13 March 2013

Sweet Norfolk

I love Norfolk. My mum is from there and her family lives there. I myself am Maltese. to those of you who don;t know, Malta is this tiny speck of an island in the middle of the Mediterranean. To be blunt its been raped by most old world cultures imaginable, from Carthaginians, Phoenicians,  Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Italians, French, and English, leaving us with a long history, from some of the eldest standing monuments (dated to around 5,000 BC to a couple of remarkable sieges - one in 1565 and another, more famous one, known as the 2nd world war - leading to our independence as one of the smallest nations in the world in 1964, with a population of about 450,000.

I hate Malta! Its filthy, populated by what I consider to be ignorant Mediterranean people, obsessed with religion and politics and football: three things i care very little about. It's loud, extroverted and is horribly humid (making summers unbearably hot and winters horribly cold, despite our latitude). Despite what tourists insist in, i find locals very brash, uncourth and far from friendly. I Often feel an outside in my own country, possibly something to do with my dual nationality (English mother, Maltese father) and what I consider a close affinity with English culture.

Having said that I do respect its history and what it's (my) people have lived through. Picked on by ottoman pirates for centuries, housing the Knights Hospitalier for 268 years, withstanding some pretty intense sieges and sticking it to der fuhrer in WWII, Malta has had its fair share of ups and downs...

So Going north to England for my holidays is always a strange experience. i feel nothing but warmth for the English people, their self-deprecating humour (something Maltese people are not entirely aware of), their sarcasm. I also get a very 'old world' feel whenever I'm in the U.K. - i imagine this is due to the fact it's a relatively old country with established laws and mores, unlike Malta, which has only been self-governing for 40-50 years, and, in many ways, is still finding its feet. I love its buildings, its weather, and the determination of its people and its pubs! its many faults notwithstanding (its faltering debt-based economy springs to mind...) I love the place.

What does this have to do with worldbuilding? Nothing! It's my sister;s birthday in a few weeks and i decided to make a map of Norfolk for her:

It's in an old 18th century style, with distressed old paper and uses old-school naming conventions. I'm quite happy with it and will probably start working on a Maltese one soon - for all its (perceived) faults, Malta, being the Centre of the Med, has a rich cartographical history i can steal from.

Also, I might be working on my first map commission soon - an ancient Egypt map, something I've always been interested in. maybe a career in cartography beckons! My Elyden Atlas/encyclopaedia seems that much more plausable now :)

On the worldbuilding front, I'm slowly working on ideas for coins - done in PS as small relief pictures, depicting the various coins of different regions, base don time and reign. i have a few ideas for coins, many of them already use din my fiction, others little more than new ideas I'm still working on. My favorites are the coins that are minted with dents and perforations dividing them in quarters, which can be snapped and broken into smaller deniminations. i'm not sure how plausable the economies of such coins are, though i like the idea.


  1. So I have to ask...do you have an accent? And just how cold does it get there in the winter? I thought the ocean kept the climate relatively warm.

    As for culture and history and maps and coins, all very cool! I like the idea of the snap-able coins.

  2. well, the accent is neither here, nor there, maltese people say i dont sound 100% maltese, and my english relatives all say i sound exotic, whatever they mean by that.

    theres a low pressure front coming down form the northern europe at the moment and the weather's expected to go down to a low of 3-4 degrees C over the next few days. in winter, due to the humidity it generally feels about 4 degrees colder (the opposite for summer)