Tove Jansson on Radio 4


If, like me, you have only know Tove Jansson as creator of The Moomins, then you might like to check out the season exploring her work and short stories now airing on BBC radio 4 as part of celebrations of the centenary of her birth. As well as Moomins, she was an artist, illustrator and writer of novels and short stories.

Currently on Radio 4

BBC News article on Tove Jansson’s amazing life:


Annika Stranded

Annika Stranded press image

Even Radio 4’s in on the Nordic Noir act, with its own crime serial set in Oslo.

I am a bit late to the party on this one as it is currently in the middle of Series 2. From what I heard today it is quite intriguing, this week’s case involving a woman impaled by a falling icicle in an Oslo Street on a winter’s night.

When it began, I couldn’t tell if it was a documentary about a Brit living in Oslo, a ‘From Our Own Correspondent’ piece or a drama.

I find Scandi-set shows in English somewhat confusing – hence my dislike of the Branagh Wallander – but I might try and catch up on this one on iPlayer.

Annika Stranded
Have you been listening to Annika Stranded? What do you think of it?

Marbles mugs at John Lewis

John Lewis Marbles monochromatic mugs

These mugs caught my eye when I was in John Lewis recently. I like the monochrome, simple designs and that they can be mixed and matched to make a cool, matching but not too ‘matchy matchy’ set of mugs for when visitors pop round for some fika.

The ‘Marbles’ design range reminds me of some Marimekko fabric designs and would certainly complement any you have in your Nordic-inspired kitchens.

Marimekko fabrics

Pictured fabric: Räsymatto, Vatruska, Kivet.

Available at various stockists, around £40/metre:


Marbles mugs, £5 each at John Lewis (L-R)

The Luxo L-1

Luxo L1 task lamp

A visit to the Design museum this week has solved a mystery I have been trying to work out for ages – who makes these awesome clamp-on task lamps!

The design is based on the spring technology in the British Anglepoise lamps, which was licensed to US and Norwegian firms in the 1930s. The L-1 was designed by the Norwegian Jac Jacobsen and is made by Luxo. There is a website dedicated to it here:

The Luxo L-1 is available to purchase at .

If you find other suppliers or other amazing Scandinavian lighting solutions, let me know in the comments.


I’ve just read that Sky Atlantic is carrying on with its Nordic Noir inspired programming and is making a murder mystery set within the Arctic Circle region of Iceland, which will be called Fortitude.

Sofie Grabol as Sarah Lund in The Killing

The cast will include The Killing‘s Sofie Gråbøl as a politician, alongside Christopher Ecclestone, Michael Gambon, Stanley Tucci and other impressive names.

I am interested to see how Sky will make the programme set in Iceland with no Icelandic cast members…or perhaps they just haven’t been announced yet. In any case I hope it makes slightly more sense than the BBC’s version of Wallander (I just couldn’t get past the weird language situation, give me subtitles any day!) and I am very curious. And will Sofie get another iconic jumper to add to her wardrobe?

Read the Radio Times story here: Christopher Eccleston, Sofie Grabol and Michael Gambon cast in Sky’s Arctic Circle drama Fortitude

The production company Tiger Aspect has more details of the plot and describes the 13 x 1 hour episode series as ‘Sky’s most ambitious drama to date’. Fortitude at Tiger Aspect

Are you looking forward to Fortitude? What do you make of UK versions of Scandi crime thrillers?


With my Kånken on the pier in Ystad

In the last post, one of the pics in the gallery featured a Kånken Mini backpack. I have seen plenty of toddlers in Nordic airports wearing those and they are adorable! But if you are over the age of five, a full-size Kånken will probably suit you better.

There is just the right amount of room for your maps, jumper, umbrella, water bottle and the essentials like phone and purse. And the sit mat that comes in the back pocket is also very handy for those impromptu fika stops or hard/damp benches on your travels.

I have had my charcoal one for three years and it seems to get better with age as it gets a little scuffed and ‘used’ looking. It is the perfect little backpack for city holidays, and especially good for blending in with the hipsters on visits to Scandinavian cities. They are also an absolute must for any student or exchange student in Sweden. I have never seen such a high concentration of Kånken users as I did in Uppsala!

There are a few places to buy them in the UK (I have seen them in my local Blacks and in some ‘hip’ clothing stores), but the best bet, especially if you want a specific colour, will be to  order online.*

I was lucky to get mine on sale in Germany and I have seen them for £35 in Blacks’ sale, so it is worth looking out for bargains if you don’t have to have one right now. 

*I have not used these websites myself, just found the ones with the best Kånken range. However, I have been to the Nordic Outdoor shop in Keswick and it was great so I hope their customer service via the web is as good as that instore.

Do you have a Kånken? What do you like about them? Where did you buy yours?

Nordic-inspired Glasgow flat

Monochrome Nordic-inspired flat


The Guardian Interiors this week week profiles a family who has created a strict monochrome theme in their Glasgow flat. Black, white and greys abound and there is a definite Nordic influence, as many pieces come from Nordic designers or seem to have been influenced by them.

The look is a little extreme for my tastes (I just painted my bathroom yellow!) but there are some beautiful pieces. The DiamondChair, above, looks awesome, but I’m not sure how cosy it would be.

More affordably, I love the Anglepoise look of the IKEA  Aröd lamp:

For the full gallery and details of lots of the pieces, check out the link: