The Legend(s) of the Swans of Bruges

Besides the medieval facades, the cobbled alleys and the charming bridges, the city of Bruges is also well-known for the elegant swans that majestically swim in the narrow canals, and several folktales tell the story how these swans came to Bruges. The first tale is my favourite and the lesser-known narrative of the two. According …

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Book review: A Dreadful Fairy Book by Jon Etter

A Dreadful Fairy Book I started reading this book on a Tuesday evening. In the first chapter we meet our heroine Shade. She is devastated after her house burns down and all of her precious books are lost in the fire. I immediately put the book down. This wasn't the kind of book that I …

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Of Mermaids and Monsters


I was a late developer. Slow to walk, dragging one leg after the other in a sporadic crawl, I found other ways to move around. My voice took a while too; in class I was quiet, introspective, studious. So it remained, year after torturous school year: the frog dancing in my throat as I raised my tremulous hand to speak, the ragged crimson flush which crept across my cheeks, my chin, my chest the moment anyone looked in my direction.

At fifteen, I experienced an awakening. I’m not sure which came first, the confidence or the sideways glances, but it was if I had woken up and burst from the chrysalis which hampered me all these years. I perfected my lolloping swagger, honed my sneer to perfection, slashed and dyed my mousey brown locks into a honey tinted bob and dared anyone to mention it with a withering stare. I…

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