There’s something very convivial about discovering common ground; more so when the common ground relates to pleasure.
A group of colleagues chanced upon their mutual ‘fandom’ for the 9pm Saturday evening BBC4 offering of Montalbano and Nordic Noir as they exchanged e-mails on a project and crossed paths in the neutral territory of the departmental office.
An envious male’s e-mail comment querying the basis of Montalbano’s popularity with tall, beautiful, interesting, women kicked one conversation off. Explanations were provided for his enlightenment, including Salvo’s ‘snuggle’ factor rating. An exchange then occurred on the office floor and two other aficionados, who had already been sharing Monday morning updates on a Nordic Noir series, joined in.
This led to weekly post episode postings, followed by a bet as to what the last episode would reveal….’would Salvo marry Livia, or run off with Ingrid?’ ‘Would the Mafia bump him off?’ A bottle of Barolo was tabled as the prize at a Sicilian themed lunch where the four Amici voiced mutual regret that Salvo would be disappearing from our screens.
However, salvation was to hand when a Scottish maiden, ‘with her ear unto the ground’, announced the good news that Lund was to replace Salvo. One reluctant Amici was talked into ‘dipping her toes into the icy Nordic waters’. The weekly post episode postings continued; bets were again placed; the Ladies (and himself) Lunched once again. No one won that particular bet – and we defy anyone who watched the last series of the Killing to have predicted the extremely challenging final scene.
Moving on to watch Borgen was a done deal and by this time ‘himself’ had a plan. Well, it had been germinating for some time, buried deep and waiting for the right conditions to sprout. He posed the question ‘What is our fascination with these programmes?’
So began the Nordic Noir project which has evolved from four colleagues having fun, to postcards, Facebook, posters, a blog and, very shortly, focus groups. We’ve made a start. A couple of sorties to a lecture by Ingolf Gabold, and to the David Hewson session at the Aye Write festival (chaired by Denise Mina), provided an opportunity to spread the fandom word. We now invite you to join us in our blog.
Which takes us to the Borgen Suppers… a lively exchange with outside work friends on ‘what did you make of the last episode’ led to a mutual realisation that it might be fun to get together six like-minded women for a dine and dissect session. It was agreed that the participants had to be Nordic Noir fans, the meal had to be Danish, and whilst pulling our favourite Nordic Noir scenes apart we wouldn’t take ourselves too seriously.
So far, two Nordic Noir themed suppers have taken place. A third is planned and it’s been decided that each future supper will raise cash for a favourite charity. We feel that this is a fitting way to develop our shared enthusiasm and repay the enjoyment we get from being fans.
How does it work? You simply identify a charity you wish to support. In my case it is a mental health charity that provides Mindfulness courses for depression and anxiety sufferers. The dinner provider contributes the meal and the guests donate what they feel appropriate. A card is signed by all the participants and the donation handed over to the charity.
We’ve posted a picture of the second supper which had a Wallender theme. The group are young Swedish and German students at Stirling University who confirmed that good food, a shared interest, and a wee glass of wine is all you need for a successful evening’s entertainment.