Review: ‘Odd and the Frost Giants’, Neil Gaiman

Odd and the Frost GiantsOdd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a delightful tale of old Scandinavia and a winter that people dread. Reading it right after ‘American Gods’ made me think of a bit different an Odin than this tale gives us, but this is foremost a children’s tale as well and the witty animals that entertain us belong here exactly as they are written. More than that, this really is a happy story and I don’t think much else needs to be said: read it.

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Snow in Norwich

Though I like Norwich quite a bit no matter what the season, snow makes this city shine. I wonder why this is so, though one possibility would be that since snow is seen here relatively little, the few moments (days) when people can actually appreciate it are very noticeable and the effect of “Oh, look, snow! Far different from July!” on every building is still noteworthy.

No matter how the actual thought arises, my point remains: snow makes Norwich, although generally a very nice city, even better.

I would say something else or add anything to this thought, but there really is nothing of substance. Aside from maybe asking: What would your city/town/village look like if snow covered the streets and buildings?

The Cold Winds of Summer

The walk through the local park made me confront something that I do not enjoy this early into August : namely, the wind was cold. It did not remind me of summer, or of spring, or of the Sun, but instead of what should not be : winter. Not that the winds were that cold — just the impression they left were of the shortening of days and long weekends inside while the elements do their best against the house.

I would assume that this image was supported by the sight of leaves falling. Not many of them yet, fortunately, but a large enough number to make me think, “This is not the time!” What the gods of weather seem to have missed is that we could do well with another two or so months of warm weather (along with a few short showers) so that at least the short moments outside would be more enjoyable than the moment you sit on the coach and your eyes catch the words on BBC News of another riot in London or Manchester or any other city.

And yet, the walk reminded me of other places. The picture I saw before my eyes could have been changed with the road leading up to a Balto-German mansion and the real change would have been small — true, once mind strayed from the path ahead and looked to the sides, that would have been different indeed… but while eyes were to stay fixed on the destination, the differences at the edges of the field of view would be blurred. I’ve tried to add a picture (taken with my faithful LG) to this post to at least show in a few thoughts what was there to be seen (though a warning would be in order so that the pictures my LG takes are rather sub-par in most ways compared to most other wonders of technology).

Now, it would seem that the picture has been added and everything works (after Opera crashed once, but never mind that since WordPress’s auto-save seems reliable enough).

On a more interesting note, this picture shows what I tried to put into words before — and it makes me wonder how bleak it will be in five months time (I guess I’ll see then!). But, a happier note in my mind says that six months hence it will be a wondrous sight again, and so forth and forth! One replaced by the other : a true cycle of life and… desolation (though a Desolation of less beautiful kind than the one by Cole)!

Being Stuck…

Hmmh. What makes a day enjoyable? I think I can remember "awful" days that I have very thoroughly enjoyed. I might say that this present one is similar.

After around three hours of sleep during which I was interrupted twice, I got to the Norwich (International) Airport, and started suffering from psychological warfare by KLM ("We really do not suggest you to fly", "KLM does not want you to fly", "We cannot guarantee you a flight even though you’ve got a ticket"). Nevertheless, the principle of "nothing ventured, nothing gained" won. Plus, I suppose, adventure. 🙂 Interesting. In any instance, after holding my own against those people who had to admit that KLM cannot stop a passenger from flying if he (or she) wishes to, I got on the plane. Now, on the plane I had the excellent opportunity of sitting in my seat for nearly two hours in Norwich while the plane waited for clearance from Schiphol. Granted, I enjoyed a book (by Charles Seife) on ‘Zero’ which makes for a very interesting read. Around this time, I reflected that if I need to wait in Amsterdam as well, I’m in a danger of running out of books. And I got some more sleep. That has to count for something.

Having arrived in Amsterdam around an hour or more later than my plane left, I had the excellent opportunity of waiting in KLM queues. Don’t really suggest anyone tries to do the same unless you really need to. Flight rebooking through a variety of other destinations did not work out (Oslo, Copenhagen, Paris, Helsinki, Riga) so I now have the opportunity of staying in Amsterdam-Schiphol for a rather decent time. Then again, airports are interesting places. [Especially so since only half of the sockets I need to plug my laptop into do charge it, very interesting.] All the planes flying to whatever places around the world. Infinite possibilities?

And now? Reading the Economist (online version). Listening to FictionJunction Yuuka (I recommend!). Writing this entry (offline once again, because their online access is timed and costs rather decently).

Despite everything that’s wrong, I can only really complain of one thing — I could make do with an armchair.

On Remembering what I Said of the Future

These are the words I said in a civics lesson last year when the teacher asked what would be the area most heavily spent on during a winter: "Lumekoristus!"

Everyone laughed when the teacher specified that heating was meant under it.

Yet, the words came quite close to be true.

It would seem that this winter wants to triumph over the previous one.

[Exact situation presented below:]

V. Kuldna: "Mis võtab talvel kõige rohkem valitsuse raha?"
K. Rikson: "Lumekoristus!"

On Winter

I have the distinct feeling that this winter that I am presently seeing outside of my window shall be my last one… for a very long time. And I cannot say that I regret these decisions — they are all for the better. For indeed, I dare say that this will not be my last winter at all, for I have planned to experience another one, though in another time, in another place. Continue reading “On Winter”

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