Category: research

Borek, biryani and skyr: notes from flaneuring

I’m back at my writing desk after a four week break of flaneuring and flouncing about Europe.

From the buzz and crowds of sunny summer London. Pints on the pavement, sun-bathing in the park, striking a stony Tube face, history intermingling with hipster. A city uniting against tragedy, once again.

To the majestic peaks of Iceland. Twenty four hours of daylight without warmth. Sweet scent of freshly baked sugary cinnamon rolls. Cold toes and sunburnt noses. Blue crystalline ice-bergs and black sand beaches. Frolicking whales and petite puffins.

To the unexpected beauty of Albania. Townspeople of all ages proudly promenading after dark. Lingering over an espresso for hours. Beers under the blare of the call to prayer from the speakers above. Rich strong coffee and sweet fresh cucumber. White pebble beaches lapping sapphire blue water.

New friends. Old friends. Planes, trains, boats, furgons and Ubers. Ancient landscapes, castle rubble, roadworks. Borek, biryani and skyr. Garbage, car fumes, sea salt, sunscreen, crisp Arctic air.

With my creative well replenished, I’m ready for the rest of 2017.

What exactly is a Bunyip?

For all of you non-Australians still wondering what a Bunyip is, I wrote a piece for on Bunyips, exploring the folklore and the blurry details of the mysterious Bunyip.

Read The Bunyip: Australia’s Mysterious Man-eating Swamp Beast in full here.

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Birching, medieval peasant life & Norse names: random writing research

I’m in the midst of Nanowrimo and closing in on 50k. Hoorah! I dip into research as I write and so I thought I’d share a few random links for interesting things I’ve researched during the past few days. My Nanowrimo manuscript is fantasy, so I’m going all medieval on your arse.


The use of birch rods for punishment and birches were always my favourite tree. I now look at them in a different way.


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