Midsummer Madness


Midsummer Bonfire by Nikolai Astrup, 1909

It is the end of June and school is finally out. Kids and parents pack their picnic baskets and head for the nearest meadow or beach, or as the last resort; a gravel football court, where a huge bonfire has been standing tall, composed of old branches and throw-away furniture, since the first day of summer. For some, this is the day they pack their cars or boats, and head for their summer getaways. But the bonfire is certainly not to be missed. Will the witch adorning the top of the driftwood tower fall over before she is licked clean by the building flames this year, or will she collapse at the first touch of smoke like last year?

The witch is the main character of this suspiciously pagan Nordic holiday. She, and her sisters, will be on the prowl on midsummer night, looking for eligible bachelors to kidnap, and god help the girl who tries to stand up for her lover! So the inhabitants of each village try to scare her away by burning replicas of her on a huge bonfire. Since the witches normally fly quite high in the sky, this tend to work fine. At least it has for centuries now, with a few exceptions, so do NOT forget the witch on top of the bonfire tonight!

Since this is a night steeped in magic, more than just witches may be heard from or even seen. The fairies will be out and about too. And it is said that, because of this, if a young girl picks seven different types of flowers from a meadow at midnight and puts them under her pillow when she sleeps, she will dream about the man she is going to marry!

When I was little, midsummers were spent at sea with my family. There would be a huge bonfire on a rock in the sea close to land, and it would burn far into the night. We would grill sausages on a smaller fire and tell each other stories about ghosts and witches. With me always being the main narrator. Sometimes I would scare my two younger siblings half to death!

If you want to learn more about our Nordic Midsummer Madness, you can read the beautiful book which is the inspiration for this post: ” Moominsummer Madness” by the Finnish author Tove Jansson. In this delightful children’s book you will encounter a floating theatre, electric ghosts, private property protests, and wild orphans who dream of seeing a real play.

Midsummer is a time for fairy magic, for fun and for family and friends. It is one of those delicious festivals that dates back to ancient times when it was the turning of the sun that marked the passing of the year, and gave cause for celebration. So no matter where you are, please have a magical Midsummer, and be sure to sprinkle a bit of Midsummer Madness in there.

Happy Midsummer!

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Fictional Friends

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Art by Tove Jansson

Have you ever read a book and just thought to yourself: Oh, I wish wish wish this person was real so that we could become friends! Or perhaps you even had a crush on a character in a book? Or maybe met a new favorite grandfather or aunt or teacher?
I certainly have! Sometimes I feel that half of my world is made up of fictional characters and imaginary worlds. 😊😊

So in this post I thought I’d share some of my favorite fictional characters with you. 😊

Luna Lovegood

imageImage from the movie: Harry Potter

Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter books by J.K Rowling is perhaps my absolute favorite character in a book. I always love people, both in real life and in the fictional world, who are a bit eccentric, different, kind and who has a beautiful heart. Luna ticks all these boxes! I love how dreamy she is, and how she doesn’t care what people think of her. She is so strong, and sweet at the same time! I think she and I would make wonderful Friends!

imageImage from the movie: Harry Potter

In the case of Luna Lovegood I actually even liked her more after seeing the Harry Potter movies. Evanna Lynch does such a good job portraying Luna that she has become Luna for me, and now I don’t even want to see her in other movies, because I want to keep her as Luna Lovegood, my friend, in my mind! 😊😊

 

Radagast

imageImage from the movie: Lord of the rings

Radagast the Brown from the wonderful books by J.R.R Tolkien is another favorite of mine. He is like Luna, sweet, eccentric, different and kind. He loves nature and animals, and he has this innocent energy about him that just makes me love him. Of course he also has magical powers, and a carriage drawn by rabbits! What’s there not to love! 😄😄

 

Treebeard the Ent

imageImage from the movie: Lord of the rings

Treebeard is another character from the magical universe of J.R.R Tolkien. Treebeard is an Ent, a Tree Herder, who looks like a tree, but is not the same. Tree Herders are there to protect all the trees in the world. I love trees so much! I always have, ever since I was a little girl and climbed to the tops of trees. I always felt that trees are alive and can offer great healing and comfort, so like the Ents, I want to protect the trees!

 

Snuffkin

imageArt by Tove Jansson

A lot of you might not have heard about this character. Snuffkin is created by the amazing Tove Jansson, a Finnish-Swedish author, who wrote the beautiful Moomin books.
Snuffkin is a wanderer, he follows the season and wanders the land, sleeping in a tent he carries on his back and eat fish from the rivers and berries from the trees and shrubs. He is very philosophical and plays melancholic tunes on his harmonica. Snuffkin doesn’t believe in possessions and admires everything without needing to own it.

Snuffkin is a bit of a loner, but he is very kind and caring and always helps when he can.
His best friend is Moomintroll, but he values his freedom above the friendship, and only stays with Moomin through spring and summer, the rest of the year he is on a walkabout through the land and forests he loves so much.

 

Granny Weatherwax

imageImage from the book: Witches abroad

Granny Weatherwax is a character in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. I first encountered Granny Weatherwax in the books about Tiffany Aching, a young witch who has many wonderful adventures on her way to becoming a real witch. Granny Weatherwax is also a witch. Many readers of these books might not like Granny Weatherwax much, because she is strict, authoritative, sarcastic and frankly a bit scary, but I love her! Because she is wise, strong, fair, and despite her exterior, awfully good! 😊 I love how she is always honest, and straight forward, she doesn’t put on pretenses or airs, and those are some of my favorite characteristics in people! Granny Weatherwax has also been the inspiration for many of my stories about witches, in particular my Granny FlowerWitch stories 😊😊.

 

Coriakin

imageImage from the BBC series: Narnia

Coriakin is a character in the Narnia books, specifically the Voyage of the Dawn treader, by C.S Lewis. Now this might come as a surprise to many of you because Coriakin plays a very minor role in the book, but for me he has become the ultimate magician, who has inspired all my own literary magicians. I have to admit, it was actually in the BBC’s TV adaptation of the Narnia books I first fell in love with this character. He just had it all: the long white beard, the pointy hat, the blue cloak with stars, a huge old spell book, and he lived in a magical invisible tower! As a kid, I could ask no more from a depiction of a wizard! 😄