In 2023, after an absence of three years, the Viking fire festival – Up Helly Aa – returned to Shetland. The Guizer Jarl was Neil Moncrieff who portrayed Njal Thorgeirsson, the hero of Njáls saga, which is the longest and perhaps most famous of the Icelandic sagas. It was an incredible few days and in addition to being present for the Galley march, I was fortunate to be invited along to one of the Halls in the evening, an experience that is not easily forgotten.
‘No more Thor’s lurid Hammer flames against the northern sky;
No more from Odin’s shining halls the dark valkyrior fly;
Before the Light the heathen Night went slowly rolling by;
The waves are rolling on.‘