Norse trading

While England slept, Norway was exporting record amounts of seafood last month:

The Norway Post: Record seafood export in October
The value of Norwegian seafood exports in October totalled NOK 7.3 billion, the highest ever for a single month, according to the latest figures from the Norwegian Seafood Council.

It's all down to their burgeoning salmon, mackerel and fjord trout trade, apparently.

Don't look for this story in any of the UK-based newspapers. They don't like success stories—especially Norwegian success stories. They would rather fob you off with tat about invading Romanian hordes, Miley Cyrus (no, me neither) smoking a suspicious-looking fag, and the Duchess of Cambridge's hair at a Remembrance Day parade. OK, when I say they, I mean the Daily Mail.

Far be it from me to give Gruts's competitors free advice, but the Mail is missing a trick, here: Norway is not an EU member, you see—so of course business is booming! If the Mail had reported this story, they could have ranted about the shameful state of the British seafood trade, no doubt blaming it on the Spanish for sneaking into our fjords under cover of dark and making off with all our trout. As it's the Spanish, they could even have referred to it as an armada (do you see what they could have done, there?). It's damned unprofessional, if you ask me. The Mail is letting down its core readership.

Me? I'm delighted for the Norwegians. They're a good bunch. They never seem to kick up a fuss; they just mind their own business, catching their trout and selling it to the Russians and Belarusians.

Go, Norway!

Norwegian flag


London Review of Books: Gloomy/Cheerful

Norse myths are probably more familiar than classical ones in the modern world, perhaps even more familiar than the Old Testament stories Europeans were once brought up on.

I'm sorry, but that is just utter bollocks.

I say this as one who is probably more well-informed than your average member of the public when it comes to matters Norse. I don't claim to be an expert or anything, but I did used to (and, to some extend still do) have a big thing about so-called Dark Age history, I studied archaeology as one of my subjects at university, and I even took part in an archaeological dig at a supposed Viking settlement in Shetland. So I've picked up a thing or two in my time about Norse mythology.

But to claim that Norse myths might be more familiar than Old Testament ones is pure hogwash. Remember Adam and Eve and that bloody snake? Noah and his infeasible boat? Gideon and the walls of Jericho? Lot's wife? The bloke in the whale? That nutter who wanted to cut the kid in half? Samson and Delilah? David and Goliath? Sodom and Begorrah? The Queen of Sheba? Bathsheba in her bath. God saying to Abraham, 'Kill me a son!'? God being a total bastard to Job? Moses and all those 'Thou shalt not's? All that begetting? The Hittites and the Ammonites? The list goes on…

And on the Norse side of the equation? Ragnarok, Valhalla, the Valkyries, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and that's about it!

Like I said, utter bollocks! Why do otherwise intelligent people come out with nonsense like that?