“THIS time last week, in weather little different from today’s, we had just spent some time visiting the Jorvik Centre as part of our visit to the Viking Festival.

“Aside of lots of hairy men dressed up for the occasion, what my daughter enjoyed most were the three separate performances from a small theatre company; each told the story of Odin, Leif Eriksson and Harald Hadrada.

“Their versions, although comedic and Anglicised, were based in part on historical fact but mostly on the Sagas. These are the stories of great Norsemen and their Gods, passed down and told around flaming hearths. Of course, storytelling has and still does play an important role in passing down culture and history.

“With Reading Week and World Book Day ahead of us, it made me think that in today’s world, where we all spend far too much time in front of screens, how will we tell our stories? Are they destined to be stored in some “cloud” retrievable only with a password?

“This weekend I would encourage you to go and make some Sagas of your own and tell people about them without using social media platforms. Enjoy the company of friends around a warm fire (or radiator), put your phones away and talk to each other. Tell your children your history and write it down somewhere so they can tell theirs.”

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