Early autumn on a rocky Arctic Islet

THE LAST THING you want to a pack for a small island in the Arctic is a mobile phone. And I don’t mean it’s the last thing you want to pack, I mean you don’t want to pack one at all. Leave the thing at home. Like packing a low slung Colt forty-five in Dead Man’s Gulch, […]

Pedersen’s Last Dream – Ten

FOLLOWING MY RUN IN with the gorilla at the Aker brygge shopping mall, Kari called a taxi and told the driver to take us to Majorstua. If only my arm hadn’t been in a sling I would’ve knocked the gorilla’s block off. Nobody messes with Knut Pedersen and walks away with his body intact, I […]

The Morning After

IT WAS HALF AN HOUR into Sunday afternoon by the time my gooey eyelids managed to wrench themselves apart. The resulting sensation was a bit like having fine sandpaper coated in blear drawn across your eyeballs. An ensuing blitz of excruciating light had my frontal lobes throbbing like they were attempting to break out of […]

The Secret Island

THERE IS A SECRET island far beyond the Arctic Circle where people don’t lock their doors at night for there is no fear and there are no thieves. An island where small children play on homemade rafts in sparkling waters on summer days that last forever… AND SO BEGINS chapter eight of Pedersen’s Last Dream. Oddly enough, though […]

The best hostel in the world – part two

A ROUNDED MAN in a lived-in sweater, and permanently in need of a shave, Roar has lived on the Lofotens all his life. Like most islanders, he is a man of the sea. Though you wouldn’t think it to look at him, he runs, what was once described as ‘the best hostel in the world’ […]

The best hostel in the world – part one

BEFORE WE START, the one hostel, B&B, pension, whatever you want to call it, in the world, definitely worth avoiding at all costs, is at windswept Ezurum in the far northeast corner of Anatolia. Or used to be. Once you were there, it wasn’t hard to locate. You just asked your helpful bus driver where […]