• autism

    Autism & Eating

    For The Art of Autism and Proud2Bme, I wrote this blog about the challenges around eating that persons with ASD might face. An abridged version (in Dutch) was also published in Lister magazine UP.

  • martial arts

    Budoka in Quarantine

    As a scholar and a musician, I can carry on with my work. Of course, things have changed – conferences became Zoom calls and concerts got replaced by recordings, for example. Still, I feel that I continue to grow in both areas from the safe place of my home. But how does this work for a martial artist? In this writing, I would like to share the various ways in which I currently work on my martial arts journey, and show you one of my “kata study drawings” as an example. It is my hope that by sharing our ideas, we can support and inspire each other to stay happy…

  • an image of King Alfred from The Last Kingdom
    fanfic,  King Alfred of Wessex

    Alfred / Modwenna / Wyrm

    Surakian wrote this untitled fanfiction for The Last Kingdom, in which King Alfred gets very sick (when hiding in the Athelney marshes) and Modwenna cures him. She finds out that he has a wyrm in his spinal cord, and her herbal medicine does not seem to work, but when he is as good as dead, she summons the wyrm (that is called Gifer) to go away. Republished with permission of the author.

  • mermaids

    Mermaids of Colour

    When the Disney studios announced that they had cast Halle Bailey in the role of Ariel, aka The Little Mermaid, for their latest live-action remake, there was a wave of reactions and most of all: criticism. Twitter hashtags #NotMyMermaid and #NotMyAriel became trending topics and Halle was ridiculed in words as well as in ‘anti-fan art’. And why? Not because anyone doubted the acting and singing talent of the 19-year-old R&B star. Nobody questioned the judgment of director Rob Marshall who praises Halle’s ”rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance, plus a glorious singing voice”. No, the hatred is based solely on Halle’s skin colour supposedly not matching…

  • medieval studies,  the medium formerly known as TV

    Princess Gis(e)la of France

    Special interests are one of the most common characteristics of people with autism*, and in my experience, they often come as a surprise. While watching Netflix’ series Vikings to examine the portrayal of King Alfred, a new “fixation” stroke me like lightning. Since her first appearance in Vikings, I became utterly obsessed with fascinated by princess Gisla. So, I did as I always do – googling & reading – and below are the results. An abridged version of this post is also published in the Ancient History Encyclopedia.

  • fanfic,  translations

    Spanish King Alfred fanfic

    I had to brush off my Spanish, but with a little help from my friends, I managed to understand this fanfiction about El rey Alfred by Venezuelan Tumblr user marithesoprano. With her permission, here I post her original with an English translation (as literal as possible). Many thanks to Inti & Rosasharn. 🙂

  • Travel

    Travel blog Canterbury

    As most of you know, I am totally fascinated by an Old English king: Alfred the Great. I am learning Old English (including the runes), read everything from and about King Alfred that I can get my hands on, and last summer, I made a trip through southeast England, looking for traces of my hero. For the Dutch travel website Reismuts, I reported on this varied journey, in text, music and photographs. This is a translation of the first blog of this series, about Canterbury.