Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Gothic Enlightenment by Annika Perry

Once again it’s a pleasure to take part in Sally Cronin’s ‘Posts from Your Archives’ and in this second of four instalments I revisit the mystical Whitby Abbey and join some monks on the Path to Paradise.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the second post from the archives of Annika Perry who shares an atmospheric visit to Whitby Abbey in North Yorkshire.

The purpose of this series is to encourage you to head over and follow Annika’s blog and check out her more recent posts.. I hope you will do so.

Gothic Enlightenment by Annika Perry

Self-consciously I traced my way around the grassy labyrinth. Glancing up I caught the eye of a fellow pilgrim and sheepishly we exchanged wry smiles as I wondered, “Does he think I look ridiculous? Do I?”. The answer was an emphatic no, as I took a deep breath and continued on my way.

Arriving earlier at Whitby Abbey the cement bunker where we bought our tickets had been gloomy and disappointing, however on walking around the corner and up we were transported in time as chanting Benedict monks beckoned us forward across the sunny…

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What do Ingrid Bergman and Camilla Läckberg have in common? Fjällbacka! This is a beautiful town on the west coast of Sweden about two hours north from Gothenburg. Ingrid  Bergman spent every summer here with her third husband and Camilla Läckberg was not only born in Fjällbacka but also set nine of her hugely successful novels in the town. It is one of my favourite places to visit with spectacular views from the huge rocks of Vetteberget. Below it are nestled the houses, shops and restaurants. It has over 100 steps to the top and en route courage is required to traverse under Kungsklyftan –  the three gigantic rocks trapped in the chasm above ones head.


It was renamed the ‘King’s Cleft’ following a visit by King Oscar II in 1887.

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After the long walk a relax by the harbour front cafe is a must – even on a chilly sunny Spring day! Ah…perfect serenity.

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Forests! Years ago travelling by car across Sweden I felt the landscape was mainly the green corridors of forests.


Only later did I discover I was not far off the mark with nearly 70% of the land being forested.


Where we live is no exception; forest views all around as well as stunning walks amongst the trees; birches and firs growing side by side as well as the odd hunting tower!

Believe it or not, this photo is the genuine article. Sunset on a glorious evening as seen in reality. No photoshopping required!


Mystery is embedded in the very heart of all forests and this one is no different. During one walk we came across this unusual stone built rectangular wall. Low in height, with no obvious entry point. We are still musing over its possible usage / meaning. Any ideas would be very welcome.


This is view of the nearest lake to where we stay whilst in Sweden and this particular lake is one of over 95,000 lakes across the whole of the country. 


I hope you have enjoyed my snippets of information and photographs from my latest trip to Sweden this Easter – posted by popular demand!! Thank you for all your interest.


PS. This is my 100th post – Yippee!!


Play in Blues

How does a holiday break affect your writing?

That was one of my concerns when I left for Sweden in Easter. There I faced two weeks without writing on my novel. Two weeks with my thoughts drifting further away from my fictional friends.

On my return I approached my desk that first Monday morning with trepidation. A sprawling mess of papers lay scattered across its surface and on these were our passports, tickets,my jewellery. With a nudge I cleared a space for my Ipad and keyboard.

stone in seaI felt unprepared to start; my memory hazy and mentally timings were out of kilter. Baby steps, I told myself. Baby steps. I therefore picked up my tablet and started to read the last chapters of my first draft, familiarising myself with the story and its characters.

Until now I’ve tried not to reread too often what I’ve written, concerned that I  would become excessively critical and too keen to do a major rewrite early on. I feared my flow would be be halted.

My fears were groundless.

After happily reacquainting myself with the story, I studied my notes on Scrivener’s Corkboard and noted which section I intended to tackle next. I was  glad for the side notes I’d made previously, they proved very helpful.

To revisit my friends in the book I read through the character notes I have made in my notebook, once again thankful that they were so complete and detailed.

By now my mind was once again buzzing with the book, the characters started to whisper their words, the story painted in my mind.

benchStill, I was not quite ready. I decided to wait until the following day. Tuesday morning, with all travel paraphernalia cleared away, I read the notations I had made during my holiday. Yes, I know, I lied! Strictly speaking I wrote a few pages of notes now and then.

Finally with the tablet and keyboard up, I was set. I had to laugh at my own ridiculous state. My nerves jingled as I faced the blank screen. I flexed my fingers, relaxed my neck back and forth. Then I took the plunge. And typed.

A few sentences in I was thoroughly enjoying revisiting my book and letting my creative spirit flow.

Often you read about writers being worried about taking a break.

Does it really cause such difficulties?

Don’t writers, as people in every profession, need a holiday?

An opportunity to recharge their creative energies?

I really would like to read your opinions about this; whatever your profession.

Until then, hope you enjoy the video – writing the title of the post brought it to mind. This song and many other ‘80s pop songs got me through all my school exams:-)

“If I were a medical man, I should prescribe a holiday to any patient who considered his work important.”

Bertrand Russell

Current Word Count on first draft of my novel: 62,358