Wild Swimming

RiverChristina here. There’s a lot of talk about wild swimming these days. It seems to be a recent concept, even though the practice is as old as time. The term just means swimming outside in a body of natural water – lakes, rivers, waterfalls or the sea. The main thing is that it isn’t man-made. The phenomenon is increasingly being romanticised (at least here in the UK) as it becomes more popular, with lots of people extolling the virtues of going back to natural bathing in this way. Perhaps because we were all shut in for so long during the pandemic, the freedom of swimming outdoors seems extra special. And I agree – it is!

Lake oneI’ve long been a huge fan of freshwater bathing in particular – I much prefer it to the briny sea, although I’ll happily swim anywhere. Unlike the ocean, though, the water in lakes and rivers isn’t salty so you end up feeling really clean and refreshed. There is no need for a shower afterwards and even your hair will be extra soft.

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Tempted by the Runes

OvernightChristina here. In just a few days, my new Viking time travel story TEMPTED BY THE RUNES will be published and it’s based on the first Viking settlement of Iceland in the 860s/870s AD.

The Viking era is usually said to be roughly from 793 AD to 1066 AD, ie from the first Viking raid on the monastery at Lindisfarne to the Battle of Stamford Bridge when the last Viking king, Harald Hardraada, lost his bid for the English throne. When I first started writing this series, I knew I couldn’t cover all that time and I had to decide which parts to base my stories on. So I made a chart of all the events that were known to have happened from 750 AD onwards, and discovered that the years between 850 and 900 AD were jam-packed with possibilities. At that time, the Swedes were heading east and south down the Russian rivers, the Danes (and others) were raiding and conquering in Britain and Europe, the Norwegians established a kingdom in Ireland and started settling on Iceland, and there were internal power struggles in Scandinavia too. This gave me a rich historical tapestry from which to choose events that my characters could be part of.

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