      Hi Chris… got it this time! Yes it’s bracing over here on the river; rather lovely, I feel.
      Earls Court closed so I’ve had to rearrange hostels when i return to London. Shouldn’t be a problem for meeting up though. Take care.

  3. Good to read your recent message even if on my recalcitrant machine! I hope to see you in March
    when I should be done with “medical episodes”! So far so good ! We’ll be in touch anyway. I trust
    Free is “recovered ” enough in every sense!
    Till next time and all the best,

    • Viking Queen says:

      Hello Ruth! Glad to know that your medical business is approaching the end! It would be lovely to see you before the return to the high north!

  4. finnhagan says:

    Comes from the ulsterish  imbolk  I’m bollocking  freezing… fact.. x

    Sent from Samsung Mobile

  5. Kat says:

    Hi Poppy,
    Glad you’re still enjoying life to the full.
    You’ve heard about my move from Chris.I’ll email you with the full story and contacts so you can come and visit in Devon.
    Kat xxx

    • Viking Queen says:

      Hi Kat. Yes, congrats are in order and I wish you all the very best down in yon west country. You grafted hard for that bonnie lass, and deserve all of it.

  6. Hi Poppy, Wonderful to see you enjoying time in Lille! Best wishes for the new year, to you and your beloved FREE!

  7. Roger Lundqvist says:

    Hi Poppy

    Yes it´s a lovely time we had coming, but I think we had to wait a month more until spring is coming here up north.
    I am already exited to test my boat at sea an see how she behave and to learn her peculiarity.

    I suppose you longing for Free and the peace and privacy she gives you, and some hard work to.

    It always sheers me up to read your post, so thank you for your posts.

    • Viking Queen says:

      I’m very happy to know that they make you feel good, Roger. That’s the best we can do in this life… empower others. Free wouldn’t be back in Borka if it hadn’t been for you, my friend. This life brings so many amazing people into focus. Take care and see you in a few months.

  8. Good to hear that you and Free are doing ok and that you’ll be back on board in a few months. After reading your comment on the hostel life, I am glad that I have been fortunate to find some nice alternative B& B’s on my travels. Some have been rather interesting, as I am sure, are the hostels, although I probably have had more sleep than you are having. I didn’t know about the lunar Spring before, so that is another interesting piece of information. And with the climate being somewhat unpredictable and unsettled, who knows what weather is in store for us in coming years?

    • Viking Queen says:

      Gott nytt år Amanda, albeit a little late! Yes, hostel life is a real roller coaster, for sure. Some are wonderful, most are average but some… unprintable here!😱Especially around full moon (I’m not joking) Maybe the fellas aren’t so affected as I am normally in all-female dorms.
      Here on the Thames i am having plenty of delicious, deep sleep and meditation in abundance. Just what the doctor ordered! Anyway, lovely to hear from you again and I wish you goo fortune and adventure in the following year.

      • Thank you Poppy! Meditation and sleep sounds very relaxing! Enjoy! When I was a nurse, we used to say that the geriatric (read more psychiatic) patients would all act a little strangely on the full moon. So it is interesting that you say just the women! Anyway, I think I will stick to hotels this year! LOL. It is great to read about your forthcoming adventures again, Poppy.

      • Viking Queen says:

        Thanks Amanda! As I say, I don’t really know about the men. Unsure about this year, re adventures, but it normally turns out a little more exciting than I care for!

      • Viking Queen says:

        Thanks again, Amanda!

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